People have always been complex figures. Our desires to remember what was good about people isn't new either. If you want to see what didn't work and the mistakes that helped build the man, by all means study history, but maybe we could wait till he's been buried before we start looking at his "complexity"?
The 8th Dwarf wrote:
So at what point do the slaves brought over from India stop becoming immigrants? Seems to me that if you're already in the country when the apartheid was introduced that makes me think that they were already living there . . .
Was there a large influx of immigrants from India between 1949 and 1994?
The 8th Dwarf wrote:
Let me clarify what Comrade D was trying to say Guy. It was don't ignore his past, don't gloss over the bloody struggle, he didn't just magically go into prison and magically come out and make South Africa better. While he has in prison contributing the leadership of the downfall of Apartheid people like Steve Biko were being brutally murdered by the South African security forces. There was a bloody struggle going on. He was a part of the struggle and the struggle was not unjustified. To sweep that part of his life under the Capet is to sanitise history. What is amazing and what is truly great about Mandela was he chose not to go down the path of revenge. He embraced reconciliation, when he could have made white SA pay their butchers bill.
Let me clarify my point again: I still view him as a man of peace and what he did for South Africa is as great an accomplishment as what Gandhi did for India or Martian Luther King did for race relations in the States.
What "Comrade D" said was, and I quote: "if you really respect the man, maybe you should also respect the truth about the man"
Suggesting that I can't think of him as a man of peace because of the things that got him sent to prison. He was head of Umkhonto we Sizwe for 17 months. The worst of the violence committed by that organization happened while he was in prison with little to no contact with the outside world. I never claimed that the man was a saint, or that he hadn't made mistakes in his past, but apparently my two lines of admiration for the man stuck in someone's craw. My opinion that his accomplishments, and what the world should remember him for, are the things he accomplished after he was released from prison was somehow distasteful. You want to bring up his less idealistic past save it for history class. You can also talk about the good points about Stalin and Pol Pot there as well. This was a thread for remembrance and I think some folks forgot that.
So what you're saying is everything the man did before and after his involvement with Umkhonto we Sizwe is tainted, and a man who is once forced to fight can never be called a pacifist. I disagree. He was a man of peace that sought forgiveness rather then revenge. Not only did he help reconcile white and black but he also helped prevent a civil war between blacks. If you don't want to consider those accomplishments on the same level as King or Gandhi you're welcome to your opinion but please don't accuse me of not respecting the man because I'm willing to forgive past sins.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
His comrades fought, arms in hand, in Rhodesia and Angola, never mind the propaganda by the deed campaign they continued in South Africa proper until the 1980s. Mandela never renounced them or the armed struggle.
From that first article you linked:
"For the first 18 years of his imprisonment, Mandela was held on Robben Island off Cape Town, cut off from all that he had known. His first cell was a dank 2.4m by 2.1 m with only a straw mat to sleep on.
He was prevented from attending the funerals of his mother and first son, permitted only rare and brief visits by his daughters and wife Winnie, herself frequently jailed, beaten and banished for political activism. For the first decade he was allowed only one letter every six months. Newspapers were banned and prisoners were forbidden from talking to each other while eating or undertaking prison labour."
Some quick math for you 64+18=82
So you want to hold Mandela responsible for a group that he likely couldn't have even contacted never mind controlled? He's living in a prison under brutal conditions, minimal contact with the outside world, and you expect him to renounce a group that he likely had no knowledge of? A group that was probably fighting for his freedom? He was a great man but I never called him a saint, and while I still think of him as a peaceful man, I can't blame him for faltering. The apartheid was a pretty brutal system and when Mandela first tried peaceful resistance they were the ones that lashed out first . . . and repeatedly.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
I'm not whitewashing anything. He was a peaceful protester for how many years? Vs how many did he belong to a sabotage resistance group? How violent was he when he came out of prison? What vengeance did he take? You think he needs to be remembered for something that he was for maybe two years of his life vs the seventy or eighty or so years he fought inequality? That sounds like a smear job to me.
Whitewashing is when you take a truly deplorable portion of history, like say the apartheid, and then justify a lot of the things they did because they were faced with violent terrorists like Nelson Mandela. That's whitewashing. While I suppose you could be accused of whitewashing an individual, it's usually something that's done to governments or organizations rather then individuals.
