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Old 2009-06-10, 23:49   Link #81
Darklord_bg
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Originally Posted by Mushi View Post
My first impression of Kyou, when she storms into the room yelling and throwing a book, for absolutely no good reason, was "Damn, what an irrational bitch!" It took a long time for her to win any degree of favor in my eyes.
You realize that you are a minority, right? Most people instantly fell in love with Kyou watching the exact same scene. I can't even count all the positive posts dedicated to her in the blogoshpere and here as well. She's always near the top of character polls way ahead of Sunohara. I can only conclude from those responses that people see such characters as assertive and independent, rather than as violent and unreasonable. I share your view on the subject, but most people do not.

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Originally Posted by Mushi View Post
Sunohara a wuss? LOL. He may be dense, but he's assertive and aggressive most of the time. Just because he doesn't know when to give up, doesn't make him a wuss. And there's After Story... taking on the soccer team to defend his little sister's honor... hello? Using Sunohara as an example for wimpy male = fail.
I wasn't commenting on his entire character, but rather on just the fact that he always gets his ass kicked - either by the football team or the girls. I realize that he has positive qualities and develops later in the story, but that is not enough to offset the initially negative (or at best - comedic) view of him.

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Originally Posted by Mushi View Post
Beautiful babes who kick ass is part of the fantasy element in many stories. It's a contradiction to reality that makes for good amusement and entertainment. Having a fall guy who gets beat up by the beautiful babes is par for the course in romantic comedy and should never be taken too seriously.
I understand it's done for comedy, but only if it is used sparingly. If it becomes a running gag in the story it's not funny to me at all - it annoys me like hell, because again - it establishes this whole concept that girls can punish guys with impunity, like they own them.

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Originally Posted by tarito View Post
IMO any work created for men to ogle at beautiful women is sexist and decidedly not anti-male. The main character is just as stupid or wimpy as possible so the male viewership does not feel resentment towards him. What guy wants to watch a pretty playboy get all the pure, sexy, beautiful girls to adore him and cook his lunch forever? I'm sure that kind of character would be despised even more than wimpy Keitaro!
You do realize that the male audience DOES feel resentment towards such characters. There is a plethora of posts saying "What do all the girls see in him?". A pretty playboy would probably also be unpopular, unless he is a comedic character. The popular ones are the sarcastic ones who seem to not care at all. Also, those works usually are not created solely for men to ogle beautiful women. Think about it - there are beautiful women in 99% of all anime. Are you saying that all anime is sexist just because the women are beautiful and well-proportioned? You need to go beyond just looks and see how their characters are developed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GuidoHunter_Toki
Well just because a female is being represented as superior, doesn't mean she is not sexist in her portrayal. Men who are abusive to women are usually seen as sexist, so I don't see why abusive women in an anime come across any different.
I don't see it either, but yet - that's the way things are. As I mentioned many times already the majority of viewers does not share my view and enjoy seeing the men getting his ass kicked by the girl. I cannot imagine why...
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Old 2009-06-11, 01:20   Link #82
0utf0xZer0
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Question for you guys... if I pair the main character in a story with a shy, jittery catgirl who is prone to the occassional "deer in the headlights" moment in spite of the availability of much stronger girls, is that sexist? Heck, is it inherently sexist to portray a weak girl as being attractive?

(This one is actually from a story I've been working on, but I figure that it makes a relevant "what if" scenario too.)
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Old 2009-06-11, 01:56   Link #83
Mushi
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Originally Posted by Darklord_bg View Post
You realize that you are a minority, right? Most people instantly fell in love with Kyou watching the exact same scene. I can't even count all the positive posts dedicated to her in the blogoshpere and here as well. She's always near the top of character polls way ahead of Sunohara. I can only conclude from those responses that people see such characters as assertive and independent, rather than as violent and unreasonable. I share your view on the subject, but most people do not.
Oh yes, I've been participating in ISML. I'm very much aware of how well-loved Kyou is. But at the time I was watching it, that entrance of hers rubbed me the wrong way and set the tone for my attitude towards her for most of the first season. I've got nothing against assertive, independent females and I know Kyou is just another typecast filling out the typical harem lineup. I like the part she plays, she just pissed me off at first, that's all.

