Varysblackfyre321

Do D&D hate feminity?

48 posts in this topic

On 20.12.2017 at 11:53 PM, Varysblackfyre321 said:

I don't consider myself  to be uber PC, but  I read something pretty interesting by someone discussing how a lot of D&D have strong female characters like Briene or Arya despise their gender (saying girls are stupid, using woman as an insult),and really really abandon any trace of traditional feminity they had.

Arya and Brienne are both Sutheners and only know their own culture - when they're referring to "other women", they're only talking about the ones in the 7 Kingdoms.

By contrast, when Ygritte is making fun of "Southern women" as silk dress wearing, fragile flowers who faint all the time, she contrasts them not only with herself, but wildling women in general - and that's not even the main focus, she does it in the context of mocking the Westerosi culture in general, and all the wildlings around her pretty much do the same.

And if you look at Ygritte's appearence and mannerisms, she comes off unquestionably 100% feminine - and she even adds that she'd like to try some of those silk dresses once they invade Westeros.


So now the big question is: what is "femininity" - are we talking about mannerisms, appearence, aesthetical preferences for long hair and dresses etc. - or are we talking about having no interest in fighting or hard physical work, but only knitting, cooking around gardens?

The former is actual femininity - the latter is also perceived as femininity, but it's really just peaceful activities that are associated with women in Westeros' highborn culture (and hardly as much in our own).

So then when you ask, "does GoT make some kind of statement that women can only be tough by abandoning feminity", well here you've got at least one prominent character, who isn't depicted as exception to the rule, who's tough physically while also being 100% feminine as a person, and both mocking and embracing specific female culture characterists of upper class Westeros.


'


So the question, the way you phrased it in your title and then your OP, flies right ouf of the window; making it the Lysa Arryn of over-the-top political concerns regarding the show.

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Are the characters in the show, or even the books, specifically conceived as representations of the demographics they belong to (and not only in the specific "medieval" environment they're in, but across all humanity incl. real life)?

Have any of the creators announced the intention to depict every demographic group featured in the narrative as accurately, non-bigoted and non-stereotypically as possible - meaning that every individual character from a particular group, who has certain individual characteristics, requires several more other characters from that same group with contrasting characteristics, specifically to make clear that any individual character's traits aren't meant to apply to the rest of their group? 

Have they announced the intention to ensure that any bigoted action or statement made by a character, in this universe full of flawed, biased characters and regressive archaic notions, is confirmed as being wrong and bigoted at least somewhere in the story?




If yes, then the kind of analysis that's going on in this thread (as well as the GotGifsandMusings blog and similar places) is warranted - although even still, whenever such a representation problem is found, there should always be 2 basic default conclusions to draw from that: 1) "they forgot/neglected to cover that particular area (sufficiently)", and 2) "they actually hold those bigoted views that they don't realize are bigoted and put them into the narrative as they said they would". Not always just option 2)! Becuse when there are so many bases to cover, oversights are always possible. 

However, I wouldn't know such announcements were ever made - the only ones that I've seen made were a) to feature both genders prominently, and with plenty of diverse individual characters in each one, and b), generally avoid/subvert various tropes, cliches and stereotypes found in other fiction; although not really all other fiction, just specific named subgenres 

And having seen various interviews at this point, I'm pretty sure they really weren't - and if they weren't, then, well, then the kind of analysis featured in this thread is really just a useless waste of time - how many false positivies are you gonna catch in every corner, all just to immediately have to release each of them back into freedom? If the author doesn't intend their story to work as a glossary of demographic representation (maybe to some degree, as undoubtedly in the case of Asoiaf/GoT, but not niecessarily all the way), then a lot of those bases aren't gonna be covered - no contrasts and counterparts to every character, no rebuttals to every bigoted statement ever made, only as long as they serve whatever goal the writers actually set themselves: something to do with storytelling, particular aspects of wordbuilding they were interested in, thematic themes, etc.



But all these highly flawed critics don't really understand any of these basis, obvious premises - so with that in mind:

On 6.1.2018 at 0:50 PM, Annara Snow said:

No, Brienne and Arya are nothing like that in the books. Neither of them hate other women or their gender. Using "woman" as an insult or saying that "most girls are stupid" are show-only lines. In the books, Arya and Brienne both like their gender and respect other women, including women who are more traditionally feminine or 'ladylike'.

