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  • Primal Nerds!!!

    This thread is spinning off a conversation started in the CW Moments thread, where a bunch of us outted ourselves as primal nerds. Yes, brains and brawn can come in the same package ;D

    My comments:

    re: the Portlandia BSG addiction sketch

    HILARIOUS!! I cant count the number of times that's happened to me with a show. I think the last one that happened with was Archer.

    re: Feminization and Firefly

    I am of multiple minds about this. On the one hand, yes I feel that the female characters can get stereotyped a bit, but on the other hand at least they also have character depth to them and--shock of shocks--a lot of male viewers ive talked to actually care about them as characters and not just as sex symbols. Thats a huge step forward.

    And yes I identify with Kaylee too, mostly because I like wearing bright colorful things, get REALLY excited when my favorite subjects come up (especially birds), but yet I can also switch from being bubbly and joyful to smart and focused like THAT *snap*.
    "Since going primal, I've found that there are very few problems that cannot be solved with butter and/or bacon fat."

    My amusing take on paleo-blogging: http://whatshouldwecallpaleolife.tumblr.com/

    Are you a Primal in San Francisco, or the SF Bay Area in general? Join our facebook group!

  • #2
    From the CW Moments thread:
    Originally posted by Gravyboat View Post
    I don't like those either. In fact, I find Starbuck annoying as hell. What I like is characters that aren't combinations of gender stereotypes. Going the exact opposite way isn't any better.
    Starbuck ALMOST worked for me as a strong-hunter type of female. But the few scenes of her doing unarmed sand-bag work and boxing Apollo totally killed it for me. That woman couldn't punch her way out of a paper-bag, much less take on a much-more-muscled, much-more-skilled male just by strength of spirit alone.

    Years of fighting against and losing to my 6-year-elder sister have convinced me that there are women who can fight more aggressively than most men. But Starbuck doesn't move like a fighter at all, and it totally destroyed the illusion for me.

    Comment


    • #3
      I think part of the problem is that many women actors who play the "tough chick" roles have little experience with any sort of martial arts training. So many women have no idea how to throw a punch properly, and it shows.
      “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

      Owly's Journal

      Comment


      • #4
        For what it's worth, whenever my friends start playing the "who's who in Firefly" game they always decide to make me Kaylee xD I decided that was a compliment.

        Any art nerds here? I freelance game art and got all giddy when my art director wanted me to make his little villager with bare feet! Here's an animation I did:


        Long story short, get me talking about games and I'll go on for HOOOOOURS!

        Also Klingons are the best Though I saw something about how Worf was the Rodney Dangerfield of TNG because nobody ever likes his plans. Granted, they usually involve attacking something, but still! Poor guy.

        Comment


        • #5
          I took a class in college on race and gender in science fiction, and we had lengthy discussions about how women tend to get portrayed. We saw that some people first tried to combat the damsel in distress stereotype by going to the COMPLETE OPPOSITE END OF THE SCALE (one of the key examples we saw of this was Molly in Neuromancer), but now THAT has become a stereotype as well.

          Part of me feels that we hold female characters up to a VERY strict standard, where they have to find the perfect balance, and if you lean more toward one side of the other, youre immediately branded as a sterotype. But then I feel like part of the cause of this is not having well-rounded female characters in the first place. If a female character is well-rounded, then the exaggerations she might have are less obvious and jarring, or theyre balanced out.

          By that logic, it seems that rather than bouncing from one stereotype to the other, creators of scifi/fan content should try and create real, well-rounded female characters first, and everything else will fall into place.

          Easier said than done im sure.
          "Since going primal, I've found that there are very few problems that cannot be solved with butter and/or bacon fat."

          My amusing take on paleo-blogging: http://whatshouldwecallpaleolife.tumblr.com/

          Are you a Primal in San Francisco, or the SF Bay Area in general? Join our facebook group!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by grokenspiel View Post

            Starbuck ALMOST worked for me as a strong-hunter type of female. But the few scenes of her doing unarmed sand-bag work and boxing Apollo totally killed it for me. That woman couldn't punch her way out of a paper-bag, much less take on a much-more-muscled, much-more-skilled male just by strength of spirit alone.

