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Old 2012-02-16, 06:05   Link #221
Kirarakim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiibi View Post
Actually I think that saying is 100% crap but to each their own.
Nah it's 90% of everything. It basically means yes there are treasures to be found but you have to dig through the haystack to find them.
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Old 2012-02-16, 10:46   Link #222
aohige
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Chiibi, do you actually read the magazines such as Ribbon, Nakayoshi, and Margaret?
Or is your exposure to shoujo manga strickly thorugh collected volume titles.

If you flip through any of the above mentioned major shoujo manga magazines, you'd be surprised how much of it is downright generic crap you never hear or see about.
Of course this isn't unique to shoujo manga, it's true to any demographic of manga magazines.
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Old 2012-02-16, 16:19   Link #223
0utf0xZer0
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Originally Posted by Chiibi View Post
No, I meant that I think the statement: "90% of everything is crap" is a bullshit statement. lol[/b]
To be honest, I find it extremely ironic when anyone tries to use the 90% figure from Sturgeon's Law as a maxim:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturgeon%27s_Law

Quote:
I repeat Sturgeonís Revelation, which was wrung out of me after twenty years of wearying defense of science fiction against attacks of people who used the worst examples of the field for ammunition, and whose conclusion was that ninety percent of SF is crud.[1] Using the same standards that categorize 90% of science fiction as trash, crud, or crap, it can be argued that 90% of film, literature, consumer goods, etc. are crap. In other words, the claim (or fact) that 90% of science fiction is crap is ultimately uninformative, because science fiction conforms to the same trends of quality as all other artforms.
Not only was he trying to make an entirely different point, his use of 90% comes across somewhat flippant and hyperbolic.
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Old 2012-02-16, 16:45   Link #224
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Well, it's entirely subjetive view, which you cannot say is right or wrong.
If you're a picky type of person and not easily amused, it's entirely possible that 90% of everything in entertainment is crap.

I am, however, pretty easily amused, and in fact do enjoy many things in life that's considered mediocre, while acknowledging it for what it is at the same time.
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Old 2012-02-16, 16:53   Link #225
0utf0xZer0
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The quoter's opinion may be subjective, but I think the evidence points to Sturgeon meaning the 90% to be flippant and that's not how many people use it.
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Old 2012-02-16, 17:02   Link #226
aohige
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I don't adhere to his view like you do.
Uninformative or not, is rather unimportant, as the person expressing such view does not have informing others as their primary objective.
It's expressing of your opinion, that you may observe, and the goal of such is to express an emotion of how you precieve.

In other words, yes it's flippant, and why does that matter? The entire purpose of such statement is to be flippant.
No one's claiming such number to be scientifically accurate, people who use it are aware it's coming out of their ass.
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Old 2012-02-16, 22:47   Link #227
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Indeed, I'm not sure if the number is 90% either. It does vary with context. For instance, I'd argue that in amateur stuff (like fanfiction...) that number comes closer to 95% or 99%.

Generally though, the key thing to remember is that the vast majority of any "genre" of fiction is always absolute tripe, no exceptions.

Now defining what's tripe, and what isn't is difficult. I believe there's a second law floating around that says "As you consult more people, the amount of agreement approaches 0", IE it's impossible to find universal agreement on what's good and isn't good.

Certainly in the manga world, I haven't found a single genre of Manga or Anime that doesn't have a significant amount of generic shit.

As for Anime in particular, I actually think the 10% number holds up quite well. Generally I would have to say that I only think 10% of the anime I see put out is good by any measure. In a season of 15-20 shows, you rarely find more then 2 that you like, and that manage to maintain your liking throughout it's run.

With Manga I'd say the number is less, mostly due to the lower barrier of entry.
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Old 2012-02-16, 23:03   Link #228
Chiibi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aohige View Post
Chiibi, do you actually read the magazines such as Ribbon, Nakayoshi, and Margaret?
Yes, I read Ribon and Nakayoshi.

