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Fantasy Faction Writers => Writers' Corner => Topic started by: m3mnoch on September 24, 2016, 06:21:00 PM

Title: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: m3mnoch on September 24, 2016, 06:21:00 PM
guys!  guys!

so, i'm pushing through my wip and am at the halfway point.  i'd already written/developed my main bad guy.  he's pretty awesome.  sorta-kinda like andross guile smashed together with ramsay bolton.  real class act, he is.

anyway.

i was looking at my casting, feeling a little light on foreground women characters.  thought for a moment, "hey, what if?"  and, boom!  danar became danari!

. . . and she's AWESOME!!  so much better!

man, having a badass villain is sooooo cool.
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: Mr.J on September 24, 2016, 07:53:16 PM
More people should do this.

Also if you're light on the women character front, is there anyone else in your supporting group of lead characters who fight the villain who could be switched too?

Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: m3mnoch on September 24, 2016, 10:26:11 PM
More people should do this.

Also if you're light on the women character front, is there anyone else in your supporting group of lead characters who fight the villain who could be switched too?

nah.  not really.  it's about 60/40 men to women now for all my major characters.  tho, badass-character-arc women outnumber badass men.  so, if anything, i could use a barmaid-in-distress or three.
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: The Gem Cutter on September 25, 2016, 01:00:49 AM
All ABOUT barmaids in distress  ;D
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: Nora on September 25, 2016, 10:53:53 AM
Yeah, my original wip has a female main character, but almost all supporting characters were guys, until Jmack suggested that my bad guy could be a woman. And it made lots of sense in her relationship to the MC.
Went from a normal guy to a lesbian woman in a flash of editorial magic.
I don't usually think much about it, but it seems women make good baddies.
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: Quill on September 25, 2016, 11:23:29 AM
I don't usually think much about it, but it seems women make good baddies.

Probably because we aren't as used to seeing women in power (in fantasy) or women committing acts of cruelty as we are with men, so it's more distressing or unnerving to us.
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: Jake Baelish on September 25, 2016, 11:30:04 AM
Two of my main villain are women, I agree it works very well, as long as it is balanced between good and bad. For you to have changed a character's gender during production is impressive though, so kudos for making that work for the better  :)
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: The Gem Cutter on September 25, 2016, 10:48:30 PM
I have a saying for my attraction to the various kinds of women out there "I like blondes because they're blondes, redheads because they're redheads, and brunettes because they're brunettes."  I think that works for villains, male and female, as well.

As the engines to the story, the villains must be well made - weaknesses in their design, accidental inconsistencies, and other flaws have a story-wide impact.

Gender, like every other trait and aspect, can be either-or, played with expectations or against them, or some combination we haven't seen. So long as it is done well, everybody wins.

While I, too, have an ensemble cast, I would point out that there is power in being the only one of a gender in a group or dramatic triad, regardless of the mix. So all my trios have one woman.

In my work I devised a formula I am calling "The 95% Person" - someone who is 95% of what we would hope from a friend, but that 5% is the stuff that allows her to be a friend.  I didn't want her to be monstrous - only flawed enough for someone (hopefully) besides me to think "Man! She's awesome - too bad she's such a soulless bitch."  I am particularly happy with her. She is everything a person would not want in a pursuer: disciplined, decisive, savvy and cunning, confident, powerful, fit, and a strong leader. She's a pain in this book. She's a nightmare in the next.
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: cupiscent on September 26, 2016, 01:39:57 AM
While I, too, have an ensemble cast, I would point out that there is power in being the only one of a gender in a group or dramatic triad, regardless of the mix. So all my trios have one woman.

Why only one woman? Surely you could mine the same vein of power with one man and two women? (I say this not to be combatative - for once ;) - but to point out in a general way how we can be skewed without necessarily having thought about it.)

Obviously I am approximately 600% in favour of considering whether more characters in our stories - good, bad, ambiguous - might be more interesting as women. But while I'm raising possibly unnecessary considerations: when doing a gender swap, do be careful not to unthinkingly fall into problematic tropes.

The one I'm thinking of most here is the "sexual appetite is a marker of evil" thing that is seen so often in female villains. Is it a problem in and of itself? Not necessarily; hedonism of various sorts is often used to indicate wickedness in all genders. But with lady characters it's often a stark contrast of sexuality versus purity, villains versus heroines. (e.g. Peter Brett's Demon Cycle books, where much is made of the main female character's virginity, and the female villain swans about mostly naked.)
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: Nora on September 26, 2016, 02:20:36 AM
See, on the short text I'm working on now (hopefully 10/20k in the end) I specifically want no women at all. I want the two main characters to have a strong friendship, borderline bromance, but the villain (it's a story with basically 3 characters) just won't do as a woman, since I want to very seriously tackle phobias and other clinical problems, and I completely want to avoid any impression of a hysterical female latching on to the world because of her insecurities and hysterics. It's a cliche too often seen, and not one I want to combat.
On the other hand, looking at my characters in my monthly submissions, the majority feature females as leads. I've done some stories with only males or only females, and often the female can be both the lead and the villain. So I guess that overall I don't give much thought to it and write gender as it comes to me.
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: The Gem Cutter on September 26, 2016, 03:42:38 AM
While I, too, have an ensemble cast, I would point out that there is power in being the only one of a gender in a group or dramatic triad, regardless of the mix. So all my trios have one woman.

