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

Casual Shinji

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A lot of what's being described here strikes me as bro culture, not "hetrosexual culture," if there is such a thing.

Frankly, I don't think there's such a thing, because I don't think you can, for instance, say there's such a thing as "homosexual culture" either for instance. Not without projecting or getting into stereotypes. If you're going to lump millions, or even billions of people together because of their sexuality, then, well, keep in mind that some people have done that before (and do), and generally not with good intentions.
I think it's up to the gays themselves whether they have a culture or not and up to any gay individual whether they choose to be part of that culture. It's certainly not up to straight people to say 'oh your culture doesn't exist' or 'your culture is comprised of this'.

Saying that cultures among marginalized groups don't exist is a bit silly since we have plenty of examples.
 

Hawki

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I think it's up to the gays themselves whether they have a culture or not and up to any gay individual whether they choose to be part of that culture.
And yet, judging my your (lack of) comments, projection the other way is fine.

It's certainly not up to straight people to say 'oh your culture doesn't exist' or 'your culture is comprised of this'.
You know, I technically agree, but the opposite holds true as well. If I start talking about "gay culture" or "your culture does exist," then I'm getting into extremely iffy territory.

I mean, let's be honest, the thread got into iffy territory the moment it was postulated on this thread that "sexual cultures" even exist (which is a bizzare form of determinism and hemogenization that I never thought I'd see here, but I've been disappointed before), but okay, sure, if we're going down that rabbit hole, I challenge you to start talking about "gay culture" and "gay beliefs" in public and not get a few eyebrows raised. And gay or not, good luck even defining what the beliefs and values are.

Saying that cultures among marginalized groups don't exist is a bit silly since we have plenty of examples.
Culture: "The customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group"

Culture doesn't magically spring in and out of existence based on the group's status. A Jew living in Iran for instance doesn't stop being Jewish the moment they enter Israel, despite the reversal of fortunes.

So, yes, by the definition, you could lump various 'sexual groups' into the "social group" category, but I'd have thought that most people would at least be wary of that, since you're grouping people together on inherent traits. So by the examples used here, stuff like "bro culture" and "incel culture" exist, because we can describe commonalities in beliefs and actions, while membership of such cultures aren't ipso facto (i.e. all incels are male, but not all males are incels), but "gay culture" or "straight culture?" Well, if someone wants to claim membership by virtue of such traits, okay, but generally I've seen it used in a derogatory manner.
 

Casual Shinji

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You know, I technically agree, but the opposite holds true as well. If I start talking about "gay culture" or "your culture does exist," then I'm getting into extremely iffy territory.

I mean, let's be honest, the thread got into iffy territory the moment it was postulated on this thread that "sexual cultures" even exist (which is a bizzare form of determinism and hemogenization that I never thought I'd see here, but I've been disappointed before), but okay, sure, if we're going down that rabbit hole, I challenge you to start talking about "gay culture" and "gay beliefs" in public and not get a few eyebrows raised. And gay or not, good luck even defining what the beliefs and values are.
Cultures spring up automatically, whether it's race, orientation, fetishes, or even games. Also I don't know why you're bringing up the phrase 'gay beliefs', because I doubt anyone has ever uttered that. Gay culture is very much a thing, just as black culture is, and saying it exists is not the same as saying 'all gay/black people are like this'. And again, it's not up to me to define these cultures, I can only acknowledge that they exist due to (again) that just being a thing that happens, but more importantly hearing it from people who are or feel part of that culture.

Especially among marginlized groups cultures will take shape so people can feel safe and express themselves without being judged for falling outside the social norm.
 

Hawki

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Cultures spring up automatically, whether it's race, orientation, fetishes, or even games.
Disagree. There's nothing inevitable about the emergence of cultures per se. As in, I think it's inevitable that culture in of itself will emerge, but it's going to go in certain ways. None of those things are automatic.

(I also disagree that there's such a thing as gamer culture. Geek culture, sure. But not gamer. Closest thing I've seen to gamer culture was in 2014, and, well, y'know...)

Also I don't know why you're bringing up the phrase 'gay beliefs', because I doubt anyone has ever uttered that.
The definition of culture includes beliefs and values. If you make a claim of "X culture exists," then presumably this includes the foundational aspects of what a culture is.

Gay culture is very much a thing, just as black culture is, and saying it exists is not the same as saying 'all gay/black people are like this'.
It's treading an extremely fine line though. I don't know how many people are homosexual in the world, but if we look at LGBT, it's likely somewhere in the range of 800 million. And black? That's well over 1 billion. I can understand why people under those monikers might see, even seek commonlities, but even so, I've seen the same commonalities used in a derogatory sense.

And again, it's not up to me to define these cultures, I can only acknowledge that they exist due to (again) that just being a thing that happens, but more importantly hearing it from people who are or feel part of that culture.
Okay, but back to the topic that this began with, is there such a hetrosexual culture? Because if the claim is correct, then it does mean that there's cultural commonalities between around 7.2 billion people. Or, is the alternative claim (in this thread) correct, that's what been described is bro culture? Or is it something else?
 

Casual Shinji

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Disagree. There's nothing inevitable about the emergence of cultures per se. As in, I think it's inevitable that culture in of itself will emerge, but it's going to go in certain ways. None of those things are automatic.

(I also disagree that there's such a thing as gamer culture. Geek culture, sure. But not gamer. Closest thing I've seen to gamer culture was in 2014, and, well, y'know...)
Considering it's human nature to gravitate toward the familiar it is very likely to occur, to a point that I would safely label it 'automatic'.