He spent the better part of 30 years in prison BTW, 1964 to 1990, and while you might like to assume I'm glazing over the reason he was in prison I can assure you that I'm remembering him for what he became when he was in prison and what he managed to do once he was out.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
He was convicted of sabotage not murder you might remember, and while I wouldn't consider bombing inadament objects as being violent, I'd call that more defiant then anything, but I believe it was the later part of his life where he worked towards reconciliation that he is remembered.
I also believe he took part in bombings out of desperation only when peaceful methods failed. So if he was violent it was only for a very brief portion of his life, and it's not something he was known or should be remembered for.
Right, and once you explained the "way it is" I thought I was allowed to say which system I preferred and why. Guess I was wrong.
Huh? I had no idea that I wasn't allowed to have an opinion on which scale was more useful to me. I guess when you explained how the numbers were derived and the scale set up that I was still allowed to discuss the usefulness of said scale. I apologize.
I don't know, I live in Canada and we generally don't need to know the temperature salt water freezes even up here. I get that once you're used to a certain scale it's pretty easy but 0 is a much easier to remember then 32 and I figure the temperature water freezes or boils is more pertinent to my daily life. Although I will admit that body temperature is still a pretty important number, I might use Fahrenheit if I'm checking that.
I also like the simplicity of knowing positive temperatures are warm, negative temperatures are cold. The freezing point of water really seems like a better place to put zero to me.
@Guy Humual - I'm not sure why you are so focused on Western literature. The damsel in distress is likely as old as human interaction, and to say it appears first in Greek myth is just plain silly. Nowhere did I get the impression that Anita was limiting herself to Western literature, nor would I be surprised if she did.
I think this conversation might be confusing "civilization" with "literature", as I've said repeatedly the Greeks were likely influenced by other civilizations, but as far as western literature goes the Iliad and the Odyssey are what's counted at the first epics not the Epic of Gilgamesh, not the Ramayana, not the Mahabharata, and certainly not the dozens of stories and epics that probably inspired these works.
Regardless, seeing as the video in question dealt largely with Japanese creatives (their slavish adoption or lionizing or wholesale adaptation of "Western" tropes notwithstanding) who would have drawn on their own cultural concepts as well as Western concepts.
Except that Anita series is based on tropes, a term in this case meaning a commonly used literary devices "being present in the audience members' minds and expectations", and the fact that she's not speaking in Japanese, Hindi, or Aramaic suggests that she's using tropes from western literature. She's not dealing with how Japanese kids view these tropes, she's dealing with a strictly western audience.
And yes, as others have pointed out, the "West" did not begin with Greece, and modern Western literature sure as hell doesn't limit itself to Greek myth as a foundation. Nor does modern global literature, of which international game production companies form a part.
I didn't say the west began with the Greek, western literature did, but that's only because the Romans were so heavily influenced by it. Western literature was shaped by the Romans and our languages (namely our grammar) was shaped by Latin. Scholars for generations learned Latin and studied Greek.
[side note]You also neglect to mention all the other Western cultures that aren't British or American. The "West" is not "English". And many novels have been based on Egyptian mythology - the Osiris myth returned as a very popular tract known as the Bible. In modern times the Golden Dawn (Crowley et al) looked to Egypt. I'm sure if you look hard enough you can find traces of Egyptian tropes and concepts throughout Western fiction.[/sidenote]
Again, no argument that Western literature stole heavily from other cultures, Christianity in particular clearly borrowed from earlier myths, but today people might know Dionysus or Romulus (co-founder of Rome) but I guarantee most don't know Glycon or Zoroaster. When we're talking about literature we're talking about stories built on stories and our foundation (for western literature) is based on Greek/Roman works. No doubt there was a rediscovery of Egyptian myth in the 19th century, and obscure authors like Aleister Crowley were no doubt caught up in this revival, but this isn't something that influenced popular literature in a major way . . . in fact the most popular reference I can think of is ozymandias by Shelly and that's more about the ruin of a once great empire.
