skjam: (angry)
[personal profile] skjam posting in [community profile] scans_daily
I know we generally don't talk about current newspaper comics (that's the job of the Comics Curmudgeon http://www.joshreads.com). But I think the 2/5/12 installment of Doonesbury speaks to a problem many comics creators seem to have.








Your thoughts and comments?
SKJAM!

Date: 2012-02-10 01:16 pm (UTC)
wizardru: Hellboy (Default)
From: [personal profile] wizardru
It's funny cuz it's TRUE.

Date: 2012-02-10 01:35 pm (UTC)
brooms: (shirley)
From: [personal profile] brooms
i think this is an oversimplification of the problem at this point. it's not like women are unused to consuming media where female characters are accessories and tokens - sometimes very willingly. see success of the bromance wave.

Date: 2012-02-10 02:35 pm (UTC)
raisedbymoogles: (Default)
From: [personal profile] raisedbymoogles
I think the problem is women are TOO used to it. Their expectations are set low because, especially for female fans of action media, that last panel is all they get with very few real exceptions.

Date: 2012-02-10 02:47 pm (UTC)
brooms: (shirley)
From: [personal profile] brooms
i was talking about the "why no woman are buying your books" problem presented in the comic. the explanation that it's because "it's all guy stuff" doesn't fly, because women are completely used to consuming "guy stuff" where they're not represented well, if at all. the female dominated fandom on tumblr for the upcoming avengers movie can tell you all about it.

your books aren't selling to them for many other reasons, not just "it's guy stuff and women are treated like trash in them".

Date: 2012-02-10 03:32 pm (UTC)
janegray: (Default)
From: [personal profile] janegray
Agreed.

For example, the videogame Team Fortress 2 has a very large (by FPS standards) female fanbase, yet ALL of the 9 characters are male (with the possible exception of Pyro, who is a total mystery and might be a mobile colony of alien insects for al we know).

But TF2 is funny, clever and interesting. Therefore, as a woman, I'm willing to put up with its lack of female characters.

If other "all guy stuff" were funny, clever and interesting, I'd probably like that too, despite the lack of women.

P.S: Check out Meet The Medic if you haven't already, it gives an idea of what TF2 is like. Make sure the setting is high video quality.

http://www.tf2.com/classes.php?class=medic#movie

Date: 2012-02-10 03:52 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
Okay, I've never seen anything concerning TF2, but that is pretty damn funny. I'd definitely play that, if I didn't fear my computer would shit and die in trying to download it.

Date: 2012-02-10 04:10 pm (UTC)
janegray: (Default)
From: [personal profile] janegray
*cough*
http://scans-daily.dreamwidth.org/3500257.html
http://scans-daily.dreamwidth.org/3402864.html?
*cough*

;)

Everything about the game is funny like that. The "Meet The" videos (especially "Meet The Medic" and "Meet The Spy", which are the most recent), the description of items (for example, one of Medic' hats reads: technically, field medics are protected as noncombatants under the Geneva Convention. The next time you get shot be sure to tell your killer. It's a conversation starter!), the blog posts by the developers, the comics, the voice responses of the characters...

Also, despite the lack of women, it's still very diverse in one respect: nationality. Usually FPS are all about Americans, TF2 has a team composed of 3 Americans (one from Texas, one from Boston and one from Midwest), an Australian, a Russian, a German, a Scotsman, a Frenchman and Pyro.

Date: 2012-02-10 03:59 pm (UTC)
filthysize: (Default)
From: [personal profile] filthysize
I assumed that the dude in the hat is the one saying "Better! Much better!" So he is being portrayed as wrong, as well. Which he is. Because I think that given the choice, a lot of female comic fans would probably prefer reading a comic of strictly dudes shooting each other than a comic of weak half-naked women fawning over dudes shooting each other.

Date: 2012-02-10 04:19 pm (UTC)
brooms: (shirley)
From: [personal profile] brooms
yes, but the "you don't have any women in there" as one of the reasons why more women don't buy capes comics is pretty commonly used and accepted.

every time a new team book is released, there's commentary on the male to female heroes ratio, discussion on the lack of female fronted books - things like that. all associated with, then you wonder why more women aren't interested.

Date: 2012-02-10 04:30 pm (UTC)
janegray: (Default)
From: [personal profile] janegray
To be fair, while saying "there needs to be more women" is a gross oversimplification, at the same time it's true that women are far from being equally represented in fiction. Usually it's a whole bunch of men and one or two girls.

I'm willing to put up with a lack of female characters if the work is good enough, but that doesn't make the lack of female characters any less annoying. I'm still going to watch the Avengers, but I am annoyed that the male-to-female ratio is only 5:1. I still read Justice League comics, but I am annoyed that Diana is the only woman.