And regarding "gamer culture" it depends on what you consider 'culture'. The fact that most people who play games have mannerisms or ways of speaking that people who fall outside of the gaming space don't understand to me indicates a culture. Heck, there's even cultures within gaming, like the Souls/git gud culture.
The definition of culture includes beliefs and values. If you make a claim of "X culture exists," then presumably this includes the foundational aspects of what a culture is.
Sure, but I've never heard anyone talk about gay beliefs. Again, I would say gay culture is more about creating a safe community for people to express their orientation, which I would assume goes for pretty much all marginlized communities. So it's a belief that's not exclussively held by the gay community.

It's treading an extremely fine line though. I don't know how many people are homosexual in the world, but if we look at LGBT, it's likely somewhere in the range of 800 million. And black? That's well over 1 billion. I can understand why people under those monikers might see, even seek commonlities, but even so, I've seen the same commonalities used in a derogatory sense.
Which is why we need to leave it up to the people within those communities and as outsiders generally respect their choices on how they as an orientation, religion, or race wish to express themselves. And yes, I know this isn't some perfect solution, but I wouldn't say it's treading a fine line. Cultures constantly shift and change and as a species we need to try and guide things so they don't become toxic or overbearing.

Okay, but back to the topic that this began with, is there such a hetrosexual culture? Because if the claim is correct, then it does mean that there's cultural commonalities between around 7.2 billion people. Or, is the alternative claim (in this thread) correct, that's what been described is bro culture? Or is it something else?
Cultures tend to stand out more when contrasted to other cultures of equel or larger size, and considering cis-heterosexuality is presented as the default for all of humanity it's harder to have a precise definition of it. But being heterosexual I recognize A LOT of media speaking directly toward my sensibilities, even when it's trying to be inclussive, so there's most definitely a (LARGE) culture present that's catering toward straights.
 

Silvanus

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No, projecting that sexuality is important for idendity for others as well, even if they never say so.
Do people tend to explicitly describe elements of their personal identity? Seems a bit robotic. People aren't really very self-aware.

And no one aside from his sycophants accepted that excuse. Because normal people don't have such locker room talk.
Ah, that'd be why the near-universal revulsion at his description of sexual assault led to his loss in the 2016 Presidential Election, I forgot.
 

Terminal Blue

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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.
Why not?

What you seem to be saying (and correct me if I'm wrong) is that sex acts are either gay or straight, and what makes them gay or straight is whether or not the people involved are men or women, and since "androgyny" doesn't matter, I can only assume that the boundaries between men and women, whatever they are, are clear, rigid and universally understood.

If that's how your sexuality works, then fine. I'm not here to tell you how you should think or feel about your own sexuality, that's entirely up to you. But, if this is meant to be a set of hard rules for how sexuality works in general, it's not a very good one.

For one, the idea that heterosexuality is synonymous with sex between a man and a woman is just demonstrably wrong. Men and women have been having sex literally since the dawn of time, but even by the most generous interpretation, the idea of heterosexuality only dates to the late 18th century. Heterosexuality isn't about the act of having sex with the opposite sex, it's the idea that a desire or preference for having sex with members of the opposite sex makes you a particular type of human being. Even then, the word heterosexuality dates to the end of the 19th century, and was originally created to describe a kind of excessive sexual desire towards members of the opposite sex, which was at the time considered a mental illness. It wasn't until the 1930s that the word heterosexual became synonymous with the concept of being a person whose sexed nature was aligned towards the opposite sex. Heterosexuality, from its very, very beginnings, has always been about the type of person you are. It's a question of identity.

There is a relationship between heterosexual acts and heterosexual identity, in that (in our culture, at least) the acts tend to be seen as constructive of the identity, although by no means always. But heterosexuality, at the end of the day, is an identity.

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.
Sure, but it also doesn't necessarily make the people doing it less queer. It doesn't change who they are, and who they are can (not always, but in some cases) have a huge impact on the way they have sex.

It's sort of weird to hear this coming from a bisexual, because bisexual identity is kind of predicated on the ability to be bisexual regardless of who you're actually having sex with. Bisexual erasure is typically based on the logic that bisexuals must be either gay or straight but are simply confused, or just flipping back and forth between the two. For some reason, it's very difficult in our culture to imagine bisexuality as a continuous identity, particularly when bisexuals end up in long-term monogamous relationships. Sure, there are plenty of bisexuals who just mimic being gay or straight depending on who they're currently with, and that's fine for them. But there are also plenty of bisexuals (or pansexuals, although I don't think those things are hugely different in practice) who behave very differently to heterosexuals even if they're in "heterosexual" relationships.

That's even more true in the case of gender variant people. I have male genitals, for example, and I'm not hugely uncomfortable with that. But I don't appear to think about my genitals in the same way as most cis men, and I don't think the way I have sex is the same either. It's certainly not the way people have sex in straight media. In this regard, I remain the same person regardless of who I sleep with. Even in the event that I was to get into a relationship with a woman, that would not suddenly remove my gender variance. It might change how people see me, but now we're getting into the realm of visibility and how people are read.

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.
Again, it's literally not what the word means, or at the very least it's certainly not all that the word means..

Anyway, because we're talking about queer representation, we need to talk about closeting.

The Wachowski sisters, at the time they made the Matrix trilogy, were closeted. They were both living as heterosexual men. They weren't heterosexual men, and they knew that they weren't at least to some degree, but they were still struggling to figure it all out.