And that's fine, if you don't like her presentation style that's fine, but I did feel the need to clarify your complaint about her source of the damsel myth. We're talking Tropes here and when most people here in the west hear the term damsel they think knights in shining armor.
Don Juan de Doodlebug wrote:
As a founding member of OHWFA!, somebody please let me know when the wicked exciting debate about gender and video games is over.
It's never going to be over, we still argue about movies and they've been around for over a century, but the argument might subside for a bit.
As I said Greek mythology was likely influenced by other cultures but these stories needed to be rediscovered and weren't influential, they were not in the common mythos of western society, people know Heracles because of Hercules but most people in the west wouldn't use a Gilgamesh or Enkidu reference. They might not even know Ishtar (except that it was the name of a bad movie) but people probably know Venus or Athena though.
You say vaguely, I say unintentionally, meaning that they're simply unaware that they're doing it. If you don't think that's a difference so be it.
I think the point is that she's showing these continuing themes and their evolution into modern games. I think she's trying to show how they've been passed down not that there's a cabal of misogynist writers . . . just lazy ones and that save the damsel is easy writing.
Guy Humual wrote:
Keep in mind that kids aren't always that high minded. I don't see myself as my character anymore but as a kid I remember thinking "I want to be this guy" and so I likely identified more with the character on screen then I do now.
Sandbox games like Skyrim and even Saint's Row are great for letting you personalize your avatar and they let you play whoever you like, however keep in mind that we also have GTA5 where you have to play one of three dudes, and much of the criticism about the game revolves around the dudes being generally unlikeable.
Western literature starts with Greek mythology, scholars had to relearn hieroglyphics, I'm not saying that the Greeks weren't influenced, but the Romans were influenced by the Greeks and the Romans brought that education and influence westward. Perhaps you know of a great British or American novel based on Egyptian myth but I sure don't.
There is the possibility that we're not the problem though
I watched the first video, where she said the damsel in distress came originally from the Greeks, invalidating thousands of years of prior culture throughout the world.
Not saying you're wrong but seeing as Greek literature is widely regarded as the foundation to modern literature, exactly what earlier stories would you point to that might have given us this myth? Please keep in mind that the western world has no knowledge of Indian or Chinese myth and even if you have examples that predate the Perseus myth (hard to put a date on these things anyways) they may have influenced the Perseus myth but have no influence on western literature.
I can't remember if it was mentioned in the movie or not but Katniss actually gets her name from a type of lily, and her sister Primrose from a type of flower. Her father was an experienced woodsman and he's the one that named the two girls as well as the one that taught Katniss the skills she used to win the hunger games. He died in a mining accident before the books began.
If you were to boycott one or the other I'd highly recommend boycotting the movies, the first wasn't great, and a ton of the story was gutted or outright changed.
I mean, her thesis seems to be that video game designers are aloof and vaguely misogynistic (which a case can be made for)
I never got idea myself, I'd say that game designers might be unwittingly misogynistic, mainly because they're not thinking that much about the story to their games, but I don't think Anita is pointing out some conspiracy. She's just pointing out trends and simply explaining why overusing these trends is bad.
I'm a critical thinker and a critical consumer, and when I see dumb sexism (or racism, or what have you) in the media I consume it sets off an alarm in my head. Not a really loud one, one that makes me write letters, because ultimately I'm not directly affected. But it tends to inform my opinion of a work.
Again I can't speak for the woman, but I don't think she's telling you to get outraged, just be aware. If you're forming an opinion based on ideas that maybe you weren't formally aware of because of her videos then I'd think she'd count that as a win. I don't think she's ever called for bans or anything, but who knows, if you have kids, and maybe if you have a daughter, you might think about the types of games she plays.
That said, the vast majority of her examples come from games that are, by the admission of anyone who has played them, utter garbage already. I EXPECT lazy, crappily written games to rely on stale old tropes and stereotypes. I'm far more appalled when new, otherwise quality games fall into those traps.
Most of the video games Anita uses as examples are otherwise good games, and it's clear to me she's not saying don't play them, but she is saying to game designers "this is the message that you're sending to girls, a potential 50% of your market, so try harder."
Just because Mario and double dragon don't move beyond the damsel plot just shows lazy writing but not necessarily poor game design. I'd still play a Mario game but I do wish they had some more female characters.
