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I do not disagree with your statement of the results, but I do suspect that most authors of those games were not part of a vast conspiracy to maintain gender roles.  I believe that the most likely motivation was a lack of imagination and unwillingness to take risk.  Very little fiction/games had strong female protagonists not because strong females are bad, but because "stories with strong females do not sell".  There is still a lot of uncertainty over the question of can a female led movie make lots of money.  The success of Wonder Woman will hopefully clear the way for more female led movies in the future.  I also do not think that the failure of the Ghostbusters reboot was that it was female led, I think that the failure was that it was simply a bad movie.  People sell things to make money.  With todays storage mediums it is trivial to have multiple skins for characters which was not the case with 30-40 years ago.  With the limits at the time, did you risk your company on a female lead or go with the safe bet of a male lead.

 

I am not attempting to deny the tendency to turn the female protagonist into a sex object (Ripley, Metroid, Laura Croft, Jiggle Physics, fan service, etc, or for that matter the Avernum character choices which still reflect the AD&D chainmail bikini) but again, that seems to be what sells, as a fairly large portion of the female talent in the visual and audio entertainment industries have chosen to embrace the sex sells mentality.

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5 minutes ago, Edgwyn said:

The success of Wonder Woman will hopefully clear the way for more female led movies in the future.

 

it helps that it was a pretty good film, but personally i prefer Rogue One for recent "movies with a strong female protagonist that do well"

 

i dunno if it actually did well too, but honestly one of the problems i see a lot is throwing in the "token girl character" to make SJWs happy or whatever. like, come on people, that's as bad, if not worse, than the status quo of "sex object"

Edited by sylae
things i want to invent: the oh hey "here's a token transgirl character" drinking game. time to kill my organs more than the spiro already is
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One of the reasons that I was so happy with the success of Wonder Woman is that the DC comics movies (and as a kid I was much more of a DC fan than a Marvel fan, which I suppose could be another grand poll question) have been underperforming in comparison to the Marvel movies (which talked about a Black Widow movie but never did so).  Release a DC based action movie with a female lead could definitely been seen as a big risk, but it did well, and I believe primarily because it was a "pretty good" film.  

 

I wasn't as impressed with Rogue One having a female lead, because I am convinced after the success of episodes 1-3, you could put the label "Star Wars" on just about anything and it would make a lot of money (unfortunately including my money).  

 

In what will I am sure not surprise anyone I am not a fan of he SJWs and their tactics.  I was very disappointed when the decision was made to make Thor female, but since I haven't bought a new comic book in close to 30 years, my opinion has zero impact on Marvel's bottom line.

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wait what

 

where is thor female

 

i mean there's probably a good basis (like didn't thor do some crossdressing shenanigans in a myth or something? only know this because JNPR is based off genderbent figures and nora == thor)

 

anyway i really liked rogue one because it 1) had a cool female lead, and 2) DIDN'T HAVE A DORKY ROMANCE THING (i mean there was the end with [spoilers] but that seemed more like a "we're gonna die" thing than a "<3" thing). and honestly i think it woulda been just as successful without a star wars sticker attached.

Edited by sylae
and they said i wouldn't learn anything from watching cute magical girl anime
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I just looked up the details and despite the headlines (and what I wrote), Thor is not female, but Jane Foster took over the role and more importantly name of Thor (and the comic series) because Thor could no longer wield Mjolnir.  This happened three years ago.

 

And yes, you are correct, there were some sections in the poetic Edda where Thor dressed as a bride, so anime is useful.

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so thor is just, like, named craig now, or something? and she gets to be THOR 2: CHECK OUT MY COOL MAGIC HAMMER?

 

i can get behind that.

 

3 minutes ago, Edgwyn said:

so anime is useful.

 

yay my meaningless life now has meaning

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There were already multiple people taking on the role of Thor, which was sometimes handled in neat ways.  e.g., when Eric Masterson was Thor, other characters weren't aware of the change, but he was very aware of being out of place: it was constant imposter syndrome for a while.  So I thought it fit in pretty OK.

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1 hour ago, Edgwyn said:

in comparison to the Marvel movies (which talked about a Black Widow movie but never did so)

My Google-fu is failing me, but I remember reading a Gail Simone blog post where she discussed the viability of superhero movies with women in the title role. She had been hired as a consultant for Disney soon after they had acquired Marvel. The Disney people told her that they viewed the acquisition as a way to reach out to the young male demographic, the way they used to with live-action adventure films and shows in the fifties. It was fine if girls watched, but they targeted those demographics with most of their other products. Other stuff I've read talks about how individual directors and scriptwriters might want more female characters, and more of them, but the main character and overall direction of the film is passed down from above. So you get Black Widow as the deuteragonist of Captain America 2, but not a Black Widow film.