Why only one woman? Surely you could mine the same vein of power with one man and two women? (I say this not to be combatative - for once ;) - but to point out in a general way how we can be skewed without necessarily having thought about it.)

I am skewed, but not in the way you think, because I've spent a long time thinking about it, and there's more at play than the ratio of balls to vulvas :)

I am writing all my books primarily for women - I am not marketing to female readers, and I am not pandering. I am reproducing the most effective and influential women in my life. Their success was based on two things: dominance and distinctiveness (I define that specifically below).

The protagonist in my real story is female, and this three-book storyline is really her backstory, showing us how she comes to be what she will be, and why. But I am pursuing this goal subtly, and not in the way one might expect. I want her ascendance to be surprising on one level, and yet seem inevitable. This protag will be her mentor and enabler, but it will be her story, if any, that leads to my success.

I tilt the triads for two reasons:
1. Because many triad positions involve continual mentoring and gentle fault-finding; women (unfairly) can come across as nagging mothers or other negative stereotypes I want to avoid. Some of my friends were women leading hundreds of people in complex organizations, and per their feedback, this is a RL phenomena that sucks. So rather than struggling against it, I am dodging the issue by making the naggers men.

2. Because I want my female characters to stand out and be noticed.
I am making my females special in several ways, some obvious, others less so. The first is dominance (both from authority and power, and from being right/clever/insightful). The second is prominence - arising from their positions, the MC's dependence on their help, advice, and knowledge, and their specific placement in the story (as opposed to just hierarchies).

There's only one in each triad for two reasons beyond their gender - they are almost always right, and their predictions almost always come to fruition. Adding another would reduce their prominence. Also, some triads straddle organizational boundaries, and this way I have women leading men (and other women) at least as often as the reverse. Some triads do have two women, but this works for me, since it is a special case - a cult that is led wholly by women.

My triads:
Kellithren (MC) (M) - Master (M) - Friend (F)   Kellithren, Master, Party Leader (F)
Kellithren  - Talian (M) - Friend                     Kellithren, Gem Cutter (M), Friend
Kellithren - Master - Head of Autumnal Order (F)       Kellithren. Leader of the Grove (F), Friend
Kellithren, Head of Autumnal Order, Head of Hibernal Order (M)

The list goes on.

[...]when doing a gender swap, do be careful not to unthinkingly fall into problematic tropes.

The one I'm thinking of most here is the "sexual appetite is a marker of evil" thing that is seen so often in female villains. Is it a problem in and of itself? Not necessarily; hedonism of various sorts is often used to indicate wickedness in all genders.
One of my villainesses does have a sexual appetite that is exploitive and related to an unwholesome sharing of power between her and her two protégés, a bond that does tend (as in, not just her) to lead to sexual relationships. But the sexual aspect is not central to her villainy, and it is secondary to the psychological aspects of this bond which are the primary focus - the uneven sharing of power and an exploitive, dominant-submissive nature of the bond.

Nevertheless, some will accuse me of misusing the trope you describe, which is inescapable if I am going to have 1) women in power 2) a corrupt organization whose leaders sexually (and otherwise) exploit people in their power. But so be it. Can't please everyone.

-The Gem Cutter
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: cupiscent on September 26, 2016, 07:19:09 AM
...but the villain (it's a story with basically 3 characters) just won't do as a woman, since I want to very seriously tackle phobias and other clinical problems, and I completely want to avoid any impression of a hysterical female latching on to the world because of her insecurities and hysterics. It's a cliche too often seen, and not one I want to combat.

I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes real-world reader context needs to be taken into consideration in our fantasy-world decisions. (When trying to decide the genders of a main character and corresponding foil/love interest, I eventually went with both male because making one of them female made the romance line too obvious; a reader knows what it means when a man and woman meet in the first chapter in a way that means they'll work together for most of the book...)

Meanwhile, @The_Gem_Cutter (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=41379), the thought you're putting into this stuff is fantastic. I want to point out a couple of things that leapt out at me from what you've outlined, not as nitpicking or criticising, but just in case they haven't leapt out to you. (Obviously you can't give out everything in a limited forum like this, so of course you may have considered all of this.)

