Argo

Oct. 15th, 2012 02:07 am
starfire11: (Default)
Argo was a very good movie, actually. I think it's shit that they felt the need to shit on the contribution of the Canadians (wtf Ben Affleck and Co.) and I'm sure it pissed off the Iranians, but I still enjoyed it.

I have a lot of luck with movies my mom picks that I'm either not aware of or not really into beforehand. "The Queen", "Argo", "Pride and Prejudice" (the TV series), "Out of Africa", "The King's Speech"... and so on.

I'm very annoyed. Well, sort of. On the one hand, I did read a lot of "Bleak House" today. On the other, I'm just behind where I should have STARTED for today.

I also don't have an English version of "Cradle of Stars" (Kiddy Grade) and cannot find one, even though I would really like one.

I still have to write a journal article, my workshop story and my hangman Computer Science project. I don't really know if it's worthwhile to re-do my homework 3, especially since I don't know what went wrong with it and the things he wanted us to run through them never got to my email for some reason.

But I have finished the Irish plays, read the school newspaper, gone over the two workshop stories I do have and read a lot of "Bleak House"... sort of. Plus, I've been running through ideas for the stor(ies) in my head.

I really want to and don't want to write this article. I have no idea how to write it.

On the other hand, I'm REALLY tempted to write something on gender roles at school.

In two classes now, several students have presented gender roles as if they're established fact, everywhere, which obviously isn't true and for some reason no one takes umbridge to this, other than friends and I outside of class. In one class, a girl took issue with the fact that the male protagonist was effeminate, in relation to the fact that the protagonist's sex is not identified until page two or three. Three classmates then proceeded to suggest ways to get around this: make him do stereotypically heterosexual masculine things. When I suggested "Just start with 'My name is Alvin, and I like the beach because blah' (which is basically how her story started, minus the name) and then move on", people laughed. I like making people laugh and I'm glad no one openly disapproved, but I mean COME ON! Yeah, I was a little confused about who or what was specifically talking (was it a kid, an adult, a man, a woman, a disembodied narrator?), but I didn't care all that much and I wasn't so desperate to identify who it was that I had to pick one sex over another. You get the guy's name out there, BAM, you know it's a guy (unless told otherwise, which we weren't) and you don't have to change the character. I don't see Alvin doing the ridiculous stereotyped things they suggested. I do not want her to change the character like that. I think he's fine as he is. The only person doing something wrong in relation to his being marginally "effeminate" is his accuser, the moron in our class who has this obsession with fitting men and women into specific little gender role boxes.

I find it amusing that "I'm" the conservative Jew and she's the reform Jew and yet "I'm" apparently the more liberal, at least when it comes to gender discussion.

Every time she does this she acts like it's a BIG. ASS. SHOCKER. Her reaction was like this: "OMG, he was just SO effeminate! Wasn't that WEIRD?"

Wow. The guy acts like he walked out of the Romantic Period and he's automatically homosexual to you, Miss I Walk And Breathe Stereotypes.

So he likes the beach. So he notices his surroundings. The only reason the narration before he gave his name didn't seem "masculine" was because it was lacking action, crassness and/or references to women as sexual objects. I mean, seriously? Seems like a person I'd want to be friends with over some of the guys I know who like spitting on the ground, punching walls and laughing when sexism is brought up in discussion.

Note, we never learn his sexuality. He shows what might POSSIBLY be a slightly attraction to the other character: Orelia. A slight something that's never really explained. But it's not really sexual or romantic and we don't really know what their relationship is going to be after the story ends. It never really turns into anything other than friendship, as far as we're aware. The author could have easily explained away Alvin's personality by using sexuality stereotypes. "Oh, he's just gay." "Oh, he's bi." "Oh, he's asexual". She could have.

But she didn't. I don't know whether it was purposeful or not, but she didn't.

And I am so tired of people sticking people into these boxes. I sat in the car with a friend while driving back from wherever it was that we went together and she was talking to me about her "gay friend in denial". I asked her why she thought he was gay and she told me about his clothing choices and the type of water bottles he drank from.

...

I asked her if she had any other evidence. Like did he comment on the attractiveness of men or did he have a boyfriend or was he not interested in women or something?

She repeated the clothing choices.

I tried to explain that clothing choices don't make you anything. Well, other than a member of the KKK or MAYBE Muslim, I suppose, but people can wear head scarves and not be Muslim.

She didn't believe me.

I RESPECT this friend. I LIKE this friend. I MISS this friend. But I think of this conversation and I just cringe.

Heck, I even liked Miss Moron until I realized that this was a thing with her.

I kind of liked the other guy who does this until I realized that... well, there are a number of issues with him. Besides the fact that he never shuts up.

My issue with gender roles comes from what I know and experience. Yes, people need to be aware of the way our society and different societies reinforce them. They deserve studying. The media's portrayal and reinforcement of them deserves studying.

But forcing them on others because that is the way you view the world is ridiculous. If a writer wants to write about a guy who's a nature lover and not a skirt chaser, then I say by all means.

You know who's bought feminine hygiene products and taken my sister to Victoria's Secret when she wanted nice underwear? My Dad.

You know who makes more money from their job? My Mom.

You know who likes Enya and New Age music? My Dad.

You know who likes the supernatural, horror and ghost hunter shows? My Mom.

My parents are both computer engineers. They both scuba dive. They both cook and bake and do it well.

And you know what? I liked barbies. I liked barbies for a long time. I liked Polly Pockets. I listened to Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys and N'Sync (admittedly, only one CD), and thought that was good. When I was little, of course, and didn't know what good music was. I also watched and read "Sailor Moon" and thought it was amazing. Before I knew what good art and story was.

You know what I also liked from a young age? "Gladiator", 3rd Grade (eight years old). "The Last Samurai", 6th Grade (eleven years old). "The Mummy Returns" 5th Grade (ten years old). I liked "Ronin Warriors" from when it aired on Toonami when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade. I watched the 1984 film version of "Dune" on laser disc many a time when I was in Elementary School and beyond (age seven and earlier). I watched the mini-series when it premiered on TV in 2nd grade. I ADORED it. It was the first soundtrack I fell in love with when I didn't even know what that really meant. It was the first series that made me love specific actors and voice actors before I knew what that meant. In 5th grade I waited with bated breath for and watched the premier of its sequel: "Children of Dune", in the hopes that it would be just as good. It was good, too. I grew up watching "Doctor Who" on laser disc. Dad started collecting the old series episodes on DVD LONG before Christopher Eccleston showed up in 2005 (7th grade, age 12) as the 9th Doctor. We were prepared for the new show beforehand. I was skeptical. He was anxious. We were surprised and pleased when we saw what it was.

My most-read manga genre is shounen. My favorite manga is "Rurouni Kenshin", hands down. I started reading the swords-manga in 4th or 5th grade when I realized that I wanted to get into mange because a) I like books and b) the anime looked cool on Adult Swim. I picked up volume 1 in the bookstore of the University of Maryland. I was immediately hooked.

Of the three serial manga I read, "Bleach" is my favorite, due to the preponderance of bishounen and the beautiful art. "xxxHolic" is probably my second-favorite manga, followed by "Fullmetal Alchemist", "Buso Renkin", "Fruits Basket", "Sailor Moon", "Ranma 1/2" and then "Flame of Recca".

