Sunday, April 10, 2011

Female action heroes: An abomination

Most 12-year-old girls are not superheroines.
One of my favorite dopey complaints from the Men’s Rights crowd is that action movies featuring ass-kicking women are “unrealistic” because real women are too dainty to do all that ass-kicking shit. On The Spearhead today, W.F. Price aims his withering contempt at the new film Hanna: 

The ass-kicking chick flicks are getting more and more ridiculous as time goes on. In “Hanna” a girl is raised by her father to be a vicious killer somewhere in the arctic. Hanna is played by Saoirse Ronan, an Irish girl with a sweet smile who looks about as tough as a bunny rabbit. Nevertheless, we are supposed to suspend disbelief and accept that this waif is capable of breaking necks with a single blow.

Even worse, in the trailer for the film, young Miss Ronan is depicted doing … pull-ups!  “In general, women can’t do pull-ups,” Price complains, “and the vanishingly few who can don’t look much like Saoirse Ronan.”

Price does have a point. Real women can’t do the things that female action heroes do in films. Angelina Jolie may be a deeply scary woman, but I’m pretty sure she can’t take out entire boats full of trained assassins by herself, or jump from truck to truck on the highway to escape pursuers in cars, as she did as super seekret double (triple?) agent Evelyn Salt. Also, to the best of my knowledge, Sarah Michelle Gellar has never really slain even a single vampire. And there is no such thing as an indestructible cheerleader.

But here’s the thing, guys: All that crazy shit that male action stars do? Real men can’t do that either. Matt Damon is pretty buff, and I’m pretty sure he could take Angelina Jolie in a fight, but he’s not actually Jason Bourne. Christian Bale doesn’t put on a batsuit at night and run around town taking out baddies with his bare – well, gloved -- hands. Toby Maguire can’t swing from building to building, or stick to walls; if he were bitten by a radioactive spider, he’d need to go to the hospital. Arnold is not the Terminator.

Also, and I hate to be the one who has to break this to you, guys: professional wrestling is fake.

I know it might be tough to take all this in, guys, so here’s Captain Kirk fighting a very slow-moving alien monster on planet Not-Very-Far-From-The-Studio. Kirk has a little trouble with this one but in real life, I'm pretty sure William Shatner could take down an alien monster, provided it moved as slowly as this one.


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158 comments:

  1. I love this post in a way that isn't natural. I write a blog about feminism and nerdy stuff and I am pimping this post out in tomorrow's link post so hard.

    I haven't seen Hanna yet but I'm looking forward to it and this only make me want to see it more.

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  2. Women can't do pull-ups? I'm a woman of average strength, and I can do 8 pull-ups if I work on it even a little bit. Granted, almost every man could do pull-ups with my weight since I'm tiny, but "women can't do pull-ups" is just a bizarre claim to make.

    Anyway, did I really just read a post where someone was forced to explain that movies aren't real?? There are some truly spectacularly stupid people out there.

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  3. Fuckin' liberal Hollywood media, making women out to be people. If I see one more movie with a woman who's not just a passive cumdumpster, I'm going to go my own way!

    And this time I mean it!

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  4. I think that YouTube clip is mis-titled. It should read, BEST fight scene ever!

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  5. MOVIES AREN'T REAL?!?!?

    You've all just ruined my day.

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  6. I hate to say I agree with the MGTOWers, but the "ass-kicking cutie-pie" trope is one that bothers me as well. I find that hollywood movies will very often cast a female lead with traditionally "male" traits (or traits that are celebrated in men) such as using violence as mediation, aggression, revenge, etc and call the character a "feminist" character. I'd like to start seeing female leads that celebrate female qualities because these pseudo-empowered female leads are off putting to every community, even if for different reasons.

    More on this here: http://www.feministfrequency.com/2011/04/zach-snyders-sucker-punch-is-a-steaming-pile-of-sexist-crap/

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  7. My rough guess is few of these guys could do as many pull-ups as any random woman at the gym that goes three times a week. Considering that 75% of the people I see at the gym are female, that's something to consider. MRAs defeated by female beauty standards that make fitness more of an imperative!

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  8. Renee, I disagree that strength and aggression are "male" traits, or that kindness and empathy are "female" traits. In general, I'm opposed to gender essentialism. Men can be kind and gentle, and women can be strong and aggressive. Not just can, but often are.

    Your attitude, though you mean well, ends up stigmatizing women with "masculine" personalities. One of the biggest struggles in my life is that I've got certain personality traits considered "male", especially a certain bullheadedness, a tendency to intellectualize my problems, and an insistence on rationality over anecdote and feeling. I look to feminism to support me even though I'm a gender nonconformist. In fact, feminist exists precisely because many women are gender nonconformists in certain ways, and thereby had a need to protest a system that pushes conformist structures on us.

    Plus, I think muscular ladies look awesome.

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  9. That alien monster is wearing what looks like sparkly brocade. That makes that whole description-defying fight sequence even more... unique.

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  10. Pretty funny, David. :) Bill's not a particularly smart guy, that's for sure.

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  11. I'd like to start seeing female leads that celebrate female qualities because these pseudo-empowered female leads are off putting to every community, even if for different reasons.

    "Celebrating female qualities" is not feminist. Amanda's already covered this ground so I won't repeat her.

    The feminist thing to do is to portray a female character as an individual. Which means that some women are going to be ass-kicking. I've known ass-kicking women. I had a girlfriend who could hold her own in a knife fight (not that we ever got into one). Whereas some women are going to be peaceful and nurturing.

    Typecasting every single female character into a nonviolent role isn't helping feminism.

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  12. Yeah, I worry a little bit that a natural result of highlighting the "nurturing qualities of women" is, you know, that super creepy video from yesterday ("Dear Woman"?)

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  13. They dare deny the awesomeness of characters like River Tam and Toph Bei Fong?

    That's just wrong.

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  14. On Toph - interestingly enough, Katara is also a fairly strong character who uses more stereotypically feminine attributes, to the point of being a water bender and a healer. And you can contrast her with Azula, who's probably one of the most aggressive and ambitious characters in the series... and then further contrast Azula with the peaceful, tea-drinking Uncle Iroh.

    So maybe it doesn't really matter if a female (or male) character is displaying "stereotypical" gender traits, if the character is complex and strongly written. Toph, Katara, Azula and Iroh are all strong in their own ways.

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  15. Muscular women *do* look awesome.

    I wish more female action heroes looked muscular.

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  16. Only thing that bothers me - is a 100lb super model carrying 200 pounds of artillery.

    CHAAH - RIGHT...

    Or a 100 lb woman throwing a 250 lb man over her shoulders.

    The only believable woman villains (discounting "super heroines/villains") that I can think of...

    That one woman from James Bond with switchblades in her shoes. Whenever she fails, her government electrocutes her. Ugh - cannot remember the Bond movie.

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  17. Also, to the best of my knowledge, Sarah Michelle Gellar has never really slain even a single vampire.

    OTOH, there's a well-known legend among Civil War buffs that Mary Todd Lincoln once took out an entire Confederate cavalry brigade with a samurai sword and a handful of throwing stars.

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  18. "I had a girlfriend who could hold her own in a knife fight"

    Am I a bad person for finding this a desirable quality in a partner? :) Although in my case it's my wife, who desperately wants to get a Mosin-Nagant rifle ever since I told her that 7.62x54 Russian is more powerful than the .308 bolt action her dad taught her to use.

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  19. I can't believe none of the MRAers have made the connection that Saoirse Ronan is the same actress that played Briony in "Atonement." You know, the one who falsely accused a man of rape. I'm sure they'd have no problem believing the "bunny rabbit" would be guilty of the crime of all crimes. So...bunny rabbits are not supposed to be represented as capable of physical exertion or aggression but if a bunny rabbit were to accuse a man of rape falsely then, OMG, all rape accusations are false because we KNOW what bunnies are all like really. These bunnies intentionally DECEIVE us with their diminutive bunny goodness, lulling us into a false sense of security on purpose to throw us into jail. It's edifying to see what the MRAs accept as "natural" femininity and what they don't. MRA dudes, please stop judging women based on their appearances--it will put an end to so much of your own pain and ours.

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  20. "I had a girlfriend who could hold her own in a knife fight."

    Yes most single mothers are quite capable of disarming their children when they play with kitchen knives.

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  21. EWME (or EW, if I may)--machete-wielding bunnies FTW!
    Please, please, please give me a troll response. I so need to open a can of bunny smackdown today.

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  22. What David, you mean that if I get hit by a car I can't get a metal skeleton that prevents me from feeling pain (but not other sensations) either? Thanks for destroying my life goals.

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  23. Yeah, Avatar: The Last Airbender, had great characterization all around. I just picked Toph as an example because she's the little blind girl who could take on a roomful of muscle-bound men by herself. Clearly, the suspension of disbelief needed to believe that would be too much for MRA minds to comprehend.

