Does Gender matter to you in Fiction?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Brovo, Dec 18, 2015.

?

Well? Does it?

  1. No, and it shouldn't matter to anyone.

  2. No, but it's entirely personal taste on my part.

  3. Maybe. It depends entirely on the subject matter of the story.

  4. Yes, but it's entirely personal taste on my part.

  5. Yes, it comprises an interesting/important aspect of every human being.

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  1. Definition Note: "Gender" being defined as the total package. IE: How one defines who they are. This is of course your physical sex, but also gender identity, masculinity & femininity, et cetera. So if you're going off the definition "based on one's sexual organs", firstly, the word you're looking for is "sex", and secondly, that's only one part of the total sum of Gender. So use this definition.

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    Another thread of mine where I ask a question out of curiosity in what is normally hot bottom topic territory. Last times it was on religion and politics. Now it's on genders in fiction. Let me stress that part: In fiction! Not the real world. Although if the real world affects your views of fiction in this manner, it would be interesting to know how. :ferret:

    Rules: These should be obvious, but I'll restate them anyway.
    1. Don't turn this into a derpbate thread. This is not the place to tell people that they're stupid for thinking things differently than you, this is a thread to explore different points of view. It's a safe zone from debate. Therefore...
    2. You can ask questions about why someone thinks the way they do, but don't criticize it. This is not the thread for that, and I highly recommend against making that sort of thread. These threads exist to learn things about each other's views of the world and personal tastes, not to declare moral superiority or righteousness over each other.
    3. There is no wrong or right answer on this particular topic, as it has to do strictly with your personal feelings about fiction. So go wild about it. I'm genuinely curious and want to see several different points of view, so I can expand my total sum knowledge of the topic and thus expand my tools to write about it.
    4. Remember that the moderators have thread ban tools. If you play poorly here and everyone else is getting along, they can simply remove you from the discussion without removing the discussion. So play nice, or the mods will take away your sandbox rights. Nobody wants to play with the kid who shits in the sandbox. :ferret:
    Questions:

    --Does gender matter to you in fiction? Why or why not?

    --What is most interesting to you about this particular topic?

    --What's your favourite genre in fiction?

    --Is there any particular example in media (novels, games, films, et cetera) that stands out to you as portraying genders excellently?

    --Is there any particular example in media (novels, games, films, et cetera) that stands out to you as portraying genders extraordinarily poorly?

    --Does the topic of gender affect your own character creation process or world building process in role plays?

    --When role playing, playing video games, or using other forms of interactive storytelling, do you have any particular gender preference for the characters you play?

    --What do you think of gender & sexuality tropes? Do you like any of them, do you dislike them? Do you tend to use any of them yourself? (Please don't vent about Hollywood here. Because you get to do that with the next question. This is directed specifically at you.)

    --What do you think of mass media's attempts at portraying genders in film, games, comics, and so on? Overall good? Overall bad? Lots of variety, or none at all?

    --Do you love ferrets? Because I love ferrets, and everyone should love ferrets.

    Happy Holidays!

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  2. I don't understand what you mean by 'does gender matter to you?' Are you asking if I prefer stories with male/masculine of female/feminine leads?
     
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  3. --Does gender matter to you in fiction? Why or why not?

    To me specifically? Not too much.

    It all depends on the story trying to be told, some work better with specific genders in certain roles, but in most cases I see it doesn't matter. The medium also makes a bit of a difference, when RPs and video games I generally default to male if given the choice. Perhaps it's an immersion thing, perhaps I'm just uncomfortable portraying something I don't have great familiarity with. In other less interactive media I really couldn't care less about the gender of the characters.

    --What is most interesting to you about this particular topic?

    Other people's opinions I guess. I have to admit I don't usually give this topic too much play in my head space, best I can hope for is that someone else has something interesting to say really.

    --What's your favourite genre in fiction?

    Sci-fi, by a decently long shot. The closest I could think of is maybe 'apocalyptic', but that is often right there in sci-fi anyways.

    --Is there any particular example in media (novels, games, films, et cetera) that stands out to you as portraying genders excellently?

    Books have it best, there's a bit more diversity and a lot more to work with. Books can get away with long explorations into character that other mediums simply don't have the time to afford. Most importantly is the freedom though, books are seen as sacred and they can get away with things other mediums can't even attempt without mass condemnation.

    --Is there any particular example in media (novels, games, films, et cetera) that stands out to you as portraying genders extraordinarily poorly?

    Video games. I know this is pretty much just shooting fish in a barrel, but really, the writing in the majority of video games is just awful and any attempt at exploring the topic of gender suffers greatly for it.

    --Does the topic of gender affect your own character creation process or world building process in role plays?

    No.

    --When role playing, playing video games, or using other forms of interactive storytelling, do you have any particular gender preference for the characters you play?

    Huh, should have read this question before answering the first one... To reiterate, yes, I generally default to male.

    --What do you think of gender & sexuality tropes? Do you like any of them, do you dislike them? Do you tend to use any of them yourself? (Please don't vent about Hollywood here. Because you get to do that with the next question. This is directed specifically at you.)

    Meh? Maybe. When they're appropriate. I gotta say I just give too much thought to these sorts of tropes. At all.

