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-   -   Gender: Roles, Stereotypes, Discrimination Version 2 (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=123695)

Midnightsfire July 3rd, 2010 10:54 pm

Re: Gender: Roles, Stereotypes, Discrimination Version 2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by HedwigOwl (Post 5561232)
I don't know how anyone could come to that conclusion without first personally interviewing "most women". And we'd have to know what persons on both sides mean by "masculine characteristics". If you would care to share your personal opinion of such characteristics, we would have aa place to start a discussion.....

No opinion needed. (It's why I half-phrased it as a question...)

Man stuff

Woman stuff

I am rather fond of that woman warrior archetype

Yoana July 3rd, 2010 11:17 pm

Re: Gender: Roles, Stereotypes, Discrimination Version 2
 
You do realize both masculinity and femininity are mostly cultural, and not natural concepts, right?

Midnightsfire July 4th, 2010 12:02 am

Re: Gender: Roles, Stereotypes, Discrimination Version 2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Yoana (Post 5561267)
You do realize both masculinity and femininity are mostly cultural, and not natural concepts, right?

*shrugs*

Your opinion it seems to me.

Seems more along the line of sexuality...

HedwigOwl July 4th, 2010 8:29 am

Re: Gender: Roles, Stereotypes, Discrimination Version 2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Midnightsfire (Post 5561249)
No opinion needed. (It's why I half-phrased it as a question...)

Man stuff

Woman stuff

I am rather fond of that woman warrior archetype

An opinion would seem essential. You made a judgement about what "most women" are looking for in men, so you must have had something in mind to do so. If we're going to seriously discuss gender roles/stereotypes in society, we do need opinions. And sorry, but I don't think wikipedia is relevant -- it's what you personally think, what prompted your statement.

Yoana July 4th, 2010 10:32 am

Re: Gender: Roles, Stereotypes, Discrimination Version 2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Midnightsfire (Post 5561290)
*shrugs*

Your opinion it seems to me.

Seems more along the line of sexuality...

Then how do you explain the vastly different qualities ascribed to femininity in different cultures? Also, how is my opinion an opinion and yours is a fact?...

Also, your masculinity wiki link started with a foot-long list of problems the article has. So I can't really take it at face value.

I can speak for myself that traditional "masculine" qualities in a man is not something I'm remotely interested in. In my experience, the more a man identifies himself as "masculine", the more tedious he is.

Melaszka July 4th, 2010 10:50 am

Re: Gender: Roles, Stereotypes, Discrimination Version 2
 
Even the Wiki article itself says:

Quote:

The relative importance of the roles of socialization and genetics in the development of masculinity continues to be debated
i.e. No factual consensus has been established.

flimseycauldron July 4th, 2010 3:21 pm

Re: Gender: Roles, Stereotypes, Discrimination Version 2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Yoana (Post 5561503)
I can speak for myself that traditional "masculine" qualities in a man is not something I'm remotely interested in. In my experience, the more a man identifies himself as "masculine", the more tedious he is.

I think masculine and feminine are more often than not conferred upon either gender by the opposite gender. If a man finds a woman attractive then she is feminine. Her masculine qualities may actually heighten her feminine qualities for some men while for other men they may overshadow her feminine qualities. If a woman finds a man attractive then he is masculine. Any feminine qualities may heighten his masculine qualities for some women. I often think of many gay rock stars whom women found insanely sexy. Freddy Mercury for instance. Unless the person is homophobic I don't think anyone would deny that he had masculinity dripping out of his pores.

lightreading July 6th, 2010 5:35 pm

Re: Gender: Roles, Stereotypes, Discrimination Version 2
 
1) Do you believe that men and women are inherently "different" on more than a biological level?
No.
2) Do you believe that gendering is a matter of nature or nurture? A combination of both?
??Don't really understand this question.
3) Have you ever felt discriminated against or judged based on your gender?
YES.
4) Do you feel that your gender is misunderstood by the opposite gender? Have you experienced an "Us/Them" scenario with regard to gender in your relationships with other people?
Yeah. Do you know one of my guy friends, when I was telling him about feminism, said to me "But you have the vote. What more do you want?"
5) Are there any fundamental questions you would like to ask of members of the opposite sex? (For obvious reasons, questions must be PG-13). Any misconceptions you would like to clear up that you feel are generally accepted about your gender?
That we only care about clothes and makeup. Ugh. We do actually care about things like equality, justice, intelligence....
6) Have you ever felt limited by gender roles or ostricized by other members of your own gender for failing to live up to stereotypes and expectations surrounding your gender?
Yup. I have a LOOOONNGGG story about this--to make it short--
I got in trouble with my school (and my classmates...and my friends...and the janitor...and my parents....all right, the only one who isn't mad is my cat!) for standing up to a total psychopath when he was harassing my best friend. He beat me up for it, and I was blamed because, according to everyone, my actions (I didn't hit anyone, I didn't even swear, which he was doing) were "unladylike". If I was male, I would have been praised for my bravery; because I am female, I lost my friends and was bullied for years.

Yoana July 6th, 2010 6:28 pm

Re: Gender: Roles, Stereotypes, Discrimination Version 2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by lightreading (Post 5562853)
Yeah. Do you know one of my guy friends, when I was telling him about feminism, said to me "But you have the vote. What more do you want?"

:rolleyes: I get that all the time. It shows the shocking abyss between the sexes. Nobody ever seems to notice it, but it's so vast I sometimes can't even see what's going on on the other side.

Quote:

Yup. I have a LOOOONNGGG story about this--to make it short--
I got in trouble with my school (and my classmates...and my friends...and the janitor...and my parents....all right, the only one who isn't mad is my cat!) for standing up to a total psychopath when he was harassing my best friend. He beat me up for it, and I was blamed because, according to everyone, my actions (I didn't hit anyone, I didn't even swear, which he was doing) were "unladylike". If I was male, I would have been praised for my bravery; because I am female, I lost my friends and was bullied for years.
:wow: Really?! That's hardly believable. :no:

lightreading July 7th, 2010 1:12 am

Re: Gender: Roles, Stereotypes, Discrimination Version 2
 
It's true.