    As for River, well, I think Wash said it best:
    "Start with the part where Jayne gets knocked out by a 90-pound girl 'cause... I don't think that's ever getting old. "

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  24. Darksidecat, technically you can, there is a condition where you don't feel pain but it's caused by spinal nerve lesions.

    It's actually a big disadvantage. Pain indicates that you know when you are hit. Fear of pain makes you dodge and roll with punches. Having no pain just means you will get more injured than normal.

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  25. Amanda Marcotte, I'm also gender-queer lady who loves a butch woman just as much as the next girl. I'm all about gender nonconformity and also don't believe in gender essentialism. I have a physics degree so my logic brain often takes over. I think we'd make great friends! My beef is that hollywood showcases and celebrates only one type of person, one that is traditionally associated with maleness. While I do love seeing powerful women in cinema, I would also like to see emphatic women (and men) and mediation other than violence celebrated in hollywood.

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  26. And by celebrated, I should say, given awards, do well at the box office, positively reviewed, etc. Not worshipped in that creepy earth mother way from the last post.

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  27. @evilwhitemaleempire:

    LMFAO! "Most single moms are good at disarming their kids when they start playing with kitchen knives..."

    Now THAT was hilarious!

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  28. Goddamit, this fucking site just ate another long fucking goddamn comment. FUCK FUCK FUCK.

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  29. "ScareCrow said...
    Only thing that bothers me - is a 100lb super model carrying 200 pounds of artillery.
    CHAAH - RIGHT...
    Or a 100 lb woman throwing a 250 lb man over her shoulders."

    Don't know much about Aikido, do you? Or Ju-jitsu... or tai chi... or...
    (Sorry, this is my expertise)

    "Most single moms are good at disarming their kids when they start playing with kitchen knives..."

    Troll unintentionally trolls self...

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  30. This is why Fiona of Burn Notice is interesting: she uses her miniscule weight effectively, emphasizing her leg muscles, where women have a lot of strength.

    These losers probably worship Ahnold but the fact of the matter is that big muscles aren't effective. You have to life a lot of weight a lot of time to get them and maintain them as well as use up lots of energy---time,effort, and food---to maintain them and for what? They reduce maneuverability, speed, and reflexes, they're bulky and get in the way, and they're ultimately a liability.But other guys respect them, so that's all that matters.

    Women in the army not only do pushups and pullups, they have an advantage in endurance and lower body strength. And the culture encourages women from building up upper body strength---ew! muscles!----so going to Basic is about playing catchup.

    The Russians studied what an effective soldier needs and they found that that was a strong back and core, followed by legs and arms. Such a soldier can carry weight while marching, maneuver, and move quickly. He's less prone to injury---if the strength is accompanied by flexibility---and needs fewer calories thansome muscle bound dude with compensation issues, who has to spend hours per day at the gym, and then hours eating.

    There's a book called, "The Stronger Women Get The More Men Like Football," which talks about, well, just about everything to do with strength and gender roles. Mariah Burton Nelon is the author. As a companion piece, there's "PrettyGirls in Little Boxes," or something like that but I can't remember the name of the writer. Basically it's about how male athletes are big and heroic and their injuries are manly injuries of sacrifice and discipline, while girly injuries are a sign that they're masochistic, inherently weak, and ought to be home clutching their pearls on their fainting couches. Oh, yeah, and how come female athletes in some sports have to dress like ballet dances at all times? For that matter, a ballet dancer or a gymnast could probably kick most MRA's assess.

    This better fucking post.

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  31. Emma Fucking Peel.

    That is all.

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  32. @ginmar

    Not only could a ballet dancer/gymnast kick most MRA's asses, they could probably do it backwards and in high heels.

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  33. It still doesn't explain why they are complaining about women in comic books as being unrealistic when the entire genre is unrealistic. One may as well argue about the ability of penguins to fly an airplane.

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  34. These losers probably worship Ahnold but the fact of the matter is that big muscles aren't effective. You have to life a lot of weight a lot of time to get them and maintain them as well as use up lots of energy---time,effort, and food---to maintain them and for what? They reduce maneuverability, speed, and reflexes, they're bulky and get in the way, and they're ultimately a liability.

    Not to mention that the returns from building up pure muscle mass diminish quickly, because muscles are heavy and they have to lift their own weight along with whatever else you're lifting.

    Fun fact: Arnold Schwarzeneggar had to reduce his muscle mass for his role in Conan the Barbarian, because his muscles were initially too big to allow him to hold a sword properly. So yeah, muscle mass can definitely be counterproductive.

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  35. Well, because they blame all women all the time, and if there's a woman around, she's to blame.

    Amnesia, most often the type of restraint attackers use is directed at the upper body----yet women have a lot of lower body strength. Men might be faster for short distances, but in the long run----I"m thinking here of classical military training, which still requires long marches----women have greater endurance. That higher body fat thing means there's more reserves to call on.

    I can tell when a guy's compensating for something because that kind of guy always overdoes the upper body---and totally ignores the lower body! They look lopsided.

    And of course, ballet dancers and gymnasts have that extreme flexibility, which means they can kick your face without breaking a sweat. My drill sgt. used to call me Private Gumby.

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  36. Trip, that doesn't surprise me at all. I can see how holding a rifle and other weapons properly would be a problem for these guys.

    We had an SF unit next to mine in Iraq and they were for the most part innocuous-looking guys. The Blackwater guys, however, strutted around with big huge muscles and black sunglasses and all that crap.

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  37. Weirdly, I’ve seen this exact argument from feminists- I’ve probably made it myself. It’s unfair to paint any cultural criticism with that "movies=/=reality" brush.

    Ginmar brings up a fair point, but truly the women who have black belts, or are power lifters, or carry guns don’t look like Hollywood. The women who do perform these things just aren’t as acceptable to the gaze of the 20-something dude watching the movie. It’d be fair enough to criticize this guy if he was complaining about how all the strong, athletic women are ugly, but he’s not.

    Because really: women marines, women cops, and women fighters don’t look like Angelina Jolie in Salt. For one, they know to pin their damn hair out of the way.

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  38. I know that action movies make the heroines have unrealistic standards of beauty. Like bathorie said, you'd want your hair out of the way to fight ninja assassins. I'll let that slide, though, because it's entertaining to see beautiful people, male or female, do amazing things.

    I am especially happy to see female movie characters be more than a damsel in distress or a prize for the male hero to win.

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  39. "The Blackwater guys, however, strutted around with big huge muscles and black sunglasses and all that crap."

    They probably needed those huge muscles in order to lift their rifles plus the eight pounds of tacticool accessories hanging off them.

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  40. Fucking fuck. Goddamit, there goes another fucking comment. I am sick of this shit.

    Blackwater guys always claim they're ex hoo ah hoo ah units---SF, SO, Delta, and so on. But those guys are lifers, and they're very comfortable with themselves. Jesse Ventura trying to claim that he was a Seal when he was in fact UDT is a warning sign for what I'm talking about.

    Big muscles also make you stand out in a population where you might try and pass as a civilian.

    I fired the .249 Viet Nam era belt-fed gun, which can fire 700 rounds per second and probably weighed seventeen or eighteen pounds loaded with a box of ammo. The weapon I regularly carried was an M-16, which weighed seven pounds.

    Blackwater dudes did a lot of boasting, but had weird terms of enlistment and their enlistments tended to be odd lengths. Maybe the UCMJ was too much to obey.

    Oh, and the best fight was the one between Harmony and Xander in Season Four of Buffy.

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  41. ginmar, try copying your comments before posting. I've saved many a long comment that way. Longer comments seem to be the ones that get eaten.

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  42. Of course, I thought of that afterward. Huh. It's part of a general slowness and clunkiness. I'm not sure if it's Mozilla or what.

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  43. @ginmar:

    "Blackwater dudes did a lot of boasting, but had weird terms of enlistment and their enlistments tended to be odd lengths. Maybe the UCMJ was too much to obey."

    I think that nails it right there. They certainly seem to have way more than their share of employees who think their contract is a hunting license. And the idea of someone who seeks employment with Blackwater/Xe because they find that the military has too many annoying rules when it comes to use of force is disturbing.

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  44. Delta, Seals, SO, SF---these guys are lifers. They do it for life, until they get killed or something really really bad happens. Military enlistments are generally even numbers, but Blackwater guys all had weird lengths---eleven, seven, nine.....And they were healthy enough to do the job and rape and kill civilians and other employees, plus the ones I got anywhere near to were just horrifying sexist.

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  45. ginmar, unfortunately I've never heard much different about them. One of the main reasons that, although their gear is really expensive, I give Heckler & Koch major credit for refusing to do any business with them no matter what. This also means I'll never buy anything from Mossberg ever again, or any other company that thinks it's a good idea to sell Blackwater/Xe-endorsed stuff.

