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Gender Bias And You


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#1 Winter's Knight

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 03:21 PM

So, I personally do not know any male fans* of the book IRL, so imagine my surprise when I joined the forum last year and found soooo many dudes on the dance floor.
 
The author himself has stated the book has more female fans (source: google on the inter webs, make sure your computer is on when you search it, if in doubt, find nearest male** for help)
 
Clearly the series is written for women, to give just a few examples, the endless descriptions of fabulous clothes, fabrics, hair and beard colours are clearly written for women, 64% of all philosophers agree men are colorblind,*** and cannot distinguish a reddish from a 'rust' hue, either in beard, or head hair. 
Then there's the nonstop vagina monologues that are Daenerys' POVs, in a decent book, we'd just agree she's a slut and move on. 
 Or what about he struggle of a *mother* in distress, i.e. Catelyn's POVs  (does anyone even remember the mentioning of a mother in a decent series, like the Godfather, what is this, an Ingmar Bergman film.)
There are way too many Sansa chapters describing various varieties of silk, and we all know men dress in burlap held together by goat droppings. Even the descriptions of men and their companions center around various feelings of tenderness, loyalty, betrayal, revenge and other confusing words. We all know that male binary emotional spectrum ranges and is composed of fractional components of only 2 emotions, rage and hunger.****
 
So, with all these feminine components, I can't help but wonder: Men, WHAT exactly do you like about ASOIAF?What unique male perspective can you possibly provide to this clearly feminine text?
 
In all seriousness, I'd like to know how you think your gender and the experiences that come with it, affect your reading of the books.
 
Like, because I am so tired of the hate female characters get in other fandoms (hello Skyler!) and the relative rarity of complex female characters in general, I came to ASoIaF predisposed to like all the ladies. This combined with my acknowledgement of my own internalised sexism and the fact that they're usually playing on a harder setting means I tend to be more forgiving of female characters.*****
 
*I don't know any female fans either irl but that isn't nearly as inflamatory.
**Unless you know zombie Ada Lovelace, in which case 1. I hate you and 2.get me her autograph.
*** 78% of statistics are made up on the spot. We accept no responsibility for their veracity or lack thereof.
**** You can fractions in a binary range right? Idk, I don't get maths, being a lady and all.
***** Co-written with bbstark

Edited by Winter's Knight, 15 November 2013 - 03:22 PM.


#2 Kienn

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 03:28 PM

It is strange, I don't know any fans IRL either, why does anyone at all like these books anyways...

 

Personally I don't see how my gender has anything to do with my own reasons for liking them, maybe something subconsciously though.



#3 DaarioKnowsBest

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 03:32 PM

Does anybody have a ton of friends really into ASOIAF? I dressed as Daario for Halloween and not one single person had a clue who Daario was even after I told them, even fans of the HBO show didn't know who Daario is.

#4 Free Northman

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 03:32 PM

Personally I felt you guys went way over the top in flaming that poor newbie on the thread that inspired this one.

Because as much as many of you don't like it, men and women obviously have different ways of looking at the world and appreciate different things in a story.

There will of course be crossover perspectives and certain parts of the male spectrum that overlap certain parts of the female spectrum, but the core parts of different demographic groups are targeted and reached in different ways, through different emotional avenues.

The entire science/art of marketing revolves around this simple truth, and the appeal of a story, whether it be in the fantasy genre or not, will follow the same trend.

No use turning a blind eye to it just to try and be progressive.

#5 OberynBlackfyre

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 03:33 PM

I don't really think this book can be distinguished as feminine OR masculine. 

 

 

As a male reader, there is obviously a variety of things that are going to perk the interest in this type of books.  You get plenty of the "honor, action, and blood" whilst also having vivid and sensual, and at times vulgar descriptions of sex and violence. 


I can honestly say (as I made a thread on it) that I part of the reason I love the books is BECAUSE of the intricate and strong woman characters.  I would love to have a girl like Lyanna, or Arya (when she gets older of course).  And then you have the "legendary women" like the White Fawn, Visenya and Dana the Defiant, etc. 

 

Also beauties that can become a muse, such as Daenerys, or Sansa, even Cersei. 

 

And this has nothing to do with being male, but I love the fact that GRRM took a very excellent HUMAN approach to this fantasy, era based story.  I think that at times, people forget that they have to put themselves in that time period, in that world, and then realize that many things happened differently in an era like that.  People also forget that to be human is also to be different from one another.  Not any two people are exactly the same (even twins) as displayed with Cersei and Jaime.   GRRM is a GREAT observationist of the human condition, and these books display that



#6 OberynBlackfyre

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 03:34 PM

Does anybody have a ton of friends really into ASOIAF? I dressed as Daario for Halloween and not one single person had a clue who Daario was even after I told them, even fans of the HBO show didn't know who Daario is.

 I have a few.  I dressed up as Renly Baratheon for Halloween (one of the characters actually look like, though not my first pick) and I was surprised people actually got it!



#7 OberynBlackfyre

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 03:34 PM

oh, if this is a flaming thread just because someone had a different opinion, then im outskies!



#8 Bearson

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 03:37 PM

Your satire was so in your face, my eyes now have an STD.



