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

Hawki

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But it's a cliche that is nonetheless allowed to exist and continue.
Interesting use of phrase, "allowed to exist," but I'll get back to that.

I absolutely have not.

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

You're describing a situation where one person is in a dominant relationship. The one who "leads," the one who "initiates," the one who "openly expresses desire," etc. You're describing a situation where there's a dominant personality.

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.
There's a fine line between "inherent" and yet claiming "baked very deeply."

Fine. I'll agree to disagree.

The people who made the film disagree with you, but okay.
If they disagree, then they're going against what the first film makes clear - there's no way back to the Matrix, short of Cypher's attempt, which is a fact repeated in Matrix Online to the Cypherites, by an agent no less. That if you're unplugged, there's no way to be re-inserted. The only technicality I can name is the athelete in The Animatrix, who briefly wakes up in his pod before going back to sleep, and then gets to spend the rest of his days as a potato.

If the Wachowskis have said that the above conceit is wrong, I'll need a source.

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.
To the above (yes, this was addressed to Gordon, but you used the same phrase for me, so I'm addressing things here):

-"Allowed to continue" is an iffy phrase. If we're going to go into what's 'allowed' and what isn't in fiction, we're in iffy territory. I'm certainly not in the interest of telling people what they can and can't write, especially since I spend a good amount of time writing myself.

-There's been plenty of outcry over what you've described, so I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that there hasn't been. There's outcry everywhere, and the Internet has made that all the easier.

-As to why people have outcry over queer characters in film, there's plenty of reasons, none of them charitable. I've already mentioned on this thread the nonsensical outrage over characters like Ellie and Tracer for instance.

-Sometimes, pandering is nice, other times, that X and Y kiss at the end of Z is well done. Since we've dwelt on it, Neo and Trinity kiss at the end of the first two films, and it works (for me), because it's a romance that's earnt, is relevant to the plot, and to an extent, relevant to theme as well. If you want an example where it isn't well done, take the sex scene in the second film during the Zion rave. It's a waste of time, it's pandering, it's shot really weird, and I really have no idea what the writers were doing apart from thinking "you like sex, right?"

I've nothing against X and Y falling in love over the course of Z in of itself, it's a question as to whether it's well done or not. I can name works where it is well done, I can name works where it isn't. Sometimes I've used that trope, sometimes I haven't. Tropes and cliches aren't inherently bad IMO, it's how they're used.
 

Gordon_4

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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.
Honest, cards on the table answer? I think its a combination of people not caring because they're used to it, and that at the moment the acceptance of LGBTQI people in broader society is still in its early to mid stages. It sounds shit, and I kinda hope I'm wrong.

Actually its funny, when I think of movie romances I actually like and refer back to as a great example, its one where the two characters involved don't kiss. Ever. Its Aliens, with Ripley and Hicks. The romance culmination is them telling each other their first names.
 
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Silvanus

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Actually its funny, when I think of movie romances I actually like and refer back to as a great example, its one where the two characters involved don't kiss. Ever. Its Aliens, with Ripley and Hicks. The romance culmination is them telling each other their first names.
I never saw Ripley & Hicks as a romance. I considered the only thing to develop between them to be respect.
 

Cicada 5

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Impossibly skilled is somewhat relative.

Then I have no idea what your issue is.

If this is the stuff real life human beings are supposedly capable of, why get so bent out of shape over female characters doing crazy stuff when they're already established to have superpowers. In terms of feats, Rey's and Carol's aren't even among the most absurd for superhuman protagonists.


Rambo ends up getting torture
So does Rey.

The Terminator is outmatched and gets badly damaged.
Rocky Loses
Demolition man nearly gets his arse handed to him
Brue Willis in Die Hard sees his characters feet cut to ribbons.

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 was captured by Kylo Ren and would have been killed by Snoke if not Ren pulling a surprise betrayal on him. In the third movie, she only kills Ren because of a distraction.

Kratos has:
Lost his family
Been thrown into hell

Dante has lost fights (See the start of the latest Devil May Cry) and yes he can come back from being impaled he does still lose fights or fail to manage to protect people.

Also wasn't Iron Man 3 literally starting with the idea of Tony suffering PTSD from the events of Avengers Assemble (which was a stand in for the Alcoholism story in the comics)
Rey was captured and tortured, beaten by Snoke and nearly had a breakdown when she was told her parents were nobodies who sold her for alcohol money. As for Carol, her movie shows she is not immune to mind control and she failed to defeat Thanos (Scarlet Witch did more damage to him than her).

