50 Shades of Prudishness


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Liberty's Edge

thejeff wrote:
Krensky wrote:

And that's not the book's fault. It's the fault of their parents and communities continual and exponentially expanding infantilization of the young so that you find people saying stuff like "there are hyperannuated children twenty somethings who need to be protected from this depiction of an abusive a-hole and his eager, willling victim because it might warp their world view".

If a crappily written novel is going to convince them that the relationship in the book is what they want and pursue it then they're already have a broken relationship value center.

And it's all purely an individual thing. It's only individual parents and their individual children who can ever fail.

What kind of relationships are portrayed as desirable or socially acceptable in media or in the culture at large have absolutely no effect on people - except possibly already broken people who would have had bad relationships anyway, so it's still having no effect.

This also means, by the way, that all the critically acclaimed children's and young adult books that help kids deal with various life issues and concepts are also having no effect right? Works both ways, doesn't it?

No, this single novel/movie isn't going to make a huge difference. It's just one particularly creepy, particularly popular example of a type of portrayal that does have an effect.

None of it matters anyway since everything is just a figment of my imagination.

See, you're not the only one who can argue from absurdity.


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Yuugasa wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Yuugasa wrote:


To a lesser extent that is a criticism that can be leveled against most portrayals of relationships in media though. Drama free healthy relationships don't make for good entertainment.

Hopefully younger people are mapping their healthy relationships off of real people around them, like their parents or older peers. If they don't have that in their life at all a positive media representation prolly isn't going to help much anymore than a negative one will hurt.

There's nothing wrong with portraying bad relationships. It's the "glorifying an abusive relationship" part that's problematic.

Sure, but that's nothing new. Media has always glorified s%$+ty relationships, remember Romeo and Juliet? That's talked about like one of the greatest romances of all time and it's about a pair of dumb ass kids that barely know each other killing themselves. I wish that a$%~**# Shakespeare would stop glorifying this s+%+.

I think the focus of the play is really on the consequences of mindless hate coupled with youthful ignorance—everyone's so busy trying to kill each other it totally screws up the lives of a couple confused teenagers looking for a way out.

That said, Romeo and Juliet may have one of Shakespeare's weaker morals. Guy wasn't above producing some nasty stuff, y'know—ever seen Taming of the Shrew? I know people try to argue that it's satire, but that retcon doesn't hold water with modern works like The Room, so I don't see why it should hold water here. ;)

Also, media has also always been very weighted towards majority demographics. The whole point of stuff like feminism and the social justice movement (Tumblr aside) is to get away from the old norms that are harmful. Isn't "it's not a problem because we've always done it" an actual named fallacy?


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The media we see is a conglomerate of soundbites designed to reach a specific reaction for all sorts of reasons, a hysterical worship of gravely disturbed people, most of them with personality disorders, usually narcissistic, a desperate and severely unhealthy preoccupation with any sort of feelings that can be evoked such as shame, grief and hatred, various sick myths, eager wallowing in ignorance and moronity, political maneuvering to what gets screen time, censorship and bizarre ideological slogans. It is a virulently toxic and despicable beast today, with few, but existing, exceptions.

Given this, 50SoG is small potatoes. There is literally nothing about it that isn't completely cast in shadow by 24 hours of mixed television.

It is all well and good to say "ooooh this book is so horrible and weak people will do stupid stuff if they read it OMG OMG OMG!!!!11", but you need to understand that the vast majority of people watch TV, a far more direct type of media, at times even interactive, SEVERAL HOURS EVERY DAY. From the toddler stage, we're put through the wringer of s$*$ mass media, and we still survive. We learn to filter, indeed, we're amazingly good at it. They started becoming worried about information overload in the eighteenth century.

Certainly, the effect on a person to read 50SoG may not be good... but it truly has competition for the chance to ruin us.


@-Kobold Cleaver- My joking point wasn't that it has always been so it's alright but that it has always been so the best defense against it is real life teaching and positive examples.

Not that we should stop with the fun social commentary but there isn't much you can do about this barring trying to censor free speech/media, something I am against.

People are going to write/make what they like and people are going to like/consume what they want, if we are "worried about the children" only actually teaching them and providing context for what they inevitably see will help with that.


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I've been keeping quiet with nothing new to say, but seeing the arguments repeated again I think I can clarify my position:

It is *NOT* that I think the movie/book should be banned.