Brienne respects Catelyn and Sansa;
Arya respects Lady Crane (and probably her mother too, just can't remember any specific lines there), and there's no sign she has disdain for Melisandre in any way except for hating her for taking Gendry in order to harm him; and by the time she returns to WF she certainly respects Sansa too, and even says that she wouldn't mind to sport some traditional feminity, now that she's capable of that thanks to her new skills.

So with nothing but these pieces of evidence to go by, you could speculate about what their real, general views about other women are: do they despise every feminine woman out there, except for these few idols of theirs? Or do they respect most of them most of the time, but have this contempt in the back of their psyche that occasionally comes out? Or is it more of a 50/50 cognitive dissonance / compartmentalization?

Furthermore - are their "sexist" statements supposed to be the writers preaching through the screen, or flawed views by flawed characters? Arya is certainly flawed in many other ways - impulsive and hotheaded, overly zealous at times, and starts out with romantic conceptions of fighting and swashbuckling that still don't go away completely by S4; could such an arrogant, deluded person have a tendency to view themselves as special and the others as dumb? "What do you know about anything", said while practicing flashy moves to one of the most dangerous and experienced fighters in the area.
And she dislikes Sansa for the way she acted in S1 (incl. backing Joffrey while in  very traditionally, feminine role on a date out of with him) - Sansa having evolved since then without losing her femininity and Arya not having been there to see the change, it's possible that she still holds those "anti-feminine" views based on her contempt for Sansa, while the narrative, in its other storylines is already demonstrating those views to be wrong.

And are Brienne's statements also this type of inner confusion and dissonance? Or is it more specific and organized view, where she essentially sees herself as a male chivlrous knight in a woman's body? A typical chivalrous knight would worship and admire his Lady (whether all weak and fragile, or "having a woman's kind of courage"), while also holding chauvinistic views about women not being up to male tasks and showing them in contexts such as, I don't know, out with his lads, or training an apprentice to become strong and capable like a "real man"? It could be that she sees herself as effectively a man in a woman's body, and thus sees and treats feminine women the way a man would.
Has *she* ever encountered female fighters who also weren't big and butch like her? Was Arya in S7 the first one, and did that maybe change her outlook somewhat?


So, without more evidence to go by, all you have is speculations and these kinds of very obvious notions and possibilities that anyone really should be able to think of.

However, instead of looking for that additional evidence in the show, you instead ignore half the evidence (the half where they're shown to respect women etc.), and the only obvious notion that you're able to think of is "the characters are sexist and hate women, and that can only mean D&D hold the same views".

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Arya actually says proto-feminist stuff like "the woman is important, too!" They aren't misogynists. Cersei is. And Cersei is a villain, and we're supposed to disagree with her views of the world and see how her internalized misogyny is a part of her messed up mindset.

Only villains can have messed up or even just flawed views in this franchise?

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In the show, women like Arya or Brienne (or Talisa) are portrayed as "Not Like the Other Girls", the stereotype where the only women who are strong and worthwhile are those who act more like 'one of the guys' and reject the rest of their stupid, useless gender.

It's how they see themselves (at least some of the time*), but the show already has counterexamples from Dorne and the Wildlings.

*And, as elaborated above, the "other women are stupid and useless" isn't really part of their view, at least not all the time.

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Also, neither of them is the annoying caricature they are in the show. Brienne is the complete opposite of the unemotional, rude, bullying killing machine that is show Brienne -

Show Brienne is emotional, kind and friendly in many scenes - your description is a one-sided caricature of the character (who may or may not be herself a caricature compared to the book version or some other comparison).

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she is one of the gentlest, most idealistic and honorable souls in the series.

Idealism and honour are certainly a big part of her TV character; "gentle", only on a few occasions - kind on many occasions, "gentle" maybe a bit fewer.

 

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D&D love stereotypes..

And a character who's really kind and gentle and honorable and idealistic is not a stereotype? Eh, maybe not with butch women I dunno

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Whenever Martin subverts a stereotype, they go out of their way to conform to it. In the show, women can only be "empowered" in one of the two ways: 1) as physical fighters, preferably violent murderous assholes,

Brienne isn't a murderous asshole; Karsi isn't; Arya dabbles only on a few occasions, so definitely not "preferably" in her case.