Well in fairness to folks who picked Sutherland for the role Snow is a monster bent on control, and that is something Donald can portray very well, but on the other hand he is also the sort that poisons rivals and enemies, pimps out Hunger Games champions, and is very much content on making life deliberately miserable for many just so the few can feel privileged . . . you know . . . on top of running a tournament that has kids fighting to the death. Of the two actors only one was Caligula.
Interesting Alice, I never knew this, so thank you both for bringing this to my attention. As I've said I've not read or watched any Yaoi or even Yuri and my only exposure to it was through image boards or peripherally through slice of life style anime. While I do find your claims surprising I'm more then willing to accept your knowledge on the matter.
This is why I love these discussions, you get to learn something new :)
Don Juan de Doodlebug wrote:
I read Catching Fire and Mockingjay after I watched The Hunger Games and my enjoyment was only improved by picturing Coriolanus Snow as Donald Sutherland.
Funny that you say that, I love Donald Sutherland, but even after seeing the movie I didn't think he was a good pick for Snow. Not that Sutherland did a bad job, he was wonderfully menacing and sinister, but I imagined more of a Malcolm McDowell villain for that role.
Incidentally I didn't care for the last book, Mockingjay, and I imagine this could be the last good movie of the series.
I comment on YouTube about video game videos all the time though, I've had a few lengthy discussions but never death or rape threats.
What you are talking about is trolling, saying something horrible about something in order to elicit a negative comment, criticizing something isn't the same as trolling.
Well unlike you I don't know Anita in real life so all I can tell you is nothing has been publicized. I'm glad that you can tell me that she hasn't received any threatening mail or phone calls, personally I was worried that this might not have been the case and nothing was reported for fear of things getting worse, or perhaps because things were in police hands. But thankfully through your personal friendship of Anita you can tell me with 100% certainty that threats are only being made over the internet and as we all know threats over the internet are never serious.
Why? I got nothing against either the Biebs or that band. I can't call myself a fan of their music but I don't hate them. 10 or 20 years from now there will be some other young music group to hate and people will talk about how music from this era was way better. Honestly there are far more pressing things to worry about.
Perhaps that's a new thing? Or maybe someone contributed a penny so they could spout their hatred? Again I'm not 100% on this either. What I do know is it was the . . . let's call it backlash that lead Anita to more then reach her goal. It was the "backlash" that put her in the spot light and it's that backlash that's keeping her there.
What should have happened is Anita should have posted her kickstarter, people said to themselves "hmm, that seems interesting," and donated, and other folks said "meh, not my thing," and not donated.
Personally I like Anita's videos, I don't agree with everything she's said, and I'd love to have a discussion about it, but the strange thing is whenever someone uses the word "feminist" people lose their shirts (Without the language filter I wouldn't say shirts). It's like communist or socialist, nobody knows what they really are, but they do know they're supposed to hate it.
Amaranthine Witch wrote:
Yaoi is written (mainly) by girls for girls. Bara (much more porny) is the one written by men for men and the one with massive amounts of beefcake.
Are you sure? Of course I haven't really done much research into the subject (not my cup of tea) but the few examples I've seen on the internet seem to be by male artists . . .
Of course I'm basing most of my understanding on animes like Genshiken (great show BTW) and anime, as we know, isn't always true to life.
Why can't we compromise? Give everyone a open sky with a safety net?
Amaranthine Witch wrote:
I don't think I would call those male cheesecake... more like lambcake. Male cheesecake would be some uke poses on the cover of yaoi mangas.
Yes . . . those would do it. And as I understand it that genre is becoming popular with women these days. Perhaps we might have an example of male cheesecake written by girls for girls in the near future. I'm guessing that men are still the target audience.
I've never gotten death or rape threats and I comment on videos all the time.
To my knowledge Anita didn't get these threats over YouTube, although I'm sure those are out there, she got these threats over on kickstarter.
I like that lady very much :)
The thing is Anita shouldn't have to be gutsy. She's in North America, she should be safe, especially talking about some benign subjects as video games, but the disturbing thing is Anita got death and rape threats. I mean that sort of thing I might expect in a more regressive society but here we're supposed to accepting and open.