Kratos has been sent to hell. He has also fought his way out of hell and the end of God of War 3 shows that even death won't stop him.

Dante has lost a fight exactly twice in the entire series. The one instance of him failing to protect someone was when he was just a helpless child and even that was less a failure and more his mother dying to protect him.

We shall see. She was technically meant to be the lead in some of the Avengers stories in the comics too.
I think you're confusing being the lead with simply getting character focus and development.

It's always going to be the boogeyman and it just seems weird really that people are going to claim the reason they won't play MK games was lycra bodysuits when it's probably the most gory on the market and the people into gory stuff tend not to be that prudish. Meanwhile those who hate sexy character often don't like blood and gore either.
I'm not seeing any correlation between liking or disliking violence and sex appeal. Nonetheless, I will reiterate that MK is not Dead or Alive. If anything, the current female designs are closer to what Sonya looked like the original game.



No because we only have unit sales number released seemingly.
So you have nothing to back up your claims. Gotcha. I think we can put this to rest since you have yet to prove this game was a flop.


Funny thing is instead of coming up with points to deflect I can counter yours.

1) As people against sexy characters keep saying porn is a google away so clearly people are playing the game for something porn doesn't give, which would have to be the thing games do, provide gameplay.
If that is the case, why do they care if the female characters show skin or not?

2) So you want to try and force people to do that and can't see it potentially going badly wrong at all or worse some people kind of aren't really in a position to do that due to physical issues they may suffer from.
Turning to CGI breasts for human interaction isn't healthy and frankly these are the types of people who are very likely to be online harassers and stalkers because they have so little understanding of how boundaries and reasonable human dialogue works.

If your self-esteem is so low that you get outraged over less T&A in your video games, maybe you should start taking a good look at yourself.

3) highly doubtful if they can set up a console.
Then they got nothing to worry about.

4) Do games suddenly lose worth for having boobs in them? Pretty sure the film series nymphomaniac didn't lose points with the sophisticated film critique crowd, in fact it's kind of a darling film with that crowd.
Boobs are not a necessity in games. They certainly aren't one in a fighting game of all things.

5) I think that says more about the circles people run in and or areas they reside in that anything else. I'll say I've lived places where the new "more realistic" female characters would very much come in as less attractive than the majority of women in said areas lol.
Well, then there you go. Real life has plenty of women for you to ogle it seems.

Either way, getting pissed off reduced breasts and covered up assess is a pathetic waste of time.
 
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Cicada 5

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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.
Another example is Romeo Must Die starring Jet Li and Aaliyah. Their characters were supposed to kiss in the film's climax but test audiences hated it so that part was dropped.
 

Hawki

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I never saw Ripley & Hicks as a romance. I considered the only thing to develop between them to be respect.
In the strictest sense, there was romance between them, in as much that Hicks says so in Colonial Marines.

On the other hand, in the context of the film itself, I think there's a 'thing,' between them, and you could see the ending as Newt getting a nuclear family with a 'mum' and 'dad,' but it isn't pressed. Motherhood is far more a motif in Aliens than romance.
 

Gordon_4

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In the strictest sense, there was romance between them, in as much that Hicks says so in Colonial Marines.

On the other hand, in the context of the film itself, I think there's a 'thing,' between them, and you could see the ending as Newt getting a nuclear family with a 'mum' and 'dad,' but it isn't pressed. Motherhood is far more a motif in Aliens than romance.
Well I'd say Silvanus' interpretation of it is no less valid. Its weirdly clever in that way; I think what sold me that that this is meant to be a romance against mutually earned respect - see Goreman and Vasquez for a pretty good hard and fast version of that - is the scene where Hicks shows Ripley how to use the Pulse Rifle. Comes across as subtle flirting. And yeah, it does seem like there was some set up for - at least - Newt and Ripley becoming a family.
 

Dwarvenhobble

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Then I have no idea what your issue is.

If this is the stuff real life human beings are supposedly capable of, why get so bent out of shape over female characters doing crazy stuff when they're already established to have superpowers. In terms of feats, Rey's and Carol's aren't even among the most absurd for superhuman protagonists.
Yeh though they still manage it without a scratch which is part of the issue. Especially with Rey.

