Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Kyle wrote:

As it stands, in the last 50 years women have moved forwards so much in society that while sure, there are pockets of life where they are legitimately oppressed or behind, I don't think it's worth being so angry about something that is clearly fading.

But you can afford to think this way. If progress stalls, halts, or even reverses, it doesn't affect you nearly as much.

It wouldn't affect me, either, in terms of gender discrimination. But it's still wrong, it's still there, and the only reason the progress you mention has been made in the last 50 years is because people on the side of equality angrily demanded it. It would be foolish to take the pressure off, especially when such a wave of pushback has risen up in the last decade or so.

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Dorkman wrote:

...it's still wrong, it's still there, and the only reason the progress you mention has been made in the last 50 years is because people on the side of equality angrily demanded it. It would be foolish to take the pressure off, especially when such a wave of pushback has risen up in the last decade or so.

Listen to Dorkman. Compare ourselves with 100 years ago and we look enlightened (at the risk of complacency), but compare ourselves with 100 years in the future (what could be) and we look like barbarians. And it's true, we can regress. Between 1920 and 1980, inequality fell, but then started rising again so that most of the 20th century's gains were wiped out, and now we're just about back to the levels of a century ago.

And just like that...

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

fireproof78 wrote:

2. Avengers is worse because of the target audience, just like I believe that comics are worse because of their target audience, of young males, 8-14.

The target audience for Transformers and The Avengers are almost exactly the same. The Avengers skews slightly more female. Transformers skews slightly younger, because of the long-established toy line. If you want children to see your movies, you don't make them PG-13.

And mainstream comic books have not been read by many children for more than 30 years. DC's "New 52" reboot is aimed at a younger-than-previous audience of 18-34.

You are right about not being objective, tho.

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

Zarban's House of Commentaries

Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Zarban wrote:
fireproof78 wrote:

2. Avengers is worse because of the target audience, just like I believe that comics are worse because of their target audience, of young males, 8-14.

The target audience for Transformers and The Avengers are almost exactly the same. The Avengers skews slightly more female. Transformers skews slightly younger, because of the long-established toy line. If you want children to see your movies, you don't make them PG-13.

And mainstream comic books have not been read by many children for more than 30 years. DC's "New 52" reboot is aimed at a younger-than-previous audience of 18-34.

You are right about not being objective, tho.

Interesting. However, you don't market toys for the same age group, one with giant robots, one with sexist images of female characters.

I may not be objective, but I am asking for you to offer an objective measure of the sexism in a particular media. How do you define it? I have made points that while the movie itself is not marketed towards the age range I defined, the toys, etc are! Consider: http://reelgirl.com/2012/05/avengers-sh … -minority/

But, you're right, I'm not objective. I'm just trying to address a disparity in toy marketing between boys and girls, and the cultural institutions that drive it. I am concerned about my daughters and the future of attitudes of boys towards women. I'm concerned about the future of movies and women in them-Kyle's right, it has gotten better, but Dorkman is right-we don't stop progress of equality just because of a minor victory.

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

fireproof78 wrote:

you don't market toys for the same age group, one with giant robots, one with sexist images of female characters.

I may not be objective, but I am asking for you to offer an objective measure of the sexism in a particular media. How do you define it? I have made points that while the movie itself is not marketed towards the age range I defined, the toys, etc are! Consider: http://reelgirl.com/2012/05/avengers-sh … -minority/

But, you're right, I'm not objective. I'm just trying to address a disparity in toy marketing between boys and girls, and the cultural institutions that drive it.

You claimed that the audiences for The Avengers and comic books skew younger and more male than Transformers and are therefore more dangerous to young minds. I demonstrated that the opposite is true.

The idea that the Black Widow action figure showing cleavage is somehow damaging to children's view of women (or whatever it is you're vaguely arguing) is ridiculous. Are you aware that women actually have boobs in real life? Are you aware that there is an action figure of Megan Fox from Transformers with cleavage? And one for her character in Jonah Hex WHERE SHE PLAYED A PROSTITUTE?

Why aren't you up in arms about those instead? It's because you just started paying attention to this sort of thing when you saw that stupid fucking joke image of the Avengers sticking their asses out, isn't it? But you can't admit that so you rationalize why you and others have focused on The Avengers by claiming it's worse because it comes from comic books and comic books (at least the ones with busty female superheroes) are sexist. And now you say it's because the TOYS are somehow sexist, which somehow makes the movie worse than other movies that sideline women entirely or Christopher Nolan movies that make women betray men and/or kill themselves over their husbands.