1. Because many triad positions involve continual mentoring and gentle fault-finding [ergo] making the naggers men.
2. Because I want my female characters to stand out and be noticed.

1. Cool! But perhaps be careful with overtones of "women need a man's help to succeed". There are ways to play with that either explicitly or implicitly, foreground or background.

2. Which totally makes sense - we want to read and write about exceptional people. However, perhaps be careful with the "not like other girls" potential there. (This is where a woman is lifted up by denigrating the rest of her gender - she's so much smarter than other women, she's not subjective and emotional like other women, she doesn't wear too much make-up or silly clothes.)

Nevertheless, some will accuse me of misusing the trope you describe, which is inescapable if I am going to have 1) women in power 2) a corrupt organization whose leaders sexually (and otherwise) exploit people in their power. But so be it. Can't please everyone.

Which is absolutely the best philosophy. There are always going to be people who have a bee in their bonnet about a particular thing and there's not going to be any pleasing them. For the rest of us, some inclusion of positive examples of women's sexuality goes a long way. :)
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: The Gem Cutter on September 26, 2016, 10:23:44 AM

1. Be careful with overtones of "women need a man's help to succeed".

2. Be careful with the "not like other girls" potential there.

1. I meant that literally - he is a mentor and enabler. He will devise a new and frightening capability. She will later use that capability to devastating effect. So this is an Obi-Wan vs. Luke scenario (but better executed I hope ... Luke never seemed badass enough imho), not some misogynist-friendly example of male generosity allowing for female parity.

2. I think she'll be too serious and sophisticated for that thought to occur to anyone, and the fact that she's not A) the only woman on the stage and B) not the only serious, sophisticated woman on the stage should make that ... implausible.

She is 6'-2", rail thin, with sharp, angular features, and a large nose. She walks really fast. She's half a head taller than my current MC. She does have gorgeous eyes with long lashes, so she's not unattractive, but she is not portrayed as a voluptuous beauty-queen. So that's where my head's at.

When I joined F-F's FB group, I posed some questions about most-hated clichés. By far, the most passionate answers came from and related to women: using rape to establish villain's villainy; males who had had a name change for balance, but weren't truly women; lack of real impact in their roles; no distinction between girls and women; use as trophy, object of pursuit, rescue, etc.; and the one that made me tingle - absence of male-female friendships. That told me I was on the right track. Not a failed romance, or romance that was never pursued - but just real friends, in a scary world, helping one another just to help one another.

So far, it is working. It reads 'real', and adheres to my intent. We'll see. My female readers are noticing and enjoying my efforts to be balanced, though some are subtle and I doubt men notice or care. I have three sons, and I pine for my future granddaughter, and when she FINALLY arrives, the books are really for her. Cause little girls need heroes, too.
-Gem Cutter
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: m3mnoch on September 26, 2016, 02:42:48 PM
Obviously I am approximately 600% in favour of considering whether more characters in our stories - good, bad, ambiguous - might be more interesting as women. But while I'm raising possibly unnecessary considerations: when doing a gender swap, do be careful not to unthinkingly fall into problematic tropes.

heh.  for the record, in my case the male character's primary chapters had already been written, the world-building content already written, all kinds of stuff.  he was even one of those elder statesmen types.  (for my writing group, he's the guy who killed the deer in the glade.  yeah, that guy!  he's a girl now!)

all i did was add an 'i' to the end of his name and change "he" and "his" to "she" and "hers".  prest-o-change-o.  woman.

it's so weird.  almost like women can be real people instead of the bouncy, jiggly flesh-candy we all know and love!
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: Quill on September 26, 2016, 03:14:54 PM
all i did was add an 'i' to the end of his name and change "he" and "his" to "she" and "hers".  prest-o-change-o.  woman.

I don't know your world at all, but wouldn't there be different consequences or reactions etc. to what your now female character does than if a man had done it? Imagine a set of twins being born in our world and society, one boy, one girl. Despite having the exact same starting position, their lives will be very different simply because they are different genders and society will treat them as such.

In my own writing, I'm very conscious about how my society perceives women and how this affect female characters. It determines what kind of upbringing they have (thus what skills they will often possess), how others see them and how they see themselves (if they accept their often subordinate position in society or what ways they can subvert this) etc. E.g. one third of my book is set in a realm ruled by a young queen, and there are constantly nobles and priests scheming to replace her with a male cousin, simply because they are against female rulership.
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: m3mnoch on September 26, 2016, 03:32:00 PM
all i did was add an 'i' to the end of his name and change "he" and "his" to "she" and "hers".  prest-o-change-o.  woman.

I don't know your world at all, but wouldn't there be different consequences or reactions etc. to what your now female character does than if a man had done it? Imagine a set of twins being born in our world and society, one boy, one girl. Despite having the exact same starting position, their lives will be very different simply because they are different genders and society will treat them as such.