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or 2) sexually manipulating men. (Any woman that does not fit into that mold was either rewritten to fit it, or pushed into the background, like Catelyn..)

Catelyn certainly was still a main, prominent character - the degree to which she was pushed into the background of Robb, certainly wasn't enough to make a background character out of her.

Cersei is a villain / anti-villain but her power has nothing to do with sexual manipulation; only her inherent status and cooperation with Qyburn. 

Jaime doesn't play a central role in empowering her, but she's not really manipulating him either - maybe to some degree, but it's more of a "lady sends lord on an errand" type of dynamic.

The same dynamic that Sansa now has with all the men (and Brienne) serving and protecting her, except WITHOUT the sexual or even romantic element.

Ellaria is empowered by physical henchmen and status, except those physical henchmen happen to be female - you were clearly thinking of those 3 but not Ellaria in your example, but I guess it's possible to view them as an entity so whatever).


Karsi is a matriarch leader, it's unclear how much her ability to fight was necessary for that status - it definitely contributed to her lasting as long as she did during the zombie attack, but then how could it not have.

Melisandre is powerful both due to magic (I guess the equivalent of being a swordswoman and an asshole though) and sexual manipulation. 


Again, GoT isn't the type of narrative that intentionally sets out to include counterexamples to every possible stereotype that could be drawn from characters - but you're even going out of your way to ignore the ones that are included.

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And over the time, scales have tipped into the direction of the former as the preferable way to be empowered, therefore season 6 being advertised with that stupid "Women on Top" catchphrase,

Yeah but it's season 7 now - the Sands are dead, Yara is a prisoner to a sexist pirate with a handlebar moustache, and Sansa just got upstaged by Jon Snow again in the last bit + plus she's only number 2 to him either way.

They trolled you in S6 with that lesbian woman alliance thing - along with all the angry Mgtows and altrighters on other message boards. A decent company you're keeping there, j/k.

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and D&D going out of their way to have every female character be a violent asshole who burns and destroys stuff and murders people. 

Now you've just got Cersei (a villain lol), Sansa to some extent (not an asshole and neither a fighter nor a sex manipulator - you really should've added "3) status lady" to your list of sexist stereotypes, would've appeared more believable), Arya (had an asshole episode that came and went, and may have been a fake-out in the first place), and Daenerys (not primarily a burning maniac and clearly is able to hold on to power without that bit).

How edgeless would you like Daenerys to be, if even burning a couple of traitors (their choice) is too much female villainy - clearly disavowing her father and forcing Yara to stop pillaging wasn't good enough; bad is bad, dark grey is bad, light grey is also bad - so if you got your optimal version, would you then not be complaining about the show turning into a pure good vs. bad thing, and every female now being an ideailistic stereotype which is also sexist?

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This type of faux feminism is pretty popular in general, GoT just may be one of the worst examples of it. 

There is no such thing as "faux feminism", feminism is extremely diverse between its various branches throughout history and current years - if it's a "pretty popular" form of feminism, it's not "faux".


 

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To answer the question: do D&D hate femininity? It depends on how one defines "femininity". They certainly don't hate femininity in the sense of conventional female sexual attractiveness. But in the sense of "femininity" as a set of traits that are raditionally associated with women - although in reality males can have those traits while females might not - i.e. such traits as emotional openness, compassion, kindness, nurturing qualities - they certainly seem to consider those traits inferior, weak and useless.

While still featuring them heavily in the show in a positive light, incidentally.

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Their idea of strength - for both men and women - is what's called "Toxic Masculinity" - reliance on violence to solve all problems,

There's a difference between relying on violence to solve modern 1st world problems, and relying on violence in a chaotic world war environment.

You *can't* not rely on some degree of force/violence in a setting such as this one; then there's additional degrees of violence that can be just but unnecessary; just but counterproductive; excessive and not that necessary; or excessive and counterproductive - degrees that can be considered; be the 1st thought to pop into the person's head / chosen over a gentler solution but then easily dissuaded from by an advisor; or chosen and then insisted on despite all advice and reason.