Yoana July 7th, 2010 6:44 am

Re: Gender: Roles, Stereotypes, Discrimination Version 2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by lightreading (Post 5563167)
It's true.

:huggles: I'm sorry. I personally think you showed admirable bravery and compassion.


Apolaris, I don't have time to address everything, but you make some very good points.

Quote:

Originally Posted by APolaris (Post 5563411)
I wouldn't say "chick-lit" is in any way synonymous with "screaming fangirls." Take Jane Austen, possibly the prototype for "chick-lit" (though I'm a guy and she's one of my favorite authors). Nobody will ever claim to be a "screaming fangirl" of hers. Rather, her fans are mostly women who discuss her stories intelligently because there's a lot of substance there, something most "fangirl" (or "fanboy," or for that matter, "raving fan" in general) material lacks.

I've never ever understood the "Austen as chick-lit prototype" view. Before I introduced myself to American culture through the internet, she was always one of the classics to me. Assigning a narrowly female orientation to her prose was in fact news to me. And I think that in itself shows the divide. If you have a female perspective (not merely a female protagonist), then it must be categorized as something "other", special-interest. Women shouldn't be seen or treated as a special group or a minority, and unfortunately this is what I see in popular culture.

Here's a good illustration of my general point: "Why Sex and the City 2 Reviews were Misogynistic"

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I wonder if it's at all interesting to note that Sense and Sensibility, a 1995 adaptation that even I, an avowed Austen fanatic, will admit is an extremely female-oriented film, won the most accolades of its entire year, including Best Picture from the Golden Globes, a nomination from the Academy, and multiple Academy Awards for acting, writing and the movie's quality. Granted, it deserved every accolade it got, but it's still a counterexample to the "females get snubbed" argument.

Let's see, what else is there? Oh yeah, Titanic, the #1 most hated film of anything I know of by males... a screaming fangirl picture if such a thing ever existed, one that dwarfs Twilight, and something that only a screaming fangirl could love. I remember what it was like when that film was in theaters. What was the Academy's "Best Picture" of 1997? Oh yeah, it was that. The very next year, the terrifyingly generic Shakespeare in Love beat out the masterpieces Life is Beautiful and Saving Private Ryan. Then, the year after that, The Green Mile, which many men I know named as the most emotionally stirring film they'd seen since The Shawshank Redemption, lost to the unquestionably female-oriented American Beauty. If anything, I'd say that for most of the 1990s at least, there was actually an anti-male bias in film.
Sadly, to me, this only reinforces the impression I've had for some time that western society in general has been going back, not forward, with regard to female representation and feminism as a whole since the 1990s.

But I do take great exception to "anti-male bias." Equal representation does NOT mean reverse discrimination.

I also have a problem with equating "emotionally stirring" with female/feminine. That's stereotyping in itself. I personally can't see how The Green Mile caters more to a female audience than a male one. Or Shakespeare In Love, for that matter. Just because it's romance? It's also a film about a real, actually existed, great man. These always win awards.

Another point to consider would be exactly how feminist these films are and how much of their content is reinforcing gender stereotypes rather than challenging them.

MmeBergerac July 7th, 2010 10:59 am

Re: Gender: Roles, Stereotypes, Discrimination Version 2
 
I never understood why the ladylike thing should be resigning yourself to be at the man's mercy and when things get nasty just screaming in hope that a white knight comes to save you.

1) Do you believe that men and women are inherently "different" on more than a biological level?

We've generally educated in different ways, so yes, there's some difference. The rest of difference (Psychological, for instance), I tink that can be included in the biological ones.

2) Do you believe that gendering is a matter of nature or nurture? A combination of both?

Both, probably

3) Have you ever felt discriminated against or judged based on your gender?

My grandparents never understood that, being a girl, I wanted to be an engineer. But in my adult life I've been generally lucky.

4) Do you feel that your gender is misunderstood by the opposite gender? Have you experienced an "Us/Them" scenario with regard to gender in your relationships with other people?

Yes, of course, Men don't understand women and wwomen don't understand men, as young people don't understand old ones and viceversa. There are differences between us, therefore must be some misanderstunding. As long as it keeps nice and civilized, I don't see any evil in that. It makes life funnier.

5) Are there any fundamental questions you would like to ask of members of the opposite sex? (For obvious reasons, questions must be PG-13). Any misconceptions you would like to clear up that you feel are generally accepted about your gender?

I would like to ask guys why that mania about cars... :lol: And I'd like to make clear that not all women like pink colour (I personally hate it).

6) Have you ever felt limited by gender roles or ostricized by other members of your own gender for failing to live up to stereotypes and expectations surrounding your gender?

When I was at high school you,as a girl, were supposed to sigh for Leonardo DiCaprio and the Backstreet Boys, look desperately for a boyfriend, and read those horrible teen magazines that talked about how many calories you could burn with a French kiss. I didn't like Leo DiCaprio, I listened to Mozart, I wasn't romantically interested in any man that didn't belong to a Dumas novel (apart of Luke Skywalker) and I thought (I still think) those magazines were rubbish. Besides, I couldn't bear make-up (I'm not comfortable with it yet), I wasn't interested in gossip and I found girl's talk quite boring... I was a weird girl. I could talk better with boys: they at least liked Star Wars.

APolaris July 7th, 2010 11:21 am

Re: Gender: Roles, Stereotypes, Discrimination Version 2
 
Personally, I don't see why you'd choose a thread like this for transferring something completely unrelated to it from another thread, then change the discussion to something related to this thread, but I'll reply to these unusual conditions anyway.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yoana (Post 5563356)
I've never ever understood the "Austen as chick-lit prototype" view. Before I introduced myself to American culture through the internet, she was always one of the classics to me. Assigning a narrowly female orientation to her prose was in fact news to me. And I think that in itself shows the divide.

