The Big Picture: Pink Is Not The Problem

Gorrath

New member
Feb 22, 2013
1,648
0
0
Ronack said:
The thing about The Hunger Games is that it isn't coded Male and Female, but rather Rich and Poor. It's a commentary on our modern society. Just look at what the Rich are wearing, ffs. Those looks are straight from some designers runway. Butt ugly and expensive as fuck, but the rich still buy it because rich. Whilst the poor need to work their ass off to survive, having to fight against the system by the rich in the meantime.
I believe what Bob is saying is that the visual shorthand used in The Hunger Games to denote who's good and who's bad is what is coded male and female. The rich people aren't simply wealthy, they demonstrate their place in society through dressing lavishly and preening endlessly. These would normally be considered feminine traits. It isn't that all the rich wear tons of makeup and do all the preening either, because there is a rich good guy, and while he's still dressed well, he's not wearing the makeup or engaging in the same pageantry as the other rich. If they had done him up to be both preening, vain, lavishly dressed and makeup wearing, AND still had him as a good guy, then the film would not have this problem.

Now I get that this was probably not at all intentional, and Bob seems to imply that as well, it's just that this is so ingrained into our ways of thinking that we fall back into this visual shorthand without even thinking about it. Preening, makeup wearing vanity (supposedly feminine traits)? Must be a bad guy.

EDIT: I want to add that I have not seen the Hunger Games movies, I am basing my explanation off of the information provided by Bob. If there is more to this visual shorthand than what Bob has said, then I could be wholly mistaken.
 

teamcharlie

New member
Jan 22, 2013
215
0
0
Good on ya, Bob. That was a thoughtful examination of the sneaky effects of gender and problems with some attempted rejections thereof on culture, without having to condemn one or the other as the 'bad' gender or the one that's the 'problem'. Very nice.
 

CymbaIine

New member
Aug 23, 2013
168
0
0
Very muddled episode, the main thing I took from it is that Bob has an extremely limited understanding of a very complex issue.
 

Rabidkitten

New member
Sep 23, 2010
143
0
0
As much as I'd like to say Bob is right, he is kind of wrong about a few things. Gender tropes do sometimes actually exist. I'm a father of 2 sons, and across the street are 2 little girls. They all play together, but what I notice is that the boys have an increased interest in violence, especially competitive violence. The girls are more developed mentally which is to be expected as girls development faster mentally. As thus they tend to get tired of the endless wave of swords, guns, and the sheer obsession with violent character types (ninjas, soldiers, zombies, alien invaders, etc).

We have thousands of years of history of men rushing off to die meaningless deaths in supposedly "glorious" battle. Sure the female hero's pop up now and then but you don't see the ridiculous war hawking coming from females across history. Its proven fact that testosterone influences violent behavior, and assuming that the reason the "gun" aisle is for boys is purely based on societal gender constructions is a crock of shit. Genetics influence our development more then experience There is no way in hell that EVERY single little boy I know is out playing war because of cultural constructs. Its not true.
 

Ishal

New member
Oct 30, 2012
1,177
0
0
It's true in some of the above comments, and in fact, it reminds me that Luaren Faust has been at this trying to chip away at the problem for a while now. Subverting certain tropes while embracing others. MLP is surprisingly gender neutral with how it approaches much of its themes. The dress making episode, the wedding episode, and most importantly the princess episode were are smartly written and subverted a number of tropes. But at the same time, it's still a show about pastel ponies being sold to young kids. They redefined what it means to be a princess, while still having a princess toy out there. That's pretty laudable in my opinion.
 