For most of the history of cinema, it was either illegal or functionally impossible to show any kind of sexual intimacy between members of the same sex, or any kind of positive depiction of any kind of gender variance or trans identity. You just couldn't do that. Even today, you still often can't do that in big budget films because of the perceived difficulty of selling a film with queer characters. Because of this limitation, both queer and straight media developed their own kinds of visual language to talk about queerness and gender identity (from their own perspective) without actually making it overt. The result is queer coding.

At its most basic, queer coding is the use of highly gendered heterosexual characters (or characters whose sexual orientation and gender identity is never mentioned) as stand ins for queer people, whether to demonize the assumed qualities of queer people, avoid criticism for depicting queer people, or to invite identification and enjoyment from a queer audience. For example, before you could openly show gay or bisexual men, you could use slightly flamboyant or effeminate men as a stand in while never actually saying that they were gay or bisexual. But, because queer men often find it easier to relate to or identify with women than straight men do, if you want to appeal to them you can also use women (especially women who are exaggerated in their gender expression and/or sexually agentive) as a stand in, especially if you need to talk about relationships.

And we still do this. We certainly do it less now that you can actually show gay people on film without heterosexuals freaking out, but it's something many queer people have learned to enjoy and expect because it's fun, because sometimes actually talking about queer experiences in a straightforward way is a bit painful, and because closeting itself is a part of our experience.

So no, I don't necessarily think this is a heterosexual scene just because it involves characters who use different pronouns, or who have different genitals. Androgyny, as you put it, does matter, because androgyny is part of the language by which queer people who couldn't put their authentic selves on film have communicated with each other over the past century.
 
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Satinavian

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For one, the idea that heterosexuality is synonymous with sex between a man and a woman is just demonstrably wrong. Men and women have been having sex literally since the dawn of time, but even by the most generous interpretation, the idea of heterosexuality only dates to the late 18th century. Heterosexuality isn't about the act of having sex with the opposite sex, it's the idea that a desire or preference for having sex with members of the opposite sex makes you a particular type of human being. Even then, the word heterosexuality dates to the end of the 19th century, and was originally created to describe a kind of excessive sexual desire towards members of the opposite sex, which was at the time considered a mental illness. It wasn't until the 1930s that the word heterosexual became synonymous with the concept of being a person whose sexed nature was aligned towards the opposite sex. Heterosexuality, from its very, very beginnings, has always been about the type of person you are. It's a question of identity.
But that is what the word means. Who cares when the word was invented =? Women primarily attracted to men and vice versa are/have been heterosexual, no matter whether they ever heard of it or in which millenium they lived. It is not an idendity, so it is not relevant if they discribe themself as such or know the concept.




For most of the history of cinema, it was either illegal or functionally impossible to show any kind of sexual intimacy between members of the same sex, or any kind of positive depiction of any kind of gender variance or trans identity. You just couldn't do that. Even today, you still often can't do that in big budget films because of the perceived difficulty of selling a film with queer characters. Because of this limitation, both queer and straight media developed their own kinds of visual language to talk about queerness and gender identity (from their own perspective) without actually making it overt. The result is queer coding.
That is true and there have been good reasons to do so.

But the core of that is that all those "queer coded" people are not actually people portrayed as queer. It is a code. They are stand-ins for something else.

And people outside the media that behave like those queer coded ones are not necessarily using a code might very well be nothing more than slightly less stereotypical heteros. This whole queer coding has brought about some quite rigid and strange ideas about how heterosexual people behave in the sense that everyone who is not a clichee version of a hetero is read as queer by some groups.
 

MrCalavera

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All movies that have happy endings should include in that ending orgies with a wide variety of titillating kinky sex; they should have something for everyone, even somehow the people who want nothing at all.
This, but unironically. As long as it's epilogue, so squeamish or uninterested people can skip it.

Imagine: The Snyder Cut, but instead of the dumb postapo Joker scene it ends with an all-spandex orgy. The movie would actually deserve the praise it got.
 

Terminal Blue

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It is not an idendity, so it is not relevant if they discribe themself as such or know the concept.
It literally is an identity.

It is an identity that describes a set of assumed characteristics, but so do all identities.

You describing historical figures as heterosexual is imposing an identity that they would not have been able to imagine for themselves on the basis of assumed characteristics. Which is fine, you're allowed to do that, but the key word here is assumed.

But the core of that is that all those "queer coded" people are not actually people portrayed as queer. It is a code. They are stand-ins for something else.
Yes.

Exactly.

I have never argued that the characters in that scene are literally being portrayed as queer characters (see, we're using queer as an identity now, that wasn't so hard was it). The whole tangent about queer identity isn't particularly relevant except in a very foundational sense, it's just something I personally care a lot about. What we're talking about is representation.

All I said was that the scene itself is not very straight, and I mean that literally. It's a scene created by queer people, and while you may disagree I think it has a different gaze, a different viewpoint, to the way the same scene would typically be shot by or for cishets. I also think this may explain why the straights almost universally seem to hate it and view it as gratuitous, in contrast to all the other forms of gratuitous pandering which tend to slip by. It is, by a literal reading, a depiction of straight sex, but it's a depiction of straight sex that is weird, slightly homoerotic and doesn't really focus on any of the things heterosexuals tend to find arousing.

That's all I'm arguing, that the scene might be better read as a product of its creator's closeted sexuality, rather than as an attempt at heterosexual pandering. I could be entirely wrong on that, but I think it's reasonable enough to give thought to.