Sexism means treating people of one gender as inferior and usually refers to men treating women as not very smart and good primarily for sex, cooking, cleaning, and child-rearing. By any reasonable measure, all the Avengers movies do this less than the great majority of modern action movies. They present women who are smart, interesting, commanding, and capable. And they toys are no different.

As for under-presentation, Black Widow appears in two Avengers-related movies since 2008, will certainly appear in the next one, and may get her own film. And Agent Maria Hill doubles the action-woman count in The Avengers. Meanwhile, we haven't seen Batgirl since Batman & Robin; we haven't seen Supergirl since 1984; we haven't seen Wonder Woman since 1979; and Jonah Hex features a hooker as the female lead. Stop blaming the Avengers for something that is far more true of other properties, not to mention other kinds of toys....

I've looked at the question objectively, and I'm done talking about sexism in The Avengers.

Last edited by Zarban (2012-12-08 04:46:35)

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

Zarban's House of Commentaries

Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Zarban wrote:
fireproof78 wrote:

you don't market toys for the same age group, one with giant robots, one with sexist images of female characters.

I may not be objective, but I am asking for you to offer an objective measure of the sexism in a particular media. How do you define it? I have made points that while the movie itself is not marketed towards the age range I defined, the toys, etc are! Consider: http://reelgirl.com/2012/05/avengers-sh … -minority/

But, you're right, I'm not objective. I'm just trying to address a disparity in toy marketing between boys and girls, and the cultural institutions that drive it.

You claimed that the audiences for The Avengers and comic books skew younger and more male than Transformers and are therefore more dangerous to young minds. I demonstrated that the opposite is true. .

I also claim that there is more marketing of Black Widow too, increasing influence. I also can cite research that such images are damaging to young minds. That is the foundation of my point.

Zarban wrote:

The idea that the Black Widow action figure showing cleavage is somehow damaging to children's view of women (or whatever it is you're vaguely arguing) is ridiculous. Are you aware that women actually have boobs in real life? Are you aware that there is an action figure of Megan Fox from Transformers with cleavage? And one for her character in Jonah Hex WHERE SHE PLAYED A PROSTITUTE?

No, I was not aware of those action figures. Yes, I am up in arms about them…now. How would you like me to protest them?

Zarban wrote:

Why aren't you up in arms about those instead? It's because you just started paying attention to this sort of thing when you saw that stupid fucking joke image of the Avengers sticking their asses out, isn't it? But you can't admit that so you rationalize why you and others have focused on The Avengers by claiming it's worse because it comes from comic books and comic books (at least the ones with busty female superheroes) are sexist. And now you say it's because the TOYS are somehow sexist, which somehow makes the movie worse than other movies that sideline women entirely or Christopher Nolan movies that make women betray men and/or kill themselves over their husbands.

Toys are sexist. I am saying that it is bad because of the younger audience and more accessible to younger viewers.
The poster may have been a joke, but it demonstrated a truth, one that Dorkman has addressed, first in the Avengers commentary, then in the thread. Its sexism because displays females in a sexualized way, while the men are not. The movie was not sexist-I never claimed that Avengers was sexist, I never said Joss wasn’t a feminist, I never said that the movie is somehow bad or that other movies have done it before.  I never said Avengers was the first to do so, it won’t be the last-sexism is institutionalized within American society.

Zarban wrote:

Sexism means treating people of one gender as inferior and usually refers to men treating women as not very smart and good primarily for sex, cooking, cleaning, and child-rearing. By any reasonable measure, all the Avengers movies do this less than the great majority of modern action movies. They present women who are smart, interesting, commanding, and capable. And they toys are no different.

As for under-presentation, Black Widow appears in two Avengers-related movies since 2008, will certainly appear in the next one, and may get her own film. And Agent Maria Hill doubles the action-woman count in The Avengers. Meanwhile, we haven't seen Batgirl since Batman & Robin; we haven't seen Supergirl since 1984; we haven't seen Wonder Woman since 1979; and Jonah Hex features a hooker as the female lead. Stop blaming the Avengers for something that is far more true of other properties, not to mention other kinds of toys....

Again, the movie was not my issue and it still is not. Avengers does a great job, both with Agent Hill and Romanov. I found them both to be engaging characters, not sex dolls like Megan Fox, who seems to keep coming up in this discussion.

Zarban wrote:

I've looked at the question objectively, and I'm done talking about sexism in The Avengers.

I fear we are talking past each other, because if you were looking at it objectively, then you wouldn’t be swearing at me and telling me to be up in arms about other figures too. How do I redress such a problem without discussion first?
The core of my argument, all that I have tried to say is the marketing for Avengers, Black Widow specifically, is sexist. It is worse because the marketing is geared towards a younger, more impressionable audience. Yes, boobs exist in real life, though it is news to me. But, that doesn’t mean that they have to be put on display like Black Widow is marketed as.
The movie is not, I repeat not, the problem. It rather is the marketing, which represents a deeper, darker problem within American culture of sexism.