In my own writing, I'm very conscious about how my society perceives women and how this affect female characters. It determines what kind of upbringing they have (thus what skills they will often possess), how others see them and how they see themselves (if they accept their often subordinate position in society or what ways they can subvert this) etc. E.g. one third of my book is set in a realm ruled by a young queen, and there are constantly nobles and priests scheming to replace her with a male cousin, simply because they are against female rulership.

good question.

i suspect it would if the world wasn't already kinda-sorta gender-balanced anyway.  there's already another female (who is probably going to be my very favorite character in that world) viscount (currently the top-line scope for my warring factions) and there will be another by the end of this book.  so counting this swap and doing some quick math, by the time the book cover is closed, of the viscounts involved in the story, there will be 1 man and 3 women.  but, the duke is male.

i only say kinda-sorta because i haven't spent a lot of time moving among the warrior class, so, i'm sure they're all assumed male in the reader's mind.  easily fixed once i start exploring their stories.
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: MammaMamae on September 26, 2016, 04:20:10 PM
all i did was add an 'i' to the end of his name and change "he" and "his" to "she" and "hers".  prest-o-change-o.  woman.

I don't know your world at all, but wouldn't there be different consequences or reactions etc. to what your now female character does than if a man had done it? Imagine a set of twins being born in our world and society, one boy, one girl. Despite having the exact same starting position, their lives will be very different simply because they are different genders and society will treat them as such.

In my own writing, I'm very conscious about how my society perceives women and how this affect female characters. It determines what kind of upbringing they have (thus what skills they will often possess), how others see them and how they see themselves (if they accept their often subordinate position in society or what ways they can subvert this) etc. E.g. one third of my book is set in a realm ruled by a young queen, and there are constantly nobles and priests scheming to replace her with a male cousin, simply because they are against female rulership.

I also think, in addition to focusing on how disadvantaged female characters are in certain settings, think about some ways in which women have advantages, or are able to use the system to their advantage.  Are there resources a woman might have access to that a man might not, even and especially in a patriarchal world?  Ways she plays stereotypes to her advantage?  Networks she can use?

Also I think it can be good to question how patriarchal a world really is; are there ways women run things that aren't immediately visible?  Ways they subvert?

Depends on the world - it's fantasy, so it is certainly possible, and sometimes really interesting, to have a world where you can literally change pronouns and nothing else changes.

FWIW, I LOVE female villains.  LOVE.  I don't know how I am going to watch GOT when Cersei eventually kicks it.  As a little kid I used to dress up as Disney villainesses rather than princesses. 

I have a female antagonist in my WIP who is a deconstruction of the "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" trope.  I didn't start out writing her this way, I just realized I was doing it and decided to make it more conscious.  She's one of my favorite characters to write.

There is nothing I love more than a female villain taken up to 11.
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: Nora on September 26, 2016, 06:02:57 PM
I also think, in addition to focusing on how disadvantaged female characters are in certain settings, think about some ways in which women have advantages, or are able to use the system to their advantage.  Are there resources a woman might have access to that a man might not, even and especially in a patriarchal world?  Ways she plays stereotypes to her advantage?  Networks she can use?

Beware of that still, because that's how you end up with stories like Gone Girl.
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: The Gem Cutter on September 27, 2016, 04:24:49 AM
@Nora (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=40237) What is the issue with Gone Girl? I read the wiki articles on it, and there seems to be nothing but praise.
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: Nora on September 27, 2016, 11:31:20 AM
It's about a cold, manipulative woman who

fakes her death, spent months writing fake journals full of fake abuse to get her husband in trouble, mutilates herself to fake a rape, murders a guy in cold blood while having sex to finish framing him for rape and capture, goes back to the world, has most people believing her story, makes herself pregnant and coldly manipulates her husband over the kid, saying he can never leave if he wants her little kid to not be raised in hatred of him.
Most of this arising from her distaste for his sloppiness and lack of greater charisma and ambition.

I mostly share the misgivings of RB Jackson so I guess I can simply link him :

http://www.robertjacksonbennett.com/blog/gone-girl-and-the-fallacy-of-the-weaponized-female-sexuality
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: MammaMamae on September 27, 2016, 11:58:12 AM
It's about a cold, manipulative woman who

fakes her death, spent months writing fake journals full of fake abuse to get her husband in trouble, mutilates herself to fake a rape, murders a guy in cold blood while having sex to finish framing him for rape and capture, goes back to the world, has most people believing her story, makes herself pregnant and coldly manipulates her husband over the kid, saying he can never leave if he wants her little kid to not be raised in hatred of him.
Most of this arising from her distaste for his sloppiness and lack of greater charisma and ambition.

I mostly share the misgivings of RB Jackson so I guess I can simply link him :

http://www.robertjacksonbennett.com/blog/gone-girl-and-the-fallacy-of-the-weaponized-female-sexuality

Yikes - I've never read Gone Girl, but I can see where what I said could go there.

