The Big Picture: Pink Is Not The Problem

TheDrunkNinja

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Oh for fucks sake Bob, you're still holding onto this idea that the Hunger Games was anti-gay or anti-feminine in this case?

I especially like how you used the image of Seneca Crane when showing the "evil villains" instead of President Snow or even Thread, the two who arguably have the larger part of the overall "evil" plot and ultimately act as the bigger bastards especially considering that Crane was more of a cornered subordinate. But no, you can't get your point across if you show them because they aren't feminine enough to make an actual impact, are they? In fact, neither have any of the qualities that you brought up.
 

chronicchronicler

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That was both refreshing and brilliant in equal measure. Thank you MovieBob for speaking sense into a world where sense in in short quantity.
 

chikusho

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I think the association of negative and vain characteristics is the main root of the problem. It seems that Bob has gotten the associations of these things in the wrong order.

Vanity and wealth goes hand in hand, and it has done so throughout human history. Having your base needs covered opens up a whole new set of wants, needs and desires. Many of them related to social standing; to see oneself and be perceived as better than those around you.

Historically, the wealth and class meant that you wouldn't need to perform any kind of manual labor. So, wearing a white jacket and makeup is a statement that you won't be plowing any fields in the near future. They'd be ruined within minutes!

Women, to whom beauty is more valuable in society, have simply been more closely associated with these vain characteristics. When in truth they exist throughout all of humanity.

This is the case in The Hunger Games. It's not about effeminate villains, it's about excess and decadence.
 

RTR

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Worgen 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 really surprised he didn't mention ponies also, since I've heard that one reason they are starting to get rid of the pink isle is so that male bronies didn't feel weird looking for mlp stuff at toys R us. It's also really interesting how the mlp toys are packaged.

we have one of the standard sets, with even a pink Princess Celestia (ugh, CELESTIA ISN'T PINK DAMMIT) clearly aimed at the young girl age group.


but then we got something like the vinyl figures and their packaging is mostly black, aimed at an older male collectors market.
TBF, Bob has said in the past that MLP is not in his area of expertise, and I wouldn't blame him if he consciously decided not to bring it up because of the potentially volatile implication of talking about MLP on the Internet, but yeah, it's a valid point to say that FiM works not in spite of being femenine, but because it embraces feminitity. And yes, it's a smart decision to have certain MLP products not being marketed to the target demo.
 

RTR

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I think Egoraptor has said in the past that pink is his favorite color, so I wouldn't be suprised if he found a lot to agree with in this video.
 

GundamSentinel

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Aug 23, 2009
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Overall I agree with Bob's statement, but I'm not convinced that the classic divide between what girls and boys like and dislike is purely arbitrary and based on social archetypes.

Men and women are equal and similar, but they are not the same on a fundamental level. Consequently, their likes and dislikes are equally fundamentally different. Sure, it's not that black and white in practice, and girls can like boy stuff and vice versa, but generally this holds true. Gender is not just a social construct we made up, it's biology. After all, all those social archetypes have biological roots of their own.

That said, I'm very much against what often comes down to basically forcing people to adhere to these social and biological standards. People can like what they like and shouldn't be pushed a way they don't want to go. Enforcing gender roles is nonsense. But at the same time I think things like 'female quota' in certain industries are nonsense from a social standpoint. It's just not that simple and black and white.
 

RTR

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PunkRex said:
Yal 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.
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.
True, though given who the main characters were I felt kind of countered the whole feminine is bad thing, not to mention even King Camp of Gayhala would look at HIM *shudder* and say wtf!?

I feel the overly feminine bad guy stems more from trying to appeal to the middle/working classes that hold alot of these 'old school' values more so than out rightly saying femininity is weak/evil. However this still has the same negative effects such as the more vocal members of the COD fandom and Frank Miller so i'm glad to see stupid standards like this put under srutiny.

HOORAY FOR PINK!
My mind is full of Pink(ie Pie) and I love it.
 

Yuuki

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Yal 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.
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.
Pfft not even that, how about something more recent:

 

Worgen

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RTR said:
Worgen said:
TBF, Bob has said in the past that MLP is not in his area of expertise, and I wouldn't blame him if he consciously decided not to bring it up because of the potentially volatile implication of talking about MLP on the Internet, but yeah, it's a valid point to say that FiM works not in spite of being femenine, but because it embraces feminitity. And yes, it's a smart decision to have certain MLP products not being marketed to the target demo.
I don't think hes an expert on most of the shows and toys he listed in this video. Doesn't mean he can't mention them. It just seems odd that he would avoid something in a video about removing social gender constructs but not mention something that did the seemingly impossible, something that made girls stuff cool.
 

