Gena Davis institute on Gender in media tries to link violent games to mass shootings and police violence

Hawki

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You can argue they are impossibly skilled but Rey and Captain Marvel take it to a whole new level where they walk away with not even a scratch.
Rey, I'll grant you, but Captain Marvel is to, well, Marvel, what Supes is to DC - practically invulnerable.

Lack of emotional scars? Sure, but that's another issue.

Neo and Trinity are these very androgynous, interchangeable characters. There's no clear dynamic between them, and neither of them seems to "lead" the relationship.
I'll agree to disagree about them being interchangeable, but the idea of the lack of a clear dynamic, and the lack of one leading it? Well, if we're looking at it in that context, Trinity 'leads' the relationship in the first film, in that for the majority of it, she knows more than Neo, and is 'better' than him. Which is to be expected, given the context. After that, it's not a 180, but Neo's got super powers, and Trinity sacrifices her life for him twice, effectively.

In the real world, things are far more equal, but in the Matrix itself? Yeah. I don't think this is a problem really, but one's clearly "the special."

As the Matrix trilogy itself pointed out, people are too chaotic and complicated to ever really fit into a simple, heteronormative life-model. Some part of them, the parts that don't fit, the parts that are excessive or perverse, are going to leak out.
I'll agree to disagree about most of your post, but I'm cutting back in here, because if anything, this is the opposite of one of the core ideas of the Matrix.

If I had to sum up the core theme of the Matrix as simply as possible, it would be "choice vs. control," but in-universe, most people CAN be controlled, and controlled very easily at that. What's more, even when presented with the choice to break that control, they'll take the velvet prison. Consider that:

-The Matrix becomes stable when the concept of choice is introduced. 99% of all test subjects accept the Matrix's programming (bluepills)

-Of the 1% that are left, they're controlled as well, albeit indirectly. Zion is destroyed five times prior to the film, and the machines can basically destroy it at any time, only doing so at the end of a cycle. The real world's not a matrix, but the people there are still under another form of control, and like those in the Matrix, don't even know it.

-The One, prior to Neo, chose five times in a row to perpetuate the cycle, rather than going against it. And even at the end, in the seventh version of the Matrix, we're at a point where most humans are going to choose, albeit subconciously, to remain inside the Matrix. Free will ends the cycle and allows the Matrix to be stable, but that free will means that billions of humans will live their lives plugged in, and they'll enjoy it, damn it.

So, yes. The Matrix does present a storyline where choice 'beats' control, so to speak, but even at the end of all things, it's clear that humans are easy to control. Most people are going to choose the Matrix, and the people of Zion are unaware as to how they've been manipulated over centuries. The films are humanistic, but there's a cynical view as well, and among it is that the vast majority of people will go along with things without questioning them.
 
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CriticalGaming

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That is a whole lot of projecting. And that is a good thing, and one of the key reasons to what makes great art. The ability to interpret it however you want based off your personal experience. The Wokowski sisters might have had a trans-adgenda when making the film, (I believe they stated that it was some sort of allegory for coming out as trans or something to that effect I don't remember exactly) but I can bet that the vast majority of the audience never caught onto that effect. Because most people don't have any sort of experience like that.

Everything you said is my exact problem with this push for woke/progressive narratives. Because really good art, good stories, are open to all people. Trinity and Neo in your mind are interchangeable and therefore neither of them needed to fill some arbitrary relationship role as it didn't matter. You might even say that if Neo was the Wokowski's when they are still male, Trinity would be how they really viewed themselves....or one of them did. (Are they both trans or was it just one of them?)

Nevermind, the point is they were still able to put all the clues into the trans alagories without using a dumbass Mary Sue character, or resulting with some tolkenism in which the vast majority of current media tries to do. Make the characters gay, make them PoC, check whatever fucking diversity box we can check to show how progressive our fucking crap is....when in reality you don't need any of it. Because if the story is good, and you write it well enough you can underlie your themes to tell your truth without having to bash it into people's faces.

I don't view the Matrix films as any of the things you said, and it doesn't matter. That's how you viewed the movie and that's your right. I enjoyed it for different reasons, can the take away simply be that we both enjoyed the movie without us having to agree on the message that may or may not have been underlying the whole thing?
 
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Terminal Blue

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I'll agree to disagree about them being interchangeable, but the idea of the lack of a clear dynamic, and the lack of one leading it? Well, if we're looking at it in that context, Trinity 'leads' the relationship in the first film, in that for the majority of it, she knows more than Neo, and is 'better' than him. Which is to be expected, given the context. After that, it's not a 180, but Neo's got super powers, and Trinity sacrifices her life for him twice, effectively.
You've misunderstood what I meant. I don't mean who could beat the other in the fight, or even who tells the other what to do.

