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Post by namida » Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:49

As someone who ultimately is in favor of free speech, I often wonder whether true free speech is desirable, or if there needs to be some limits.

I'm not saying necesserially that it should be banned as such, but if someone were to go around these days saying "The Jews are scum, they're responsible for everyone else's problems, they should be considered a lower, less important group of people than everyone else!", I would think it's safe to assume that most people would think this is not only ridiculous, but disgusting too.

The Social Justice movement is pretty much that, but replacing jews with white males. And again, the same applies - it's debatable whether or not such views should be outright censored; but definitely, respect for those who hold them should be limited, if present at all.

I'd think that ultimately, the strongest argument against censorship is not a matter of "free speech should have no limits, even with these kind of views", but more a matter of that any decision on where to draw the line would be inherently subjective rather than objective, and as such, prone to abuse.

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Post by Levellass » Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:46

This is an intriguing and complex subject. The classic line relating to this is the one about not being free to shout 'Fire!' in a crowded theater.

My personal standard is 'freedom maximization'; if you stop people from saying stuff like 'Jews are scum' you decrease freedom by an amount. BUT if you go about spouting such things then YOU can decrease freedom by creating an environment of harassment and oppression.

So I think people should have the right to say whatever they want. However they do not have the right to harass and bully of persecute. You do not get to make death threats online and hide under free speech. YOU are the one limiting speech by punishing and limiting those you disagree with.

Of course this is subjective, but ALL things worth defending are.
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Post by VikingBoyBilly » Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:17

I should be allowed to shout "Fire!" in a public theatre. You can't call the authorities to stop me or make me read the first amendment that says "You can say stuff (but only under certain contexts)"
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Post by Levellass » Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:13

The question then is if someone has the right to free speech that will hurt someone else. Could I go up to you on the street and claim you were a pedophile and get you lynched? Unlimited free speech suggests I could and get away with it as the actions that killed you were not performed by me, merely instigated.
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Post by GoldenRishi » Thu Aug 20, 2015 23:08

candyjack wrote:
GoldenRishi wrote:
Women who achieve power are almost always given a flaw or some kind of emotional weakness their male counterparts do not have (there are a few shows on women in power in US politics at the moment that seem to fit that based on the trailers) and have to acknowledge their gender to make it okay that they win. Women also often have to conform to a male world to achieve power in popular TV - that dragon woman in Game of Thrones, for example. The only way she settles into her life as a sex slave is by learning how to please her rapist. Women in that show especially achieve power through sex and conformity, not through any strong personal willpower.
we seem to be hitting the two very unthoughtful, stereotypical views on each extreme end here. Nothing like talking about shows clearly neither of you understand --never let that get in the way of making a sweeping declaration though!

I'm very much on the feminist end of the things, but neither of these caricatures is doing very much to promote healthy gender relations in society and the media.
What's wrong with Keening_Product's statement, though? He said it solely to refute Paramultart's hasty generalization, but he himself did not resort to that fallacy. Furthermore, it seems quite factual -- Daenerys does in fact submit to her rapist. What's the unthoughtful part here?
The unthoughtful part is the intro-level gender studies reading of the show --it's extremely facile and assumes that we should watch all television like they're trite 1950's morality tales about gender relations. It's pretty ridiculous to state that Daenerys found her power by submitting to her rapist as though this is the only interpretation of the story --or, again regarding morality tales, that the intended point of the show is to model ideal behavior of women in all situations. In other words, the unjustified logical leap from, "Daenerys did X." to "Therefore, the writers are overtly or covertly arguing that all women are obliged to do X in this situation." That's just an unsophisticated, crude, and unthoughtful way to watch drama or read literature.