I am simply grossly disappointed that so many women find a depiction of such a horrifically "broken" relationship titillating. I prefer my women strong and independent, and as I said, the female friends with whom I choose to associate despise the book precisely because it depicts the woman as being such a willing victim of long-term emotional abuse and torture.

It's very much like the article I read written by an American expatriot who'd moved to Iran. She LOVED being able to walk down the street at night totally secure, knowing that men considered her untouchable. She completely supported a regime in which women are roughly equivalent to cattle in the "societal importance" scheme because it allowed her to be totally safe, totally anonymous, and totally secure in her role. She loved it.
The notion that she could be stoned based on a single man's false accusation never occurred to her, nor did the fact that she was perpetuating a regime of horrific abuse and discrimination against women. She was happy because she believed she was secure.

I am sorely disappointed by women willing to accept subservient roles and perpetuate a male-dominated society. Men are scum, through and through. I sincerely wish women would stop being willing to sleep with men for ANY reason other than, "He respects me and treats me as a person, not an object."

So the strong response to the book simply disappoints me. I'm not up in arms to ban the book. I'm just very depressed that so many women find it "exciting" to imagine becoming emotionally-dominated sex slaves. Want to be a sex slave for an evening? Woo hoo! More power to you! Want to be an emotional slave for the rest of your life? You disappoint me.

I'm just not going to touch "Romeo and Juliet", because I don't want to end up locking this thread with nonsense...


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Ryuko wrote:
Yuugasa wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Yuugasa wrote:


To a lesser extent that is a criticism that can be leveled against most portrayals of relationships in media though. Drama free healthy relationships don't make for good entertainment.

Hopefully younger people are mapping their healthy relationships off of real people around them, like their parents or older peers. If they don't have that in their life at all a positive media representation prolly isn't going to help much anymore than a negative one will hurt.

There's nothing wrong with portraying bad relationships. It's the "glorifying an abusive relationship" part that's problematic.

Sure, but that's nothing new. Media has always glorified s#~#ty relationships, remember Romeo and Juliet? That's talked about like one of the greatest romances of all time and it's about a pair of dumb ass kids that barely know each other killing themselves. I wish that a&~*~!~ Shakespeare would stop glorifying this s$*#.

But anyway, I agree that it can help set the default for expectations on what is considered acceptable and desireworthy, which isn't good, but once again hopefully they have some positive real life influences that are more present, parents, peers and the like.

Mote that Romeo and Juliet was never considered by Shakespeare or the people of the time to be a hugely romantic story. That's a more modern interpretation. The real read of the play comes out more like "look at these dumb f$@~ing kids. Christ kids are dumb. Don't do stupid stuff for a pretty girl dudes. Ladies, the guy wants to bone you, just know that now." Which remains a pretty good message today.

Which puts it in good company with, e.g. Lear ("look at those dumb f%~!ing old people. Christ, old people are dumb.")


Yuugasa wrote:

@-Kobold Cleaver- My joking point wasn't that it has always been so it's alright but that it has always been so the best defense against it is real life teaching and positive examples.

Not that we should stop with the fun social commentary but there isn't much you can do about this barring trying to censor free speech/media, something I am against.

People are going to write/make what they like and people are going to like/consume what they want, if we are "worried about the children" only actually teaching them and providing context for what they inevitably see will help with that.

Except it does help, it just does it over time. Protest and complaint changes what's socially acceptable - both in the media and in real life.

Talking about it on message boards is a small (tiny) part of that, but it is part of it.


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If men are scum through and through, so are women. I would just like to paraphrase one of the more famous Swedish murderers in our prison system:

"I stopped reading the love letters after a few months, there were just too many."


Ryuko wrote:
Yuugasa wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Yuugasa wrote:


To a lesser extent that is a criticism that can be leveled against most portrayals of relationships in media though. Drama free healthy relationships don't make for good entertainment.

Hopefully younger people are mapping their healthy relationships off of real people around them, like their parents or older peers. If they don't have that in their life at all a positive media representation prolly isn't going to help much anymore than a negative one will hurt.

There's nothing wrong with portraying bad relationships. It's the "glorifying an abusive relationship" part that's problematic.

Sure, but that's nothing new. Media has always glorified s#~#ty relationships, remember Romeo and Juliet? That's talked about like one of the greatest romances of all time and it's about a pair of dumb ass kids that barely know each other killing themselves. I wish that a&~*~!~ Shakespeare would stop glorifying this s$*#.