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  46. ginmar

    Women in the army not only do pushups and pullups, they have an advantage in endurance and lower body strength.(ginmar)

    Really, the average woman in the army has more lower body strength than the average man in the army? As far as endurance goes you may be right in Ultra distance running but other than that, average men still win the bulk of running races against average women.
    I would agree with you about body builders such as Arnold, but as far as muscle(size) being a disadvantage is just not true. Watch the heavyweight fighters in MMA and you would not be saying that. Men and women are not equal when it comes to size and strength and speed in general, there are exceptions though.

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  47. I once had a fight with an Aussie over women being able to beat men at Olympic sports. The Winter Olympics had just occurred so I had an easy time of locating the stats.

    In six different distance events the women outperformed the men. He then changed the parameters and said "well the women's lengths are different." Even controlling for that, women still outperformed men.

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  48. Um, Tit for Tat, can you read? Because you're pulling shit from all over as well as putting words in my mouth. It's tiresome. Knock that shit off.

    And as MMA and your unsupported assertion about overblown bodybuilders, thanks---I'll take the Russian army over some dude online who asserts the standard sexist line that men and women are not equal. I kind of suspect you that men are better, and that's bullshit.

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  49. Elizabeth, Mariah Burton Nelson has a chapter on that kind of thing in both her books. Basically, men's vanity requires that they think of themselves as better in all things athletic than women, which Tit for Tat just proved by pretty much stating th4e very same thing. There's no reason that women and men can't compete directly in many sports----except for one thing: dudes don't want to be beaten by women.

    Funny thing too, even though men believe and desire to be stronger and all that than women, this is not consistently addressed in any other area. If men have advantages---which they do in size at least----shouldn't they be held to a higher standard and required to manage themselves better in conjunction with people who are smaller, lighter, less strong? Nope, it's only supposed to feed mens' vanity, not obligate them to anything.

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  50. Yep-I think that is why archery stopped being an Olympic sport-women were outperforming men and their delicate little egos were unable to handle the strain.

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  51. Yep-I think that is why archery stopped being an Olympic sport-women were outperforming men and their delicate little egos were unable to handle the strain.

    If they'd listened to those legends about the Amazons they would have seen it coming.

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  52. There's no reason that women and men can't compete directly in many sports----except for one thing: dudes don't want to be beaten by women.(ginmar)

    I dont like getting beat by anyone. That's just my competitive spirit. As far as women competing with men I think that would be a great idea. But once you reach a certain level the playing field would definately not be equal, well, at least in the vast majority of sports, archery excluded of course.

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  53. I would imagine that SF soldiers generally have less to prove--when you walk the walk, you don't have to talk the talk so much.

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  54. The thing that was so notable at Basic was how many women had had these huge taboos beaten into them about doing guy stuff. Couldn't hit, couldn't stand proudly, couldn't do pushups, pullups, all that stuff. Most of the women and girls had never done so much as a single pushup in their lives. Why? It's a guy thing. Girls aren't supposed to do that. That's a life time of inhibition beaten into them.

    And I noticed that the short women had an advantage in pushups, too: it's easier for shorter women and men to do them well than it is for tall macho guys----think about the position you're in when you're doing them. That's a lot of real estate to support on four points.

    If men are so strong and all that, how come women have to be trained from birth to weaken themselves and keep themselves weak? By the end of Basic, everybody was doing a minimum of good twenty pushups, bouncing off the ground and feeling strong.

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  55. So Tit for Tat knows that men are just naturally better than women, despite not reading anything or offering a cite. I already recommended two books. See, some of us bother to read shit instead of just going along with the status quo.

    Again, if men are so much stroner and faster wouldn't that tend to prove that women are not lying when they say that men have attacked them? Power corrupts and all that.

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  56. Notice how competition is set up to meet a male standard, with men as the model, that women have to meet.

    Let's see women set the standards and men meet them then, shall we?

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  57. @Cynickal.

    Actually, I do know about Aikindo, Kung Fu, Tai Chi.

    I watch these movies, I never see any women using any martial arts moves.

    It is called wire-fighting dumbo.

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  58. S/he wasn't talking about movies alone, dumb ass.

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  59. Again, if men are so much stroner and faster wouldn't that tend to prove that women are not lying when they say that men have attacked them?(ginmar)

    Yes it would. I never said or implied that wasnt the case. Just because certain men believe that doesnt mean you should paint us all with the same brush. Now if you dont like some men lying about that then why not acknowledge the truth that on average women cant compete equally with men in the majority of sports. Why try to perpetuate a false premise. Oh here is one example, I could find more if you would like.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/100_metres#Top_ten_all-time_athletes.E2.80.94men

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/100_metres#Top_ten_all-time_athletes.E2.80.94women

    Notice the times for the most elite of both sexes. Not quite equal, is it?

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  60. You're citing Wikipedia? Really?

    You do realize that women were not allowed to compete in the Boston Marathon till 1976, right? That's a lot of ground to make up for. Womens' sports programs had to contend with concerns about 'ladylike' outfits and behavior, which inhibits performance. Yet what are you worried? The threat to so-called male supremacy, which is gained only after centuries of corsets, foot-binding, high heels, pregnancies, and so forth. Let's see your ass run a four-minute mile if every single one of your ancestors had to contend with all that shit.

    And stop whining about painting men with the same brush, blah blah blah.

    When somebody talks about women being attacked and men being guilty, and your first response is to whine about men and make some accusation about women, you just revealed that you don't think attacks upon women bother you at all.

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  61. ginmar

    The more you talk, the more you sound like the MRA you so despise, wow.

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  62. Boston Marathon - Results
    Boston, MA USA
    April 19, 2010
    Finishers: 22540, Males - 13072 , Females - 9468
    Male Winner: 2:05:52 | Female Winner: 2:26:11

    Close result, very competitive
    I dont think either one ran it in heels though. ;)

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  63. Women are better equipped than men to handle scuba diving, space flights, and extra G-forces.

    Perhaps we should re-organize things so that the Navy, the Air Force, and NASA are predominantly female, while leaving the rest of it to the men.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1567569/Women-divers-outdo-men-study-claims.html

    http://www.redorbit.com/news/space/112399/why_women_are_better_astronauts_than_men/

    Though, to be fair, it does seem like a great deal of men's disadvantages underwater spring from socially learned behaviors rather than biology. Much like the differential in spatial reasoning between men and women, it could easily be corrected for with a little bit of education.

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  64. Even if men, on average, tend to be able to lift more weight or complete a marathon 20 minutes quicker than a woman...

    Who fucking cares?

    I don't know *any* person, male or female, who can shoot sticky webs out of their wrists, fire two weapons simultaneously while somersaulting through a return barrage of gunfire, fight with light sabers, is long lost royalty or once managed to beat the Nazis to a mythical artifact.

    If you want realism in film, stick to documentaries. Otherwise, complaining about superhero women being 'unrealistic' while you happily sat through the Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, Iron Man, Indiana Jones and Star Wars movies without once bitching about them being 'unrealistic' just makes you look like... wait for it... it's coming.... a misogynist

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  65. Whatever physical differences exist on average between men and women aren't as important as people make them out to be anyway. Take a situation I've long been interested in: physical standards for joining the military. They have a different set of requirements for men and women. Predictably, this is one of the things MRAs moan about - in their view, the feminazis are grabbing the military by the balls and forcing them to lower their standards because otherwise those inferior wimminz would never be able to get in. Of course, if MRAs were right about women in general, you wouldn't have women even trying to join the military, but leave that aside. (con'td next post)

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  66. I have a solution that would make everybody happy (well, everybody who's being intellectually honest about why they're unhappy): Keep the two sets of physical standards, but remove the gender differential. Now everybody is measured by *both* sets of standards. Those who break the first threshold but not the second are eligible for support roles (which is what most servicemen and -women are anyway). Those who break both thresholds are eligible for combat roles. Regardless of gender.

    Everyone's complaints are addressed: women are no longer held to a different standard. Women are now allowed in combat. And men can't complain that women are weakening combat units because the women in those combat units had to measure up to the same standards.

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  67. Perhaps we should re-organize things so that the Navy, the Air Force, and NASA are predominantly female, while leaving the rest of it to the men.(Sally)


    Maybe. If there not equal in abilities then maybe they shouldnt have the job.

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  68. T4T, the overlap in ability between genders is so enormous that it renders the idea of sex-specific service ridiculous anyway. Like in basketball, if you did it just by height you'd certainly get a preponderance of men but there's also be a few giant ladies in the mix as well. With space flight, if you did it just by physical ability to handle the extra G's and the lack of gravity, there'd be a preponderance of women but it defies reason to think that such standards would end up excluding all men.