Anyways I really like that actress speaking out about the unacceptable state of the treatment of women in India. The fact that she's very beautiful, well spoken, and passionate is just bonus :D
Shawn Connery was pretty popular with the ladies, and he looked like he was wearing a brown wool sweater with his shirt off.
It's too bad the national lampoon movies aren't on that list, seems to me the vacation movies had some very beefy and cheesy art on the covers. Although not that I think about it I don't really remember too much of that style of art ever being on movie posters . . . I've seen more then a fair bit on books, magazines, and video games, but I can't remember too much of it on movie posters. Now that's not to say that it doesn't appear there, just that I don't remember too much of it. Maybe the only difference is that movies have had different marketers for the most part?
I rather thought that killing off a major character in Family Guy might have bothered me . . . but it really didn't. I think the biggest problem is that Family Guy doesn't have characters as much as it has caricatures. Brian might have been the most rounded and realistic of the Family Guy caricatures, and I suppose that's why they chose to off him, but Family Guy isn't high brow stuff and one touching moment does not create real pathos.
Essentially I felt the supposedly dramatic moment was like 80 to 90% of the stuff on Family Guy: the bit felt like it was written by a ham fisted hack, it ran too long, and it wasn't funny.
I think her point about the Ms Male is a different one from the beefcake/cheesecake discussion. Her point seemed to be that when you needed a female identifier for something that was anthropomorphised or unseen like in an FPS, then the fallback on stereotype ends up solely identifying the female character. She talks about (for example) how all the Koopa's art from Mario Bros. reflects personality traits, but the only defining characteristic of the female one is that she looks like the others with a bow and a pastel color palette.
Agreed, really it was the box art that Shifty posted that led us into this divergence. I like the discussion but I think it's safe to say we're not going to agree entirely on this one.
I do agree with someone above (was it you Guy?) that pointed out that I'm not sure doing more than adding a bow was possible with Ms Packman. Like all of her videos, I tend to agree with a lot, and disagree with some, but they are always worth thinking about.
I agree, which is why I love these sorts of videos and discussions because I often see things from a different point of view. I think that the re-skinning isn't the problem, it's lazy, but it's not until that laziness creeps into the writing of female characters that it becomes a problem. At least in my opinion.
Hey, I don't need a guide! I'm no pious knight or sex gladiator . . . but if you want to tag along and help me spank some of the peril you're more then welcome.
hehe, I don't think seeing Van Damme's naked butt is for the male viewer, but I doubt his action films would have been as popular if he was built like the Biebs. Arnold certainly didn't get poplar because of his acting skills (though admittedly they did improve). I'm not saying that you're wrong about wrestling but it is weird that it's extremely popular amongst men . . . many of whom probably don't identify as gay, but then likely you and your friends might have been into reading and such, or were into real sports.
Point is, surprising as it might seem, beefcake might be there for the male viewer as much as it's there for the female one.
See I never played the everquest games so I have no knowledge if the particular lady on the cover is even in the game, but my first impressions of the character were not "she's the party leader", I mean she's clearly pointing, but does that make her the leader or the sexy guide the knight (on the first box) or the sex gladiator (on the second box) hired to get them through the lair of the nymphomaniacs?
The first image reminds me more of Castle Anthrax from Monty Python.
Anyways I'll agree for the most part Beefcake can be very camp, and I while I don't doubt there are ladies (and men) out there that are very fond of it, but the attraction and fascination isn't exactly equal. As Alice pointed out both are pretty much designed for a male audience in mind. It does seem counter intuitive but who would you rather be, Justin Bieber or Hulk Hogan? Now remember that the Biebs is very popular with the ladies and Teenybopper and the Hulk was extremely popular with young men when I was growing up. Most action movie stars tend to look good with their shirts off when you think about it and that's probably not a mistake. Muscle dudes are popular with straight dudes. I'm not sure how much the reverse, i.e. how appealing cheesecake is to the ladies, is true.
I don't really mind either but I also like heroines that keep their cloths on, that aren't posed to accentuate their hips, breasts, or butts. I'd have bought the Mass Effect games with a female Shepherd clad nearly head to toe in futuristic armor, but the sad reality about the gaming industry today is that whoever is marketing these games thinks that we men aren't mature enough to handle that. Someone thinks we need a scruffy bearded square jawed man on the cover for us to buy it.