An alternative interpretation of that same storyline is that Daenerys found her power by making her husband submit to her and regained control of her sexuality by putting their sexual relationship back on her terms --which is pretty much unquestionably the point the show was trying to make. One of the most important themes in Game of Thrones is what constrained ethical decision-making is. We don't live in a world where there's an abundance of perfectly neat, tidy ethical options, unlike what most "morality tale" narratives attempt to imply. In the real world, most ethical decision-making is constrained to situations where all of the good options have been removed, and you're left picking amongst the least bad of the options. And one thing that you have to hand Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire, is that they aren't afraid to put the viewers/readers in uncomfortable situations and ask them, "No, really, what do you think the right decision is here?" That is the manner in which Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire engages its viewers/readers moral sensibilities --not in some cheap, didactic manner.

In the story, they actually grew to love one another; but before he could love her, she had to have agency and assert herself. She gained her agency initially through claiming her sexuality. Later on, she would continue to assert her agency in both good and bad ways, and for anyone who's seen the show after the first season, she gains a considerable amount of power because of the kind of person that she is and the strength that she has as a person. So while it's appalling by modern standards that Khal Drogo thought his wife was required to have sex with him whenever he wanted, it's still ridiculous to claim that she only found power by submitting to her rapist or that one should interpret this as a suggestion by the show that women will gain power by submitting to their rapists. These are interpretations of the show, but they're not very thoughtful or informed interpretations of the show.
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Post by candyjack » Fri Aug 21, 2015 7:46

GoldenRishi wrote:
candyjack wrote:
GoldenRishi wrote: we seem to be hitting the two very unthoughtful, stereotypical views on each extreme end here. Nothing like talking about shows clearly neither of you understand --never let that get in the way of making a sweeping declaration though!

I'm very much on the feminist end of the things, but neither of these caricatures is doing very much to promote healthy gender relations in society and the media.
What's wrong with Keening_Product's statement, though? He said it solely to refute Paramultart's hasty generalization, but he himself did not resort to that fallacy. Furthermore, it seems quite factual -- Daenerys does in fact submit to her rapist. What's the unthoughtful part here?
The unthoughtful part is the intro-level gender studies reading of the show --it's extremely facile and assumes that we should watch all television like they're trite 1950's morality tales about gender relations. It's pretty ridiculous to state that Daenerys found her power by submitting to her rapist as though this is the only interpretation of the story --or, again regarding morality tales, that the intended point of the show is to model ideal behavior of women in all situations. In other words, the unjustified logical leap from, "Daenerys did X." to "Therefore, the writers are overtly or covertly arguing that all women are obliged to do X in this situation." That's just an unsophisticated, crude, and unthoughtful way to watch drama or read literature.
This is a straw man. He made a general observation about tropes that commonly appear in popular culture, and he gave Game of Thrones as an example, but he hardly talked about writer(s)'s intention. He probably implied something about that, but he did not go so far as to say that we should view the show in many particular way, or that the writer intended to convey a universal ethical message relevant to all women.
GoldenRishi wrote: It's pretty ridiculous to state that Daenerys found her power by submitting to her rapist as though this is the only interpretation of the story
This is more a comment about his tone than anything else, but I disagree that it was in any way misleading. Even in professional film and book analysis, it is the norm to use statements in the form of "such and such was meant," even though they are only the analyst's interpretation of what the author meant. This is not a denial of other possibilities; it's done simply because it'd be bothersome if all such statements were formulated so as to admit other possibilities. One can always be wrong, but that's usually implied.
GoldenRishi wrote: An alternative interpretation of that same storyline is that Daenerys found her power by making her husband submit to her and regained control of her sexuality by putting their sexual relationship back on her terms --which is pretty much unquestionably the point the show was trying to make. One of the most important themes in Game of Thrones is what constrained ethical decision-making is. We don't live in a world where there's an abundance of perfectly neat, tidy ethical options, unlike what most "morality tale" narratives attempt to imply. In the real world, most ethical decision-making is constrained to situations where all of the good options have been removed, and you're left picking amongst the least bad of the options. And one thing that you have to hand Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire, is that they aren't afraid to put the viewers/readers in uncomfortable situations and ask them, "No, really, what do you think the right decision is here?" That is the manner in which Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire engages its viewers/readers moral sensibilities --not in some cheap, didactic manner.