And people outside the media that behave like those queer coded ones are not necessarily using a code might very well be nothing more than slightly less stereotypical heteros.
So what?

We still live in a heteronormative society. Being heterosexual and being "typical" are very, very closely bound up with each other, and whether or not it's true, atypical heterosexuals are less likely to be perceived as heterosexual by those around them. Heterosexuals can and frequently do experience just as much homophobic abuse as queer people (although it may impact them differently). That's because heterosexuality is actually very rigid, very heavily enforced, and often based on the perception of your identity and its value rather than the actual things you do. We didn't make that up.
 
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Casual Shinji

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This, but unironically. As long as it's epilogue, so squeamish or uninterested people can skip it.

Imagine: The Snyder Cut, but instead of the dumb postapo Joker scene it ends with an all-spandex orgy. The movie would actually deserve the praise it got.
 

Satinavian

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I have never argued that the characters in that scene are literally being portrayed as queer characters (see, we're using queer as an identity now, that wasn't so hard was it).
I argued that heterosexuality is not an idendity. Queerness however certainly is.
That's all I'm arguing, that the scene might be better read as a product of its creator's closeted sexuality, rather than as an attempt at heterosexual pandering. I could be entirely wrong on that, but I think it's reasonable enough to give thought to.
I honestly can't really remember it which is why i don't really discuss the scene.
We still live in a heteronormative society. Being heterosexual and being "typical" are very, very closely bound up with each other, and whether or not it's true, atypical heterosexuals are less likely to be perceived as heterosexual by those around them. Heterosexuals can and frequently do experience just as much homophobic abuse as queer people (although it may impact them differently). That's because heterosexuality is actually very rigid, very heavily enforced, and often based on the perception of your identity and its value rather than the actual things you do. We didn't make that up.
While there is the general assumption that everyone is hetero until he says otherwise or has obviously sex with the same sex, i really don't think that people are any less perceived as hetero when they don't really conform to gender stereotypes.
 

Mister Mumbler

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All movies that have happy endings should include in that ending orgies with a wide variety of titillating kinky sex; they should have something for everyone, even somehow the people who want nothing at all.
This, but unironically. As long as it's epilogue, so squeamish or uninterested people can skip it.

Imagine: The Snyder Cut, but instead of the dumb postapo Joker scene it ends with an all-spandex orgy. The movie would actually deserve the praise it got.
What's funny is that this has already happened, with that animated Seth Rogen movie, Sausage Party.
 
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Silvanus

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Why not?

What you seem to be saying (and correct me if I'm wrong) is that sex acts are either gay or straight, and what makes them gay or straight is whether or not the people involved are men or women, and since "androgyny" doesn't matter, I can only assume that the boundaries between men and women, whatever they are, are clear, rigid and universally understood.
Well, stop right there first of all. Nothing in what I said implies the boundaries between men and women are clear, rigid, or universally understood.

For one, the idea that heterosexuality is synonymous with sex between a man and a woman is just demonstrably wrong. Men and women have been having sex literally since the dawn of time, but even by the most generous interpretation, the idea of heterosexuality only dates to the late 18th century. Heterosexuality isn't about the act of having sex with the opposite sex, it's the idea that a desire or preference for having sex with members of the opposite sex makes you a particular type of human being. Even then, the word heterosexuality dates to the end of the 19th century, and was originally created to describe a kind of excessive sexual desire towards members of the opposite sex, which was at the time considered a mental illness. It wasn't until the 1930s that the word heterosexual became synonymous with the concept of being a person whose sexed nature was aligned towards the opposite sex. Heterosexuality, from its very, very beginnings, has always been about the type of person you are. It's a question of identity.
There's quite a lot to unpack here.

The definition of heterosexuality as we understand it dates to the 19th Century. In large part that's because sexual relations in many societies prior to this were either taboo, or were limited to purely procreational concepts. Heterosexuality still existed before this, for as long as animals that reproduce sexually have existed.

Just like Schizophrenia wasn't defined or described until the 19th Century, owing to a lack of recording/awareness/recognition, but it still will have existed for centuries prior, with incomplete/inadequate description. That these phenomena were not codified until relatively recently doesn't mean very much regarding what they actually are.

There is a relationship between heterosexual acts and heterosexual identity, in that (in our culture, at least) the acts tend to be seen as constructive of the identity, although by no means always. But heterosexuality, at the end of the day, is an identity.
In part it is an identity, in that someone may identify as heterosexual.

But it is also a characteristic, in that someone may be heterosexual, regardless of whether they identify as such.

And it is also a descriptor for an act: heterosexual intercourse. Which is applicable even if the animal in question has no concept of sexual identity. A couple of horses copulating, male and female, is a heterosexual act.

Sure, but it also doesn't necessarily make the people doing it less queer. It doesn't change who they are, and who they are can (not always, but in some cases) have a huge impact on the way they have sex.
There is zero indication in the film that Neo or Trinity identify as queer in any way, and the only things you've ascribed to them in support of this is that they're hairless and androgynous, neither of which are characteristics which are inherently gay or straight or queer.

It's sort of weird to hear this coming from a bisexual, because bisexual identity is kind of predicated on the ability to be bisexual regardless of who you're actually having sex with. Bisexual erasure is typically based on the logic that bisexuals must be either gay or straight but are simply confused, or just flipping back and forth between the two. For some reason, it's very difficult in our culture to imagine bisexuality as a continuous identity, particularly when bisexuals end up in long-term monogamous relationships. Sure, there are plenty of bisexuals who just mimic being gay or straight depending on who they're currently with, and that's fine for them. But there are also plenty of bisexuals (or pansexuals, although I don't think those things are hugely different in practice) who behave very differently to heterosexuals even if they're in "heterosexual" relationships.
You don't need to teach me about bisexual erasure, thanks, I've experienced it.