Why is it that nobody questions the "maleness" of authors such as Hemingway, Joyce and Homer, and in fact many parade it around as if it's got nothing to do with variety between authors or with setting up male commentary as the perspective of an "other"? Yet when people comment on the "femaleness" of an author, it's suddenly a "crime of otherness."

For my part, I'm a great fan of Austen. I enjoy her witty satire, her depiction of the times' social norms, the many layers of analysis required to get at what she's really saying, how her characters often rebel against the norms of the time as much as a person raised in the time could be expected to, and what some individuals' perspectives on those norms might be. The fact that those perspectives happen to be female matters only in the same light as, for instance, Hemingway's perspectives mostly being male. They are a social, not political, commentary. Contrary to modern belief, there is a difference.

At any rate, by referring to it as "chick-lit," I'm definitely not bringing it down in any way. I'm not putting it on the level of, say, Twilight or Legally Blonde. Quite to the contrary: I'm elevating the definition of "chick-lit" rather than lowering Austen. It's entirely possible for something to be "chick-lit" without being modern, pedantic and predictable. The crux of my point is that there seems to be this impression that "chick-lit" is automatically shallow material written for screaming emo fangirls. I disagree strongly with that interpretation of the term and consider it actively offensive to the role women, as both author and audience, have played in literature.

Quote:

If you have a female perspective (not merely a female protagonist), then it must be categorized as something "other", special-interest. Women shouldn't be seen or treated as a special group or a minority, and unfortunately this is what I see in popular culture.
I don't like modern pop culture any more than you do. Frankly, I think a lot of it is shallow, misogynistic junk - and at that, I think much of modern "feminist" media, such as SatC itself, is frequently the most misogynistic and counter-feminist of all, except for maybe rap culture. However, I'm perceiving that the conflict between your ideals and the reviews isn't with some arbitrary backwardness of movie reviewers, but is more based on faulty logic, possibly compounded by agenda-driven blinders. You seem to be under the impression that reviewing anything negatively that happens to have a female perspective implies that it was reviewed negatively because of the female perspective. This is false. It could be based on any number of reasons. In Twilight's case, for instance, it would be the poorly-written characters, the awful plot, the ludicrously bad prose, and so on.

I'd like to see even one mainstreamreview for one good film by a well-reputed critic that reviewed a film negatively more for its perspective than for its content, because personally I haven't seen one (though I don't read many British papers, not being British myself). And no, the reviews in that incredibly biased article for that junk culture film based on a junk culture show (by even the article author's own admission) don't count as reviews of a good film, nor do reviews from papers so far-right that only their own readers can take them seriously count as mainstream.

Quote:

"Why Sex and the City 2 Reviews were Misogynistic"

Sadly, to me, this only reinforces the impression I've had for some time that western society in general has been going back, not forward, with regard to female representation and feminism as a whole since the 1990s.

But I do take great exception to "anti-male bias." Equal representation does NOT mean reverse discrimination.
Firstly, male (and female) reviewers are not mandated to review something positively merely because it's built on modern "feminism," and they're not mandated to review something negatively because it's not. Maybe you take an interest in feminism, and if it's the intellectually honest sort, I respect that very much. In fact, if it's also the non-vitriolic type, sign me up. But that doesn't mean a film being feminist makes it Oscar material or that being non-feminist disqualifies it. If that were the case, let's hang up literature such as Ulysses, the Great Gatsby, Anna Karenina, most of the Bible, Torah, and Quran, Othello, Hamlet, and everything else that contains even a hint of not furthering feminist agenda, because by standards like that, all of those would be considered downright neanderthal.

Now, I didn't like the Hangover or most films like it any more than you probably did, but that doesn't mean I'm mandated to think Samantha and Charlotte weren't materialistic, weak-minded, overly conformist, predictable, and inwardly ugly characters, nor if I were reviewing it would I be mandated to tell any white lies about how they aren't, nor would it mean that I'd deserve being labeled as misogynist for saying so. Let's face it: SatC is basically the equivalent of "The Hangover" starring women. If either film got an exceptional review from anybody, it's probably more than either film deserved.

Secondly, the validity of the latter point mandates the assumption that what was going on was actually "equal representation." Personally, I fail to see how several low-substance (even by admission of their own fans in some cases) films in a row winning Best Picture over several of the most acclaimed films of all time merely because the more deserving films happened to contain a male perspective is equal representation. It doesn't help such a case that when a male-oriented film finally did win Best Picture, it was Gladiator, which, while a fine film, probably wasn't the best film of its year. Honestly, to me it seems more like a token "let's break the spell" move.

Thirdly, that article. Wow. Where to even begin? The Telegraph review was, granted, a terribly shallow and misogynistic one, but what do you expect from a paper that's basically England's equivalent of the pseudo-fascist New York Post? But I started questioning the article's neutrality once I got to its analysis of the Observer article, whose sole misogyny was in the thoughtless use of a certain b-word. The rest of it was deriding the film more for the total lack of substance in its dialogue, characters and plot than for their being women or being unattractive. It's hard to take an article seriously when it can't even distinguish between an attack on characters and an attack on actresses. It only got harder to take the article seriously when it derided the London Evening Standard for daring to be honest about the characters' personalities, then went on to pontificate the usual catchwords and soundbites that force-feed how We Must All Strive For Feminist Agenda-Pushing In All Films. Frankly, the only part of the 2nd half of the article that I didn't find laughably misandrist was that Hot Tub Time Machine deserved equally crappy reviews. It did... though I do have to admit that one of the readers has a point that the article's writer seems to confuse "cheating/not cheating" with "empowered/docile." But HTTM being **** doesn't make SatC good.

To be honest, I'd say that article's biggest accomplishment was managing to make itself look worse (and do more damage to its own agenda) than those reviews - all while actually hand-picking reviews from some of the most right-slanted, anti-feminist papers in London.