In the story, they actually grew to love one another; but before he could love her, she had to have agency and assert herself. She gained her agency initially through claiming her sexuality. Later on, she would continue to assert her agency in both good and bad ways, and for anyone who's seen the show after the first season, she gains a considerable amount of power because of the kind of person that she is and the strength that she has as a person. So while it's appalling by modern standards that Khal Drogo thought his wife was required to have sex with him whenever he wanted, it's still ridiculous to claim that she only found power by submitting to her rapist or that one should interpret this as a suggestion by the show that women will gain power by submitting to their rapists. These are interpretations of the show, but they're not very thoughtful or informed interpretations of the show.
I'll admit that it's been a while since I've watched the show, and that I stopped watching halfway through season 2, but I have trouble viewing the show that way. It's unclear to me how Daenerys made her husband submit to her. And what do you mean by her "claiming her sexuality"? Do those things happen at later points? Because I don't recall anything that resembled this.

In any way, you seem to disregard the complete lack of realism in Daenerys's love toward her husband. You talk about what she has to do in order to make Khal Drogo love her, but why does she love him in the first place? Again, I may have forgotten some details, but from what I can recall, Daenerys was forced to please someone she repulsed, and then later on started liking him out of the blue. There are no events that lead to her change of heart. Furthermore, in order for her love to be in any way authentic, doesn't it need to be her conscious decision in the first place? Most people need some initial reason why they feel special about any particular person before love can grow from there. She, on the other hand, was given no alternatives beyond pleasing him, and even when she starts liking him, there's still a constant threat of violence; if Daenerys were to back out at a later point, would it be that unrealistic for a character like Khal to turn aggressive again? It's as if his reluctance to rape her depends on the fact that she has sex with him willingly (again, because of a completely unexplained love for him), and it stays that way for a good portion of the time. That fact may change later on, but it's not something out of which a feasible love would grow.
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Post by GoldenRishi » Fri Aug 21, 2015 18:27

candyjack wrote:This is a straw man. He made a general observation about tropes that commonly appear in popular culture, and he gave Game of Thrones as an example, but he hardly talked about writer(s)'s intention. He probably implied something about that, but he did not go so far as to say that we should view the show in many particular way, or that the writer intended to convey a universal ethical message relevant to all women.
A strawman is when you misrepresent an argument being made. It's indisputably true that he was arguing that these depictions of women were a statement about how our society reinforces gender stereotypes and social mores for women, therefore your charge rings pretty hollow. What he said was:

"Women in that show especially achieve power through sex and conformity, not through any strong personal willpower. [...] Para, I'll leave it up to you if you want to pull this back on topic or want to keep discussing issues of representation in media."

Can you seriously claim that I'm misrepresenting his statements? The only way that this could be true is if he's arguing that the writer's unintentionally included these as alleged gender stereotypes in their work or weren't aware that they were allegedly writing a story about how women can "only achieve power through their sexuality" (Which is, again, openly false if you actually bother to watch this show) or by "appeasing their rapists." I find that essentially impossible to believe, but even if that's true, it doesn't change anything of substance in what I said. He's still arguing for an overly simplistic interpretation of the show, he's still treating the show like it's a trite morality tale, and he still hasn't watched the show to actually see the range of the depiction of female characters (For god's sake, this is the show that has Daenerys Targaryn, Arya Stark, Brienne of Tarth, The Queen of Thorns, Caitlyn Stark, Cersei Lannister, Osha, Yara Greyjoy, and so on --all powerful women, all with power through their owns means, and all of it coming from their "personal willpower").
candyjack wrote: This is more a comment about his tone than anything else, but I disagree that it was in any way misleading. Even in professional film and book analysis, it is the norm to use statements in the form of "such and such was meant," even though they are only the analyst's interpretation of what the author meant. This is not a denial of other possibilities; it's done simply because it'd be bothersome if all such statements were formulated so as to admit other possibilities. One can always be wrong, but that's usually implied.
He did a 101-gender studies interpretation of Game of Thrones. There can be multiple interpretations of a work, sure, but interpretations much like religions aren't often compatible. It doesn't really matter if he didn't come out and literally say "My interpretation is the only valid interpretation." The only way for his analysis to have been valid in the first place is if the interpretation he offered was a reasonable interpretation of the show. But it isn't. And furthermore, I find it rather silly to do an analysis of a show that you haven't even watched very thoroughly. There's no shortage of simple, objectively poor depictions of women in the media, why not go for one of those? Why bloviate about a show that neither of you follow?
candyjack wrote: I'll admit that it's been a while since I've watched the show, and that I stopped watching halfway through season 2, but I have trouble viewing the show that way. It's unclear to me how Daenerys made her husband submit to her. And what do you mean by her "claiming her sexuality"? Do those things happen at later points? Because I don't recall anything that resembled this.

