Lit Ignorance is Bias: The Diversity Manifesto

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

  1. GrandAdmiralJello Community and Lit moderator person

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    What's the alternative? Perhaps that's a discussion for another thread, but what's the alternative? And are you talking about the social institution of marriage or the legal institution? If it's only tradition kept alive for tradition's sake, why is it so pervasive? Who's doing the life-support here?
  2. Mia Mesharad Force Ghost

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    It's sadly not all that arbitrary when you look at the people who insist that America is a Christian country, or that Islam is un-American. People who slander bindi-wearing Hindus as "dot-heads" still today, or give Sikhs wearing turbans dirty looks...or push them onto train tracks because of vague hates toward foreign brown people. It's not all that arbitrary when viewed as part of the systemic attempt by the radical right to push out difference in favor of white Christian dominance.
    Last edited by Mia Mesharad, Feb 12, 2013
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  3. beccatoria Force Ghost

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    Well, yeah, I know and agree with you.

    I almost put in my original post that either it was an arbitrary line in the sand, or people need to start admitting and advocating for the theocratic governance they clearly actually want. But I figured maybe that was a little combative.

    It's also not arbitrary because it's one of the lines in the sand that's still on the "right" side of public opinion. It's harder to advocate for legal backing for traditional gender roles because the notion that women should be legally inferior to men (as opposed to social convention) is one that is now actively frightening to people unless it's obfuscated by medical terminology. But we can still go after gay marriage!

    I wasn't so much trying to say that I cannot explain the Church's opposition to gay marriage and more that I cannot explain the Church's opposition to gay marriage when following the only arguments they're willing to publicly put their names to. Their public argument is so obviously flawed, it confuses me. If it's true, it's absurd, if it's a lie to cover up another agenda, couldn't they come up with a better one?
  4. instantdeath Force Ghost

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    Definitely social. There are numerous legal perks that have come to be attached to marriage over the past few centuries, many of which make a great deal of sense. I do feel I've misrepresented myself a bit in my choice of words; though I said so, I don't have a "problem" or "objection" to the practice of marriage. If people won't to tie themselves to another person, that's entirely their right. I do, however, find the institution of marriage as we know it, for lack of a better term, outdated.

    Practically speaking, it doesn't make sense to require a piece of paper indicating marriage. It doesn't make sense to make divorce such a lengthy and complex process. The only difference between marriage and cohabitation is a piece of paper, a piece of paper that only serves to make it more difficult to separate. And, of course, in the eyes of many, the latter is "living in sin". What fundamental difference does a wedding ring make, beyond the symbol it has come to represent?

    As for why it's so pervasive, that's something I could talk about a lot. I believe many things that make little sense are pervasive. Different people have different annual rituals, almost all of which have no meaning or purpose beyond what they represent. Why put up a Christmas tree each year, and spend so much money on gifts during the holidays? I'm not saying that needs to stop-just like I don't think marriage needs to be done away with- but it doesn't mean there's any specific reason to keep up these traditions. People have the tendency to accept what's already there, just because it's always been there. Traditionally, people get married, so therefore, we should get married.

    So what's the alternative? There doesn't need to be a cut and dry replacement for the institution of marriage, I feel. If people want to keep that tradition, let them, as it's a harmless one. I just feel that marriage is slowly revealing itself to be outdated as time goes on, and divorce rates skyrocket. The days of two and a half kids and a white picket fence, man as provider woman as caretaker are gone. Cohabitation is just as valid an option as marriage.
  5. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    Tom Taylor apparently told her that in person at SDCC a couple years back--though he didn't go into any further detail than to say a non-white Galfridian family was specifically vetoed--so unless you think she'd lie about it, there it is. For my part, I've elected not to pursue the matter further out of respect for Tom (and, frankly, Randy) and a desire not to get him in hot water over an alleged statement in a one-on-one conversation.
    Last edited by CooperTFN, Feb 12, 2013
  6. Esg Jedi Grand Master

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    If it is actually true then LFL deserves outrage or at least a calling out for an outdated mindset
    Last edited by Esg, Feb 12, 2013
  7. TrakNar Force Ghost

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    I will give Tom credit for Nina.

    Show Spoiler
    The Vong in a Human skinsuit, that was a pretty creative direction. And we had diversity, to boot! Granted, Nina was Humanwashed ninety percent of the time, but she wasn't Human, and she gets props for that.
  8. Esg Jedi Grand Master

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    Ain't the mains biological parent though [face_monkey]
    Last edited by Esg, Feb 12, 2013
  9. TrakNar Force Ghost

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    Still diversity in a prominent story role.
  10. Robimus Force Ghost

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    Sometimes I'm uncomfortable with male/female kissing as well, though not nearly as often.

    Maybe there is something to that. Or am I on some level putting myself into the situation, into the film, and am uncomfortable with the idea that a man might want to kiss me in that manner?

