Speculation we need more women main characters.

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Episode VII and Beyond (Archive)' started by CoolyFett, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    So much for not stereotyping by gender. [face_plain]

    It's a sad and pathetic commentary on our society that you probably have no idea how offensive that statement is.
    Last edited by anakinfansince1983, Jan 11, 2013
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  2. Zuckuss the Ruckuss Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2013
    star 4
    Your being hypersensitive. How am i gender steorotyping when I am saying that there are jobs that woman don't generally do or can't do. I said it was a RARE exception, for jobs like being an infantryman. Woman are prohibited from being infantryman in the us military. I'm not making it up.

    Please don't twist what I was saying, and take it out of context.
    Last edited by Zuckuss the Ruckuss, Jan 11, 2013
  3. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    [face_laugh][face_laugh]

    Dude. If you have to ask that question...
    Last edited by anakinfansince1983, Jan 11, 2013
  4. Zuckuss the Ruckuss Force Ghost

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    Jan 5, 2013
    star 4
    Your taking my comment out of context.

    I wrote:
    The only time roles come into play is if its not realistic(if thats the tone) to portray a job that woman don't do typically, or can't do. For example, I want to make a movie about a infantry unit in Afghanistan. Well woman aren't infantrymen so its probably a bad idea to put them in that role.

    The point of what I was getting at was that is rare example how roles might be affected by gender. But its the exception not the rule. That doesn't apply to female super spys. It only applies to rare situations.
    Last edited by Zuckuss the Ruckuss, Jan 11, 2013
  5. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    I think Zuckess is getting a bit of flak due to imprecise language on all our parts - at least in the sense of this:

    As written, James Bond has subtones of misogyny which is, admittedly, usually a male characteristic (not that women can't be sexist, of course, but it comes from a different place). It would be difficult to have a misogynic character played by a female.

    If James Bond were a generic, sex-seeking, technophobe spy - sure, THAT Bond could just as easily be female (though I all but guarantee you a huge backlash against a female using men for sex like Bond). But Bond isn't generic.

    As for Vader: a fem Vader could be driven by some of the exact same motives as movie Vader: insecurity due to slavery, loss of parent, potential loss of loved one.

    I've never see any of the Alien movies or this Angelie Jolie movie, so I'll avoid that for a reason (can't talk about what you don't know).

    But a story IN THE WRITING (the new movies) can easily be adjusted IF necessary to give a "feminine slant" rather than male "slant" (if there is even such a thing because everyone is a unique individual) because there is no archetype set yet in stone as with Bond. Sometimes a character must be adjusted, because usually women are not "men with boobs" or shouldn't always be - perhaps sometimes, but not always. That's merely slotting women into men's roles/expectations/patterns of behavior and what I think is the goal is to breakdown these ideas of "male" and "female."

    It's happening, slowly, in life. So it should in entertainment.

    Remember, as the oldest one here, I've seen the evolution, the arguments, the backlashes...
    Last edited by Valairy Scot, Jan 11, 2013
  6. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    And every time you make that statement, I stop reading. It comes off as extremely misogynistic. I would like to think you don't intend it that way, but I'm finding that very, very difficult to do.

    As far as I'm concerned, the only thing women "can't" do is conceive a baby using sperm. Other than that, don't ****ing tell me what I "can't" do. I'm not even 100 percent sure about that "rule" about women serving in infantry, but if it is still in place, it's a disgusting testimony to the raging misogyny still present in our culture, of which the acceptance of the statement "women can't do X" is a testimony on a milder scale.

    And Valairy, I appreciate what you're saying, but the acceptance of it happening "slowly" seems like a tacit acceptance of the misogyny still remaining among the more conservative, and I can't do it.
  7. Zuckuss the Ruckuss Force Ghost

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    Jan 5, 2013
    star 4
  8. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

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    star 5
    @anakinfansince1983: several posts snuck in while I was posting my post so I didn't even see, let alone address, some of those other points you bring up.

    I'm not going to address them, either - don't have it in me. ;)

    As for tacit acceptance - I've seen plenty of movements, many worthwhile. Cultural change does not come fast, no matter how fast one wants it. The harder/faster it is pushed, the more resistance is created (fact, not something I want to see, don't misunderstand me).