 

I remember hearing this joke, when Wonder Woman was still in development hell, about how DC was unwilling to take the risks that Marvel took. "Look at DC, they can't even make Wonder Woman, meanwhile Marvel is going, 'Let's throw in Rocket Raccoon!'" Thing is, Marvel hasn't done a female-lead movie either. What does it say when a raccoon is more marketable than a woman?

 

(really, i'm just glad that the benchmark for female superhero movies is no longer Catwoman)

 

Also, still think that Thor is really weird as a legacy character. Is everyone in Asgard the same way? He goes by Odinson these days, but what if Odin gets replaced too?

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Marvel did two seasons of the TV series, "Agent Carter," that failed to get decent ratings.  They failed with "Elektra" starring Jennifer Garner after having her in "Daredevil" movie.

 

Marvel is less risk inclined than WB with DC films.  After all DC did "Catwoman" with Halle Berry because Michelle Pfeiffer did so well in "Batman Return" but it was poor writing and flopped.  They gave up after the planned TV series pilot was so poorly done.

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@Edgwyn, re "sex sells". There's no need for a conspiracy, only systematic bias: people in the industry don't think nearly as much about a "sex sells" approach aimed at the giant potential audience of straight women.

 

That's just for starters though. The pop culture way of doing sex appeal for straight men is IMO brokenly specific, and tailored for guys with some often pretty toxic preferences. (Domineering, savior and/or martyr complex, Nice Guys, that kind of stuff.) Everything down to the camera work, which is usually designed very specifically to emulate male gaze - something I found extremely cringe-inducing even when I was a teenager, before feminism and dysphoria and all that.

Basically it's always seemed, to me, to be all geared towards a fetish for rescuing vulnerable women and then having power over them. Which is damn toxic IRL (trust me, I know that from experience); but also something I've always found incredibly offputting and bizarre. And I know I'm not the only person who feels that way, and strongly doubt that only other queer people and women feel that way. Again going by my own experience, I would bet there are real straight, cisgender men out there who find it completely bizarre and repulsive; and (like me when I was nominally male) cannot fully articulate it, or are embarrassed to say it publicly with their names attached.

IDK, sorry if the above is beyond what's appropriate for this forum.

 

Anyway yeah, I don't believe in a Giant Hollywood Conspiracy. More just that broken standards of manliness and womanhood are reflected in broken standards of entertainment.

See also, why Wonder Woman has to look

 

like this person

instead of

 

like this person

or, heaven forbid,

this person.

Edited by Ambassador to Catland
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I think the second link doesn't really make sense for Wonder Woman, who is supposed to be agile and athletic. Shot putting is athletic, I mean, but it's a different kind of athletic. Wonder Woman engages in extended, fast-paced bouts of melee combat. On the other hand she's a superhero so I suppose physics go out the window, but there's still the need for suspension of disbelief, I think.

I saw a sumo wrestler attempting to do MMA once. He was huge and super strong, as most sumo wrestlers are, but he still got his behind kicked because he couldn't move quickly or make sharp turns.

There's no reason Wonder Woman can't be very muscular, or black, though, or not "conventionally" cute.

Edited by The Almighty Doer of Stuff
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Wonder Woman has superhuman powers.  There's no reason the person in the second picture couldn't be agile and (the kind of athletic you are talking about) given superhuman powers.

 

8 hours ago, Randomizer said:

They failed with "Elektra" starring Jennifer Garner after having her in "Daredevil" movie.

 

Marvel is less risk inclined than WB with DC films.  After all DC did "Catwoman" with Halle Berry because Michelle Pfeiffer did so well in "Batman Return" but it was poor writing and flopped.  They gave up after the planned TV series pilot was so poorly done.

 

I mean, _Elektra_ was a spin-off of _Daredevil_ which was a serious atrocity to begin with.

 

And no disrespect to Halle Berry, but I don't know why she ended up in those roles.  Her being cast as Storm back in 2000 is one of the most frustrating casting choices I can think of.

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Wonder Woman does also have a traditional representation going back decades, so they're not writing on a blank slate. That's not to say that they couldn't change her appearance, just that it would be a bigger lift because of her history. I guess they change characters' appearances/backgrounds somewhat regularly, e.g., the Ancient One in Doctor Strange was changed from Asian to Celtic, but I think that's not a particularly good practice.

 

But one doesn't have to change anything in order to feature characters who look different from the ones who've already been featured. I know less about DC comics, but I do know the X-Men series well (at least through the late '90s), and I would've loved to see, e.g., the Storm/Forge romance from the '80s as the central plot of a movie. It was a great story, better than some others that have been featured, but the lead would have been a black woman, and the main supporting actor would have been a Native American man, so I guess this was not where they were going.