In any way, you seem to disregard the complete lack of realism in Daenerys's love toward her husband. You talk about what she has to do in order to make Khal Drogo love her, but why does she love him in the first place? Again, I may have forgotten some details, but from what I can recall, Daenerys was forced to please someone she repulsed, and then later on started liking him out of the blue. There are no events that lead to her change of heart. Furthermore, in order for her love to be in any way authentic, doesn't it need to be her conscious decision in the first place? Most people need some initial reason why they feel special about any particular person before love can grow from there. She, on the other hand, was given no alternatives beyond pleasing him, and even when she starts liking him, there's still a constant threat of violence; if Daenerys were to back out at a later point, would it be that unrealistic for a character like Khal to turn aggressive again? It's as if his reluctance to rape her depends on the fact that she has sex with him willingly (again, because of a completely unexplained love for him), and it stays that way for a good portion of the time. That fact may change later on, but it's not something out of which a feasible love would grow.
I actually agree that they did not play all of those scenes as well as they could have in the show; in the books, she was openly interested in having sex with Khal Drogo, so in the show there is a disconnect between Daenerys pretty strongly appearing as though she did not want to have sex with Khal Drogo at the beginning and her later deciding to that she wanted to have sex with Khal Drogo and falling in love him. Still, I think it's not particularly compelling to argue how character X does or doesn't fall in love with a character. It's not like there's a formula for those things, and it's not like this is the first time such a plotline has been played in a story (e.g. the characters Silke Spector and the Comedian in Watchmen; there's also a similar storyline between Spike and Buffy in Buffy in Buffy the Vampire Slayer). And I think it'd be hard to charge Alan Moore and Joss Whedon of reinforcing gender stereotypes or of having uncompelling stories.

Beyond that, it's simply an inaccurate interpretation of the show to say "The only reason Daenerys had sex with Khal Drogo was because she needed to please him." Yes, you're correct that for her to fall in love with Khal Drogo, it needed to be her choice, and the whole point of that plotline was that she chose. The question wasn't her pleasing him, it was if he pleased her and whether or not she was going to take charge of the nature of their relationship. Again, their actual relationship didn't start until she stood up to him. The whole point of that storyline was to watch Daenerys take charge of that situation, and quite literally develop her skills in how to lead people. In other words, Daenerys accepted that she had control of the situation if she chose to seize it, she had power, too, and so she did. That's what made that storyline compelling. SPOILER: It's true that in this instance, she gains power through her sexuality, but she also loses all of that power when Khal Drogo dies at the end of the season, and every season after that she continues to gain her power --by herself-- by being a mixture of things --an effective leader, a compassionate leader, but also not afraid of killing her enemies, and so on. She's actually probably one of the best representations of a powerful female character in modern TV, which both you might understand if you actually watched the show.