            Years of fighting against and losing to my 6-year-elder sister have convinced me that there are women who can fight more aggressively than most men. But Starbuck doesn't move like a fighter at all, and it totally destroyed the illusion for me.
            Reading this makes me glad I know next to nothing about fighting and proper form & movement, so I was able to keep the illusion. This, though, does remind me that whenever I watch(ed) Buffy, I would outright laugh at some of the fight scenes because even with mystical powers, the woman looks like a stiff wind would knock her over, and I could never get past that.

            Hi. I'm maestar. Newbie to primal, life-long nerd/geek.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Tigerfeet View Post
              For what it's worth, whenever my friends start playing the "who's who in Firefly" game they always decide to make me Kaylee xD I decided that was a compliment.

              Any art nerds here? I freelance game art and got all giddy when my art director wanted me to make his little villager with bare feet! Here's an animation I did:


              Long story short, get me talking about games and I'll go on for HOOOOOURS!

              Also Klingons are the best Though I saw something about how Worf was the Rodney Dangerfield of TNG because nobody ever likes his plans. Granted, they usually involve attacking something, but still! Poor guy.
              Thats a super cute little dood! Can you make a little Grok? ;D

              I feel crazy affectionate to Worf, and I couldnt understand why, until it suddenly hit me while re-watching TNG: I have a good friend who IS a real-life incarnation of Worf. Tall, muscular, hirsute, martial (hes studying for his second-level blackbelt in shotokan karate), and GRUMPY AS ALL HELL. Also this friend is paleo. So now whenever I see Worf, my mind immediately overlays him with my friend Josh, and...it works so well its not even funny.
              "Since going primal, I've found that there are very few problems that cannot be solved with butter and/or bacon fat."

              My amusing take on paleo-blogging: http://whatshouldwecallpaleolife.tumblr.com/

              Are you a Primal in San Francisco, or the SF Bay Area in general? Join our facebook group!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Maestar View Post
                Reading this makes me glad I know next to nothing about fighting and proper form & movement, so I was able to keep the illusion. This, though, does remind me that whenever I watch(ed) Buffy, I would outright laugh at some of the fight scenes because even with mystical powers, the woman looks like a stiff wind would knock her over, and I could never get past that.

                Hi. I'm maestar. Newbie to primal, life-long nerd/geek.
                I always decided that part of her powers was to disproportionately increase the mass of her body while fighting. With that caveat, the fights end up making more sense to watch - so long as the women move correctly while fighting.

                Also - "Hail, Maestar"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Corvidae View Post
                  Part of me feels that we hold female characters up to a VERY strict standard, where they have to find the perfect balance, and if you lean more toward one side of the other, youre immediately branded as a sterotype. But then I feel like part of the cause of this is not having well-rounded female characters in the first place. If a female character is well-rounded, then the exaggerations she might have are less obvious and jarring, or theyre balanced out.

                  By that logic, it seems that rather than bouncing from one stereotype to the other, creators of scifi/fan content should try and create real, well-rounded female characters first, and everything else will fall into place.

                  Easier said than done im sure.
                  It's always odd to see a girl in a sci-fi series act tougher than she appears to be. It makes me feel like they are defensive and insecure.

                  I'd be more satisfied with seeing women who are even-headed day-to-day but are strong-spirited in the face of conflict than one that always has a chip on her shoulder with something to prove.

                  I prefer Ginny from Harry Potter to Starbuck or Kaylee... well, actually, Ginny from the books. I really didn't like Ginny in the movies.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    *snippage*
                    Originally posted by Corvidae View Post

                    By that logic, it seems that rather than bouncing from one stereotype to the other, creators of scifi/fan content should try and create real, well-rounded female characters first, and everything else will fall into place.

                    Easier said than done im sure.
                    I honestly think that script writers don't know how to write a well-balanced, rounded-out female character. I realize I'm assuming that most writers in Hollywood are male, but...it's often seemed to me that the portrayal of women in SF/F and even in general falls into one of the cliches you mention because we're some secretive, mystical creature that can't POSSIBLY react and live in the same ways men do.