Quote:

I also have a problem with equating "emotionally stirring" with female/feminine. That's stereotyping in itself. I personally can't see how The Green Mile caters more to a female audience than a male one.
It doesn't, and I said no such thing. What's more, I think you know that. What I did say was that it was an emotionally moving film that caters primarily to a male audience (yes, those exist, and in greater numbers than one would think), one that if you asked many men would easily deserve "Best Picture" of the previous four years, let alone that year. Yet it did not receive it, and actually lost it to a relatively shallow film that virtually plagiarized its entire plot, but that happened to appeal more to women than men. This also happened right after an at least equally deserving film, Saving Private Ryan, which is now acclaimed as one of the greatest ever, was likewise deprived. Like the others, these are counterexamples to the argument that female-oriented films always lose and male-oriented films always win.

Quote:

Another point to consider would be exactly how feminist these films are and how much of their content is reinforcing gender stereotypes rather than challenging them.
Since when is a film mandated to challenge "gender stereotypes" in order to be catering to females? For that matter, since when is "how feminist a film is" an indicator of its quality as a film? Feminist agenda is not a litmus test or even a catalyst for whether a film should be well-reviewed or receive awards.

Besides, there are way more films out there that cater to male stereotypes than to female ones, yet I see no complaints about these. Where's the equality in that on your end? Do you really think guys like me don't feel hurt and even seriously offended by the depictions of most men in films as identical to the characters in either "The Hangover" or "Desperate Housewives"? Yet the article behaves as if we're not meant to be offended by the fact that so many films (ignoring the fact that it wasn't even true of most of the listed films) consist of "ignorant, cliched, macho, brutal, brainless, gung-ho, numb-knuckle, totally male-dominated, exhilarating toss" that "feature large clubs of self-involved obsessive stupid men." If anything, I'd say such commentary by the article is setting feminism back at least 30 years - to when it couldn't be distinguished from male-bashing. That does more damage to its capacity to accomplish anything than any film could ever manage.

Quote:

Originally Posted by lightreading
I got in trouble with my school (and my classmates...and my friends...and the janitor...and my parents....all right, the only one who isn't mad is my cat!) for standing up to a total psychopath when he was harassing my best friend. He beat me up for it, and I was blamed because, according to everyone, my actions (I didn't hit anyone, I didn't even swear, which he was doing) were "unladylike". If I was male, I would have been praised for my bravery; because I am female, I lost my friends and was bullied for years.

For what it's worth, I consider you very brave for this - especially if you knew beforehand what the reaction of those people would be like. Which country/state do you live in? I live in New York and if that were to happen here, the girl would be hailed as a hero by everyone except the school and the friends of the psycho.

Yoana July 7th, 2010 12:55 pm

Re: Gender: Roles, Stereotypes, Discrimination Version 2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by APolaris (Post 5563449)
Personally, I don't see why you'd choose a thread like this for transferring something completely unrelated to it from another thread, then change the discussion to something related to this thread, but I'll reply to these unusual conditions anyway.

Actually I'd already written my entire post when I saw it didn't belong in the Twilight thread. I didn't then change the discussion. Actually I don't even see how it's been changed - I responded directly to points you made. And since I couldn't think of a better place for it, I cut it and pasted it here. I don't see anything unusual to it. If you have a better thread in mind where this would be more appropriate, you're free to relocate.

Quote:

Why is it that nobody questions the "maleness" of authors such as Hemingway, Joyce and Homer, and in fact many parade it around as if it's got nothing to do with variety between authors or with setting up male commentary as the perspective of an "other"? Yet when people comment on the "femaleness" of an author, it's suddenly a "crime of otherness."
I've never seen those described as "male" authors. Ever. They're always referred to as great authors with tremendous impact on humanity as a whole.

Quote:

For my part, I'm a great fan of Austen. I enjoy her witty satire, her depiction of the times' social norms, the many layers of analysis required to get at what she's really saying, how her characters often rebel against the norms of the time as much as a person raised in the time could be expected to, and what some individuals' perspectives on those norms might be. The fact that those perspectives happen to be female matters only in the same light as, for instance, Hemingway's perspectives mostly being male. They are a social, not political, commentary. Contrary to modern belief, there is a difference.
You yourself referred to her as a "chick-lit prototype." This was what I find telling - labeling any female perspective as chick-lit or at best special-interest, not the existence of the perspective itself. Again, I don't recall Hemingway being stuffed into a "guy-flick" stereotype - ever.

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I don't like modern pop culture any more than you do. Frankly, I think a lot of it is shallow, misogynistic junk - and at that, I think much of modern "feminist" media, such as SatC itself, is frequently the most misogynistic and counter-feminist of all, except for maybe rap culture. However, I'm perceiving that the conflict between your ideals and the reviews isn't with some arbitrary backwardness of movie reviewers, but is more based on faulty logic, possibly compounded by agenda-driven blinders. You seem to be under the impression that reviewing anything negatively that happens to have a female perspective implies that it was reviewed negatively because of the female perspective. This is false. It could be based on any number of reasons. In Twilight's case, for instance, it would be the poorly-written characters, the awful plot, the ludicrously bad prose, and so on.
The article does explain why the reviews are misogynistic. You can't come out of it claiming it assumes all criticism is due to the female perspective, because it addresses the specific ways (and words) in which it's misogynist. And I don't even like Sex and the City.

And since I'm not quite sure - do you mean my logic is probably faulty and I probably have agenda-driven blinders? Because if you do, let me tell you, you don't know me at all, and you should refrain from making such liberal assumptions about me based on a couple of posts I've made. It's

Quote:

I'd like to see even one mainstreamreview for one good film by a well-reputed critic that reviewed a film negatively more for its perspective than for its content, because personally I haven't seen one (though I don't read many British papers, not being British myself). And no, the reviews in that incredibly biased article for that junk culture film based on a junk culture show (by even the article author's own admission) don't count as reviews of a good film, nor do reviews from papers so far-right that only their own readers can take them seriously count as mainstream.
You seem to assume all misogyny is intentional. Well, in fact the majority isn't. Very few people would write, it's for women so it's trash. But a lot of what they write seems to be coming from this latent belief, without the author even realizing it. Most of the sexism exhibited in the western world is subconscious and unintentional - it doesn't make it any less sexist. Nor does the political spectrum they come from. I see no difference between sexism perpetrated from the left and that perpetrated from the right.