Quote:
I wasn't commenting on his entire character, but rather on just the fact that he always gets his ass kicked - either by the football team or the girls. I realize that he has positive qualities and develops later in the story, but that is not enough to offset the initially negative (or at best - comedic) view of him.
Ah, ok. It sounded like you were branding him as "wimp" and little else. I knew right away that he was the comic sidekick/fall guy and I expected little else from him. His development later on was actually a pleasant surprise.

Quote:
...it annoys me like hell, because again - it establishes this whole concept that girls can punish guys with impunity, like they own them.
Well, I think that's just something that has to be taken in context with the nature of the story. Usually, that only happens in romantic comedy where it's pretty much understood that it's slapstick type treatment. The girl doing it usually has some kind of redeeming quality that makes putting up with her "abuse" tolerable.

There's one girl who stands out in my mind as intolerable and that's Ruri Himeyuri, one of the twins in To Heart 2. She's hostile towards the protag from the beginning and she never lets up. There was nothing funny about her relentless accusations and condemnation of Takaaki and never a point where she just gets over it. And it wasn't just the protag, but everyone else minimizes her behavior and there's this attitude of "If we just be nice to her long enough, she'll come around." Her presence in the series was a bitter pill to swallow.

The original To Heart is wonderful, IMHO, and is, I think, another example of what Vexx mentioned - the protag who helps the various girls solve a problem in their lives. Hiroyuki may seem a little slow at times, but he's proactive in meeting girls and getting involved with them in some way that's meaningful.

Quote:
You do realize that the male audience DOES feel resentment towards such characters.
I guess I've become jaded to the genre. I know that the male lead is the center of the world and everything mysteriously and magically revolves around him. It's something that's directed at males who enjoy indulging themselves in that kind of wish fulfillment ( like me ) and usually falls under the category of guilty pleasure.

Quote:
Think about it - there are beautiful women in 99% of all anime. Are you saying that all anime is sexist just because the women are beautiful and well-proportioned?
If girls are depicted in a way that emphasizes highly idealized physical attributes, which most are, then yeah, absolutely. They are intended to elicit a response of attraction based on appearance alone. Just about every anime female high school student is sexualized by uniforms with ridiculously short skirts.

Not that I'm complaining.

Do you think Kyou would be as popular as she is if she wore a skirt that went down to her knees?

Quote:
You need to go beyond just looks and see how their characters are developed.
Well, yes, of course. It would be extremely boring if our emotions didn't get engaged by the variety of personalities behind all the short skirts.

Here's a different spin. Is sexism always a negative thing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
Heck, is it inherently sexist to portray a weak girl as being attractive?
I don't think so. That good old "I need to protect her" response is a wonderful one to give into now and then. But, I would say that her weakness should probably have some kind of balancing characteristic. An occasional act of courage, or unique ability. Negima!'s Nodoka comes to mind.

Yes, I like Nodoka.
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Old 2009-06-11, 09:04   Link #84
Tempester
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Originally Posted by Mushi View Post
If girls are depicted in a way that emphasizes highly idealized physical attributes, which most are, then yeah, absolutely. They are intended to elicit a response of attraction based on appearance alone. Just about every anime female high school student is sexualized by uniforms with ridiculously short skirts.

Not that I'm complaining.

Do you think Kyou would be as popular as she is if she wore a skirt that went down to her knees?
I'm nitpicking here but whatever. Here's some food for thought. The girl in the following picture is the most popular female character in the game she is in (Flyable Heart).



See how long her skirt is? And most of the girls in that school have short skirts.

Long skirts seem to give off a mature and motherly feel and are therefore a much-loved moe trait.

Of course I'm not saying a longer skirt would fit Kyou at all. Just bringing up the appeal of longer skirts.
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Last edited by Tempester; 2009-06-12 at 07:22.
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Old 2009-06-11, 10:25   Link #85
tarito
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Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
Question for you guys... if I pair the main character in a story with a shy, jittery catgirl who is prone to the occassional "deer in the headlights" moment in spite of the availability of much stronger girls, is that sexist? Heck, is it inherently sexist to portray a weak girl as being attractive?