    --What do you think of mass media's attempts at portraying genders in film, games, comics, and so on? Overall good? Overall bad? Lots of variety, or none at all?

    Overall poor-ish. There are some good examples, but overall mass media shies away from anything but the least controversial topics of gender. Anything more complicated than 'girl powah!' (for example) is generally left ot be explored by smaller players with less to lose.

    --Do you love ferrets? Because I love ferrets, and everyone should love ferrets.


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  4. Yes and no. For example, it hardly makes if you choose femshep or manshep in the ME series. However, in fiction, gender is ultimately always a part of a character. Well, unless you're playing grey-blob-people or something.

    You see, despite large strives towards facilitating equal opportunity, biological factors still edge men and women to be better at certain tasks and generally take more satisfaction from it. As such, more men do Y and more women do X. This simple observation suits itself to perpetuating gender roles in society and therefore men and women will have different expectations of them. What parts of these roles and expectations a character accepts or rejects is a large part of who they are.

    That doesn't mean say, a woman can't be a soldier, but they will generally deal with different reactions to their choices, even if subtle. This makes them different characters despite having the same drives and motivations.

    C'mon Brovo, you know this. I like to figure out how people work and how their surroundings affect them ;p

    Er... I'll get back to you on that? I find it difficult to pinpoint.

    I'm going to go in a wide circle around this one and say that gender is an aspect of a character. So generally, most fiction that has believable characters will do this to some degree or another and the best examples will have gender as a part woven into the whole that is the character to the point it is so intricate with the person it's difficult to identify as a thing of it's own.

    Basically character writing 101. It's hard to specifically say X portrays gender well, because to do that X has to portray a fuckton of things well. Gender is a part of the whole, not something that should hog the spotlight above all else.

    And yes I'm done with my cop-out now.

    Now this is easier, really. 'cause when it's not a patchwork of great things, it's easier to point out the flaws. I think that, with fanservice extravaganza, pointing out numerous animé and videogames who do a shit job is easily done.

    Character creation; yes. World-building... Unless we're making sentient snail-people or robots, it's really hard not to.

    I have more male characters in my total repertoire of roleplaying right now, but I think I vary between the genders enough. In video-games I have to be honest it will depend either on stat optimisation or aesthetics, more than identification. So if I'm building a warrior and a male gets a +5 Strength bonus or a better armour, versus a female who doesn't have advantages catering to that role, I'll make my warrior male. Say we flip that around, well, guess I have a female dwarven berzerker now instead.

    Also sometimes I'm a shallow cunt who prefers women for aesthetic reasons, especially when you're playing an mmo that will have you stare at your character model for hundreds of hours.

    I'd have to read them all and fuck that. I just know I'm using some of them whether I like it or not because at the end of the day everything is a trope and I don't kid myself.

    Also being a trope says nothing about the execution. There are plenty of damsels in distress, but some of them are more likeable than others for differing reasons.

    It's very problematic.

    Honestly though this is a very broad, generalising question. Some is good. some is bad. I know I said I wouldn't write more cop-outs but fucking seriously, mate. I don't nearly consume enough mainstream media to give you an intelligent answer.

    Rabbits don't love ferrets. Ferrets are trained home intruders to rabbits. Rabbits fucking hate them.
     
    #4 Kestrel, Dec 19, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2015
  5. Haven't you posted something like this before? I'm almost positive that you've asked this exact question with a slightly different spin on it. It was like "does gender matter to you in roleplay?"
     
  6. Different question entirely only slightly related, in that one question in the 10 questions asks what gender you're most comfortable playing as. :ferret:
     
  7. hrmmmmm....I see.
     
  8. Yes, among other things.

    Seems multiple people are confused, so let me clarify here: I'm not asking for a position of moral superiority, or right and wrong. I'm only, strictly asking you what you enjoy in fiction, as per related to the topic of gender. Ergo, how much weight do you put into the gender of a character, how much does it matter to you on a personal level? Does it matter given certain contexts? What films or games or whatever do you think did genders well? Which ones did it poorly?

    I'm asking you a question with no wrong answers and with no particular political charges. It's the epitome of an "I feel" question rather than an "I think" question, and if that's confusing, I understand. Most threads that pop up on Iwaku are politically charged, black and white answer questions in which an echo chamber booms loudly and everyone can be assured of their place. That's not present with this question. It asks you to do something very hard: Don't stand as part of some collective group here or there, but simply as an individual, how do you feel about the topic?

    All I want out of this exercise is to see what other people value about the topic. How other people feel, what other people think. Not as conservatives, or liberals, and not with some specific example of sexism, but just as a topic overall. I want to see other perspectives than my own in the broadest sense so I can further my understanding of the topic as a whole and better understand other's motivations and desires with this particular topic. So there is no wrong or right answer, by the virtue of the question. :ferret:
     
  9. Yes, but not very much. Gender plays a significant role in characterization and what tropes will likely be put into play for a given character, and which might be taboo. For example, outside of comedy and works of fiction purposely meant to subvert tropes you're not likely to see a male character get rescued and fall instantly in love with your savior, and outside of works of fiction trying super hard to be edgy you're not likely to see a female character get horribly tortured to death. Gender acts as a sort of guideline for the outer bounds of what is likely to be done with a character, though of course there are always the exceptions that prove the rule and cultural differences to take into account, so I care about gender in fiction mainly for the sake of getting an idea of what the creator is planning to do with them later on. Other than that it doesn't matter to me, I'll read/watch/play stuff with no concern for what gender the protagonist is or how well a gender is represented or so on.