Every other Star Wars lead has kinda had bad moments and injuries but not Rey who was just so good she could quite easily take on well trained opponents with 0 training herself (and no staff fighting is not the same as sword fighting)



So does Rey.
Force / psychological Torture is a bit different to batteries and crocodile clamps.



As for Carol, her movie shows she is not immune to mind control and she failed to defeat Thanos (Scarlet Witch did more damage to him than her).
Mostly because she was apparently a somewhat late addition to the film. It also shows the issue of her inconsistent power levels nicely. Perfectly fine flying through a massive space ship but getting punched by Thanos was too much for her to stand?

Kratos has been sent to hell. He has also fought his way out of hell and the end of God of War 3 shows that even death won't stop him.

Dante has lost a fight exactly twice in the entire series. The one instance of him failing to protect someone was when he was just a helpless child and even that was less a failure and more his mother dying to protect him.
Still fails and has been impaled before.


I think you're confusing being the lead with simply getting character focus and development.
No


I'm not seeing any correlation between liking or disliking violence and sex appeal. Nonetheless, I will reiterate that MK is not Dead or Alive. If anything, the current female designs are closer to what Sonya looked like the original game.
Yet the Leotards were deemed sexist and said they would be never added to the game (until they were)



So you have nothing to back up your claims. Gotcha. I think we can put this to rest since you have yet to prove this game was a flop.
Only precedent for the games industry doing this kind of thing lol
Hell Comics have been doing it for a while, posting "Shipped" numbers not "Sales" numbers.

If that is the case, why do they care if the female characters show skin or not?
Icing on a cake

Turning to CGI breasts for human interaction isn't healthy and frankly these are the types of people who are very likely to be online harassers and stalkers because they have so little understanding of how boundaries and reasonable human dialogue works.

If your self-esteem is so low that you get outraged over less T&A in your video games, maybe you should start taking a good look at yourself.
Oddly enough precedent shows it's the hollier than thou "We must tone down T&A in games because it's oppressive to women" types who keep turning out to be abusers: Joss Whedon (Friend of Anita), Devin Faraci (Friend of Joss), Harvey Weinstein, Matt Hickey (wrote about how Microsoft was sexist for hiring women dancers for a GDC party)

Women have Tits and Asses and honestly it's pretty funny to see people taking the same kind of line the Council of Trent did towards renaissance art. Guess we never truly left 1540s sensibilities that far behind.


Boobs are not a necessity in games. They certainly aren't one in a fighting game of all things.
Why not?

Well, then there you go. Real life has plenty of women for you to ogle it seems.

Either way, getting pissed off reduced breasts and covered up assess is a pathetic waste of time.
Yeh so why can't art reflect that?

I'll happily get upset about it because it's very much not a waste of time to stand up to puritanism.
 

Dwarvenhobble

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* 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.
Just because leather is wipe clean doesn't make it queer coded also with Mad Max, Max himself wore leather not merely the biker gang villains. If you want to say the leather stuff in the Matrix came from somewhere then you could argue the fetish / BDSM community which at least one of the Wachoski's is in record as being part of (and I won't go much more into it because there's some kinda worrying implications that could be interpreted from reading about said stuff). Also said community isn't explicitly a queer thing.

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.
Yes, that's how many modern people analysing Tropes do it....... they remove most of the nuance, this is why I object to it. But I'm applying said standards to show in part the issue.

So I guess thanks for agreeing with me that such Trope analysis is often stupid and ignores much of the greater context of characters.
 

Silvanus

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I'll happily get upset about it because it's very much not a waste of time to stand up to puritanism.
Yes, I'm sure you'd be just as ready to stand in defence of male eye candy.

Remember when the protag of Mobius Final Fantasy had his costume changed and toned down because The Gamers (TM) moaned that it was to revealing and "gay"? Oddly enough I don't remember the same complaints coming from the same places...

(I'll also pre-emptively point out that uber-muscletanks like Kratos and Andre the Blacksmith do not count for obvious reasons).
 
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Terminal Blue

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You're describing a situation where one person is in a dominant relationship.
What kind of dominance?

I don't think you realise how much ammunition you're giving me, because I would actually be very happy to argue that there is a normative assumption of male dominance in the ideology of heterosexuality. It isn't what I was arguing in this particular case, but I'm happy to argue that.