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  69. T4t: I notice that everybody who's so concerned about women and their lower standards never display any concern about older male soldiers in combat. They're sure as hell not passing the eighteen-year-old male physical standard, yet not one person who bellyaches about women ever mentions them.

    And the fact is, gender is no measure of fitness for combat. I've seen grown men break and young girls square their shoulders and tell the CO that they're volunteering to take the place of female soldiers killed that very morning.

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  70. What's up, Ginmar? I assume you're the same Ginmar who left Jezebel more than a year ago... I'm Valkyrie607. SallyStrange is my other 'nym. Well-met on the internet!

    ReplyDelete
  71. Yeah, as a law student, I know societies settle all of their differences with foot races and arm wrestling competitions. I do not take four hour exams or civil procedure and do well, instead I loose in sprints. Might as well drop out...

    PS tools like levers, guns, and vehicles are for manginas.

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  72. They're sure as hell not passing the eighteen-year-old male physical standard, yet not one person who bellyaches about women ever mentions them.(ginmar)

    Actually I bellyache about this all the time. Have a standard and stick to it. Dont dumb down for fat out of shape men or weaker men, and dont dumb it down for weaker women. Unfortunately that sometimes happens in certain industries. That is where the problems arise also.

    Sally

    Im not sure of an industry in the west where ALL women are excluded either. Do you?

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  73. Im not sure of an industry in the west where ALL women are excluded either. Do you?

    Hmm. Let's see, law, medecine, teaching (university level) research, accounting, business, politics... that is, up until 50-100 years ago.

    But that doesn't have anything to do with anything, really, just another case of you demonstrating how grindingly awful you are with reading comprehension skills and logical reasoning. Seriously, it's like nails on a chalkboard.

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  74. Well not since 1991 when the Supreme Court said quit it when barring women of child bearing age if men are not being excluded.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Tit for Tat, you're not nearly as obnoxious as many other commenters on this site, but you do have a tendency to mansplain.

    Might want to get that checked.

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  76. Hmm. Let's see, law, medecine, teaching (university level) research, accounting, business, politics... that is, up until 50-100 years ago.(Sally)

    Yep, pretty much my entire life. So I guess I can honestly say I know equality. ;)
    But far be it for me to stop you from mansplaining the obvious.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Manufacturing was and is a problem since businesses use the excuse of "fetal protection" to bar women from doing certain jobs despite letting men do the same jobs with the same risks to their reproduction parts.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Nothing is more amusing than when a guy whines about mansplaining, because of course we all need to hear his big manly opinion on discrimination and how women just aren't as good as men. That's not discrimination---he's never known inequality. Christ on a pony.

    Sally, yeah, that was me. Boy, that place has gone into the toilet. I saw a couple of women on a story about a pregnant eleven-year-old talking about 'How did nobody know? I'm three months and I'm huge!" "Oh, Congratulations, do you know what it is yet?" PLus more chatter about weight gain during pregnancy---in a topic where the subject was a girl who 12 and gave birth on a school trip, meaning she was just about certainly a rape victim.

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  79. Yep, pretty much my entire life. So I guess I can honestly say I know equality. ;)
    But far be it for me to stop you from mansplaining the obvious.


    So, if we decide to take away your right to vote, your right to own property, and your right to decide with whom to have sex and procreate, and your right to decide which kind of work you do (or rather, narrow it by about 90%, since as we are honest interlocutors, unlike MRA types, we will acknowledge that men's choices are also constrained under the current system) for 2 or 3 millennia, you'll call it even about a century after we've stopped writing your oppression into law?

    Cool. *takes mental notes*

    @ ginmar -excellent. Well, when you left I knew that place was lame. But it wasn't til the apocadesign hit until I could go cold turkey. Now I feel better, like less of a dirty crack fiend. I still go back once in a while to smack Kielworth-LA around. But when it comes to socializing I hang around Pharyngula - come check out the open thread there sometime.

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  80. I do get annoyed at action movies that feature an Angelina Jolie type killing people with her bare hands, largely because it reinforces the fact that women have to be pretty ALL THE TIME, and ignores the fact that most women - especially women with the physical strength needed to be that much of a badass - don't weigh 100lbs. It's better than no lady action heroes at all, but it would be nice to see a movie starring a woman who was a bit less supermodel and a bit more Sarah Connor.

    Hit Girl was awesome, though. There was never a doubt in my mind that she could kick my ass.

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  81. Im not sure of an industry in the west where ALL women are excluded either.

    Reformed churches. But that's just my personal bugbear.

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  82. you'll call it even about a century after we've stopped writing your oppression into law?(Sally)


    So here we have it. It is MY fault because I was born MALE. It seems to me that is the same thinking that let's Christian's think were all born of shit because of Adam and Eve. I will go out on a limb here and point out that odd's are you have never been denied the right to vote or denied access to education or prevented from buying property or fucking anyone you desire. Maybe your grandmother, or great grandmother. But YOU personally, highly unlikely if you grew up in the west. As far as being oppressed or abused goes, why dont we share some stories and see if were on equal footing in that regard.

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  83. Which of course means we should completely ignore that history. Despite the fact that the denial of those rights is starting to be bandied about in the current crop of Republican right wing nutters (that are being elected to Congress.) And in the case of health care, it is being actively destroyed.

    So how about you stop claiming that things are honky dory when they are not. And they are getting worse for women, not better.

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  84. Well Elizabeth(good name by the way, my grandmothers and daughters middle name)

    Im Canadian, so maybe our concerns arent quite as bad as yours. I tend to be an optimist and as far as I can see things are really looking pretty good overall for my daughters future. Im pretty aware of history but I just dont quite see her getting sold into slavery anytime soon. In my city stats show women have more managerial jobs, girls are getting better educated and pro choice is still, well, pro choice. Now as far as my stepson and his future, there is a slight difference in the stats for him. Not that we tell him that, he is afterall a very capable young man with lots of promise.

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  85. Im not sure of an industry in the west where ALL women are excluded either.

    Most major religions do not offer ordination to women. So there's that.

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  86. Im Canadian, so maybe our concerns arent quite as bad as yours.

    Canada is certainly saner than the US, but on the other hand, sexist creeps like you live there, so I suppose they still have some progress to make.

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  87. trip


    You are such a nice man. Perfect for showing my daughter what to stay away from. Rude and judgemental.

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  88. Most major religions do not offer ordination to women. So there's that.(Lady vic)


    Lmao. And here I would have thought you would be tickled pink from being left out of the clubs that would have you worship a invisible male deity.

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  89. And if----that's a big IF, assuming you had any to begin with because people are charitable---you had any credibility, there it went. Bravo.

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  90. @T4T:

    My personal beliefs are beside the point - and, for what it's worth, I've chosen a faith that not only allows women to receive ordination, but *requires* female clergy for the performance of several core rites.

    But if a woman wants to be Catholic, Mormon, conservative Jew or Muslim... she can't be that and be a leader in her faith. And those are just the major faiths that come to mind immediately - there are many smaller churches that do not allow women to become clergy or even teachers. Saying that women shouldn't be ordained because I personally don't like organized Judeo-Christian religion is like me saying that I don't want women to vote because they might vote Republican. They might, and many do. What a woman chooses is incidental to her being able to make that choice in the first place.

    Besides, that's not even the point of the discussion. Someone said that there wasn't a single field left in which women were systematically excluded, and I mentioned that women still can't become cardianals, imams and rabbis.

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  91. Someone said that there wasn't a single field left in which women were systematically excluded(Lady Vic)

    Actually I questioned whether or not there was an area in the west. You showed me there is, thanks.


    ginmar

    You werent talking about your charitable nature, were you? ;)

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  92. Also, in the US Military, women are still kept out of combat roles. They're still able to join the military, but until the rules change, they won't be able to become generals.

    And having accepted that *some* sectors of Western life still exclude women, are you able to accept that there is still other, more subtle discrimination going on?

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  93. Funnily enough, when I was in combat, the insurgents did not consult US Army Regs as to whether or not they could shoot at me. Dipshits back home, however, handily avoided the discrepancy by either calling me a liar or declaring that it wasn't really combat. There are a lot of decent people in the military---more decent than in civilian life. When you're chatting with Marines and they get it, nobody else has any excuse.

    And in fact women are being recognized for combat. This demonstrates the necessity of changing things from within.

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  94. Dipshits back home, however, handily avoided the discrepancy by either calling me a liar or declaring that it wasn't really combat.

    That's some serious mansplaining. "Sorry, I have to erase your experience because it doesn't fit my preconceived notions. It doesn't matter that you were there, you're a woman so you wouldn't know about such things."

    Sigh.

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  95. It's more of a case of people don't understand that support roles are not direct combat but often are fired at and are involved in combat situations by the nature of warfare. That and "baddies cannot tell what you are" and "baddies often like shooting at the people wearing the fancy hats with the big red crosses on it".