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Fireproof, good talk about the toy section in stores. My roommate and I have a game where we document any and all Tasha merch we see in stores. So far, the grand total is 3 pieces.  Zarban is right about the demographics stuff but I think you're on point about the fact that attitudes are learned young and are hard to erase. I remember reading a study that watching TV decreased every child's self esteem, unless you were white and male.  I'll try and find it.

Zarban wrote:

I've looked at the question objectively, and I'm done talking about sexism in The Avengers.

I feel you. I think it'd be more valuable to discuss other works. Dollhouse, anybody? Angel? Any hope on future Leia-types in Star Wars 7? 


Dorkman wrote:
BigDamnArtist wrote:

But what is the difference between every girl I know watching the trailer for Magic Mike and going "I would fuck the shit out of those guys." (Literal quote from one of my friends... and several more had variations on it), and a guy watching the trailer for Transformers or Avengers or whatever and thinking or saying the exact same thing about Megan Fox or ScarJo or whoever?

MAGIC MIKE is one movie.

TRANSFORMERS or AVENGERS or whatever are all other movies.

Also, it's worth noting the counterexamples of male objectification being brought to bear here -- MAGIC MIKE, TWILIGHT -- are all extremely recent examples with a very limited sample size, whereas the examples of women existing solely in the context of the men around them goes back pretty much the whole way. See: the Bechdel test.

You go, Dorkman. 

Okay, I think this thread should focus on women (and the men who write them) in media, so these are going to be my last responses about "real"/"legitimate" sexism. It exists, deal with it.

Kyle wrote:

I have never met anyone who was openly anti-gender who wasn't divorced or otherwise had a formative experience.

Kyle wrote:

As it stands, in the last 50 years women have moved forwards so much in society that while sure, there are pockets of life where they are legitimately oppressed or behind, I don't think it's worth being so angry about something that is clearly fading.

It is great that you have never experienced anti-woman sentiments. Seriously, that is a gift.
I'm not going to tell stories about my life because I don't think it's productive. Any examples I bring up of sexism directly impacting me wil probably be dismissed. But I encourage you to acknowledge that this is something worth being angry about.     

Off topic but I'll bite since it's I'm writing about this for my anthropology final. It's explained in Paula England's  “Devaluation and the Pay of Comparable Male and Female Occupations”,
Francine D Blau and Lawrence Khan's, "The Gender Pay Gap", Lisa Belkin's "The Opt Out Revolution", and Jerry Jacobs and Kathleen Gerson's "The Time Divide". Check 'em out.

I will certainly look into those.  I have recently discovered, to my horror, that the internet has eroded my attention span to the point that sitting and reading anything more taxing than a Harry Potter book for longer than a good sized article is a physical and mental struggle, but I'm trying to fix that.

They are all roughly 5-15 pages, so please do.  I think reading other testimonies about misogyny in daily life would also really be great. Catcalled NYC, Hollaback, Tiger Beatdown, etc.

Last edited by Allison (2012-12-08 05:31:28)

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Allison wrote:

Fireproof, good talk about the toy section in stores. My roommate and I have a game where we document any and all Tasha merch we see in stores. So far, the grand total is 3 pieces.  Zarban is right about the demographics stuff but I think you're on point about the fact that attitudes are learned young and are hard to erase. I remember reading a study that watching TV decreased every child's self esteem, unless you were white and male.  I'll try and find it.

Well, the two pieces I have found (count them, 2) are portraying Tasha in either a sexy pose or a passive pose, while the men are active and/or heroic.

I'll concede the point about demographics, but the harm to children needs to be addressed. Also, I would love to read the article if you can find it smile

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

It was easier to find than I expected

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Good reads. I return the favor:
http://www.btchflcks.com/2012/05/guest- … re-we.html

God loves you!

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

fireproof78 wrote:

No, I was not aware of those action figures. Yes, I am up in arms about them…now. How would you like me to protest them?

By talking about them instead.

fireproof78 wrote:

Toys are sexist. I am saying that it is bad because of the younger audience and more accessible to younger viewers. ... The core of my argument, all that I have tried to say is the marketing for Avengers, Black Widow specifically, is sexist. It is worse because the marketing is geared towards a younger, more impressionable audience.

So you would drop this if I could demonstrate that at least a few other popular action films have marketing materials that focus on T&A and there are toys for those films, demonstrating that they are geared toward a younger audience?