Therumancer

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Interesting, well thought out, but ultimately wrong because it's based under a flawed premise. The entire argument is based around the behaviorist school of psychology that has largely been disproven, that posits that people are entirely influenced by their environment and what they are taught. That's really not true. See human beings are not some kind of magical, mystical, creatures that obey our own rules and exist entirely apart from science. We'd like to project that onto ourselves to an extent, one of the curses of our advancement I guess, but in reality we're pretty much bundles of instincts and chemicals just like any other animal. Indeed a human being can be literally programmed like a computer with the right techniques once you know how people work, though you generally have to work with the basic creature that is already there. Hypnotim, deprogramming, chemical modification of behavior, and other techniques all work for a reason.

At the end of the day it's like the old book said "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" we might be part of the same species, but at the end of the day are pretty different in terms of how nature hardwired us, and what our desires, goals, wants, and needs are. Something that for the most part acts in a complimentary fashion for the survival of the species.

Something like "The Pink Aisle" is not some behaviorist construct that has come along due to centuries of repression and reinforcing gender roles and the like. Rather it exists as a simple way of helping people find what they are looking for. Girls tend to gravitate in one direction, boys in another, occasionally the genetic soup goes a bit awry and you see the instincts mix up or reverse to an extent, but this is how it is for the overwhelming majority of people in society, without needing to be told anything or even remotely conditioned. In fact society pretty much organized along these directions on it's own, even the much accused "oppressive patriarchy" is itself more or less a predictable construct of who we inherently are more than anything else.

The pink Aisle exists so parents and young girls can easily tell "this is where stuff girls are going to tend to like is" so they won't have to wander around in a toy section for hours with everything mixed up looking for the right stuff. It's sort of like how grocery stores organize the different types of food into sections, as opposed to just randomly slinging everything onto shelves.

Now, the thing about humans as opposed to lesser animals is that we can to some extent control and override our instincts and what we have been intristically designed to do. One of the big problems in society that Bob is correct about to an extent is the demonization of traditional roles, and pretty much telling girls "you should suppress, and oppose this". The thing is that a good portion of non-militantly feminist literature, movies, etc... addresses the whole problem of being a woman in a society that tells you to actively try and repress your instincts to live a specific way. Namely plotlines where say some career woman who has been pretty much putting almost everything feminine aside for decades feels her biological clock ticking (a matter of instinct) and winds up becoming happier by meeting the right guy, settling down, and raising a family. With various comedic mishaps along the way usually, and some offhanded compromises being made along the way. Something that guys like Bob tend to see as being inherently offensive and reinforcing a patriarchy, until you consider that the majority of this stuff is created by women, for women.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that women need to be "forced" to conform to certain gender roles or anything. On some levels I'm agreeing with Bob on certain side points. I'm just pointing out that there is no real "societal construct" here created from the outside to force instinct in the wrong way, rather it's pretty much the society we instinctively create sort of like how animals of the same type more or less live the same way, build the same kinds
of dens, and similar things. When you get down to it, what Bob seems to be involved in a degree of existential angst, able to see a state of being that he feels might be better, but really isn't grounded in who we are, on a lot of levels a classic manifestation of the "curse of reason".

By all means, tolerate most of the examples where someone violates a gender role due to their entire genetic cocktail having misfired to an extent. But don't try and act like the entire concept of gender roles and tendencies isn't natural, because it is, for humans just as much as it is for lesser animals. The soul only goes so far so to speak.

I'll also point out that Bob seems to miss the point inherent in the imagery of Xerxes, The Hunger Games, and similar things. It's less gender oriented, than a portrayal of decadence. The overall line being drawn is between people who actually do everything, the farmers, soldiers, workers, etc... and the existence of a class that does very little except lead, manage, and tell other people what to do. The division between a working class where the practical is the rule, and a ruling class where appearance matter more than anything. A guy who needs wear clothes that are tough and functional, and a guy who wears clothes that are simply comfortable and pretty, yet would be ripped to shreds if he did anything other than stand around and socialize.