    The one exception to this "whatever" sort of stance I can think of is video games, specifically RPGs like Fallout or Dragon Age or so on. Gender choice for the player character changes things a bit, opens up different possibilities for romancing secondary characters and dialogue options when talking to some people and so on. They usually aren't major changes, but I definitely take it into consideration whenever I make a character in that sort of game.
    The different tropes that are seen as acceptable to use with characters of a certain gender. It's an amusing expression of cultural norms and expectations as they pertain to gender. You see male characters beaten to bloody messes all the time, but it's very rare to see the same for female characters. Female characters that are parents are most often the competent and reliable one whereas male parents tend to be buffoons and may or may not be comedic relief in this capacity. It's interesting stuff, and when I notice these sorts of things I like to examine it and think about it and try to figure out why things are usually done that way.
    Fantasy, no contest.
    Not really. Gender portrayal isn't something I tend to focus on, which in turn means I don't usually remember anything special about it for any given piece of media unless it was horrible enough to stick out like a sore thumb.
    Man, take your pick of harem style anime. That shit is horrible stereotypes all day every day. Hell, romance-focused fiction in general seems to have this problem, though I don't usually partake in things that mainly focus on romance so I can't really claim to have a fair view of the genre.

    A lot of fantasy stuff is really bad about gender portrayal too, to be fair. Some of it takes the classical sexism route, but others do this awkward thing where they try so hard to avoid the shitty stereotypes of women that they end up making all their female characters feel very similar and often have no appreciable difference from the male characters outside of all the mentions of how hot they are. The Lord of the Rings is a perfect example of the latter thing: all three women who have anything approaching an important role (Arwen, Galadriel, and Eowyn) fit into the same mold of strong, independent, somewhat mysterious, and attractive. It's not the typical thing of having all the women be submissive wives, but it's still a one size fits all personality for all the important women in the story.
    Absolutely. As much as I might try to avoid being beholden to gender-based tropes (which I now see is the subject of a question below, heh), I'm always working within that framework of what things are usually done with characters of certain gender. I do like to subvert and outright reject some of them, but subversion and denial are still an acknowledgement of the framework that exists. If I feel like playing a certain kind of personality I'll always take some time to decide which gender I think would be a better fit given the world and premise at hand. Oh, and of course gender also matters for what sort of role you want the character to have in the world: if it's a realistic medieval setting then having a badass warrior lady that runs around stomping knights is not very fitting, but it can be totally fine in a settings where realism isn't important. I like to make my characters fit into the world, rather than trying to force the world to accommodate my character, so these are things I consider when making them.

    World building has an added layer on there in that I'm the one deciding what the gender norms are for the world, so of course they affect the process. It's usually not a complex thing, just deciding for each culture what the general expectations for each gender is, but it plays a part. In the past I've made major changes to societies I've created because I decided I wanted them to be more progressive or regressive in their views of gender, and I've also had it the other way around where the society I was making wouldn't logically see gender in the way I'd previously decided so I end up changing that bit. It's just one of many factors to be considered, rarely a key focus of my world building efforts.
    Well shit, I already sort of touched on this in my first answer. I should have read all the questions first before starting to write answers.

    I tend to go for male characters most of the time. This is partly because I'm a male myself and it just feels like the natural choice, so if I don't have any particular reason to favor one gender I just default to dudes. I play a decent share of females, currently split 50/50 on roleplay characters for instance, so it's not a very strong bias.
    Already touched on this as well. Some of them amuse me (like characters being so hot they turn previously heterosexual characters bi or gay), others irritate me (the competent mother and buffoon father setup). There's no real consistency with which kinds I'll like or dislike, probably because it's a matter of level of exposure and quality of execution. My use of such tropes is similarly varied: I use some pretty frequently (like stereotypically masculine men and badass fighter women) and avoid others (like men being creepy borderline sexual predators to any girl with tits and using PMS as a reason for women being in shitty moods). The ones I use a lot are ones I have enough fun with that I don't care about how possibly cliche it is, and the ones I don't use are either things I got sick of seeing other people use or things that just don't sound fun to me.
    It's a very mixed bag, but I think it's generally improving. However, frankly, I don't give a fuck about the overall status of gender portrayal in mass media. It's not that important and things can be entertaining even if they're shit at gender stuff. The primary goal of mass media is to entertain people, and that's what I actually care about. I've never once read/watched/played a thing that portrayed genders so badly that it ruined the entertainment value for me. I've also never been drawn to read/watch/play a thing because I've seen or been told that it portrays genders well. I'm sure there are instances where my enjoyment was heightened because of good gender portrayals, but that's just a sort of general quality thing that I place on the same level as the graphics in a video game or the writing style in a book. It' just not something that matters much to me.
     