Objectification . . . that's the word I couldn't think of.
Alice Margatroid wrote:
Hopefully we can stay civil so we don't wind up having an explosion like the last thread about these videos. I haven't been bringing them up because it seems like most public forums can't discuss them at all.
I hope so as well. Thus far I think things have been pretty measured and reasonable in this discussion. I hope we can continue. If we can't I don't want to see another thread shut down and I'd prefer to just drop this particular subject.
It's funny that you link that Shifty, the only examples I could think of male cheesecake were also from that group, but not the image you linked, I'd still classify that as beefcake. Usually for something to be cheesecake you have to have curves and sexy poses, and while beefcake is usually designed to elicit similar resonances from the viewer, it should be noted that beefcake features powerful muscular bodies and so (usually) beefcake is seen as empowering but cheesecake is seen as exploitation. I do like cheesecake but if we're talking covers of books and games, cheesecake doesn't make me think that I'd be playing a female character, rather it makes me think that I'll play the male character and the female on the cover is my 'reward'.
I did say "hope"
Guys tend to be Beefcake, like the dude on the second cover you linked, but male cheesecake could exist I suppose . . . I'm not sure I've ever seen it though.
MMORPGs should be different in my opinion, I mean we're dealing with role players here, and I'd hope that game companies would be mature enough to see that we're not put off by female characters. However, those titles you point to aren't exactly a positive female representations, they're essentially cheesecake, and while I don't mind a little sexy woman on the cover, I wouldn't be picking up that game thinking I was going to be playing the female character.
I think a better example of how females are viewed in gaming would be Commander Shepherd from the Mass Effect series from BioWare. Commander Shepherd is playable as male or female, but if you went just on the box art you'd never know that, and based on the promotional trailers you'd assume that the female Shepherd was a Ms Male character. It's strange because the voice actor for the female Shepherd is far superior to the male counterpart, but one assumes because this is such a big title, and because they're trying to appeal to the shooty games crowd, the female Shepherd gets delegated to the back of the box.
New Tropes video up on Ms. Sarkeesian's site. It's about the Ms. Character. Want a female version? Just add a bow.
I saw that the other day, and briefly debated starting up a new thread to talk about it, but then remembered some of the . . . unpleasantness from the last thread, so I decided against it.
To me the early examples of the Ms Male character shouldn't have been a problem, we were looking at pixels and there was little to no character, but as video games become more advanced and characters become more defined and developed, the real problem wasn't the bow (IMO) it's the damn lazy writing of female characters.
When you look at characters like Ms Pacman you have a clearly female character and she outsold her predecessor. Clearly people at that point in time didn't care about the gender of a character because it really meant bupkis but later we hear video game companies were hesitant to put a female character on the cover of their games because they feared it wouldn't sell. What I suspect is that while some people might not play female characters because they self identify as the hero, many these days simply see the female character as being weaker because of years of poor writing. Female characters are W while male charters can be X, Y, and Z.
If we look at Valve we have Gorden Freeman and Chell as the two protagonists of two very different games, nether speaks, really it's the other characters that help define them, GLaDOS throws insults about Chell's weight and how she looks in a jump suit for example, hard to imagine a male character being greatly put off by that, but as a computer GLaDOS only has the most basic understanding of human psychology so she can only throw insults that she believes a generic woman would be upset by. Is Chell a Ms. Male character? Clearly not, but it is interesting to see a well written and designed game playing off of those defined and limited female character traits. I wonder however if our character was Princess Peach or a true Ms. Male character, how those insults would feel. Chell wasn't defined so I was able to assume that she, like myself, saw the lame insults for what they were. If I had a Ms. Male character I might have thought those insults were far more cruel and cutting then they actually were.
Gzowski? Very Canadian name. As long as one looks for Canadian of Polish descent...
Most North Americans are immigrants but the Polish are very well represented in the parries of Canada because of large waves of them coming over in the 19th and early 20th century.
Our most famous Canadian, Wayne Gretzky, is of polish decent.