Now, as you mave guessed, applying a negative description such as "Toxic" only really makes sense when it comes to the worse options on that list - unnecessary, unjust violence that she insists on despite everyone trying to dissuade her; revelling in unjust violence when it happens to be necessary or beneficial; aaaaaand that's pretty much it.

Daenerys has done only a few "toxic" things as of late - maybe burning the Tarlys wasn't that good, but most of the time she either insists on just retribution, or ends up being dissuaded from hotheaded violent intentions in favor of a gentler, diplomatic solution.

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lack of emotion (except anger),

I can't think of a single character, female or male, who lacks emotion except for anger - Jon, Daenerys, the Stark sisters, Cersei, even the Sandsnakes or the Hound.

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sexual aggressiveness, lack of compassion, etc.


It's a problem with the writing for male characters, as well. You just have to take a look at how they've rewritten Samwell Tarly's character, or how Jon's intelligence and political reformism is forgotten in favor of him waving a sword around,

Insisting on making a pact with Daenerys was swinging a sword around.

And all Sam ever does is swing swords around.

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or how Jaime hilariously fights with his golden hand instead of learning to use his brains to solve problems,

Sometimes brains isn't enough, and you already need brains when you can fight with both hands - he used a brain tactic to defeat the Blackfish, for one.

Then, Cersei reprimands him for always thinking about fighting and not about subjects such as how to use money to win a war - so even if this criticism applies to him in that context, it doesn't to Cersei (who's female).



 

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or how Yara tells Theon to basically shut up and get over his horrible trauma by fighting and f*cking (or as close as he can get to it), etc. 

Seems like something a leader of a tough pillaging pirate country with no access to modern PTSD science might think - she's clearly shown LOTS of compassion to Theon throughout the show, but apparently in your book if she can't pass for an angel shrink in a developed modern society the only other option is tht her toxic heart is as black as whatever those Asshai buildings are made of.

What ever happened to moral greyshodes in Game of Thrones? Eh? Characters having both good and bad traits? Good characters in "bad societies" still retaining some of the bad traits of their societies, things like that?

I thought that was supposed to be a thing, you know - I thought Tyrion abusing and puking on a sex slave was "intelligent writing edge" and didn't make him a complete monster, but apparently Arya saying something to Tywin once makes her a misogynist with no kind qualities.

Edited by Pink Fat Rast

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On 24.1.2018 at 9:13 PM, Beardy the Wildling said:

Simply put, yes, even to the point of hating practical femininity.

For example: They think they're being SUPAR FEMINIST when they have Lyanna Mormont (who is always right from D&D's point of view) say that she wants all the women being trained in the art of war,

Being trained to some extent can help, but I think she was talking about putting them to work for weaponry or something - might have to rewatch the scene.

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and that she isn't gonna be sitting around knitting socks.

Well, that's all well and good, Lyanna, and yes, in an ideal society, both men and women would be free to choose whether or not they train to fight or knit socks, but bitch, knitting socks for an army that's in the fucking cold is important. Making provisions for an army? Fucking important. And not only that, but, sad as it is to say, IT'S NOT PRACTICAL TO BE FORCING LORD GLOVER'S GRANDDAUGHTER TO FIGHT. 

The "knitting by the fire" was said in a way that sounded like she was referring to trivial occupations and women being kept safe and decorating rooms and what not, not provisioning clothing for society, winter and army.

Maybe the practical things women could do for provisioning were overlooked by the writers or something (again, forgot the exact dialogue), but the intent of the scene was to show her commanding to put women to useful work instead of pampering.

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Notably, no-one in the discussion asks what Lord Glover's granddaughter would want, as that'd be, you know, actual feminism.

"Having one woman say things isn't actual feminism, asking a 2nd woman to say something is actual feminism."

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So, why is it impractical to be forcing everyone to suddenly take up co-ed classes, you may ask? Well, most girls in this patriarchal society are already part-trained to knit, make food, you know, shit for provisioning an army. Most boys will be partially trained to fight. So the most efficient route that will reduce the amount of time needed to train? Keeping the roles as they are.

 

Another example is how eeeeeeevil Sansa needs to prove her family loyalty because she likes pretty dresses, but Arya, the one who threatened to flay Sansa's face? She's obviously loyal to her family, because she fights, kills, and wears manly clothes, thus she's not catty like them eeeeeevil feminine womens.

