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Lit Ignorance is Bias: The Diversity Manifesto

Discussion in 'Literature' started by CooperTFN, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. starfish

    starfish Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 9, 2003
    And even then spotting that one other women in the pathfinder group is challenging, where as several other pathfinder members get some close up scenes and even a few lines.

    And the group of scientists at Eadu is another really obvious all white guy casting. Really no good excuse for that.
     
  2. BobaMatt

    BobaMatt TFN EU Staff star 7 VIP

    Registered:
    Aug 19, 2002
    I don't think it can be considered a dated special effect, because the Rebellion (and characters sympathetic to it) was *always* more diverse.
     
  3. jSarek

    jSarek VIP star 4 VIP

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2005
    I think "always" is a stretch. Can you think of any nonwhite Rebels in either A New Hope or The Empire Strikes Back? We also only see two female Rebels in those movies; one's admittedly a main character, but the other is a switchboard operator.
     
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  4. EmperorHorus

    EmperorHorus Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Sep 3, 2016
    I'm torn about the gender ratios in Rogue One. On one hand of course it was uneven, but on the other hand it's a war film, about people going to war, and expecting an equal (or closer to even) number of women to men would be pushing the bounds of realism. But then on that first hand again it's Star Wars, it isn't real life and it's a world where technology could render biological gender differences less relevant.
    I guess I don't mind either way. If there was more women it would be great for diversity and representation, but I don't really mind that there wasn't, because it makes sense in a logical sort of way.
    (They could have thrown a few extra women in there though, 20% women fair enough, but it was closer to 2% women in the rebel forces)
     
  5. vncredleader

    vncredleader Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2016
    How would 50% women in the rebellion push the bounds of realism? I mean sure only about 14% of the US armed forces are women, but that's given years of systemic sexism. I mean a lot of the recent EU has pulled of an equal gender ratio Rebellion and NR, heck the Resistance seems to have more women then men; especially so by the end of the film
     
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  6. EmperorHorus

    EmperorHorus Jedi Knight star 3

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    Sep 3, 2016
    14% aren't in active combat roles such as most of what Rogue One depicted. If it were our world, 50% women would do more than push the bounds of realism, it would be an absurdity. But like I said, it's not our world, and in a universe with Death Stars and Force Wizards, having an unrealistic ratio of males/females in different roles would hardly be up on the list of priorities, and it's a movie, we're trying to appeal to audiences of normal people. Having more women is probably more important for the purposes of representation to most people seeing the movie than it would be to make it as realistic as possible.

    As I said, that's why I don't really either way. But if anything leaning towards a few more females.
     
  7. vncredleader

    vncredleader Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2016
    Another key point would be the role of women in resistance movements. The French Resistance in particular's backbone was it's women. The Rebellion should reflect that even more so. Plus if there is an unequal amount then we need to ask if sexism exist in the GFFA to the degree it does in our world. I guess it did in the pre del rey Empire arguably
     
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  8. EmperorHorus

    EmperorHorus Jedi Knight star 3

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    Sep 3, 2016
    Yeah sexism was a big part of the Empire in the old EU and I didn't mind it. It felt kind of weird to make the evil oppressive regime more politically correct and socially conscious in the new EU (destroy that planet! kill those billions of innocent people! wipe out that species! Oh you can't not hire her because she's a woman, HR will be all over you), but maybe that was just because I was used to the old Empire.
     
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  9. vncredleader

    vncredleader Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 28, 2016
    I am used to that as well (I did not read past Bantam till maybe 6 years ago), but in hindsight I think it works to have the GFFA be more politically correct overall. It kinda peels back the layers and shows how fascism and intolerance can rise up even when the bigotry of our world is not present. A-holes and ignorance will always find new targets I guess
     
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  10. Sly442

    Sly442 Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2018
    No, it doesn't seem wrong to me that the "people in power" SHOWN in the movies, which have a distinct set of characters for their "isolated" stories, are white males. I know this has a lot to do with visual storytelling but to me, this just seems so insignificant. Maybe I don't care much for visual storytelling as I thought? Maybe it's because I just don't buy into this idea of "deeper connotations everywhere" people seem to be all over with these days?