What you're saying is that, as a heterosexual, you actually can't distinguish between taking the lead in your behaviour with another person and establishing a relation of dominance. You can't distinguish between taking an active role in interpersonal conduct and actively seeking to subjugate someone to your will. Presumably, to you, being the person who initiates a kiss is synonymous with dominating that person, and since you can't seem to specify exactly what this domination entails we can only assume you mean that initiating a kiss is an attempt to establish complete control over a person's entire life.

And while none of this is true, it's very telling that you (at least, from what you are telling me) can't distinguish between the tiny, interpersonal dynamics that make up a relationship and actual domination. Your view is so extreme that I wouldn't even dare to go that far. It's like something far beyond Andrea Dworkin's wildest dreams, but apparently I'm the one whose crudely essentializing heterosexual relationships into abusive power dynamics. Yeesh.

There's a fine line between "inherent" and yet claiming "baked very deeply."
It's not that fine.

If they disagree, then they're going against what the first film makes clear - there's no way back to the Matrix, short of Cypher's attempt, which is a fact repeated in Matrix Online to the Cypherites, by an agent no less.
They disagree about the film not being a metaphor.

The fact that it's not a perfect 1:1 metaphor, the fact that it's not completely nuanced and representative of reality in every way, isn't going to change that. Metaphors kind of have to be simpler than reality in order to work.

It's a waste of time, it's pandering, it's shot really weird, and I really have no idea what the writers were doing apart from thinking "you like sex, right?"
If that's what they were thinking, don't you think they would have shot the scene to actually be appealing to heterosexuals? You know, flash some centre-frame boobs. Show a bit of awkward belly-button thrusting.

Like, I get that everyone has an interpretation, but I don't think the point of that scene is pandering, and if it is then it's an attempt so unbelievably poorly executed that it's kind of an insult to assume that without evidence. Firstly, that scene is really, really not very straight. It's all hairless androgynous bodies squirming against each other. Secondly, it's cut into that rave sequence, and while I get the criticism of that sequence as overly long and redundant, the point is clearly to set some kind of visual or aesthetic tone.

The fact that everyone hated that scene and was confused by it doesn't necessarily imply that it failed in what it set out to do. It could also mean that people just didn't resonate with what it set out to do, and that's something that can certainly be shaped by expectations.
 

Silvanus

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Like, I get that everyone has an interpretation, but I don't think the point of that scene is pandering, and if it is then it's an attempt so unbelievably poorly executed that it's kind of an insult to assume that without evidence. Firstly, that scene is really, really not very straight. It's all hairless androgynous bodies squirming against each other.
Uhrm, it's still a man and a woman having very front-and-centre visible sex, which is pretty hetero. 'Not being hairy' is not something that can be exclusively claimed by us queers.
 

Terminal Blue

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Uhrm, it's still a man and a woman having very front-and-centre visible sex, which is pretty hetero.
Sure, but it's not shot that way.

Like, I get that if you're exclusively gay or lesbian or heterosexual binary trans, or just culturally in that space, seeing a "man" and a "woman" together might just register as hetero regardless, and that's fair enough. But if you're bisexual, or have some kind of gender variance, then it's not necessarily going to be that simple.

There's a tendency to assume that bisexuals are just people who flip back and forth between being gay or straight, and for some individuals that's kind of accurate. There's also a tendency to assume that trans and gender variant people still think of sex in binary terms, and again for some individuals that's accurate. But it's not always accurate. Being bisexual or gender variant can change how you relate to the opposite sex (or the binary sex that you least resemble), it can change how you think about having sex with the opposite sex in ways that wouldn't necessarily occur to an exclusively heterosexual and relatively gender normative person.

And I know, having tried many times, that often when you try to explain it to cis gay people they look at you with understandable suspicion. I get it, it's the same feeling I get when someone talks about "queering heterosexuality" and I get the desperate urge to reach over and slap them right in the septum piercing. But heterosexuality, at the end of the day, isn't just about who you have sex with. It's a cultural identity. Straight couples trying to pick up young queer women for threesomes haven't "queered" anything, straight girls performatively kissing for their boyfriends at a club haven't "queered" anything, because they're still fundamentally living in the same heterosexual relationship dynamics.

But the reverse is also true. Bisexuals are not confused heterosexuals. Non-binary people are not confused men or women. Gender variant people, and closeted trans people, are not the same as other men or women. Sometimes, bisexuals can act like heterosexuals, and sometimes non-binary people can act like men or women, but by definition that is not an authentic or complete understanding of who they are. Just because something is difficult to represent, just because our culture isn't really set up in a way that makes it particularly visible at all times, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. There's a reason I only date bisexuals.