But anyway, I agree that it can help set the default for expectations on what is considered acceptable and desireworthy, which isn't good, but once again hopefully they have some positive real life influences that are more present, parents, peers and the like.

Mote that Romeo and Juliet was never considered by Shakespeare or the people of the time to be a hugely romantic story. That's a more modern interpretation. The real read of the play comes out more like "look at these dumb f#~!ing kids. Christ kids are dumb. Don't do stupid stuff for a pretty girl dudes. Ladies, the guy wants to bone you, just know that now." Which remains a pretty good message today.

still considered to be the zenith of romance in the times we live in today.


They had Shakespeare, we have Lauryn Hill.


thejeff wrote:

Except it does help, it just does it over time. Protest and complaint changes what's socially acceptable - both in the media and in real life.

Talking about it on message boards is a small (tiny) part of that, but it is part of it.

Yeah, that's true. Social pressure can change things, I acknowledge the point.


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Sissyl wrote:

If men are scum through and through, so are women. I would just like to paraphrase one of the more famous Swedish murderers in our prison system:

"I stopped reading the love letters after a few months, there were just too many."

Thank you.

That *SO* sums up my opinions and attitudes in such a brief statement.

WHY?!?!?!?!?


On another note for some reason I find it hilarious that my throwaway Shakespeare joke has spawned an actual conversation lol.

Grand Lodge

Artemis Moonstar wrote:


I need to go kill something on Skyrim. Or roll up a new character for PF that may never get used. This... The fact that this thing got mainstream attention in the first place was already nauseating... The fact it got turned into a movie is just... I'm gonna go lay down.... I feel, quite literally, physically ill after finding out about this... I just... I can't even... Screw it. Bed time.

Consider an inquisitor of Lymnieris, who wishes to ensure that the sanctity and binding importance of informed, rational and non-coerced consent is upheld in all sexual relationships.

Lord Snow wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
If Mr. Grey were black, would we be having a conversation about how this portrays all black people?

Exactly. I just don't get the sensationalist "but people will get the wrong idea of BDSM" talk. It reminds me of how many people were saying that Gone Girl was highly problematic because of it's depiction of women.

Fifty Shades of Grey is a cultural phenomenon. It's an incredibly badly written fan fiction that for various reasons made it into the mainstream. It's an escapist sexual fantasy that apparently appealed to a lot of people.

What it expressly isn't is a representative of BDSM culture. It never claimed to be and never aspired to be anything like that. It's a sexual fantasy with BDSM - that's it. People are either smart enough to understand that or dumb enough that they didn't need the guidance of a book or movie to do dumb things themselves.

When you see an action movie, it is quite clear that real violence doesn't look like that. That if you try driving like you are in a Fast and Furious movie you would wind up hurting yourself and others.

The same is true of just about any genre - stories told in it are exaggerations, ignoring the sane and mundane parts in favor of highlighting a more appealing, unrealistic version of their subject matter.

Fifty Shades is no different. People would no more watch it and get the wrong ideas about BDSM than they would watch Ocean's 11 and decide to pull off a sophisticated heist. It's obvious that real sex doesn't look like it will in the movie.

I might be a bit too harsh since I see the matter from an outsider's perspective - I don't know much about BDSM at all. However, I just can't sympathize with the notion that the book/movie would do any real damage in public opinion of the BDSM community.

The author has gone on record on defending that the relationship is not abusive.

“Nothing freaks me out more than people who say this is about domestic abuse. Bringing up my book in this context trivializes the issues, doing women who actually go through it a huge disservice. It also demonizes loads of women who enjoy this lifestyle, and ignores the many, many women who tell me they’ve found the books sexually empowering.”- E. L. James


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Ms. Pleiades wrote:

The author has gone on record on defending that the relationship is not abusive.

“Nothing freaks me out more than people who say this is about domestic abuse. Bringing up my book in this context trivializes the issues, doing women who actually go through it a huge disservice. It also demonizes loads of women who enjoy this lifestyle, and ignores the many, many women who tell me they’ve found the books sexually empowering.”- E. L. James

Which just makes it worse.

She really thinks this is good.

The domestic abuse isn't the sex, even the kinky sex. It's everything else. If it's the BDSM, it's only because it's bad BDSM. BDSM without the safeguards that make it safe and consensual.