Quote:
If you flip through any of the above mentioned major shoujo manga magazines, you'd be surprised how much of it is downright generic crap you never hear or see about.
Some of them are generic, maybe. Crap? No. Out of the entire decade since I started reading these magazines, I can really only think of a couple titles that were "bad" and one of them was by an author who vastly improved with her next two manga. And since when does "generic"="bad"!? Just because something is generic doesn't mean the author failed to put effort into it. I don't know about you guys but to me, a series that is actually "crap" is one where no effort was put into it, or it is incredibly tasteless without anything good in it, or both.

Anyway, that's besides the point. Generic=/= anti-feminist which is what this topic is supposed to be about.

Quote:
Generally though, the key thing to remember is that the vast majority of any "genre" of fiction is always absolute tripe, no exceptions.
And I suppose there are statistics to prove this, are there?
I mean, if only one sci-fi author came up with that, why should everyone else think it's true and more importantly, why should I believe it? lol
Who died and made Sturgeon God!?

Quote:
As for Anime in particular, I actually think the 10% number holds up quite well. Generally I would have to say that I only think 10% of the anime I see put out is good by any measure. In a season of 15-20 shows, you rarely find more then 2 that you like, and that manage to maintain your liking throughout it's run.
Definitely NOT for me.
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Old 2012-02-17, 00:25   Link #229
0utf0xZer0
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Originally Posted by Chiibi View Post
And I suppose there are statistics to prove this, are there?
I mean, if only one sci-fi author came up with that, why should everyone else think it's true and more importantly, why should I believe it? lol
Who died and made Sturgeon God!?


Definitely NOT for me.
The irony is that Sturgeon never actually endorsed the 90% standard. He simply said that the standards people use to show 90% of sci-fi is crap would judge 90% of anything to be crap.

People use "90% of everything is crap" not because it accurately portrays Sturgeon's point, but because it makes a good rhetorical quip. In light of that, I think Sturgeon would find 90%+ of uses of Sturgeon's Law facepalm worthy.
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Old 2012-02-17, 01:20   Link #230
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That is correct. The number is used for rhetoric purposes to express a sentiment, nothing else.
And that's also why Chiibi's demand to "prove" whether or not the generic majority is "crap" or not is futile and misplaced.

Chiibi, your perception is just as subjective as everyone else. You're not any special.
Once you start down the path of accusing others for playing god for having opposing subjective taste, you hold no ground in an argument.
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Old 2012-02-17, 09:57   Link #231
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Also, I think most people would judge "generic" to mean crap. Why? Because generic stuff, by it's very nature, is boring. And the worst thing a piece of entertainment can be is boring.

If something is exactly like everything else (hence "generic"), then what's the point of reading it? How can it suprise you, how can it deliver an experience you haven't already received 100 times before. Now some people never get bored with certain things, which is why generic stuff manages to make money. But most of us do get bored.

When I see something the first time I think "Awesome", a second time "Great", Third time "Okay", fourth time "eh, I'm doing something else..."

Now a particularly good execution can make up for a lack of fresh ideas, but fantastic execution in itself is pretty rare. Genius mangaka don't appear very often, and talentless hacks are everywhere.

Whenever you have anything succesful, you'll get a few guys who are truly talented going into it, and you'll have 100 other guys who think they're talented going in as well.

It's just a natural conclusion of human behaviour that the vast majority of everything artistic produced is going to be mediocre. In fact, even if the standard was elevated, people would simply adjust their expectations upward, making it nigh impossible for any artistic field to achieve a success rate much higher then "10%".
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Old 2012-02-17, 12:16   Link #232
0utf0xZer0
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So in other words, at the outset far more than 10% of material is interesting and the amount of material you find interesting decreases with exposure?

I've been watching anime regularly since 2005 and currently running shows since 2007. My "hit" rate is still way above 10%. I run out of free time before I run out of interest, and I can't see that ever changing because the list of non-anime related things I want to do means even if I were suddenly have tons of free time, my anime consumption wouldn't rise enough to change that. In other words, a state in which something is "90% crap" is a theoretical state that I am unlikely to ever achieve because I'm not going to be consuming enough to break out of the default state. I get the impression this is true of many of my friends as well.