Lonewolfm16

New member
Feb 27, 2012
518
0
0
This was actually a really good point, I do dislike some of the more extremes of feminism when they end up crusading against anyone being even remotely traditionally feminine, usually with the justification that "no choice is made in a bubble and societal norms affect behavior." then basically saying no one can choose traditional femininity without being a weak and helpless victim. Though IMO women in myth are not "evil" or "bad" any more than men. Women usually take the role of innocent love interest, and even those that screw up (Eve, Pandora, the like) usually don't do it not because of malice, they do it because of naive ignorance. Women are treated more like children in more traditional gender views, they are to be protected, harming them is a major sin, they are innocent, they also can't be trusted, they need to have a adult male looking after them, they should be more subservient and not strong willed or rebellious. This doesn't mean traditionalists hate women, in much the same way we don't hate children, as a society, they just don't believe them capable. This is also why we end up with "women and children first" attitudes. Feminine behavior in men is associated with evil because it represents a mix of vanity and greed and a rejection of traditional value.
 

Mr. Omega

ANTI-LIFE JUSTIFIES MY HATE!
Jul 1, 2010
3,902
0
0
Ronack said:
The thing about The Hunger Games is that it isn't coded Male and Female, but rather Rich and Poor. It's a commentary on our modern society. Just look at what the Rich are wearing, ffs. Those looks are straight from some designers runway. Butt ugly and expensive as fuck, but the rich still buy it because rich. Whilst the poor need to work their ass off to survive, having to fight against the system by the rich in the meantime.
Part of it just has to do with the difference between a book and a movie. Books are just text, with no visuals or actual voices to paint a picture. It's just the words, so the author is able to hammer home the point of "see how rich these people are? how spoiled and decadent they are?" a bit more blatantly. The fact that they are rich and corrupt is brought to light through the descriptions of the author. They can literally spell it out for you.

Film is a visual medium, so they can't just have the words "evil rich people" right up on the screen, and there's a limited time to get the point across. So how do they show that these people are not only rich, but also evil, and do so in a short amount of time? Big, frilly, extravagant clothes, make-up and girly voices, and they're often physically weak. These are the visual short hands for "corrupt rich person".

The question then becomes "Why is that?" Why is "man with frilly clothes and high pitched voice" the visual/audio shortcut for "corrupt rich person"? There are lots of ways to show extreme wealth. Being fat used to be one, because they could afford that much food while people were starving. Having lots of fancy technology is also another one. So why go to "girly-man" in so many cases? That's the point he was trying to go for.
 

Gorrath

New member
Feb 22, 2013
1,648
0
0
wizzy555 said:
MB202 said:
I almost thought he was going to get into My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic for a moment there, since it ties into the fact that Lauren Faust created that show with the intent of showing that something "girly" doesn't automatically make it bad. Also, Bob's comments about "coded" characters is very similar to what the Nostalgia Chick said in her "Disney Needs More Gay" video, in that you can tell most villains are gay by being incredibly vain and feminine. It's strange, I never realized it until people like Lindsay (the Nostalgia Chick) and Bob pointed it out to me.
I'm never sure if that's something against gay people or just how Americans see the British.

All the villains have British voices you know.

Personally only scar comes across as even remotely gay.
To be fair, the accent is used to make any character more exotic, good or bad guy, because it's a good way to make them seem foreign while still allowing the audience to understand what they are saying. This is also done with other accents in movies with a modern setting, like a Russian accent to denote bad or exotic. The most overwhelming use of British accents are reserved not so much for evil, but historical things. It seems like anything ever made about Rome has everyone speaking with a British accent.
 

LGC Pominator

New member
Feb 11, 2009
420
0
0
I do think that the point was kind of misaimed here
I understand what Bob was trying to say certainly, but I think the idea is kind of flawed, the "traditional masculine vs traditional feminine" archetypes hold very little importance in real terms, the fact that we ASSOCIATE the "preening" etc with feminine characteristics is the problem

Masculinity in and of itself is not bound by any particular sense of "macho" behaviour, nor is femininity related to the worse aspects of female behaviour, I mean Im a grown bloke that loves MLP:FiM... Im also a frequently drunk 16st bouncer with a bloodlust that Anthony Hopkins would consider unnatural, I count all of those as positive characteristics in my personal worldview, which, possibly in part due to being male, I naturally associate with masculinity.