In a heterosexual relationship, there is a certain assumed relationship dynamic between the participants. The man is the more "active" partner, the woman is the more "passive" partner. The man is typically the one who "leads" the relationship. He is the one who initiates things, he is the one who openly expresses desire, his actions drive the relationship forward. His body language is also typically very different. All of this is largely absent from Neo and Trinity's relationship in the Matrix, yet it's present in other heterosexual relationships within the same films.

The Matrix becomes stable when the concept of choice is introduced. 99% of all test subjects accept the Matrix's programming (bluepills)
But the Matrix isn't stable. The scene you are literally quoting from explains that. The systemic anomaly, left unchecked, will destroy the system, which it does. All the machines' attempts at engineering human choice fail. You could argue that the Matrix becomes stable through the Oracle's plan and Neo's actions, but only through the architect conceding the impossibility of controlling human choice. Thematically, it's pretty clear.

That is a whole lot of projecting. And that is a good thing, and one of the key reasons to what makes great art. The ability to interpret it however you want based off your personal experience. The Wokowski sisters might have had a trans-adgenda when making the film, (I believe they stated that it was some sort of allegory for coming out as trans or something to that effect I don't remember exactly) but I can bet that the vast majority of the audience never caught onto that effect. Because most people don't have any sort of experience like that.
I mean, the Wachowski sisters have been extremely open about how their experience of being trans shaped the Matrix trilogy. But sure, I'm projecting.

If you've lived in this culture for any length of time, you can read film language. You can see that there's a difference between Thomas Anderson in a suit and Neo in trenchcoat and bondage gear. When agent Smith holds Neo in front of a train and says "goodbye, Mr Anderson" and Neo responds "my name is Neo", you understand that on some level the conflict between them is about identity. Unless you're quite dumb, you probably clocked on some level that Neo changing clothes and changing his name is symbolic of him becoming the person he wants to be, and that Smith and the agents represent a force that is trying to tie him back to his old life. This may not all be conscious, and you probably aren't going to make the leap to assuming that this is a trans story without the relevant context or experience, but that doesn't mean you don't see it and it doesn't mean you don't get the point, because if you didn't you wouldn't understand the story.

Trans people are not aliens from another planet. The emotions and feelings of trans people are generally not that different to feelings many cis people can relate to. We've probably all felt trapped in our own lives at some point, and we've probably all fantasized about reinventing ourselves. Unless you've lived a very sheltered life, you have absolutely had experiences that enable you to relate to the trans themes in the Matrix. If you don't want to admit or acknowledge that, that's your problem.

Because really good art, good stories, are open to all people.
As someone who has spent half a human lifetime consuming media that is absolutely saturated with sexist, cisgender and heterosexual neuroses, fantasies and ideology, I have to laugh a little at this one.

Art is always open to all people, whether it's good or bad. It's just that art being open to all people doesn't mean all people have to view or experience it in the exact same way as every other person. Even if you didn't understand the Matrix as the trans allegory its creators perceive it as, you still understand it. You interpreted it in a way that made sense to your understanding and life experience, because a lot of the psychological underpinnings of trans experiences are not only applicable or understandable to trans people.

If knowing about the trans themes in the Matrix makes you like it less because you think those themes are mishandled or have bad implications, then that's fine, but if merely knowing that the Matrix comes from a different perspective to your own means that you can no longer like it, or no longer appreciate it, then imagine how utterly fucked it must be to live in a world where most media isn't explicitly made for people like you.

There are no truly universal stories, they all have to come from a particular human perspective. It doesn't mean they can't be good.

Make the characters gay, make them PoC, check whatever fucking diversity box we can check to show how progressive our fucking crap is....when in reality you don't need any of it.
Do you need all the characters to be straight though?

Like, are you capable of understanding an appreciating a story that comes from or features characters with a wholly different perspective to your own? Are you capable of enjoying a story which isn't about people like you, and which doesn't explicitly cater to people like you. Can you experience the universal themes and truth in a story that makes absolutely no effort to make you feel included?

Because you've not really said or done anything that demonstrates to me any ability to do that.
 
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Dwarvenhobble

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This isn't a shot from the Matrix, it's a shot from Bound. The aesthetics of the Matrix are queer aesthetics, and we know it was deliberate because the same creators used the same aesthetics to represent queer characters.
They also used similar aesthetic to show a space wolf man and an evil emperor and also villains in some bits of Cloud Atlas so I wouldn't read too much into it.