I think what I had in mind wasn't quite that bad - more just trying to think outside of the "woman as oppressed" box that sometimes fantasy veers a little too much towards for my taste.

In a patriarchal setting, a woman's relationship with her culture - villainess or not - could possibly be more complex than just standing up to men who want to keep her down.  There's other social networks she could draw upon that are unique to women, aspects of their culture they may even be attached to, imagery they can use (like Elizabeth I drew upon and subverted Marian imagery). That's all I was saying.

Yeah, not Gone Girl levels of psychopathy, no.
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: The Gem Cutter on September 27, 2016, 02:39:38 PM
I read some critiques of the book and investigated its tropes. I didn't explore the film's departures, or know how significant they are. I love the author's stances and distinctive presentation of women's issues, whatever the interpretations. There are a lot of layers of irony both in the work and around it.

Bennett's criticism illustrates just how hemmed in authors really are: there is no magical direction away from the herd - an author can't follow the herd without inheriting responsibility for the way things are when they arrived, can't depart the herd without criticism for the particular direction chosen. Social norms, values and mores form a web that hold us in, and you can't craft a work that doesn't touch or violate ANY of them - so no matter what you try, you're a turd to someone. Noted!
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: Nora on September 27, 2016, 03:17:21 PM
Hummm... I wouldn't have taken that out of that specific movie critic... Though of course it's well known that you can't please everyone, I think the article is mostly making a point at something more general in society and the way of depicting women as evil.
I don't feel like he was criticizing the author for trying something different from the herd. Bennett himself is very good in the way he includes and depict women, so I guess his opinions on Gone Girl stem from that as well.
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: The Gem Cutter on September 27, 2016, 07:39:20 PM
Wow! I read his critique and I don't understand - it's like we read different things?

I don't feel like he was criticizing the author for trying something different from the herd.

There is only one thing that sets Gone Girl apart, right? A Machiavellian woman who wasn't a victim of rape, but rather used it as a weapon. Otherwise, it's that fun but farcical film "The Other Women" right?

So if sexual assault and manipulations are involved, women can only be depicted as victims and must not be depicted carrying out assaults and manipulations of their own? He resents her use of fabricated assaults as if A) that never happens and B) women are above/incapable of such cold-blooded actions - both of which are misogyny. Especially when thrust upon a single book representing a single reversal of norms and expectations.

We have a feminist female author who highlighted the prevalence of women-as-victims by reversing it - and in the process showed us how readily even other women accept and even expect women to be victims ... that's amazing. Innovative, clever, unique, and subtle - and he eviscerated her for it.  I don't get it. His rage against the depiction of a fully empowered woman using the very thing that is so often used against women seemed just another form of misogyny to me: "Leave rape to men, and keep it real."
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: m3mnoch on September 27, 2016, 08:17:26 PM
this quote seemed to sum up both his thoughts and mine, all wrapped in a neat bow:

Quote
Gone Girl, really, is a misogynist’s horror movie, one that can and likely will confirm their idea of the world, this idea of women, suddenly free to use their bodies and sexuality as they wish, will instantly use them to assault and attack and degrade innocent men.

i literally almost wrote earlier "gone girl is like a typical man's worst nightmare" -- but decided i'd read the link before posting.  turns out, yup.  we've got the basically the same opinion.

up for debate, tho?  is the typical man a misogynist?  but, that's probably a WHOLE 'nuther thread.
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: Nora on September 27, 2016, 08:44:15 PM
No indeed, I don't think we understood that article in the same way at all, or take the meaning of a freed woman in the same light either.
He hasn't read the book, by the way, and is criticizing the movie.

M3m, good quoting skill. I think it's the best one to summarize it, though I don't think the average man is a misogynist to such levels. However I can totally see his point, since many "average men" have that fear of the false accusation of rape, and many people believe, or claim to believe, that a woman should get jail if caught charging false accusations of rape.
Now that's even trickier to consider.
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: The Gem Cutter on September 27, 2016, 09:05:06 PM
this quote seemed to sum up both his thoughts and mine, all wrapped in a neat bow:
Gone Girl, really, is a misogynist’s horror movie, one that can and likely will confirm their idea of the world, this idea of women, suddenly free to use their bodies and sexuality as they wish, will instantly use them to assault and attack and degrade innocent men.

Agreed - the misogynists will see things as they wish - and the highly unusual (dare I say unique?) nature of this story will be overlooked, which of course is where the key issue lies - that rarity and the surprise experienced confirm that statistically, by massive orders of magnitude, this does not happen. Like voter fraud measured in the thousands in a country of hundreds of millions...
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: TBM on September 27, 2016, 10:45:17 PM
Quote
His rage against the depiction of a fully empowered woman using the very thing that is so often used against women seemed just another form of misogyny to me

He's angry at this particular woman for using her voice and taking it upon himself to protest on women's behalf putting himself in a protector role unasked. He's just another online white knight trying to get female attention.