(This one is actually from a story I've been working on, but I figure that it makes a relevant "what if" scenario too.)
It really depends. Understand that being too weak to stand up for oneself is a highly negative trait that would harm any person, male or female, in the long run. Of course, people like that do exist. I think it's important to give a proper characterization and show what is going on in a character's head, is there a reason why they are "jittery" and what are the "deer in headlights" moments like for them? Nothing wrong with a guy liking an insecure girl if it's not just about making him appear stronger in comparison. 'Cause portraying a character as overly shy just to tickle the audience's protective instincts or make the girl appear cute and innocent is sexist, yeah.
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Old 2009-06-11, 14:14   Link #86
Raiga
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Originally Posted by Mushi View Post
If girls are depicted in a way that emphasizes highly idealized physical attributes, which most are, then yeah, absolutely. They are intended to elicit a response of attraction based on appearance alone. Just about every anime female high school student is sexualized by uniforms with ridiculously short skirts.
I mentioned this earlier, but it's kinda a given that anime characters will be idealized. Even if it's not for fanservice/pandering/whatever, people would usually rather watch a show in which the characters (of both genders) look nice (and the animation, and the scenery, and the props, etc.).
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Old 2009-06-11, 14:45   Link #87
Mushi
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Originally Posted by Tempester View Post
The girl in the following picture is the most popular female character in the game she is in (Flyable Heart).
...
Long skirts seem to give off a mature and motherly feel and are therefore a much-loved moe trait.
Oh, I totally agree! And she is pretty and very sweet looking. I'll admit to pausing for a few seconds to take in her beauty.

One of my all time favorite girls is Akari Mizunashi from ARIA. It's because of her "wholesomeness" that I mainly feel the way I do about her. She, and her fellow undines, are about as unsexualized as you can get while still having characters with a high level of feminine charm. Their uniforms are flattering to their figures, but not in a way that comes across as being sexist, IMO.

I'm not trying to suggest that short skirts are smutty in any way, but lets be honest about it - short skirts are intended to improve sex appeal. The thing in a lot of anime is to present girls who can look "desirable" while still keeping them in the realm of having some innocence and modesty about them. It's an irresistible combination.

@Raiga - "Generic Cuteness" LOL I like that term. That website is very informative.
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Old 2009-06-11, 19:23   Link #88
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The OP is quite correct in that anime is too wide a medium for any generalization about sexism to be all that relevant. As with just about anywhere else, there will be certain shows that will be very sexist, and certain ones that aren't, or that promote a feminist message and so forth. I do want to clear up a bit of misconception that's crept in here. Sexism isn't really a question of whether there are weak characters of a particular gender in a show. For example, a show about a wishy-washy male character (Shinji, etc.) isn't necessarily sexist against men. Instead, sexism is the idea that people are better or worse based purely on gender. What it boils down to is that any media that promotes or condones behavior that reinforces this idea are sexist - albeit to differing degrees dependent on the material in question.

As a result, purportedly "strong" portrayals of female characters can often still be sexist; especially if it supports other stereotypes, like the domineering wife. Portions of anime, like harem shows exist largely as male wish-fulfillment fantasy, and so they tend to depict female characters as being somewhat dependent on the male character, so they are somewhat inherently sexist. Don't get me wrong though, there are a few harem shows out there which manage to not be sexist, but they tend to be rather rare. And for more egregious examples of sexism, we've got shows like Queen's Blade. On the flip side, there are some anime with strong messages about gender role - the foremost probably being Rose of Versailles. In general though, anime shows are probably more likely to be somewhat sexist than not, if only because the vast majority of those making it and watching it are men, and the male-dominated Japanese society in general.


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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Okay, now you've got ME interested in Twelve Kingdoms... that concept totally undercuts any rationale for "keeping da wimmen in da kitchen". Interesting.
Stop right there. Go find a copy of Twelve Kingdoms, and watch it. Not only does it have a very different take on gender, it also has some of the most intricate world-building I've ever seen, and a lot of great character interaction and even philosophy. It's a show that feels very different from just about all other anime, and it's especially unusual in that many of its themes run counter to the themes of most shows. One of the nifty implications of the show's cosmology is that because sex and procreation are unrelated concepts, sex for only one (or two if you prefer ) purpose. These kinds of implications aren't touched on in the show, but they don't really have to be; and I find that a hallmark of successful storytelling. Not to oversell Twelve Kingdoms or anything, but it's one of my favorites, and I'm rather surprised that you haven't watched it yet.

