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Thread: Sexist? Definitely, Maybe

  1. #151
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Cologne
    Yeah, maybe not the best choice of words. Call it complaining then. Or voicing their concern. It doesn't change the meaning but is probably less offensive.

  2. #152
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    There's that word again: "offensive". It's not about hurting someone's feelings - it's about dismissing a point of view without considering it in good faith.

  3. #153
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2002
    Location: London / London / London
    Quote Originally Posted by Kolya View Post
    What I disagreed with was that this was somehow "emblematic of everything that was wrong in the 70's and continues to be wrong today." We had and have more serious problems than the fact that men adore a dosed starlet for wearing a bikini in a scifi-swashbuckler in the 70s. Men like to look at scantily clad young women, this is never going to change. The attitude towards and success of actual feminist issues however has improved a lot during and since the 70s. Ignoring that and eternally painting women as victims of a patriarchal society, whether it is actually the case or not, just because it is seems a useful concept to push an agenda, is doing no one a favour. There are cases where it is justified but I don't think this is one of them.
    Sorry man, didn't notice this. I dunno if I'm 'eternally painting women as victims of a patriarchal society' by saying that - what I meant was, this was when it was basically assumed that major female characters were there to provide t&a, regardless of their other features, which I think is undermining, and still happens quite a lot.

  4. #154
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Cologne
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    There's that word again: "offensive". It's not about hurting someone's feelings - it's about dismissing a point of view without considering it in good faith.
    But I did consider it in my post before that? The one you're referring to was just a correction.
    Goddamn, I just noticed a microcrack in my phone's display!

    Vivian, okay I understand that better now but that wasn't really the case with princess Leia I think. The slave Leia thing was rather short in regard to the movie and not definitive of her role, regardless of some fanboy dreams.

  5. #155
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2002
    Location: London / London / London
    Quote Originally Posted by Kolya View Post
    not definitive of her role, regardless of some fanboy dreams.
    This is an arguable point. Her role in the film, no, but it definitely looms large in the public perception of the character. Google image search for princess leia overwhelmingly brings up either the headphones/toga party look or the space bikini, and it has been referenced/dressed up as lots of times (it was even in friends).

  6. #156
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    If you're just talking about the slave outfit though (which is really what this debate is about), you're only getting maybe 1 in 10 on that same google search. And some of those aren't even Carrie Fisher, they're just women dressing up like that for cosplay or Halloween or something.

  7. #157
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2002
    Location: London / London / London
    Other people dressing up as it doesn't really disprove my point about cultural impact though. And yeah like I said, either white robe or space bikini, pretty much. Those are the two costumes the character is known for.

  8. #158
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Cologne
    It's an image search. Not a wittiness search.

  9. #159
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Quote Originally Posted by Vivian View Post
    either white robe or space bikini, pretty much. Those are the two costumes the character is known for.
    Not trying to be argumentative, but I think the point was whether the sexist slave outfit in particular was definitive of her role in SW. No one is saying the white robe outfit is offensive in any way.

  10. #160
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: Back Home
    On a side point, whether or not men are dressed as skimpily can't be considered equivalent anyway since men are part of the dominant set. So even if Sting were naked (and what an image), what that represents is not the same as it would be were he a woman.

    Does that mean men can't be sexually exploited eg. in a movie? No, but I'd consider it far rarer. And a male actor would have many more choices and options were he to choose NOT to obey such a demand in a script than a female one. Therefore the director/writer's command to unstrip is inherently less coercive. There was a good twitter (or was it tumblr) of choice female casting calls, highlighting the rampant sexualisation of actresses. Sorry, female actors.

  11. #161
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2002
    Location: London / London / London
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    Not trying to be argumentative, but I think the point was whether the sexist slave outfit in particular was definitive of her role in SW. No one is saying the white robe outfit is offensive in any way.
    Yeah, that's what I mean. It's one of two costumes Leia is known for. Is that not fairly definitive?

  12. #162
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2002
    Location: London / London / London
    Quote Originally Posted by Fingernail View Post
    So even if Sting were naked (and what an image), what that represents is not the same as it would be were he a woman.
    Fair point. I was just thinking it would be a nice gesture of good faith to also put at least one prominent male cast member in stupid space-knickers.

  13. #163
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    If male nudity had the same sales appeal to female viewers as female nudity has to male viewers, you would see a lot more of it.

    Always, I don't think sex appeal in film is inherently a problem. But when it is used gratuitously as a sales booster for no real artistic purpose then I find it to be in bad taste. I just don't see what purpose it serves to show Leia that way. The suggestion is that she is a sex slave, but perhaps she is not really a sex slave and Jabba is just doing it to humiliate her. Either way, I don't see how it adds anything to the story. It strikes me as being a marketing decision not an artistic decision. And I can tell you that as a boy who hit puberty right about when RotJ came out, I know first hand that costume helped sell tickets and video rentals.

