Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

I guess it's a good thing Joss didn't get to make that Inara gangrape episode of Firefly then...

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Lamer wrote:

I guess it's a good thing Joss didn't get to make that Inara gangrape episode of Firefly then...

Somehow I have never heard of this. Should I ask for elaboration or let it be?

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

My take on Joss Whedon is that he is an advocate for active women in Sci-fi/comics, but I wouldn't say hes any more of one than George Lucas.   Whedon's tend to be *strong* women, not necessarily strong characters even.  Zoe is the one exception, certainly not Buffy, and lets not talk about what the heck went off the rails with Dollhouse. I think Lucas' treatment of Leia is just as strong, if not more so considering it's almost 2 decades earlier.   

I think the assessment of Martin's portrayal of female strength is perhaps more fair, but again they tend to be strong in the face of some form of adverse conditions or other manipulations in the books, it hasn't played that way as much in the TV show.  Though Martin is dealing with a different genera being far more Fantasy than Sci-fi.  Which I think is an important distinction.  Fantasy has always allowed for a more active role for women and has been marketed toward women as much as men.  Sci-fi/comics on the other hand tend to be much more male oriented and the female characters reflect that.  I think the same thing can be seen with video games as well.  Generally there is a marketing perception that these things don't appeal to women, so there is no effort to make them do so.

I think Sherrilyn Kenyon's books (which started out heavy on paranormal romance and have moved towards more general sci-fi/fantasy though they're still shelved with the romance novels except the kids & graphic novel versions) provide good strong female characters, They've recently been optioned for movie/TV and I'm interested to see how the translation goes.

Related to Game of thrones the series, I think the fact that they didn't do creative hiding of the male nudity was also a rather surprising choice, even on HBO.  And I think encouraging to see the quasi equal treatment. BBC recently ran an interesting article adjacent to that here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20218094.  The fact that full frontal female nudity is not even particularly surprising when it shows up in films or TV shows while full frontal male is is another interesting split how genders are viewed. 

I'm kind of headed off on a tangent here, but I didn't want to side track the Avengers thread any further.  And with being out of town for the holiday I kind of missed jumping in on that discussion.

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Dorkman wrote:

Helen Tasker needed Harry

I would actually say that True Lies' treatment of Helen Trasker counts Cameron out completely. What a hate-filled film that this.

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Dave wrote:

How do you think Paul Verhoeven went with his treatment of women in Starship Troopers?

Since no one else has taken on this one, I will be happy to take it on, though I warn that it is a bit of a rant and might belong in the unpopular opinions thread wink

I think that Verhoeven treats women poorly, as the women keeping falling for the better men-Dizzy for Rico, Carmen for Zander. There is some respect given to women through the "Rodger Young's" captain, who promptly dies on the bridge. So, there is a definite mixing but not equal treatment given the at times the subversive role women take-Rico goes from rank and file to officer and must go and save the girl-not exactly feminist propaganda:
http://cache.io9.com/assets/images/8/2008/07/sky_io9.flv.jpg

In point of fact, the original book was more pro-women than the film ended up being. I know the film is supposed to be a satire of the book, given Verhoeven's experience with fascism, but its treatment of women is not the best.

In the book, women are not featured as prominently as in the movie, but their role is treated with more reverence and respect than in the film. The captains of the staships are all female, with few exceptions, because females are stated to be better suited to the rigors of flying a starship than men. However, since this is an Army story, the Navy figures little than transportation. However, even Rico's biased perspective on the Navy still shines out praise for women, including his captain.

Verhoeven merely treats the women as set dressings, giving us the token shower scene, the 20 minute joke, and the soldier saving the damsel in distress. Sorry, the book may not be feminist propaganda, but its better than the film.

God loves you!

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Jen wrote:

The fact that full frontal female nudity is not even particularly surprising when it shows up in films or TV shows while full frontal male is is another interesting split how genders are viewed.

Oh definitely. I've seen a fair amount of initial backlash directed at Starz' Spartacus series on this point, which features male bits frequently and without nay so much as a blush. At first I confess I found it shocking, before realising that actually it was counterbalanced by prominent female nudity - had I really any right to complain? Good show by the way, and to stay on topic further, I would argue it has a range of interesting and developed female characters (working within the confines of Roman society).