Your pretty much looking at the projection of class war images into various kinds of cinema. The same basic messages that caused the Nazis to rise up in a rage as a socialist revolution, and turn genocidally on what they saw as an abusive class of ethnic rulers. Groups like the Khymer Rogue echoed the same sentiments, and on a lot of levels are scary closed to the message of "The Hunger Games" the way the division was expressed there was to have the farmers and workers from outside the cities, murder all the city dwellers. In the USA right now an ethnic or "living space" oriented argument is not being made to define the enemy, but you are very much seeing outrage against the ruling class of bankers, corporate heads, and of course the career political class, though it has yet to turn to outright violence,
this is fundamentally what things like "Occupy Wall Street" were about.

To be brutally honest, I see more analogies to the popular depictions of pre-revolutionary France, and Roman decadence than outright gender judgement in most "fantasy examples". Oftentimes chosen for their outrageousness and the differences in order to illustrate a point that can be harder to make visually in a current sense when both the oppressed and the oppressor might be wearing the same basic kinds of clothes. Visually the difference between a suit bought from SEARS for $100 and one that was bought from a tailor for a thousand times that much doesn't exactly pop out. Ditto for situations where the value of a T-shirt can be based on little more than the logo someone stamped on it, and maybe the material it's made from, despite how it looks.

The point about Xerxes was that no matter how he gets off, this was something that was a major concern for him during a military campaign, as was showing up with enough bling to buy most kingdoms. Compared to say the Spartan soldier class which (in the context of the movie) were all entirely about function. In The Hunger Games the point is that the working class works, and might be forced to illegally poach deer for food, the ruling class on the other hand are primarily concerned with pleasuring themselves and showing off. The makeup, lace, elaborate dinners... I was thinking French Nobility being the obvious analogy, and I've was waiting for the analoty to the Bastille to be stormed. There might be some value judgements about homosexuality in both cases, but understand even in the US there isn't even close to a majority consensus on that, with the entire gay rights thing (spread across all issues) is divided more or less 50-50. That said, I suppose a point could be made that the bastions of liberalism have generally been the wealthy coastal regions, with the biggest public proponents of this kind of stuff being wealthy media tycoons, decadent Hollywood celebrities, and the ilk. A lot of the opposition? Well that comes from the more rural working classes in the south, and pretty a lot of what are dismissed as a "flyover state", the term which also tends to sort of illustrate the problems. That said despite my personal opinions, I never really felt this was a big part of the message in "Hunger Games" at least. There is a difference between being simpering, and acting "flaming", albeit I can see where they overlap and how some people might want to project other issues onto it.

Such are my thoughts. For the record, I recommend reading about Freud (and by extension Jung), Skinner, and Rogers and comparisons between the three psychologies (so to speak) and how behaviorism/environmentalism has kind of taken a huge beating. None of them are perfect, and all of them have been slammed, but that one worse than many others due to it's central points. An environment can influence someone, but isn't going to act entirely as the foundation for a personality and it can't typically alter fundamental human traits (which is what this comes down to), though it can temporarily bring certain ones that are usually repressed to the forefront.
 
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MovieBob said:
Pink Is Not The Problem

MovieBob takes on the gender stereotyping our society dabbles in.

Watch Video
shame i cant share this on twitter etc, it makes a very great point (i know i can share on twitter, but dont know anyone who uses twitter except on a smartphone)
either way, great stuff, food for thought while i question how and why things are changing

EDIT: is this guy above me for real with that wall of text?
 

Daaaah Whoosh

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So, the main idea is that trying to break down gender stereotypes can be damaging to gays? Or, more specifically, men who show feminine characteristics? Damn, I think we should have started this cultural overhaul centuries ago, nowadays you can't fix anything without someone else getting screwed over.
 

CymbaIine

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Therumancer said:
A lot of factual inaccuracy in your post. "Environmentalism" (odd term) hasn't taken a huge beating, it's gone back and forth over time. Currently most scientists and psychologists take a pluralistic approach rather than straight nature/nurture.

An example-

This is from this week

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25198063

It's about how male and female brains are literally "wired" differently. At the end is a nice little quote from a professor of neuroscience Oxford Uni.

"We know that there is no such thing as 'hard wiring' when it comes to brain connections. Connections can change throughout life, in response to experience and learning."
 