Liberty's Edge

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
That said, Romeo and Juliet may have one of Shakespeare's weaker morals. Guy wasn't above producing some nasty stuff, y'know—ever seen Taming of the Shrew? I know people try to argue that it's satire, but that retcon doesn't hold water with modern works like The Room, so I don't see why it should hold water here. ;)

On the other hand, just dismissing it out of hand as misogynist clap trap ignores the rest of the Bard's body of works because you have to reconcile The Shrew with Much Ado and Merry Wives.

Also, one of the glorious beauties of Shakespeare is that the meanings of his work change based solely on casting and how different roles are performed.

It's either Fifty Shades of Mental Abuse or Battle of Championship Snark (or dozens of other things) depending on how Petruchio and Katherine say their lines.

Grand Lodge

thejeff wrote:
Ms. Pleiades wrote:

The author has gone on record on defending that the relationship is not abusive.

“Nothing freaks me out more than people who say this is about domestic abuse. Bringing up my book in this context trivializes the issues, doing women who actually go through it a huge disservice. It also demonizes loads of women who enjoy this lifestyle, and ignores the many, many women who tell me they’ve found the books sexually empowering.”- E. L. James

Which just makes it worse.

She really thinks this is good.

The domestic abuse isn't the sex, even the kinky sex. It's everything else. If it's the BDSM, it's only because it's bad BDSM. BDSM without the safeguards that make it safe and consensual.

That's the point in my bringing it up.


Yuugasa wrote:
On another note for some reason I find it hilarious that my throwaway Shakespeare joke has spawned an actual conversation lol.

It spawned a bunch of posts pointing out the flaws of your argument-driven joke. :P

Krensky wrote:
Also, one of the glorious beauties of Shakespeare is that the meanings of his work change based solely on casting and how different roles are performed.

I have heard this said, and I've seen versions that play it sarcastically. Whether the Bard meant it that way is another matter.

In fairness, though, Taming of the Shrew was written around five years before Much Ado and Merry Wives. Like Walt Disney, it's possible Shakespeare's views simply evolved.

I have never read a single Shakespeare play. What I say is driven by reading abridgements and reviews. So take my criticism of Romeo and Juliet and Shrew with a grain of salt or two. :P

Silver Crusade

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Y'know, while doing a reread after Kalindlara mentioned it here and following this thread and the news coverage...

I really wish I could switch the popularity and mainstream awareness between Kushiel's Dart and 50 Shades of Gray.


Mikaze wrote:

Y'know, while doing a reread after Kalindlara mentioned it here and following this thread and the news coverage...

I really wish I could switch the popularity and mainstream awareness between Kushiel's Dart and 50 Shades of Gray.

what a wonderful world it would be....

Liberty's Edge

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Krensky wrote:
Also, one of the glorious beauties of Shakespeare is that the meanings of his work change based solely on casting and how different roles are performed.

I have heard this said, and I've seen versions that play it sarcastically. Whether the Bard meant it that way is another matter.

In fairness, though, Taming of the Shrew was written around five years before Much Ado and Merry Wives. Like Walt Disney, it's possible Shakespeare's views simply evolved.

I have never read a single Shakespeare play. What I say is driven by reading abridgements and reviews. So take my criticism of Romeo and Juliet and Shrew with a grain of salt or two. :P

Oh, I'm not saying it's supposed to be seen that way. Granted the use of a framing device and that the story of Katherine and Petruchio is a play with in a play strongly suggests it's not supposed to be taken solely at face value. What I am saying is that if a reviewer wishes to dismiss Shrew as misogynistic, etc then they NEED to rectify that position with Shakespeare's other romantic comedies. Sure, it could just be the odd one out.

Just like Merchant of Venice can be anti or pro semitic depending on how it's performed, so can almost all of Shakespeare's works. Part of it is that even though he was writing schlock and often stealing Italian works he really was brilliant. The other part of that we often only have the scripts, not the directors or actors notes, not any reviews, and often we don't have the music that went with his musicals.

That gives a company a lot of room to interpret the work.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Taming of the Shrew

Hee hee!

La Principessa arrived last night. Post-extraordinarily-hawt-session commentary and discussion touched on this work of the Bard's.

[Smiles smugly]

The Exchange

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thejeff wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
JonGarrett wrote:

I'd object less if the author took any responsibility for her damned book. She claims it saves marriages, but ignores anyone who mentions it does anything negative, like trigger abuse survivors or show young men women that abuse and romance are totally the same thing. Or, of course, show people the absolute worse way to do BDSM so people get injured.