A bisexual is still bisexual regardless of whether they are, at the time, with a man or a woman. But that's not what we're talking about. We're describing an act.

A bisexual (identity/characteristic) is someone who enjoys both heterosexual and homosexual acts. The acts themselves don't cease to be heterosexual or homosexual when a bisexual is involved in them.

Nothing about Neo or Trinity's identity is set in stone by the fact that they had heterosexual sex. An act doesn't determine someone's identity. They could be straight, or they could be bisexual/pan. We don't know, because there's nothing in that scene that lays out self-identification or anything like it (well, except that they're not exclusively homosexual).

Again, it's literally not what the word means, or at the very least it's certainly not all that the word means..
It's not all the word means: as I outlined above, the term can also refer to a self-descriptor (identification), or a characteristic. But we learn nothing concrete about how these characters self-identity, or what their innate preference is in this scene (whether exclusively hetero or bisexual, it isn't explored). The only thing we see is the act, so the only thing we can ascribe a descriptor to is the act.

And male-female sex is heterosexual sex (even when engaged in by a bisexual).

Anyway, because we're talking about queer representation, we need to talk about closeting.

The Wachowski sisters, at the time they made the Matrix trilogy, were closeted. They were both living as heterosexual men. They weren't heterosexual men, and they knew that they weren't at least to some degree, but they were still struggling to figure it all out.

For most of the history of cinema, it was either illegal or functionally impossible to show any kind of sexual intimacy between members of the same sex, or any kind of positive depiction of any kind of gender variance or trans identity. You just couldn't do that. Even today, you still often can't do that in big budget films because of the perceived difficulty of selling a film with queer characters. Because of this limitation, both queer and straight media developed their own kinds of visual language to talk about queerness and gender identity (from their own perspective) without actually making it overt. The result is queer coding.

At its most basic, queer coding is the use of highly gendered heterosexual characters (or characters whose sexual orientation and gender identity is never mentioned) as stand ins for queer people, whether to demonize the assumed qualities of queer people, avoid criticism for depicting queer people, or to invite identification and enjoyment from a queer audience. For example, before you could openly show gay or bisexual men, you could use slightly flamboyant or effeminate men as a stand in while never actually saying that they were gay or bisexual. But, because queer men often find it easier to relate to or identify with women than straight men do, if you want to appeal to them you can also use women (especially women who are exaggerated in their gender expression and/or sexually agentive) as a stand in, especially if you need to talk about relationships.

And we still do this. We certainly do it less now that you can actually show gay people on film without heterosexuals freaking out, but it's something many queer people have learned to enjoy and expect because it's fun, because sometimes actually talking about queer experiences in a straightforward way is a bit painful, and because closeting itself is a part of our experience.

So no, I don't necessarily think this is a heterosexual scene just because it involves characters who use different pronouns, or who have different genitals. Androgyny, as you put it, does matter, because androgyny is part of the language by which queer people who couldn't put their authentic selves on film have communicated with each other over the past century.
I'm very much aware of queer coding. I think it's a stretch to conclude that a scene in which a man and woman have heterosexual sex is queer-coded because they're a bit androgynous and don't have much body hair (the former being very debatable, as well).
 

Hawki

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Cultures tend to stand out more when contrasted to other cultures of equel or larger size, and considering cis-heterosexuality is presented as the default for all of humanity it's harder to have a precise definition of it.
It's presented as the default, because for a large part of humanity, it is. 99% of people are cis-, 90% of people are heterosexual. This isn't an identity thing, it's a statistics thing.

88% of people are right-handed for instance, so it's fair to say that right-handnedness is a 'default,' even though there's nothing wrong with being left-handed or ambidextrous, just like there's nothing wrong with being queer.

Identity Stuff said:
I really don't have the time or inclination to get into this, but I'm going to point out the irony that the person claiming that "hetrosexual identity" is a thing isn't hetrosexual, nor have they actually defined the aspects of that identity. I'd challenge anyone, regardless of orientation, to actually define it. Because the only example of "hetrosexual identity" I've seen in my life was when I read about that nonsensical "straight pride" rally somewhere in the US, which was eyerolling, to say the least.

All I said was that the scene itself is not very straight, and I mean that literally. It's a scene created by queer people, and while you may disagree I think it has a different gaze, a different viewpoint, to the way the same scene would typically be shot by or for cishets. I also think this may explain why the straights almost universally seem to hate it and view it as gratuitous, in contrast to all the other forms of gratuitous pandering which tend to slip by. It is, by a literal reading, a depiction of straight sex, but it's a depiction of straight sex that is weird, slightly homoerotic and doesn't really focus on any of the things heterosexuals tend to find arousing.

That's all I'm arguing, that the scene might be better read as a product of its creator's closeted sexuality, rather than as an attempt at heterosexual pandering. I could be entirely wrong on that, but I think it's reasonable enough to give thought to.
Except ask why people don't like the scene, and how it's shot will rarely come up.

Okay, sure, I can't speak for the "cishets" or "the straights," but I've given my reasons why the scene doesn't work, and while that's just my opinion, I don't think it's an opinion that would differ too much from why people don't like the scene. It isn't just the sex stuff that irritates people, it's the whole rave as well.

