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Lit Ignorance is Bias: The Diversity Manifesto

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

  1. TrakNar

    TrakNar Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 4, 2011
    I've been to a number of conventions. I've never seen poor behavior and have always felt a sense of camaraderie among the other congoers. We're all a bunch of nerds who came together for a weekend to be as nerdy as we want to be. In terms of women attending cons, I didn't see anyone give them any grief. It may have been simply that I didn't see anything beyond the groups I was with, but the cons I've been to have had a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

    Plenty of female cosplayers and crossplayers, and dare I say even more than male, at least at anime conventions.
     
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  2. patchworkz7

    patchworkz7 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2004

    See, that's part of it too, I've been to some cons where I've seen nothing and others where stuff has really stood out. Sometimes I worry that it's just so ubiquitous that I don't even notice it anymore.

    Even being generous and giving room for "ironic" comments...I've heard some pretty foul stuff said, but in a way the worst of it isn't the in your face stuff but the subtle; "Are you here with your boyfriend?" type stuff to the girl decked out in nerd wear, or the assumption that a girl doesn't know who she's cosplaying. or the wide divide between the different genres and mediums like the spats between the TV/movie stuff and the comics at SDCC, which just gets sillier and worse every year.

    I can't really speak with any authority on the LGBTQ stuff because most of the time it doesn't click that they're of a different community or I'm at a party like Big Gay Dinner where it's specifically that community and not many people are going to mess with ripped dudes in leather even if said leather is decorated with nerd gear, and it's a lot less likely for people to start **** when there's not an easy target by themselves.

    ETA: Whoops, sorry about the language slips, glad we have a profanity filter. I can only mea culpa and plead trying to catch up on the DVR backlog while writing, which is even more distracting than writing between patients.
     
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  3. TrakNar

    TrakNar Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 4, 2011
    My boyish good looks may give me a pass at conventions, and when I cosplay, I usually crossplay or wear something that otherwise obscures my face. The famed Horrorfind Weekend Duct Tape Xenomorph? Very few knew that a female was under all of that duct tape. Though, more than a few were surprised to know that I was in fact the snarling character actor in that costume.

    I've heard plenty of convention horror stories, and CVI was subject to a Miami news station's ridicule, but I've never actually witnessed anything.

    Yet.

    Phenomacon is next week. We'll see what happens when paranormal nerds descend upon Gettysburg.
     
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  4. Robimus

    Robimus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 6, 2007
    I'm sure it is more pronounced for female cosplayers, but this has been a problem for many male cosplayers as well. As I mentioned, the Cosplay without Consent movement is addressing this, hopefully for the better.

    I don't know about this nerd inquisition stuff, I suspect it is far from the norm, but if the goal here is to vilify the entire fandom of everything this is definitely the way to go about it.

    That would be my main issue with both the article and this discussion I guess. Everyone is so quick to put down everyone else, entire institutions, basically everything to do with being a fan.(regulars from this thread and 1138 excluded of course because they are the moral compass we should all strive to be :p)

    I think there is a lot of positives in fan communities. While I don't deny there are problems in all walks of life, this desire to paint everything as the bad seems to supercede even recognizing the good, as if recognizing the good things in fandom would somehow ruin ones argument about the bad.
     
  5. patchworkz7

    patchworkz7 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2004
    Whoa...please tell me you aren't seriously equating what female cosplayers, or even female fans go through, with what male cosplayers go through. Because either we're not talking about the same thing or you haven't listened or heard about the massive problem that started movements like Cosplay is not Consent.

    Male cosplayers haven't faced the kind of sexualized violence, shaming, and ridicule that females have, and there's generally an acceptance that males belong there, where females are forced to show they have nerd cred and constantly called attention seekers (well, worse, but I won't use that word here).

    It's easy to say we all just gotta get along when you're mere right to be in a space isn't constantly questioned or met with unwanted touching to outright assault.

    None of this is saying there's not positives in fan communities, or in life in general, but it's insulting to the very large contingent of female fans to minimize what they go through just for liking something.

    There's loads of threads, websites, news articles, etc that celebrate fandom and industries all the time, that doesn't mean there shouldn't be people pointing out the flaws.

    You don't ignore bone cancer just because a person is otherwise healthy.
     
  6. Findswoman

    Findswoman The Tol Fanfic Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    OK, I'm going to ask a very basic terminology question that is going to show my ignorance in spades: what exactly is cosplaying, and how does it differ from just dressing up in costume? (Or does it just mean the same thing as "dressing up in costume"?) Put another way: does anyone who wears a costume to something like a sci-fi convention count as a cosplayer, or not?