Being willing to put up with something bad if the work is good enough doesn't change the fact that that something is bad.

Conversely, I greatly appreciated the fact that Season 2 and 3 of Avatar The Last Airbender had an equal number of male and female heroes.

Date: 2012-02-10 04:38 pm (UTC)
brooms: (shirley)
From: [personal profile] brooms
but that doesn't make the lack of female characters any less annoying.

to you. and to me, too, incidentally, but i don't think it's at the top of most women consumers' concerns.

women have been watching bond for years.

Date: 2012-02-10 05:04 pm (UTC)
salinea: (Default)
From: [personal profile] salinea
What you say is true, but there's also a difference between being willing to embrace some media with little to no female presence and not minding that pretty much every media have little to no female presence. I'm sure a lot of women who don't mind the former do feel annoyed by the latter. When the latter is true all across a specific genre of media, like superhero comics, I think people do notice.

Date: 2012-02-10 05:19 pm (UTC)
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
From: [personal profile] sistermagpie
Right--it's like if you think of genres or movies that are considered very "female heavy" or whatever. Men don't complain that they don't have a lot of men in them, but if they actually got interested in the genre on a large scale they would probably want it and they'd probably get it. If everything was equal people would be fine with some media skewing one way or the other, but now it's just too weighted towards one side.

Especially since with Superhero comics the trends towards not just what's perceived as masculinity but a certain unflattering type of that is pretty remarked on by everyone. There really is a battle going on--which might have already been lost--on whether they're just going to be about that, period.

Date: 2012-02-10 05:22 pm (UTC)
brooms: (shirley)
From: [personal profile] brooms
I'm sure a lot of women who don't mind the former do feel annoyed by the latter.

yes, but what i meant by "i don't think it's at the top of most women consumers' concerns" was that i don't think it concerns them to the point where it would stop them from consuming? or that adding more female characters - even if they're written as well as the male characters - would boost sales to that demographic substantially.

Date: 2012-02-10 05:35 pm (UTC)
salinea: (Default)
From: [personal profile] salinea
well, it's certainly not a miracle solutions to boosting sales to female demographic, no. But when couples with good storytelling, media that know how to embrace female characters as agent and competent characters can sometimes be very successful in part because of it - I think.

Date: 2012-02-10 03:18 pm (UTC)
janegray: (Default)
From: [personal profile] janegray
Looking at your icon reminded me one thing that I've always found very puzzling. Japan is an extremely sexist country, and yet female characters in Japanese media tend to be far more well-rounded characters than in the supposedly more feminist Western media.

Take Yuna, for example. In FFX she wasn't an action girl, but she was still the decision-maker of the party: the pilgrimage, defying her deity and her church, fighting Sin without resorting to Yunalesca's temporary methods... Even though the game kept repeating "this is Tidus' story", every single step was taken because Yuna took it first.

Yuna in FFX is a demure, delicate, "proper" lady who is polite to a fault. And yet she has far more agency than most tough sword-wielding action girls in Western media.

And in FFX-2, despite the unnecessary tiny shorts and embarrassing "dancing," the story still rightfully made a huge deal of her will and desires. Yes, she fought out of love for a man, but damnit, she wanted to be with Tidus and she was going to actively fight to achieve her goal!

Compare and contrast with female heroes in Marvel and DC comics, who may even be the toughest badasses around, but still play second fiddle to their male colleagues.

Date: 2012-02-10 03:23 pm (UTC)
raisedbymoogles: (Default)
From: [personal profile] raisedbymoogles
*nodnods* I see the same thing with Tifa and Aerith. Tifa's a martial artist who beats up monsters and giant robots with her bare hands, yet she's pretty passive and helpless especially where it comes to Cloud's amnesia. Aerith, the physically weak 'mystical' character, has a lot more personal strength. I think we over here in the West have confused physical strength with character strength, or we think physical strength is the only kind that matters. We could probably psychoanalyze it all day. ;)

Date: 2012-02-10 03:54 pm (UTC)
janegray: (Default)
From: [personal profile] janegray
Oh, So. Much. Word.

What really annoys the crap out of me is when I read fanfiction by people who have never even played FF7, and they characterize Aeris like a stereotypical shy frail naive little princess ('cause she wears a pink dress and is the healer, RIGHT!????), completely ignoring the fact that she was strong-willed, stubborn, proud, crafty, pushy and even pretty damn bossy.

I like both Tifa and Aeris, but objectively, Aeris was the one who proactively took initiatives and led people. Tifa, cool and capable warrior as she was, was still always a follower.