Especially as didn't they only come out as Trans years after the films and are on record as saying they didn't really write any stuff into the Matrix deliberately relating to Queer characters really other than the character of Switch whose concept of changing sexes from their Matrix self to real self never made it into the films anyway.

Simply saying "oh, well Neo is a man and Trinity is a woman so it's a man saving a woman" is kind of ignoring a whole lot of really important stuff about the perspective the film is made from, and the perspective it is trying to convey to the audience. Neo and Trinity's relationship is very different from the way heterosexual relationships are usually depicted on screen, or even within the Matrix series itself. On an obvious level, this is being used to convey information. The Matrix represents social control, it represents conformity, it represents living the life you're supposed to live. Queer coding serves as an important part of the visual language that distinguishes the people who are free from the Matrix and the people who are not.
Could be argued the similarly for a lot of characters claimed to be Damsels etc........

Also the Matrix in cannon had the kinky strip swordfight thing happen from the Anamatrix........I dunno if it really says much about people free from the Matrix as such so much as the Matrix idea has been adopted by a number of groups to represent their idea of people being sheep.

I mean it's on both sides "Take the Red Pill"
Vs
"See the code of the patriarchy" (yes this is a real thing that was kind of the message of a much longer activist webcomic)

It's one of the reasons the term woke is used disparagingly really because people believe they have "Awoken" to see a reality others cannot or something like that.

Noone is actually heteronormative. That's literally the point of heteronormativity.
Male protector character seems pretty heteronormative

There is no person on this planet who perfectly performs and embodies heterosexuality all the time, because heterosexuality is not just about only having sexual intercourse with people of the opposite sex, it's about being a particular kind of person. Heterosexuality was invented in the 19th century, not as a description of a type of sexual behaviour, but as a description of a type of person. In short, heterosexuality is about being "normal."
Kinda no because the terms seems to be somewhat come from Greek etymology homo for the same Hetero for another. So yeh it's just greek naming for same sex pairing and different sex pairing really.

That relationship between being heterosexual and being "normal" is what heteronormativity actually expresses. Heteronormativity encompasses gender conformity. It differentiates "normal" sexuality and "perverse" sexuality. It describes how you can dress, what emotions you're allowed to feel, how you should behave and react, and it is so restrictive and so totalizing that no human being will ever actually be able to live up to it, certainly not without living a deeply miserable and empty life. It's not just queer people who have to closet, heterosexuals also have to hide the parts of themselves that might risk compromising their normativity, and often live in constant terror of being outed.
Yeh that last part I really dunno how true that is about hiding aspects of oneself. Maybe I'm just weird though.
 

Dwarvenhobble

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Rey, I'll grant you, but Captain Marvel is to, well, Marvel, what Supes is to DC - practically invulnerable.

Lack of emotional scars? Sure, but that's another issue.
Well part of the issue is Captain Marvel wasn't Marvel's Superman, I'd probably say power level wise maybe Marvel's Starfire not really. She was powerful before as was the original Captain Marvel, Mar'vel (SP) the alien. The way she is in the MCU is power cosmic level.
 

CriticalGaming

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Do you need all the characters to be straight though?
So of course not. I don't turn away from gay characters for any reason other than them being a bad character if applicable. Otherwise i have no issues when characters are gay in a story so long as it makes sense to the story. What I mean by that is that if their sexual preference isn't just "oh by the way im gay" for no reason. You can tell the difference when the character being gay makes sense and when it's just random or forced. Like the Batwoman CW show is an example of it being forced. But say The Rock's character in Get Shorty being fucking fabulously gay was perfect because the character was established as gay from moment one and still was as badass as the Rock usually is.

I guess it's kind of difficult to describe, but I don't think that it hard to understand good character versus bad character, and their orientation means nothing to me one way or the other.

Like, are you capable of understanding an appreciating a story that comes from or features characters with a wholly different perspective to your own? Are you capable of enjoying a story which isn't about people like you, and which doesn't explicitly cater to people like you. Can you experience the universal themes and truth in a story that makes absolutely no effort to make you feel included?
I really don't understand what you mean by this. Because I'm certainly not like anybody in most fiction. I don't know why the hang up on gender or sexual. I think it is you who can't seem to relate to a character that doesn't share your same viewpoints, or gender identity, because I can't honestly say I ever had that problem. I don't care whether I'm playing Nathan Drake or Nadine, or Ellie, or Lara Croft, or whatever the fuck Ratchet is. I just want the character to be good and most importantly fun to be around.