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Originally Posted by GuidoHunter_Toki View Post
A big element of the story is in fact of one of the characters named Yoko, learning how to assert herself and basically leave behind her sexist upbringings. In the start Yoko fits the typical "nice girl" card; Polite, obedient, and well mannered. A good portion of the story early on deals heavily with Yoko's change from a meek child to a fierce warrior. She also grows in her maturity, being very empathetic towards those around her and articulately thinking about her actions.
A bit of a nitpick: while she does fight from time to time, Yoko never really becomes a warrior. Instead, her role, both internally and externally, is quite different.

While Twelve Kingdoms isn't really a feminist show by any stretch of the imagination, there are some interesting interplays. One (nonspoiler) example that comes to mind is a woman complaining that "female Kings (or Empresses) aren't any good". What separates this from being a sexist statement is that it isn't based on preconceptions of women rulers; instead, it's because her country had two female rulers in a row and they were both disasters. The woman would have said the same thing of male rulers had her previous ones been men; and any attempt to dissuade her from her false conclusion would have to be accomplished through merit.

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Originally Posted by GuidoHunter_Toki View Post
Now I've never watched the anime, so these insights come from my reading of the manga.
Manga? I thought that the only other version of Twelve Kingdoms were Fuyumi Ono's novels. In any case, you should watch the anime as well - putting a voice to all the characters makes for a rather different experience.
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Old 2009-06-11, 22:55   Link #89
GuidoHunter_Toki
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Manga? I thought that the only other version of Twelve Kingdoms were Fuyumi Ono's novels. In any case, you should watch the anime as well - putting a voice to all the characters makes for a rather different experience.
I was actually refering to the novels, it was just a mistype on my part. I actually don't no why I never got around to watching the anime. There just seems to be certain manga/novel anime adaptions that I just don't ever end up watching, like Chobits and Tsubasa. With all the good vibes I'm getting from this thread about it I'll make sure to check it out.
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Old 2009-06-12, 02:18   Link #90
0utf0xZer0
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Originally Posted by tarito View Post
It really depends. Understand that being too weak to stand up for oneself is a highly negative trait that would harm any person, male or female, in the long run. Of course, people like that do exist. I think it's important to give a proper characterization and show what is going on in a character's head, is there a reason why they are "jittery" and what are the "deer in headlights" moments like for them? Nothing wrong with a guy liking an insecure girl if it's not just about making him appear stronger in comparison. 'Cause portraying a character as overly shy just to tickle the audience's protective instincts or make the girl appear cute and innocent is sexist, yeah.
Almost all my more "serious" (read: not comedy) writing uses very fleshed out characters, and the one in question is no exception. Without going into too much detail, I wouldn't describe her as "weak" because she actually fits the "survivor" archetype pretty well. The "jitters" and "deer in the headlights" stuff are because the same experiences that gave her that skill set also left her somewhat traumatized. End result is that she can basically snap between being very useful in a pinch and completely useless.

So in my opinion, her character is justified both by her backstory and because of the dramatic opportunities it offers. On the flip side, I openly admit that I designed her with some level of "moe factor" in mine - I think many otaku would relate to the lead's feelings for her - and there's the rather thorny issue of the fact she's paired with a male character who, while prone to being scared, doesn't tend to react in the same way.



Re: Clannad skirt lengths
For some reason I don't find them ridiculous in anime despite the fact they'd be ridiculous in real life. I've seen a few girls at my university wear skirts that short. In some cases I've also seen their panties. And they can't really blame me for trying... because I wasn't. I just happen to prefer taking the stairs.
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Old 2009-06-12, 03:54   Link #91
Mushi
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Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
Re: Clannad skirt lengths
For some reason I don't find them ridiculous in anime despite the fact they'd be ridiculous in real life.
Well, in anime, they're pretty much a convention. When I said ridiculously short I was referring to comparisons in real life.

I don't want to sound like I'm hung up on skirts, but in a discussion questioning the sexist nature of anime, I think that's one thing that makes it a no-brainer. Yes, a lot of anime is inherently sexist in the consistency of that one element portraying girls who show their upper thighs as being more valuable than those who don't. Something that is often exaggerated by closeups (including slow motion) of skirt and thigh interaction.

But, that's something that I expect and accept and would most likely be disappointed with if they suddenly stopped doing it.