  10. Eh, not greatly. I mean, let's put it this way: it isn't exactly a major factor in whether or not I'd be drawn towards something, but, once I'm already reading/watching/playing something, well-executed gender portrayals can heighten my enjoyment of it. So, it's not really a requirement for a strong piece of fiction or even really a large factor into my enjoyment of it, more like... icing on the cake. That said, notably poor gender portrayals aren't even likely to make me dislike something -- at least not if it's something I already like for other reasons. I'll be more willing to put it out of my mind and/or laugh along with the one-dimensional gender stereotypes because it really doesn't bother me that much, especially when it's played up for laughs.

    When I see a really good example of gender portrayals (and I have a specific example that I'd love to ramble about when I get to that question), it really is interesting just to look at all the small ways that they can do so many things so well, especially when it's something that you don't see very often. Like I said before, it really heightens my enjoyment about something when there are really strong gender portrayals that make me say, "Yes, well done, 10/10 would watch again". Poor or lukewarm gender portrayals are just kind of... meh. Again, usually not detracting from the experience, but... still in the background, not really grabbing my attention. I really don't think about gender in a piece of fiction unless it's done exceptionally well.

    I don't really have a strong favorite.

    Steven Universe. OwO Aaaaaaah I love this show for so many reasons, and the gender portrayals is just one of those many reasons. Firstly, the majority of characters are female*, which feels like something you don't see too often. And those female characters never feel like a bunch of female stereotypes -- they're all fully fleshed-out, wonderfully written characters (really, the characters in SU are all great in general, even if you're not looking specifically at gender). And the female characters are all really diverse, too, so even when one of them does match stereotypical gender roles, it doesn't feel like a stereotype -- it just feels like their character. For example, Pearl might be very motherly and have a rather dainty build, but it never feels like she has those traits just because she's female, as she's surrounded by other female characters who don't share those traits. Pearl has those traits because she's Pearl, not because she's female.

    And then you have the strong and no-nonsense Garnet, or Amethyst who isn't very good with emotions (both in terms of dealing with her own and picking up on the emotions of others). And then there's Jasper, who's rather broad-shouldered and muscular, and just rather masculine-looking overall -- but still a female character. And, yeah, she still stands out in her masculine appearance, because, similarly to in real life, most of the females in the show don't look so muscular or manly, but some of them do. And I think the other interesting thing about it is, none of these subversions of gender expectations are ever discussed or commented on in the show itself -- not seriously and not even as a joke. No one says anything about Jasper looking like a man or Amethyst not being the slightest bit lady-like, but, I think that makes everything just a bit more... natural. It really normalizes these deviations from gender norms by not at all acting like they're weird and unusual, and that they're just... a thing that exists in real life. Which... they are.

    Oh!! And then there's Connie, Steven's female friend of about the same age whom it would make sense to assume will become a love interest at some point. And, while that does seem to be the route the show is going, there's something that still feels very... natural about it. Connie doesn't exist to be a love interest -- she's her own character, and, throughout the show, we learn more and more about her character and her life, much of it not having anything to do with Steven. And there's hardly any of Steven gawking at her and getting lost in her looks or any mushy boy-meets-girl nonsense like that -- they just feel like they have a very genuine friendship that could potentially blossom into something more.

    Oh, and, let's talk about Steven himself, because he's also a subversion of a lot of male gender expectations, as well. He is most certainly not a manly-man, nor does he have any reason to be! He's implied to be about 8-10 years old, and there's no hurry for him to grow up and "be a man" or any of that nonsense. Hell, pretty much any aspect of the show that deals with Steven becoming more mature refers to him being more at peace with his emotions than anything else. Steven has a lot of emotional turmoil to work out, and... there's nothing wrong with any of that. It's ok for him to cry. And I think that's a wonderful message to send to young boys. On top of that, he's sweet, sensitive, and considerate -- also typically more feminine attributes -- and there's nothing at all wrong with him being that way. No character ever calls him girly or acts like this is a weird way to behave (which, again, I adore). And, again, just because he does subvert gender expectations doesn't mean it feels like that's what his whole character is built around. He feels like he has these traits just because... he's Steven.

    Oh!! And I almost forgot Greg, Steven's father. If you saw that Steven didn't live with his father, and that said father lived in a van somewhere, what would you assume? Deadbeat dad?? Well you'd be WRONG, because Greg Universe is a wonderful father and it really is great to see. He's a bit down-on-his-luck and can't really afford to live with Steven, but, when they do spend time together? Oh, it is so immensely clear that Greg most certainly cares for his son as much as any good father should, and it is so great to see something like that. Yeah, he isn't always the most responsible, but it is abundantly clear that he's trying and that he really does care about Steven, and I love that.

    *Yes, I know one could argue that the gems are technically genderless. But they look feminine, have female voices, and refer to each other as "she", so, for all intents and purposes, I'm going to count them as female.

    Not that I can think of -- at least nothing that really caught my attention in a hugely noteworthy way.