We can discuss whether or not the writers did this effectively, fine, but even if the presentation was unreasonable or uncompelling... so what? At best that makes it poor drama in your opinion, but that's a far, far cry the show is conveying messages like "Women should appease their rapists", "Women have weaknesses that men don't have", or "Women can only gain power by conforming to men's wishes."
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Post by candyjack » Fri Aug 21, 2015 19:54

GoldenRishi wrote:
candyjack wrote:This is a straw man. He made a general observation about tropes that commonly appear in popular culture, and he gave Game of Thrones as an example, but he hardly talked about writer(s)'s intention. He probably implied something about that, but he did not go so far as to say that we should view the show in many particular way, or that the writer intended to convey a universal ethical message relevant to all women.
A strawman is when you misrepresent an argument being made. It's indisputably true that he was arguing that these depictions of women were a statement about how our society reinforces gender stereotypes and social mores for women, therefore your charge rings pretty hollow. What he said was:

"Women in that show especially achieve power through sex and conformity, not through any strong personal willpower. [...] Para, I'll leave it up to you if you want to pull this back on topic or want to keep discussing issues of representation in media."

Can you seriously claim that I'm misrepresenting his statements? The only way that this could be true is if he's arguing that the writer's unintentionally included these as alleged gender stereotypes in their work or weren't aware that they were allegedly writing a story about how women can "only achieve power through their sexuality" (Which is, again, openly false if you actually bother to watch this show) or by "appeasing their rapists." I find that essentially impossible to believe, but even if that's true, it doesn't change anything of substance in what I said. He's still arguing for an overly simplistic interpretation of the show, he's still treating the show like it's a trite morality tale, and he still hasn't watched the show to actually see the range of the depiction of female characters (For god's sake, this is the show that has Daenerys Targaryn, Arya Stark, Brienne of Tarth, The Queen of Thorns, Caitlyn Stark, Cersei Lannister, Osha, Yara Greyjoy, and so on --all powerful women, all with power through their owns means, and all of it coming from their "personal willpower").
I agree with the bolded part, but I don't see how he's treating the show as a trite morality tale, nor how his words can be equated to "arguing that all women are obliged to do X in this situation," as you implied.

Also, please don't take it as a charge of any kind. I'm simply pointing out what I perceive to be an error.
GoldenRishi wrote:
candyjack wrote: I'll admit that it's been a while since I've watched the show, and that I stopped watching halfway through season 2, but I have trouble viewing the show that way. It's unclear to me how Daenerys made her husband submit to her. And what do you mean by her "claiming her sexuality"? Do those things happen at later points? Because I don't recall anything that resembled this.