Sometimes it isn't about the character, it's about the adventure which also allows for a disconnect between whatever the main character is and myself because I can just be along for the ride.

As for the catering to me part...well no i don't watch things that don't appeal to me obviously and why would I? If a storyline isn't interesting or a game concept doesn't suit me, then of course I am not going to partake. I imagine you also don't waste your time watching shit that is of no interest to you and would rather enjoy something that caters to your preferences. What exactly is the problem with that?
 
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Dwarvenhobble

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You've misunderstood what I meant. I don't mean who could beat the other in the fight, or even who tells the other what to do.

In a heterosexual relationship, there is a certain assumed relationship dynamic between the participants. The man is the more "active" partner, the woman is the more "passive" partner. The man is typically the one who "leads" the relationship. He is the one who initiates things, he is the one who openly expresses desire, his actions drive the relationship forward. His body language is also typically very different. All of this is largely absent from Neo and Trinity's relationship in the Matrix, yet it's present in other heterosexual relationships within the same films.
Not meaning to be nasty here but are you sure those weren't just bad relationships?

I mean my experiences tell me very much the person leading isn't consistent all the time as "The man leads".
Trust me I've had women be quite forward with me and very much lead or initiate things lol.

Also again Strip Sword fighting is cannon in this Franchise and it very much wasn't the dude choosing to peek from time to time.


Do you need all the characters to be straight though?
Depends on the content somewhat lol.

I don't need them to be but to be somewhat crass for a moment I'm very much more likely to engage with or enjoy certain types of content where it's two women rather than two men but I dunno if that's really what you mean by not all characters being straight.

Other types of content it doesn't matter so much.
 

Hawki

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In a heterosexual relationship, there is a certain assumed relationship dynamic between the participants. The man is the more "active" partner, the woman is the more "passive" partner. The man is typically the one who "leads" the relationship. He is the one who initiates things, he is the one who openly expresses desire, his actions drive the relationship forward. His body language is also typically very different.
Um...

Look, really don't want to discuss relationships, as I'm the last person to do so, but this is one hell of a projection. It's a projection that has some grounding, sure, but even by the time the films were made, it wouldn't really hold up to scrutiny. Not as some kind of all-encompassing blanket on the dynamic of relationships.

All of this is largely absent from Neo and Trinity's relationship in the Matrix, yet it's present in other heterosexual relationships within the same films.
No, not really. Like, how many relationships are there in the Matrix series? Off the top of my head, I can name:

-TrinityxNeo
-The Locke/Niobe/Morpheus love triangle
-ApocxSwitch (not confirmed - it's hinted at, but not explicit)
-Sati's parents
-The Merovingian and Persephone
-ThadeusxJune (from Final Flight of the Osiris)
-LinkxZee
-And if you feel like it, Cypher lusting after Trinity, and IIRC, Ghost having feelings for Niobe, a fact that's only brought up in Enter the Matrix, and only in Ghost's campaign

So out of all of that, how many have a 'dominating' relationship? Of that list, there's only The Merovingian and Persephone (the latter of whom still gets back at him), and Sati's parents, where her mother is more direct than her father. And that I can't even remember their names (are they named?), says a fair bit. Other than that, everyone's on pretty equal ground. Even accounting for Locke's rank, Niobe and Morpheus defy it countless times.

But the Matrix isn't stable. The scene you are literally quoting from explains that. The systemic anomaly, left unchecked, will destroy the system, which it does. All the machines' attempts at engineering human choice fail. You could argue that the Matrix becomes stable through the Oracle's plan and Neo's actions, but only through the architect conceding the impossibility of controlling human choice. Thematically, it's pretty clear.
An anomaly that comes from a minority, however. When I said it becomes stable, as in, more stable than its previous attempts (the attempt at utopia, and what the wiki calls the "Nightmare Matrix"). Yes, SOME people will take the redpill, SOME people will reject the programming, but overall, as the architect scene makes clear, most people are content in the Matrix. This ties in with Morpheus's "the Matrix is a system" speech in the first film to an extent.

Version 7 does allow full choice, so to speak, and it's implied that this will be a more stable Matrix for everyone, but if 99% of people 'choose' to be controlled, most people are going to fit in a "normative" life model.

Well part of the issue is Captain Marvel wasn't Marvel's Superman, I'd probably say power level wise maybe Marvel's Starfire not really. She was powerful before as was the original Captain Marvel, Mar'vel (SP) the alien. The way she is in the MCU is power cosmic level.
Maybe, but in the MCU? Yeah, I'd say she is. Similar power level, similar colour scheme (red and blue), some similar backstories (super-powered alien lands on Earth), etc.
 