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Firstly, male (and female) reviewers are not mandated to review something positively merely because it's built on modern "feminism," and they're not mandated to review something negatively because it's not.
Where did I demand that they do? I'm afraid you responded to my post with a lot of assumptions about what I may mean, instead of replying to what I actually wrote.

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Maybe you take an interest in feminism, and if it's the intellectually honest sort, I respect that very much. In fact, if it's also the non-vitriolic type, sign me up. But that doesn't mean a film being feminist makes it Oscar material or that being non-feminist disqualifies it. If that were the case, let's hang up literature such as Ulysses, the Great Gatsby, Anna Karenina, most of the Bible, Torah, and Quran, Othello, Hamlet, and everything else that contains even a hint of not furthering feminist agenda, because by standards like that, all of those would be considered downright neanderthal.
You completely lost me here. I have no idea what in my post may have prompted this. I think you may be confusing me with someone... Like a stereotype of a feminist. I would really like to know what you mean by "a standard like that" - a standard like what, and where did I outline such a standard?

I merely said I do notice a tendency to dismiss women-oriented entertainment products. Nowhere did I decry male-oriented ones or demand that anything without a hint of a feminist agenda should be hung up.

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Now, I didn't like the Hangover or most films like it any more than you probably did, but that doesn't mean I'm mandated to think Samantha and Charlotte weren't materialistic, weak-minded, overly conformist, predictable, and inwardly ugly characters, nor if I were reviewing it would I be mandated to tell any white lies about how they aren't, nor would it mean that I'd deserve being labeled as misogynist for saying so. Let's face it: SatC is basically the equivalent of "The Hangover" starring women. If either film got an exceptional review from anybody, it's probably more than either film deserved.
Look. It's one thing to dislike Sex and the City (I dislike it too!) and think the heroines are materialistic, overly conformist, etc. and another to call them "sluts" and "whores" (which one review did). These are decidedly misogynist terms. There's the misogyny right there. Also, there's context and perspective. Do male protagonists which show just as much greed, materialism and conformism get slammed just as much in reviews? If they do, there's no sexism and no problem. I don't have a problem with women (real or fictional) being criticized or even called names. I have a problem when men in the same situations aren't, or are downright excused.

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Secondly, the validity of the latter point mandates the assumption that what was going on was actually "equal representation." Personally, I fail to see how several low-substance (even by admission of their own fans in some cases) films in a row winning Best Picture over several of the most acclaimed films of all time merely because the more deserving films happened to contain a male perspective is equal representation. It doesn't help such a case that when a male-oriented film finally did win Best Picture, it was Gladiator, which, while a fine film, probably wasn't the best film of its year. Honestly, to me it seems more like a token "let's break the spell" move.
The "equal representation" comment was more general, and I should have explained that, sorry. I really don't have enough numbers or personal experience with 1990s cinema to make a judgment about what was represented and what wasn't and how much. There's also the tricky issue of defining what is male and what is female perspective.

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Thirdly, that article. Wow. Where to even begin? The Telegraph review was, granted, a terribly shallow and misogynistic one, but what do you expect from a paper that's basically England's equivalent of the pseudo-fascist New York Post? But I started questioning the article's neutrality once I got to its analysis of the Observer article, whose sole misogyny was in the thoughtless use of a certain b-word.
That's more than enough, given the habitual use of that word to describe what is seen as undesirable female behaviour.

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The rest of it was deriding the film more for the total lack of substance in its dialogue, characters and plot than for their being women or being unattractive. It's hard to take an article seriously when it can't even distinguish between an attack on characters and an attack on actresses. It only got harder to take the article seriously when it derided the London Evening Standard for daring to be honest about the characters' personalities, then went on to pontificate the usual catchwords and soundbites that force-feed how We Must All Strive For Feminist Agenda-Pushing In All Films. Frankly, the only part of the 2nd half of the article that I didn't find laughably misandrist was that Hot Tub Time Machine deserved equally crappy reviews. It did... though I do have to admit that one of the readers has a point that the article's writer seems to confuse "cheating/not cheating" with "empowered/docile." But HTTM being **** doesn't make SatC good.
No, it doesn't... but that wasn't what the author was saying. She was pointing out a double standard.

Please tell me what specifically in the article was misandrist. I'd love to know.

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To be honest, I'd say that article's biggest accomplishment was managing to make itself look worse (and do more damage to its own agenda) than those reviews - all while actually hand-picking reviews from some of the most right-slanted, anti-feminist papers in London.
As I said, whether a view is right-hand or not, if it's sexist, it's a case of sexism. Right-hand supporters are people and part of the society, too, so I don't see why their sexism should be ignored.

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It doesn't, and I said no such thing. What's more, I think you know that. What I did say was that it was an emotionally moving film that caters primarily to a male audience (yes, those exist, and in greater numbers than one would think), one that if you asked many men would easily deserve "Best Picture" of the previous four years, let alone that year. Yet it did not receive it, and actually lost it to a relatively shallow film that virtually plagiarized its entire plot, but that happened to appeal more to women than men. This also happened right after an at least equally deserving film, Saving Private Ryan, which is now acclaimed as one of the greatest ever, was likewise deprived. Like the others, these are counterexamples to the argument that female-oriented films always lose and male-oriented films always win.
I'm really sorry, I apparently read that part of your post wrong. I re-read it just now and see I've completely misunderstood what you were saying.