Here's a fact, or at least, something generally agreed upon - The Matrix Reloaded has pacing problems. Severe pacing problems. Fun fact, by the time Neo meets the Oracle, we're at the film's halfway mark, and all the iconic moments in the film occur after this mark, with the possible exception of Neo beating the agent trio, and Neo fighting Seraph (which is right before the Oracle, so this is semantics). So, in a film with these pacing issues, whose first half is a drag, we're still in Zion, and we're still wasting time. The rave and sex scene don't really do anything to advance story elements, and if they do (see above), they're elements that are better expressed elsewhere. We know that Neo and Trinity are a couple at this point, we know they're horn-dogs (see the elevator), we know the machines are coming (so Morpheus telling the Zionites this isn't news for the viewer), so why is this scene here? About the only element in this entire sequence that really progresses anything is the Morpheus/Naiobe/Locke interaction, and even then, we already know at this point about the dynamic between these characters. Props for showing rather than telling I guess, but that's a brownie point at best. That, and arguably worldbuilding (presumably this is something that Zion does reguarly), but even then, still goes on too long.

So, yeah. The sex scene could be the best sex scene in the history of sex scenes, it could pander to my sexual tastes perfectly, and it would still be a waste of time. Generally, people don't like it, but I find that generally, people don't like the rave scene, period, nor are people generally fond of the Zion scenes in the films. Even as someone who genuinely likes Reloaded and thinks it's a good film following an excellent film, the pacing issues are still apparent, and the rave stuff is arguably those issues encapsulated.
 

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It's presented as the default, because for a large part of humanity, it is. 99% of people are cis-, 90% of people are heterosexual. This isn't an identity thing, it's a statistics thing.

88% of people are right-handed for instance, so it's fair to say that right-handnedness is a 'default,' even though there's nothing wrong with being left-handed or ambidextrous, just like there's nothing wrong with being queer.
'There's nothing wrong with it, but it's not the default' is kind of a problem. Certainly when it comes to getting a more accurate view of the population that is or isn't straight or cis-gendered. We won't really know how large a percentage of people are gay, or trans, or non-binary, or asexual so long as these identities are seen as falling outside the default or norm.

Glad you brought up being left-handed, because my dad used to be left-handed but at a young age was taught to be right-handed since it was the norm, and consequently meant things would be easier in life for him if he just stopped being left-handed.

'The majority is straight so we'll just keep the societal default 'straight'' is self perpetuating, causing people to simply choose what makes society less judgemental or even hostile toward them rather then express their true feelings. And this impacts straight people too, whether it's men being seen as manly or women being seen as feminine enough.
 

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I'd challenge anyone, regardless of orientation, to actually define it.
Sure, that's incredibly easy.

Heterosexual identity is the internalized idea that there is something fundamentally distinctive about you because you feel sexual desire exclusively for members of the opposite sex, and thus that you represent a different class of human being than people who do not exclusively experience sexual desire for the opposite sex, or who experience no sexual desire at all.

You can feel however you want about being a heterosexual, but it won't change the fundamental understanding you possess that you are (or are not) a heterosexual. That state of understanding yourself as a distinctive class of person called a heterosexual is heterosexual identity. It is not universal, it has not always existed, and it is not in any way required in order to have sex with the opposite sex.

Now in practice, there's some baggage which come along with this. In most societies, the desire for vaginal intercourse between men and women is more normalized and tolerated than some other forms of sexual desire. Because heterosexuality is set up in opposition to all non-conforming sexual identities, it demands certain standards of purity. Heterosexuality is a status which, if you aren't careful, you can easily lose by thinking, saying or doing the wrong thing. Because heterosexuality requires that sexual desire be felt exclusively towards members of the opposite sex, it also requires that the sexes are understood as clearly intelligible and distinct from each other.

Finally, there are the stereotypes. There are a lot of things that are distinctively recognizable as heterosexual, not for any definitive reason, but simply because of the history of heterosexuality as a concept and its relationship to other sexual identities. For example, the idea that sex is something men do to women. That concept goes right back to the patriarchal origins of heterosexuality, and it's still there. Pretty much any time heterosexuals (especially heterosexual men) try to talk about their own sexual experiences, you'll see this idea crop up in some form. Not always, but on the rare occasion it doesn't it's often a source of shame or humiliation for one partner or the other.

Except ask why people don't like the scene, and how it's shot will rarely come up.
I don't think that's something most people think about. It's definitely not something I thought about seeing the film for the first time as the disgusting little human larva I was. But I did know on some level that the scene was weird, and part of why it was weird was the fact that it was somehow extremely out of line with the other (heterosexual) media on which I had built my developing sexuality.

Like, the magic cake pussy bomb scene. 100% hetero. Zee and Link's relationship. 100% hetero. Morpheus' sexual tension with Niobe. 100% hetero. Persephone being jealous and blackmailing Neo into making out with her. 100% hetero. All obvious. Mostly gratuitous. All passed by the audience without a moment of thought (although.. maybe the first one).

But no, this scene is where the straights are being pandered to. We know because the straights noticed they didn't like it.
 