But we aren't talking about real people performing real sex acts, we're talking about gaze. We're talking about how sex acts are depicted in media according to the views and priorities of the creators and the assumed audience. There are a bunch of established conventions about how straight people like to film and watch sex acts. Even if you're shooting a sex act between members of the same sex, there's a difference between shooting those scenes for a straight audience an shooting it for a queer audience, and there's a difference between shooting those scenes for a male or female audience. They may be close enough that people may not immediately care or notice (hence, no depiction of lesbian sex in film is ever going to completely escape controversy in the lesbian community over what exactly does or does not constitute male gaze) but there's still going to be differences.

And I'm not saying the Matrix rave/sex scene is secretly some ground-breaking representation of queer sexuality. I'm certainly not saying it's good. What I'm saying is that I think it's very interesting to me that that scene is always read as a failed attempt to titillate or pander to the heterosexuals. Like, it's not difficult to pander to the heterosexuals. Everyone knows what a heterosexual sex scene looks like in film, everyone knows what heterosexual fantasies look like. We've seen so, so, so many of them from the titillating to the romantic and everything in between. That scene is weird, and all I'm saying is maybe that's because it was created by people who fundamentally weren't interested in the things that pander to heterosexuals.
 
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Dwarvenhobble

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Yes, I'm sure you'd be just as ready to stand in defence of male eye candy.

Remember when the protag of Mobius Final Fantasy had his costume changed and toned down because The Gamers (TM) moaned that it was to revealing and "gay"? Oddly enough I don't remember the same complaints coming from the same places...

(I'll also pre-emptively point out that uber-muscletanks like Kratos and Andre the Blacksmith do not count for obvious reasons).
Pretty simple on that.
It was a mobile game.
People mostly didn't notice or weren't paying attention. There were some people who did bring it up and yeh it shouldn't have been changed but welcome to mobile gaming where Apple and Google set the rules so likely one or both of them objected (they've previously objected to characters having cleavage in the app icons for games). Welcome to what happens eventually. Every-one loses.
 

Dwarvenhobble

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Uhrm, it's still a man and a woman having very front-and-centre visible sex, which is pretty hetero. 'Not being hairy' is not something that can be exclusively claimed by us queers.
Hell isn't being hairy something more in queer circles relating to "Bears" I think is the term........
 

Hawki

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What kind of dominance?


Again, to quote your own post (again): 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.


I don't think you realise how much ammunition you're giving me, because I would actually be very happy to argue that there is a normative assumption of male dominance in the ideology of heterosexuality. It isn't what I was arguing in this particular case, but I'm happy to argue that.
Well, you're kind of playing your hand by believing that sexuality is ideology-based (which is oddly similar to the idea of the "gay lifestyle" line I saw thrown around every so often), and if you're happy to argue it, then it indicates you believe it.

You can believe what you want, but the idea that there's any kind of dominance in any kind of sexuality is, to me..."what?"

What you're saying is that, as a heterosexual, you actually can't distinguish between taking the lead in your behaviour with another person and establishing a relation of dominance. You can't distinguish between taking an active role in interpersonal conduct and actively seeking to subjugate someone to your will. Presumably, to you, being the person who initiates a kiss is synonymous with dominating that person, and since you can't seem to specify exactly what this domination entails we can only assume you mean that initiating a kiss is an attempt to establish complete control over a person's entire life.
Yep, you got me.

*Eyeroll*

And while none of this is true, it's very telling that you (at least, from what you are telling me) can't distinguish between the tiny, interpersonal dynamics that make up a relationship and actual domination. Your view is so extreme that I wouldn't even dare to go that far. It's like something far beyond Andrea Dworkin's wildest dreams, but apparently I'm the one whose crudely essentializing heterosexual relationships into abusive power dynamics. Yeesh.
Look at your own posts. Heck, at this very post. I'm not the one who brought in sexuality into this.

Also, a "dominant" personality isn't the same as an abusive personality, and I'd like to see where I suggested that. Because it's you who seem to be interpreting things in certain ways.

It's not that fine.
X is inherent to the system/person.

Y is baked into the system/person.

I'm saying the same thing, more or less.

They disagree about the film not being a metaphor.
I never said it wasn't. Again, look at the original post:

"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."