Quote:
I've seen a few girls at my university wear skirts that short.
But they are the exceptions, right? Some girls can dress like that and come across as being stylish, while others like they're advertising something. Anime school uniforms make it a universal norm.
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Old 2009-06-12, 23:06   Link #92
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Originally Posted by GuidoHunter_Toki View Post
Well just because a female is being represented as superior, doesn't mean she is not sexist in her portrayal. Men who are abusive to women are usually seen as sexist, so I don't see why abusive women in an anime come across any different. A lot of them have overly abusive actions toward winning the love of the man they're after and are completely oblivious to the male leads usual uninterest in any of the girls in the early goings of the show.
Well abusive in sense of more of slapstick comedy, and well through that action it does show that woman aren't completely dominated by man in harem.
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Old 2009-06-15, 00:45   Link #93
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But they are the exceptions, right? Some girls can dress like that and come across as being stylish, while others like they're advertising something. Anime school uniforms make it a universal norm.
There is no exception to skirts that short
Some clothes have no other purpose than sex appeal and I really don't think Advertising something and Stylish are comparable since they normally compliment each other than differ.

Anyways, I think the problem occurs not that Anime is inherently sexist but people's reaction to sex appeal in it is. It comes down to the simple,

"We want the girl to be sexy...but not like she is trying to be sexy but just is...We want her to be something else...You know with personality and such...But Sexy at the same time...Because if we make her want to be sexy than its like we are deeming the entire female race to this popular culture ignorance of having to try and be sexy for attract men...But we don't want her to be ugly now either, I mean she needs to care for her appearance too!...Etc...Etc...Etc. "

It continues on for a bit more. Being blunt, its dealing with the person who is never satisfied Sexism is part of life, its just is. Its the way culture tries to mend someone into acknowledging it but at the same time trying to guilt them from embracing it. And Anime like many other forms of entertainment are stuck in this paradox of contradictions.
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Old 2009-06-15, 03:07   Link #94
Mushi
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Some clothes have no other purpose than sex appeal and I really don't think Advertising something and Stylish are comparable since they normally compliment each other than differ.
Very true. A lot depends on the attitude of the one wearing said clothing.

Quote:
"We want the girl to be sexy...but not like she is trying to be sexy but just is...
I do prefer innocent sexiness over in-your-face sexiness.

Quote:
Sexism is part of life, its just is. Its the way culture tries to mend someone into acknowledging it but at the same time trying to guilt them from embracing it.
Yep. And girls are encouraged to be sexy (by media and culture) but they're not supposed to be seen as sexy just for the sake of being sexy because then they would just be sex objects and us guys will get labeled as being sexist for thinking the sexy girls are sexy.
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Old 2009-06-15, 03:56   Link #95
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hmmm such deep discussion.

anyway is it really true that the number of single men and single female are increasing dramatically???
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Old 2009-06-15, 04:32   Link #96
Darklord_bg
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Sexism is part of life, its just is. Its the way culture tries to mend someone into acknowledging it but at the same time trying to guilt them from embracing it. And Anime like many other forms of entertainment are stuck in this paradox of contradictions.
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Yep. And girls are encouraged to be sexy (by media and culture) but they're not supposed to be seen as sexy just for the sake of being sexy because then they would just be sex objects and us guys will get labeled as being sexist for thinking the sexy girls are sexy.
I think you guys are misunderstanding, or at least overloading the term sexism. If it's a part of life, then it does not deserve the usually negative connotation that the term sexism brings to mind. It's the same with the word "discrimination". Whenever the term comes up, one assumes it's related to unfair treatment of one group when compared to another. Discrimination can actually be a positive thing, since it distinguishes one individual from another on the basis of their qualities. For instance, when people show up for an audition, picking up only the best actors is a type of discrimination and it's a positive thing. It would be negative if the basis for which the actors were selected was something totally unrelated to their acting skills like skin color or gender.

To get back to my point, I think what you guys call sexism should only be considered negative if it favors one gender over another when the situation is not gender-specific (i.e. it would be unfair to only hire men at a sales company, but it would be fair if a construction company hires only men simply because men are stronger and the company needs strong workers). I hope you get my point.

In the end, I do not consider this whole idea of girls dressing sexy to be a sexist issue, since there is no discrimination involved in it - i.e. those girls are not treated unfairly
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Old 2009-06-15, 05:00   Link #97
Mushi
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sex·ism
n.
1. Discrimination based on gender, especially discrimination against women.
2. Attitudes, conditions, or behaviors that promote stereotyping of social roles based on gender.