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'There's nothing wrong with it, but it's not the default' is kind of a problem. Certainly when it comes to getting a more accurate view of the population that is or isn't straight or cis-gendered. We won't really know how large a percentage of people are gay, or trans, or non-binary, or asexual so long as these identities are seen as falling outside the default or norm.
Well then you haven't been looking at the statistics. Generally, the rate of people who classify themselves as LGBT has gone up as acceptance has, but not as much as you might think. 10% is a general average, encompassing both the younger and older generations, but even then, I've never seen any statistic close to 20%. There's clearly some kind of 'default setting' for humans, like most animals. For instance, off the top of my head, Australia is ranked as among the most LGBT-friendly countries in the world (fifth, IRRC), yet the percentage of people who identify as LGBT is...huh. 3%. Honestly, I'm surprised that it's not higher given the 10% general average, but if the remaining holdouts of homophobia evaporated, how much higher is that figure going to rise? I'd wager not nearly enough to shift the fact that most people are going to have opposite-sex attraction.

That there's nothing wrong with being LGBT, and being LGBT is a minority, aren't mutually-exclusive statements.

Glad you brought up being left-handed, because my dad used to be left-handed but at a young age was taught to be right-handed since it was the norm, and consequently meant things would be easier in life for him if he just stopped being left-handed.
The left-handed stuff is another case in point.

Even in an era where there's no misguided ideas about being left-handed (that I can tell at least), being left-handed, let alone ambidextruous, are still rarities. That we no longer insist left-handed children learn to write using their right-hand hasn't changed the percentage of people who are left-handed. Not in any significant number to state that being right-handed isn't a 'default' for most of humanity.

'The majority is straight so we'll just keep the societal default 'straight'' is self perpetuating, causing people to simply choose what makes society less judgemental or even hostile toward them rather then express their true feelings. And this impacts straight people too, whether it's men being seen as manly or women being seen as feminine enough.
No-one's really "keeping" the societal default "anything" though. Certainly not on any level of policy. To use the Oz example for instance, gay marriage has been legal for years (something accomplished via plebicite), same-sex couples make more money on average than opposite-sex couples, yet if you're right, something's still being perpetuated to keep the LGBT rate so low.

We've seen this elsewhere, for instance, where the more tolerant a society becomes, in some areas, the more specialized it becomes. Case in point, romance authors (since you've gone into masculine vs. feminine). Genre preferences between the sexes (in terms of authorship) became more divergent after the 1960s, not less. We see this in games (the no. of people who play games are generally 50/50, but there's significant divergence in genre preference), and even on the Internet, something like 75% of Wikipedia editors are male, whereas 90% of fanfiction authors are female. Even in purely fan-driven activities, with no barriers, there's still some kind of preference.

It seems that you're basically falling into the Difference = Discrimination fallacy.
 

Hawki

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Sure, that's incredibly easy.

Heterosexual identity is the internalized idea that there is something fundamentally distinctive about you because you feel sexual desire exclusively for members of the opposite sex, and thus that you represent a different class of human being than people who do not exclusively experience sexual desire for the opposite sex, or who experience no sexual desire at all.
I doubt many hetrosexual people will have the sense that there's something "fundamentally distinctive" about them.

You can feel however you want about being a heterosexual, but it won't change the fundamental understanding you possess that you are (or are not) a heterosexual. That state of understanding yourself as a distinctive class of person called a heterosexual is heterosexual identity. It is not universal, it has not always existed, and it is not in any way required in order to have sex with the opposite sex.
Again, I don't buy the "distinctive class" thing.

Regardless of the term's origins, or any alternate term you use, most people, heck, most animals, are going to have an opposite-sex attraction. There isn't anything inherently right or wrong with any of that, just as there's nothing wrong about being outside that bracket, but again, defaults.

Now in practice, there's some baggage which come along with this. In most societies, the desire for vaginal intercourse between men and women is more normalized and tolerated than some other forms of sexual desire. Because heterosexuality is set up in opposition to all non-conforming sexual identities, it demands certain standards of purity. Heterosexuality is a status which, if you aren't careful, you can easily lose by thinking, saying or doing the wrong thing. Because heterosexuality requires that sexual desire be felt exclusively towards members of the opposite sex, it also requires that the sexes are understood as clearly intelligible and distinct from each other.
Again, disagree. Your argument seems to be purely on the level of identity.

I can state something along the lines of "man, John Doe, he's so hot," and get some eyebrows raised, that doesn't change anything about me as a person, or as far as sexual preference goes. Obviously there's stigma involved, but that doesn't change sexual preference. I don't become non-male every time I watch My Little Pony, and I don't become not-straight every time I write a same-sex romance. Absolutely there'd be some level of stigma with both for a variety of reasons (including age), it doesn't change my sexuality, nor would it change anyone else's.

Finally, there are the stereotypes. There are a lot of things that are distinctively recognizable as heterosexual, not for any definitive reason, but simply because of the history of heterosexuality as a concept and its relationship to other sexual identities. For example, the idea that sex is something men do to women. That concept goes right back to the patriarchal origins of heterosexuality, and it's still there. Pretty much any time heterosexuals (especially heterosexual men) try to talk about their own sexual experiences, you'll see this idea crop up in some form. Not always, but on the rare occasion it doesn't it's often a source of shame or humiliation for one partner or the other.
Yes, stereotypes. Stereotypes exist. They also exist regardless of facts. I can stereotype people all I want, none of that changes the facts on the ground. Stereotypes are a separate discussion from the facts on the ground, and you can see earlier in the thread about the facts.

Also, I actually do know what you mean about the idea that sex is something men do "do" women, but that's it. An idea, and one that's generally frowned upon. I hate to bring up the "lived experience" argument, but I've never metanyone in real life who braggged about "doing" someone. Maybe we live in different circles, but in my experience, people don't discuss their sexual experiences at all, and the one time a friend of mine did, he mentioned how it was "terrifying" (in that he'd just got married, first intercourse with wife, etc.). I don't recall how it came up, but it wasn't dwelled upon. People's sex lives are none of my business.