    Same with Alien. If the writer wanted to end the film with one last scare as Ripley is prepping for cryo sleep, fine. If they wanted to show Ripley in a partial state of undress to heighten the sense of vulnerability, that's OK too. But the choice of underwear and the way they made her wear it, with panties falling down, and the camera angles, and how they slow panned over her body and lingered at her crotch, it's all just gratuitous.

    These films were from an era of cinema where it was extremely common to throw a brief bit of nudity or simulated sex into a film for no other reason than marketing. Halloween did it. Friday the 13th did it. Even The Shining did it. It was practically expected in a horror movie around the time Alien was released. Other flicks from the same era relied on it as the primary selling point for an otherwise shit film. Otherwise who would have gone to see The Blue Lagoon, or Fast Times at Ridgemont High, or Porky's.

    It still happens today, but to a lesser degree because of porn. These movies were made when there was no internet porn, before video porn was big, before Cinemax started showing softcore porn flicks, when teenage boys were masturbating to underwear models in the Sears catalog or National Geographic. If you were lucky maybe your Dad had a collection of porno mags. Otherwise the only way you were going to see any nudity was a brief scene in a rated R movie.

  14. #164
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Europops
    Koyla is off the mark in so many ways I can't be bothered.

    But Viv, you must have met people like this. I've got some real lefty bleeding heart friends who occasionally post mad PC stuff on my Facebook feed. They are all such lovely people in RL life though, I don't have the heart to call them out on it!

  15. #165
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2002
    Location: London / London / London
    I'm trying to think. I don't know if I really do? Or if do I don't hear them do it. I know loads of massive lefty uh, libatards or whatever, but they're all in ID or similar shit and the stuff they get worked up about usually actually matters (clean water, oil corruption etc).

  16. #166
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    I'd say I know about maybe 2 or 3 people who lay it on a bit thick with the offence stuff and probably 20-30 people who are always complaining about that type of person, often in the context of their own varying prejudices towards someone or other. The point for me is that there isn't a perfect system which pleases everyone. No matter what the culture is, there will always be people who are unhappy and those people will always try to imagine that any viewpoint to the left or right of them is somehow the extreme and unreasonable one.

  17. #167
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Europops
    Yeah faetal, it does seem like the Age of Opinions at the moment.

    The annoying thing for me is a I AM a lefty and most of these social changes are a good thing imho. But, like the Bowie fans who were on TV yesterday (cringe), there are too many visible people in this group that make the rest of us look bad. It's difficult being in a group that looks bad because of some aspects of it when you're not in that sub-group. It's like being Pro-Israel; everyone thinks that makes you Pro-Netanyahu and Anti-Palestinian, like you can't be pro something without also being the most extreme, dumb version of that thing.

    Another example is SD and his vegetarianism. I'm glad that it's acceptable as a lifestyle choice and I like the idea of it (because I really don't think animal slaughter is humane). But the fiver incident is the type of thing that makes veggies look like extreme nuts. I mean
    It is disgraceful that people are denied the opportunity to abstain from using the carcasses of murdered animals in the normal course of their lives.

    That someone thought it was a good idea to use dead animals in the currency we use on a daily basis demonstrates a total lack of consideration for the ethical minority in this country.
    what?
    Last edited by SubJeff; 12th Jan 2017 at 00:40.

  18. #168
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Cologne
    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    It's jarring how EVERY time I'm reading an opinion about how X Y Z aren't as much of a problem as people say it is, it's pretty much guaranteed that it will be a one of the X Y Z group saying it.
    Now you're saying as self-proclaimed left-wingers that left-wing extremism isn't as bad as people say. Regardless of whether that's true, can you see now why this argument was wrong?
    Of course any accused group will have a different opinion about the accusations than the accuser. But trying to exclude them from the discussion based on that bias is still an illegitimate move and a sign of an ideological mindset.
    Last edited by Kolya; 12th Jan 2017 at 06:02.

  19. #169
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    Always, I don't think sex appeal in film is inherently a problem. But when it is used gratuitously as a sales booster for no real artistic purpose then I find it to be in bad taste. I just don't see what purpose it serves to show Leia that way. The suggestion is that she is a sex slave, but perhaps she is not really a sex slave and Jabba is just doing it to humiliate her. Either way, I don't see how it adds anything to the story. It strikes me as being a marketing decision not an artistic decision. And I can tell you that as a boy who hit puberty right about when RotJ came out, I know first hand that costume helped sell tickets and video rentals.
    Maybe this argument is really over a changing definition. When it is gratuitous it is sexism. But when one sees every bit of skin in a movie as sexist no matter the circumstance then it does devalue actual sexism to me. Also it makes those who can tell the difference look at one askance. Sexism actually IS offensive and likely wouldn't inspire this much debate. You sound old enough to recall actual sexism (though I would call Fast Times more of a truthful genre piece based on my school years) so you may understand my dismay at a definition I now see as a net catching more than the intended fish.

    Also the purpose of the metal bikini scene was to show how she could not be cowed. To me it is obvious but then I'm not distracted by an attraction to her. Not my type I guess.