Do I really need to do that?

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

Zarban's House of Commentaries

Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

"Rather than look at the effect of particular shows or genres, they focused on the correlation between TV time in general and self-esteem over a yearlong period. They controlled for age, body satisfaction, and baseline self-esteem"

If they didn't control for income, the results are meaningless.

"Martins explains in a statement that girls appear to be influenced by one-dimensional, sexualized depictions of women, while black boys may be disturbed by their TV counterparts, who are often criminalized or shown as hoodlums and buffoons."

Translation: "Since we only focused on TV time in general, we don't actually know what content the children watched. But when we applied our personal biases, we easily made up reasons for the data we got."

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

Zarban's House of Commentaries

163

Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

You're all aware that men and women are different right? I'm just checking.

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Zarban wrote:
fireproof78 wrote:

No, I was not aware of those action figures. Yes, I am up in arms about them…now. How would you like me to protest them?

By talking about them instead.

Sorry, I was running from personal experience. The picture that struck it home to me was a collection of three toys, with Black Widow, and the pose she was striking.

What other toys should we talk about? Power Girl? Um, anything Batman related, especially Arkam City merchandise? Just about any anime toys. The list goes on.

Zarban wrote:
fireproof78 wrote:

Toys are sexist. I am saying that it is bad because of the younger audience and more accessible to younger viewers. ... The core of my argument, all that I have tried to say is the marketing for Avengers, Black Widow specifically, is sexist. It is worse because the marketing is geared towards a younger, more impressionable audience.

So you would drop this if I could demonstrate that at least a few other popular action films have marketing materials that focus on T&A and there are toys for those films, demonstrating that they are geared toward a younger audience?

Do I really need to do that?

If the problem is that I am trying to make a point about Avenger's marketing exclusively? See above regarding other toys that I feel are sexist. The list goes on, though I do appreciate most of Halo's merchandising, sans Cortana. Its not populated with females, though they just added a female character and figure in Halo 4. http://www.hobbyfan.com/product_info.ph … s_id=14859

Your examples, of course, are welcome.

Again, not saying Avengers is the worst, the first or anything like that. Just saying it is a problem because of the target audience. Sexism is institutionalized, especially in the gaming industry. Just no way of getting around that.

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Zarban wrote:

"Rather than look at the effect of particular shows or genres, they focused on the correlation between TV time in general and self-esteem over a yearlong period. They controlled for age, body satisfaction, and baseline self-esteem"

If they didn't control for income, the results are meaningless.

"Martins explains in a statement that girls appear to be influenced by one-dimensional, sexualized depictions of women, while black boys may be disturbed by their TV counterparts, who are often criminalized or shown as hoodlums and buffoons."

Translation: "Since we only focused on TV time in general, we don't actually know what content the children watched. But when we applied our personal biases, we easily made up reasons for the data we got."

Research on what children watch has been around for a while, and media is often view as being a mechanism of communicating cultural values. Sexism is shown in how characters are portrayed:

In general, women characters have been more
likely to be shown in the home, with men more likely
to be shown outside or in occupational roles. Research
consistently documents how television commercials
present conventional gender stereotypes,
with women shown as; young, thin, sexy, smiling,
acquiescent, provocative, and available, homemakers,
and care-givers. Men characters, in contrast,
tend to be shown as; knowledgeable, independent,
powerful, successful, tough natural leaders and
breadwinners. (See Busby, 1985; Cantor, 1980;
Courtney & Whipple, 1983; Davis 1990; Fejes, 1992;
Fowles, 1996; Soley & Kurzbard, 1986).

The study of female characters and their representation:

Research on gender imagery in television programming
and advertising has been more prevalent than
research on race or ethnicity, reflecting the medium’s
preoccupation with sex and female beauty (Jhally,
1987). Studies of both programs and commercials
show that men characters are likely to be more developed
and complex than their female counterparts,
outnumbering them by two or three to one, with male
voices narrating almost 10 times more frequently
than female ones.

Reference:
Godwyll, F., & Annin, C. (2007). Perpetuation of Racism and Sexism in the US. International Journal Of Diversity In Organisations, Communities & Nations, 6(4), 41-49.

The advent of media provides a faster communication of societal values and messages than books or oral tradition ever could. So, even if the links that Allison shared do not reflect exactly what the kids watched, could we not surmise from the statistics of what is presented what they are being exposed too?

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Re: Let's talk about Joss, baby

Another thread necro but I found an article in a local publication that highlights girls and comic book industry as well as local attempts to build up female interest:
http://www.inlander.com/spokane/article … women.html

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