So apparently superheroes are racist

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TheFeniX
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Re: So apparently superheroes are racist

Postby TheFeniX » 2017-05-17 05:49pm

Q99 wrote:"Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don't want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women's strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman."
He's right and wrong though. Multiple popular genres with women are based on submission while still giving the female characters agency. Jane Austin novels, Romance novels et all, even stuff like Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey. You can still have power while being stuck in a traditionally feminine or submissive plot.

To bring this to a point, a BIG deal in a lot of fiction (and reality) is "winning the girl," but this isn't "Oog club woman, Oog drag woman back to cave." The women allow themselves to be won and the man has to prove he's worthy. They are making a choice to be wooed. This isn't some Stockholm syndrome stuff. They can say no, they just rarely do because people love a happy ending.

Not every movie has to or should end like Red Sonya where Auhnold has to beat her in a physical fight to get access to her lady parts. That's dumb and I doubt it appeals to many women either way. Men and women just compete differently.

Yea, it's brutish to rely on physical violence to achieve this goal, but in action movies, that's the whole deal. But it's not a physical violence exclusive thing. Romantic (comedy and non-comedy) movies fit into this same theme. The guy has to fight for his woman in one way or the other and she general fights for him to. If they just met and fell in love because "reasons," there's no point to the movie other than "two stupidly hot people got busy." (EDIT: That's called porn) There's just generally no punching as part of the "fight."

The thing is agency. No one wants a damsel in distress for the most part. Men are falling out of favor with the sex plot coupon and it offers women nothing. Looking at something like Lenina Huxley from Demolition Man (a movie I recall being fairly popular among women): she's outmatched in a lot of ways, but Spartan considers her more than an equal. They more win each other than anything.

Cliche, but I don't consider it insulting to either gender.

And, I'd say 'too dumb/too caught up in their own prejudices'. Note how Hollywood still clings to 'action movie heroines don't sell' in the wake of Hunger Games (4 movies, worst performing made 4x budget on a 160 mil budget), and even successful women directors tend to stop getting jobs after one or two duds, while meanwhile Zack Snyder can get chance after chance after chance.
This is what kills it for me. And it's not exclusive to Hollywood. We get tons of mediocre games in a series like Halo and they just keep printing them.

Meanwhile, we get one mediocre Metroid game and they dive into shit like Federation Force.

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Re: So apparently superheroes are racist

Postby Q99 » 2017-05-17 07:06pm

Right. Male oriented stuff gets more chances, or rather, stuff with women who should get more chances, often don't.


Though back to race since we diverged from race to gender, I'd say racial minorities have had it worse in comics than women. While there were a few early exceptions, for a looong time non-white, and especially black, characters were 'the ethnic sidekick.' Black Panther only came around in '66. The blacksploitation-based heroes like Luke Cage in the 70s were a notable step up in the number of positively portrayed black characters in major roles, and characters from Asia were often 2-d stereotypes / token "I am from Japan so honor honor honor," into the 80s. The bias against women was wide-spread, but they had more total presence and more exceptions that were able to get in some good role despite that.

Though there usually has been some writers willing to give minorities a fair shake, and definitely writers explicitly calling out the poor treatment of race for some time (GL/GA's famous "You care about the green skins and the purple skins, what about the black skins?" in the 70s). The X-men including Storm was a big step, and they've gradually gotten more black characters as is befitting their metaphor. Like with women, there's always been progressive voices, but it really took more time for that to get into the main casts and IMO is still an area in major need of improvement. And in the 90s of course we had the wave of 'old characters being replaced with minority legacy characters,' which despite the legacy factor was a good step... until you hit the 'we need the original back, let's kill off the legacy,' backlash. Nowadays you can have whole teams of minority characters where them being minority isn't the point, but the progress to that level was surprisingly long.


And on the hollywood side, 'racebending' casts going mostly one way (entire movies set in foreign countries have majority-white casts sometimes nigh all white or sometimes all-hero-white), minorities having less choice of role, and attributing successes that don't fit that mold to individual actors specifically and not giving anyone else a chance (Will Smith doing great in 'generic' action roles like ID4 and Men in Black did not lead to explosions of black hirings- rather, they had Hollywood saying, "Ok, we need Will Smith more often." See also Jackie Chan and such). The default for a role is often assumed to be white, even if there's no reason a character has to be so.

