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Author Topic: Leading Women? (A Dicey-Rant Topic?!)  (Read 2941 times)
Dice
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« on: June 22, 2012, 02:08:26 PM »

So, if you've at all been looking at film reviews, Pixar's Brave is up on most major sites.

A lot of reviews, "average" being the most common and the median. But a lot saying this is definitely not Pixar's best, and it's extraordinary likeness to another cartoon feature: Brother Bear.

More than that, though. I'm stunned at the amount of sexist commentary from idiot reaction posts that state a reason for the film's lack of "pow" is its female lead. Even if FF13 is a stink-bomb, you see much fan postings and admiration (or certainly lack of any real negative feedback), it feels like a lot of people like Lightning for being quite the action heroine.  Kill Bill is probably one of few female-action flicks done extremely right (and on the other end, Suckerpunch sat really poorly with another lot).

I saw the same for some idiot gabbing about Legend of Korra who didn't like, specifically, a "female" lead where he [and to top it off] had an forum icon of Saber from the anime series, Fate.

Sorry, I'm going in a bit of a tangent here, but a topic I think would be interesting to pipe up on and it sorta hurt to see some neanderthal poo-poo women in a lead role.  But what are your thoughts?

It seems women are having trouble getting out of a type casted role of being the more dainty and delicate type, like the hit show Girls still kind of hitting common ideas and tropes for women.  But no matter what, they seem to have trouble stepping into the limelight.  Then in another vein of Hollywood Ageism, Steve Carrel (a man of almost 50) is flirting with 20-something Keira Knightley in Seeking a Friend at the End of World -- how can [older] women compete? 

Needly to say, I'm sorry if this comes off a bit bias, and no, I'm not going to be standing outside of Parliament, burning my bra -- but that's not to say it doesn't bug me, and it sometimes feel like women keep pushing their own stereotypes that make it hard to rise above it.  Things have gotten better, but it doesn't look like things will get much better from this point, at least, not anytime soon.

(haha, I also kinda feel like I'm preaching to a den of wolves, whom, besides me and a few other ladies here, really are the "little guys" in this).
« Last Edit: June 22, 2012, 02:14:37 PM by Dice » Logged

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Yoda
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« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2012, 02:39:26 PM »

Why do you feel like you're preaching to a den of wolves? This isn't some reactionary crowd like if you were posting on NascarFan.com or something.

I like movies and games w/ strong female leads
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Ashton
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« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2012, 03:07:12 PM »

It's ironic you bring up Final Fantasy XIII. That game had one of the WORST female protagonists, IMO. Her entire deal for the first hald of the game was being maladjusted, abusive, and intensely annoying. Being violent towards the opposite sex does not 'empower' a woman any more than it should 'empower' a man. I imagine Brave's lead will be far more likable.

As to the reaction posts... well, there's lots of that from both sides.
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GrimReality
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« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2012, 03:13:41 PM »

I've been reading reviews, too, but haven't encountered anyone blaming the films mediocrity on the lead being female. Perhaps on her poor character arc, or lame story that apparently loots all sorts of past Disney movies. It's too bad, because I was looking forward to this ever since I saw the first teaser.

Yeah, I have a feeling our group is pretty progressive, and won't have a problem with your "rant". I love GOOD movies. It doesn't matter if the main characters are male or female.
Sadly, I can't really think of a lot of good/great movies with female leads that I like. There just aren't enough of them.
Alien/s
Terrminator 2
???
Wow, I'm blanking...

TV shows like Firefly and BSG had some great female characters.

Still, there should be more.

« Last Edit: June 22, 2012, 03:25:20 PM by GrimReality » Logged

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Dice
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« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2012, 03:18:26 PM »

With all due respect to Lightning...I'd probably punch Snow too though.  Not only for being a grievance but for thinking a 7-ft man is going to stick it in my barely legal and half-sized twig of a sister.  I admired her toughness because her sister was her only family and she wanted to protect what was sort of broken (big "sis" was playing the roles of mom and dad).  Anything aside from basis of her character concept I kind-of muddled in with standard F13-characterization-rubbish that everyone suffered from (making the antics worse than what we see on your least favorite Thursday night drama).

I found Serah a much more irritating lead for falling for all common FF-women tropes aside from kicking ass that she was already programmed to do from the start (where at some point she departed from being passive NPC to "ass-kicker-debutant" with a new change of clothes).  She was still hopeful, cavity-causing-sweet, and her role virtually made no sense.  Her engagement to the ape-man-alpha-male is even more offensive -- I don't even think Squeenix takes it seriously given the Paradox ending they had with him in it.

And Grim.  Not reviewers themselves (thank god, I'm sure the public would destroy their credibility in such an event); but just from people responding to reviews.  You see it on YouTube as well.  And while I know the masses of YouTube aren't top-graduating laureates, it's still...troublesome that it's so easy to make fun of women, for just the same easily peg them as not as good as men.
I guess I'm troubled to think that any good person is *that* narrow and small in their thinking, or to think its right to some extent.  I realize men and women are better at things than others, but ultimately the world always works to put women in 2nd for many, many, many ...centuries.

I've cooled down....
« Last Edit: June 22, 2012, 03:22:15 PM by Dice » Logged

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Starmongoose
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« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2012, 03:24:04 PM »

Aw, I'm sad that this film might not be good. D:

Also I don't think you have to be a woman to want to see good leading woman in things. :P Thing is, people don't know what they want in a in a "leading female". Some people want her to be a man in a hot female body, some people want her to be written in a way that isn't influenced by her gender in any way, and others want to see them written in a way that reflects the issues she will have faced before that point, whether it be problems stemming from her gender, or elsewhere and influencing the character that she is.