Nothing special.

Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: m3mnoch on September 27, 2016, 11:11:42 PM
He's just another online white knight trying to get female attention.

*blink*  *blink*

i think you've been spending too much time on themodernman.com.
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: Nora on September 28, 2016, 12:17:39 AM
Quote
His rage against the depiction of a fully empowered woman using the very thing that is so often used against women seemed just another form of misogyny to me

He's angry at this particular woman for using her voice and taking it upon himself to protest on women's behalf putting himself in a protector role unasked. He's just another online white knight trying to get female attention.

Nothing special.

He's a successful writer whose last three best sellers feature strong middle aged female characters, one being a quick ass retired general with a missing arm, another being a nerdy spy.
He writes female characters extremely well, to be honest, and you can take that from a female reader. Also, I don't think you have to be a woman, or a black/asian/whatever-non-white male (???) to express an opinion on the message of a movie.
Besides, this is from his private blog. He's married with a kid of his own. Where does all that angst come from? Do you actually disagree with his argument, do you think the depiction of Mrs Dunne is a positive depiction of the empowerment of women? We're talking about a movie here as well, not real life.

Quote
He's angry at this particular woman for using her voice and taking it upon himself to protest on women's behalf

What woman are you talking about?? The author of the original book, on which he does not directly comment since he has not read it, or the movie character who uses false allegations, self mutilation and cold blooded murder and framing in order to achieve her sociopathic goals and punish every man in her life? Because if you're referring to the later, as a woman, I strongly want out of Mrs Dunne protesting "on my behalf", thx.
Same for the author, tbh.
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: TBM on September 28, 2016, 02:05:25 AM
The fact that he's a professional author bringing up the hotly debated subject of rape on his commercial blog http://www.robertjacksonbennett.com/books, I find distasteful. Lets leave it at that. 

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He writes female characters extremely well, to be honest, and you can take that from a female reader. Also, I don't think you have to be a woman, or a black/asian/whatever-non-white male (???) to express an opinion on the message of a movie.

"Have to" has no relevance here. He's entitled to free speech.
However why am I hearing this from a man:

(because we really don’t: rape, abuse, and domestic violence are woefully underreported, and are often received with reactions of indifference or scorn).


What exactly qualifies him to speak authoritatively on women's experiences? His writing? Is that it?

So he got mad enough to tell us how mad he got. Is he mad FOR women? Are potentially offended women such hypo-agents in his mind that he feels he has to be mad on their behalf and rant online? 

The conceit that he would take it upon himself to speak for a group that's very capable of sending the message themselves, is using a hero/damsel dynamic.
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Do you actually disagree with his argument?

Yes.
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do you think the depiction of Mrs Dunne is a positive depiction of the empowerment of women?

"positive depictions" and and "empowerment" are limitations of characterization. If offended women want to self impose limitations that's one thing. But it's not his place to do it.

Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: Nora on September 28, 2016, 10:16:07 AM
Right.

So you should stop talking about it as well, because it's not your place to do that as well.

But you're right. Disagreeing with people expressing their opinions is totally gonna help on the subject. Somehow reading you makes me agree even more with him.
But let's drop the topic, since you're not a woman.

Also, what you heard from a man is what bare statistic tell anyone who cares to look for them. Also, I could get you the recent video of a reporter explaining how a judge had just suggested a rape victim that "she should have kept her knees together", if only that could help.
However you're the last person I want to have this conversation with, I'm sorry. I'm out of this thread before I get offended.

I'm sorry for bringing Gone Girl up mammae!
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: TBM on September 28, 2016, 06:10:53 PM
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Right.

So you should stop talking about it as well, because it's not your place to do that as well.

It's not my place to talk about his conceit?  ???

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Also, what you heard from a man is what bare statistic tell anyone who cares to look for them. Also, I could get you the recent video of a reporter explaining how a judge had just suggested a rape victim that "she should have kept her knees together", if only that could help.

You'd think a man who took it upon himself to speak on women's experiences on serious issues would at least cite sources. As I said, just another white knight online. 

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However you're the last person I want to have this conversation with, I'm sorry. I'm out of this thread before I get offended.

Answer me this. When did I tell you my sex,  gender or gender identity? Because as the Blackmanga, I have never expressed that online. Ever.

People on Lytherus assume female, morons on here assume male. Whatever.
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: m3mnoch on September 28, 2016, 06:41:08 PM
People on Lytherus assume female, morons on here assume male. Whatever.