    I would put it down to the idea that people have that warfare is conducted with solid lines of contact (AKA soldiers and tanks, artillery, support). It's a very pervasive notion in a lot of people.

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  96. And having accepted that *some* sectors of Western life still exclude women, are you able to accept that there is still other, more subtle discrimination going on?(Lady Vic)


    Of course, that is pretty obvious. But it goes both ways. I work in an industry where there is gender bias also, though it goes the other way. It is very subtle, but after 20yrs of dealing with it I am not surprised.

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  97. "But it goes both ways."

    Oh, bullshit. If a woman gets her arm amputated, some whining asshole is going to whine he got a boo boo on his finer, and no woman would put a bandaid on it for him. And that's even if he has anything wrong wiht him at all.

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  98. ginmar

    You really are an angry person. You should get a massage, it may help you relax.

    ReplyDelete
  99. And we have a tone argument. YOu know, the anti-feminist bingo card, Tat, is not a how to.

    So you're a troll.

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  100. @T4T

    Even in areas where women outnumber men, the men are often held in higher regard.

    For example, I play in a handbell choir. The vast majority of handbell players are women, but if you go to a Handbell Festival, most of the people you see directing large groups or teaching classes are men. You don't see the reverse happening at gaming conventions, where both the majority of attendees and the majority of people in charge/holding panels are men.

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  101. It's more of a case of people don't understand that support roles are not direct combat but often are fired at and are involved in combat situations by the nature of warfare.

    Partially. But our culture has a lot of narratives about men in support roles who suddenly step up and do something heroic - one example being Doris Miller, a cook on the USS West Virginia who manned an AA gun during the Pearl Harbor attack. AKA Cuba Gooding, Jr. from the Michael Bay movie...

    Anyway, people seem less inclined to admire such stories when they're about women.

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  102. People see inclined to run away from stories about women warriers, really. There's a truly nasty vein in conservative circles, disparaging Jessica Lynch and either heavily suggesting that all women in uniform are like her, or outright saying it. Yet they don't do this to the men who got injured and captured. They were a poorly-trained maintenance company who hadn't had any special training in combat arms since basic, they took a wrong turn and came under withering fire, and a lot of these assholes go after Lynch, who's never been anything but blunt about how she's not a hero or stuff like that. Poeple like Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester---they're a footnote. So are all the soldiers, sailors, Marines and airman who serve and do so professionally and valiantly. There are few if any commercials that depict them coming home.

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  103. I gotta say there's some hilarious posts on this blog. Here's what I learned from this discussion so far:

    - women are better than men at most physical, athletic tasks, and the only reason they don't compete against men is because the men don't want to, because they would feel inferior
    - butt-kicking action girls are totally fine because it's just a movie and it's not supposed to be realistic anyway, oh but a woman could totally kick guys' asses if she wanted to
    - ginmar is a very angry person with psychological issues
    - this whole blog seems to be dedicated to reading MRA boards, taking random quotes, and smugly criticizing them.
    In other words, par for the course for the feminist blogosphere, I'd say. :)

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  104. Imagine, a woman getting angry at sexist assholes like you, who can't read, don't listen, and hate women? Why, that's crazy talk! It's like a black person getting angry at racist language. How dare they?

    Listen up, ladies, some loser wants us to use even smaller words, which he won't listen to anyway and afterward will just cling to his sexism anyway, because if women don't like him it's their fault, not his.

    So refreshing. Haven't heard this from MRAs at all.

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  105. Are you for real? You should be in an action movie yourself, you are just adorable. Your superpower would be going on angry rants and snapping at people. You got it one day while attending an Alanis Morrisette concert and being bitten by a radioactive feminist. Or maybe it was a raccoon. We don't know, it's the mystery of the movie!

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  106. Oh, Christ, do MRAs ever develop new tactis? Anger, rabid, labeling of some figure as being nuts, crazy, rabid----that figures a lot in their litlte fantasies---and they can't understand why women don't take them seriously.

    Ion's latest girlfriend must have sprung a leak. /As he's proven he's a typical lying MRA, that's it for me.

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  107. Weird, every time I had enough of a feminist's nonsense and announced I was leaving, they'd triumphantly call it a 'flounce' and take it as a sign of victory. Maybe I should do the same? Nah. But don't go, I have the first part of the script for you!

    SCENE 1 - Outside a Sleazy Bar, Nighttime
    ginmar: What do you mean I'm getting kicked out! This is a blatant example of the patriarchy keeping a woman down! I swear you'll pay for this!!!
    Bartender: Sorry lady, no more drinks until you pay your tab. You want me to call you a cab or what?
    ginmar: OOOH, sure, I'm just a helpless woman who can't call her own transportation! Good thing there's a strong man here to take care of me! Isn't that right? You make me sick! *vomits on sidewalk*
    Bartender: What? Look, I just meant you're in no condition to drive and-
    ginmar: Spare me your -BLEARGH- mansplaining! -ARGLBL- You sexist *cough* *cough* small-dicked *hack* bingo card *splutter* MRAs *cough* loser!
    Bartender: Whatever, lady. You're on your own. *walks back inside*
    ginmar: That's right, you're just another loser who can't handle a strong woman like me! Ughh... now where did I park... *smacks into streetlamp* Aha! A phallic symbol placed here by the patriarchy to oppress women! I'll get you too, don't you worry *stumbles away, muttering*

    more tomorrow if I don't get banned :)

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  108. Ion, coming into a feminist space, acting like an obnoxious twit, and then telling the people who don't tolerate your bullshit to chill out is nothing new. At least bring something new to the table: Manboobz already has twenty trolls just like you.

    And you won't get banned. David doesn't really moderate the comments here. Sometimes I wish he did - Discount has a penchant for rendering comment threads not worth reading. But it's his blog and his choice.

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  109. DAvid, I think that's pretty much beyond the pale. Can you ban this motherfucker?

    Ion's ability to create such bullshit makes you realize how rotten he is at listening to women. I bet he's really shitty at hearing and abiding by the word 'no'. He certainly creates shit out of whole cloth and lies, and that makes me wonder just what he does to women in real life.

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  110. DAvid, you and the other guys here might find this shit amusing but keep in mind, us women have to deal with shit crap every day. By letting these assholes run roughshod over the women, you're crossing a line from observing to enabling. It may be entertaining to you.....but you don't get it every day.

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  111. "acting like an obnoxious twit, and then telling the people who don't tolerate your bullshit to chill out"

    ...huh? Where did I say that? I made a couple of comments, ginmar frothed herself up into a frenzy over them, responded with a bunch of insults that were pretty random and didn't even seem addressed to me, and here we are.

    But seriously, whoever's moderating should consider this: ginmar and a few others have been using abusive language, sarcasm and unprovoked insults and attacks throughout the entire comments section. Now that someone else posted something she doesn't like, she is screaming for them to be banned - and even using the 'save us poor women from this abuser' line, which is dishonest if hilarious, because 1) what am I really doing? and 2) she and her cronies had no problem dealing out the abuse earlier. Banning me at this point would indeed be the way things work on most feminist groupthink blogs, but I'm hoping this one is different.

    I'll stop now because I don't do thread derails. Just remember... if Dave strikes me down, I will become stronger than you could possibly imagine! I'll be creating shit out of whole cloth and lies! ROFL

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  112. "..huh? Where did I say that? ....a couple of comments frothed herself up..... a frenzy....insults that were pretty random ....abusive language, sarcasm....unprovoked insults and attacks....screaming...dishonest....hilarious...cronies.....abuse groupthink....."

    So to Assnugget here, he has nothing to do with what someone 'does to herself.' Here's him, not doing anything to anybody:

    .....for real?...adorable. Your superpower....angry rants.....snapping....attending an Alanis Morrisette.....being bitten by a radioactive feminist.... raccoon......."

    This is what an MRA thinks is okay and fair----as long as it's not directed at him.

    He appears to have some filter in what passes for a brain, translating everything into standard MRA tropes.

    He comes into a feminist space, throw around insults and lies, then whines that people are being meeeeeeeeeeean to him.

    He refuses to acknowledge that his behavior has been shitty---but he thinks it's acceptable for him to criticize responses to it.

    This is almost as good----and as blatantly obvious---as when Cold declared that child support was worse than rape.

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  113. So here we have it. It is MY fault because I was born MALE.

    Off the rails, right away. Listen you fucking halfwit, did I say anything about FAULT? No, 'calling it even' bit referred to your apparent contention that since LEGAL oppression is a thing of the past, mostly, at least in the developed world, that there's no more inequality. Therefore equality. Therefore things are "even." Egad you are stupid.

    It seems to me that is the same thinking that let's Christian's think were all born of shit because of Adam and Eve.

    It seems that way to you because you don't have two brain cells to rub together.

