perihadion: (Nina Simone)
[personal profile] perihadion
Here is what I think:

If you think that a female character has been treated misogynistically by the writers, it is not feminist to duplicate that misogyny in your so-called "feminist" criticism of the character — that means that if you're talking about a character you think has been objectified, it's not feminist to then objectify her again in your use of language: don't call female characters who you think have been objectified "rubber dolls", "T&A", "nothing but a pair of boobs/legs", etc. Just don't do it. You can say that you think they have been objectified and give examples of that objectification, but there is no fucking reason to use that kind of language to speak pejoratively about a woman, fictional or otherwise. Because when you do? You're the one objectifying them.

If your "feminist criticism" of a character makes other women feel like terrible people or terrible women for identifying with them then you are doing it wrong; if your "feminist criticism" of a character deems her 'unrealistic' because she is "too smart" or "too insightful" or "too witty" or etc. then you are invalidating the lived experiences of real women who are smart, insightful, witty, etc. and you are setting a standard of realism for female characters which just does not exist for male ones. In fact, if your standard of anything for female characters differs from your standard of the same thing for male characters "for feminist reasons" then it's not actually for feminist reasons. Like, I just don't get why it's perfectly all right for Matt Smith to get more naked in "The Lodger" than it is for Karen Gillan to get in any episode of Doctor Who — and yet the fact that Amy goes around on average wearing, um, about as much as every other female companion is horrifically sexist and Matt Smith flashing almost every part of himself passes without comment.

I don't think that a woman can practise sexism by the mere fact of her existence, fictional or otherwise. I think that female characters can be sexist stereotypes, but it's overwhelmingly more common for female characters to be treated misogynistically by the narrative than to be misogynistic in and of themselves by virtue of the fact that they exist and have a particular set of character traits. I find it more than slightly problematic when dissection of a female character centres entirely on how everything about that character is an affront to all women everywhere rather than taking the text as a whole, including the way other characters treat that character (but then I suppose nobody wants to accuse their favourite male character of behaving sexistly towards a female character they dislike) — because then it's less like, "Hey, let's talk about the problems this text has," and more like, "Hey, let's talk about how much this one character fucking sucks and what a perfect feminist utopia the show would be without her. I suspiciously have no problems whatsoever with any of the male characters."

Date: 2010-07-11 06:29 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

Date: 2010-07-11 06:30 pm (UTC)
ext_34962: (Default)
From: [identity profile] penumbra.livejournal.com
All right.

Date: 2010-07-11 06:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alibi-factory.livejournal.com
As an ex-Grand Master of Trolling, I have to say - this could be funnier. I give it a C.

Date: 2010-07-11 06:34 pm (UTC)
ext_34962: ("Isle of the Immortals")
From: [identity profile] penumbra.livejournal.com
I give it a D. It wasn't even baffling.

Date: 2010-07-11 10:25 pm (UTC)
ext_30194: Katie McGrath as Morgana on BBC's 'Merlin', smiling with flowers (SV - weirdar alert)
From: [identity profile] shopfront.livejournal.com
Possibly there's extra marks for popping up in random places? Got that in the comments of my edition of [livejournal.com profile] femslash_today.

Date: 2010-07-11 11:09 pm (UTC)
ext_30194: Katie McGrath as Morgana on BBC's 'Merlin', smiling with flowers (OTH - oops all gone!)
From: [identity profile] shopfront.livejournal.com
They were certainly determined! I tabbed the post and deleted from each notification so the comments were tidy for the next editor, but there was a third (slightly varied) attempt in my inbox when I woke up this morning, to my great amusement.

Date: 2010-07-12 05:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] redbrunja.livejournal.com
Yeah. About all it inspired was me turning anon commenting off.

Date: 2010-07-11 06:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alibi-factory.livejournal.com
...I hate those ~discussions because I always fall into the stereotype-pit of assuming everyone is a middle-aged, bland, sexless geek who lives in a tiny village. I can't help it. I read out the comments as if they were all spoken by the same pearl-clutching, sexually insecure lady who wears mom jeans and sweat shirts. I can feel myself turning into a terrible person. :/

Date: 2010-07-11 06:45 pm (UTC)
ext_34962: ("Child with Cellophane")
From: [identity profile] penumbra.livejournal.com
Hah, I think they're turning me into a terrible person too.

Why do I always click? I tell myself I won't do it but I always do.

Date: 2010-07-11 06:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alibi-factory.livejournal.com
IT'S A DISEASE. I see that 'I was thinking about Amy and sexism and my thoughts are under the cut' line and I click before I even know what I'm doing.

Date: 2010-07-11 06:55 pm (UTC)
ext_34962: ("Orchid")
From: [identity profile] penumbra.livejournal.com
It's like we subconsciously WANT to spend the rest of the day frothing at the mouth or something. Brain, I NEVER WANT THAT.

Date: 2010-07-11 06:45 pm (UTC)
ext_2583: "Lady Agnew" by John Singer Sargent (Woman)
From: [identity profile] mskatej.livejournal.com
Agreed 100%.

Date: 2010-07-11 06:46 pm (UTC)
ext_34962: (Lois Lane (she's well-acquainted))
From: [identity profile] penumbra.livejournal.com
You're a wonderful person, Kate.