*sigh*

that's probably because we're just a bunch of cucks around here.
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: The Gem Cutter on September 28, 2016, 07:05:45 PM
I am surprised to discover over the last year, and during my months in this forum and its Facebook presence in particular, that gender and sexuality are the electrified third rail of the fantasy genre. Few other topics elicit such strong reactions. No one seems to care about politics or issues of class, etc., to the same extent.

Is this correct, or do you all see other issues that shine as bright or brighter? Or am I mistaken, and only a few outspoken individuals care deeply about gender and sexuality? Is this unique to fantasy, or are the other genres similarly sensitive to these issues?
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: m3mnoch on September 28, 2016, 07:36:23 PM
no, it's not unique to fantasy.

it's a product of women "intruding" on traditionally male entertainment strongholds.  the primary other example in recent history being gamergate: http://gawker.com/what-is-gamergate-and-why-an-explainer-for-non-geeks-1642909080

essentially angry for this intrusion, gg'ers do "battle" with "social justice warriors" because the world is a zero-sum game where mutually beneficial situations are non-existent.  women are taking away what rightfully belongs to men.

they will often use tactics like "but, i didn't tell you what gender i am" to trigger folks into assuming they're female and "i'm going to assume the voice of a cartoon feminist stereotype in order to mansplain to you what you should be feeling, you idiot woman" in attempts to irritate the unconvertable into angry explosions while winning over those still on the fence with their "wit and understanding".  they even have "guidebooks (http://mormongame.blogspot.com/2014/10/a-gamergate-guide-to-debating-sjws.html)" on places like reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/1vkbwv/teach_me_how_to_argue_with_a_feminist/) or 4chan (i'm not linking to 4chan...) that will explain exactly how to achieve these goals through the use of misdirection and logical fallacies.

because sjws are "morons" who won't know the difference.

it's the basic, fundamental misunderstanding of how inclusive-vs-exclusive worlds rotate around each other that makes them the ire of the public eye.  this misunderstanding is why these explicit-misogynists get lumped into the alt-right conversations.

they can't understand why everyone doesn't just stay in their own little stereotypical worlds and stop trying to take their stuff from them.  dammit -- women are supposed to read stephenie meyer, not george r. r. martin!
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: The Gem Cutter on September 28, 2016, 08:37:28 PM
Thanks M3m, you've simultaneously made me smarter, mildly angry, and disappointed in society along an entirely new line.
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: cupiscent on September 29, 2016, 01:42:15 AM
M3m's covered it well. Though I would add that race is also a very volatile subject - for fantasy and other literature - along almost exactly the same lines.
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: The Gem Cutter on September 29, 2016, 01:59:22 AM
So I've been digesting M3mnoch's info on the GG thing, and observing other threads here and elsewhere that indicate gender, sexual orientation, and race are hot topics that elicit strong emotions and deep feelings.

So why isn't this forum a hotbed of vitriol? I've seen some threads get fairly contentious here, but almost always very polite, rarely much more than snarky in terms of insult. Why is that? Is it mod-driven discipline or is this just a very restrained cloister that is somehow immune?

Or perhaps I am just missing it all - which is good. If I am, don't show me where to look.
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: m3mnoch on September 29, 2016, 02:12:22 AM
because our community kicks ass.

we're inclusive around these parts, not exclusive.  it's one of the reasons why it's my favorite place on the internet.
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: ScarletBea on September 29, 2016, 03:04:12 AM
because our community kicks ass.

we're inclusive around these parts, not exclusive.  it's one of the reasons why it's my favorite place on the internet.
This.
Sometimes I'm also amazed at how we work around here, when I hear (or see) some true horror stories from "outside" - I imagine that people who 'want fights' simply don't last long here, not that I've ever seen them post.

You got lucky to have found us, Gem ;D
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: The Gem Cutter on September 29, 2016, 03:09:49 AM
You got lucky to have found us, Gem ;D

I won't deny it - I've always had amazing luck. I totaled up all the times I should have died and it's an incredible list of about thirty times I probably should have gotten smeared, but sailed through unscathed. Perhaps it's due to my 2-item list for success I devised when I was young and alone in the world:
1. Be polite.
2. Be lucky.
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: m3mnoch on September 29, 2016, 03:23:20 AM
1. Be polite.
2. Be lucky.

