(Saving the world from Strong Female Characters so you don’t have to, Part 6 of 9. I can taste victory!)
When we left off, Mr. Wright was talking about how unrealistic he finds women in film who can kick your butt. He goes on:
I have never seen a scene where a woman fighting a man gets scared and starts crying and gives up,
Which is funny, because I feel like I have — so often that the scene in The Shining where Shelly Duvall gets scared, starts crying, and doesn’t give up, struck me as novel.
even though, without the madness of male hormones, that emotion of fear and surrender is much, much more common in women than in men.
In the “fight, flight or freeze” equation, I don’t know if women are more likely to freeze, but they are likely to freeze. This is a known problem in rape cases, because a woman who freezes looks, to some juries, “willing.” In fact, he just described it that way — as “surrender” — which eroticizes a reaction that would otherwise be described as “giving up” or “running out of steam.”
And what does he mean by the “madness of male hormones”? Is it code for ‘roid rage, or what? Because if he just means your stress response is set to “fight,” it may not be quite as typical for women, but it does happen. Some women get very HULK SMASH when we’re angry. Just because something is atypical doesn’t mean it never happens. And why expect fiction, especially fantastical fiction, to show what’s typical?
But I know of no little girl who picks up Barbie dolls and bend the feet to make a shape she can hold like a gun to shoot attacking pirates and ninjas and dinosaurs.
Of course not. Barbie is a glamorous international spy, or sometimes a girl detective, with ninja moves and many outfits and gadgets. As for “bending her feet to make a shape she can hold like a gun” — dude, have you ever seen a Barbie? Her feet are already bent, so that they can wear heels, and not even the tiniest baby has hands so small that a Barbie foot could reasonably function as a gun handle. Anyway, Barbie is primarily weaponized in two ways. One, laser helmet (hold Barbie in hand, shoot Barbie’s head at your foe), and two, lobbed projectile (throw Barbie at your foe). (I’m guessing Wright never played stuffed animal wars, or GI Joe and Barbie are Spies with his siblings.)
Also, you can modify your Barbie into Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
If you watch little girls run around at comic-cons and similar fan spaces, you would probably come to the conclusion that, no matter what anyone tells them, what little girls want is to be glamorously attired warrior princesses, with sparkly dresses, swords, secular authority, and magic powers.
So far, in none of these essays, have I mentioned what the objection is to the effort to making these masculinized glamour-model Amazons into main characters. [..] I have no objection to Mary Sue style wish-fulfillment characters who are good at everything and loved by all men. I do not see them as different from James Bond style wish- fulfillment characters who are good at everything and loved by all women.”
Something else he’s right about! Yes, James Bond is indeed a Mary Sue. Full point awarded!
My objection is to falseness, insincerity, propaganda, bad drama, bad art, and treason against the muses. My objection is to using art for propaganda purposes. My objection is to Politically Correct piety. My objection is to the Thought Police [..] My objection is to the spirit of totalitarianism.”
Ooookay…. so, what, all these “Amazons” would be okay if they were just fanservice for girls, but because the desire to see them is “insincere” they’re not okay? That is pretty much a textbook circular argument.
a: I want this thing.
b: it would be fine if you really wanted that thing, but you’re not sincere.
a: Yes I am. I want the thing.
b: Of course you don’t. Nobody wants that thing. It is unnatural for you to want the thing. Therefore, when you claim to want the thing, you cannot possibly be sincere.
a: No, seriously, I WANT THE THING.
b: it would be fine if you really wanted that thing, but you’re not sincere.
I have been subjected to the Leftist mob tactics of mass hatred once and once only. It was the time I mocked the Sci-Fi Channel, (now SyFy), for kowtowing to Political Correctness. My motive for objecting was perfectly clear to everyone: I would like to write without censorship, formal or informal, based on political considerations. Formal censorship is state enforced; informal is enforced by organized mob-tactics, minority pressure groups, yelling, screaming, boycotts, hysteria and general bullying.
Hmm… like GamerGate, perhaps? Or a certain TOR boycott?
I mocked the Sci-Fi Channel for encouraging the bullies by bowing the knee to them.
Specifics, dude. I want specifics.
And in return the mob tried to bully me, of all people.
Why you “of all people”? What makes you special?
As if I give a tinker’s damn for the opinions of these yowling halfwits.
Yeah? Then why are you whining about it now?
This taught me a lesson, but not the one the mob organizers wanted to teach. It taught me what they were afraid of. Not of me: no one can be afraid of a fat and balding nearsighted science fiction writer with a dull swordcane.
No indeed. So why do you keep trying to present yourself as some kind of fearsome warrior who wants to stab people through the eyeballs?
Nor were they offended by hearing sodomy called a sexual perversion, which I have done frequently before and since, never eliciting a single angry comment in reply, nor attracting the slightest notice.