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. - Carl Sagan

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Allison wrote:
Lamer wrote:

I guess it's a good thing Joss didn't get to make that Inara gangrape episode of Firefly then...

Somehow I have never heard of this. Should I ask for elaboration or let it be?

Jen wrote:

The fact that full frontal female nudity is not even particularly surprising when it shows up in films or TV shows while full frontal male is is another interesting split how genders are viewed.

That's because naked women are universally nicer to look at than men smile

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Lamer wrote:
Allison wrote:
Lamer wrote:

I guess it's a good thing Joss didn't get to make that Inara gangrape episode of Firefly then...

Somehow I have never heard of this. Should I ask for elaboration or let it be?

...well I guess that's another item to be added to the "women must be broken to be strong" and "rape to move male characters forward" lists.


On the nudity thing: am I imagining it, or has Game of Thrones received some backlash for not including a balanced amount of nudity? I think they've only had full-frontal from the guys two of three times, as opposed to the constant female nudity. Nothing wrong with the latter of course (they've toned it down from the books), but still.

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

I've only seen the first season of Game of Thrones, but I seem to remember being amused that every episode with female full frontal nudity had male full frontal nudity. It was like someone was trying to balance it out exactly (not counting bare breasts, of which there were many). There was also one sex scene with two women and one with two men (though the circumstances were rather different and the one with women was on screen while the one with men was more implied off screen).

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Allison wrote:

...well I guess that's another item to be added to the "women must be broken to be strong" and "rape to move male characters forward" lists.

Would it "move only the male characters forward" if it was Jane instead of Inara?

Jane sees Inara shoot up, steals her stash and takes the drug himself for whatever reason. Then Reavers attack and capture Jane. The rest of the crew go after them, storm their ship and find Jane barely alive, surrounded by corpses.

Mal: You killed them all
Jane: (staring at the floor)...yes.....I killed them

Then he and Inara share a look because only she knows the truth.


Who gets character development points in that scenario?

Last edited by Lamer (2012-11-26 15:57:40)

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Lamer wrote:
Allison wrote:

...well I guess that's another item to be added to the "women must be broken to be strong" and "rape to move male characters forward" lists.

Would it "move only the male characters forward" if it was Jane instead of Inara?

Jane sees Inara shoot up, steals her stash and takes the drug himself for whatever reason. Then Reavers attack and capture Jane. The rest of the crew go after them, storm their ship and find Jane barely alive, surrounded by corpses.

Mal: You killed them all
Jane: (staring at the floor)...yes.....I killed them

Then he and Inara share a look because only she knows the truth.


Who gets character development points in that scenario?

Oh, I don't think that's a comparable example. The original scene moves Mal's character forward because, before the scene happened, he says that Inara acts like a lady and wants people to kiss her hand, but she's just a whore. After the rape, Mal kisses her hand. It's showing how Mal has moved forward in his perception of Inara.

I didn't say it moves only the male characters forward, but I object to subjected a character to brutal rape to show that your hero is not as huge a jerk as he seemed.

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

But does Inara become strong AFTER the rape, or is she strong BEFORE it, because she injects herself knowing what's about to happen.  She could easily kill herself, which is something that is oft talked about as appropriate before a reaver assault.

Eddie Doty

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

I'm really confused by all this talk.  If you write a good script that reflects the way people in the real world speak, you'll avoid all these retarded cliches. 

I have to imagine that most of the problems begin when dudes who have never kissed a girl start writing a script with women in it.


- Branco

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

I agree with Branco. George R.R. Martin was asked in an interview how he was able to write such interesting female characters. He responded, "Well, I've always thought of women as people."

"The Doctor is Submarining through our brains." --Teague

Twitter | Tumblr, for links to all my writing.

Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

You know who's really good at writing for women? Women.

There used to be a lot of them in the US and UK film industries, mostly given outlines and asked to write the dialog. That fell apart in the 1960s when the studio system collapsed. But the female audience also collapsed, staying home and watching daytime television instead.

And by the late 1970s, the audience was quite young and mostly male, and they are not very interested in compelling female characters.