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Since when is a film mandated to challenge "gender stereotypes" in order to be catering to females? For that matter, since when is "how feminist a film is" an indicator of its quality as a film? Feminist agenda is not a litmus test or even a catalyst for whether a film should be well-reviewed or receive awards.
That was said with regard to female representation, not film quality, and prompted by your "anti-male bias" comment. I agree, challenging gender stereotypes is not mandated. But it's nice. I like it when I find a film which does that. I see it as a little step forward for women.

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Besides, there are way more films out there that cater to male stereotypes than to female ones, yet I see no complaints about these. Where's the equality in that on your end? Do you really think guys like me don't feel hurt and even seriously offended by the depictions of most men in films as identical to the characters in either "The Hangover" or "Desperate Housewives"? Yet the article behaves as if we're not meant to be offended by the fact that so many films (ignoring the fact that it wasn't even true of most of the listed films) consist of "ignorant, cliched, macho, brutal, brainless, gung-ho, numb-knuckle, totally male-dominated, exhilarating toss" that "feature large clubs of self-involved obsessive stupid men." If anything, I'd say such commentary by the article is setting feminism back at least 30 years - to when it couldn't be distinguished from male-bashing. That does more damage to its capacity to accomplish anything than any film could ever manage.
I think the point of this part of the article was to show the double standard - reviews unabashedly call female characters names but treat male characters with similar characteristics differently.

If you feel hurt and offended by unfair representation in entertainment and the media, you're free to complain and criticize, like I do. I complain about things which I perceive as unfair to me, and I would protest against anything which I perceive as unfair to anybody if it's put forward. But I don't see why I should bring it up in a discussion about something else just to fulfill an equality quota or try to exhibit a "good" sort of feminism. I'm sorry if feminism doesn't do enough to address the issues of men, but that's why it's called "feminism." Btw, I'm very interested in men's studies, as well.

Really, responses along the line of "we have it just as bad! why not worry about us!" aren't very helpful or productive. Nor more is blaming feminism for the backlash against it. Disappointing, I'd say, and something I've had thrown in my face way too many times.

ETA: Here's another article: Criticism of Sex and the City is Mostly Sexist I don't know if Newsweek is right- or left-wing, if that matters in any way.

flimseycauldron July 7th, 2010 2:14 pm

Re: Gender: Roles, Stereotypes, Discrimination Version 2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MmeBergerac (Post 5563442)
I never understood why the ladylike thing should be resigning yourself to be at the man's mercy and when things get nasty just screaming in hope that a white knight comes to save you.

I would not consider myself a wallflower by any stretch but I also wouldn't call myself a feminist. I know that when push comes to shove I can take care of myself. On the other hand I also know that I love the fact that my husband is my white knight. Can I physically defend myself and my family? Yes. (Give me a weapon and I'm ca-raaaaaaazy! :lol: ) Is it more pragmatic to let my husband handle violent situations if he is in the better position to do so? Yes. Can I provide food and shelter for my family? Yes. But it is more pragmatic to allow my husband to do so. Can my husband cook and clean and remember birthdays and organize the household and finances? Yes, but it is more pragmatic for me to do so. Each of us have talents that fall into the rather traditional roles for men and women. That doesn't mean that either of us is sexist or gender blind or incapable of taking care of ourselves if need be.

.

Yoana July 7th, 2010 2:17 pm

Re: Gender: Roles, Stereotypes, Discrimination Version 2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by flimseycauldron (Post 5563494)
I would not consider myself a wallflower by any stretch but I also wouldn't call myself a feminist. I know that when push comes to shove I can take care of myself. On the other hand I also know that I love the fact that my husband is my white knight. Can I physically defend myself and my family? Yes. (Give me a weapon and I'm ca-raaaaaaazy! :lol: ) Is it more pragmatic to let my husband handle violent situations if he is in the better position to do so? Yes. Can I provide food and shelter for my family? Yes. But it is more pragmatic to allow my husband to do so. Can my husband cook and clean and remember birthdays and organize the household and finances? Yes, but it is more pragmatic for me to do so. Each of us have talents that fall into the rather traditional roles for men and women. That doesn't mean that either of us is sexist or gender blind or incapable of taking care of ourselves if need be.

.

So... what do you think "feminist" means?

APolaris July 7th, 2010 2:20 pm

Re: Gender: Roles, Stereotypes, Discrimination Version 2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Yoana (Post 5563467)
I've never seen those described as "male" authors. Ever. They're always referred to as great authors with tremendous impact on humanity as a whole.

In the case of Hemingway and Joyce, you haven't been looking very hard, then. "Maleness" is the face of Hemingway's image as a writer as surely as "philosophy" is the face of Plato's. In most studies of Hemingway it's one of the first things mentioned, at least at both the universities I attended and most formal internet sources.

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You yourself referred to her as a "chick-lit prototype." This was what I find telling - labeling any female perspective as chick-lit or at best special-interest, not the existence of the perspective itself. Again, I don't recall Hemingway being stuffed into a "guy-flick" stereotype - ever.
There's some faulty logic in this post. You're under the impression that I labeled it as special-interest because she's writing about a female perspective. In reality, I label her as special-interest for two reasons. The lesser is to show that chick-lit is not a term that denigrates something into terms of being written for mindless fangirls, much like comic books aren't necessarily for mindless fanboys. In short, I was elevating the term "chick-lit," not denigrating authors that would fall under it or fans who would read it.

The other is that Austen's works are specifically written not only with a female perspective, but written in many ways to satirize her society and its expectations of women from one's perspective. The fact that she was a woman writing about women is irrelevant to me. What is relevant is that she was writing about what a woman's perspective is regarding contemporary social norms. This gives her work a purpose that, for instance, William Blake could not fill.