At the same time there is a lot of time I do witness males within my peer group acting in the fashion that this video would refer to as "feminine" and I have oftentimes made that association myself (doesn't help that one of them likes to dress like a girl in the first place), but it isn't the femininity that makes that a negative, it is a point that is embellished by the negative characteristics that we see expressed by the people, which is also massively wrong, the so-called "slapping a female skin on a masculine archetype" idea is completely, massively, absolutely and totally incorrect, what you have is a female character that expresses POSITIVE characteristics, that we, in society, have naturally associated with males, because of the gender roles we have reinforced.

Basically, strength, skill and other so called masculine traits are not that, they are merely positive

The traits and behaviours we associate with femininity are not all negative, but the ones we pick out as being negative, are not necessarily feminine traits, merely negative ones that we have attributed to femininity, which is wrong.

To use an example that a lot of people will be familiar with, look at the differences between Ser Loras Tyrell and Renly Baratheon in Game of Thrones, both gay men, both possess traits which society would consider "effeminate", but the one that is roundly a worse person overall is certainly Renly, who is more of a scheming and indeed "preening" sod than his lover Loras, who is certainly possessed of the same effeminate nature of Renly, but instead has much more positive traits, bravery, loyalty, and, lest we forget, being absolutely consumed by blood rage when Renly was taken from him

Or for a straight and gender flipped example, compare Brienne of Tarth to Petyr "littlefinger" Baelish...
Brienne isn't "Masculine", she has the positive traits we associate with masculinity
Petyr is just the worst sort of person... like really, really bad
 

Grach

New member
Aug 31, 2012
339
0
0
CymbaIine said:
Very muddled episode, the main thing I took from it is that Bob has an extremely limited understanding of a very complex issue.
Care to expand your statement?
 

Yal

We are a rattlesnake
Dec 22, 2010
188
0
0
MB202 said:
I almost thought he was going to get into My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic for a moment there, since it ties into the fact that Lauren Faust created that show with the intent of showing that something "girly" doesn't automatically make it bad.
Funnily enough, it was Powerpuff Girls where I first noticed this problem. Remember this guy?



Even back in the 90s, that one was blatant enough to rub me the wrong way.
 

Seracen

New member
Sep 20, 2009
645
0
0
[sees title] Oh good...another episode where "I get bashed over the head by Bob's White Knighting..."

[watches ep] huh, that was actually a good ep, which is what I generally expect from Bob (love you Bob!)

I think the issue is so loaded and oft-debated, I've become fatigued with the very mention of it. Which is sad, considering that there's plenty of quality content and discussion to be had. It's just difficult to trawl through the usually toxic stuff to see that.
 

scw55

New member
Nov 18, 2009
1,185
0
0
My problem with toys is that any Creative Kit Toys are marketed towards girls.

They have girls on the packaging.
They use colours that society associates with femininity.
Products created with kits are associated with femininity (soaps, candles, chocolates, flower-things, make-up).

Any kits that deal with 'Workshop Craft' like carpentry are advertised towards BOYS.

I suppose manufacturers think they'll lose money if they break society expectations.

(When I was young, I used to envy my sister's creative kits. I never got STICKERGLORE or things like that. The only thing I did get was to do with woodwork, and I hated that).
 

Redd the Sock

New member
Apr 14, 2010
1,088
0
0
Wow, that was more thought out and even handed than your usual take of gender issues.

The thing with coding is how much we see what we want to see, meaning so much can be in our heads as a knee-jerk reaction to someone looking or acting like us (or things we have sympathy for) portrayed as the bad guy. I mean, we got a good laugh when Fox called The Muppets anti-oil, or anti-business, and such, but are we really any different if we start looking for the hidden meaning of a character in way too much makeup, especially if it blinds us to more obvious metaphors. I mean, there may have been some of what you say in 300 (as Frank Miller's nuts and doesn't have the best rack record on the subject) but at the same time, it's one guy leading the charge to a lost cause, versus the guy at the back of a legion trying to get the other guy to tell him how awesome he is for doing....well, nothing. Hunger games was the same deal: the unwashed, hard working Lower districts against the districts removed from any form of work or sacrifice. Complaining about its "coding" kind of tries to sweep away context we don't like, in this case, how we do live in a society of hair creams, cosmetics, bling, surgery, toys, etc, some some that hardly work in the salt mines, while others go hungry on 12 hour work days. Don't like the allegation that your tiny bottle of skin cream could feed someone for a month: find something to invalidate it.