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Hawki

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So of course not. I don't turn away from gay characters for any reason other than them being a bad character if applicable. Otherwise i have no issues when characters are gay in a story so long as it makes sense to the story. What I mean by that is that if their sexual preference isn't just "oh by the way im gay" for no reason. You can tell the difference when the character being gay makes sense and when it's just random or forced. Like the Batwoman CW show is an example of it being forced. But say The Rock's character in Get Shorty being fucking fabulously gay was perfect because the character was established as gay from moment one and still was as badass as the Rock usually is.
This is really getting into iffy territory though. What's the difference between being gay "naturally" (in a story) and having it "forced?"

Forced writing is another thing, but if the mere presence of someone gay is "forced," then we're at a non sequitur. What sucks is that so often, "forced" inclusion seems to be the mere presence of a gay character. If you want evidence of this, look at the meltdowns over Ellie and Tracer for instance.
 

Dwarvenhobble

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So of course not. I don't turn away from gay characters for any reason other than them being a bad character if applicable. Otherwise i have no issues when characters are gay in a story so long as it makes sense to the story. What I mean by that is that if their sexual preference isn't just "oh by the way im gay" for no reason. You can tell the difference when the character being gay makes sense and when it's just random or forced. Like the Batwoman CW show is an example of it being forced. But say The Rock's character in Get Shorty being fucking fabulously gay was perfect because the character was established as gay from moment one and still was as badass as the Rock usually is.

I guess it's kind of difficult to describe, but I don't think that it hard to understand good character versus bad character, and their orientation means nothing to me one way or the other.
I'll have a go.

Batwoman in DC has always been gay, always I think in every incarnation.

The issue is the show (just from clips I've seen about) really goes out of it's way to make sure you know it and don't miss it.
It's a problem I call the Captain Flint problem (explanation that Spoils part of Black Sails Season 2) In Season 2 of Black Sails it builds up some big twist coming. The reason Captain Flint fled England and the Navy to become a pirate. Throughout the series we've seen him meeting with a a noble man Thomas and his wife and implications of his wife being rather free and easy and Thomas being fine with it. The Twist is Captain Flint was having an affair not with the wife but with Thomas and all the scenes with him and the wife character are revealed to not be that but him and Thomas in reality. The big twist reveal Captain Flint is gay and his affair with Thomas was found out about by Thomas's father who supposedly wanted Flint's head and Thomas's wife head for leading Thomas astray and or assisting in it while he locks Thomas up in a mental institute. The twist fell flat for me because it didn't shock me but it was designed to aim at an audience it presumed would be shocked a sort of "Aren't you shocked the big manly hero Captain Flint is gay" moment. It assumes a certain position from the audience in relation to things. In Batwoman's case it assumes either people wouldn't realise she is a Lesbian unless it's made very clear regularly or they wouldn't accept her as one so they need to hammer it home and hammer it home a sort of "If you want to stay here you need to know and accept she's a Lesbian you bigot" and no matter how fine you are with it the show doesn't seem convinced so makes her being a Lesbian a more prominent point in the show and of the character such that it goes from Superhero show with a side of relationship stuff to relationship stuff and representation stuff more with a side of superhero stuff.
 

Gordon_4

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I'll have a go.

Batwoman in DC has always been gay, always I think in every incarnation.
The modern Kate Kane is a lesbian, its why she was discharged from the Army since she was created while Don't Ask, Don't Tell was still in force. There's a few older versions of the character who most assuredly weren't lesbians but we'd be going back to 40s and 50s for that so it would kind of go without saying. Then there's the DCAU version which was actually three different women using the single identity so they could each get what they wanted and theoretically alibi each other.
 
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Terminal Blue

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They also used similar aesthetic to show a space wolf man and an evil emperor and also villains in some bits of Cloud Atlas so I wouldn't read too much into it.
They also used a similar aesthetic in Underworld to show vampires.

Do you know why though? It's because they were referencing the Matrix.

Male protector character seems pretty heteronormative
A fictional character is not a person.

So of course not. I don't turn away from gay characters for any reason other than them being a bad character if applicable.
Do you turn away from straight characters if their straightness is not adequately explained?

Like, let's say you've gone through a whole movie which is about blowing up aliens or something and suddenly the male lead kisses a female supporting character. Do you feel that is forced? Do you think that's bad characterization that all this unexplained heterosexuality is suddenly being dropped into a film?