    Not really in any conscious way. I mean, I say that I don't really think about gender (particularly when creating characters, or playing those characters), but, having looked more closely at that recently... yeah, it feels like there are at least subtle ways that gender shapes the way I play a character, but, it's nothing that I consciously think about. It's just going with what feels right. It's... hard to describe. So, yes, there's an influence, but I can't tell you much about what that influence is, because it isn't something that I really think about at all. o.o

    Eh, not really. I mean, if it's something like a video game RPG where the gender of my player character has literally no impact on anything, then I might as well go with female, just because I am female, and... there's no reason for me to not pick the female character. But, if it's something like a PvP fighting game with characters of all different strengths, weaknesses, and abilities? I'm not thinking about gender at all -- I'm playing whatever character has the abilities I like the best. XD But, yeah, in general though, gender doesn't mean much in this case. I don't even really mind when a female character isn't an option, because... I just don't care that much.

    I've run out of steam from rambling about SU, so I won't get into anything too specific here, but, in general... yeah, like I said before, these are the things I don't really think about much. They operate more in the background.

    I'd definitely say that there's room for improvement, but, it really isn't a massive concern to me, especially since we do seem to be seeing some improvement over time.

    Fantastic gender portrayals are icing on the cake, not a requirement. Not every show needs to be Steven Universe. It would be awesome if more shows were, but... yeah. Not exactly something I would demand to see. XD

    I'm too tired out to give a witty response. Yeah, sure, ferrets are great. XD
     
  11. Only in context of the narrative and what the gender do for the narrative. A lot of the times when gender is pointed out in narrative, it's often in very predictable contexts and manifestations. Medieval sexual assault of underage females. Skeevy pervy villans who are then beaten down by superhero females. Princess or other damsel in distress is threatened with sexual assault. Nerdy or incompetent male goes on a training montage and wins a female's heart.
    How the writer writes a female or a male based on preconcieved notions. What are the females like when they're not directly involved in plot? The males? Why?
    Fantasy/scifi/speculative fiction general umbrella.
    Sometimes. I have to consider general context of what makes sense of the way the character has been socialized and what they've had to deal with as a male or a female.
    I play males more often than not in terms of video games. Playing a female is sometimes uncomfortable in terms of clothing and anatomy. I would like to not play a sex doll. If that's not a problem, then I play whatever appeals to me aesthetically. This often tends to be male in video games, because there frankly isn't a lot of aesthetic variety when it comes to females. Even games that are lauded for their representation have a poor variety of females to choose from half the time. In terms of roleplay, I currently have a nonbinary and a male in play right now. We'll see where I defer to as time goes on.
    This is going to sound very strange, but Laird Hunt's novels seem to deal with being female and existing as a female in interesting ways. In particular his recent novel, Neverhome, has a male who takes a very passive role that would be stereotypical of the female, while the female takes his place in war out of a touched-upon-but-hardly-stated need to experience, wander, and go out into the world on her own. Her adventures play with her femaleness but it's never specifically about her overcoming sexism as is often the narrative in which strong female protagonists exist. She's more complicated than that and it's interesting.
    I'm sick of strong female conquering patriarchy stories when it comes to female protagonists, or badass female fighting sexist people, etc. It seems every strong female in media is strong against a single enemy or aspect of their femaleness. It'd be nice if we had a female who was friendzoned, or a female who is effortlessly strong without context of "and she's fighting sexism". She's just recognized as a badass by everyone, because she's a badass- like any male who's a badass doesn't need a scene where he beats down a female who doesn't take him seriously. I also feel that we still have females who are foil and their foil-ness depends on stereotypes of females. I think people are trying but there's a long way to go.
     
  12. --Does gender matter to you in fiction? Why or why not?

    Depending on setting really, if gender roles plays a lot of importance to the setting then of course the characters will have that to deal with. On the flip side, if the characters themselves have internal or external issues not directly linked to their gender then it doesn't matter that much.

    --What is most interesting to you about this particular topic?

    How by simply slapping a label that says a story if for a certain gender completely change how the characters are portrayed and the story is told. How certain gender traits change the value of a character and what type of person they are.

    --What's your favourite genre in fiction?

    Literary fiction: Fantasy
    For visual media I prefer stories aimed for a mature audience to get my story fix and I'll shamelessly indulge in children's cartoons for pure entertainment and cuteness.

    --Is there any particular example in media (novels, games, films, et cetera) that stands out to you as portraying genders excellently?

    I'm going to agree with previous statements of saying books and novels, they have a much better leeway of displaying the characters, the emotions and tone of the setting.

    --Is there any particular example in media (novels, games, films, et cetera) that stands out to you as portraying genders extraordinarily poorly?

    Anime, hands down anime with western cartoons as an extremely close second. Why? Because even with all their tools they make mindless stories following typical archetypes a majority of the time.

    --Does the topic of gender affect your own character creation process or world building process in role plays?

    Again, depends on the setting. For say: Am I playing a character where gender essentially decides how society will treat you then yes.

    --When role playing, playing video games, or using other forms of interactive storytelling, do you have any particular gender preference for the characters you play?

    I like the female option for my Harvest Moon games, at least there I'll have better options when it comes to courting. Sometimes I'll just go with female for sake of immersion.

    --What do you think of gender & sexuality tropes? Do you like any of them, do you dislike them? Do you tend to use any of them yourself? (Please don't vent about Hollywood here. Because you get to do that with the next question. This is directed specifically at you.)