Now this is a part where I do remember the dialogue somewhat and hence can definitely tell that you got it wrong:

Sansa was accused of disloyalty for writing the letter (not under "duress" but rather out of stupidity), and also for hanging with Joffrey I think and basically her behavior during S1.

The dresses were mentioned when Arya said she always wanted to know what it's like being a Lady, but she wasn't ever gonna be as good at it or something - until now. So she'd flay her in order to become her (the ulterior, selfish psycho motive), and also for betrayal, snooping around and planning subversive things with LF (the "honor" motive).

Maybe something was dropped about her being an airhead who knits all the time or whaetever, but wearing pretty dresses was never named as the reason why she was disloyal or accused of being disloyalmao

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So yeah, I think D&D understand feminism to be 'hate stereotypically feminine roles' as opposed to 'don't restrict women to feminine roles',

And that's why they have both stereotypically feminine roles and non-stereotypical/feminine roles.

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and so they basically demonise every woman who isn't a masculine 'badass' as useless,

They don't demonise Sansa as useless - only Arya does (somewhat; arguably) and she's shown as being wrong; and Jon dismisses her war advice and later pays for it by essentially losing.

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and every masculine woman as the best hero ever, or 'already there', as D&D said about Arya.

I think D&D's relationship with feminine women is that they're weird and icky and have cooties but they make their peepees feel really funny. You know, what five-year-olds like them generally think.

Immature people dominating GoT criticism isn't the optimal scenario imo

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Should I even bother to read huge blocks of text that start with the claim "Arya and Brienne are both Southerners"? If someone can't even get the basic facts about the world of GoT right, this really does not bode well.

Anyway, Ygritte was mentioned next. That reminds me of something else that hasn't been mentioned here: in addition to cutting out all the legitimate Dornish female rulers and heirs, the show has also cut almost all of the wildling female warriors. In the books, "spearwives" are very numerous and a big part of all the battles that wildlings have fought. One of the wildling leaders is a woman, Harma Dogshead. (And lo and behold, she is not a hot beautiful woman.) Several spearwives also take part in the mission to save "Arya Stark" from Winterfell (as opposed to Theon saving Sansa). In the show, all of the extras and actors with lines playing wildlings in battle scenes were men, except for the lone Smurfette Ygritte, and then after her death, another Smurfette wildling in the Hardhome episode.

D&D really love the Not Like Other Girls trope, don't they? 

 

Edited by Annara Snow

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21 hours ago, Annara Snow said:

In the show, all of the extras and actors with lines playing wildlings in battle scenes were men, except for the lone Smurfette Ygritte, and then after her death, another Smurfette wildling in the Hardhome episode.

D&D really love the Not Like Other Girls trope, don't they? 

Ygritte's the only woman in that group, and she doesn't act like she's unique - she acts like she's the norm.

Other women are shown at Hardhome with bows and arrows; and Karsi's an equal elder in a group of 2-3 (that were shown) - so not exceptional in either sense.

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On 1/30/2018 at 6:22 PM, Annara Snow said:

Should I even bother to read huge blocks of text that start with the claim "Arya and Brienne are both Southerners"? If someone can't even get the basic facts about the world of GoT right, this really does not bode well.

Anyway, Ygritte was mentioned next. That reminds me of something else that hasn't been mentioned here: in addition to cutting out all the legitimate Dornish female rulers and heirs, the show has also cut almost all of the wildling female warriors. In the books, "spearwives" are very numerous and a big part of all the battles that wildlings have fought. One of the wildling leaders is a woman, Harma Dogshead. (And lo and behold, she is not a hot beautiful woman.) Several spearwives also take part in the mission to save "Arya Stark" from Winterfell (as opposed to Theon saving Sansa). In the show, all of the extras and actors with lines playing wildlings in battle scenes were men, except for the lone Smurfette Ygritte, and then after her death, another Smurfette wildling in the Hardhome episode.

D&D really love the Not Like Other Girls trope, don't they? 

 

They also haven't talked about Chella.

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On 31.1.2018 at 9:50 PM, Pink Fat Rast said:

Ygritte's the only woman in that group, and she doesn't act like she's unique - she acts like she's the norm.

I think that was supposed to be a "but", sentence makes more sense that way.