And of course it's saved some marriages. Abusive people often don't want there partners to leave, and so showing them it's totally romantic to stalk, mentally and sexually abuse and such is just dandy so far as they're concerned.

Argh, hate these damned books so damned much.

As for the actual topic, it's a weird rating for the UK. I've seen movies with a lot more sex with a lower rating, so I'm guessing it's the BDSM elements that are causing it. I'd like to think it's just they're horrible movies and we need to protect the young from them, but...

Do you have any actual hard data on any of this? Or is this one of the "Violent video games teach young people that shooting people is good" things?
Is this one of the "literature and media never have any effects on anyone ever" things?

Uhhh... no? I mean your response was witty and bravo for that, but I wrote a single sentence where I said in words roughly as simple as the following, that I seriously doubt JonGarrett was basing his/her argument on any facts, and that most probably this is a case where a person sees people enjoying something they don't like and decide that it is dangerous. So, no, this is not a "literature and media never have any effects on anyone ever" thing.

Of course what you read, hear and see influences you. I think this can go without saying. I just also think that we have a gigantic pile of accumulated evidence that people are capable of separating media that is presented as a fantasy (TV shows, video games, books, etc.) from reality and not base their behavior on their experience there. If there was even a slight inclination otherwise, I suspect we would have seen it by this point - since so many of us are consuming these types of media with such intensity, and because much research was done on the subject, usually by people actively seeking to prove a correlation, yet none was ever found. Someone quoted earlier in the thread that a recent surge in research managed to show an increase in short term aggressiveness with people playing video games, which I think just means that you can get annoyed after losing a game of LoL or something. If that's the best people could come up with, I'm just going to assume violent video games are safe.

Which, coming full circle to 50 shades, means that it is far more likely that it is safe too than that it is dangerous. I think people (self included) just don't like what they see in the book and want it to be dangerous. But until I see an actual proof (which, given that the book sold 50 gazillion copies, shouldn't be hard to find due to an enormous potential sample size) that the book has a negative effect on the lives or psych of it's readers - baseline assumption from experience is that there's nothing to worry about.

NobodysHome wrote:
I am sorely disappointed by women willing to accept subservient roles and perpetuate a male-dominated society. Men are scum, through and through. I sincerely wish women would stop being willing to sleep with men for ANY reason other than, "He respects me and treats me as a person, not an object."

I am mildly shocked at seeing this, I have to admit. First, sexism ("men are scum" implies women aren't) and second... if a women is

1) physically attracted to a man or
2) is horny and a man is dancing with her in the party or
3) really likes something about the man or
4) on a dare with her friends to have sex with three people this week or
5) any one of a billion other reasons that a free thinking person in control of his/her life might decide they want to sleep with someone

then those are bad reasons? Why? Is a man bad for wanting to sleep with a woman for any reason other than she respects him and doesn't treat him as an object something wrong? And if the asymmetry in your claim comes from the fact that we live in a "male-dominated society", why does that obligate a woman to be a front line warrior for her gender to have your respect? Wouldn't it be more of a victory for everyone involved if the woman got to make her own choices and set her own priorities?


If I could, I would favourite Lord Snow's post until it begged for mercy. As it is, I can only give one favourite.


I wonder...does anyone know the demographics of "50 Shades of Gray" viewers/fans?

I think that would impact quite a bit what level of influence 50 Shades has on people

If it largely appeals to middle-aged or so woman, than odds are those women have already developed a view of romance/life/relationships that is not likely to be seriously influenced by a movie. They are basically set in their ways, and probably have enough experience to separate the fantasy aspects from everything else.

In contrast, I think books like Twilight probably are way more harmful, because they have a wide readership amongst teens, whose mindsets malleable and which romanticizes some truly messed up relationship dynamics.

I mean, 50 Shades IS Twilight fanfic, and really a lot of the messed up elements of former is expanded from the latter.


Funny how they're both derided by critics and people outside the target demographic as being piles of s***, yet both books have sold like crazy.


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There's no accounting for taste.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

By that standard, Justin Bieber is one of the best artists on the planet right now. Or proof that Wolverine is the best written comic book. Something can be incredibly popular but stil be harmful, and/or godawful s@%%.


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I'll tell you one thing the the Shakespeare derail made me realize: I whole-heartedly support 50 Shades being described as Tragedy. Seriously, if the author had said, "It's about a woman who confuses her enjoyment of BDSM sex with an emotionally abusive relationship," I'd respect the hell out of her.