Itchi_da_killa

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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.
The "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" is an amazing show. I hated the original Pony cartoons from the 80's, but the new ones are very different. I noticed right away, when I was watching an episode with my daughter. Then my son started to watch them too and now, we watch them together. Weird! I never thought that would happen, but... what-ever.
 

vid87

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I've thought about this topic for a while and how it reflects on myself. I've never been the jock macho-man - I'm considered "sensitive" and "emotional" and in my childhood I came to see that as something that made me unique and stand out from the stereotypical "tough guy" types that, while obviously not encompassing everyone who falls into that category, were characterized by behaviors or mentalities I found troubling. Lately though, I've come to enjoy "harder" testosterone related things. I'm still not a sports fan but I like action and combat and such. The problem, I thought, was that now the world is changing and trying to get away from such things and I began to think I had become that "typical male" I always wanted to avoid. Bob's comment that girls can still like "girly" things but not be seen as corrupt or weak makes me feel better in the reverse sense - as long as I keep some perspective on the consequences of violence or the "stoic badass" types, I don't have to feel like the things I enjoy are some sort of moral degradation on my part.

In short, great video Bob!
 

Little Duck

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I know that this was an important episode, but that was British Denis the menace. Could you do an episode on him and the American one. They're amazingly different characters coming from more or less the same week.
 

CymbaIine

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Grach said:
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?
Some of it has been covered in other posts, like the use of vanity as an example of a feminine trait. Also there is more than one reason to hate the pink aisle, gender as a commodity is a problem. The "stuff" Bob is talking about doesn't just spring into being, it's manufactured for a reason and it's wrong to dismiss it as a "symptom".
 

Callate

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I think it could be argued that Hunger Games, 300, and even movies like Iron Man, Thor and The Hulk aren't so much about male-positive-heroic and female-negative-degenerate as rich/poor, function/form, practical/decorative.

Even the woefully gaudy Effie Trinket gets an opportunity to be sympathetic in Catching Fire, and for all that the competitors are displayed in gaudy costumes, it's not how they're displayed that distinguishes them from their audience, but why. Where the Capital is on display, it's as much Las Vegas as ancient Rome. It's waste in the midst of scarcity, "show" in the midst of tyranny, and people with little or no practical skills ascendant over people who actually work. The Peacekeeper uniforms in Catching Fire are about as asexual as you can get, and the people presented as genuinely villainous, like Romulus Thread and President Snow are anything but effeminate.

Similarly, in 300, while there are certainly anti-gay subtexts (not to mention the amusing sight of heavily oiled grunting men in leather speedos grousing about "boy-lovers"), what makes Xerxes villainous is less his femininity than the idea that his luxury and decadence right in the face of warfare and death shows a similarly decadent and inhuman view regarding the value or dignity of life itself. The Spartans live lives that are, well, Spartan- even the luxury of an overwhelming military force is denied them, but they make do. The Persians bring their pleasure pavilion with them into enemy territory. (It's also worth noting that that "one woman" plays a significant role in nearly every plot-driving decision in the movie.)

Iron Man, Thor, Hulk? What makes them sympathetic is not their wealth, but their loss- Tony Stark's capture by the terrorists and imprisonment in a cave where he has to re-invent himself; Thor's exile and loss of power and trappings that were associated with his connections with a noble aristocracy; even Bruce Banner having to flee the trappings of technology for a simpler life in order to preserve both himself and those he holds dear.

On the grander issue, while I certainly agree that there's vast room for improvements in the choices available to men and women, boys and girls, and how the choices they make are valued, I think the idea that binary gender is nothing but a social construct, let alone a construct on its inevitable wane, is a poorly grounded hypothesis based on utopian thinking. That certain parties are so willing to advance it without any evidence or backing as if it were a given just demeans discussion.
 

webkilla

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Good points all around

And while Hunger Games is also a matchup a la "Rich VS Poor" then its a really good point in how it displays those rich people: fops, effeminate men with makeup, people who are not rugged and manly and strong...

If anything, then I wonder how this topic fits into the "Sarkesian topic" - since Moviebob did mention gender coded tropes as well.

I get the idea it'll take time for these pink-isle mentalities to end. Today we have too many things that blur the lines.

I my self teach design to web-design students at a community college: Over half my students are young women - and most of them are very good at coding websites, with MySQL, Php and other things that I barely understand