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Plain and simple, you can't call yourself a feminist, if you have 4 main female characters and 3 of them have suffered rape. More than that, and this is really the most important bit, two of those rapes are made in order to "empower" the said ladies. If your female characters have to endure rape (that said, I am still shocked by the fact that they didn't know they shot  a rape scene) in order for them to rise and become *strong female character* then something is wrong in how you perceive women's strength.

When it comes to femininity, we see the producers failing to grasp the concept on two wonderful examples. The first one is Margaery Tyrell, whose femininity goes hand in hand with her femme fatale persona. She is seductress, she manipulates her husband (who had to be aged up for the role, so we could see some sex scenes with Natalie Dormer) through sex and that is it. Margaery Tyrell seduces people with her looks and the only time she used anything else but her, pardon me for saying it, vagina, she ended up being incinerated. The second one is Sansa Stark, a foolish little girl with foolish dreams. Well, they had to shake Sansa and when they thought that the death of her entire family wouldn't suffice, good old rape was on the menu. It is almost disgusting how it works. When we read ASOIAF and see how femininity, even in Sansa's arc, is not something so easily dismissed. When we see how Martin uses the imagery of needlework, how making her own clothes becomes something important for Sansa, how all those details work together to represent strong, young lady who has to learn so much. As @Annara Snow said, every single trope that Martin managed to subvert, D&D went the other way.

I don't think that the way how female characters are written speak anything in favor of them. Actually, it just speaks that sometimes boys don't really become men. And that is the most frustrating thing, the writing seems to be a product of a horny teenager, not two adult people from 21st century.

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I don't think they hate femininity.  I think they just don't understand it.  I also think they don't under masculinity either.  They rely more on tropes than many writers do.  Their females are either badass or seductress.  Their males seem to be obsessed with their genitalia. There doesn't seem to be much variation in either femininity or masculinity. 

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On 29 January 2018 at 4:32 AM, Angel Eyes said:

And there I was, thinking that feminism was men and women being on equal terms.

Yeah thats one broad plank of most feminism but not enough for analysing this kind of stuff. 

 

 

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14 hours ago, Risto said:

Plain and simple, you can't call yourself a feminist, if you have 4 main female characters and 3 of them have suffered rape. More than that, and this is really the most important bit, two of those rapes are made in order to "empower" the said ladies. If your female characters have to endure rape (that said, I am still shocked by the fact that they didn't know they shot  a rape scene) in order for them to rise and become *strong female character* then something is wrong in how you perceive women's strength.

When it comes to femininity, we see the producers failing to grasp the concept on two wonderful examples. The first one is Margaery Tyrell, whose femininity goes hand in hand with her femme fatale persona. She is seductress, she manipulates her husband (who had to be aged up for the role, so we could see some sex scenes with Natalie Dormer) through sex and that is it. Margaery Tyrell seduces people with her looks and the only time she used anything else but her, pardon me for saying it, vagina, she ended up being incinerated. The second one is Sansa Stark, a foolish little girl with foolish dreams. Well, they had to shake Sansa and when they thought that the death of her entire family wouldn't suffice, good old rape was on the menu. It is almost disgusting how it works. When we read ASOIAF and see how femininity, even in Sansa's arc, is not something so easily dismissed. When we see how Martin uses the imagery of needlework, how making her own clothes becomes something important for Sansa, how all those details work together to represent strong, young lady who has to learn so much. As @Annara Snow said, every single trope that Martin managed to subvert, D&D went the other way.

I don't think that the way how female characters are written speak anything in favor of them. Actually, it just speaks that sometimes boys don't really become men. And that is the most frustrating thing, the writing seems to be a product of a horny teenager, not two adult people from 21st century.

1) No one cares if you pass for "feminist" or not, it's just a label.

2) Margaery isn't "killed for using non-sexual manipulation for once" - there is no causal or thematic or implied connection between her method of lying to the pope and getting blown up.

3) The protagonist having something bad happen to them, such as their village burning down (after they first "refused the call" or whatnot), and this being the cause of them becoming strong and empowered, is a common pattern in stories - just because it also reoccurs in rape-revenge movies doesn't make it a problem all of a sudden.