Because if you're queer, you notice stuff like that. You notice when characters are being forced into romantic relationships just to pander to a heterosexual audience, or when heterosexual sex scenes happen purely for titillation. It feels forced, it frequently doesn't make sense and it's incredibly transparent. Do you notice stuff like that, do you think it counts as bad characterization? Do you think every single reference to a character's sexuality has to be narratively justified, or is the fact that it might be enjoyable to someone its own justification? If the latter, then does it matter who is enjoying it?

I think it is you who can't seem to relate to a character that doesn't share your same viewpoints, or gender identity, because I can't honestly say I ever had that problem.
Again, there's an incredibly palpable irony here..

Do you think that is even an option?

Not meaning to be nasty here but are you sure those weren't just bad relationships?
They're not my relationships. That's why I notice them in media.

Look, really don't want to discuss relationships, as I'm the last person to do so, but this is one hell of a projection. It's a projection that has some grounding, sure, but even by the time the films were made, it wouldn't really hold up to scrutiny. Not as some kind of all-encompassing blanket on the dynamic of relationships.
It's not an "all encompassing blanket", it's a normative principle, and it functions perfectly well as a normative principle.

So out of all of that, how many have a 'dominating' relationship?
I have absolutely not mentioned the word 'dominating'.

And that is very deliberate, because I'm not talking about the power structure of a relationship. I'm talking about the social and sexual dynamics of a relationship. I've called it heterosexual, but queer people sometimes adopt those dynamics too, it just tends to be more playful when they do it.

Yes, SOME people will take the redpill, SOME people will reject the programming, but overall, as the architect scene makes clear, most people are content in the Matrix.
What is the solution to people being content in the Matrix?

Do you forcibly unplug those people and force them to live in the post-apocalyptic hellscape of the real world? Would that be protecting them from the control of the machines, or would it simply be depriving them of control over their own lives?

If there's a thematic weakness here, it's that the decision to leave the Matrix is presented as all-or-nothing. Out here in real life, we have far more nuanced choices, and there's no such thing as a normative life outside of the belief that such a thing exists. Who cares though? It's not really meant to be a perfect 1:1 metaphor, it's a story that is simplified for the sake of comprehensibility.
 
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Hawki

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Like, let's say you've gone through a whole movie which is about blowing up aliens or something and suddenly the male lead kisses a female supporting character. Do you feel that is forced? Do you think that's bad characterization that all this unexplained heterosexuality is suddenly being dropped into a film?

Because if you're queer, you notice stuff like that. You notice when characters are being forced into romantic relationships just to pander to a heterosexual audience, or when heterosexual sex scenes happen purely for titillation. It feels forced, it frequently doesn't make sense and it's incredibly transparent. Do you notice stuff like that, do you think it counts as bad characterization? Do you think every single reference to a character's sexuality has to be narratively justified, or is the fact that it might be enjoyable to someone its own justification? If the latter, then does it matter who is enjoying it?
Trust me, plenty of people, queer or not, have noticed it. It's a cliche for a reason.

I have absolutely not mentioned the word 'dominating'.

And that is very deliberate, because I'm not talking about the power structure of a relationship. I'm talking about the social and sexual dynamics of a relationship. I've called it heterosexual, but queer people sometimes adopt those dynamics too, it just tends to be more playful when they do it.
Quote: In a heterosexual relationship, there is a certain assumed relationship dynamic between the participants. The man is the more "active" partner, the woman is the more "passive" partner. The man is typically the one who "leads" the relationship. He is the one who initiates things, he is the one who openly expresses desire, his actions drive the relationship forward. His body language is also typically very different.

Maybe you haven't used the word dominating, but you've portrayed something where someone is in a dominant position. The "active" one, the one who "leads," the one who "initiates," etc.

To claim that kind of dynamic is inherent to any one sexuality is, to me, bizzare. There's no shortage of females I've met who've had dominant personalities over their husbands for instance.

What is the solution to people being content in the Matrix?

Do you forcibly unplug those people and force them to live in the post-apocalyptic hellscape of the real world? Would that be protecting them from the control of the machines, or would it simply be depriving them of control over their own lives?

If there's a thematic weakness here, it's that the decision to leave the Matrix is presented as all-or-nothing. Out here in real life, we have far more nuanced choices, and there's no such thing as a normative life outside of the belief that such a thing exists. Who cares though? It's not really meant to be a perfect 1:1 metaphor, it's a story that is simplified for the sake of comprehensibility.
Well, we have the solution by the end of the series. People who want to leave the Matrix are free to do so, and in turn (I assume), Zion gives up on any attempt on unplugging everyone or defeating the machines or whatnot.