    I haven't been to any conventions in a long time. When I last went (which was probably Celebration IV or so), it was to help out at an action figure customizing booth run by the group known as FFURG (the Forgotten Force Ultimate Resource Guide: http://www.ffurg.com). Pretty much all the other members of the group were male, and I often got the feeling that I was regarded as a little bit of a curiosity for being a female customizer (besides there was kind of a feeling of "ooh, she can sew!"), but I was always treated very kindly and fairly and didn't experience any bias-related unpleasantness.

    I've never been to a con in costume because just about every time I've gone I had to wear clothes I didn't mind spilling paint on, but I do think it would be fun to try sometime (if only I had the time and materials).

    EDIT: Of course, none of this is to deny or minimize the bias incidents others have experienced—I can totally believe that that kind of thing happens!
     
  7. Todd the Jedi

    Todd the Jedi Mod and KENOBEEHHH Herald of SWTV and Lit star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Oct 16, 2008
    There's degrees to cosplaying. There's the basic "wear a costume" approach, where you wear a basic to moderately complex costume to an event or whatever. And then there's cosplaying, which can be more akin to roleplaying, in that you become who or whatever you're dressed as. Another way to be a cosplayer is to specifically go to events dressed as a certain character, either for promotional resons or because you are very interested in costuming, or both. Jessica Nigri would be a well-known example of the latter.
     
  8. patchworkz7

    patchworkz7 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2004

    That's a question that even the cosplay community gets into arguments over, but basically it's the umbrella term for dressing up in costume.

    There are some cosplayers who go for full on accuracy and others who are just dressing up for fun and everything in-between. There are cosplaying groups like Rebel Legion, Mando Mercs, and 501st that can have very strict rules for admission (your costume or armour or whatever needs to be screen accurate...no Elvis Stormtroopers, lol) and then there's just people who are making Boba Fett costumes out of cardboard for the love and then there's cosplayers who are doing it for business or modeling as well as for fun. Jessica Nigri doesn't really do canon accurate costumes (which has lead to many claiming she's doing it for attention, she's just there to show her boobs, etc) and some cosplayers are turning it into a business by selling professional photos of themselves in costume or selling costumes or parts of costumes, etc.

    So, there's really no single thing, and there are purists who don't like the idea of it being turned into a business and others who look down on people who don't do completely canon accurate costumes and everything in between. It's pretty much become a culture unto itself with sets of divisions just like Star Wars fans divide up into Lit or film purists or casual fans, etc.
     
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  9. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Serious costumers I know have serious objections to being called cosplayers, because the emphasis there is on wearing the thing rather than crafting the thing. A cosplayer may buy a costume or make it, but they don't lavish the degree of effort taken to be screen accurate. Thus, while a costumer may very well enjoy being in their finished product, their focus is far more on the creation than the wearing.

    As for the Wook's AFD, I missed it but I've gotten the gist of it here. For the record I absolutely hate that article. JediMara77 dislikes the double standard and I'm with her on that, but I also just think it's pointless. It serves no purpose at all -- are there articles on fingernails and red blood cells? It comes out to "boobs, people have them." The main reason it's there is because of immaturity. A sort of "teehee we're talking about boobs."

    Lame. And before CooperTFN says anything, as a classicist I've no issue with artistic nudity and that piece from Visions is not a problem with me at all (frankly I'm more ok with that than fan service where all the relevant parts are covered because that's lurid and that illustration is not) but you don't need a dumb article to show case that. Not sure why it even needs to be showcased at the top of any article except to show that the Wook can get away with it. Just put it somewhere in Aayla's article and be done with it.


    Missa ab iPhona mea est.
     
  10. Erik_B

    Erik_B Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 11, 2014
    There is one on Spoons.


    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Spoon

    Such articles do serve some vague purpose of letting you look up how even mundane things have been mentioned. Slike, if you want to do a story with Starfighters doing in flight refueling you can look up what previous stories imply the ships use for fuel and use that for inspiration. Or if you want to have a character go to the toilet you can look it up and see that such things tend to get called The Fresher in star wars. Or foods. If you want to have a character eat you can see what previous authors have had people eating and choose one that sounds cool to you, if such exists.

    So in principle such cataloging might be potentially useful to someone.

    And really, if you can tell where the line of absurdity is, you are probably the only one.

    And even then, absurdity can be an end in itself.
     
  11. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 7 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 1999
     
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  12. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Quiet, you. I'll put words in your mouth and you'll like it!
     
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  13. patchworkz7

    patchworkz7 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2004

    [​IMG]
     
  14. The Loyal Imperial

    The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Nov 19, 2007
    So. New topic.

    Read this article about the Swokes Swokes. Then contemplate that they're ruled by an organization called the Congress of Caliphs. The result may be more than a little awkward.
     