#9 Woman of War

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 03:38 PM

Seriously, i do not know why any man should ever want to read the books.
All male characters are defined by their compulsive relationship to a far more important female character. Take Robert, getting murdered by his wife, Robb and his mother problem, all of Jorah's actions are basically determined by a woman, no independence here and Tyrion has serious problems in his emotional relationships because he is fixated on women. Or Sam, exploited as surrogate father, Jon, victim of abuse, Jaime has two to dominate him......
Apart from that, the books are basically about stuff that happens in RL news, challenging topics like war and politics that demand social intelligence
That's not for boys, why do they read that!?
:devil:


The mirror thread got locked and this one surely will end soon too.

Edited by Woman of War, 15 November 2013 - 03:44 PM.


#10 mighty potato

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 03:39 PM

and I'm just sitting here ,studying periods :lmao:

#11 nirolo

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 03:41 PM

Since you are asking for it, OP...

 

I've convinced a few of my buddies to watch the HBO show by telling them it's essentially high-class porn. 

 

When it comes to female characters, I let my penis dictate who I like. For example, I like all the attractive ones like Brienne and Old Nan, but I hate the ugly ones like Sansa and Cersei. 

 

When it comes to male characters, I like all the ones with big cool swords. The bigger the better. If a male character doesn't have a sword (i.e. Varys) or only has a dagger (i.e. Littlefinger), then I don't like them. 

 

I hope this helps. 



#12 The Sleeper

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 03:42 PM

There's blood, there's food and there are nipples. What more could a man want.

 

On a more serious note having always been a fan of science fiction, horror and fantasy so when I came across a series that combined elements of all three, written by a man who seems to be primarily a fan and is suitably gigantic to appease my appetite for immersion, well the series seems to have been written just for me. By the way my other favorite author is Ursula Le Guin, who is likewise incredible at characterization. Not sure what any of this has to do with my testicles, though.



#13 The Great Walrus

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 03:42 PM

The hell is this crap? WK, this...this seems to be a bit below your standards, i honestly expected better. But this is basically a flame thread, so what am i complaining about? 



#14 The Witch King of Braavos

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 03:49 PM

Well, this could get interesting...

Personally, I have a couple of male friends who have read the books, and know one girl who has.

All are LOTR fans, and like fantasy, sci-fi and historical fiction.

This thread will not end well

Since you are asking for it, OP...

 

I've convinced a few of my buddies to watch the HBO show by telling them it's essentially high-class porn. 

 

When it comes to female characters, I let my penis dictate who I like. For example, I like all the attractive ones like Brienne and Old Nan, but I hate the ugly ones like Sansa and Cersei. 

 

When it comes to male characters, I like all the ones with big cool swords. The bigger the better. If a male character doesn't have a sword (i.e. Varys) or only has a dagger (i.e. Littlefinger), then I don't like them. 

 

I hope this helps. 

Words of wisdom :drunk:



#15 butterbumps!

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 03:50 PM

Personally I felt you guys went way over the top in flaming that poor newbie on the thread that inspired this one.

Actually, the OP of the other thread wasn't flamed.  He was receptive to the objections raised, and overall that thread had a pretty lighthearted tone.
 

Because as much as many of you don't like it, men and women obviously have different ways of looking at the world and appreciate different things in a story.

And why is this drawn on gender lines?  Isn't the more rational approach that people have different ways of approaching anything based on their past experiences, demographics, geography, etc?
 

There will of course be crossover perspectives and certain parts of the male spectrum that overlap certain parts of the female spectrum, but the core parts of different demographic groups are targeted and reached in different ways, through different emotional avenues.

And what would these cores be?

 

The entire science/art of marketing revolves around this simple truth, and the appeal of a story, whether it be in the fantasy genre or not, will follow the same trend.

No use turning a blind eye to it just to try and be progressive.

Here's the issue.  I fully agree that marketing and the like does continue to draw distinctions among gender and demographics.  But to what extent are they merely propagating and normalizing the idea of these differences versus reflecting innate distinctions between the genders?

 

To put this another way, are gender differences in preferences innate, and therefore, reflected by marketing, or is this sort of marketing toward stereotyped demographics perpetuating false dichotomies?



#16 Eugene V. Debspalm

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 03:52 PM

Mod:

 

 

If you want to have a serious discussion of gender biases and the like, go for it, but I would recommend resisting the urge to get sarcastic, defensive or assuming that anyone wandering past who would like to participate is privy to your particular world of references and background information and perception of the way fandom 'usually' is about things. Assume a blank slate. If this thread also dissolves into people throwing in-jokes back and forth and being pleased with themselves, it will get shut down too.



#17 bbstark

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 03:54 PM

thanks for posting this WK,

the Author has stated that more than 50% of his readership are women.... so what gives? 

 

We need to get to the bottom of this, are we asking the right questions regarding the gender of the readership? Is gender a significant factor? and WHY are we surprised to find out so many readers are women? 



#18 juanml82

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 03:55 PM

I'll make it short since I'm leaving the computer: Rape. Men don't usually fear it, women might. Hence, women and men are likely to react different to the rape scenes and threats of such in the books.



#19 nirolo

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 04:01 PM

Men aren't afraid of rape?

 

Just throw their ass in jail and see if they don't take extra precautions with their soap. 



#20 The Titan's Legitimate Son

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 04:09 PM

I like the swords, and tanks and dragons and knights and death and naked ladies and orangutans and breakfast cereals. GRRRR, man ..... grrr boobs and bacon!

 

 

 

But in all seriousness, I enjoy the god of tits and wine.