The pink aisle won't go away, if for no other reason that stores separate stuff by type and genres, but for roles to truly break down, we need people to quit propping them up with their complaints about them, or overly championing their dismissal. Only then will these old norms have been truly broken.
 

Makabriel

New member
May 13, 2013
547
0
0
So this whole thread is just bugging the heck out of me. We can't attribute Pink with girls, but we can attribute certain characteristics with being feminine?

So are we trying to get rid of gender defining characteristics altogether?

And then what will be next? Colors? Why does Black have to be associated with evil or darkness?
 
Aug 1, 2010
2,768
0
0
Overall, that was surprisingly good stuff.

Much more reasonable and thought provoking than I thought it would be.

One the other hand..... I think you are missing the point on the 300 and Hunger Games bad guys.

Yes, women are often portrayed as evil, but I really don't think that was the case in those two movies. In both cases, the frilly preening and whatnot were less feminine and more wealthy. Everybody hates an arrogant rich guy and it's much more sensible to make the distinction of Catfish and Lionides being the tough, honorable, somewhat average people (even though Leo is a king, he's still shown that way) and the evil people being so arrogant and rich that they look down on the good guys.

Just my take.
 

Fappy

\[T]/
May 1, 2020
12,010
0
0
Country
United States
This is by far the best politically-oriented episode you have ever put out. Bravo, sir!

I'm an extremely straight white dude, but I love playing as Princess Peach when I get the chance. Ain't nothing wrong with dat!
 

Coreless

New member
Aug 19, 2011
298
0
0
"I'm on the side of history that says the pink aisle and the whole binary gender separation that its part of is because of an arcane relic pushing arbitrary societal roles on people who might not want or need them"

This is a little off topic but still on the topic of gender differences so bare with me...

Your arguing nurture over nature with phrases like this and I just don't think its completely accurate to sum up these complex issues as only being constructs of culture or society. There are too many variables biologically and culturally speaking for it to be so one sided and absolute.

There have been many studies done that show that young girls and boys could be biologically inclined to like certain things like the color pink for girls http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1654371,00.html or and toy cars for boys http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/200804/why-do-boys-and-girls-prefer-different-toys

I found an interesting documentary that looks into these gender differences http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5LRdW8xw70.

There are also a ton of studies on just how different male and female brains are which helps play into our differences outside of culture http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/12/male-and-female-brains-really-are-built-differently/281962/. There are just too many factors out there to just sum up these as forced gender roles or just cultural stereotypes that have no basis in reality.
 

Gorrath

New member
Feb 22, 2013
1,648
0
0
LGC Pominator said:
I largely agree with you except to say that there is some issue with the way certain traits are viewed as a feminine or masculine trait and considered a good or bad trait even if they are not inherently so. For example, vanity is largely considered both feminine and negative, despite really being neither inherently while on the other hand being physically capable is usually considered inherently good and masculine, despite being neither.

I think what Bob is cautioning against is that the side that wants to fight against forcing people into traditional gender roles tend to also fight against the gender roles themselves. People tend to stop attacking the real problem (girls can't like baseball) and instead attack pink toys. There is nothing wrong with girls liking baseball, but there is also nothing wrong with people liking pink toys either. The whole attack on the pink aisle is misguided because it suggests that liking pink things that are made up to be "girly" is itself wrong. Just as there is no problem with girls liking baseball, there is also no problem with girls liking pink dresses and princesses. The real fight is in getting people to accept BOTH as normal.