Date: 2012-02-10 04:01 pm (UTC)
raisedbymoogles: (Default)
From: [personal profile] raisedbymoogles
And it's not as if either one is necessarily a Bad thing to be! It's just - yeah, people's perceptions of strength and women and strong women are Messed Up. (And I like Aeris because she's stubborn and pushy, dammit.)

Date: 2012-02-10 06:28 pm (UTC)
beoweasel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] beoweasel
In FFX she wasn't an action girl, but she was still the decision-maker of the party.

I have to completely disagree with you. The times when Yuna made decisions, they were generally bad ideas, like say, allowing herself to be taken by Yehvonites purely so she can try to 'send' Seymour during their wedding.

Also, Yuna decision to go on pilgrimage was made for her, she was the daughter of the summoner that slew Sin the last time, it was expected of her to do so. And she's perfectly willing to sacrifice herself and doesn't really question her destiny or the nature of the Yehvon church until AFTER Tidus steps in and calls it all a crock of shit.

Date: 2012-02-10 07:47 pm (UTC)
janegray: (Default)
From: [personal profile] janegray
The times when Yuna made decisions, they were generally bad ideas, like say, allowing herself to be taken by Yehvonites purely so she can try to 'send' Seymour during their wedding.

I wouldn't call that a bad decision at all. Seymour was extremely powerful, and (at the time) could have taken her whole party on and killed everybody (remember how awed/terrified everybody was when, at the Blitzball Tournament, a single Summon of Seymour's annihilated every last one of the countless attacking monsters).

A sneak attack would have had roughly the same chances of success (especially because a "blushing bride" could have very easily been underestimated), with the added bonus that only one member of the group would have had to risk their life instead of the whole bunch.

Add the fact that Yuna had a very good escape plan ready and could have fled at anytime, I really don't see why you call her decision a bad one.

Also, Yuna decision to go on pilgrimage was made for her, she was the daughter of the summoner that slew Sin the last time, it was expected of her to do so.

I disagree. It's definitely true that she was expected to go on pilgrimage, but she explicitly says that she wanted to go (because when Sin was around everybody lived in terror and constantly risked a horrible death, and she wanted people to be happy like when her father defeated Sin), so it's not like she suppressed her own desires to follow expectations, she chose to go by her own free will even after Lulu and Wakka begged her to reconsider.

Granted, "I want people to stop dying and being miserable, and if I have to die for that goal, so be it!" might be taken as repressing one's self rather than as a legitimate desire. But I don't think so, otherwise we'd have to think of missionaries as doormats instead of heroes.

And she's perfectly willing to sacrifice herself and doesn't really question her destiny or the nature of the Yehvon church until AFTER Tidus steps in and calls it all a crock of shit.

Well, duh. She had spent her whole life in an extremely cult-ish society, raised with the epic story of her beloved father heroically sacrificing her life to save people, being constantly fed lies about Sin's nature and the world.

Nobody in Spira ever questioned the Summoners' job nor the nature of the Yehvon church, except the Al Bhed, who lived in segregation and were widely vilified as some kind of Antichrist. Even Lulu, practical and rational and intelligent Lulu, tells Tidus that the only choices are either letting Sin kill everybody or letting a single summoner sacrifice his or her life, and that attempting to defeat Sin without accepting the summoner's sacrifice would be insanely ludicrous.

The only reason Tidus was able to think outside the box is that he was an outsider, coming from a completely different world. It was natural for him to see the teachings of Yevon as the pile of bullshit they were. But for a native like Yuna, opening her eyes meant giving up everything she had ever thought she knew, every comforting "truth" and reassurance, and accepting the fact that her father had died pointlessly and that her mother and the rest of her family had been scapegoated by the "respectable" church that had raised Yuna since she was a child.

A lesser person would have shut down or gone in denial. I do think Yuna has brass balls for managing to accept all of that and overcome Yevon's conditioning after just a short and relatively minor freak out.

Date: 2012-02-11 09:35 pm (UTC)
greenmask: (Default)
From: [personal profile] greenmask
Yuna's in-game agency + feminism

I love this discussion.

Date: 2012-02-10 04:59 pm (UTC)
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
From: [personal profile] sistermagpie
That's how I read it.

Date: 2012-02-11 12:40 pm (UTC)
blackruzsa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blackruzsa
Pfffff
I just wonder why the hell people find it so hard to make women accessible and realistic.
Just do all the things you would do with a guy character, sans anything sexual, and make the character a GIRL!
SHOCKING, I KNOW, BUT JESUS. >:/

Date: 2012-04-24 03:24 pm (UTC)
benuben: (Default)
From: [personal profile] benuben
Actually, thats one of the problems I tend to have with many supposed strong female characters. They are basicly just female versions of male characters, which is why so many people when they think of strong woman, they imagine a Rambo with boobs.