I think pink is an okay color, but it's not my favorite. It's too bright for some of my moods. Cerulean blue is my favorite color. I always kept and never used the Cerulean crayon because I didn't want to run out and it was so pretty. I like country, rock, heavy metal, folk, new age, classical and electronic music, but I have far more soundtracks and Musical CDs than anything else. My favorite artists are composers, not singers and not bands: Joe Hisaishi, Hanz Zimmer, Yoko Kanno, Yuki Kajiura, and Vivaldi. Enya also possibly wins out, but that's a slight thing. She's like everyone else out there: after a time, it's all the same sound. Big Bang also fits into this category.

I like action-adventure books and webcomics. Currently, I'm watching the on-going series "Supernatural" (sorta), "Sherlock", "Doctor Who", "Young Justice" (fav), "Legend of Korra", and "Once Upon a Time" (eh). I'm reading two hard SF books and an assorted number of high fantasy books, as well as an autobiography from WW2, the fourth "Wizard of Oz" book, and a thesis about the Holocaust, Judaism, Christianity, social theory, politics, perception, religion and so many other things.

My desk bookshelf features "Howl's Moving Castle" (fav book), next to "Macbeth", three hard SF books, a Steven Brust (high fantasy) omnibus, some "Gargoyles" comics, an "Avatar: The Last Airbender" comic and an assorted group  of manga. My Chris Hemsworth Thor bobble-head stands beside my Black Knight sans limbs bobble-head, a Pocahontas action figure and three Pokemon action figures.

I am good at cooking. I do not do it often. I do not necessarily enjoy it. When I have a choice, I weigh the pros and cons: "Is it worth having to prepare and clean up after, as well as wait for it to get done?" Typically it's not. I do not hate gardening, but neither do I like it. I do not dislike sewing, but neither do I like it, nor am I necessarily good at it. I like singing. I have, like many, a special relationship with God (not that I'm better than others, but that I approach religion in my own way). I like cats and dogs, but now prefer cats because they require less maintenance. I play computer games, and play WoW rather well. I write fantasy. I enjoy swimming and soccer. I'm okay wearing a dress or skirt but I prefer pants. Heels make me look better but non-heels are more comfortable and practical. I do not enjoy putting on make-up or fixing up my hair. I hate clothes shopping because it takes forever, women's clothes are too flimsy and pricey and nothing really nice fits me anyway.

When I was little I wanted to be a mixed version of Superman and Pocahontas from Disney's "Pocahontas", with Ariel's hair from "The Little Mermaid", AndrAI's body from "ReBoot" and Bell's fashion sense from "Beauty and the Beast". I wanted Morticia's personality from "The Addams Family" and Velma's sense of humor from "Scooby-Doo", as well as her intelligence. I also wanted Sailor Jupiter's fighting abilities. When the Ridley Scott "Spider-Man" film came out in 2002, I wanted to be Spider-Man and that was it. When the "Justice League" TV series aired in 2001, I wanted to be Wonder Woman.

People are not what gender stereotypes you label them with. People are complex and weird and surprising and interesting and amazing and disappointing, but you need to find that out for yourself. Don't fit people into boxes.
starfire11: (Default)
Like a lot.

So some things have happened. Unimportant things, as usual.

I finished "FLCL", which was... interesting. I really like one of the songs in it, so that was nice, but, well... I don't see it as rewatchable (at least for me). I mean it was funny and presenting some interesting points, but, well... eh.

After discussion we watched this OVA called "Ultimate Teacher" which was... really, really awful and just... I mean, part of what they did was rip off the Wolverine story and it was made more amusing because the guy who voiced the 80s Wolverine from the TV show voiced the parody Wolverine character... and I bet he thought this whole thing was rather hilarious. I hope he had fun.

I read the first volume of "Sailor V"! And that was, well... it was better than I expected. Interestingly, Takeuchi continued writing the "Sailor V" story until (it appears) the end of the syndication of Sailor Moon. Which explains some of the artwork and the way the storyline ran as you get further from the beginning. I always understood that Sailor V was created first, and then Sailor Moon was the after-product after V's popularity.

Volume 2 looks a lot better and rather bittersweet.

I started reading "Oliver Twist". That's rather interesting. It's kind of mixed up with all the reading I have to do for the weekend. Yes, I'm watching anime and reading manga and writing rants rather than take care of all of my reading. Yes, I know that's bad. I have gotten some work done! I've made my way through this handbook that we have to finish for Tuesday, and I have been keeping up-to-date with the Oliver Twist portions I need to read so I'm not swamped with reading. I'm done with my Lit Resistance reading. I finished the Computer Science reading. I finished photocopying the thing I have to read for my other class on Tuesday.

I've also been writing some, which is nice.

We had an officer's meeting for the club I'm VP for. And it was interesting. I managed to probably be completely obnoxious and gross and kind of took over... sigh...

[Sailor Moon R (yes I'm still watching this show)] Reversing the flow of time does not do that. Even considering how it should not be THAT simple. It would be easier to have some sort of wind spell. JAPAN! STOP IT!

We did go over a lot of things, though! I think we got a lot accomplished.

I'm actually tempted to finish Code Geass R2. That's a lot shorter than oh, R, S, Super S, and Stars, plus two movies.

Did I mention that I really don't want to read all this stuff I have to read? It's like 230 more pages of material and AGH...

Well... 106 pages for that photocopied article. At least 17 more for "Oliver Twist". Then there's like 140 more pages for the handbook. I'm probably just not going to bother with rereading "A Modest Proposal".

Aaaaand I really don't have anything to write here today. I just felt bored.

I got caught up on the tropes vs. women (or whatever) on YouTube. It's quite interesting. I never realized how many female characters I knew well became pregnant (somehow) on their respective shows. I also don't think that Batman Rises passes the... Ichdal test? Or something. The one where at least two major female characters must exist AND speak to each other at least once about something other than men. I"m not entirely certain that Talia and Catwoman, the only main cast women, ever speak to each other. I think Catwoman looks at Talia once. Beyond that, though... we never see Talia conversing with another woman in the entire movie. Catwoman has a brief conversation with a female helper of some sort early in the film. And that's about it for her female discussions.

[R2] Is that... is that the Chinese ambassador's voice? Does Japan like really not care about China or something? Or like, not care about insulting them?

I'm also not sure that the new Avengers movie passes the test. There are two main cast members who are female: Agent Hill and Black Widow. I can't exactly recall any conversation between Hill and BW. If they spoke, it was EXTREMELY brief. I think they shared looks and MAYBE stood close to each other once or twice. Beyond that, there's that waitress who likes Captain America, who doesn't ever even stand in the same room as the two women.

Captain America doesn't pass the test. There is one primary female cast member. She interacts once with another woman, and it's in anger over the second woman coming onto Steve.

Iron Man doesn't pass the test. Pepper has one conversation with a female reporter, and it ends up being about Tony (through implication). Iron Man 2 passes. Barely. BW and Pepper speak a little together every now and then, while completely ignoring Tony's presence or any other male around. They're very brief with this.

Thor passes the test. Also barely. The Earth romance character and her intern talk together every now and then and don't ALWAYS talk about men. They discuss the research project and some of their woes and new discoveries. The other two relatively primary female cast members, Sif, and Thor's mother whose name escapes me (did she even GET a name?) never speak to each other. I don't think Sif even talks with the two Earth women, and the only time she speaks to Thor's mother, it's about Thor.

The last Hulk movie doesn't pass the test. As far as I can recall, there was only one woman with any speaking lines in the entire film, and that was the love interest.

Dark Knight doesn't pass the test. There are four women who get speaking lines in the film (outside of maybe screaming), and that's Rachel, the blackmailed cop, the judge who dies, and the woman making out with the random rich dude during the party the Joker crashes. Well, and that woman who the Italian dude is with for a grand total of like, fifty seconds, maybe. None of them speak to each other. Rachel is the only one with more than a scene or two of talking.