    Civil rights, the women's movement, gay marriage - every single one has caused a lot of conflict on the path to acceptance. We're not there yet; we may never achieve this "utopia" of acceptance; that doesn't mean one should stop striving.

    Just like the current issue of "gun control" (and I'll keep this super simple on a very complex issue): the more change is pushed, the more the gun lobby runs scared and goes on the counter-attack, preventing any progress. Is the answer to slow down or to push?

    Darn if I know what's ultimately best for society.
  9. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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    star 7
    Last edited by anakinfansince1983, Jan 11, 2013
  10. Zuckuss the Ruckuss Force Ghost

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    star 4
    It doesn't matter. The point I was trying to get at: If I was writing a piece of art that is trying to be a realistic portrayl of an infantry unit in Afghanistan, I can't use women.

    Its one of the rare exceptions where roles are to be defined by sex. Its not a personal opinion.

    Its like saying if I wanted to do a realistic portrayl of fire department in the FDNY. I probably wouldn't have that many female firefighters. Why? Its because they make up about .005% of the FDNY. Doesn't mean I can't do any(unlike the infantry example), but its not wise if I make half of a crew women.
    Last edited by Zuckuss the Ruckuss, Jan 11, 2013
  11. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    This is the Episode VII forum. Are you suggesting that Episode VII should be a realistic portrayal of an infantry unit in Afghanistan?

    And yes, it absolutely does matter, because you used that example to support your idea that "women can't play X roles in film".
  12. Darth Chiznuk PT Trivia Master / Game Host

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    Oct 31, 2012
    star 5
    Yes, Zuckuss, it is still a rule that women can't serve in any units whose mission is to engage in combat. However, due to shortages of troops many women have seen combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately, due to the fact they are not officially assigned to that unit they often don't receive credit for combat operations which is absolutely sad if you ask me. And just so it doesn't seem like I'm talking out of my a$$ my brother fought in Iraq with his girlfriend and both were engaged in combat.
    Last edited by Darth Chiznuk, Jan 11, 2013
  13. Zuckuss the Ruckuss Force Ghost

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    Jan 5, 2013
    star 4
    No, we were discussing the concept roles vs characters. I was giving a rare example where sex of a person might be relevant to a specific role. It has nothing to do with Star Wars.
  14. CT-867-5309 Force Ghost

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    Jan 5, 2011
    star 5
    I know your example was very specific, but I'm gonna branch off.

    Meg Ryan in Courage Under Fire and GI Jane come to mind (yes I know they're entirely fictional). Regardless of what anyone thinks about those movies, it's good that they exist.

    Make that woman Israeli, or Russian in WW2 or any of the other many historical examples, and it's entirely realistic. Yes, to my knowledge, women currently are not allowed to serve as US infantry, but some combat roles have been opened up to them and I don't think it will be long before the infantry is. The number of military occupations available to women has increased dramatically in only the past twenty years, and currently over 90% of occupations are available to women.

    The point is, the US military has been reinforcing sexist gender roles for a long time now and even they are starting to change. Continuing to hold on to sexist gender roles in fictional media only continues to reinforce sexist gender roles. It's a bad thing.

    I'm gonna drop some sexist remarks in here just to take the heat off you.

    I fully believe that men are physically superior to women. Men are bigger, stronger, faster and superior athletes in just about every way. I believe men make the best potential warriors. I wouldn't want to see a female clone trooper in Star Wars, because if you're going to invest the amount of resources required to create a clone army, you better use the best template available, and that temple would undoubtedly be a man.

    The thing is, I know that's sexist, even though it's true. I believe men on Earth make better potential soldiers, but that doesn't mean women can't do the job. If women want to sign up and catch bullets like the men have to, then let them, we can always use more cannon fodder. If a woman can pass special forces training, then they're in.

    For a long time militaries have come up with excuses like "unit cohesion" and worse, "men will cry over their bodies". It may be true, but I doubt it and it just screams of prejudicial excuses, like black folk having bad night vision. Russian women performed admirably in WW2, with 89 receiving the highest honors. Russian female snipers from WW2 are well known for their outstanding performance, and their pilots are lesser known but also impressive.

    In real life, putting a glass ceiling on 50% of your population is a great way to limit your potential. Women have a lot to offer and not getting the most out of them is just dumb, it's a waste.