(TL;DR: one may tend towards considering 90% of a genre crap over time, but many people aren't going to reach that point.)
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Old 2012-02-17, 12:55   Link #233
Chiibi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post

I've been watching anime regularly since 2005 and currently running shows since 2007. My "hit" rate is still way above 10%.
Here here! I've been watching anime since 1998 and my hit rate is way way WAY above 10%!

Quote:
Also, I think most people would judge "generic" to mean crap. Why? Because generic stuff, by it's very nature, is boring. And the worst thing a piece of entertainment can be is boring.

If something is exactly like everything else (hence "generic"), then what's the point of reading it? How can it suprise you, how can it deliver an experience you haven't already received 100 times before. Now some people never get bored with certain things, which is why generic stuff manages to make money. But most of us do get bored.
Well it depends on whether or not the WHOLE thing is "generic". What if you have a generic story but compelling characters? What if you have a compelling story but generic characters? Generic artwork but great story and characters? Like Miho Obana. (author of Kodomo No Omocha) Her art is something you'll see 100 times over in shoujo manga and it's nothing special. But damn, is she amazing with characterization and emotional, realistic situations! So she's one of my favorites.

The same situation in a manga can be done over and over by hundreds of different authors. But that doesn't mean the execution is going to be the same every time. Some can do it much better than others. It's all about pacing and atmosphere and dialogue etc. How do you use them to your strongest advantage?

Quote:
You're not any special.
How dare you say that! You mean my parents and teachers LIED to me!?


Quote:
Once you start down the path of accusing others for playing god for having opposing subjective taste, you hold no ground in an argument.
I'm not accusing Sturgeon of 'playing god'. I just want to know why others are following his opinion so straightforwardly.
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Old 2012-02-17, 13:41   Link #234
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wow, this thread is still going and it still has the same people posting in it

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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I agree with you that competence or success aren't a requirement, though I do think there's usually a "role model" aspect to anime shows that are intended to convey a feminist message. I think it entirely possible for a woman to be a feminist and still stay home and raise children; I also think that's a perfectly fine role for the husband as well. For me feminism is largely about self-actualization within whatever role a woman (or man) has chosen.
I've said it before, but I think most of the posters in this thread have sorta misunderstood the goals of feminism, or at least not understood them completely. It's not just about women getting respected for who they are, having the opportunity to choose how to live their lives, or getting equal payment for equal work, although all of those are certainly important. The long-term goal of feminism is about tearing down of the patriarchal structure our entire modern society is built around, and that has far more wide-ranging implications than just individual self-actualization. Sure, sending the message that individual women can accomplish whatever they want just as well as men can is good, but if there's a side order of reinforcing the traditional gender roles, the combined message isn't going to be very feminist.

In fact, feminism viewed from an individual perspective just isn't very interesting. Patriarchal gender roles, oppression of women and inequality issues aren't really caused by individuals. Sure, individual persons can rape or oppress women, but the issue is much bigger than that, because their acts are caused by the system of economic, legal and cultural norms that make people think in a certain way and make them believe certain behaviors are acceptable. In other words, what needs to done isn't kicking your asshole of a lowballing CEO in the balls, it's challenging the views of the society that accepts women being paid less as a norm.

There was (and is, just check /a/ and their endless "slut" threads) a social norm that said that a woman's chastity was her most important possession, while a man's sexual success was his. How many reverse-harem series with a girl fucking multiple guys are there? (I genuinely don't know and I don't really care either, but I can't imagine there are very many. This is speculation, but if they exist, they're probably doujin titles.)