Also, the "all or nothing" thing is directly relevant to the first film. I don't think it's even trying to be a metaphor, unless you see Cypher as being Judas to Neo's Jesus. From a worldbuilding and plot standpoint, it works fine.
 

Gordon_4

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Like, let's say you've gone through a whole movie which is about blowing up aliens or something and suddenly the male lead kisses a female supporting character. Do you feel that is forced?
This might blow your mind, but yeah a fair amount of the time it does feel forced to most audiences because comes the fuck out of nowhere. Like its brain-dead scripting and do you know what? It pisses us off too, because of the implied insult to our intelligence that we need that assurance.

So common is this irritation, that there are two notable times I've heard of it being averted:

Pacific Rim: Mako and Raeleigh were supposed to kiss at the end, but that was nixed either by Del Toro or Rinko and Charlie because they felt that the audience would get how they felt because they two had shared minds like five times over the course of the film and allow them to interpret their relationship how they will.

Dredd: holy shit, some complete twonk had it in their head that Dredd should have kissed Anderson at the end as they're coming down the lift to the ground floor after defeating Ma-Ma. I do believe it was Karl Urban flexing his not inconsiderable star power that got him out of that. I mean fucking hell that would have torpedoed the movie's tone and everything about Dredd.
 

Casual Shinji

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This might blow your mind, but yeah a fair amount of the time it does feel forced to most audiences because comes the fuck out of nowhere. Like its brain-dead scripting and do you know what? It pisses us off too, because of the implied insult to our intelligence that we need that assurance.

So common is this irritation, that there are two notable times I've heard of it being averted:

Pacific Rim: Mako and Raeleigh were supposed to kiss at the end, but that was nixed either by Del Toro or Rinko and Charlie because they felt that the audience would get how they felt because they two had shared minds like five times over the course of the film and allow them to interpret their relationship how they will.

Dredd: holy shit, some complete twonk had it in their head that Dredd should have kissed Anderson at the end as they're coming down the lift to the ground floor after defeating Ma-Ma. I do believe it was Karl Urban flexing his not inconsiderable star power that got him out of that. I mean fucking hell that would have torpedoed the movie's tone and everything about Dredd.
Sure, but it's still become so common that we only seem to notice the rare instances when it doesn't occur. In Pacific Rim if Mako and Raeleigh had kissed it would've been seen as "normal" because we are so used to it being forced on us. A small part of us might go 'ugh, ofcourse they kiss', but it's hardly anything we as an audience will hold against the movie, we've become so numb to the formula.

The fact that even Dredd and Anderson were apparently supposed to kiss shows that this is a "normal" that is forced on movies, because man and woman being together is seen as a given. Man and man being together, not so much or at all really. So while a male lead and a female supporting character in an action movie suddenly kissing is forced and maybe even feels forced, it's become so ingrained in genre movies that it's seen as part of the package, or normal.
 

Dwarvenhobble

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They also used a similar aesthetic in Underworld to show vampires.

Do you know why though? It's because they were referencing the Matrix.
Well in the film Hackers they do have characters in leather pants and at other points leather jackets
The film Out of Sight did the full Leather Trenchcoat look in 98
The first Blade was in 98 and he does have a full length leather Jacket / trenchcoat too
Hell leather jacket and pants look but not Trenchcoats was the look of Mad Max in the first film.

I wouldn't really call it a queer look

A fictional character is not a person.
Would still be performing according to heteronormative standards


Do you turn away from straight characters if their straightness is not adequately explained?

Like, let's say you've gone through a whole movie which is about blowing up aliens or something and suddenly the male lead kisses a female supporting character. Do you feel that is forced? Do you think that's bad characterization that all this unexplained heterosexuality is suddenly being dropped into a film?

Because if you're queer, you notice stuff like that. You notice when characters are being forced into romantic relationships just to pander to a heterosexual audience, or when heterosexual sex scenes happen purely for titillation. It feels forced, it frequently doesn't make sense and it's incredibly transparent. Do you notice stuff like that, do you think it counts as bad characterization? Do you think every single reference to a character's sexuality has to be narratively justified, or is the fact that it might be enjoyable to someone its own justification? If the latter, then does it matter who is enjoying it?
I mean normally the will they won't they romantic subplot has been put in because of studios belief that it will give women watching it something in the film to make action film more viable as date movies too.
 