    I will go out on a limb here and point out that odd's are you have never been denied the right to vote or denied access to education or prevented from buying property or fucking anyone you desire. Maybe your grandmother, or great grandmother. But YOU personally, highly unlikely if you grew up in the west. As far as being oppressed or abused goes, why dont we share some stories and see if were on equal footing in that regard.

    Golly, you sure showed me. Wait, what? Yeah, just another example of T4T's pathetic comprehension skills. What were we talking about again? The distinction between LEGAL discrimination that is WRITTEN INTO LAW, and cultural discrimination which is the result of centuries of accumulated cultural attitudes, stereotypes, and beliefs about gender.

    You are saying that since there's no legal discrimination, there's equality. That's an obviously stupid position to take. I mean, if it were true, how can you possibly explain the Civil Rights Movement?


    Ion, if you can't take it then don't dish it out. Nobody's going to strike you down... unless you count your own assholishness as a "somebody."

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  114. Let me just highlight this little piece of idiocy from T4T:

    As far as being oppressed or abused goes, why dont we share some stories and see if were on equal footing in that regard.

    He really WANTS to play the Oppression Olympics. He probably even thinks he'll win! He thinks its POSSIBLE to win the Oppression Olympics. Sorry idiot loser, nobody wins and everyone loses when people get into a pissing match about who has it worse. And that's what makes the MRA movement so completely utterly deluded: it amounts to a massive attempt to win the Oppression Olympics.

    "Don't compare! All suffering is intolerable." --Elie Wiesel

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  115. The MRAs keep coming like a moth to a light.

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  116. Only way they get attention from women----it's not like their shitty perception skills would make women like them. They really think that insulting women is okay, and that as a result they deserve.....something. "You rabid frothing bitch!"

    "Oh, my God, I see the light! How wrong I was to value independence, autonomy, and self respect!"

    Do they think they're offering incentive? It's like watching the KKK complain about how mean black people are to them.

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  117. @ Ginmar

    Yeah, that response cracks me up. I see some guys do it too when they try to hit on someone and she rejects them.

    "Hey baby, how about it?"

    "No thanks, not interested."

    "You bitch!"

    "Well gosh, I wasn't interested before, but now that you've insulted me, I just might change my mind!"

    I think they really think that this is how people work. Probably got a lot of negative reinforcement as children.

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  118. If they would calm down and speak rationally, they might have greater success. To wit:

    MAN: Yo babe, what do you say to some sexual intercourse?

    WOMAN: No thank you.

    MAN: You appear to have forgotten that, as a man, my sexual desires take precedence over yours. Frankly, you don't really have a right to reject me. In fact if I were less rational I might get angry and call you a bitch or something.

    WOMAN: That's a very good point. I apologize for forgetting my place. Let us now engage in sexual intercourse.

    Works every time.

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  119. I just hand the guy a jar of warm oiled rags and go about my day.

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  120. @triplanetary

    WOMAN: That, my good sir, is illogical. To instruct you further on the matter, I have a can of mace I call 'Mr. Spock.'

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  121. DAvid, you and the other guys here might find this shit amusing but keep in mind, us women have to deal with shit crap every day. By letting these assholes run roughshod over the women, you're crossing a line from observing to enabling. It may be entertaining to you.....but you don't get it every day.(ginmar)

    Well it doesnt get any clearer than this........

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  122. "- women are better than men at most physical, athletic tasks, and the only reason they don't compete against men is because the men don't want to, because they would feel inferior"

    Most female atheletes would kick my arse. The 100 m sprint in women is 10.49 without wind. That's a full 5 seconds plus faster than what I can run. Even if I train I am not going to beat that. Most men aren't.


    "- butt-kicking action girls are totally fine because it's just a movie and it's not supposed to be realistic anyway, oh but a woman could totally kick guys' asses if she wanted to"

    Quite a few do. And again sporting prowess and ass kicking prowess is hardly an indicator of our success as a human being. Infact they are now the opposite of our success as a human being.

    "- ginmar is a very angry person with psychological issues"

    Don't say that! She will hunt you down and make hats out of you. HATS!

    "- this whole blog seems to be dedicated to reading MRA boards, taking random quotes, and smugly criticizing them."

    Yes. Your point being? There is a lot of silly things said by them that need to be called out.

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  123. Even in areas where women outnumber men, the men are often held in higher regard.(Amnesia)


    I have been a Registered Massage Therapist for 18yrs, in my industry women outnumber men, guess what, they are USUALLY held in higher regard.

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  124. @Tit for Tat

    It never seems to affect us this perceived feminist plot. And in any case why would feminist/azis want our inferior male support? If they were as nutso as you claim then they would prefer it if we were not part of any movement of theirs.

    Most feminists like men. It's the fact that nearly 95% of the world is straight and by extension 95% of women you classify as feminists are probably in favour of men. Just they are in favour of "genuinely nice men" rather than "nice guys". (Hint, a genuinely nice man is not using his actions to get into bed.)

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  125. @ Avicenna

    If you were paying attention at all to what I write you would clearly see that I dont use any of the language that you insinuate. In fact, for the most part I rarely if ever even use a slur or insult or any other defamatory language. I actually like most women(minus a few). I definately love and respect my wife, mother, daugther and the other women that have come before them. I just dont agree with certain aspects from the so called feminists(which include men) that I read on this site.

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  126. I recommend that ginmar and SallyStrange be banned from this thread. They have been nothing but disruptive, rude and abusive from the beginning. One is a few fries short of a Happy Meal, and the other seems to think I was coming onto her or something. I recommend tranquilization and relocation to a radical feminist blog, where they may roam around with others of their kind, railing against the patriarchy and agreeing with each other. Electronic collars are recommended to keep track of their migration patterns.

    Avicenna: Hell, I'm all for mixed sports teams. If anything it'll increase visibility for female athletes (because let's face it, how many people watch women's sports compared to men's?) Should also be particularly interesting for events like boxing and the like. Bring it on!

    "And again sporting prowess and ass kicking prowess is hardly an indicator of our success as a human being. Infact they are now the opposite of our success as a human being. "

    Well now, it sounds like you're arguing two different things. First you imply women are physically equal - or even superior?, then you say "but it doesn't really matter anyway, it's not an indicator of success", as if you're not sure about it.

    Why would it be "the opposite of success" though? You wouldn't consider a professional athlete, or a martial arts master, successful? Even with all the work, discipline and effort it took to get there? I disagree, sir.

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  127. So, if we decide to take away your right to vote, your right to own property, and your right to decide with whom to have sex and procreate, and your right to decide which kind of work you do (or rather, narrow it by about 90%, since as we are honest interlocutors, unlike MRA types, we will acknowledge that men's choices are also constrained under the current system) for 2 or 3 millennia, you'll call it even about a century after we've stopped writing your oppression into law?(Sally)

    Sorry idiot loser, nobody wins and everyone loses when people get into a pissing match about who has it worse(Sally)


    Now, what were you saying about a pissing match?

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  128. "Don't say that! She will hunt you down and make hats out of you. HATS!"

    Hats? I love hats!
    Can I place an order?

    ReplyDelete
  129. I recommend that ginmar and SallyStrange be banned from this thread. They have been nothing but disruptive, rude and abusive from the beginning. One is a few fries short of a Happy Meal, and the other seems to think I was coming onto her or something. I recommend tranquilization and relocation to a radical feminist blog, where they may roam around with others of their kind, railing against the patriarchy and agreeing with each other.

    You don't seem to understand something here: ginmar and SallyStrange are not the odd ones out here. You are. This is a "radical feminist blog," to the extent that "radical" means "left of Sarah Palin."

    You came here knowing full well that you'd be starting an argument. That makes you the disruptive one. There's nothing inherently wrong with starting an argument, but now you're getting pissy that we don't think you're some voice of reason. Get over it.

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  130. I'm sure you've just summed up his life, too. He never grew out of the stage where everybody thinks it's cute for boys to be boys----you know, harassing girls and calling it good fun. But he hates it when the girls dare to suggest that they have a right to an opinion about what an asshole he is.

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  131. The only thing you have a right to is heavy medication. I never called you a "rabid frothing bitch" despite your claims (so far the only ones cursing have been you and your friends), but damn, if the shoe fits... and in your case, that sucker fits like it was made to order.

    I love how you all assume I'm "getting pissy" (good god, if that isn't the supermassive black hole calling the kettle black) and "whining that people are being mean?" huh? seriously, where? This is why this is so much fun. I don't even know who or what your insults are directed at. Arguing with you is like tapping a guy on the shoulder, then watching him wildly punch and kick at the air in front of him for five minutes, yelling "take that! and that!" I mean seriously, if you people represent feminism, I should go to the MRA forum and tell them they've got nothing to worry about.

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  132. "He never grew out of the stage where everybody thinks it's cute for boys to be boys----you know, harassing girls and calling it good fun."