Batman Begins doesn't pass the test. There are, again, four female characters in the film: Rachel, Mrs. Wayne, and the two women Bruce escorts into the restaurant when he comes back from being, well, dead. It's kind of presumed that the two nameless women talk to each other off-screen and I guess... giggle or something. I don't know what about though, and we don't see it. I'm not entirely sure that Mrs. Wayne actually gets a speaking part of any kind. Rachel doesn't talk to any women in the entire film, from what I can recall.

The new Green Lantern movie doesn't pass the test. There are a couple female characters that I can remember: Lawler, the love interest... uh... maybe some Lanterns that I can't remember... that's about it. Lawler and the love interest don't talk with each other, from what I can remember. I'm not entirely certain the recent animated one passes, either. I remember there being maybe three "principal" female characters: the love interest, the evil chick, and the blonde one (who was apparently Gordan's apprentice or something). None of them speak to each other.

Superman Returns doesn't pass the test. There are two principal female characters: Lois and Luthor's current gf. They don't speak to each other, from what I remember.

The animated Wonder Woman movie passes. There are at least a few conversations between some of the Amazons on duty, combat, history, and informational bits concerning battles and such. Nothing really long, but it's still there.

I don't think the New Frontier movie passes. There are two "principle" cast members who are female. Again, Green Lantern's love interest, and Wonder Woman (who, SHOCKINGLY, is the ONLY super-heroine with a speaking part). They don't speak to each other.

Just a personal run-through to see if any recent comic-based movie passes the test, since this series focuses on comics, movies, and video games. And the answer... is really no. Wonder Woman, Thor, and Iron Man 2 all barely pass the test. Wonder Woman only does it seemingly out of a superiority of cast members, much as they still try to outnumber them with men. And what happens? Two principle plot points involve the presence of a male villain bent on enslaving the Amazons trying to take back his powers, and the arrival of someone from "Man's World", who wants to help save the world from Hades. So even with POSSIBLY a cast made of 50% women, the plot is centered around men.

Batman Year One passes the test, barely, along with the Catwoman short, which both scrape by for the same reason: Catwoman has a conversation or three with her sister/friend/whatever about money/stealing/TV or something. The other principal female character in BYO never speaks to another woman. We don't even see her talking to her BABY. The other female character who shows up (the woman Bruce hires to maintain the illusion that he's a lazy playboy when Gordan comes over) has no speaking parts. Well there's also the female cop, who, of course, gets involved with Gordan (for some reason), and then has to leave to "make things right" or whatever. She never talks to Barbara, Catwoman, Catwoman's relation, or the female hiree.

The Green Arrow short doesn't pass the test. The only conversation between the only two principal female cast members, Black Canary and the princess, is about having a knight (aka Green Arrow) around.

The Jonah Hex short doesn't pass the test. The only two women with speaking parts never speak to each other.

The Spectre short doesn't pass the test. There's only one female character in the entire thing.

I think it would be more painful to go through shows like Batman Beyond, Justice League, JLU, and so on. Despite the fact that JL has not one, no, but TWO principal female characters, they still spend a lot of time talking about at least one of the five guys who make up the rest of the team, although they do have at least a couple conversations about other things. There's also Diana's mother and Lawler (who... might have gotten introduced in JL? I forget) and Meera, Aquaman's wife.

Whatever.
starfire11: (Default)
I find it amusing that I never really noticed this as a problem until relatively recently... yet whenever I've drawn a female superhero of any sort of my own design in an actual attempt to draw a half-decent OC (which is more like a little kid's drawing than anything else, and may POSSIBLY resemble a fake person), I haven't given them heels. I typically give them flat shoes, thick boots, tennishoes of some sort...

What is the obsession with giving female supers high heels?

You can tell when they're drawn by guys. I promise I'm not trying to sound sexist here, but honestly? Any woman who has worn heels and who's considered what the average female super has to do on an average patrol would not give them heels. They would consider "what do I walk around in that's most comfortable?" "What do I run in that's most comfortable?"

I can assure you that the majority of responses to these would not include "high-heels".

A woman who does this anyway is either inheriting a character or is considering aesthetic/marketing appeal over logic.

These women are typically doing a lot of movement on a daily basis. If they're not running, then they might be walking or standing. All three of which are very painful in heels, even "comfortable" ones.

Comfort will heels is different than with other shoes. It doesn't mean "I slip these on when I want to feel happy". It's "these don't make me feel like I'm stopping on foot-long nails."

When I go to an event in heels, one of my first priorities after locating the bathroom, food, and greeting people, is finding something to sit on where I can rest my feet. Sometime after that is finding a place where I can take off my heels while not offending anyone. You do not dance in high heels. You do not run in high heels (and if you do, it's for short spurts and only when it's life or death, and even then, you're better off taking them off because you will kill your feet, even if they're shortish high heels). If you are working a job where you stand the majority of the time, your first preference will be to not do it in heels. If you have to, in order to maintain appearances, I pity you sorely.

If you'll notice, doctors do not work in high heels. Female soldiers (and male soldiers) do not work in heels, outside of (possibly) formal occasions. Gym teachers do not wear heels while working. Policewomen do not wear heels while working. Postwomen do not wear heels while working. People who work in grocery stores, at the cash register, do not wear heels while working. Athletes do not wear heels while doing whatever sport it is they're doing. The closest you'll get to that is golf and soccer. Cooks do not wear heels while working. Security and bodyguards do not wear heels while working.

Are we getting the picture here?

Why the heels? It's an aesthetic choice. There is no other reason, unless there's some cultural/ceremonial thing (which I've frankly never heard of, outside of Japan).

"It makes them taller and it makes their legs look thinner and thus nicer."

-head-desk-

I'm going to ignore the aesthetic bit in here and address the former. While height/size is linked to intimidation in the animal kingdom (which includes humans), this isn't always a good thing for supers. They have to hide BEHIND things or beneath things. Being smaller or being able to fit more easily into or behind something, and being able to do it fast, are boons. Heels do not make this easy. Heels make this EXTREMELY difficult, if not impossible.

"It shows off their wealth."

While this may have been true way back in the BCE era, and kind of is now, how exactly does this help a crime-fighter? They kind of want to keep their identity SECRET. Identifying themselves as having access to money... is not such a good thing, especially if those heels are crazy. Plus, depending on what it is (say, pleather v. solid gold or something, I dunno), you could probably get it really cheap somewhere, so as a wealth identification symbol, it's kind of lame. What do they do, shout "ADMIRE MY AWESOME HEELS" and then punch the enemies in the face while they're distracted? I'd kind of think any half-intelligent enemy would notice this flaw and take big advantage of it, like find a way to knock the super over or something, or heck, melt their shoes. That'd hurt.

Christmas presents for the senshi in "Sailor Moon":

- five sets of combat boots
- five light armor suits that cover their arms, legs, torsos, necks, and hands in some manner
- bras
- hair ties and coupons to a hair salon with some helpful sketches on good fighting hair styles
- protective headgear of some sort

Christmas presents to the DC Comics Universe:

- boots for Wonder Woman that lack the killer heels, and possible pants of some sort, as well as a full torso leotard maybe made of light armor, and probably something that covers her arms. I love the typical costume, too, but really? I don't know about you, but I've run around in a bathing suit and a leotard for long periods of time. I wouldn't want to fight in either, and I CERTAINLY wouldn't want to spend most of my life in them.
- pants for Black Canary. Maybe some cream for the chafing caused by the stockings.
- pants for Huntress, as well as boots without heels, also a costume without a cape
- suggestions about hair ties and trips to the hair salon for MOST of the women in the DC universe - did you notice that almost every male super in that universe has short hair?
- Batwoman's newer boots look good (they just have normal flat, low heels), and I know the cape is part of the effect... but eh...
- a strong suggestion that Miss Martian stick with her newer costume in Young Justice. You know, the one with the pants, that's most likely easier to move around in than her miniskirt costume in season 1, and maybe even more protective and less embarrassing while she's flying
- I just... okay. Lemme put up some pictures for Superwoman/Supergirl.