Date: 2010-07-11 06:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-spiderbite.livejournal.com
THIS!!! EXACTLY THIS!!!!

"Hey, let's talk about how much this one character fucking sucks and what a perfect feminist utopia the show would be without her. I suspiciously have no problems whatsoever with any of the male characters."

I think what people don't understand is that feminism is about EQUALITY! Its about holding PEOPLE to the same standards, regardless of gender. And its obvious that here most people are holding women to much higher standard, one of unachievable perfection.

If you wanna say someone is "anti-feminist" or "sexist" simply because of the length of her skirt or how loud her voice is, then you need to go back to college and take a gender and womens studies class. Cause that would let you into the little secret that the only one sexist in that scenario is you.

Date: 2010-07-11 06:52 pm (UTC)
ext_34962: ("Girl on a Red Carpet")
From: [identity profile] penumbra.livejournal.com
I think people think that feminism is about tearing down women you don't like as women — and then when you call them on it they're like, "No, I'm not criticising her as a woman; I'm criticising her as a female character. Of course real-life women are allowed to wear miniskirts; it's just that female characters aren't allowed to because it's sexist."

If you wanna say someone is "anti-feminist" or "sexist" simply because of the length of her skirt or how loud her voice is, then you need to go back to college and take a gender and womens studies class. Cause that would let you into the little secret that the only one sexist in that scenario is you.
Exactly.

Like, I just don't see how it can be 'feminist' to say something which, if you took out all the pseudo-feminist rhetoric and replaced it with sexual slurs, would be indistinguishable from a misogynistic screed.

Date: 2010-07-11 06:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] noembra.livejournal.com
I can't take anyone who accuses characters of being an example of sexism and also uses the word 'slut' 'whore' and 'botox betty' (taking those wonderful examples from the SV fandom) seriously. If they choose to use those words while trying to make a point related to sexism in any way, then they have no idea what the hell they are talking about as they themselves are the ones who are sexist.

And as far as Amy actually being an example of sexism, I wont even get into that. Basically I read that discussion, got angry, read your replies and 100% agreed with them.

Date: 2010-07-11 07:02 pm (UTC)
ext_34962: (Britta)
From: [identity profile] penumbra.livejournal.com
I've read so many of these discussions at this point, Shelly; it's not just Amy, it's every female character I like or identify with. It's starting to make me question whether I am a terrible person or whether I'm letting all women everywhere down myself or something.

Date: 2010-07-11 07:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] noembra.livejournal.com
Unfortunately we both tend to identify with the unpopular characters. But we also both identify with female characters who are strong, realistic, speak their mind and not ashamed to express sexual desire or *even have one*. Because of this, people who are themselves sexist will see these characters as an example of sexism or "just not being realistic" because in their own minds, woman can't be like this. They can't be strong and independent without being un-realistic and they can't have sex without being a slut.

So you know what? Fuck them.

Date: 2010-07-11 09:06 pm (UTC)

Date: 2010-07-11 09:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arefadedaway.livejournal.com
Yes, yes, yes, utterly and completely agreed. And I see so many of these types of discussions, everywhere. They're inescapable, and it makes me froth at the mouth with rage. Just...no. No. You have no idea what you're talking about.

Date: 2010-07-11 10:57 pm (UTC)
ext_34962: (Amy & Tardis)
From: [identity profile] penumbra.livejournal.com
Right. I even actively try to avoid this stuff and then somehow I stumble across it anyway.

Date: 2010-07-11 10:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] latxcvi.livejournal.com
Fandom sucks, Mary. That's really what it comes down to in the end. Oh sure, there are pockets of it that are delightful, but in general? It sucks.
Edited Date: 2010-07-11 10:53 pm (UTC)

Date: 2010-07-11 10:56 pm (UTC)
ext_34962: (Bat For Lashes)
From: [identity profile] penumbra.livejournal.com
You're absolutely right. :(

Date: 2010-07-12 01:37 am (UTC)
ext_22618: (Default)
From: [identity profile] bewarethespork.livejournal.com
I love everything about this post and think it should be required reading for the entire fandom.

Date: 2010-07-12 12:30 pm (UTC)
ext_34962: (down is the new up)
From: [identity profile] penumbra.livejournal.com
I couldn't take the comments if everyone had to read this.

Date: 2010-07-12 05:17 am (UTC)
ext_35071: (Default)
From: [identity profile] shardsofblu.livejournal.com
Oh this totally reminds me of the good old days when I spent 98% of my fandom time on the KSite whenever a Lois vs. Chloe subject comes up. Glad that I stopped when I did.

Date: 2010-07-12 12:33 pm (UTC)
ext_34962: ("Poppies")
From: [identity profile] penumbra.livejournal.com
That's exactly what it feels like. I just came out of this feeling dirty and disgusted with myself and everyone around me. This is the last time I'm going to do this: it's not worth it -- you never change anybody's mind; all you do is make yourself feel terrible.

Date: 2010-07-12 05:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] redbrunja.livejournal.com
I think that female characters can be sexist stereotypes, but it's overwhelmingly more common for female characters to be treated misogynistically by the narrative than to be misogynistic in and of themselves by virtue of the fact that they exist and have a particular set of character traits.

WORD.

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perihadion: (Default)
Mary

September 2010

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