The outline of feminism above is the reason I'm claiming that most anime and manga stories are, in fact, anti-feminist. Even though individual female characters in these stories may be admirable on a personal level, the context of the story is pretty much always deeply patriarchal and strongly reinforces traditional gender roles. To this date the only really progressive story I can think of is still Wandering Son, because that entire story is one huge discussion of gender roles and the patriarchal society.

tl;dr: feminism is structural, not individual; anime/manga is generally about individuals, not structures (or if it is, it's pretty much never patriarchal structures); therefore anime/manga is either mostly irrelevant to feminism or outright anti-feministic.


End of blogging. You may now go back to discussing your favorite voice actresses (remember the Aya Hirano "scandal", anyone?), moe girls and dem animated tits.
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Old 2012-02-17, 15:30   Link #235
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I do agree that very few anime ever explicitly comment on patriarchal structures or gender roles.

I do, however, think that quite a few anime implicitly comment on gender roles, and contrary to what some may initially think, it's not always in a supportive fashion.

I don't really read much in the way of shoujo, but I've noticed that a fair number of seinen shows I watch have fairly feminine male leads (and just in case anyone gets the wrong impression here, I'm not saying something stupid like "pathetic harem leads are feminine"). Toradora's Ryuuji and his l33t domestic skills would be one well known example. Obviously, it's meant to be somewhat comedic and to some people, that supports patriarchy by ostracizing the odd one out... but personally, I often kind of admire these guys and I wonder if some authors intend this. I know I sometimes end up thinking I'd like to be as pretty as these guys (well, Ryuuji isn't exactly pretty LOL) or have their cooking skills, which is definitely not something I could have said prior to getting into anime.

In light of which I have to wonder if female anime fans have had similar experiences. The "give the female lead an extremely feminine "foil" to humourously highlight how unfeminine she is" trope is incredibly well entrenched - and in some (but of course certainly not all) cases, I don't get the impression that the unfeminine lead is intended to be unappealing or looked down on.
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Old 2012-02-17, 16:42   Link #236
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Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
I do agree that very few anime ever explicitly comment on patriarchal structures or gender roles.

I do, however, think that quite a few anime implicitly comment on gender roles, and contrary to what some may initially think, it's not always in a supportive fashion.

I don't really read much in the way of shoujo, but I've noticed that a fair number of seinen shows I watch have fairly feminine male leads (and just in case anyone gets the wrong impression here, I'm not saying something stupid like "pathetic harem leads are feminine"). Toradora's Ryuuji and his l33t domestic skills would be one well known example. Obviously, it's meant to be somewhat comedic and to some people, that supports patriarchy by ostracizing the odd one out... but personally, I often kind of admire these guys and I wonder if some authors intend this. I know I sometimes end up thinking I'd like to be as pretty as these guys (well, Ryuuji isn't exactly pretty LOL) or have their cooking skills, which is definitely not something I could have said prior to getting into anime.
That's the point. It's meant to be comedy. Sometimes it outright fails and is seen as sexist, but the fact that its meant for laughs still remains. On the other hand, you have things that just appear sexist without any comedic base. And how is males having good domestic skills a bad thing? It's the same with that 'males are good at cooking and females suck at it' i see a lot. Having MORE things in your skill set is always a plus. I can't fathom why guy's would be looked down for it, even if it is outside stereotypical gender roles. Similarly, girls shouldn't be looked down for NOT being able to cook, though the difference here is that their...'expected' skill of cooking is taken away, giving a negative impression.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
In light of which I have to wonder if female anime fans have had similar experiences. The "give the female lead an extremely feminine "foil" to humourously highlight how unfeminine she is" trope is incredibly well entrenched - and in some (but of course certainly not all) cases, I don't get the impression that the unfeminine lead is intended to be unappealing or looked down on.
The main heroines from the Wallflower and Kimi ni Todoke come to mind.
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Old 2012-02-17, 17:54   Link #237
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Here here! I've been watching anime since 1998 and my hit rate is way way WAY above 10%!
I've been watching anime since 1979, and read countless thousands of manga in my life time, and I would say the same thing.
But like I said, I'm easily amused, and there are plenty of people in the opposite spectrum.
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Old 2012-02-17, 19:53   Link #238
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
So in other words, at the outset far more than 10% of material is interesting and the amount of material you find interesting decreases with exposure?
You might say that, yes. When I first started into Anime, I thought Love Hina was great. Now? Not so much...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiibi View Post
Well it depends on whether or not the WHOLE thing is "generic". What if you have a generic story but compelling characters? What if you have a compelling story but generic characters? Generic artwork but great story and characters? Like Miho Obana. (author of Kodomo No Omocha) Her art is something you'll see 100 times over in shoujo manga and it's nothing special. But damn, is she amazing with characterization and emotional, realistic situations! So she's one of my favorites.
In those cases, you could make an argument that the work is not necessarily "generic". Lot's of great stories have had generic elements.