As is, I feel the same way I did when everyone was yammering on about how The Da Vinci Code was a once in a life time book, and, flipping through it in a bookstore, I found it to be a completely typical pot-boiler.


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Lord Snow wrote:
NobodysHome wrote:
I am sorely disappointed by women willing to accept subservient roles and perpetuate a male-dominated society. Men are scum, through and through. I sincerely wish women would stop being willing to sleep with men for ANY reason other than, "He respects me and treats me as a person, not an object."

I am mildly shocked at seeing this, I have to admit. First, sexism ("men are scum" implies women aren't) and second... if a women is

1) physically attracted to a man or
2) is horny and a man is dancing with her in the party or
3) really likes something about the man or
4) on a dare with her friends to have sex with three people this week or
5) any one of a billion other reasons that a free thinking person in control of his/her life might decide they want to sleep with someone

then those are bad reasons? Why? Is a man bad for wanting to sleep with a woman for any reason other than she respects him and doesn't treat him as an object something wrong? And if the asymmetry in your claim comes from the fact that we live in a "male-dominated society", why does that obligate a woman to be a front line warrior for her gender to have your respect? Wouldn't it be more of a victory for everyone involved if the woman got to make her own choices and set her own priorities?

Of course it was a gross exaggeration, you've called me out on it, and I'll admit that freely.

Of course women are free to make their own sexual choices.

But again, it's differentiating between "sex for fun" and "relationships". Short-term vs. long-term.

I've always been the "nice guy" that every girl/woman wants to be friends with, but none want to date. So throughout high school and college, I watched friend after friend suffer as she asked, "I think he's really hot! Do you think I should date him?", and I'd respond honestly, "No. He's a scumbag. He'll treat you like dirt."
And of course they'd ignore me, get treated like dirt, and come back to me sobbing and asking, "Why didn't you TELL me he was a jerk?"

So there's a lot of personal frustration invested in watching so many women accept abusive relationships, and the popularity of "50 Shades" just reinforces that frustration.

I do believe that there's a heaping helping of blame to place on a society that says that men can sleep around without committing to relationships, and that's just "boys being boys", while if a woman sleeps around she's all kinds of words I shouldn't post on Paizo. So women are guilt-tripped into staying in bad relationships just because the sex is good.

But removing any exaggeration or generalizations, my statements are:
(1) "I am personally saddened by the number of abusive relationships I see and read about, and wish women would more aggressively leave these relationships."
(2) "I see the popularity of '50 Shades of Grey' and it reinforces my disappointment because so many women are finding it titillating rather than repellant."


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EVERYONE should leave bad relationships. Having a relationship does not make you a better person, and I suspect so many go into relationships that won't make them happy because it is socially expected. If they would have chosen to have sex without a relationship instead, everyone involved would have been happier. If, that is, sex was what they wanted.


NobodysHome wrote:

I've always been the "nice guy" that every girl/woman wants to be friends with, but none want to date. So throughout high school and college, I watched friend after friend suffer as she asked, "I think he's really hot! Do you think I should date him?", and I'd respond honestly, "No. He's a scumbag. He'll treat you like dirt."

And of course they'd ignore me, get treated like dirt, and come back to me sobbing and asking, "Why didn't you TELL me he was a jerk?"

[Friendzone joke here.]

Hitdice wrote:

I'll tell you one thing the the Shakespeare derail made me realize: I whole-heartedly support 50 Shades being described as Tragedy. Seriously, if the author had said, "It's about a woman who confuses her enjoyment of BDSM sex with an emotionally abusive relationship," I'd respect the hell out of her.

As is, I feel the same way I did when everyone was yammering on about how The Da Vinci Code was a once in a life time book, and, flipping through it in a bookstore, I found it to be a completely typical pot-boiler.

It's funny you mention Da Vinci Code, because that's another book that I wouldn't mind half so much if the author weren't so terrible. He tried to claim all the facts* cited in the book were true.

*Meaning the stuff that's treated as fact. I'm not saying fiction books aren't allowed to have characters reference things that aren't true, but there's a way to write facts and there's a way to write "facts". It's about framing. Kinda like in 50SoG.


Weird but true (or maybe just truly weird) the authors of a previous book tried to sue Brown for plagiarism, while claiming their book was factual. If they'd won, wouldn't that set the legal precedent that all fiction was plagiarism?