In any way, you seem to disregard the complete lack of realism in Daenerys's love toward her husband. You talk about what she has to do in order to make Khal Drogo love her, but why does she love him in the first place? Again, I may have forgotten some details, but from what I can recall, Daenerys was forced to please someone she repulsed, and then later on started liking him out of the blue. There are no events that lead to her change of heart. Furthermore, in order for her love to be in any way authentic, doesn't it need to be her conscious decision in the first place? Most people need some initial reason why they feel special about any particular person before love can grow from there. She, on the other hand, was given no alternatives beyond pleasing him, and even when she starts liking him, there's still a constant threat of violence; if Daenerys were to back out at a later point, would it be that unrealistic for a character like Khal to turn aggressive again? It's as if his reluctance to rape her depends on the fact that she has sex with him willingly (again, because of a completely unexplained love for him), and it stays that way for a good portion of the time. That fact may change later on, but it's not something out of which a feasible love would grow.
I actually agree that they did not play all of those scenes as well as they could have in the show; in the books, she was openly interested in having sex with Khal Drogo, so in the show there is a disconnect between Daenerys pretty strongly appearing as though she did not want to have sex with Khal Drogo at the beginning and her later deciding to that she wanted to have sex with Khal Drogo and falling in love him. Still, I think it's not particularly compelling to argue how character X does or doesn't fall in love with a character. It's not like there's a formula for those things, and it's not like this is the first time such a plotline has been played in a story (e.g. the characters Silke Spector and the Comedian in Watchmen; there's also a similar storyline between Spike and Buffy in Buffy in Buffy the Vampire Slayer). And I think it'd be hard to charge Alan Moore and Joss Whedon of reinforcing gender stereotypes or of having uncompelling stories.
There may not be a formula for what makes a person fall in love, but it isn't hard to distinguish between feasible and unfeasible love. The point of that argument is, as you seem to admit in your following paragraph, that it's related to the question why Daenerys has sex with Khal Drogo.
GoldenRishi wrote: Beyond that, it's simply an inaccurate interpretation of the show to say "The only reason Daenerys had sex with Khal Drogo was because she needed to please him." Yes, you're correct that for her to fall in love with Khal Drogo, it needed to be her choice, and the whole point of that plotline was that she chose.
Again, it's hard to conceive why she would make this choice in the first place since the show doesn't give us any reason, and it becomes especially problematic considering the violence she would realistically face from Khal if she were to make another choice. Her willingness to have sex with Khal merely veils the fact that the alternative is being raped and losing power. I suppose it's very convenient to fall in love with your rapist so that you don't have to deal with the severe emotions that are likely to arise otherwise, but it does beg the question as to how much of that choice can be attributed to her free will. She supposedly chose for Khal out of love for him, but if that love isn't realistic, it comes off as a hackneyed attempt to cover up the fact that it is sex slavery beneath the surface.

I can't comment on the rest of that paragraph because I haven't watched the show to that degree, but please bear in mind that the reason I dropped the show is exactly the utter absurdity of the Daenerys-Khal affair (beside the bizarre amounts of screen time dedicated to sex scenes that don't contribute anything to the story).
GoldenRishi wrote: that's a far, far cry the show is conveying messages like "Women should appease their rapists", "Women have weaknesses that men don't have", or "Women can only gain power by conforming to men's wishes."
Again, nobody is asserting such things in the first place.
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Post by GoldenRishi » Mon Aug 24, 2015 21:10

candyjack wrote:I agree with the bolded part, but I don't see how he's treating the show as a trite morality tale, nor how his words can be equated to "arguing that all women are obliged to do X in this situation," as you implied.
If it wasn't the assumption he was under, then the point of his argument would be rather irrelevant. If he wasn't operating under the premise that this show was saying what was wrong and right for women, then there'd really be no point whatsoever for bringing it up. Well, more precisely, he discussed how the show was trying to reinforce gender roles, but what I just said in that last sentence is precisely what a gender role is. It's a statement about what a person of a given gender ought to do under a certain set of circumstances. So I am failing to see how I'm distorting or misrepresenting his views. I respect that you think that I am committing an error in reasoning, but I am afraid that I don't agree given my understanding of what he said.
candyjack wrote:I can't comment on the rest of that paragraph because I haven't watched the show to that degree, but please bear in mind that the reason I dropped the show is exactly the utter absurdity of the Daenerys-Khal affair (beside the bizarre amounts of screen time dedicated to sex scenes that don't contribute anything to the story).
Well, that is kind of important. Remember, we're talking about the notion of gender roles in the whole show and what the whole story has to say about gender. So far, you've convinced me that you didn't like one storyline, which according to your sensibilities, lacked verisimilitude. Now I happen to disagree that one semi-weak plotline this makes the entire show not watchable, but that's a separate discussion.