                    ...I also spend a lot of time reading The Mary Sue and similar blogs, so maybe I'm looking for issues where they don't exist. Maybe.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Maestar View Post
                      *snippage*

                      I honestly think that script writers don't know how to write a well-balanced, rounded-out female character. I realize I'm assuming that most writers in Hollywood are male, but...it's often seemed to me that the portrayal of women in SF/F and even in general falls into one of the cliches you mention because we're some secretive, mystical creature that can't POSSIBLY react and live in the same ways men do.

                      ...I also spend a lot of time reading The Mary Sue and similar blogs, so maybe I'm looking for issues where they don't exist. Maybe.
                      No, yeah I think thats a huge part of the issue. But then ive also read stuff by female writers with female characters that arent very good, but ive chalked that up to them learning bad habits from the field being dominated by male-centric paradigmns for decades.

                      One of the best portrayals of female characters in SF/F that I've ever read, EVER, comes actually from a male writer. His name is James Alan Gardner, and he has a small collection of books out that are SHOCKINGLY good. I picked up one at a used book store on a whim and BURNED through it in half a day. The first of his books, Expendable, has a female protagonist told through a first person perspective and, frankly, it totally raised the bar in my mind for what to expect from such a character. If you're looking for an example of a good female character, i cannot recommend that book enough.
                      "Since going primal, I've found that there are very few problems that cannot be solved with butter and/or bacon fat."

                      My amusing take on paleo-blogging: http://whatshouldwecallpaleolife.tumblr.com/

                      Are you a Primal in San Francisco, or the SF Bay Area in general? Join our facebook group!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Corvidae View Post
                        One of the best portrayals of female characters in SF/F that I've ever read, EVER, comes actually from a male writer. His name is James Alan Gardner, and he has a small collection of books out that are SHOCKINGLY good. I picked up one at a used book store on a whim and BURNED through it in half a day. The first of his books, Expendable, has a female protagonist told through a first person perspective and, frankly, it totally raised the bar in my mind for what to expect from such a character. If you're looking for an example of a good female character, i cannot recommend that book enough.
                        I will look that up! In return, I highly recommend the Venus trilogy by Pamela Sargent. The books follow 7 generations of women, from a rural farm town in North America to colonizing Venus. The women are all very distinct, strong-willed, and "alive" and all have their own dreams and ambitions that often do not fall in line with the expectations of the rest of the family (much like in real families). Also, there's a gay main character in the second book who deals with the full spectrum of coming to terms with his sexuality and trying to just live life and be happy in the face of extreme religious intolerance, if that's your bag. (It's my bag)

                        Overall, HIGHLY recommended. I've read each book like 8 times at least.

                        _-J o u r n a l_--------- ---- ---- --- --- -- -- -

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Awesome! I will check that out, thanks

                          Also, Ive realized recently that Venus doesn't get a lot of love in the SF limelight. Prolly, cause, you know...it would be really hard to live there. But it makes a nice change from Mars.
                          "Since going primal, I've found that there are very few problems that cannot be solved with butter and/or bacon fat."

                          My amusing take on paleo-blogging: http://whatshouldwecallpaleolife.tumblr.com/

                          Are you a Primal in San Francisco, or the SF Bay Area in general? Join our facebook group!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Corvidae View Post
                            Awesome! I will check that out, thanks

                            Also, Ive realized recently that Venus doesn't get a lot of love in the SF limelight. Prolly, cause, you know...it would be really hard to live there. But it makes a nice change from Mars.
                            The way they deal with it in the trilogy is pretty interesting, though I'm not sure how plausible. One of the women is a scientist, so they go into a fair amount of detail.

                            _-J o u r n a l_--------- ---- ---- --- --- -- -- -

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Corvidae View Post
                              Awesome! I will check that out, thanks

                              Also, Ive realized recently that Venus doesn't get a lot of love in the SF limelight. Prolly, cause, you know...it would be really hard to live there. But it makes a nice change from Mars.
                              However, it's the setting for my favorite Ray Bradbury short story.
                              “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                              Owly's Journal

                              Comment

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