The excelent example of strong female character for me, is Belle from Disneys Beauty and Beast.

Date: 2012-04-24 11:29 pm (UTC)
blackruzsa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blackruzsa
Thing is, though, people don't understand that being strong and heroic and a good protagonist isn't exclusively a masculine or "guy" thing. A lot of what guys can do, girls can too. That's what I meant by the comment above.

Date: 2012-04-25 09:42 am (UTC)
benuben: (Default)
From: [personal profile] benuben
I dissagree. Lack of strong female protagonists isn't a problem nowadays and popularity of shows like Buffy proves, that male audience is gonna watch it, if you offer them something good (even though, I'm not that huge fan of Buffy as a character). Hell, in Transformers Prime, Arcee is pretty much the main transformer character (Optimus doesn't count). What is a big problem in my opinion, is very little diversity of these protagonists. I would even go that far, and say writers should stop trying to reminding us again and again, how strong and badass their heroins are, and instead should be more concerned, about writing good characters with interesting personality, that just happen to be female.

Date: 2012-04-25 04:04 pm (UTC)
salinea: (raised eyebrow)
From: [personal profile] salinea
Lack of strong female protagonists isn't a problem nowadays
Which world do you live in again?

Date: 2012-04-25 04:19 pm (UTC)
benuben: (Default)
From: [personal profile] benuben
The real one.

Date: 2012-04-25 04:24 pm (UTC)
salinea: (eyeroll)
From: [personal profile] salinea
Damn, why must I be stuck in this unreal world where there is barely any movies with female leads & very few TV series with female leads. WHY!

Date: 2012-04-25 04:42 pm (UTC)
benuben: (Default)
From: [personal profile] benuben
Okay, you deserve some real answers, so I'll try to explain my point.

Having a fair amount of female protagonists, doesn't mean anything for me, if half of them are almost exactly the same people and have nothing to offer, besides being "strong". Especialy if they are written more as men, then women. I'm just saying, a lot of writers think, that instead of creating interesting female character, they just make "strong" one and remind us that fact 100 times over.

Date: 2012-04-25 04:49 pm (UTC)
salinea: anthy is watching you and her eyeglasses are all shiny (creepy anthy)
From: [personal profile] salinea
I agree with you that variety in female leads is also important and that showing different kind of qualities - including traditionally feminine ones - as a source of strength, agency & competence in characters is primordial.

I also think that saying women showing a specific kind of strength & set of qualities which are more traditionally seen as mainly (combat skills, etc.) is writing those women as "more as men" is problematic. It's not as odious as the "men with tits" expression, but there's still a lot of annoying gender essentialising in it.

And I very much disagree in any case that we can see there is no problem with getting female leads to mainstream stories. There are a few examples spread out two or three decades that are brought up again and again to protest criticism of lack of female leads; but they represent a very small proportion of stories compared to those with male leads.

Date: 2012-04-25 05:03 pm (UTC)
benuben: (Default)
From: [personal profile] benuben
You know, when I said it is not a problem nowadays, I didnt mean that literally. What I am trying to say is, that in my eyes, it isnt that big of a problem, compared to this one.

Anyway, I agree with everything you just wrote. Preach it.

Date: 2012-04-25 05:13 pm (UTC)
salinea: Two woman dancing together "dance with me" (dance with me)
From: [personal profile] salinea
Oh, okay then :)

Date: 2012-04-25 05:27 pm (UTC)
benuben: (Default)
From: [personal profile] benuben
BTW: Arcee owns so freaking much :-)

Date: 2012-04-25 06:57 pm (UTC)
salinea: (Default)
From: [personal profile] salinea
... I've never watched or read anything Transformer.

Date: 2012-04-26 03:13 am (UTC)
benuben: (Default)
From: [personal profile] benuben
Yeah, I know, I just needed to... write that out loud :-)

Date: 2012-04-26 07:25 am (UTC)
salinea: Subaru is confused (*???*)
From: [personal profile] salinea
you know?? how come you know so much about what I have or haven't watched O_O

Date: 2012-04-29 01:45 pm (UTC)
benuben: (Default)
From: [personal profile] benuben
I knew it, since you told me :-) It's one of my bad habits I picked as kid. Sorry if I offended you. I didn't think it was important, whether you have seen the shows, since I was referring to my older comment here.

Date: 2012-04-29 01:55 pm (UTC)
salinea: (Default)
From: [personal profile] salinea
Oh okay. I wasn't offended, just confused.

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