  15. Erik_B

    Erik_B Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 11, 2014
    See, I was reading this article,

    http://www.polygon.com/2014/4/2/5549878/closing-the-gap-between-queer-and-mainstream-games



    I think it is highly unlikely I will ever enjoy the games the author likes any more than she likes Halo. I really don't see a lot of common ground to work with.
     
  16. patchworkz7

    patchworkz7 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2004
    You're both saying the same thing then.

    She's saying that instead of trying to sneak LGBT themes into existing games like Halo, programmers who want to produce for that market should produce games from their own experience and desires and not expect the Halo market to want to play...IDK, GONE HOME.

    Which...eh...I don't really agree, but whatever. Not everyone is under an obligation to build bridges and people coming at a problem from the opposite angle sometimes means interesting results.
     
  17. Vthuil

    Vthuil Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 3, 2013
    Personally, I think the really alarming phrase (although there's several, really) there is "no inherent social value". That sounds perilously close to advocating that fiction be totally didactic.
     
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  18. Zeta1127

    Zeta1127 Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Slamming Halo like that is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen. Halo has some of the best storytelling I have ever seen in a video game. The "no inherent social value" comment was also enough to make me pretty confident I can't take much of what that article stated seriously.
     
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  19. Rogue_Follower

    Rogue_Follower Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Nov 12, 2003
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  20. Zeta1127

    Zeta1127 Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Well, in that case, I am inclined to believe that Wookieepedia has problems, terrible, terrible problems.
     
  21. patchworkz7

    patchworkz7 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2004

    I'm not quite onboard with HALO having the best game storytelling...but I do agree with the "social value" thing, but that comes as much from a place of; "Why does my entertainment HAVE to have social value?" as anything else, and there's no measurement of social value that I know to exist. I mean, if someone got enjoyment out of it that's social value.

    However, it's extremist language meant to shake the tree and get an argument going. It's like Pitchfork's music coverage; best way to take it is sigh, nod, and ignore it. The people who need that spark of revolutionary zeal in their life will get it and in the end it's not going to damage HALO at all but maybe it inspires someone to make the next GONE HOME or FEZ or whatever.

    One thing I learned in college was how to tell when something was a true critique on a story/product and when it was meant to crank up the heat on a position. And maybe this person does feel Halo has no social value, I'm sure they'd feel the same way, but just like we're not going to budge the extremists on the racist side, the people fired up and want to change the world are not going to be swayed by an argument towards moderation, but their extreme nature will mean they're just going to be in their own corner talking to their own people which is totally their right.
     
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  22. Vthuil

    Vthuil Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 3, 2013
    I dunno. Language is important, and I think over-the-top rhetoric usually does more harm than good. And even if you're not trying to build bridges (and most of the time I'm not, honestly), building echo chambers is in large part how we get prejudices.
     
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  23. DigitalMessiah

    DigitalMessiah Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 17, 2004
  24. The_Forgotten_Jedi

    The_Forgotten_Jedi Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 12, 2010
    I really enjoy Halo's story, and to say it doesn't present any "inherent social value" indicates to me that the writer of the article hasn't actually played any of the games, particularly Halo 4. Is it as deep as games like Bioshock? Hell no. But the Halo series, IMO, does actually raise some pretty deep philosophical questions (although many of those revolve around AI, which I guess is a moot question at this day and time, AFAIK), and its EU is one of the more racially diverse I've seen.

    On a side note: I'm rather happy that my 1,000th post is in this thread. It is by far my favorite one, aside from a certain thread debating Cad Bane's Duroishness in relation to the EU. :p
     
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  25. Mia Mesharad

    Mia Mesharad Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    That's just...ugh. You can't cry biology and misplaced sexualization on the viewer's part when the joke was comprised of several intentionally provocative "Look sir, boobs!" jokes for the Quote of the Day and the article's introduction, as well as the addition of every sex-slang words for breasts the responsible party could think of at the article's start. It's utterly moronic.

    Since I'm already responding to this whole thing, I guess I might as well say that as a female fan, the Wookieepedia stunt just seems dumb. I'm not offended by it or anything, I'm just...disappointed, I guess, with the idea that that was the funniest thing that could be done. A grand joke that amounted to little more than a couple of ten-year-olds giggling to themselves. "Heheh, boobies."―yes, hilarious...if you're ten. I don't mind the nude picture of Aayla: it's art, it's beautiful, it's canon, it has a place. I'm not bothered by the "Breast" article at all: I think it has biological and social merit considering what's been evidenced in the universe, and with a bit of focused attention, it was the potential to be perfectly informative and encyclopedic. Using both the article and the image as a juvenile booby joke, however, is just incredibly stupid and unbecoming for a Wiki that is, frankly, the largest, most well regarded, thought-to-be professional, fiction-based collective of its kind.
     
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