    If what I am told is true there are a lot of gay men who find the notion romantically kissing a female as something that would make them uncomfortable and maybe my own feelings are as simple as that. Maybe thats just not how I am, regardless of whatever social programming may have influenced my life.

    Here is the thing. Religion is ruled by the word of God, by words that God put into print and passed down to his/her followers. It is pretty much as simple as that. They are going to be against things that God tells them are wrong.

    Logical? Not really, but it is not hard to understand where they are coming from. They believe in a supreme being that that being says gay marriage is wrong.

    Now I don't personally believe they have any right to intervene when it comes to legal marriage as sanctioned by the state, everyone should be treated equally in that respect, but I do defend the Christian Church's right to marry who they wish to in their own internal ceremonies. If we don't then the ideal of freedom of religion is kinda out the window.

    It's a somewhat seperate issue from what is under discussion here but there are some links between these issues.
    Last edited by Robimus, Feb 12, 2013
  11. cthugha Jedi Grand Master

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    I think it goes deeper than that, actually. In most cases I don't think there's much specific "homophobic programming" in anyone's socialization -- sure there's heteronormativity, i.e. we're used to seeing m/f kisses (and we're also more used to seeing m/m kisses and closeness in general than m/m, because for some reason it seems to be more acceptable for women to be physically close than for men -- I'm talking about representations in media here, I know there are pockets of difference IRL), and sure we're probably all confronted with "ha-ha-you're-so-gay" schoolyard talk, but I don't see how this leads directly to such a strong reaction in so many men.

    My working hypothesis as of right now is that there may be two factors at play, one of which I can accept, while the second is highly problematic on a number of levels IMO:
    1 -- as @Robimus said, our natural empathy allows (and sometimes coerces) us to put ourselves into a situation we watch; so sometimes when we see two people kissing, neither of whom we find attractive, but we can't but imagine what it must be like for one of them, that can be legitimately cringe-inducing; regardless of whether it's m/m, f/m or f/f. Now I guess if you're somewhere towards the straight end of the Kinsey scale, this will happen to you more often with m/m kisses than with any of the other options. OTOH, if you're actually more towards the middle of the Kinsey scale, as I'm told most people are, but you've taught yourself to "be totally straight" because that's what everybody's expecting of you, seeing m/m romance might elicit a similar reaction for different reasons, namely that you're suppressing the thought that this could actually be nice and transform that confusion into aggression of some sort. In either case, I don't think we can blame anybody for their "gut reaction"; but this is where tolerance comes in, because we all know being tolerant doesn't mean liking everything and everyone but accepting even those things we "instinctively" might not like.

    2 -- this is what I think of as the "deeper" reason, and the one that bothers me the most. I basically said it in my earlier post already: in my experience, many men are utterly uncomfortable with the idea of being the object of desire. In fact the way some men react to seeing a m/m couple (or learning that someone is homosexual) is not so different to the way they react to a woman actively hitting on them when there's no way they can rationalize it into themselves having taken the first step. I can't count how many times I've seen this over the years -- there were lots of, let's say "strong" women in my social circle back when I lived in the city, who would totally take the initiative; and then I had to listen to hours of reflection from my male friends on what they must have done right to basically seduce this or that woman before they even saw her. 8-} But I guess it gets worse when they feel they are the object of male attention, because as I said the assumption seems to be that male attention is necessarily more aggressive and all that.

    sry for the wall of text, thinking while writing...
  12. JediFreac Force Ghost

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    I'm actually kind of curious about the systems of "marriage" in Star Wars...what do they look like?

    It looks like most humans are in monogamous heterosexual marriages. There are some divorced couples (the villain in Mercy Kill comes to mind) but not many that I see. The concept of a "mistress" comes up a lot; so there is some definitive line between someone who is an official consort versus a mistress. One instance of remarriage that I can think of is the Galfridian family in Invasion.

    In MedStar there was some mention of a ban on marrying outside of one's culture between humans IIRC? On Dathomir people can be coerced into marriage? On Kuat there is some unique Teblun system?

    Interspecies marriage is legal (Gavin and Asyr, Face and Dia) but may still carry some stigmas.

    Bad guys will force women to marry them (side eyeing you, Trioculus.)

    Same sex marriage is a go for Mandalores.

    Concubines are also a thing (Palpatine had a barrel full of em!)

    Am I missing anything else?
  13. Robimus Force Ghost

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    Order 66 is almost like an Essential Guide to Mandalorian marriage :p ANd of course Mirta marries Ghes in LOTF.
  14. Mia Mesharad Force Ghost

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    There's an app a Wook article for that, with a few notable examples here.

    Yeah, the conservative Corellians didn't think outsiders were acceptable spouses.

    Same sex, opposite sex, interracial, interspecies...if you love 'em, you can marry 'em on Mandalore. Divorce and remarriage is also acceptable in Mandalorian culture, but if you are married, it's just the two of you and you're expected to be faithful, though indiscretions were often forgiven if one member of the couple was away on a job for a lengthy period of time.