Hitdice wrote:
Weird but true (or maybe just truly weird) the authors of a previous book tried to sue Brown for plagiarism, while claiming their book was factual. If they'd won, wouldn't that set the legal precedent that all fiction was plagiarism?

No? Why would it?

If I rip off somebody's plot line and characters that's plagiarism. If I rip off their pet conspiracy theory, that's still plagiarism.
The legal precedents for that have been set long ago. Technically, it's not plagiarism, it's copyright violation.

What legal precedent do you think would be set?


Sissyl wrote:
EVERYONE should leave bad relationships. Having a relationship does not make you a better person, and I suspect so many go into relationships that won't make them happy because it is socially expected. If they would have chosen to have sex without a relationship instead, everyone involved would have been happier. If, that is, sex was what they wanted.

Pretty much exactly yes.


NobodysHome wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
EVERYONE should leave bad relationships. Having a relationship does not make you a better person, and I suspect so many go into relationships that won't make them happy because it is socially expected. If they would have chosen to have sex without a relationship instead, everyone involved would have been happier. If, that is, sex was what they wanted.
Pretty much exactly yes.

However, the social pressure on women to seek relationships when they actually want sex is much stronger than it is on men. So while this seems like an non gender biased analysis applying equally to everyone, it actually affects women more.

It's also not clear if, in the absence of social pressure, if men and women would equally want commitment-free sex. There may be deeper roots to those differences. Since we'll never actually see an absence of social pressure, it'll always be hard to know.


So, thejeff, you think there may be disparity between preferences between the sexes that are NOT socially determined?


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Sissyl wrote:
So, thejeff, you think there may be disparity between preferences between the sexes that are NOT socially determined?

I think there may be.


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*nods*

I think it's pretty clear there are. I just heard about a study that managed to show that males and females very young children preferred wildly different types of toys... for monkey kids.

That does not, of course, mean or even imply that men and women should be treated differently on that basis, merely that the idea of 50% is a pipe dream. The important part is to give everyone options. And same as always, there are enough women who prefer sex to relationships, and men who prefer the other way, that you really can't say much about an individual's choices.


Sissyl wrote:

*nods*

I think it's pretty clear there are. I just heard about a study that managed to show that males and females very young children preferred wildly different types of toys... for monkey kids.

That does not, of course, mean or even imply that men and women should be treated differently on that basis, merely that the idea of 50% is a pipe dream. The important part is to give everyone options. And same as always, there are enough women who prefer sex to relationships, and men who prefer the other way, that you really can't say much about an individual's choices.

It's easy to slide very quickly from "there are innate gender differences in behavior" to "Therefore what we currently see in society is mostly innate gender differences and there's no need to address gender disparity". Often without even realizing you've done so. Often with a component of "Unlike back in the bad old days".

I would say it's currently almost impossible to tell how much sexual behavior is innate and how much is social. Unlike very young children's behavior, no one is not exposed to social pressure before making sexual choices. And extrapolating from animals, even close relatives, is risky. Our two closest relatives (Bonobos and regular chimpanzees) have very different sexual behavior patterns.


thejeff wrote:

.

I would say it's currently almost impossible to tell how much sexual behavior is innate and how much is social.

Look accross cultures then. If the same thing pops up accross the board chances are really good its innate.

Thats a good a decision making tool we're going to get until they give me another 100 kids to be raised in a skinner box. Though after what happened to the last 12 thats unlikely.

(They became accountants so obviously skinner boxes make terrible parents)


thejeff wrote:
Hitdice wrote:
Weird but true (or maybe just truly weird) the authors of a previous book tried to sue Brown for plagiarism, while claiming their book was factual. If they'd won, wouldn't that set the legal precedent that all fiction was plagiarism?

No? Why would it?

If I rip off somebody's plot line and characters that's plagiarism. If I rip off their pet conspiracy theory, that's still plagiarism.
The legal precedents for that have been set long ago. Technically, it's not plagiarism, it's copyright violation.

What legal precedent do you think would be set?

It would allow people who write nonfiction to sue people who publish fiction which refers to real world facts. The authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail weren't claiming that Brown had published any of their work under his name, they were claiming that writing a factual account entitled them to profits from a work of fiction.


So can high school history texts sue the producers of "The Patriot" for copying their fiction?


BigNorseWolf wrote:
So can high school history texts sue the producers of "The Patriot" for copying their fiction?