    Eh, fairly neutral. I use them if they're useful and serve purpose.

    --What do you think of mass media's attempts at portraying genders in film, games, comics, and so on? Overall good? Overall bad? Lots of variety, or none at all?

    There are excellent ones and awful ones all over the board. It seriously depends on the makers, the concept and the intended audience.

    --Do you love ferrets? Because I love ferrets, and everyone should love ferrets.

    Pft, haha. I've babysat ferrets before. They're fun, but I'm a crazy cat lady through and through.
     
  13. 1) Generaly no it doesnt. Vith very very few banal exeptions (like say, a male cant be pregnant or obvius things like that, asuming a realistic setting). Other then that, I dont subscribe to any notion of "gender roles". I'm a "complete equality" person. Unles of corse "roles" are integral to the narrative, as mentioned before. But then, if they are, I smell "stereotype" from a kilometer away, and I get the feeling its not the kind of fiction I'd like very much. Hence vhy I'm not a big fan of fairly-tale-ish settings, romance-novels, or fantasy or things liek that, vhere female characters are usualy the sterotypical types (I seen exeptions but not many).

    2) Honestly? I dont even like to think about it. For reasons that shuld be obvius. The very fact that this topic is stil discussed in this day and age, makes me annoyed enogh. But obviusly, it has its place and it needs to be discused, as much as I may dis-like it, so its a necesary evil.

    3) Hmmmm... Dystopian? Retro-SF? Reality-thriler? All 3 of those I guess.

    4) "Portraying genders excelently" - vhat-ever does that even mean? Subjective opinion for every person. Someone may see pure stereotyping as "excelent portrayal", vhile someone else may see it as sexist. And every shade in between. As for me, I'm one of those shades in betwen (leaning heavily on the "anti-stereotype" side, ofc). So I dont think I can answer the kuestion objectivly.

    5) Ditto.

    6) Wel, since I only ever play female characters (in RPs, games, vhat-ever), I think that answers the question. I dont have enogh imagination to play a male char convincingly (secondary chars are ok, but not my main). So... no it doesnt. :P

    7) Yes. Female. See above! Also, I love to go out of my way to chalenge the stereotypes in settings that have them, like I love doing in RL. For instanse, I once played A D&D based RP vhere female chars had a penalty to their physical stats. The GM sugested I shuld make a male character for vhat I had in mind (a paladin). Needles to say, it pissed me off to no end - so I made a female paladin, just out of spite, despite the imposed drawbacks. Ended up enjoying the RP though XD . Stil... I realy wish I met that GM guy in person and... discused... with him some of his mis-conceptions. Oh wel.

    8 ) Depends on the story and the plot. I generaly try to minimize them, but they can serve a purpose.

    9) Oh dont get me started... as much as I like to see a capable, strong female char, I HATE it vhen it is achived in a gratuitus and unrealistic way. For instanse all those action flicks with "badass" female types in them... who (at least to me) dont come acros as badass at all. Their "badassnes" consists of slinking around the screen in skin-tight jumpsuits (or worse, latex-BDSM-corset outfits like Catwoman or Electra), looking hot and "deadly", puling-off a few badly-coreographed martial arts moves (vhich in RL wuldnt work, being too impractical to use in a actual fight, I speak from expirience; real fighting is about simplicity, endurance, agression and spatial-awareness, you start pulling flashy moves you'l get floored in record time by any half-competent oponent), and looking "sexy" vhile doing it and showing off ass and tits, vhile the male cannon-foder around them falls over like dominos from their feather-hits, and they dont take even a scratch. Oh please, fap material galore for adolescent boys pining for a bossy "tough girl".... vhen they actualy make a movie which depicts a male-female fight realisticly and bloody/bruisy enough, and vhere the female actualy LOOKS the part, and not a skinny runway-model, I may change my mind, so far I havent seen one. Ok to be fair, Haywire comes some-what close, and it shuld ofc, the director having had the right idea to bring someone vho knows vhat shes doing like Carano as the lead (thogh in my personal opinion, there are a few beter action-star choises in the female MMA scene, former or current, though most of them arent as hyped-up ofc, and wuldnt "sell" the movie so wel). Now if only they utilized her properly... but nooo, it stil falls short at the execution and gratuitusnes-coreographed-OPd-flashy high-flying wire-work factor, and the bad guys stil hit the floor a little too eagerly/easyli :P . Carano was/is good, but shes not that good. Less coreography bullshit and more "real" fighting wuld have served the movie alot beter IMO. But then I guess it wuldnt have been as "fun" for the targeted audience.

    This all vas just action-wise ofc. Character-wise... I like several movies and series vith female leads. I'l single out the Voyager Star Trek series, with Mulgrew as captain Janeway. Now theres a female lead, that manages to be "naturally" tough, smart, competent, and belivable, w/o enforcing it vith overt sexuality or abrasive attitude. Love her! There are a couple others, like that detective chick from Hannibal, forgot her name, played by Julianne Moore.

    So aniway, I have mixed-feelings on this question. Mostly I dislike the portrayal, especialy the action-roles, but there are some I genuinly like, mostly character-roles.