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Re: So apparently superheroes are racist

Postby TheFeniX » 2017-05-17 07:50pm

Q99 wrote:And on the hollywood side, 'racebending' casts going mostly one way (entire movies set in foreign countries have majority-white casts sometimes nigh all white or sometimes all-hero-white), minorities having less choice of role, and attributing successes that don't fit that mold to individual actors specifically and not giving anyone else a chance (Will Smith doing great in 'generic' action roles like ID4 and Men in Black did not lead to explosions of black hirings- rather, they had Hollywood saying, "Ok, we need Will Smith more often." See also Jackie Chan and such). The default for a role is often assumed to be white, even if there's no reason a character has to be so.
It's so bad, Hollywood doesn't even seem to be looking for "another Will Smith." That's like the bare minimum amount of legwork they SHOULD be putting in if they are too cowardly to bank on unknown black actors like they would for unknown white men because "Will Smith = money." There's other noteworthy black actors out there, but many (including Smith) are getting old.

As shitty as women have it in Hollywood, at the least I can think of more than a few upandcoming or alreadycameup young actresses over the past 17 or so years. With young Black Male leads? Not exactly. I got like John Boyega that Disney of all people dumped a multi-billion dollar IP into the lap of. I mean, we're in a shit sandwich if I'm putting Disney ahead of most studios in this regard.

And we're still at the point where Hollywood seems terrified of letting The Fresh Prince kiss a white woman: in the 2010s. Meanwhile, television doesn't seem to shy away from this in even their biggest cash-cows. I've mentioned way back that ER, in the 90s, "allowed" a black Eriq La Salle to get up-close and personal with Alex Kingston. ER was a monolith in television back then.

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Re: So apparently superheroes are racist

Postby Q99 » 2017-05-17 08:47pm

TheFeniX wrote:It's so bad, Hollywood doesn't even seem to be looking for "another Will Smith." That's like the bare minimum amount of legwork they SHOULD be putting in if they are too cowardly to bank on unknown black actors like they would for unknown white men because "Will Smith = money." There's other noteworthy black actors out there, but many (including Smith) are getting old.

As shitty as women have it in Hollywood, at the least I can think of more than a few upandcoming or alreadycameup young actresses over the past 17 or so years. With young Black Male leads? Not exactly. I got like John Boyega that Disney of all people dumped a multi-billion dollar IP into the lap of. I mean, we're in a shit sandwich if I'm putting Disney ahead of most studios in this regard.


Right, and so many roles don't *need* a white lead... save they assume that's the generic/'safest' choice. And honestly these generically handsome white guys blend together for me.

Frankly, yes, Disney *has* pulled ahead. For example in Moana, voice work, all but one voice actor was voiced by an actual polynesian, and that one exception was the chicken. A Polynesian composer jointly worked on the songs, and they had a cultural research panel they listened to in order to get details right.

Meanwhile you've got Ghost in the Shell and them decided Scarlett Johansson (who they still won't give a Black Widow movie for some reason- I do dock Disney on that but it seems to be the Marvel wing specifically) is less of a risk than putting an Asian actress in an Asian role (and sure there's a thing about the Major's true ethnicity is unknown since she became a cyborg so young... Scarlett's not exactly ambiguous asian or mixed race for that matter, and it strikes me as a Watsonian figleaf to a Doylist problem when I hear that kind of thing, especially because the reverse of the situation is almost unheard of).

And heck, toss in historicals. Europe in the past had black people, arabs, etc.. Including the writer of Three Musketeers Alexandre Dumas (fun fact: It's almost certain the musketeers were not all white) and his father, who was a French general. People stick to all-white casts out of a desire to stick to the pop culture imagine, not historical accuracy... oh, and by Europe in the past I mean ancient Rome too. And Egypt? Egypt was mostly black, it was blacker in historical times than it is now.

And we're still at the point where Hollywood seems terrified of letting The Fresh Prince kiss a white woman: in the 2010s. Meanwhile, television doesn't seem to shy away from this in even their biggest cash-cows. I've mentioned way back that ER, in the 90s, "allowed" a black Eriq La Salle to get up-close and personal with Alex Kingston. ER was a monolith in television back then.



Though even TV needs work- not so much on black actors (well, it could still use more, but you've got shows like The Wire and Empire and such), but I read a thing a few years back where they counted the number of asian actors now vs in the 60s... and it hadn't increased.

And yes, being afraid of *interracial kissing*- at least if a white woman involved- is absurd.

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Re: So apparently superheroes are racist

Postby Q99 » 2017-05-20 07:41pm

And back to women in comics, let's not forget what Lois Lane was like from the start:

Image


Here's a page about the early women of superhero comics


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