Superwoman idea 4Superwoman idea 5Superwoman idea 1Superwoman Idea 3Superwoman idea 6

I understand that these are probably different women and thus not all Kara or even Supergirl or Superwoman (or at least the one I'm thinking about), but these are ideas. The one thing I love about the first two is that they feature in a world that is parallel to ours, where Superwoman is a female version of Superman and Batwoman is a female version of Batman.

What? Superwoman and Batwoman were supposed to be like that?

Uh huh. Sure.

In this parallel world, they're done at least SOMEWHAT the right way - which is that their costumes mimic their original male counterparts in, well... every way, as far as I'm aware. It's not the same general cover scheme or a borrowing of some parts. It's THE SAME COSTUME, except it's on a woman and thus for a slightly different body shape.

Why they couldn't have done this before is beyond me. I understand character identification (which is most certainly NOT the primary concern creators had back in the day) and keeping characters individual... but honestly? You could have given them the same costume and made the color schemes different. That's kind of what they eventually did ANYWAY.

No. Those characters were designed when every woman portrayed for entertainment never wore pants, and mostly wore a miniskirt if she wore anything.

So anyway. If Supergirl/woman could have a design change... something like any of these could work. I still don't like the capes. I think they're kind of dumb (although we're talking about characters who wear leotards and have their underwear on the outside of their clothes, so, sigh). If you think about it, another thing soldiers and the police share (outside of formal occasions) is that they don't wear capes while they work. Getting tangled up in them or caught in them and all that stuff.

NO CAPES!

And then everything made sense. Forever.

The last three designs (minus the white cape) are probably my favorites. They don't REALLY feature outside underwear, and they're nice to look at. They kind of scream LOOK AT ME I'M A TARGET, but we're going off of Superman, so, well... The multicolor one kind of looks like it has some sort of skirt thing on it, but that might just be sewn into the pants (or it could be). There's also still the hair problem, but that could be fixed with ties and creative hair styles. Power Girl would also work well with something like this, or something like what Nebeziel styled, which would still make the character recognizable while giving the costume semi-feasible functionality.

I'm not one of the crazy "women should be modest!" people. I swear I'm not.

I'm looking at functionality here. I've lived over twenty years as a woman, so I have experience with female clothing and footwear, and I'm also somewhat well-read, and I'm always eager to learn more.

If you want any proof, I have a weird stance with the "head coverings" a number of religions order their women to wear. No, it isn't just the Muslim community. There are plenty of Christian communities that do that and it just... I don't like talking about it. Most likely because I'll offend someone.

I understand that it's part of their faith. In understand that it's typically part of their culture.

I don't understand WHY it's part of either. Men have no such restrictions for the most part. Why should the women? What is so awful about being a woman that they have to hide it?

That's my problem more over "it's a sign of oppression". To me it feels like women are being shamed by their culture into believing that there is something about them that they must hide by simply being female. It also cuts people into two gender groups: men and women. I don't know anything about how they handle people who don't fit into those two categories, but until I see something about them, I can't imagine it as anything good.

ANYWAY. It's more of a "this makes more sense as a costume for fighting and patrolling, and it will also garner you more respect (which also sounds like the "modest is best" dogma, which annoys me, but, well... who exactly are you impressing when you wander around in a metal bikini? Unless that's like... your thing, I guess) and it will be comfortable and, well... you have a smaller chance of dying. And stuff." End quotation.

I simply do not understand the obsession with high heels. It... annoys me. Intensely.

Why does this come to mind NOW?

Because I'm doing this stupid PowerPoint (which I actually enjoy and find intensely amusing except I'm never posting it because I've found some things out about Takeuchi and the early drawing days and I feel kind of bad about it, but, well...) and I keep coming up with certain things, and, well... I feel like I'm one of those people saying "women should be modest!"

When that's not what I'm doing, really.

I love it when I walk up to someone and ask them if something I think might be uncomfortable is annoying and they tell me "actually, this is my most comfortable x and I love wearing it".

I think that some of the costumes in comics are gorgeous. Wonder Woman looks amazing in her costume, as do Huntress, Black Canary, the newer Batwoman... and I apparently don't know that many female heroes in the DC universe, which is very much concerning me at the moment.

Honestly, I've always thought Supergirl's costume was impractical and kind of silly, but I wished I could wear it and look good, and I've always loved how beautiful she looks in it. I've always thought that Sara Pezzeni wearing the Witchblade was gorgeous. And that her outfit was completely ridiculous when it turned into basically webbed metal hands grabbing her boobs and all of her skin showing because FOR SOME REASON she's constantly naked when she's wearing it. I understand it ripping clothes, but it could just as easily cover them.

It just hurts to learn more about them and realize that... these things were made, yes, to make them look good.

But not a kind of good I think the people they are would appreciate. Not just the woman, but the sensible, intelligent person. The warrior. The protector. The person who wants to do what they can, but who can't be taken seriously because they've got boob holes and run around in mini skirts or are known to flash their underwear at bystanders as they pass by and who have NO ARMOR ON of ANY kind to protect themselves in a fight and UGH...

And maybe some of this came out of the fact that I was one of those girls who wished I could grow up to look like "insert female superhero here" (and also learn the kick-ass moves and get the men and become really smart). And this lens has been ruined by that. I can't look at the women as people. I look at them as posters for "what I'm not and what I wish I was". It's part of the reason I could never look at things like Sailor Moon for the story or what I felt was wrong with it. I looked at Sailor Jupiter and thought "I wish this was me. I want to BE her."

And now I'm... not them. And I probably never will be. And I care more about those things I didn't think about before. And I've read a lot more.

It's part of the trap they get other people to fall into. People who are in it for the skin value. Not the story. It's what spawns idiots like the troll from the other day. Who don't see the prejudice or the insult. They just see the action hero.

Ta.
starfire11: (Default)
So I'm taking this LSAT prep course for when, well... I take the LSAT.

And our teacher is pretty smart. Like, really smart. Like, if this course wasn't way over-priced, I'd love to sit and talk to him for an hour or two. Maybe. Just about life in general.

At least I think I would.

So he has some issue with global warming. I don't know if he supports increasing knowledge on it and making efforts to deal with it and is annoyed with people who think it doesn't exist, or if he thinks people being concerned about it are morons. It's hard to tell. He tries real hard to keep his opinions to himself and not insert political agendas into the course, like most teachers and professors. Most of the time.

So anyway, we were talking about diversity considerations in the LSAT (it's a very important thing and really helps you solve things fast).

Diversity considerations are quite varied, and include considerations towards women. I don't exactly remember how we got to the subject, but somehow he ended up making a comment about how women stick to things even if they're not good at them, while men give up when they're not good as something and go do something else. He then went on about how he thought woman's way of doing this was the better option.

Principal on my mind was the fact that this implies that a) all women are the same and all men are the same, mentally b) mental decisions like choosing what things to do in your life are possibly genetic. Neither of which is true.

Everyone thinks differently. Everyone has a plethora of reasons that have a high chance of varying from everyone else's reasons for doing something, even if they do the same things. That's not even going into HOW they do those things.