    Unless, of course, you're with the New Mandalorians. In that case it's all white, blonde humans all the time. :rolleyes:
    Last edited by Mia Mesharad, Feb 12, 2013
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  15. TrakNar Force Ghost

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    Unless you're around during TCW. Then, you're out of luck.
  16. Mia Mesharad Force Ghost

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    [face_sigh] The New Mandalorians are just a terribly contrary lot, aren't they?
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  17. AdmiralWesJanson Force Ghost

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    Order 66 would be better titled "Four Weddings and a Funeral"
  18. beccatoria Force Ghost

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    Oh - oops, firstly yes, I should clarify, I wanted a referable source not because I doubted her but because I wanted to be able to specifically refer to something publicly stated if I was going to write an official complaint. Since there isn't anything, that makes it hard because it makes it easily deniable and I also agree with your concerns about getting the writer into trouble over something he allegedly said in a personal conversation.

    Not that I'm any less upset by it. Thanks for clarifying where the information came from, though.

    Which I actually liked. Fiction has a tendency to skip over adoptive parents and minimise it as a story of family, rather than a story of a biological family to be regained. I liked the idea of an unquestionably devoted stepparent rather than a wicked one.

    That said, I also liked the fact that she clearly demonstrated her parental relationship to her children by modifying them with Vong bits. It was an unusual expression of a biological relationship outside the one normally shared by parents and children.

    Firstly, thanks for your perspective. At times I can be uncomfortable with displays of affection in media too, but I have always wondered how much of that was socialisation. For instance the ease with which my Scandanavian friend could speak with her mother about sex in ways I would never dream of doing, always struck me as cultural, but it's not something I can easily "turn off" or that feels in any way inauthentic to me. But I'm just mulling thoughts here.

    I also wonder if there's something about the way we identify with different characters in our media. I often feel worse when a character I empathise with and tend to use as my POV character does something that makes me uncomfortable than I would if it was a character I find more interesting in the abstract.

    Given JediFreac's comments about the varying responses different demographic groups have to television and the ways in which they identify with characters, and given the huge amount of media we consume... I don't know. Again I don't feel qualified to draw any conclusions, but I do find it an interesting question.

    Cthugha - I apologise for not responding individually, but your post is also very interesting and led into my useless, meandering thoughts above... ;)


    Indeed, I do understand this. My point is only that, since as far as I'm aware, no one is talking about making the Church marry gay people, only letting the State do so, this is not an attack on the Church any more than marriages from other religions or secular marriages, which already exist. My point was more that I find the transparency of their arguments baffling - the attempt to make it look like a social issue and not one of attempting to coerce the general population to live by their religious laws.

    But anyway, while related, you're right, it's a slightly separate issue and my intent isn't to derail the thread. ;)
  19. jSarek VIP

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    If it was Allston, KJA, and Zahn talking, they were probably talking about the Bantam era ... which was the 90s, a very different time from when Traviss was writing for LotF a decade later. These were the days when Don't Ask, Don't Tell was a new policy that was considered a step *forward* for gay rights, the days before Ellen came out and before Will & Grace proved you could have successful media with prominent gay characters.
  20. Robimus Force Ghost

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    We may not have been talking about it but there is a push in many countries, through some human rights organizations, to change laws and attempt to force the church to change the their laws.

    I think that for the church there is a knee jerk reaction that it is connected, as in one will lead to another, and thats why they fight so hard against it.

    Anyway, Pope's are not suppost to resign either and look what happened :p
    Last edited by Robimus, Feb 13, 2013
  21. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    "It was a simpler time--Alanis Morrissette topped the charts, Independence Day was a smash at the box office, and a young upstart named Waru had just appeared on the scene..."
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  22. Gamiel Force Ghost

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    Dec 16, 2012
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    A question - in my mind Zekk is a pal skinned mediterranean or oriental and the hapans have oriental and asian feature, am I alone in this?
  23. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    I see Zekk as Greek, more or less - but not distinctly "nonwhite". Like a lankier John Stamos.

    Also, "oriental" is generally frowned upon these days. [face_peace]
    Last edited by CooperTFN, Feb 13, 2013
  24. Gamiel Force Ghost

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    Dec 16, 2012
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    Thanks for the answer.

    English is my second languish and I don't know the overall term for people living somewhere between the Istanbul and India, maybe I should have used the term Aryan since they are described as pal skinned with dark hair
  25. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    I understand what you're saying, but actually, "Aryan" doesn't really have the best connotations in the western culture either. :p

    "Mediterranean" is alright, or "Middle Eastern" or "Persian" once you get past Lebanon, or "South Asian" as you get closer to the India/Myanmar region. "Oriental" is generally used (in America, anyway) to describe "mainland" Asian people--Chinese, Korean, Japanese, etc--though it's regarded as out-of-date and somewhat offensive.

    To be honest, one of the big recurring topics in here is actually how random and inconsistent racial naming conventions are. :oops:
    Last edited by CooperTFN, Feb 13, 2013