That's pretty much why the case was dismissed.


Hitdice wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Hitdice wrote:
Weird but true (or maybe just truly weird) the authors of a previous book tried to sue Brown for plagiarism, while claiming their book was factual. If they'd won, wouldn't that set the legal precedent that all fiction was plagiarism?

No? Why would it?

If I rip off somebody's plot line and characters that's plagiarism. If I rip off their pet conspiracy theory, that's still plagiarism.
The legal precedents for that have been set long ago. Technically, it's not plagiarism, it's copyright violation.

What legal precedent do you think would be set?

It would allow people who write nonfiction to sue people who publish fiction which refers to real world facts. The authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail weren't claiming that Brown had published any of their work under his name, they were claiming that writing a factual account entitled them to profits from a work of fiction.

I see your objection better.

I don't think any precedent would apply that broadly. You'd have to be able to trace the real world facts you're suing over only to that particular work and show that the work of fiction was a derivative work of that research. It's not the real world facts that could be protected, but the original research that the published work represents.

You shouldn't be able to take a piece of original historical research, wrap a fictional veneer around it and publish.

Obviously that doesn't apply to random text book publisher suing over basic historical knowledge.

Quote:

Copyright law protected Baigent and Leigh over the research and composition of their book, and the way the ideas in it were originally expressed, Lord Justice Mummery, one of three appeal judges, said.

"It does not, however, extend to clothing information, facts, ideas, theories and themes with exclusive property rights, so as to enable the claimants to monopolise historical research or knowledge and prevent the legitimate use of historical and biographical material, theories propounded, general arguments deployed, or general hypotheses suggested (whether they are sound or not) or general themes written about," he ruled.

It looks to me like the research would be protected, but the source material wouldn't be and the details weren't close enough to be covered.

As opposed to "Nothing presented as fact can ever be protected."


Just a small reminder that it's not just the book/movie that's awful, but also some of the fans.

*shudders*


Emmmm... So "research" can now be slapped with IP protections? Would that fall under copyright or trademark protections, you think? Or maybe it's a patent?

The Exchange

BigNorseWolf wrote:
thejeff wrote:

.

I would say it's currently almost impossible to tell how much sexual behavior is innate and how much is social.

Look accross cultures then. If the same thing pops up accross the board chances are really good its innate.

Still problematic because many cultures evolved under similar environmental stresses - a very prominent example is that women always get pregnant and men will always be physically superior and thus occupy jobs like farming and hunting. That means that pretty much any ancient society is much more likely to naturally lean towards placing males in more prominent roles - they are the soldiers, hunters, farmers.

Today's societies are not the same and we see a very significant rise in the number of women who have prominent roles in society - even though their status as inferior has been coded into many modern cultures since ancient times.

So even looking at numerous cultures does not promise the ability to infer if something is innate or not. Various factors have been shared between pretty much all societies in any time period, and some of them are very high impact.

I suspect that before (and if) we manage to map the human brain it is going to be very hard to find a definitive answer for the question of innate vs. cultural tendencies.


Lord Snow wrote:
Still problematic because many cultures evolved under similar environmental stresses - a very prominent example is that women always get pregnant and men will always be physically superior and thus occupy jobs like farming and hunting. That means that pretty much any ancient society is much more likely to naturally lean towards placing males in more prominent roles - they are the soldiers, hunters, farmers.

Well, Why are those roles more prominent?


Lord Snow wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I would say it's currently almost impossible to tell how much sexual behavior is innate and how much is social.
Look accross cultures then. If the same thing pops up accross the board chances are really good its innate.

Still problematic because many cultures evolved under similar environmental stresses - a very prominent example is that women always get pregnant and men will always be physically superior and thus occupy jobs like farming and hunting. That means that pretty much any ancient society is much more likely to naturally lean towards placing males in more prominent roles - they are the soldiers, hunters, farmers.

Today's societies are not the same and we see a very significant rise in the number of women who have prominent roles in society - even though their status as inferior has been coded into many modern cultures since ancient times.

So even looking at numerous cultures does not promise the ability to infer if something is innate or not. Various factors have been shared between pretty much all societies in any time period, and some of them are very high impact.

I suspect that before (and if) we manage to map the human brain it is going to be very hard to find a definitive answer for the question of innate vs. cultural tendencies.

Since we started this talking about sexual behavior, the widespread availability of reliable contraception changes everything. There really isn't any historical precedent.

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