It's important because:
candyjack wrote: There may not be a formula for what makes a person fall in love, but it isn't hard to distinguish between feasible and unfeasible love. The point of that argument is, as you seem to admit in your following paragraph, that it's related to the question why Daenerys has sex with Khal Drogo. [...] Again, it's hard to conceive why she would make this choice in the first place since the show doesn't give us any reason, and it becomes especially problematic considering the violence she would realistically face from Khal if she were to make another choice. Her willingness to have sex with Khal merely veils the fact that the alternative is being raped and losing power. I suppose it's very convenient to fall in love with your rapist so that you don't have to deal with the severe emotions that are likely to arise otherwise, but it does beg the question as to how much of that choice can be attributed to her free will. She supposedly chose for Khal out of love for him, but if that love isn't realistic, it comes off as a hackneyed attempt to cover up the fact that it is sex slavery beneath the surface.
Okay, I don't really fully agree with this (or at least not to this extent) and I think that you're being overly dismissive of what is arguably one of the best shows of all time, but for the sake of argument, let's suppose I concede to this entire point and agree with it.

So what do we conclude from this? Remember, the thing that you thought I was unfairly chastising him on was about his claims regarding the notion that Game of Thrones reinforces gender roles (and additionally that all TV female characters get power solely through conforming to "male culture"), which I said was unthoughtful and intellectually oafish. Even if I cede all of the above, there is no straightforward, logical jump from that admission to "Game of Thrones reinforces gender stereotypes and roles."

Okay, so "GoT had an outrageously unbelievable plotline that involves a girl falling in love with her rapist." Is that somehow supposed to be reinforcing... what? That women are supposed to gain power through their sexuality? Most presumably that he was interpreting this to mean that the show was reinforcing the stereotype the "correct" female gender role is to let men take their natural gender role as the domineering alpha male who gets what he wants when he wants. He was vague on the specifics, only to state clearly that Game of Thrones was reinforcing gender roles, although I don't think it takes deep insight to understand that this is what he meant.

But did the show actually say that? As I've said before, it'd be pretty difficult to casually pin Joss Whedon or Alan Moore with the label of a misogynist or of reinforcing gender stereotypes, but they have both had either literally the same (Moore) or very similar (Whedon) plotlines in their works. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I don't think anyone would. More to the point, just because a female character happens to do something in a show does not mean that the show/author is condoning this stereotype. For instance, during that same season but a different plotline (SPOILERS), there's a female character who manipulates her boyfriend into killing several people. I notice that no one bothers to say, "AH! Look at that, GoT is reinforcing a gender stereotype where women manipulate people with sex to get what they want." I doubt anyone bothered to mention this because no one actually thought that the GoT writers were arguing that this was moral behavior, and thus such an argument would have been completely off point. And that's because we're trained to think, "This character is bad. Therefore, they do bad things." and the opposite, "This character is good, therefore they do good things." That, I think, is why some people got really pissed about certain character choices in the show --because many people naively watch TV shows like "Watch what the good people do. It's the behavior a person should do if they want to be good." Part of what makes GoT so compelling (and indeed many modern dramas, such as the Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Dexter, etc) is that the characters --all of the characters-- are morally ambiguous, just like most people in real life are.


Beyond this, of course, I'm failing to address the other parts, like the ridiculous carte blanche, across-the-board, sweeping assertion that "Women who achieve power are almost always given a flaw or some kind of emotional weakness their male counterparts do not have [...] and have to acknowledge their gender to make it okay that they win. Women also often have to conform to a male world to achieve power in popular TV." There's a lot of bold, unclear if not very vague, gender studies 101-level observations, but without (by my esteem) real sophistication or reflection. Even in GoT, this claim rings extremely hollow; to get back to a previous point, you guys would know this if you watched the show more fully. Instead you didn't like some of the plotlines so you chose to stop watching them. That's fine, but then don't attack the show --which you have not watched in full so you certainly cannot claim to have a deep understanding of the characters and the storylines-- or use it as alleged clear-cut example of reinforcing gender stereotypes. Firstly, this reminds me of the ridiculous debates a decade ago that used to go on these forums regarding "Is Harry Potter Evil?" To your credit, you've at least seen some GoT, but most of the people on that thread knew that they hated Harry Potter and knew it was evil --but damned if they had ever read the books. Secondly, there are such better examples of reinforcing gender stereotypes in modern cinema or TV, why not use those as the cases in point?