What you seem to be describing is what I'd call "bro culture," not "heterosexual culture."

I don't think that's something most people think about. It's definitely not something I thought about seeing the film for the first time as the disgusting little human larva I was. But I did know on some level that the scene was weird, and part of why it was weird was the fact that it was somehow extremely out of line with the other (heterosexual) media on which I had built my developing sexuality.

Like, the magic cake pussy bomb scene. 100% hetero. Zee and Link's relationship. 100% hetero. Morpheus' sexual tension with Niobe. 100% hetero. Persephone being jealous and blackmailing Neo into making out with her. 100% hetero. All obvious. Mostly gratuitous. All passed by the audience without a moment of thought (although.. maybe the first one).

But no, this scene is where the straights are being pandered to. We know because the straights noticed they didn't like it.
You might say that these things are 100% heterosexual, but they aren't presented in the same way, nor do they have the same narrative purpose. But since you brought them up (and when I list this, keep the Neo and Trinity stuff in mind

-Magic Cake: When I first saw it, I thought he was giving her diorhhea, and looking at YouTube comments, I'm clearly not alone there. But the scene is bereft of any actual intercourse (that we see), and from a character standpoint, it establishes the type of person the Merovingian is, and the fractured relationship he has with Persephone. From a thematic standpoint, it ties into the choice vs. control motif. Furthermore, through worldbuilding, it establishes how things work in the Matrix (it raises questions as to whether this is something programs do reguarly, in order to keep bluepills under control), and it kind of hints at some kind of elitism. The Merovingian mentions (parahprased), "it's what separates us [programs] from them [bluepills]". Which wouldn't be the first time we've seen programs display contempt for humans (see the agents for example). There's far more going on in the scene than just "cake gives woman orgasm."

-Zee & Link: This barely belongs in the discussion. Zee and Link are an item. Yes, and? Is "pandering" simply the depiction of relationships? Regrettably, I've seen the argument applied to same-sex relationships, where their mere presence is decried by idiots as a form of "pandering," but Zee and Link are new characters, so unlike Neo and Trinity, Reloaded establishes a dynamic between them, and it doesn't spend much time on them, nor does the movie just stop for intercourse.

-Morpheus & Niobe: For starters, I disagree that there's any sexual tension between them. Romantic, sure, but not sexual - the most intimate we see them is when Niobe hugs Morpheus in the third film. I'll grant you that the love triangle doesn't affect things that much, but I'd also argue that the film doesn't lose anything from it either. It never just "stops," in the way it does for the Neo/Trinity scene, and does add to Morpheus's character, given how it establishes he was kind of chill before going all-prophet. You could arguably read that as part of a character arc, in that it's when his faith is shattered in the third film that he and Niobe can be together again.

-Persephone: To claim she's 100% hetero is to ignore when she forces Niobe to kiss her in Enter the Matrix, but even confining this just to the films, to claim this is "pandering" is to ignore everything else that's going on around it. And I say that as someone who generally detests the scene. Yes, I get why it's here, but on its own? Bleh. But to establish what's going on:

1: It establishes Persephone's character. This works fine in terms of mythological reference - we have "Persephone," who's in a loveless marriage with a man who runs "Club Hel" - I'll let you fill in the gaps. But even that aside, it still ties in with the idea that programs don't really feel love, or at least, can't feel love, not anymore. She asks for a kiss from Neo, and only helps them after getting the "real" second kiss, because she's so starved for actual affection, and may not be capable of even having it anymore, in this version of the Matrix. Bear in mind, she doesn't just say "he (the Merovingian) was so different," but also "things were so different," a reference (in my view) to an earlier version of the Matrix when things were better off for everyone.

2: Everything I said above is relevant to the existence of Sati and her parents in the third film. We have one film (Reloaded) that shows that programs can't love or feel emotion in the same way as humans, then another (Revelations) where we see that programs CAN love each other (to Neo's amazement), but can produce offspring as well. It's no coincidence that in the very last shot, the Matrix has a golden hue rather than a green one, or that Sati is the one who makes the sunrise, or that Smith is the one who claims "only a human mind could invent something as inspid as love," yet it's a program born of love that's apparently in a position of power in Matrix Version 7. Not only is Smith wrong, he's part of the overall theme in the third film of humans and machines/programs being less distinct than they might think.

You could have the train station scenes without Persephone, yes, but it adds to the overall story and themes when you compare and contrast the two versions. Also, I understand that Sati and the names of her parents are relavant to Hindu mythology in the same way that Persephone is to Greek, but can't comment on that right now.

So, yeah. I disagree that the examples given are on the same level as Neo and Trinity having intercourse, because, as I've laid out before, the intercourse scene doesn't add anything. Not character, not theme, not worldbuilding, nothing. Whoever it's pandering to, if it succeeds in pandering or not, it doesn't change that IMO.

Also, fun fact, if you want a scene of what I WOULD call heterosexual pandering in the films that kind of works, take Thaddeus and June in 'Final Flight of the Osiris,' how each strike of their swords reveals more of their bodies. Does this serve anything? Not really. Is it pandering? Of course it is. Does it work? Well, I guess, a bit, but the fact that it panders better than Neo and Trinity doesn't change that it's still pandering. Hence why I find the scene eyerolling.