    But that means I secretly like you :)

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  133. Ion protests and protests and protests and yet others can see for themselves that his own words don't make him into the doe-eyed innocent. He really seems to think that his opinion of himself should be the one that holds sway over other people.

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  134. Hey Dickwad - if you don't like the heat then get out of the kitchen. Your views are highly objectionable to feminists. This is a blog frequented by feminists. What did you think, you were going to come in and make a grand announcement and then we were all going to go, "OMFG he is so right! I see the light now!" and suck your cock?

    Yeah, you probably did think that, because you're a fuckwitted woman-hating douchenozzle.

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  135. "Your views are highly objectionable to feminists. This is a blog frequented by feminists."

    If I see any, I'll need to have a talk with them. Seems there's a bunch of idiots running around this place masquerading as feminists and ruining their image.

    "What did you think, you were going to come in and make a grand announcement and then we were all going to go, "OMFG he is so right! I see the light now!" and suck your cock?"

    Yes, this is exactly what I thought. You've exposed my hidden agenda. Bravo, Mr. Bond. Shame you won't live long enough to stop me!

    "Yeah, you probably did think that, because you're a fuckwitted woman-hating douchenozzle."

    What is it with you and those words? They could be copy-pasted from every feminist blog, like, ever. You people need to update your insult repertoire. Sure, it would take some talent and creativity, but... oh, nevermind.

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  136. Seems there's a bunch of idiots running around this place masquerading as feminists and ruining their image.

    What is it with you and those words? They could be copy-pasted from every feminist blog, like, ever.


    So are we making other feminists look bad, or are we representative of feminists? Make up your mind.

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  137. Could we all cool it with the personal insults here?

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  138. DAvid, either you do something about these trolls or you're asking women to accept this abusive shit from the MRAs. And if you put that mode of moderating in motion, you're telling women they have to tolerate the abusive shit that guys like Ion and the others thing is okay. Where were you when he was spinning his detailed bar fantasies?

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  139. ginmar, I was away from my computer for many hours. I cannot monitor the comments in this blog 24/7. Which at times can lead to less than ideal results, as was the case with Discount.

    But the only alternative Blogger allows is for me to approve all comments before they go up, and that would effectively shut down discussion here for ten hours a day at least. I'm not willing to do that.

    Given the subject matter of this blog, there is really no way it can be a "safe space," and so I do not attempt to make the comments a "safe space" either. That's why I have a "trigger warning" in the blog description at the top left in the sidebar.

    Discount went well over the line and I banned him as soon as I saw what he had posted. I have only banned a tiny handful of people here.

    As for Ion, yes, he's said some obnoxious shit here (including the bar thing above). But others (well, mostly Sally) have said some obnoxious shit back to him. My judgement call is that none of this has reached ban-worthy status, at least not yet.

    But at the same time I'm not pleased with this turn in the discussion. That's why I asked everyone to cool it a bit with the insults. I will delete comments if that sort of shit continues.

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  140. Did I say safe space, David? No. I'm talking about you hosting a space for misogynists and lumping them in with women who are reacting to misogyny with some sort of toss off remark about how people are behaving.

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  141. In other words, it's flat out bullshit to compare bigots with the people who are the victims of their bigotry. That's what you just did.

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  142. Just to clarify, when I said that "none of this has reached ban-worthy status, at least not yet," I was mostly referring to deleting individual comments, not banning people; no one here is close to being banned, unless they suddenly pull a Discount.

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  143. ginmar, yes, in the interest of encouraging discussion I do allow misogynists to post here, and allow them to say more or less what they want, unless they start resorting to what I've called "gratuitously nasty personal attacks." I hold everyone here to the same standard of behavior in the comments here, though so far only misogynists have gone over the line to the point at which I've banned them.

    Enforcing the same set of rules for misogynists and feminists alike doesn't mean that I see them as equivalent. Obviously I don't, hence this blog.

    I'm for a generally open discussion on ideological grounds, even if that means that sometimes some people say obnoxious and bigoted shit. On this blog, the obnoxious stuff (insults, etc) comes from both sides; the bigoted shit almost exclusively from the MRA side.

    That, I think, is pretty revealing, and honestly, when MRAs and MGTOWers act like assholes and/or spout bigoted shit in the comments here it helps to reinforce and provide evidence for the points I make in my posts, and with the blog overall. I give them the opportunity to hoist themselves by their own petard, and many of them take advantage of that opportunity.

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  144. Enforcing the same set of rules for misogynists and feminists alike doesn't mean that I see them as equivalent. Obviously I don't, hence this blog.(David)

    lol, just the fact that you need to make this statement is indeed pretty interesting. Dont worry Dave, I dont see you as a misogynist. Though, if you dont watch it, you might be a mansplainer. :)

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  145. When you treat bigots and their victims the same way, that's inherently wrong.

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  146. I think that the predictable, heavy-handed rejection of action heroines by all those sexist types has a lot to do with their refusal to see women as individuals, instead lumping them all together into a collective.

    The western consciousness associates individualism with phallic symbolism. As a consequence, individualistic female characters in fiction are viewed with contempt by those who would prefer so-called "phallic" power to be reserved for generic male action heroes.

    I'm a writer, so I've come to notice some rather disturbing trends in fiction and in audience reactions to said works. There seems to be a huge double standard in play here.

    For example, has anyone ever noticed how expendable the average femme fatale seems to be? Ever watched a Bond film?

    Of course you have. How about those male villains? How come they get all the recurring appearances, while the women are nothing more than dime-a-dozen obstacles; mere insignificant roadblocks for 007 to surpass?

    Also, there seems to be an alarming lack of audience sympathy for villainous females. I mean, who are you more willing to sympathize with? Rosa Klebb and Cruella de Vil, or Draco Malfoy and Anton Chigurh? I mean, they're all reasonably nasty characters in their own right, but the latter two are often lauded as cool and charistmatic, while the former two are treated with near-total contempt. I could name any pair of male or female villains and the same patterns would emerge roughly 80% of the time.

    I'm in the process of working on a bit of a genre-buster novel myself that features a number of female protagonists who are powerful and ambitious in their own right. Who said that girls always have to play the part of the gentle down-to-earth nature-lover? That's just patronizing bullcrap.

    Girls can use guns and kick ass too. Ever hear of Lyudmila Pavlichenko or Nancy Wake? The former was a WWII Soviet sniper with a body count greater than Rambo, and the latter was an SOE spy who did badass stuff like killing Nazis with her bare hands and bike-riding hundreds of miles across German-occupied France to deliver updated radio codes.

    I think a lot of these MRA fellows are ignoring the simple fact that REAL female badasses have existed throughout history. It's hilarious watching them bitch and moan about fictional ones.

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  147. I think at least part of the problem is that there's a generation of younger male writers, who in their zeal to create "strong" women characters, end up making them completely over-the-top, unrealistic, over-sexualized Mary Sues. See Aeon Flux (the movie, not the animated series), Ultraviolet, Sucker Punch, Resident Evil (movies), Tomb Raider and the like. I don't think anyone can really identify with those characters, men or women, because there's nothing to identify with. They're just "butt-kicking action babe #342 who's got superhuman fighting skills for no adequately explained reason". I haven't seen "Hanna" but if there's a good reason for the character being good at fighting (for example being a skilled marksman, not throwing grown men twice her size around like toys or something), and she's actually well-developed as a character, I see no reason to complain.

    I do agree that there's a lack of sympathetic or memorable female villains. I can't think of one, actually.

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  148. I dislike the term Mary Sue because it has effectively become meaningless. Originally, it referred to self-insert characters in fan fiction created as the perfect, incorruptible love interests for canonical characters; ones that the fanfic's author no doubt had a crush on.

    Since then, it has become a universally derogatory catch-all for "unrealistic characters", or "characters I don't like/cannot sympathize with/cannot connect with", or "characters who monopolize the plot", or "characters who alter the plot at will".

    That's just bad writing. Singling out one character as a Mary Sue is pointless. It's like hunting for a dust bunny on a rug that's been through a house fire, or complaining about a bad spark plug in an engine that's tossed a rod. If such a character exists in a work, then the problem isn't with that character. It's with the plot itself.

    A lot of authors fail to challenge their characters appropriately, and this is especially the case when the character in question is female. Your typical action heroine gets away with things that most male action heroes don't, like going through a massive fight or a gun battle without taking a single hit of any kind and downing more than their fair share of baddies all the same.

    This is probably because your average audience doesn't have the stomach for seeing a woman in a work of fiction gruesomely injured, whether the medium in question is a book, movie, comic or a video game or anything else. Personally, I think that having strong women in a work of fiction who can take a few licks and keep on ticking makes them more human and easier to relate with. There's no dignity in being magically shielded from all harm or loss or mental trauma as the plot demands, don't you agree?