    10) *sigh* Vhat is it with you and ferrets aniway? :) They'r cute, ok?!?! :c
     
  14. --Does gender matter to you in fiction? Why or why not?

    Usually not. I'm looking at the characters and their personalities mainly. I care more about their character, and who they are as individuals than I do their identity.
    That being said though, if their gender plays a big role in how they behave (ex: Male in a world where everyone wants you to be female) that's rather important, and needs to be addressed.
    But unless if it plays such a significant influence like that, that goes beyond the typical gender pressures that every human being suffers?

    I wouldn't really consider it noteworthy enough most of the time, because that's something so common we just kind of assume/already understand they're going through that.
    So if further below you notice me mainly going at Transgender, and not masculinity or femininity, this is why.


    --What is most interesting to you about this particular topic?

    Usually the whole fighting against society expectations part.

    Like, I love seeing new characters with varying identities. But to me that basically just amounts to character diversity, with identity being one of many tools in said arsenal.
    But something that's more at home and specific to gender is something entire arcs can be themed on, because having an identity outside of what you're expected to have means you now have a battle with almost all of society, which poses a ton of challenges and change for the character in question.


    --What's your favourite genre in fiction?

    Sci-Fi in all honesty. Fantasy is up there, but I have yet to see a genre that beats my love for space and advanced technology.


    --Is there any particular example in media (novels, games, films, et cetera) that stands out to you as portraying genders excellently?

    Note this is being said having not actually seen much media that tackled the topic, so I have to default to Shadowrun Returns.
    Simply because it actually had a transgender character in it, and it wasn't treated like some giant deal. They expressed themselves differently, but that was it. They were simply another interesting, entertaining and realistic character in their own right.

    --Is there any particular example in media (novels, games, films, et cetera) that stands out to you as portraying genders extraordinarily poorly?

    White Chics. I watched it just because I knew Terry Crews was in it... And he was honestly the only part of the movie I ended up liking.
    Everyone else was just so over the top preppy and stereotypical women, combined with a lot of comedy with the punch line of Gay = Gross.

    I remember being told about a part in the One Piece Manga, where they introduced a Gay character who was introduced by dancing on a pole and simply exclaiming as their first line "I'm Gaaaaaaay!".

    The Media I myself take part in usually just doesn't think about gender, or if they do show it through expression but don't treat them any differently.
    I've never seen works of Media talk about it in a overly positive or negative manner.

    --Does the topic of gender affect your own character creation process or world building process in role plays?

    Once in a while, if when in the character planning stages of an RP I think of a character concept for it that just naturally ends up having a gender different from the norm.
    I like to go by the "I just write a character and figure out the sex/gender as I'm going through it, and figure out which best expresses the character I'm making" approach.

    In other words

    [​IMG]


    --When role playing, playing video games, or using other forms of interactive storytelling, do you have any particular gender preference for the characters you play?

    I wouldn't call it a preference, because I don't go around saying "I like playing men more!".
    I unconsciously select men more often, because of familiarity to myself. But the biggest factor is basically design a character, and then assign the gender that fits the best.
    Or in some cases with video games, which voice actor is the best.


    --What do you think of gender & sexuality tropes? Do you like any of them, do you dislike them? Do you tend to use any of them yourself? (Please don't vent about Hollywood here. Because you get to do that with the next question. This is directed specifically at you.)

    I can appreciate tropes when the story isn't meant to be taken too seriously, and/or is more concerned with being a fantasy escape than it is to show compelling plots and characters.
    Because I get that sometimes, people don't want something with master writing, they just want to sit back and have fun. So in those cases I give stuff like tropes, stereotypes etc a blind eye a lot, assuming the finishing product is fun, enjoyable and is simply using tropes, and not trying to push tropes as being fact or to imply people of ________ group are weird, inferior etc.

    If the story is meant to be more serious though? Then I tend to dislike a good number of tropes, some are fine, it's unavoidable to not use some tropes in story and character writing. But being too reliant on it turns it from being engaging and interesting, to just being a bunch of already known and predictable archetypes. However, any trope can actually work insanely well if used creatively.

    I was originally going through them all... But there's just so many that I decided to go for a general statements instead of tackling each one specifically.

    I realized some of them were as simple as "Attractive Fairies" or "Asexuality", sometimes stuff that just fits with a genre like high power levels apparently counts as tropes... Stuff that either clearly exist, has accuracy in historical tales, used to simply make characters more appealing to everyone (without sacrificing their roots or personality) or is part of the genre itself. None of these tropes are those I take make issue with.

    Mainly those I do take personal issue with are those used to promote hate or bigotry at certain groups*, those used to reduce a character to a token rather than interesting in their own right, or something that might encourage mechanical choices such as Gender specific stat's, classes, gear choices etc.

    *Stuff like "Double Standard" Abuse Female on Male" doesn't really count. Because it's something in fiction done in the name of humor. Not something suggesting "Do this in real life". In fact I take the opposite stance where I don't just think this trope is totally acceptable, but I also think that everyone should be able to use it.