Quote:
The same situation in a manga can be done over and over by hundreds of different authors. But that doesn't mean the execution is going to be the same every time. Some can do it much better than others. It's all about pacing and atmosphere and dialogue etc. How do you use them to your strongest advantage?
Indeed, but very few mangaka have "great" execution.

But actually, I was oversimplifying a bit before. It's not actually true that "90% of anything is crap", to give a more nuanced number, it's more like "10% is Horrendous, 20% is poor, 40% is mediocre, 20% is okay and 10% is great". Most people only want to read "great" and certain "okay" bits of literature.

I think that if you think critically, you'll find that you can only put about 10% of the manga out there into the "great" category. Go and take a random sample of manga, read a bit, and then honestly ask yourself "would I reccommend this as a 'great manga' to a friend with similiar tastes to myself?" I bet you'd only manage 10%. Now there might be a whole load of others you kinda enjoyed, but didn't think were all that great ("guilty pleasures"). For me, for instance, I enjoyed reading Nyotai-Ka, but looking at that manga objectively, it wasn't particularly good. And there's plenty of manga I've read that are just like that.

For instance, for Spring 2011 Anime, I would only have reccomended Tiger and Bunny, Kaiji II and maybe The World God Only Knows to a friend. The rest may have been okay, but I wouldn't have described them as "great" or "good" without significant reservations. There were 39 anime released that season, so that falls about around the 10% line. You guys would all have your own picks, of course (for instance many of you might reccomend Stein's Gate or AnoHana).

But what about Sket Dance? Or Dog Days? Or Lotte no Omocha? And all the other mediocre releases that season? There was lots there that were really terrible, or at best mediocre, and many would widely agree on it. Go through the list and ask yourself "which of these would I unreservedly recommend to a like-minded friend?" I doubt many of you would find more then 5 or 6.

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Originally Posted by TheFluff View Post
The long-term goal of feminism is about tearing down of the patriarchal structure our entire modern society is built around, and that has far more wide-ranging implications than just individual self-actualization.
I'm not so sure. What you say may be true of certain strands of feminism, but there were plenty of women who campaigned for basic rights and equality, who weren't out to change society as a whole, for instance Sufragettes, who were more concerned with getting the vote and being heard, but would not have taken issue with men and women having differing roles.

In addition, I have a feeling that many in trying to promote equality of the sexes, end out denying femininity and immitating masculinity. Shouldn't feminism be about valuing femininity? Taking the sexual example, it's true that you don't see lots of instances of women having sex with lots of men in fiction, but is there anything wrong with this? Is there anything wrong with women desiring monogamy? Viewing Chastity as a virtue? If we try and turn women into men, by only placing value on "masculine pursuits" (eg having a career), and not "feminine" ones (eg looking after children), are we not promoting masculinity in favour of Femininity, and promoting masculine standards instead of feminine standards? Maybe, instead of holding women to men's standards, we should start holding men to "women's" standards. For instance, instead of saying "women should be free to be as 'slutty' as they like, because men can be" we should say "men should be held to the same standard of monogamy, as women are".

Likewise, in discussing fiction, a lot of us (myself included) often unfairly malign genres that women almost exclusively enjoy, while "male genres" are held in high prestige. For instance, action movies get lots of respect, but what about romantic comedies?