i'm SOOOOOOOO stealing that!!
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: Eclipse on September 29, 2016, 07:00:07 AM
Arse not ass you damn fecking Americans! I'm so inclusive ;-)

you do know I'm only teasing y'all
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: m3mnoch on September 29, 2016, 06:59:39 PM
for those of you familiar with the twitters, here's v.e. schwab rapping about a similar subject (dudebros vs female fantasy writers):
https://twitter.com/veschwab/status/781542404314783744

for the non-tweeters, here's the copy/paste gist:
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Things male writers have done/said to me at conferences/pro events:
1. Insinuated that I'm only successful because I'm young/female/attractive/a pawn.
2. Told me I was in the wrong place when I took my seat on their panel.
3. Assumed I was unpublished and proceeded to explain to me how to write fantasy.
4. Accused me of not being funny/bro enough when I stood up against micro--and major--aggressions.
5. Mocked me in front of my publicists for asking to be taken seriously.
6. Speculated to my face on why I am a bestseller (and no, none of those speculations had to do with talent).
7. Called me self-absorbed for taking pride in my work.
8. Accused me of taking myself too seriously when I asked them to stop their harassment.
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: tebakutis on September 29, 2016, 07:10:04 PM
they can't understand why everyone doesn't just stay in their own little stereotypical worlds and stop trying to take their stuff from them.  dammit -- women are supposed to read stephenie meyer, not george r. r. martin!

I think you summed up the Gamergate (and similar annoying movements) well, but the other thing I'd call out is that it's becoming more common for people to assume that what they don't like is what other people must not like, and that anyone who likes something they don't has an agenda. And while that's often true of Gamergate folks, they aren't the only offenders.

The new Ghostbusters movie was a great example, if we're on the topic of gender swapping. There were a huge number of folks (not just GGers) who screamed into the Internet void before, during, and after it came out about how terrible it would be (and how they felt about it). Even now, whenever I see someone say they enjoyed the movie (guess what - *I* enjoyed the movie!) I see people claiming that they only say they enjoyed it because:

- They hate men
- They are crazy feminists
- They are SJWs

...and they actually didn't enjoy it at all. They just said they did to push "their agenda".

This is the same thing that inspired the Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies. They saw books winning Hugos, and those were books they didn't personally enjoy. Naturally, the books couldn't be winning because others who weren't Sad or Rabid Puppies enjoyed them (right?) ... it was, instead, all a liberal SJW conspiracy. >.>

It's like ... these days, some people can't comprehend the idea that people can like stuff that they don't (personally) like. If someone didn't enjoy the new Ghostbusters, that's fine! It's an opinion, and they are welcome to their opinion. It's when those people forcefully try to tell other people (who did enjoy the movie) that no, they didn't actually enjoy it. They're just pushing an agenda. That's both frustrating and condescending in equal measure.

To take your example above, adult men can like Stephanie Meyer, and teenage girls can like George R. R. Martin. People like what they like! The sooner self-appointed jerks stop telling people that they don't actually like the things they like, the happier I'll be.

And as mentioned, this is a great forum for this. I often see people disagreeing about books and movies (one says I loved it, one says I hated it) but there's never any "You didn't actually like that! You're just pushing an agenda!" ... at least not that doesn't get immediately and overwhelmingly shut down.

We're pretty good at policing ourselves, I think.
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: The Gem Cutter on September 29, 2016, 11:43:19 PM
Speak of the devil...

http://www.hitfix.com/harpy/why-it-matters-that-greg-rucka-finally-admitted-wonder-woman-is-queer (http://www.hitfix.com/harpy/why-it-matters-that-greg-rucka-finally-admitted-wonder-woman-is-queer)
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: The Gem Cutter on October 24, 2016, 02:29:08 PM
Although the article is about protagonists, I think their approach is an excellent example of how to introduce females in a way that 1) goes beyond switching body and name and 2) leverages the female gender to further the story and 3) finding themes that fully incorporate the character and their gender into the story.

https://www.fandor.com/keyframe/watch-why-aliens-is-the-mother-of-action-movies?utm_campaign=citizennet&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social (https://www.fandor.com/keyframe/watch-why-aliens-is-the-mother-of-action-movies?utm_campaign=citizennet&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social)
Title: Re: Gender-Swapping the Bad Guy®
Post by: m3mnoch on October 24, 2016, 03:51:18 PM
Although the article is about protagonists, I think their approach is an excellent example of how to introduce females in a way that 1) goes beyond switching body and name and 2) leverages the female gender to further the story and 3) finding themes that fully incorporate the character and their gender into the story.

https://www.fandor.com/keyframe/watch-why-aliens-is-the-mother-of-action-movies?utm_campaign=citizennet&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social (https://www.fandor.com/keyframe/watch-why-aliens-is-the-mother-of-action-movies?utm_campaign=citizennet&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social)

that was pretty damn good.  tho, i could just be saying that because aliens is in my top-3 of all time movies.  (for those keeping score, the other two are princess bride and army of darkness)

looking back at my own gender-swap, i think it works because the dude who was swapped was an elder statesman kind of character with harsh, bloodthirsty tendencies.  the straight up him/her swap worked amazingly well and highlighted some things about the character i probably wouldn't have thought to do had it been originally written as a woman.

that, and (s)he's only been in one chapter so far, so there's not much contextual canon written yet.  it's mostly just that chapter of behavioral stuff.