    While stuff like "Boyfriend Bluff" I'm ok with too, for different reasons. Because usually it's done to remove a person in question from a shitty individual. Shitty individuals tend to have shitty values. Shitty values being things such as "A woman's only value is their boyfriend". So in a sense, when this is used I often find it's shitting on that idea more than it supports it... As for why it should then be used to begin with? Well, that's real life. You don't always get to lecture the ignorant fool and have them walk off, sometimes you gotta just deal with it quick, or smile and wait for them for move on.

    --What do you think of mass media's attempts at portraying genders in film, games, comics, and so on? Overall good? Overall bad? Lots of variety, or none at all?

    Before I take media as a whole it needs to be noted that there both good and bad examples. Some do amazing with this stuff, others fail completely.

    I think overall though, Media is doing ok for the most part.
    They're seems to be a growing trend of making token characters to be inclusive though, and a growing trend of making Mary Sue females as to appeal to the feminist audience.

    But it's nothing I would say is taking over the industry. And enough people calling it out, and diverting their cash to movies with more well done characters should fix the problem soon enough.
     
  15. Yush. How so? Hard to say DX Probably a way to identify. Some stories have a character who's a female pretending to me male for military or something. When that secret is revealed, then it can be quite the scene. So it matters, but not really too much that it'll ruin a story for me.

    Different view points.

    Probably sci-fi, though my most enjoyed in the past has been fantasy, but I like the epic scale sci-fi can bring.

    The ones where it's mainly just people being people. You have your male, and female. But neither seem to be treated too differently outside of personality traits that a character may have for the opposite gender. In other words, ones where it's up to the characters, not the writer forcing it.
    So for series, my own XP Take my black nova section for example. There's quite a bit of male, and females. In fact, rank 2 is female. But does that matter much? No. That's because rank 2 could have easily been male if she was born as a guy. And he/she would have been just as pissy as the other gender due to how they were raised.
    Even so, each character has their own super unique personality and backstory, and only a handful of them has their own gender be a fairly big part of their personality (As one would expect. Something I see in stories is people try so hard to be equal that they forget that there is such thing as diversity, and people act differently one way or another, even just vaguely and hardly noticed. One can argue that's just personality, but I have a feeling it has to do with gender to, even if just slightly)

    Or another part of my story with the badass female role, Corruption (Battle name) is she a badass for the sake of being a badass? Well I guess that's up for the reader to decide XP. But she's not into fancy over sexualized battle styles (Like another character does, though she does that for fun, not necessarily to win) Corruptions just a straight up brawler. Which is why she beats the main character, because the main character is someone who likes fancy battle styles that at times, becomes so complicated that it's not even worth. So while he's trying to be clever, she just knocks his ass out without much movement.
    So what about "women being physically weaker" then? WELL she's not human, and her species "Evolution" didn't discriminate much in terms of personal power. (The quotations wasn't denying evolution XD It was that her species isn't exactly 100% natural)

    Not really. How so? Well lets take the damsel in distress for example. Allot of people complain about this, but be realistic for a moment. If a big ass dragon turtle kidnapped YOU, what can you possible do about it? I can tell you what I can do about it, I can be the damsel in distress because I ain't getting out of that situation DX Or even other examples like Juno from force unleashed. Darth Vader has you hostage. What can Juno do? Nothing XP
    Even ignoring that, there are woman in real life that are that poorly done stereotype. So really, when I see a poorly done woman, I just see a character.

    Nope, mines been made for years and the way I make characters doesn't include the gender things that often. I normally go for personality and story role first, and then just feel out the gender as time goes on. One of my black nova characters don't have an official boy or girl gender. At first, Rin was a guy. But then I started feeling girl, then guy, then girl. So now it's whatever, let the reader decide XD Sometimes I'll say her, sometimes i'll say him. It'll just be for fun now.

    Not at all. When roleplaying, I read the roleplay rules/story, and then determine which of my 100+ characters to use. If it's a roleplay that requires being super stealthy and stuff, then I'll use Kitten or James Fox. If it's about harsh bounty hunter stuff, then it'll be James, if it's more military like, like a stealth squad of sorts, then it'll be Kitten.
    If it's about church of the strong, then probably Pyro/Corruption, or Axel if I think the RP needs a more fun character. Roleplays just for fun? Ashela or Meton. Super powers? Aki/Aqua. Roleplays with super saiyan level power? Dracogain/Rosella. Need an army? Machine army? ShadowTech or the Drakane army. A super pissed off army? Probably Xunkirra's army or the Archives. An army of protectors? The Roselina. Army who just loves to fight? Xarian's.

    Notice how gender isn't really a factor for me.

    I don't care for them.

    I think it's Bullshit XD People are WAY too focused on pleasing groups of people with characters that they don't even make a character, they try to make an embodiment of what they think the people want.
    Even ignoring that though, it's gotten to the point where everythings a trope. Have a girl who's strong? there's a trope for that. A girl who's average? Trope. Girl who's weak? Trope. So what can you do so there's no trope? There is none, because SOMETHING about your character is gonna be a trope no matter how mostly original they are, because a 100% original character is impossible these days I feel. Even if you make characters who is all you, there's gonna be someone out there who you never heard of that's gonna be similar to your own one way or another.
     
    #15 Pharaoh Shadon, Dec 21, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2015
  16. Your mama
     
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