For this discussion you could modify #2 to be something like "Attitudes, conditions, or behaviors that promote stereotyping of roles based on character design and persona."
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Old 2009-06-15, 10:46   Link #98
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Originally Posted by technomo12 View Post
anyway is it really true that the number of single men and single female are increasing dramatically???
Well nowadays women tend to want a man who will bear his pride-honor-dignity-personalit-hopes-and-dreams for her to carve, nay, smash into the sculpture of an unassertive weakling with no hope and dreams that are not related to hers, who then has to force himself to be strong again only when she commands and wants it.

And we men, through no fault of our own, still long for the kind and understanding girl next door who will love us for who we are and not force us to change.

What's so hateful about the latter, feminists, do pray tell.
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Old 2009-06-15, 11:00   Link #99
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Originally Posted by Darklord_bg View Post
I understand it's done for comedy, but only if it is used sparingly. If it becomes a running gag in the story it's not funny to me at all - it annoys me like hell, because again - it establishes this whole concept that girls can punish guys with impunity, like they own them.
To be fair, in Sunohara's case it was only ever done in self-defense (Tomoyo) or when he was being an outright ass. (Kyou).
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Old 2009-06-15, 13:31   Link #100
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Well nowadays women tend to want a man who will bear his pride-honor-dignity-personalit-hopes-and-dreams for her to carve, nay, smash into the sculpture of an unassertive weakling with no hope and dreams that are not related to hers, who then has to force himself to be strong again only when she commands and wants it.

And we men, through no fault of our own, still long for the kind and understanding girl next door who will love us for who we are and not force us to change.

What's so hateful about the latter, feminists, do pray tell.
Er... I shouldn't have to point out what's wrong with this post. Suffice it to say you've generalized just about everyone in a thread discussing, among other things, what's -wrong- with generalizing. The line between being a feminist and being some sort of crazy female-supremacist really -isn't- all that thin if you stop trying to lump everyone together. It's just that the term has gotten associated with the latter, as opposed to people who just want a greater sense of equality between the sexes.

Unless you're being ironic, I've spent so much time on a forum that's like, half trolling I honestly don't think I can tell anymore without a Mark Twain-style tipoff.

As a writer I can definitely relate to the idea of unconscious gender stereotyping, though. For instance, I've been putting a lot of effort into a couple of stories that deal primarily with relationships and love and all that, so in both cases I've been trying to avoid what happens in a lot of such stories when they have an action-y component--namely that one partner will be more combat capable than the other, or save the other from certain death more frequently, etc. Even Eureka Seven, a show that I feel has a really strong love story at its center, and is generally not sexist in its portrayal of women/relationships, does give its female lead a little damsel-in-distress syndrome (though to be fair, it's as much about the coming of age of its main character as anything, so thematically it sort of works). Anyway, even in the process of trying to keep that balance, I found that I was giving my female characters more crap in their backstories to deal with (higher on the angst-o-meter), and that they might depend on their male partners more directly, while the male characters might have more of an emotional dependence on them. One of the stories involves pilot/gunner-type teams, and I found that the female characters were a lot more likely to be in the support role rather than the piloting role.

Anyway, I started wondering if it counted as being sexist to do that sort of thing. For instance, if I have female characters who suffer more, is it because I feel like their suffering is in some way more tragic? Or because I somewhere subscribe to the idea that women are more likely to internalize while men are more likely to lash out, i.e. that a male character in the same situation would just become a really angry person, where a female character might be more filled with doubt/introspective (I generally prefer my characters to be introspective, so)? In the above case, I found that, to some extent too, I was having female characters go through more so that they could come out stronger. But is it still falling into some sort of sexism/stereotyping, then?

Well, enough talking about myself, then (sorry, all I could think of to contribute--the examples being brought up are not things with which I am familiar).

@ 4Tran: The fact that you know Rose of Versailles absolutely makes my day (maybe it shouldn't on such a large board, but I've almost never found anyone else randomly online who's familiar with that series). Also that you agree that Gundam 00 has horrible philosophy involved in it. Your posts are also very well thought out, so, yeah, props and all that. I may just have to pull out that sadly unwatched first DVD of The Twelve Kingdoms I've had lying around forever... though I wonder if the novels tell the story better, I sort of felt like they did with Crest of the Stars.
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