Playing piano is not genetic. Playing on a computer is not genetic. Playing football is not genetic.

Here's my problem. For starters, I understand that you could look at "historical precedent" for this idea. After all, if women had just given up when people said no to women's suffrage, then we wouldn't be voting now, would we? While we MIGHT have eventually gotten the vote anyway, here's a thought: some people thought that women a) did not have a god-given right to have a say in any type of politics, and/or b) didn't vote and didn't care to even if they could, and/or c) wouldn't vote even if they could.

There's historical precedent for many women refusing to give up when the going got tough and no one was giving an inch on women's rights or what things women wanted to do. Being accepted in different jobs. Getting what you say out. Writing things. Heck, today that happens.

Female bloggers aren't surrendering under the barrage of rape threats and racial slurs and "get in the kitchen" commentary whenever they open their mouths to say what they think about the weather in the gaming community. Good on them!

That doesn't mean it's GENETIC. That means any number of things. Among them, that women are breaking ground, still, in fields that were formerly closed to us. That giving up means giving into threats. Giving into selfish people who are only out there to hurt others because they have nothing better to contribute to human society.

I could make a comment about how men don't do things like that because they've never had to, they've always had rights (which women have typically had to fight for, tooth and nail), but that's wrong too.

Saying that every man has been deemed equal by human society for forever is entirely untrue. The first thing that comes to mind is slavery. Women AND men had to fight for their freedom, even when people didn't want to give it to them. And then they had to keep fighting and fighting because people (at least in America and a couple African nations) viewed them as second-class citizens. African-Americans still fight for their rights today, just like women. The Jews fought for their right to a Jewish state. Many religious leaders and groups have fought for the right to follow their own beliefs with their families and friends and congregations. Look at the Mormons, the Quakers, just about every religious group that came to North America when Britain was colonizing it originally. People said it couldn't be done. People burned others at the stake. People formed lynch mobs. People launched missiles. People ignored them. People carried out assassinations, wars, protests, mass trolling... and still, others refuse to give in. This isn't a sex-based boundary that separates a group from b group for inspiration. This is the needs of a person or people fighting for what they think they need for themselves or others.

Heck, internet trolls are typically bad at being funny. Doesn't stop them from keeping it up. Being bad at school didn't stop a lot of people from going. And I mean PEOPLE. Not women OR men. PEOPLE. All-encompassing. I'm curious about what his theory has to say about people who don't fit into the men/women categories like transgender, Two-Spirits, etc. Do they just mix it up?

Being a bad spouse doesn't stop most people. Nor does being a bad parent, since your parents don't teach you how to be a parent. They try to teach you how to be an adult. Parenting is something that typically comes (today) with a lot of guidebooks, advice from friends and parents, and experience. Also therapy. Especially for poor relationships. Sure, improvement may be a really, really, really slow-to-come goal (or something that never comes), but people still try. They don't always say "Well, I guess I suck at this, I'll guess I'll either be a bad spouse and stop trying to be good, or just stop being a spouse." They try to work it out, which is part of what being in a married relationship is about. Understanding each other. Living with each other. For everyone else, there's separation, divorce, adultery, and the cowards who abuse their spouses. Also note: being a spouse, partner, or parent is not tied down to father/mother/husband/wife. Any and all can be bad examples of their... category or whatever. As the child of divorcees with LOTS of friends who are ALSO children of divorcees, I am very, very well aware of this fact.

Also, did anyone care to mention that step-fathers never really stick out in fairy tales? It's always evil stepmothers or stepsisters. What about an evil step-brother?

Being a bad movie creator didn't stop M. Night Shyamalan (at least I have no official proof that he's stopped trying to push another Avatar: The Last Airbender movie - when I see this, I'll change my position) or Kevin Costner. Being bad never stopped Nicholas Cage from, well... acting. Or Kristen Stewart. Never stopped Stephanie Meyer or Christopher Paolini from spewing out the Twilight Series and The Inheritance Cycle. Never stopped Mitt Romney or Sarah Palin from running for political office. Or Rebecca Black from creating not just one, but TWO really terrible songs. Never kept Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga from being stars.

Being bad at ruling hasn't stopped any NUMBER of rulers throughout history, female AND male.

Also: saying that some people stop when they realize that they're bad at something, just in general, implies that there is one and only one definition of "being bad at something". For starters, there are a number of different ways to be "bad" at just about anything. You could be a good violinist, but you might not be an inspiring one. For some people, that's considered bad. You could be a good violinist, but you might not be a fiddler. For someone who learned the instrument to play fiddler music, that might be considered bad. Maybe you're good at playing classical music but not pop. A lot of people who learn some kind of musical instrument (including singing - your body can be considered an instrument, by certain standards) are very disappointed by this. Playing popular music today is hard because of the requirements for that music, while a great deal of the very old stuff people groan about when they see the majority of what music players play in orchestras and concert bands is rather simple. For starters, there's typically far less improvisation. Improvisation can be incredibly hard. Or it can be incredibly easy. Yet another spectrum of "good/bad".

Being good at playing an instrument isn't the same time of good as being good at a sport (or anything else). I'm not saying one is better than the other (personally, I rate violin, piano, and singing over football, but then again, a lot of athletic men getting paid to jump each other, frequently, on television... always makes me waver), but they have no equivalent rating system, unless you just use the general rating of "pro", "amateur", "prodigy", etc. A system which can be rather extensive, depending on what you're looking at.

Things having different "good/bad" scales at least in part because they require different skills. Playing a stringed instrument like the violin, viola, cello, and bass requires a lot of hand-eye coordination and a skill at reading music while watching a conductor and listening to the people around you, along with a plethora of hand skills. Playing football, depending on your position, requires skill with running, a certain body weight requirement, physical fitness, good eyesight, and certain areas of body strength, as well as a knowledge of football rules, and a number of others I know I've missed. Why I picked football instead of soccer, which I'm more familiar with, is beyond me.

Books have different good/bad scales. I don't like "Howl's Moving Castle" for the same reasons I like "Hardball" or "Crown of Slaves" or "Bridge of Birds". They all make me laugh, but if I kept everything that made me laugh... well... I'd have a significantly larger library and far less self-respect. Genre makes a difference. Stephanie Meyer and Christopher Paolini are both bad at writing for a number of similar and different reasons. While I argue whether both ever actually sat through a whole English course (I only assume Smeyer did because she has a degree in English)... if I were to write yet MORE summaries on why their individual series suck IMO, they would not be the same, but with different character names and plot points. Genre writing can also be different. Someone writing modern fiction is most likely going to write differently than someone writing fantasy or science fiction. Just like a Shakespearean actor is going to have a different acting style than a non-Shakespearean actor. While I love Shakespearean actors, I don't rank them over non-Shakespearean actors, and I don't dislike non-Shakespearean actors. They just act differently. Some are bad, some aren't. Some are even good.

That was actually rather tangential, so back to the topic.

The Olympics is actually a great example of the array of good/bad. A fencer might not be good at pole-vaulting or running track. A gymnast might be a terrible swimmer. Each of them have a different assortment of things to be good at.

Or they might vary their sports. Maybe this swimmer loves wrestling, but he's better at swimming, so she went with that. In his minds he might be a lot better at wrestling because he enjoys it more (which is also a scale on which to judge "good/bad" for a lot of people), but by other people's standards he's better at swimming.