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The article does explain why the reviews are misogynistic. You can't come out of it claiming it assumes all criticism is due to the female perspective, because it addresses the specific ways (and words) in which it's misogynist.
Except that it's handpicking its source material instead of going by impartial selection, taking half of those quotes out of context, misinterpreting the sentences containing them, going out of their way to use them as selective backup for a foregone conclusion, and then using them to grossly overgeneralize their conclusions without proving that the conclusions generalize in the first place. In short, the entire process is intellectually dishonest and would fail freshman journalism (or research). As mentioned previously, the second quoted review, for instance, was talking about the fictional characters, not the actresses portraying them, but the article omitted several words, changed a few, and presented it as if it were talking about the actresses. When the author can't even get that part right, it tends to detract from her point.

It also doesn't help that the article was trying to use those exact papers and those exact reviewers as a representation of the overall population. It reeks of bias.

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And I don't even like Sex and the City.
Excellent. My respect for you just rose 5 points even higher than it already was, which was about an 85 on the 100 scale.

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And since I'm not quite sure - do you mean my logic is probably faulty and I probably have agenda-driven blinders?
I mean that your post displayed those traits at times. To be specific, leaping from "there are a few bad reviews about a female perspective film" or "Jane Austen is a good example of chick-lit that isn't fangirl-pandering drivel" to "If you have a female perspective (not merely a female protagonist), then it must be categorized as something 'other,' special-interest" is skipping a great many steps logically, enough steps to invalidate the connection between the first two statements and the latter.

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I see no difference between sexism perpetrated from the left and that perpetrated from the right.
I do, but I see a difference in the manner of delivering the sexism rather than the attitudes behind the sexism itself. The attitudes are fundamentally the same, but they are delivered differently from each side.

In context, the reason I cited the rightist tendencies of those papers is that I've noticed rightist papers are a lot more unabashed in their defense of "tradition," including, for the most extreme cases, latent sexist and/or racist tendencies. What I mean is that because of their tendencies, those papers can't be taken as a barometer for the population of papers as a whole. Any impartial journalist, which that article's author clearly wasn't, would know that. No matter how noble the goal was, and it's a goal I can agree with at times, the methodology was still dishonest.

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Where did I demand that they do? I'm afraid you responded to my post with a lot of assumptions about what I may mean, instead of replying to what I actually wrote.
I was actually responding in part to that article, which you seem to have been linking as though it were gospel. However, your post also leapt to the remark "Sadly, to me, this only reinforces the impression I've had for some time that western society in general has been going back, not forward, with regard to female representation and feminism as a whole since the 1990s" with no explanation or justification. See below.

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You completely lost me here. I have no idea what in my post may have prompted this. I think you may be confusing me with someone... Like a stereotype of a feminist. I would really like to know what you mean by "a standard like that" - a standard like what, and where did I outline such a standard?
It stemmed from two issues. One was the manner in which you simply dismissed the fact that countless "female perspective" films have been nominated for and won awards, possibly more than "male perspective" films in recent years. Since your original theory (not mine) was that being "female" penalizes a film's ratings and chance at awards, I'm inclined to think that deserves to at least be addressed. Since you chose not to address it by any method other than referring to things as sexist and non-feminist, I could only conclude that you intended to blanket everything that isn't feminist as sexist, which is far from true.

The other is the manner in which you leapt from "Female perspective implies special-interest" to "Sadly, to me, this only reinforces the impression I've had for some time that western society in general has been going back, not forward, with regard to female representation and feminism as a whole since the 1990s" while again skipping a few steps along the way. You're too fast to label something as sexist without first proving that it is.

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Also, there's context and perspective. Do male protagonists which show just as much greed, materialism and conformism get slammed just as much in reviews? If they do, there's no sexism and no problem. I don't have a problem with women (real or fictional) being criticized or even called names. I have a problem when men in the same situations aren't, or are downright excused.
If you think they're excused, then either a. you aren't paying enough attention to how they're reviewed or, for real men, castigated in the media, or b. you're living someplace where it doesn't happen. In the US at least, fictional (and real) men are routinely chastised for such behavior. Did you pay attention to the likes of Tiger Woods, O.J. Simpson, etc.? Men also show that behavior (particularly the greed and perversion) a lot more than women do in mainstream film - arguably a bout of anti-male sexism in itself, and far from a bout of anti-female sexism. Personally, I feel discriminated against if filmmakers are deciding to depict my gender as incompetent, greedy, macho and sexually forceful in the first place, not if a reviewer calls them that. I'd say likewise that SatC, in its portrayal of women as being exactly what those reviewers only wrote about them, was a lot more sexist than those reviews were.

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Please tell me what specifically in the article was misandrist. I'd love to know.
I'll paste all the quotes here that could be interpreted that way. This is from just the article, not the comments.

Spoiler: show
Quote:

you would think that Sex and the City 2 had been made by a convicted rapist such as Roman Polanski,
(His personal life has little to nothing to do with his films' quality and content, not to mention bringing him up rather than his films' content is a red herring and completely irrelevant to the article - in this sentence the author makes the same mistake he/she claims others are making)
Quote:

a famous misogynist such as Lars Von Trier (the plot of all his films: brutalised woman suffers)
(With no mention of the sympathy his films consistently show for the woman, and implying that nothing a man makes could ever do so)
Quote:

The other seven films are all standard ignorant, cliched, macho, brutal, brainless, gung-ho, numb-knuckle, totally male-dominated, exhilarating toss. They feature large clubs of self-involved obsessive stupid men and their multiple male nemeses and cronies and one or two completely outnumbered women in demeaning, underscripted roles. All but one or two blockbuster films are about men many men, sometimes all men and are often a thousand times more venal, selfish, avaricious, consumerist, ignorant, aspirational, shallow and one-dimensional than Carrie and co.
(With absolutely no evidence, specific points, or backup of this blanket conclusion that's false of at least half of the listed movies and is, in any event, thoroughly marinated in misandry. I should not even need to elaborate on this entire paragraph.)
Quote:

The plot hinges partly around the indignity of a man having double-barrelled his name with his mean, lying wife's. This provokes absolute horror from his friends being publicly associated with a woman is apparently deeply degrading.
(By presenting a male character whose subplot is that he's unhappy that his wife is cheating on him as being the wronger rather than the wronged for not feeling happy about it)
Quote:

his wife is docile because she's been traumatised by a nasty phonecall she got when she was a kid.
(By pretending the wife who's no longer cheating is "rendered docile" by her "oppressive" husband)

Also, the entire ending sentence that's basically a completely unnecessary and frankly rude blanket statement that the author would no doubt claim is an extremely failed attempt at irony, but really is a very, very bitter anti-male sexist remark.