I would agree with you that feminism is about protesting structural societal problems, but part of that is having proper depiction of women in fiction. A book like Madame Bovary is not a feminist novel, but the fact that such books exists, books that feature well developed complex female characters (rather then passive window dressing) should be a feminist goal. Likewise, if a genre of fiction (like shojo in this thread) persists in having flat female characterisation, and stereotypical or abusive gender roles as a whole, would be a problem for feminism to address. Now I don't mean individual manga would be anti-feminist, but the genre as a whole could be, due to how it tends to express gender relations.

But I don't see anything wrong with their being a "differentness" between women and men. I think it's very obvious that women and men enjoy different things, and those things should be held in equal esteem, and to equal standards. For instance, I find the current crop of Hollywood Romantic Comedies to be deplorable, but there's nothing wrong with women wanting to watch romantic movies, and it's unfortunate that those movies are not considered as prestigious as more masculine fair like "action movies", just because the powers that be in film making happen to all be men, and so don't believe romance to be a good genre. Likewise there's nothing wrong if men want to play complex strategy games (which for one reason or another, most girls find uninteresting ). And finally, there should be nothing wrong if men enjoy traditionally "feminine" pursuits, and vice versa. But, most men will continue to tend to enjoy "masculine" pursuits, while most women will tend to enjoy "feminine" pursuits. And there's nothing wrong with this, so long as both pursuits are held in equal esteem to one another.
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Old 2012-02-17, 20:08   Link #239
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Originally Posted by TheFluff View Post
The long-term goal of feminism is about tearing down of the patriarchal structure our entire modern society is built around, and that has far more wide-ranging implications than just individual self-actualization.
I don't disagree with the notion that overturning patriarchy may be the true goal of feminism, or at least some feminists, but that's not necessarily at odds with individual self-actualization. In the process of becoming a whole person, humans often come into conflict with established social institutions structured around cleavage lines like gender, class and ethnicity. Changlng long-entrenched repressive social orders requires many things, but one of them is self-awareness on the part of the oppressed group. Patriarchy as a social institution is thousands of years old; it's not going to be torn down in my lifetime and probably not in yours either. It's also not going to be torn down by watching Usagi Drop, but watching that might make a few more Japanese men think about the priorities involved when child-rearing comes into conflict with company and job.

I'm not going to belittle the gains made by feminists over the past few decades either. The world today in terms of relationships between men and women is vastly different from the world I grew up in during the 1950's. I've benefited greatly from that fact; so has my daughter. I'm happy to celebrate that progress while waiting for the patriarchy to collapse.

Oh, on the subject of action movies, I most definitely do not consider them deserving of respect or prestige per se. I don't think the industry thinks of them that way either. Their interest in such films has much more to do with lucre than with art.
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Old 2012-02-17, 23:29   Link #240
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
Oh, on the subject of action movies, I most definitely do not consider them deserving of respect or prestige per se. I don't think the industry thinks of them that way either. Their interest in such films has much more to do with lucre than with art.
I don't know, Terminator, or any given Christopher Nolan film gets a lot more respect then most any romantic film. Obviously someone like Michael Bay... Not so much.

But it's also that studios put more effort into movies that appeal to men, and less into those that appeal to women. And the industry as a whole is very male dominated.

Just think of all well known directors, producers or writers out there, and ask yourself, how many of them are women? I can only name one off the top of my head, and that's Kathryn Bigelow.

And going back to Romantic movies, it's quite odd that the only time those movies get feted in any way, they're usually from a male perspective. Think Annie Hall, 500 Days of Summer, or any given Judd Apatow film. Good films, sure, but it's weird that so few of the most critically acclaimed romantic films are from a woman's perspective. I think it's a case of Hollywood not putting resources towards nurturing female talent making female centric films, and instead shovelling out generic chick flicks. And, most of those "chick flicks" are still written, directed and produced by men, men who are probably only in it for the money, and would otherwise prefer to be doing something else.
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