Having that said, that isn't even the case here - Sansa doesn't "become strong" "through the rape"; her strength comes from people loyal to her (Theon, Brienne, and later Jon Snow and then Littlefinger) fighting her war - it's not even exclusively her war but theirs too, however this is still a major factor.

Ramsay's abuse simply darkens the personality, adds a revenge motivation, and causes to lose trust in people - or really just Littlefinger..


The patterns you're seeing, and the generalizations you're projecting, don't make any sense at all.


4) The claim that all females here are "either badasses or seductresses" has already been made and debunked, no need to keep harping on it.

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On 06/01/2018 at 11:50 AM, Annara Snow said:

No, Brienne and Arya are nothing like that in the books. Neither of them hate other women or their gender. Using "woman" as an insult or saying that "most girls are stupid" are show-only lines. In the books, Arya and Brienne both like their gender and respect other women, including women who are more traditionally feminine or 'ladylike'. Arya actually says proto-feminist stuff like "the woman is important, too!" They aren't misogynists. Cersei is. And Cersei is a villain, and we're supposed to disagree with her views of the world and see how her internalized misogyny is a part of her messed up mindset. In the show, women like Arya or Brienne (or Talisa) are portrayed as "Not Like the Other Girls", the stereotype where the only women who are strong and worthwhile are those who act more like 'one of the guys' and reject the rest of their stupid, useless gender.

Also, neither of them is the annoying caricature they are in the show. Brienne is the complete opposite of the unemotional, rude, bullying killing machine that is show Brienne - she is one of the gentlest, most idealistic and honorable souls in the series.

D&D love stereotypes. Whenever Martin subverts a stereotype, they go out of their way to conform to it. In the show, women can only be "empowered" in one of the two ways: 1) as physical fighters, preferably violent murderous assholes, or 2) sexually manipulating men. (Any woman that does not fit into that mold was either rewritten to fit it, or pushed into the background, like Catelyn..) And over the time, scales have tipped into the direction of the former as the preferable way to be empowered, therefore season 6 being advertised with that stupid "Women on Top" catchphrase, and D&D going out of their way to have every female character be a violent asshole who burns and destroys stuff and murders people. 

This type of faux feminism is pretty popular in general, GoT just may be one of the worst examples of it. 

To answer the question: do D&D hate femininity? It depends on how one defines "femininity". They certainly don't hate femininity in the sense of conventional female sexual attractiveness. But in the sense of "femininity" as a set of traits that are traditionally associated with women - although in reality males can have those traits while females might not - i.e. such traits as emotional openness, compassion, kindness, nurturing qualities - they certainly seem to consider those traits inferior, weak and useless. Their idea of strength - for both men and women - is what's called "Toxic Masculinity" - reliance on violence to solve all problems, lack of emotion (except anger), sexual aggressiveness, lack of compassion, etc.


It's a problem with the writing for male characters, as well. You just have to take a look at how they've rewritten Samwell Tarly's character, or how Jon's intelligence and political reformism is forgotten in favor of him waving a sword around, or how Jaime hilariously fights with his golden hand instead of learning to use his brains to solve problems, or how Yara tells Theon to basically shut up and get over his horrible trauma by fighting and f*cking (or as close as he can get to it), etc. 

 

Agreed 100%.

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4 hours ago, Pink Fat Rast said:

1) No one cares if you pass for "feminist" or not, it's just a label.

2) Margaery isn't "killed for using non-sexual manipulation for once" - there is no causal or thematic or implied connection between her method of lying to the pope and getting blown up.

3) The protagonist having something bad happen to them, such as their village burning down (after they first "refused the call" or whatnot), and this being the cause of them becoming strong and empowered, is a common pattern in stories - just because it also reoccurs in rape-revenge movies doesn't make it a problem all of a sudden.

Having that said, that isn't even the case here - Sansa doesn't "become strong" "through the rape"; her strength comes from people loyal to her (Theon, Brienne, and later Jon Snow and then Littlefinger) fighting her war - it's not even exclusively her war but theirs too, however this is still a major factor.

Ramsay's abuse simply darkens the personality, adds a revenge motivation, and causes to lose trust in people - or really just Littlefinger..


The patterns you're seeing, and the generalizations you're projecting, don't make any sense at all.


4) The claim that all females here are "either badasses or seductresses" has already been made and debunked, no need to keep harping on it.