There's the whole concept of doing what you love. There are scientists who live their entire lives without making a significant discovery in their fields, or any fields, for that matter (which is how the general populace seems to judge "good/bad"). But they do what they love because they love it. They research, watch, theorize, teach, explore... they just do it. Because they want to. Heck, there are teachers out there who loves their fields, but teach middle school courses because all they want to do with their lives is inspire kids to go into their fields and be even better. There are counselors who live their lives just wanting to help as many people as possible. They don't have to believe that their work will change the entire world. They might just be satisfied with the kids they know. With the people in front of their eyes. With making what big or little differences they can. And that's how they judge good/bad.

So maybe a police officer, just by being a police officer, does not, in her entire life, make a dent in the crime rate. That doesn't mean they're a failure as a police officer. Maybe they just kept things stable. Kept the lights running a little longer. Maybe they solved some important cases. Or just cases that were piling up. Maybe they followed in a parent's footsteps. Maybe they look at every single person they help, and, at the end of the day, smile because they made a difference somewhere. Or maybe they sit in their offices and thank whoever they thank, if they thank anyone, that the lights stay on, and that the world keeps spinning, and everything hasn't gone completely to hell yet.

Not everyone gives up dieting or exercise because they're bad at it. Some do. Not everyone does.

In fact, if everyone gave up what they were bad at, the human race would probably still be in the Stone Age. Not everyone is born with "talent" or prodigy-levels of skill. Not everyone has a CHANCE to do what they're "good" at. Some people just find something they can do that's valued, and that's what they do with their lives. Most people have to LEARN to be good at something, contrary to what televisions offer. They had teachers who taught them their letters and basic math and grammar and how to eat at a fancy table and how to clean up after a baby and how to create soda flavors and how to play the accordion and how to crack a good joke and act and ski and drive a car. Not every good driver out there is male. Not every bad driver out there is female, contrary to the theory that only women are bad drivers.

If everyone gave up what they were bad at, we wouldn't have most of reality tele-I mean... Wait. Wait.

... We might be onto something here. Hmm...

People create lots of ways to categorize being a good human being. For some people, it's doing something value with your life, like helping starving children in whatever country is popular to help this week or pushing the agenda of burning homosexuals at the stake. For some people, being a good human being is following certain values. See the requirements for different religious groups or countries. Countries have different values. And citizens who argue what specifically those values are. And what those values mean. And how to use those values. And what is supported by those values. And so on and so forth. Some people think being a good human being is killing yourself and taking other people with you because those people are the embodiment of evil. Suicide missions are rather common throughout human history. This is not something only just discovered in WWII or 9/11. Maybe being a good human being is helping to raise your nephew. Or getting your sister away from her husband. Or informing the world about proper grammar. Or fighting the POWr of those who say that "I" as a pronoun is supposed to be capitalized and "presdnt" is missing a couple vowels.

Standing by your principles. Acting on your principles and not just talking about them. Staying out of other people's business. Knowing when to interfere. Taking an active role in your world.

Pinning something down to something as simple as "guys know when to quit" and "women don't" is a ridiculous theory because of the holes riddled in it.

I wish I could have told this to him then. I NEVER have good arguments when they could be valuable. I don't even know if sending him this is a good idea. He intimidates me. That's part of being a good debater: intimidate your competition, even if you're wrong and they're right. Oh, logical fallacies and drama!

So there. It bothered me and I never got to tell him then and I couldn't quite figure out then why I had a problem with his statements other than the basics I had up originally.

Ta.
starfire11: (Default)
So it's apparently really, really bad for me to actually read the emails TOR.com sends me. Thanks to today's email alone, I read at least thirty articles. Not short two-paragraph articles. Okay, there were like three of those. I mean like three-page articles.

Do I regret the entire experience? No, not really. The articles were very interesting and informative. I learned a lot about current news, genre writing, literary analysis, and writing as a style. Also about human generosity, kindness, and hilarity(?).

My only real regret is that I didn't do any LSAT work. Which cuts down the time I have to spend on my next lesson's homework and the second half of my previous lesson's homework to tomorrow, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Considering that apparently most of tomorrow is going to be spent driving or with family, Saturday I'll be moving a lot of crap with my dad, and Sunday I'll be seeing a movie... plus eating, sleeping, trying to spend time with my mother and taking care of my cats, working out, moving around to avoid the cleaning people... and the fact that LSAT homework sucks. A lot. Like I'm pretty sure I spent at least two hours on the first half of one night's homework. I'm not entirely sure I was even halfway through. And I could have spent three or more hours... I'm not entirely certain, because I had breaks.

Going back to the TOR article spam. The email is basically a page of recently published articles on their website. So from the email alone I opened at least twelve articles from that. And then these articles made references to a bunch of other articles and blogs and such. So I opened even MORE articles from there. And then I scrolled down the email and opened yet MORE articles. And when I was reading through the second round of article links, I was linked to MORE articles, and a short story. And articles on the articles. And it was AHHH.

They were all good. I liked them a lot. One of the articles was one of those "things you should read to prepare yourself for this movie coming out" around the next Batman movie coming out tomorrow. I actually... can't recall ever following those... but I have read a number of Marvel comics, and I like Batman, and I've read a few comics in that universe, and well... I figured that it wouldn't hurt to read through at least some of them. My library has a reasonable amount of those. I ended up checking out like fifteen graphic novels (like, three of which were on the list - I just thought the others looked interesting). Although one of them was apparently a volume containing this single issue I read years ago and never saw more of... So yeah. That was nice. Although it was marked as volume 1 and there weren't any more so... that's kind of annoying.

So there was one blog that seemed to be a critique website of anything written? I don't really know. It had a lot of interesting blog posts on it. A couple I still want to read - notably about the Sookie Stackhouse novels. I'm not all that impressed by what I read so far of the first one, and I'm mildly impressed by what I've seen of True Blood but uh... I don't know. I reserve judgement until I've seen and/or read the whole thing.

There was another blog that apparently received death threats and other threats for daring to comment badly on "A Song of Ice and Fire" in this rather humorous summary of the series... while remarking on how creepy the author is. And he is very, very creepy.

Before I go into a mini-rant on one of the reasons this interested me greatly... there's the feminism thing. A number of the articles were about women in science fiction, abuse towards women, misogynistic tendencies in some writing, hypocrisy, nihilism, women in writing, rape (principally against women, although there were at least one or two articles on rape in general)... Well... there were a lot of people commenting on these things. It was all very interesting.

Well, one of the reasons the commentary on ASOIAF interested me greatly (besides being one of the funniest things I've read in a while) was that I recognized certain things "I'd" thought about while reading. There were a couple comments about how Tyrion is basically EVERYONE'S favorite: the reading audience, the TV audience, and the author.

But there's a couple things wrong with this. Firstly, Tyrion was MY favorite character, from the little I've seen of the show, and from what I was reading in the book. He was my favorite character for a long time (although that's probably more because the actor did a great job). I'm going to say that this was because he was my favorite character from a distance. There is no character I actually LIKE in the series, when it comes down to it.

It's always sad when you have to do that. When someone asks you about a story and you say "yeah, I liked it" and then they ask what your favorite character was or what your favorite part was and you completely blank out. At least that happens to me a lot. Honestly, at the end of the day, you just have to take a step back from reading/watching/researching whatever, and think: is there anything specific I like about this? Do I actually like it? The answers could surprise you. It's one of the things doctors and nutrition people try to get people to do with food, because of habitual eating and eating from boredom. Thankfully no one's asked me about Ronin Warriors. That would be a VERY uncomfortable conversation.

I suppose that there are bits and pieces of some characters that I like. But anyway... I liked Tyrion because he was the funniest character. All of them are flawed - they're human, it happens - and a lot of them are downright vile in the worst way... but of them all, Tyrion was the funniest. Well... besides the Greatjon, Varys, and that dude who got killed beyond the wall that was a Wildling (for that short scene where he and Jon were exchanging alcohol, anyway), he's probably one of the four funny characters in the entire series.