    Sadly, the double standard is more pervasive than you'd think. In a work of cinema, a man with blood running down his face after a fight is a proud warrior and a testament to masculine fortitude. A woman with blood running down her face after a fight is victim and a survivor. Regardless of their actions on-screen and whether or not the woman initiated acts of aggression or took a greater share in the violence, these skewed audience perceptions remain.

    This has some strange side effects. For example, let’s say I were to write a book with a female villain that is not only a mass murderer, a war criminal and a sadist without compare, but she’s also the protagonist of the work. Would that make me a misogynist trying to paint a negative picture of women? Of course not. The character is an individual and part of a fictional plot, not a member of a collective. She does not speak for all women, just as a male character in the same situation would not speak for all men. As the author, I am supposed to remain completely impartial; neither supporting the cause of a given character nor rallying against it.

    Sometimes, it seems like you just can’t win with action heroines, though. If you make them over-the-top and manly/sadistic, it pisses off the masculists who see them as monopolizing dominant male traits that belong to them and them alone, and it pisses off feminists who see them as a male in disguise attempting to smear their good name. If you make them feminine and endearing, it pisses off masculists who see them as impostors and too incompetent to hold their own in a fight, and it pisses off feminists who want them to be just a little bit stronger.

    It’s like people just can’t make up their minds. You know what I say to that? To hell with it all. I like a good challenge, and writing convincing action heroines is one of the biggest of all.

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  149. Society doesn't want to see women hurt? Have you been living under a rock? TV shows glory in showing scantily-clad victims getting tortured and raped and killed. Novels are worse. Hell, James Ellroy has made a career out of fetishizing and disparaging his mother, who he sneers at in print. Women getting murdered is a substantial genre. Without it, any number of TV channels would grow out of business.

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  150. I said "average audience", not society at large. By average audience, I meant naive, average folks who would walk out of a theatrical showing of a Saw sequel with their crying kids in tow.

    In most of those TV shows, the murders are off-screen or otherwise non-graphic. If you're willing to include horror films, avant-garde movies or exploitation flicks that cater to people's sick fetishes, heck, anything's possible.

    Also, we're talking about two completely different things. I was talking about female action heroines who name themselves among the main roster of protagonists. You mentioned victims that may not even be part of the supporting cast. The writers always treat these two archetypes differently from each other.

    While some side characters may indeed suffer horrid deaths at the hands of some villain or another, the female protagonists-of-action - if present at all - are often given a heavy-handed, patronizing treatment that sees them effortlessly doing things that a male hero would really have to put themselves out for.

    Again, this is the double standard at work. Can you imagine Jet Li's character in Unleashed as a female character? How about John McClane from Die Hard? Have you ever seen a typical action heroine get beaten up that badly and manage to pull out ahead in a fight?

    While female victims in fiction are common, and action heroines are still in the process of gaining ground, rare indeed is the action heroine who actually gets socked in the face a few times, or hit by a car, or reduced to a blood-streaked pulp and - get this - still manages to claim victory in the end. It gets especially strange when they have superpowers like regeneration or nigh-invulnerability and the author still coddles them just the same.

    Neil Marshall is one of the only directors I can think of in recent memory whose works would count as an exception to this rule. Rhona Mitra's character in Doomsday got smacked around a bit and still managed to kick some ass. Now that's cool.

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  151. This is why I like those old Cynthia Rothrock beat-em-up movies. First, she's an actual martial artist, so no fakery there, and second, although she eventually dealt with the bad guys, she also got her butt kicked from time to time. In other words she wasn't some invincible super-hero, she was human, and I think it made her more sympathetic and a better character.

    It's funny that in action movies the creators wouldn't want to see women get hurt, whereas in a genre like horror, they seem to have no qualms about it, even taking it to excess in some cases. Different audience or something.

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  152. So let me get this straight. YOu don't find the cheap use of 'anonymous' unimportant female victims being bashed, ogled, tortured, and murdered----and oh, sometimes subtly slut bashed by the other characters, or found in such compromising positions that it's implied----to be as important as the fact that you just can't beat up a dame on screen?

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  153. It's not that they aren't important, it's that they're beyond the scope of the discussion. We're talking specifically about female action heroes. As in not-victims. Mostly, anyway.

    I'm not talking about victims in slasher movies. What I'm talking about is the double standard that perpetuates tropes such as this or this.

    What I'm talking about is the kind of writing and choreographic sense that leads to your average action heroine in looking less like Jason Bourne and more like Silk Spectre during a fight.

    I don't want to see a neverending stream of unopposed parries and high kicks from action girls. I want to see them take nearly as much damage as they dish out. I want to see them using parts of the scenery as weapons.

    There's honestly nothing empowering about handing victories to a female action hero on a silver platter. If you ask me, it's better to make it look as though they've actually earned those victories.

    Oh, and Ion, I'm with you there on the Cynthia Rothrock thing. It's kinda silly that they have anorexics like Jolie doing those exact same kinds of roles (don't get me wrong; she looked fine in the Tomb Raider movies, but she's lost too much weight since then). Why can't they cast ACTUAL badasses like Lucia Rijker in more movies?

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  154. Have you ever seen a typical action heroine get beaten up that badly and manage to pull out ahead in a fight?

    All the female "action heroines" (and villains) get beat up pretty badly in the Kill Bill movies.

    Also, I'm not quite sure why you've declared horror films (which frequently feature female victims-turned-heroines getting pretty badly harmed) somehow off limits here. the line between horror and action is often hard to draw, and in any case lots and lots of people watch horror films.

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  155. Yeah, I was about to mention Kill Bill, but it's been a while since I've seen it, so I don't really remember exactly how a lot of the action sequences went.

    Okay, so we've got Quentin Tarantino, Neil Marshall, and who else? I think I can name the number of directors that employ that sort of action on one hand.

    By the way, I never said that horror films were off-limits, Dave (LOL, my name's David too. Yay for all the Davids out there!). Rather, I was merely trying to keep the discussion focused on action heroines. That is, female characters that are placed into roles similar to your average hero played by the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger or Bruce Willis.

    You're also spot on about the blending between action and horror. Aliens and Predator are two classic examples.

    Heck, the second Alien movie itself is a perfect example of the double standard in action. IIRC, only the marine dudes actually get seriously injured or killed on-screen. The dropship pilot's death was off-screen, and Newt and Ripley barely get a scratch on them. It's almost like a rule that you don't show it, like how classic sculpture omits detailed female genitalia. Weird, huh?

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  156. Yeah.....Marines? Duh? Any stab at portraying Marins in battle would include a fair amount of injuries.

    Newt and Ripley were in the rear. Newt's character was depicted as eight. Far from being th3e favoritism shown to women that you imply, this is simply an attempt at realism. You don't want an eight-year-old kid and a civilian mucking up your battle.

    "Aliens" wasn't marketed as horror, but in horror, the torture and rape-like actions inflicted on women form the basic plot for the genre.

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  157. Oh, and Vasquez too. She and Gorman go out by committing suicide with a hand grenade. We don't even really see anything at all.

    It seems that whenever the ladies are introduced into an action scene, things usually go a little strange. Very often, an action girl not only avoids virtually all damage in a fight, but avoids dealing lethal damage to her opponents as well, as if she's a pacifist by default. When she hits, it's bloodless. Usually a high kick or karate chop to some weak point that renders the opponent instantly unconscious. When she gets hit, it's often just as bloodless.

    Everything else aside, can you think of any movie in recent memory where a female that fits the Action Girl archetype gets teeth knocked out, bruises, broken bones, scars, loses an eye, et cetera, while doing the same sort of damage to her opponents and staying alive to the end? In such a case, the violence is used to emphasize the masculinity of the character and her triumph in the face of adversity.

    Note that this sort of character stands in total contrast to a female victim in a horror movie who gets her head lopped off with a chainsaw. In that case, the violence is used to emphasize her femininity and vulnerability, and her death ultimately spares her any suffering or any further character development at all.

    One of the few exceptions to this rule that I can think of is in Japanese animation, movies and comics - or Asian films in general. Just look at Battle Angel Alita, Cynthia the Mission, Claymore, Black Lagoon or Battle Royale. Little wonder that a few of the Spearhead's members took part in a spot of anime-bashing. Surprisingly - or perhaps not-so-surprisingly, given the proclivities of a depressingly large number of anime fans - a lot of the comments are defensive in tone. But, to be honest, I think they didn't cover the issue properly.

    That guy's main complaint was against this trope, which is a slapstick device and has next to nothing to do with female empowerment or action girls in particular. If anything, it's used in a sexist manner to emphasize the "weirdness" or "otherness" of femininity.

    I wonder how half of those folks commenting on that article would've felt if they'd stumbled across Black Lagoon and seen that part where Revy and Roberta duke it out until they can't even stand, and the guys on the sidelines don't interfere because they're rightly fearful of getting injured.

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