Gordon_4

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Well in the film Hackers they do have characters in leather pants and at other points leather jackets
The film Out of Sight did the full Leather Trenchcoat look in 98
The first Blade was in 98 and he does have a full length leather Jacket / trenchcoat too
Hell leather jacket and pants look but not Trenchcoats was the look of Mad Max in the first film.

I wouldn't really call it a queer look
While I would argue style is transcendental across individuals, the heavy leather look was SUPER popular among gay men in the 80s (and likely beyond). And the Mad Max style is pretty big in underground bondage scenes. I mean where the hell do you think they got all that stuff my dude? I'll give the greatcoat/trenchcoat thing a pass because that has been popular for like, shit two hundred years, or thereabouts in one form or another.
 

TheMysteriousGX

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See also, Rogue One, where the m/f leads not kissing right before being vaporized was significant enough to be commented on.
 
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Dwarvenhobble

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While I would argue style is transcendental across individuals, the heavy leather look was SUPER popular among gay men in the 80s (and likely beyond). And the Mad Max style is pretty big in underground bondage scenes. I mean where the hell do you think they got all that stuff my dude? I'll give the greatcoat/trenchcoat thing a pass because that has been popular for like, shit two hundred years, or thereabouts in one form or another.
Just the old Teddy boy long coat look / Mods long jacket look?
 

Terminal Blue

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Trust me, plenty of people, queer or not, have noticed it. It's a cliche for a reason.
But it's a cliche that is nonetheless allowed to exist and continue.

Maybe you haven't used the word dominating, but you've portrayed something where someone is in a dominant position.
I absolutely have not.

What precise form of dominance do you think I'm talking about?

To claim that kind of dynamic is inherent to any one sexuality is, to me, bizzare.
I literally haven't done that.

What I've talked about is a normative assumption. It is a normative assumption that is baked very deeply into the ideology of heterosexuality itself, which is why it tends to crop up in film, but which is in no way inherent to every heterosexual relationship.

I don't think it's even trying to be a metaphor, unless you see Cypher as being Judas to Neo's Jesus. From a worldbuilding and plot standpoint, it works fine.
The people who made the film disagree with you, but okay.

This might blow your mind, but yeah a fair amount of the time it does feel forced to most audiences because comes the fuck out of nowhere. Like its brain-dead scripting and do you know what? It pisses us off too, because of the implied insult to our intelligence that we need that assurance.
If that's true though, then again. Why is it allowed to continue? Why does not provoke even a fraction of the actual outcry that results from putting queer characters in a film? I'm perfectly willing to concede your ability to recognize this pandering for what it is. I fully believe you roll your eyes whenever this happens, just like a lot of smart people do. But not everyone is smart, and films don't have to be made for smart people to be successful. In fact, they very rarely are.

Well in the film Hackers they do have characters in leather pants and at other points leather jackets
The film Out of Sight did the full Leather Trenchcoat look in 98
The first Blade was in 98 and he does have a full length leather Jacket / trenchcoat too
Hell leather jacket and pants look but not Trenchcoats was the look of Mad Max in the first film.

I wouldn't really call it a queer look
* The characters in hackers wear leather pants to signal that they are urban, rebellious young people who reject social rules and conventions. In other words, to show that they occupy a similar space and role to queer people without being queer themselves. This is queer coding.
* Jennifer Lopez wears leather in Out of Sight to signal that even though she's a woman she's tough and capable and not constrained by femininity. In other words, for the same reason leather became popular in lesbian culture.
* Blade's outfit in the 98 movie is a reference to his comic look, which is literally full leather daddy. Again, this is being used, consciously or not to signify masculinity, toughness and rejection of societal conventions, the exact same qualities that drew gay men to the look.
* Mad Max is actually the exception, in that the villain characters were played by an actual biker gang. They're wearing leathers because bikers use leathers to protect themselves from injury while riding. Queer culture actually incorporated leather from bikers. However, in subsequent movies, the villains are at times openly queer coded and wear bondage gear, which signifies that they are sexually permissive, perverse and threatening. Qualities which are all closely tied to queer stereotypes.

Stop being desperate. You're not going to make the Matrix less gay. It's a film made by two queer transwomen who were, at the time, struggling with their own issues of gender conformity and identity. They were drawn to creating gender non-conforming characters because they were gender non-conforming people. I know you didn't see it at the time, but that doesn't mean it's remotely subtle.

Would still be performing according to heteronormative standards
Even if this were true, so what?

You're trying to argue that heteronormativity is an actual property of people, rather than a feature of gender ideology, and to do that you're pointing to fictional characters who are literally created to serve as ideals.
 
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