    In fiction, where absolute realism is mostly irrelevant, it's even dumber for so many more reasons.
    Last edited by CT-867-5309, Jan 11, 2013
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  15. Reveen Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2012
    star 3
    If it doesn't have anything to do with Star Wars and it's a rare example then why did it need to be brought up?

    Unless the unit is German, French, Polish, Irish, Canadian etc.

    I'm probably missing a couple or a dozen.
    Last edited by Landostrip, Jan 11, 2013
  16. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    If it's a "rare example," how does it apply to the thread topic of needing more women main characters in Episode VII?

    You went into a long tangent about how women can't play X role, women can't play a James Bond type character, women can't play a Darth Vader type character, and then at the last minute bring up a dumbass misogynistic rule that the US Army has about women not being allowed in infantry--and then you use as your argument, "If I were making a movie about the infantry in Afghanistan, it wouldn't be realistic to portray women".

    Not even relevant to the original topic, which was female characters playing a larger role in Episode VII, and it really seems like you're stretching here. Episode VII is not about the US Army in Afghanistan, so the roles women can or cannot play in the US Army are not relevant here--and are also not relevant to the idea of women playing either a Bond-like character or a Vader-like character.

    Like x 10,000. And :*
    Last edited by anakinfansince1983, Jan 11, 2013
  17. Zuckuss the Ruckuss Force Ghost

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    Jan 5, 2013
    star 4
    I think this whole conversation is getting insanely sidetracked, which was never the intent.
  18. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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    Yeah, bringing up the US Army in Afghanistan is pretty much the definition of insanely sidetracking when we're talking about Star Wars.
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  19. Zuckuss the Ruckuss Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2013
    star 4
    No, that is how you interpreted it. I never said women can't be x roles. I said male/female characters are not interchangeable. For example(now I'm repeating myself), you could do a story of a pilot in a lead role in an action movie. But the character's sex is going to be a defining characteristic of that character. Same thing could be said about the age, or the ethnicity(in some cases).
    That is why a female James Bond doesn't work. Not the concept of a female being 00 agent.
  20. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    LMAO. [face_laugh] How is "male/female characters are not interchangeable" any different from "women can't play certain roles"?
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  21. Zuckuss the Ruckuss Force Ghost

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    Jan 5, 2013
    star 4
    The Conversation, when you joined in, was dealing with the idea of character vs roles. We weren't talking about Star Wars.
  22. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    The thread topic is about needing more women main characters in Episode VII. By definition we're talking about Star Wars. Unless you want Episode VII to be similar to a movie about the US Army in Afghanistan, I'd say we're sidetracking.
  23. Zuckuss the Ruckuss Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2013
    star 4
    I think this article can illustrate what I am trying to say:

    http://io9.com/5912366/why-i-write-strong-female-characters
  24. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I stopped here.

    Gender isn't simply a biological trait; it's a societal one. The female experience is different from that of the male, and if, as a male writer, you cannot accept that basic premise, then you will never, ever, be able to write women well. A man walking alone through Midtown Manhattan at three in the morning may have concerns for his safety, but I promise you, it's a very different experience for a woman taking the same walk, and it's different again for a man wearing a dress. Think about it. That's a societal factor, and it's a gendered one, and this is not and can not be subject to debate. If you're looking to argue that sexism is a thing of the past, that the world is gender-blind, you're not only wrong, you're lying to yourself.
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  25. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    This. Fictional media, unfortunately, thrives on PROFIT more than fostering cultural change.


    Eh, women arguably have more ENDURANCE and accept pain better than men. Now, whether that is an advantage or not... and in Star Wars, the Clones are cloned from ONE PERSON so I'd call that common sense, not sexist in that world.

    In trench warfare, it is entirely possible that men were far better suited to combat than in today's military. As a rule, men are physically stronger. Ideally, rather than sorting by such generalities, one would sort by "strength" which no doubt would be some insane ration like 80-90% male and 20-10% female. But at least females would not be locked out by gender, but by strength.

    That is the goal of "women's lib." Not to invade "men's roles" or even "be like men" but to be able to do anything job they (individually) are qualified to do based on the job, not the gender.

    To revisit the theme of an old, old thread on these very boards where many posters decried "political correctness" for GL daring to make female Jedi and female bounty hunters - these were largely minor or background roles that could be fulfilled by men, women, black, white, human or alien. This inclusiveness was highly divisive at the time but a huge step in the right direction.