He WAS. If I had to pick a favorite, he would still probably win out. It's the problem with not liking well, anyone in the series.

Well, the guy who plays Jon Snow is pretty attractive, physically, but beyond that...

So I like Tyrion. Was starting to not like him for a big reason... and then he strangled the woman who'd been sleeping with him for no other reason than she slept with his dad, too.

Well, that was the thing that was just... really weird. There were a couple other things. But this... I mean... it's bad enough he just strangled the woman because she happened to be sleeping with someone else (big shocker - she's a prostitute, it's kind of her job, plus Tirion was on the executioner's block, so she needs some new way to make money when he's no longer paying her). Besides the fact that it was hinted that Tywin blackmailed her into doing it... I mean, honestly. She's a commoner, and considered the lowest of the low, at that, since she's a lady of the night (at least in this world, prostitution seems to be the "lowest of the low"). If she were a noble or something who was indicating favor toward Tyrion initially, but secretly sleeping with Tywin behind his back, I could at least vaguely understand Tyrion's having an inkling of anger towards her (although even in THAT case, it should still be more of a feeling of "well-played, guess I have to redraw the court political map" and not "MUST STRANGLE TO DEATH"; even in court politics, unless she arranged for the grisly death of his person, close relatives, allies (and there was some insanity thrown in on Tyrion's part), she wouldn't deserve to be STRANGLED to death). But she has no pull in court, no money, no servants, no power whatsoever. Heck, she could be killed right alongside him for being even remotely related to him (and heck, she was publicly identified as sleeping with him - women have been sworn to die with their husbands in numerous historical cases, and there are numerous historical cases where people who were remotely related to a bad incident for killed off, too). And yeah, she was one of the "witnesses" speaking against him during his "trial", and she lied to some extent. But it isn't as if she made the case against him, or if her testimony was the most important part of it. Or even a minorly important part of it. Honestly, if her main and currently only source of income was Tyrion, who was almost definitely going to be executed anyway, she needs other options. Getting money for testifying against Tyrion was probably her best source of income. Heck, she might have gotten money from the Queen Regent, who's an heir to Casterly Rock! There's really nowhere higher to go! Tyrion also knew that she wanted the finer things in life: money, clothing, a nice mansion... and he WAS paying her (at least until he had to hide her, and even then she still had a job of sorts, and didn't even have to sleep with him nearly as often, to boot). And he spent the entire time strongly believing that she wasn't in love with him - that it was jut an act to keep his coin in her pocket.

And if anyone should have been aware of this, it should have been Tyrion, who is one of the smarter characters in the story.

But he strangled her anyway... I get that he narrowly escaped death. That he learned that his first wife was actually just in love with him. That he actually gang-raped a normal woman.  That his brother helped in the deception, along with his father. That he's actually even more alone in the world than he was before (and he was pretty damn alone before).

But none of that REMOTELY gives him the excuse to STRANGLE someone to death. I get his killing his dad. Sort of. It fits with the whole "angry vengeance" thing that Martin is striking for here. Martin's PROBABLY gonna end up killing all of the Lannisters by then of this series, so yeah, whatever.

There was NO reason for him to kill Shae. If anything, according to his character, he should have taken her with him out of the city and at the LEAST released her out to find her own way, free of him.

One of the marked obsessions in this series is female virginity and where women are sleeping and with who. What do guys talk about before they fight? Who they'll rape after the fighting's over. What do they talk about during the fight to inspire others? Who they'll rape when they're done. Who do they talk about AFTER the fight when they're laughing and drinking with their buddies? Who they raped after the fight was over. What do they talk about x days/weeks/months later? Who they raped way back when. What do they do when they get drunk with their friends? Who they've raped and/or paid to sleep with them. What is the first/second question about a prospective bride? Whether she's been deflowered, either by some former spouse, or by any random men. Or whether she's flowered yet. What do they wonder when they're around a group of people, with a lot of women? What the women are like in bed. Or what they will be like when they're flowered, if they're too young.

A big part of the reason why I stopped watching the show extremely early on was the amount of blatant sex in it. I don't care for it and typically find it boring. Especially when I don't care for any of the characters. When that happens, and you don't really know where the story is going (other than towards more of the same), and all that seems to be happening is, well, incest, rape, pedophilia, slavery, selling your family, lots of prostitute buying up... Besides the fact that there are more naked women than attractive men. A a heterosexual woman, is there some reason I should watch this? Honestly?

I read the books because I wondered if the books would be less filled with the things they'll put in a TV show meant to attract viewers. And honestly, nothing attracts viewers more than sex and lots of skin. And I was... somewhat right. At least in a small respect. A very small respect. I also wanted to know what was going on without constantly staring at one or another person having sex with someone else.

The books are easier to bear. They aren't necessarily better. I've known that since I started reading book 1. Part of the reason I'm up to 4 is because the idea of watching the series is dimming ever more as I read, and I like finishing what I start. If I don't finish the series and I meet people who like it (it has a large following, so it's likely), and we get into an argument about it, I can't very well say "I only read up to book 4 and I just hate it". So.

It was bad enough that Tyrion gang-raped someone (yeah, SURE his father ordered him... if my father ordered me to gang-rape I MEAN WHAT? SERIOUSLY? NO. JUST NO! At that point, you WALK. AWAY. We know you're a nice guy Tyrion, and just because the woman was POSSIBLY trying to make a living (being hired by a noble, and one of the richest in the land, to boot) she deserves to be GANG-RAPED? WHAT?). Then we go on to Jaime and Brienne's stories. There's clearly some sort of mini-romance working up here. Sorry, but I don't really like Jaime. Maybe I'm knit-picking, but I don't have that much respect for someone who calls someone "wench" constantly. And then uses it as an endearment. The use of the word "bitches" as a term of endearment for friends is somewhat similar, in my opinion. She has a name. She is a person, not an object. Not scenery.

Do I think he deserves to die for that? No. But I don't think Brienne should suddenly fall in love with him because he's shown a few acts of kindness like giving her weapons and rescuing her. He still calls her wench. He still treats her on a standard in comparison with men, not as a person.

There was also the whole marriage to Sansa thing. I get that his father forced it on him, and Cersei backed it (as did Joffrey, no doubt). I get WHY the wedding happened. And I actually sort of understand the obsession with consummating a marriage. Hey, it got King Henry out of his marriage to Bloody Mary's mom, which led to, oh... a lot of death. It's pretty darn important, yanno. I also do understand that women married much younger back then. They still marry pretty young in some places around the world. Women could become prostitutes very young, way back when, and now. But uh... I mean, really? Getting a boner by starting at a 13-year-old girl? That scene was creepy to Mars, and he hadn't even taken his own clothes off yet! But then he did the noble thing, of course. He said he wouldn't touch her until she wanted him to, should it take years. And then of course the audience thinks Sansa's an ass because she says "what if I never want you to?" and we feel REALLY bad for poor Tyrion who's doing the NOBLE thing of not RAPING A CHILD (she didn't give her consent for any of this; she may be doing what "duty" is making her do, but "duty" for Sansa at that point was STAYING ALIVE, which means that she was threatened. Consent doesn't happen when you're threatened.. Gee, Martin. Really?

Then there's the male cast at large. While counting the number of rapes shown or alluded to in the series is extremely interesting (and sad), I think that counting the number of male characters who haven't threatened or performed rape would be an interesting find. I can think of three for certain. And only because the last is eight and kind of dumb, at that.