  20. #170
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2015
    The problem with all of this is basically that we're going off what people think about a scene with a scantily clad woman. It's true that sexism is a problem, and more often than not women in movies are characterized more by their looks than by their actions. But in the end, we need to remember that showing anyone scantily clad in any work of fiction is an artistic choice, which may or may not be appropriate for the story. I feel that it's definitely valid to show someone scantily clad as long as it's done sparingly and in a tasteful manner. As for the general trends in the industry: they can't be changed overnight by a few people, and trying to lecture people on social topics generally tends to be counter productive since they will just be seeing as trying to push their personal concerns too hard. A lot of people's perceptions are molded through how they learn during their formative years, and to change that you need to work on that aspect first.

  21. #171
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Cologne
    Most of us have spent our formative years here, working really hard at each other.

  22. #172
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Oh baby, the way you talk.

  23. #173
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Quote Originally Posted by Kolya View Post
    Now you're saying as self-proclaimed left-wingers that left-wing extremism isn't as bad as people say. Regardless of whether that's true, can you see now why this argument was wrong?
    Of course any accused group will have a different opinion about the accusations than the accuser. But trying to exclude them from the discussion based on that bias is still an illegitimate move and a sign of an ideological mindset.
    That's a straw man. I'm not trying to exclude anyone, just remarking on how most of the time I hear how X, Y, Z isn't a problem (i.e. not that it doesn't affect them, how it's not actually as bad as the people affected say it is.), it's the subset of humans who have the least to worry about prejudice that are the ones saying it. I'm not saying straight white guys don't or can't have valid opinions, just that it's odd how they seem to dominate the discussion that people worry about these things too much.

    Or maybe I just spend most of my time in places where straight, white guys are. Either way, I was remarking on it, not suggesting legislation.
    Last edited by faetal; 14th Jan 2017 at 13:22.

  24. #174
    Maybe because "white" is a pretty piss poor gauge of privilege.

    The zip code you grew up in a much better predictor, and would account for many of the racial disparaties that exist.

    Although in my case I should explain that my perspective is a bit different than most. My group in high school was the "smart" black kids, my best buddies in training were a black guy who grew up in the Philly hood and a jewish guy from Minneapolis, my best friend in service was a hispanic guy from a bad neighborhood in LA, and my life coach is an old school black guy from the bay area.

    The biggest thing that I've noticed is that these people are all very successful in their fields, but none of them make a huge deal about "white privilege". They're more concerned with self empowerment and community empowerment than with "white privilege".

    Another way that the military was formative for me was that I got to work with a large number of teams that were, as a general rule, extremely racially and socially diverse. Any given team would have every race under the rainbow on it and people from all parts of the country yet we all somehow managed to work together. Colin Powell documents this fairly well in his autobiography where he found the Army to have extremely good race relations relative to society as a whole.

    What he doesn't get into is why. I'd posit that it's the same reason that sports teams generally have very good race relations between the team members: humans need a tribal identity to rally under, and for both the military and in those sports teams people have a shared group identity that transcends their racial identities. Europe also(until recently) didn't have this problem because people there identify primarily by national identity. You aren't "white" or "black" there, you're a Brit, German, Frenchperson, etc.

    At the moment I'm leaning towards arguing that is why the current PC mentality towards race is destructive. It encourages people to identify first and foremost by their race. When you do that your race becomes the "in" group and everyone else becomes the "out" group. It would be far more effective to shift towards a "We're all Americans" attitude and make one's identity as an American far more important than race.

  25. #175
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Yes, privileged black guys do better than poor white guys, but if you look at the overall statistics for the categories white and black:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racial..._United_States
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statis...American_males
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...7656240900002X

    It's a lot different. This is one of those nuance issues. You think you can point to exceptions to the rule and think that it means the rule is false. It's a common assumption made when two distinct populations have different means, but overlapping residuals on a specific metric, like so:



    If you employ a little additional analysis, you'll see that the overlapping areas are less informative (describe less of the area beneath the curve) than the overall averages. This is actually a good example of what I'm talking about - you, a straight white guy are talking not about how you aren't affected by prejudice, but how black people aren't adversely affected by it and you are using your own anecdotes and proof of this. So thanks I guess - it's always good to get a real life example.

    Now, I am also a straight white guy, yet I am not doing this because I have the presence of mind to accept that my life is possibly not the best lens to view this particular issue through, hence I'm more about the stats. But then, I'm a trained scientist, so it's also possibly down to the fact that I have a higher than ordinary tendency to try to avoid what my gut tells me, if there's a load of information which conflicts with that. Don't get me wrong either, I was very much of the "all lives matter" mentality years back, but I developed past that when I realised that accepting there was a problem is a vital part of getting past it. The phrase "check your privilege" actually summarised this fairly nicely until its meaning was lost amidst a frenzy of juvenile discourse to the point where a couple of paragraphs pointing this shit out step by step has become necessary.

    It's the tendency of society to modify its conscience through consensus-driven objection to elements of the status quo. Something the the US and Europe should be particularly mindful of given how recently racial segregation laws were abolished. The US in particular.

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