The film itself is a metaphor, you've been disputing that the Matrix/real-world paradigm is all or nothing. You said that I'm wrong, I cited evidence. I asked you to state where the filmakers have stated otherwise (if they have stated otherwise, they're going against their own worldbuilding). I haven't received that yet.

If that's what they were thinking, don't you think they would have shot the scene to actually be appealing to heterosexuals? You know, flash some centre-frame boobs. Show a bit of awkward belly-button thrusting.
What the fuck?

Like, is porn your thing? Fine if it is, and I don't doubt there's guides on how to write and shoot good sex scenes, but I don't care how it's shot, it doesn't change how the scene is a waste of time.

Also, this is arguably off topic (but then, this whole thread's gone off topic), but playing my cards, I've never disguised my disdain for this kind of thing in fiction. I don't have a problem with sex scenes per se - sex can certainly be relevant to plot and/or character development - but there's few, if any circumstances where the sex scene itself is relevant to any of this. It's very difficult to develop anything during a sex scene, so what happens is that the story usually grinds to a halt during these occurrences.

What's worse is that the act of intercourse itself is COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT to the film. It doesn't establish anything that we don't already know, nor is it ever referenced again, but I'll cover that below.
 

Hawki

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Like, I get that everyone has an interpretation, but I don't think the point of that scene is pandering, and if it is then it's an attempt so unbelievably poorly executed that it's kind of an insult to assume that without evidence. Firstly, that scene is really, really not very straight. It's all hairless androgynous bodies squirming against each other. Secondly, it's cut into that rave sequence, and while I get the criticism of that sequence as overly long and redundant, the point is clearly to set some kind of visual or aesthetic tone.
Fine, let's go through this.

The most generous interpretation of the scene I have (and this isn't new, I've always had this potential idea in mind) is that it's meant to be the 'spirit' of humanity. This coming off a speech that establishes that the machines are coming, and Morpheus's declaration that "we are not afraid." Cue dance rave and sexual intercourse. Looking at this generously, I could see this as some kind of 'human essence' moment. The people of Zion are 'free' (unlike the sedentery people plugged into the Matrix), and being humans, understand emotional attachment, which by extension, includes intercourse.

However, even if all of that is true, even if I felt it really was conveyed, the problems with it are:

a) It goes on far too long

b) It doesn't actually progress anything. It doesn't progress the plot, it doesn't carry out worldbuilding (alright, it arguably does, if we assume that this is a regular occurence in Zion, but if so, see point a), it doesn't progress characterization or character development. Even if you haven't seen the first film, we already know that Neo and Trinity are an item at this point (see the elevator), so the intercourse stuff is wasting time.

c) Even if everything I said about the possible themes was correct, it doesn't save the scene, because all of those themes (freedom vs. control, love, nature of humanity as opposed to machines, etc.), are explored elsewhere, and explored better. Yes, "show, don't tell" as the saying goes, but the Matrix has usually done both at the same time (see Morpheus's streetwalk in the first film, or the visual metaphors with the Architect in the second).

Oh, and if I'm also right about the 'spirit of humanity' thing in Zion, as opposed to the machines, it's still conveyed better in the Zion invasion scene in the third film. Yes, the plot essentially stops for an action scene, but it's at least one hell of an action scene, and ties in with the Architect's comments about hope, and arguably, the Trainman's comments about how long Zion lasted last time.

The fact that everyone hated that scene and was confused by it doesn't necessarily imply that it failed in what it set out to do. It could also mean that people just didn't resonate with what it set out to do, and that's something that can certainly be shaped by expectations.
If everyone hates a scene and is confused by it, it's fair to say it failed. Just because the author had a clear idea of what they wanted, if that idea isn't conveyed adequately, then usually the flaw lies with the author. And I include myself in this - if I write something, and people misunderstand what I meant by it (which has happened), then at least some of the flaw lies with me.

To cite another example, the Anakin and Padme "I don't like sand" thing in Attack of the Clones. I've never really had a problem with these lines per se (the romance itself is still poorly done), because it fits Anakin's character, and highlights the difference between the two characters (Anakin growing up on Tatooine, Padme on Naboo, both of which are very different planets). However, the scene failed so hard that "I don't like sand" has become a meme, even within Star Wars itself.

That I don't have a problem with the line personally doesn't change that it's fair to say that Lucas failed in that particular scene (and I'd argue the film as a whole, but whatever).
 