Did I mention the part where this one girl got raped by "half of Kingsport", as is often quoted? And then she basically gets blamed for it and ignored by society at general? Cersei actually says that she lacked the sense to avoid getting raped. As far as I can recall, she was one of the families getting held hostage in Kingsport. She didn't have a choice to be there in the first place. And as a lady in this world, she spent her entire life being pushed away from any form of physical combat protection. And even if she HAD any combat capabilities, how exactly was she supposed to fend a RAGING MOB off?

Oh, I forgot. Cersei, the only female fighting the system (other than Brienne, who seems to spend an awful large amount f time being ashamed of her ugliness rather than pretending she doesn't care and getting on with her life) is getting turned into a Lady MacbethxCleopatraxQueen of Hearts love child.

My point is that long before I read this, or anything related to the series in a review-sort-of manner... I already felt greatly insulted by the books as a woman and as a person. This is a world where women don't fight. They're discouraged from fighting. Which means that when their homes get sacked and all the men get killed... what, they just get raped and/or killed?

So then I read this. And, well... it's a lot funnier than anything I could have thought of. The summary of book 3 is simply hilarious. And it wasn't "well, I didn't think this before, but now that I read it I know this is how I think". I picked this up before I read this. It's rather interesting to see how deeply insulting and disgusting this series is. I just love learning about how many more popular misogynistic stories there are out there.

So that was interesting.

So I forget what else specifically I wanted to write about... but there was this crazy idea I have.

So I'm watching the Yoroiden Samurai Troopers sub. And golly gee, is it interesting. I've learned more about the boys from watching the first two episodes than I did watching the entire dub series.

So the sub is a lot better for a lot of reasons: a) the information reveals, b) the dialogue is more intimidating in Japanese and not in stupid random English accents (why was Shin British, and why were Touma and Ryo from like New York?) that make no sense anyway, c) it's interesting to see how much Japanese I can recognize, and d) I can ignore the bad art better if I focus on the text.

And then there's the things I realize about the series.

Firstly, the sub is worse for a specific reason that I've seen in a number of anime and manga. A lot of dubbers and translators are very good script-writers. It helps them get rehired. Being good as a script-writer for a translation typically means that you actually exaggerate what the actual writing is supposed to be. There can be a number of meanings used in translation (you know that plot where someone's using a translator to talk to someone else and they're insulting to person to their face, but the translator only says nice things? Yeah, that). The problem with reading any translation is that you're stuck with the translator's version of the story. Not your own. Translators in manga and anime tell you the story. While in an anime you theoretically have the ability to "read lips"... a lot of different things can be put to any character talking. Honestly, all most mouths in anime do is move up and down. They don't have all that much expression. Why? Because expression takes a LONG time to draw. When you have to create a lot of scenes and panels, using as little detail as possible to save time is the best option.

My problem isn't so much that the sub is bad because of the interpretation. My problem is the realization that, after reading the sub... the dub actually IMPROVED to a certain extent on the script because they had at least a semi-decent scriptwriter around. For most of it, I suppose. Considering how BAD the dub is, that's REALLY saying something.

Did I mention that Arago rules "The Empire of Doom"? Did I mention that? Cause it's kind of really really really funny and sad and when I saw that I thought "oh my gawd, you canNOT be serious."

He also uses "the power of doom". Yes. It's a thing. A commonly used thing.

And then, of course, when you have the Empire of Doom, you have Soldiers of Doom.

It's like the entire thing is one giant headdesk moment.

So here's my theory!

So much of this series is about cookie-cutter story design and cookie-cutter characters (damsel, at-risk child, brainy-but-useless female character, physically strong woman who secretly doesn't like fighting like all women because that's part of why women don't fight, Evil Empire, Evil Empire Soldiers, Evil Emperor, Evil Badass Soldiers, Angst-Wridden Hero Leader, Heroic Team, talking/friendly animal companion, World at Peril, Kidnap...) Um... Yeah. And even with a decent base premise, the series completely screws the pooch and never uses anything even half as decently as it could.

Since I haven't seen anything as poorly done as this series (at least with a premise this decent), and not serving as a member of a line of mass-produced genre similar stories that aren't typically meant to be remarkable in any way, and only serve as a path for merchandizing... I have only to assume that the series is made as a satire of these many devices. It's saying "look how much these ideas suck, actually!"

That's my theory. The ultimate-conspiracy-this-can't-honestly-be-as-bad-as-it-seems-for-no-reason. Of COURSE!

It's my only explanation for why the series is as bad as it is when it could have been so good. And it really could have been good. But then you have civilians hanging out by the rims of active volcanoes (without gear) and standing too close to battles so they get captured and then not RUNNING THE FUCK AWAY after they get rescued, and then you have random stops WHEN THE FATE OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT IS AT STAKE, to check up on some RANDOM KID WHO GIVES NOTHING TO THE STORY BUT IS THE AT-RISK CHILD STAND-IN's home, when we all know his parents aren't there. They've been kidnapped. By the Empire of Doom -snigger- for reasons unknown. I honestly don't recall why the... the Empire of Doom (by all that's holy, REALLY, Japan? REALLY? I thought only Americans were that stupid) did that. I guess just cause they're the Evil Empire, so they have to do Evil Things. The series does seem to have an obsession with damsels in distress. Ryo, Naste, and Jun trade off most of the time, but Byakuen also gets his moment in the light, along with the other Troopers. Why NOT just capture ALL of Tokyo to be one giant distressed... being. Of some sort.

You've got enemies who don't shut up and just ATTACK, or shut up and kill enemies rather than "holding them so they can watch their friends die, and then oh shoot! We lost and they got away, to fight us another day!" Really? REALLY?

Here's the a recent episode partial synopsis: Ryo was blinded. BLINDED. As in FULLY. BLIND. WITHOUT EYESIGHT. COULD NOT SEE. If he didn't have the vibrating armor-detecting swords (must stop reading into yaoi subtext), he would have been SCREWED. See, he's a member of a ninja clan. And for a sec, I REALLY thought he was gonna dip into that stereotypical pool of "sight beyond sight"-I mean, "seeing without seeing". But no. He kind of just fails.

But does he get killed by his near and completely uninjured-unencumbered foe? No. He gets rescued by his friendly white tiger, who carries him into the cave where Seiji is... and then the enemy buries the entrance under a rock slide. Because it's not like Ryo's demonstrated that he can demolish entire buildings or anything, right? I understand the sheer idiocy of trying to blow up an enclosed space (especially an underground complex) while you're INSIDE it... but they never explain it. Naaza acts like shutting them on the other side of a wall of rocks is going to make them die of starvation or something.

But that's all right. Because blocked entrances don't stop Soldiers of Doom. No, they just find other entrances in. So you say that negates the drama of BLOCKING OFF THE FIRST ENTRANCE? Psh. He's blind. He'll probably fall of a convenient cliff.

Well, he doesn't fall, but he sure does JUMP OFF OF A CONVENIENT CLIFF.

And what does Naaza do when he corners Ryo, who is STILL BLIND? Kill him fast, just to be safe - he got away once. It would be okay to be certain.

Oh no. That's in LOGICWORLD. The place that makes Paolinis and Charlaine Harrises and George R.R. Martins and Smeyers scream in fear.

What he does is he just stares and laughs.

And guess what? After what I can only presume is GETTING HIS EYES BURNED OUT OF THEIR SOCKETS (which we of course don't see, he just keeps his shut so we can see his abnormally large eyelashes; the type that you see some women wear that really creep the fuck out of you), he still gets his vision back. On top of surviving the poison attacks. Which were apparently just like... fire attacks. Maybe acid or something?

So there you have it. Ta.

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January 2013

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