Oh, you’re talking about that gay thing. Hey, wait a minute — did you notice the lesbian couple on Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Willow — the second most important character on the show — and Tara? They were kind of a big deal — an epic love story, really. They dated for two and a half seasons until Tara was killed by the extremely bad aim of an evil misogynist (whose rhetoric sounds an awful lot like that of the dude who published this essay, to be honest). Not only that, but in Seasons 6 and 7 there were some fairly explicit references to girl-girl oral sex, including the climax (ahem) of Tara’s melancholy love ballad during the musical episode, which is probably the single most-seen episode of the entire series.
DID YOU EVER EVEN WATCH THIS SHOW YOU CLAIM TO BE A FANBOY OF BECAUSE I’M NOT SURE YOU DID.
I spent some time looking for the sexiest Willow/Tara picture on the Internet and chose this one just for you
To explain what they are afraid of, I am afraid I have to explain something of the pathology of Leftism.
Oh, do tell. I suspect it will be every bit as insightful and accurate as your attempt to explain what women are thinking.
They actually think they are fooling us. No, stop laughing. I will give you a moment to catch your breath again.
Laughing at your own jokes is pathetic, dude.
They think we think they care about gays and lesbians and blacks and women and Jews, and that their motive is compassion for all these poor oppressed groups…. Please stop laughing. I will give you another moment.
Oh, I see. So liberals who are gay and lesbian and black and female and Jewish — none of them care about their own interests? That sounds very peculiar. For example, I can assure you that on my own behalf I care deeply about the treatment of women, which includes me. And stop laughing at your own jokes.
Now they know what their real motives are: to give themselves a sense of greatness which they do not deserve by thinking that they fought for civil rights that they actually oppose, out of compassion which they do not have for victims of utterly imaginary hardships and oppressions.
What civil rights did liberals oppose? How do you know whether someone has real compassion or not? Which hardships and oppressions are the imaginary ones?
Am I being unfair? Remind me of the last time a group of feminists rioted outside of a Saudi Embassy.
Oh, I see. So, literally the only thing that should be of any concern to any feminists anywhere is one of the worst countries on earth for human rights abuses of women? Come on, dude, you know perfectly well that if the only thing American feminists ever agitated for was for Saudi Arabia to change its sexist ways, you’d point to our lack of domestic activism as proof of insincerity, and claim that we have no right to try to tell a completely different country, in which we do not live, what they ought to be doing. It’s a dishonest rhetorical trick.
Incidentally, most American feminists of my acquaintance are highly supportive of the feminist women in places like India and the Middle East who are working to change their own patriarchal cultures for the better. This is a thing you might know if you spent any time among actual feminists.
You know, like this girl.
They want self-esteem without the effort of doing anything worthy of esteem. They yearn for the palm of martyrdom without actually suffering the pain of being a martyr in the same way they want the crown of righteousness without actually being right.[..]“They do not think it is evil if a man commits crimes; for them, evil is a matter of thinking the wrong thoughts. [..] They need rationalizations, they need excuses, they need a mask.
Oh. Dude. Self-knowledge, it is sitting right here waiting for you to grasp it.
They think they are smarter than us.
If “they” means me, the reader, and “us” means you, the writer — that’s fair. I do think I’m smarter than you. One full point.
these vaunting cretins whose arguments consist of nothing but tiresome talking points recited by rote and flaccid ad hominem, whose opinions are based on fashion
That self-knowledge, it’s just sitting right there, nothing stopping you.
But once on one of the subjects where this mental disease has taken hold, the cultist will and must say things no one is stupid enough to believe [..] These cultists are not monsters. Why, then, do they say things that anyone can see are utter evil, utter nonsense, utter folly?
Self-knowledge! Get your piping hot self-knowledge! Free today! All you have to do is take it!
If the cultist is frustrated, and if the frustration cannot be admitted honestly to be because of the foolishness of his goals, then the frustration of his goals must be blamed on an opponent, an oppressor, a conspiracy, a group of wrong-thinking people who have some base and vile motive for maintaining all the injustice and unfairness of the world. The wrong-thinking people are sadists, who thwart the utopia because and only because they want people to be unhappy. [..] So the Cult is interested in science fiction only because science fiction exists and the Cult demands total control over every aspect of human life down to the last nuance, (while denying that it makes that demand).
There is a psychological defense mechanism. Perhaps you have heard of it. It is called “projection.”
Anyway, once again — how many times do I have to say this — I have been both a feminist and an SF fan for pretty much my entire life, a thing which is true of most of the feminist SF fans I know. In fact, a great many of them were SF fans first and came to feminism a bit later in life — sometimes citing SF as the inspiration for their feminism.
We didn’t swoop in one day from the Planet of the Radical Feminists and decide that we wanted to take over America starting with science fiction.
Have you any idea how it feels to be a Fembot living in a Manbot’s Manputer’s world?
Female SF fans, feminist SF fans — we have been here the WHOLE TIME.
This genre is ours, as much as anyone’s.