    I have that mindset with things and, in this context, more specifically the Canon that "if there's nothing in the Canon contradicting it, then it is also Canon" or whatever. I can't think of a better way to phrase it. So sure we see only white people in high places in the OT but as long as there is no hint of discrimination or lack thereof against their fellow humans, from those high-placed white males or the Empire, then fair to assume there is/there isn't. Call me ignorant if all the people in the Death Star Council being white guys is already a sign of discrimination but that simply is not sufficient for me.
    But you do want LucasFilms to meet a quota albeit, as you said while feeling natural. (Pardon me if you have acknowledged that before, if you did I didn't know while typing this.)
    Is the context exactly identically to the French Resistance? I'm sure there are plenty of resistance movements with the same-ish degree of identicality that you can strawman to make another argument against it. Tell me if I'm wrong though. The French Resistance does seem like a good candidate: Nazi Germany, same period as most of Star Wars is based/inspired from, etc.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
  11. vncredleader

    vncredleader Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2016
    Oh for sure there are resistances that differ, but like you said the French Resistance is super relevant to SW. It makes sense to use them as a basis for the Rebellion more than any other real world rebellion.
     
  12. Barriss_Coffee

    Barriss_Coffee Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2003
    You don't understand me. What I'm saying is this: what we see in those movies is canon. If we have entire threads arguing about the deserved retcon of some minor spaceship that looks wrong in one comic or a character that's alive three years after he should be dead, why can't something like thing get an explanation? Us being told "it's ok because the Empire will embrace diversity from now on" does nothing to solve what's on screen and canon, and everyone who's accepting this without question, to me, are being sexist.
     
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  13. Coherent Axe

    Coherent Axe Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Sure, I get that, but I also don't especially agree with the need to over-explain everything. If fans want to explain it, they can -- and you did earlier -- but this isn't just about the wrong starship being used. We can overlook bad SFX because we know the advancements we have today weren't in use then, so why can't we overlook casting as similarly lacking that same progression?

    And it's not "the Empire will embrace diversity from now on", it's that the material will. I just don't feel the need to qualify it in-universe. As I pointed out with the Doctor Who example, there's no real reason why the Doctor would have been a man twelve(ish) times in a row, only to happen to become a woman just when her writers decide to give feminism a try. Any in-universe explanation you try to paste over that isn't going to be satisfactory, so why bother? It was a product of sexism, but it's been improved.

    Do we particularly need in-universe explanations as to why TPM is filled with dubious racial stereotypes?
     
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  14. BobaMatt

    BobaMatt TFN EU Staff star 7 VIP

    Registered:
    Aug 19, 2002
    "More" is relative. In those two movies there are two female Rebels, one black human supporter who joins up, one Wookiee rebel and one unidentified little green sympathizer, a couple of droids that are considered as good as people and a weird cyborg dude.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
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  15. Daneira

    Daneira Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 30, 2016
    This whole conversation is annoying. The Empire being racially diverse doesn’t make them liberal social justice warriors. They’re racist against non-humans. In a galaxy with countless sentient species, one’s concept of race is going to be completely different. It’s a social construct.

    Not having POC in the Empire doesn’t make them seem racist. It would make LFL/Disney/Marvel/etc seem racist.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  16. Sly442

    Sly442 Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2018
    I would like to go back to this quote as I realized how absurd it is. To think that mere coincidence is somehow evil. That seems like a very harmful way of thinking.

    That one criterium you have of what constitutes to sexist has definitely made me curious with who you are as an individual. Not to gain means for which I can launch personal attacks but to understand the context your mind operates in. Anyway, weird time over.