 

I've read that next year's New Mutants movie is going to be an adaption of the Demon Bear story (which is awesome) and, true to the original, it will heavily emphasize Dani Moonstar (who I think is a great character). Dani Moonstar is Native American in the comics, and they actually cast a woman who is part Native American. And we're getting a Black Panther movie next year, too. So the studios are finally starting to move on this, albeit way too slowly.

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2 hours ago, Beyond the cry lies the meaning said:

Wonder Woman has superhuman powers.  There's no reason the person in the second picture couldn't be agile and (the kind of athletic you are talking about) given superhuman powers.

 

*cough cough* Hulk *cough*

 

Or, well... Doomsday. The Incredible Thing. Juggernaut. The Blob. Doc Samson. Abomination. Colossus.

This type of character is almost invariably male. Which usually makes sense IRL, but we're totally not talking IRL here.

 

(And also, being really strong IRL doesn't entail being physically invulnerable like in comics, or in Hollywood movies for that matter. Random musclebound dudes are not capable of taking bullets, knife wounds, and other serious injury and heavy blood loss without feeling it or caring about it; and I frankly despise how Hollywood has indoctrinated people to assume this is the case. It seems to me at times like 90% of entertainment media are dedicated to teaching the oppressed to not see their own potential strength.)

Edit: I think a lot of this though is also that comic writers/illustrators are really averse to creating major female characters who they perceive as "ugly", because for some reason anything and everything female has to be objectified. :(

Edited by Ambassador to Catland
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if you havent read it and you have a lot of spare time to kill, you should go read worm it's pretty good and basically takes a bunch of superhero tropes and shoots them, repeatedly in the face, until they are dead.

Edited by sylae
i mean one of the best main characters is literally the opposite of the "female character" template
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Even She Hulk was drawn with an athletic body type instead of a weightlifters body type which would make more sense than the shot putters body type.  The body type in the third picture might be more realistic than Gal Gadot or Lynda Carter's or the comic book wonder woman, but all three at least have something close to the right skin and hair color for an ancient Greek.  At least they never made Wonder Woman blonde.

 

Most male superheroes are attractive as well though there are of course more exceptions than there are with female superheroes, but of course there are a lot more male superheroes.  I remember the 1980s Rogue as being (to me) less conventionally pretty than the typical female superhero (or Storm or Kitty Pryde).  Some of it is objectification, some of it is that teen/tween age boys want pictures of pretty girls, and some of it is that "good is handsome/pretty, evil is ugly". 

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@sylae it's kind of vaguely on my to-read queue, in part because Dreadnaught seems to borrow from it a bit. However, its priority in said queue is going to suffer, because the author appears to dude, and I have a ton of other known good writers ahead in line this year.

 

(Note that this isn't deliberately political. It's more just that I'm tired of novels that alienate me with in-your-face sexism just after they start to get interesting.)

Edit: wait really? Okay, it's inching up in priority then. :)

Edited by Ambassador to Catland
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27 minutes ago, Edgwyn said:

Most male superheroes are attractive as well though there are of course more exceptions than there are with female superheroes, but of course there are a lot more male superheroes.  I remember the 1980s Rogue as being (to me) less conventionally pretty than the typical female superhero (or Storm or Kitty Pryde).  Some of it is objectification, some of it is that teen/tween age boys want pictures of pretty girls, and some of it is that "good is handsome/pretty, evil is ugly". 

 

Male superheroes definitely are not "attractive" in the same way that female superheroes are -- where sex characteristics take priority.  Instead we get hyper-muscly power fantasies for male readers.  I read a great essay about this a few years back that I can't for the life of me find now, but it really took apart the nuances of how things are drawn -- where you do and don't get curves, what poses are chosen, proportionality, etc.

 

Also, some teen/tween age boys do want pictures of pretty boys.  And I'm willing to bet they are more represented among comic book fans than in the general population.

 

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32 minutes ago, Ambassador to Catland said:

(Note that this isn't deliberately political. It's more just that I'm tired of novels that alienate me with in-your-face sexism just after they start to get interesting.)

I didn't even know the author was a dude until like a fifth of the way through (which doesn't sound like a lot but worm is like ten billion words so). I didn't notice any sexism in the writing at all (which i guess means i'm either oblivious to it or the author is hella good, i dunno), which seems like a miracle given it's a cis dude writing from the perspective of a teenage girl.

 

Interestingly, based on the way people get superpowers in the universe, there are actually more female capes (heroes and villains) than male. It's pretty close to a 50/50 split in the story iirc, there's a buttload of characters so I can't be bothered to get the exact ratio.

Edited by sylae
when i first started reading, i was like "ugh no some stupid high school drama". by the end of the first chapter I realized how dumb I was for thinking that. Nooooope. Not a high school drama story O.O
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12 minutes ago, Beyond the cry lies the meaning said:

 

 

Also, some teen/tween age boys do want pictures of pretty boys.  And I'm willing to bet they are more represented among comic book fans than in the general population.

 

Sorry, yes they do.  

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