Now don't get me wrong, as I said from my first post, I'm very much on the feminist side of these issues. Para's post is completely spurious by my personal estimation and I am glad that Keening_Product made some attempt to oppose the rather blind cultural analyses of Para. But rather than filling his post to the brim with quite bold declarations about shows he's barely watched, I would have preferred a much more serious analysis of the errors in Para's reasoning/analysis (which, again no offense to Para, but his post was abound with).
candyjack wrote:
GoldenRishi wrote: that's a far, far cry the show is conveying messages like "Women should appease their rapists", "Women have weaknesses that men don't have", or "Women can only gain power by conforming to men's wishes."
Again, nobody is asserting such things in the first place.
I'm sorry, but I'm not really sure I follow you here, candyjack. Maybe you should remind yourself very quickly of what Keening_Product said before you continue to defend it, but here's a relevant snippet from his post:

"Women who achieve power are almost always given a flaw or some kind of emotional weakness their male counterparts do not have (there are a few shows on women in power in US politics at the moment that seem to fit that based on the trailers) and have to acknowledge their gender to make it okay that they win. Women also often have to conform to a male world to achieve power in popular TV - that dragon woman in Game of Thrones, for example. The only way she settles into her life as a sex slave is by learning how to please her rapist. Women in that show especially achieve power through sex and conformity, not through any strong personal willpower."

He literally just said all three of those in the above. Perhaps you interpret this differently, but the statements seem quite forthright.


Just to reiterate, I'm not trying to make this personal either, nor I don't mean any personal offense to Keening_Product or yourself, but I am genuinely exasperated by overly simplistic versions of feminism that make it easy for people to dismiss the importance of egalitarianism and gender equality.
Last edited by GoldenRishi on Thu Aug 27, 2015 17:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by BlueGasMask » Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:15

garg got too real fam
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Post by candyjack » Sat Sep 05, 2015 13:18

GoldenRishi wrote:*snip*
A lot of this discussion revolves around what Keening_Product meant by his post. I don't find 'the correct interpretation of his words' a particularly interesting subject, so I won't go into it deeply, which will save the both of us a lot of energy. I still don't agree that he was claiming Game of Thrones to intentionally reinforce gender roles, simply because he doesn't talk about how it affects people's behaviour in daily life, and instead strictly confines himself to what happens on the screen. There's a distinction between a show containing certain representations of women, and a show conveying that it ought to be that way in real life, and, from what I can tell, he's only claiming the former to be the case. If he actually was claiming that Game of Thrones reinforces the stereotypes that appear in it, then I agree that it is an exaggeration, but I'm not convinced he was saying that.
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Post by GoldenRishi » Sat Sep 05, 2015 17:22

Levellass wrote:The problem isn't social justice, it's the fact that it's on the internet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=p ... IvwupbScpM
I really like that video.
candyjack wrote:
GoldenRishi wrote:*snip*
A lot of this discussion revolves around what Keening_Product meant by his post. I don't find 'the correct interpretation of his words' a particularly interesting subject, so I won't go into it deeply, which will save the both of us a lot of energy. I still don't agree that he was claiming Game of Thrones to intentionally reinforce gender roles, simply because he doesn't talk about how it affects people's behaviour in daily life, and instead strictly confines himself to what happens on the screen. There's a distinction between a show containing certain representations of women, and a show conveying that it ought to be that way in real life, and, from what I can tell, he's only claiming the former to be the case. If he actually was claiming that Game of Thrones reinforces the stereotypes that appear in it, then I agree that it is an exaggeration, but I'm not convinced he was saying that.
That's fine. Upon re-reading the thread, I still think it's what he was saying, but I'm fine agreeing to disagree. I mean, I suppose he could clarify his point if he chose to, but perhaps I'm imparting too much of my experience trying to have these discussions with the typical feminists who attack GoT and similar shows for alleged sexism.
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