Satinavian

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But heterosexuality, at the end of the day, isn't just about who you have sex with. It's a cultural identity.
No, heterosexuality is exactly about who you enjoy having sex with and/or are attracted to. Nothing more.

That there are people out there that want to build an idendity/culture around "not being hetero" does not actually change that.
 
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TheMysteriousGX

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No, heterosexuality is exactly about who you enjoy having sex with and/or are attracted to. Nothing more.

That there are people out there that want to build an idendity/culture around "not being hetero" does not actually change that.
Why not? There's a great many people for whom "being hetero" is an identity and culture. I get a lot of their cringy Facebook ads.

I mean, you're technically correct: being heterosexual should only be about who you enjoy having sex with, but uh...not quite how that's shaking out these days. Not yet
 
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Silvanus

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Sure, but it's not shot that way.

Like, I get that if you're exclusively gay or lesbian or heterosexual binary trans, or just culturally in that space, seeing a "man" and a "woman" together might just register as hetero regardless, and that's fair enough. But if you're bisexual, or have some kind of gender variance, then it's not necessarily going to be that simple.

There's a tendency to assume that bisexuals are just people who flip back and forth between being gay or straight, and for some individuals that's kind of accurate. There's also a tendency to assume that trans and gender variant people still think of sex in binary terms, and again for some individuals that's accurate. But it's not always accurate. Being bisexual or gender variant can change how you relate to the opposite sex (or the binary sex that you least resemble), it can change how you think about having sex with the opposite sex in ways that wouldn't necessarily occur to an exclusively heterosexual and relatively gender normative person.

And I know, having tried many times, that often when you try to explain it to cis gay people they look at you with understandable suspicion. I get it, it's the same feeling I get when someone talks about "queering heterosexuality" and I get the desperate urge to reach over and slap them right in the septum piercing. But heterosexuality, at the end of the day, isn't just about who you have sex with. It's a cultural identity. Straight couples trying to pick up young queer women for threesomes haven't "queered" anything, straight girls performatively kissing for their boyfriends at a club haven't "queered" anything, because they're still fundamentally living in the same heterosexual relationship dynamics.

But the reverse is also true. Bisexuals are not confused heterosexuals. Non-binary people are not confused men or women. Gender variant people, and closeted trans people, are not the same as other men or women. Sometimes, bisexuals can act like heterosexuals, and sometimes non-binary people can act like men or women, but by definition that is not an authentic or complete understanding of who they are. Just because something is difficult to represent, just because our culture isn't really set up in a way that makes it particularly visible at all times, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. There's a reason I only date bisexuals.

But we aren't talking about real people performing real sex acts, we're talking about gaze. We're talking about how sex acts are depicted in media according to the views and priorities of the creators and the assumed audience. There are a bunch of established conventions about how straight people like to film and watch sex acts. Even if you're shooting a sex act between members of the same sex, there's a difference between shooting those scenes for a straight audience an shooting it for a queer audience, and there's a difference between shooting those scenes for a male or female audience. They may be close enough that people may not immediately care or notice (hence, no depiction of lesbian sex in film is ever going to completely escape controversy in the lesbian community over what exactly does or does not constitute male gaze) but there's still going to be differences.

And I'm not saying the Matrix rave/sex scene is secretly some ground-breaking representation of queer sexuality. I'm certainly not saying it's good. What I'm saying is that I think it's very interesting to me that that scene is always read as a failed attempt to titillate or pander to the heterosexuals. Like, it's not difficult to pander to the heterosexuals. Everyone knows what a heterosexual sex scene looks like in film, everyone knows what heterosexual fantasies look like. We've seen so, so, so many of them from the titillating to the romantic and everything in between. That scene is weird, and all I'm saying is maybe that's because it was created by people who fundamentally weren't interested in the things that pander to heterosexuals.
I am bisexual. That scene registers as heterosexual. Because when a man and woman are having sex, that's definitively a heterosexual act, and elements of how it's shot or whether the participants look a bit androgynous doesn't affect that. A man and woman having sex doesn't become a queer act if you make it a bit avant-garde or don't conform to cultural expectations.

You seem here to be talking about whether it was shot to pander to a heterosexual fantasy, but that's not what I said and that's not the same thing. Plenty of stuff that isn't constructed to pander to a hetero fantasy is still heterosexual, because it exclusively involves sex between a man and a woman and that's what the word means.
 
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