Since I think a majority of us watch Game of Thrones, take Cersei Lannister for example, she's a good female character, I don't LIKE her, but that's not the point is it? She is motivated by power just like any man, but we also see female motivations as well, stemming from her being a woman and a mother.
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« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2012, 03:27:15 PM »

Grievance? Let's take a look at Snow and Lightning's relationship, regardless of what I think about the game's story:

Snow:

-Treats Lightning with respect and like family and calls her "Big Sis"
-Honestly cares about Serah, wanting to save, protect, and take care of her
-Cares about the happiness and well-being of others

Lightning:

-Treats everyone like crap and disrespect
-Treats Snow like EXTRA crap with additional disrespect
-Doesn't give a shit about Serah's happiness, to say nothing of those not related to her

Yet I'm supposed to root for Lightning, because she's a woman. If the genders were switched and Lightning was a man calling Snow, a woman, a whore who didn't deserve his brother, people would be pissed. Something here isn't right.
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« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2012, 03:34:15 PM »

Although this is more about music than film, I think Lemmy from Motorhead said it best. 

Quote
Crypt Magazine: With women rockers, you've always championed them. Like GIRLSCHOOL, L7, JOAN JETT...

Lemmy: CHELSEA GIRLS. They go through a lot of shit, just 'cause they're chicks. It ain't right. GIRLSCHOOL, when they started out, guys would say about Kelly Johnson (original lead guitarist) "she's really good for a girl." I'd say, "she's better than you motherfucker!" Because she was a great guitar player. She's dead now, you know that.

Crypt Magazine: Yes, of course. Unfortunately.

Lemmy: She took a long time to die too. It was really bad, cancer of the spine. But, all of these (female) bands, people treat them like second-class citizens, because they're chicks. There's all this "show us your tits, and we'll give you a gig." And all of that shit. It's really like, poor.
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« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2012, 03:34:36 PM »

I like movies and games w/ strong female leads

Same here.

Sometimes I enjoy a story more because the main character is a woman. I don't have any problems if is a he or a she, just do them right.

-Doesn't give a shit about Serah's happiness, to say nothing of those not related to her

Almost everything she does is for her sister. :|

Yet I'm supposed to root for Lightning, because she's a woman. If the genders were switched and Lightning was a man calling Snow, a woman, a whore who didn't deserve his brother, people would be pissed. Something here isn't right.

You are thinking this too much... I think.
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Dice
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« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2012, 03:37:21 PM »

Grievance? Let's take a look at Snow and Lightning's relationship, regardless of what I think about the game's story:

Snow:

-Treats Lightning with respect and like family and calls her "Big Sis"
-Honestly cares about Serah, wanting to save, protect, and take care of her
-Cares about the happiness and well-being of others

Lightning:

-Treats everyone like crap and disrespect
-Treats Snow like EXTRA crap with additional disrespect
-Doesn't give a shit about Serah's happiness, to say nothing of those not related to her

Yet I'm supposed to root for Lightning, because she's a woman. If the genders were switched and Lightning was a man calling Snow, a woman, a whore who didn't deserve his brother, people would be pissed. Something here isn't right.

I'm talking otherwise, Snow wouldn't shut up about his "hero" nonsense when it didn't get him very far in the first place.  You say he respects Serah, but also takes off to search for Lightning (a respectable cause no doubt) -- but leaves her for THREE YEARS and is mucking around in a forest at that no closer than ever.

Lightning reminded me of my dad in that sense.  Don't think he'd like it much if I brought an older rebel home.  And the ice queen warmed up by the end (she hit him in that one FMV on Pulse, but got over it and resolved to get her back).  Again, I don't take the cinematics/scenes in FF13 seriously -- most are ridiculous.  (Snow for example: Rebel fighting for his fiance sounded *awesome* on paper... till he opening his damn mouth and annoyed players.  Vanilla was trying to fulfill a mission from [iirc?] 500 years in the past to get another one in the present.... till she fucking skipped and squeaked around the field with a stupid fishing net weapon).

And Star, I believe you're right.  It's hard to define the feminine and masculine and what we expect from a good lead (I always thought a bit of both?).  Though I always found the sexualized-action-woman who parades like an angry man a sort of humourous type leading lady. We get a problem of definition, where a woman can't be "tough" without sort of calling back to it being a "masculine" thing.
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« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2012, 03:46:00 PM »

My ideal example of a sterling female protagonist has always been Suikoden III's Chris Lightfellow.

A few others include Dreamfall's Zoe, TLJ's April Ryan, and Nocturne's (not-protagonist-but-leading-role) Yuko Takao. Their gender doesn't define any of them, their actions do.
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« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2012, 04:13:35 PM »

I blame directing and acting for Daenarys Targaryan not being as badass in the show as she is in the books.
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« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2012, 04:15:31 PM »

She was.
In season 1, anyway.
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« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2012, 04:50:58 PM »

When a woman is 6 ft 4 inches tall, 235 lbs, and looks sort of like Bill Goldberg in terms of physique, I'll accept women as action heroes. Til then, they can be lead roles in anything, doesn't mean I'll take them seriously. I didn't take lightning seriously, nor did I take the bride in kill bill seriously. Doesn't mean the movie or game suffered because of it in my opinion, it's just like all these jrpg heroes. 18 year old scrawny kid saves the world my ass, I could make a better hero. Where's the 7ft 300lb Sylvester Stallone looking mother fucking hero?
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« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2012, 04:55:30 PM »

I think this video is appropo for this thread.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBf1kM0wBfg (I've seen this band live a couple times.  She throws down in the moshpits.)
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