    I feel as though your desire for Star Wars to give an explanation (which, again, I view as unnecessary) is not merely due to your issues with it for continuity but moreso that you would like LucasFilms to somehow acknowledge some supposed "wrongdoings" they have commited.

    But I'm pulling all of these from my ass so and I have definitely noticed that I am sounding paranoid myself.

    Gonna reiterate that I think the lack of women in the Imperial Military in the OT is not sufficient to conclude that the Empire is discriminatory against women and that any clause to contradict that is immediately held as untrue. It is left open-ended enough to me because I support the strict following of gender stereotypes.

    That last bit was a joke. I can't strikethrough on mobile browser. No ill-will intended by the way. Just thought I needed to say that since I'm all up in here contradicting e'rryone up in their business.

    How about I drop a heavy thesis statement here: The *true* value of diversity can only be realized if we are ignorant of it.

    To add to my claim I'd like to refer to the first question and the reply to it contained in this video:
     
  17. vncredleader

    vncredleader Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2016
    The lack of diversity in the OT is not mere coincidence though, it is the byproduct of centuries of systemic oppression. I 100% understand wanting an explanation or some form of acknowledgment of why that seems to be the case in the GFFA at points.
     
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  18. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2003
    Perhaps we are too optimistic, and we'll still have quasi-racist, quasi-sexist politicians in charge in ten thousand years from now (if we are still around), and that's without any dark age. Honestly, as long as we're human, prejudice and bias will probably always have to be fought, even if it's not systemic in the future.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
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  19. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 1999
    There's more in the last page or so than I have time to respond to but this is a pretty big point--diversity shouldn't be seen as political correctness, it should be seen as accuracy. Especially in terms of the male/female ratio. OTOH, a lack of diversity is just political correctness in the wrong direction.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
  20. EmperorHorus

    EmperorHorus Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Sep 3, 2016
    But it is, in comparison to the old Empire, ie. relatively speaking. You need to pay attention the context of the discussion. No one's saying "The New Empire is overly politically correct or Social Justice Warriors because they aren't sexist" - that would be stupid.
     
  21. nancipants

    nancipants Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Nov 16, 2017
    There is no reason for the Empire to be sexist (or racist) in a galaxy in which there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of sentient species. Galactic society has existed for thousands of years and has evolved beyond that. We only see white men in positions of power in the Empire because Star Wars was made in the 1970s. That’s it. Look at the First Order - there are lots of women and people of color in the background. It’s logical to believe the Empire was diverse if it’s emulating the Empire.
     
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  22. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 1999
    Just because I didn't respond to the rest of it doesn't mean I didn't read it. What I'm saying is, "politically correct" isn't a relative designation--it's not a measure of how diverse something is, it's a characterization of intent. One work can be more or less diverse than another, but that metric is detached from PC because you can be super conscious of PC, really try hard not to offend people and highlight different groups and so on--and still do a horrible job at it. And speaking from an in-universe context the Empire literally can't be "politically correct" no matter how diverse it is, unless Imperial HR is going around telling them they have to hire more brown people.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
  23. EmperorHorus

    EmperorHorus Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Sep 3, 2016
    Politically correct can absolutely be a relative designation, in context. I think you're working with a very narrow definition of a term that can potentially cover more.

    And even if we were using your understanding of the term, it's still hardly relevant to the discussion. Just use a different term to represent the differing levels of diversity and exclusion. "politically correct" was probably just the first thing that popped into my head.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
  24. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    A bit late but this epiode of NPR's Code Switch discus this question
    "Members of Whose Tribe?
    Today, Americans tend to think of Jewish people as white folks, but it wasn't always that way. On this episode, we dig into the complex role Jewish identity has played in America's racial story — especially now, when anti-Semitism is on the rise."
     
  25. BobaMatt

    BobaMatt TFN EU Staff star 7 VIP

    Registered:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Pretty sure what was meant here is that ascribing this to mere coincidence is more farfetched than understanding it as systemic.
     
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