Warning: I'm probably rewriting this post as you read it.

Zarban's House of Commentaries

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Zarban wrote:

You know who's really good at writing for women? Women.

  I think this is why The Hunger Games works.  As Suzanne Collins was not only the original author but also a major part of the screenwriting process from what I can tell. 

  I hope we're going to see more female writers break into true science fiction, hopefully in part spurred by the availability of digital publishing which allows authors who aren't normally picked up by the big presses to get their work out on Kindle and Nook and the like.

Last edited by Jen (2012-11-26 23:12:03)

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Although, even then, not all women have the same view of what a female character should be. Remove the names from the stories, and often you will guess the wrong gender going both ways.

I write stories! With words!
http://www.asstr.org/~Invid_Fan/

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Zarban wrote:

You know who's really good at writing for women? Women.

And yet, Twilight.

Eddie Doty

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Eddie wrote:
Zarban wrote:

You know who's really good at writing for women? Women.

And yet, Twilight.

and from that... 50 Shades Of Gray.

---------------------------------------------
I would never lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation.

Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Zarban wrote:

You know who's really good at writing for women? Women.

There used to be a lot of them in the US and UK film industries, mostly given outlines and asked to write the dialog. That fell apart in the 1960s when the studio system collapsed. But the female audience also collapsed, staying home and watching daytime television instead.

And by the late 1970s, the audience was quite young and mostly male, and they are not very interested in compelling female characters.

Which, is that a commentary on the authors or the audience?
Which, is not to say that I do not understand it, but the simple comment that a mostly male audience would not find compelling women interesting is a bit of a generalization. I mean, I don't know about movies, but many novels continued forward with compelling women, specifically Robert Heinlein, just as an example that springs readily to mind, but I may be thinking of the wrong era too.
Of particular note, though i don't know the popularity of the works, but several feminist works came out of the 70's, specifically in speculative fiction.

God loves you!

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Well, let me clarify. The movie-going audience HAS matured since the late '70s. And even young male movie-goers today are interested in well-written female characters. So all hope is not lost. For that, I think James Cameron actually deserves a lot of credit, along with ass-kicking actresses like Milla Jovovich, Uma Thurman, Angelina Jolie, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Kate Beckinsale (yes, even she).

But somehow, Hollywood in general hasn't caught on. We still get movies like National Treasure and The Da Vinci Code and Batman Begins and Transformers, where the entire role of the female lead consists of maybe giving a clue to the male lead and then following three steps behind him for the rest of the movie.

Last edited by Zarban (2012-11-28 04:26:12)

Warning: I'm probably rewriting this post as you read it.

Zarban's House of Commentaries

Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Do you think that when this generation of movie goers starts making movies we'll get better characters?

Also, behold the inner thoughts one of Guardians of the Galaxy writers. You can taste the respect.

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Allison wrote:

Do you think that when this generation of movie goers starts making movies we'll get better characters?

Yes, but not by much. In that respect, I think the perception of Joss Whedon as a feminist is more important than the characters he writes. If aspiring writers like his work and respect his outlook, some will probably succeed at fulfilling that outlook better than he does. Because, seriously, that is not even very hard.

Allison wrote:

Also, behold the inner thoughts one of Guardians of the Galaxy writers. You can taste the respect.

And did you read the comments? They all call the writer a pig. It's awesome.

OH, and Inception. I forgot Inception in that previous post. Talk about a piece a furniture... Ellen "Hard Candy" Page didn't get SHIT to do in that movie. But that's a Chris Nolan movie for you. He writes women as corpses and furniture. I bet, if you actually counted, close to half of all named female characters in Chris Nolan films are dead before the beginning of the movie and exist only in flashbacks and dreams.

Last edited by Zarban (2012-11-28 05:42:47)

Warning: I'm probably rewriting this post as you read it.

Zarban's House of Commentaries

Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Ellen Page is alive and exists in dreams.
http://img175.imageshack.us/img175/1976/heyoo.jpg

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Zarban wrote:

Ellen "Hard Candy" Page didn't get SHIT to do in that movie. But that's a Chris Nolan movie for you. He writes women as corpses and furniture.

Catwoman got to ride a cool bike.

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