Quote:

I think the point of this part of the article was to show the double standard - reviews unabashedly call female characters names but treat male characters with similar characteristics differently.
The article failed in that regard, because of academically invalid methodology on a level I haven't seen since the last time I attempted to sit through a half-hour of Fox News, incomplete elaboration, and a failure to even fully address the issue. Personally, I haven't generally perceived that the male characters are treated unequally, by reviewers or audiences, if the character takes the same actions, at least not since 1995 or so. One thing to look out for when reading media sources about this kind of thing is whether the article is neutral in its coverage. The Guardian's article is not. It's basing its entire thesis on a few extreme cases from a few extreme reviewers from a few extreme papers that have such an misogynist history that I can't even take them seriously, and even to do that it's misinterpreting their statements. If it were to cover a fully representative portion of the population and/or reviews of those films, I'm certain the gender discrepancy would be a lot less visible.

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Really, responses along the line of "we have it just as bad! why not worry about us!" aren't very helpful or productive. Nor more is blaming feminism for the backlash against it. Disappointing, I'd say, and something I've had thrown in my face way too many times.
I'm not saying "Why not worry about us"; I'm confronting a self-contradiction within your initial post, to wit: that gender-based partiality in film reviews is assumed on the basis of a few selected reviews about one film, while failing to address the fact that men have their own media biases that at the very least cancel those out. In short, you were behaving as if women face a unique threat from media sources that men don't also face without men having a similar threat that balances things - then building your argument around that without first proving that it's true.

And, again, there was that whole issue of claiming "female" films face a stigma among reviewers and award-givers, but with no real proof to back it up, or even to confront my counterexamples that showed they face no such particular stigma.

Moriath July 7th, 2010 2:26 pm

Re: Gender: Roles, Stereotypes, Discrimination Version 2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Yoana (Post 5563467)
If you have a better thread in mind where this would be more appropriate, you're free to relocate.

I think it's fine here. Thanks for relocating the discussion, Yoana. :)

Yoana July 7th, 2010 2:46 pm

Re: Gender: Roles, Stereotypes, Discrimination Version 2
 
I don't have the time to respond to everything (and the will, to be honest - nothing personal - I just have been responding to the same arguments for years now), but I want to say a few things:

I take your point about Hemingway. I'm not really a fan of his and haven't read any literary criticism of his works.

I haven't been linking the article as if it were gospel. I linked it as a source, like we do so often on these threads.

I didn't say anything with a female perspective must be labeled as other, I said it usually is. And I dislike that it is. That was my objection.

If you think there's no bias against female-oriented films, I'm sorry. I see it. They are dismissed at the very least. Why were critics shocked that Mamma Mia did well? Meryl Streep thinks because women are usually the last group anyone ever cares for in the film industry. She should know, shouldn't she? I'm sorry I have to link the Telegraph, but it's a direct quote, so I hope I won't be accused of bias. The Newsweek article also shows what I'm trying to say. There are some figures too - 5 out of 54 films made last year had interesting roles for women? One needs to look at the stream of Best Actor and Best Actress awards to get an idea about the kind of roles written for men and the kind written for women.

I don't know about the 1990s, maybe things were different then. But what I see now is very far from gender-blind filmmaking and filmreviewing. Precisely in recent years.

I didn't dismiss the films you listed as female-oriented and winning big awards. I questioned one of them as "female-oriented" and further suggested the fact that it had a Shakespeare impersonation in it was the main reason it was nominated and won. The other one, Sense and Sensibility, I agree about. Titanic, it was again a representation of a famous real-life event. These do tend to win, women-oriented or not. It helps when you're hyping it up as the hugest film of all time, biggest budget, etc. I doubt it was the love story which garnered the positive reviews. And even if they did, why do you assume romance is female-oriented? As I said previously, that's stereotyping in itself. But, to get back to the films you put forward as female-oriented and winning. They are a total of three, even two, because I'd take the Shakespeare bio flick out. And it was all in the 1990s. Is that plenty? Is their grand total of 3 reviews enough to dispell all worry of possible bias in reviewing films catering to a female audience? And the other issue is, I didn't say female-oriented films didn't win awards - I said they got bad or dismissive reviews. And you yourself admit these two films (minus Sense and Sensibility) didn't deserve the recognition they got. So no, I don;t think I dismissed anything. I rather think your argument was weak, because you gave me only 3 films, all from the 90s, and said they did NOT deserve the accolades (except one). So which of this is evidence disproving my suggestion that there might be a bias in the perception of female-oriented films?

APolaris July 7th, 2010 2:51 pm

Re: Gender: Roles, Stereotypes, Discrimination Version 2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Moriath (Post 5563501)
I think it's fine here. Thanks for relocating the discussion, Yoana. :)

I'll agree solely because there is no better thread. However, I personally feel that its presence on this particular thread implies that the original discussion (about whether gender is the primary motive in why specifically "screaming fangirl" movies that lack substance, such as Twilight, are supposedly routinely dismissed by critics, Titanic among others notwithstanding) had anything at all to do with greater questions, such as those currently being discussed, about the topic of "gender roles, stereotypes, and discrimination" (in this case, specifically as it relates to film). Personally, I feel that is not only a heavy change of topic, but also that it artificially presents Yoana's cause in a nobler light than it originally was, while presenting mine as in some way oppositional to the principles of this thread. Nonetheless, I am willing to continue the discussion in this medium for the sake of civility.


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