1. Yes, it is just a label and no one cares, but given the egalitarian message of the work you claim to adapt, it is kinda desirable that you understand what the author's message to the reader is.

2. If Margaery hans't manipulated both Tommen and High Sparrow and, as HS said "brought another to the Faith", Tommen wouldn't have abolished the Trial by Combat and Cersei wouldn't even have dreamt of doing what she did. The only reason why she has blown the sept is because she lost any other way out of the situation. And the reason why she lost it, is Margaery manipulating the two men with the faith.

3. So basically without Ramsay's rape, she wouldn't get darker, wouldn't have enough motivation and wouldn't be as perceptive and insightful as she is now? Wow, it sounds like the rape improved Sansa. That is the issue. Rape has been used so many times to make women "stronger" and the said can be argued here. Same with Dany and her rape. 

4. They have? Well, I haven't known that, as I didn't see anyone making any sort of reasonable claim in which female characters of D&D don't fit into one of the terrible molds. 

 

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27 minutes ago, Risto said:

2. If Margaery hans't manipulated both Tommen and High Sparrow and, as HS said "brought another to the Faith", Tommen wouldn't have abolished the Trial by Combat and Cersei wouldn't even have dreamt of doing what she did. The only reason why she has blown the sept is because she lost any other way out of the situation. And the reason why she lost it, is Margaery manipulating the two men with the faith.

But she had already thought of that - when Cleganebowl got Cancelled, she made like a desperate face but then asked Qyburn to investigate "those rumours" or whatever the phrasing was.

So that wans't the first time that thought came up.


And even if it had been - it's an indirect causal relationship that has literally nothing to do with "woman was punished for using something other than sex for manipulation"; so need to interpret it that way.



 

27 minutes ago, Risto said:

3. So basically without Ramsay's rape, she wouldn't get darker, wouldn't have enough motivation

Motivation for what? Had she made it out of KL earlier, revenge against Joffrey very much could've been a great part of her drive - could've either joined the cause of Robb and Catelyn, or Stannis in one form or other.

Situation was basically the same: revenge against Joffrey/Cersei and taking back their family's rightful place; in that case less so WF itself and more the false traitor narrative that was being pushed, but the essence was the same.

Executing her father alone could've done the trick, the addtional personal abuse wasn't necessary to instill that motivation.


However with Joffrey gone? Well, she was still mad at the Bolton and was going to "crush them from within" if you recall - so the motivation had already been there. The abuse by Ramsay only intensified it, same as in the previous case.

27 minutes ago, Risto said:

and wouldn't be as perceptive and insightful as she is now? Wow, it sounds like the rape improved Sansa. That is the issue. Rape has been used so many times to make women "stronger" and the said can be argued here.

The 1st time, she had naive idealistic images of being married to a blonde prince - he then turned out to be a cunt, the whole court turned out to be a complete perversion of what she had been envisioning, and that made her smarter.

The 2nd time, she had some kind of diffuse, abstract conception of manipulating her enemies - thought she had it all figured out, but really was just being manipulated by Littlefinger. Then it turned out things didn't work like that and she had no power there - maybe if Ramsay had been a love smitten shy guy she could've done whatever hostile manipulation to him, but the guy who owned the place and the army turned out not to be that. Became smarter once again.


So, first of all: "rape" isn't a necessary part of this equation; Joffrey came close (announced the intention one time, and then almost did it during her wedding) but failed and that didn't really linger as the worst thing he'd done to her.
The deciding common factor was general abuse and captivity.

Secondly - was that personal abuse necessary? Well, no, but some people sometimes just don't have the brains to figure things out the easy way - as somewhat captured by the Hound when he asked Arya "how many Starks were going to be beheade before she started seeing things the way they are".
Robb and Theon were calling Joffrey a royal prick since day 1 - whereas she kept idolizing Joffrey despite him turning out to be an asshole on their first date and then smirking at her wolf's death. She had the opportunity to learn about the reality of that situation, but was clinging to her delusions and essentially had the head buried in the sand until the very moment Joffrey had Ned killed.

The second time around, the plotting and characterization was obviously all messed up to begin with so it's a bit harder to tell, but essentially the same thing happened - was still too naive, got way too confident with the way LF treated her, having managed to fool the Vale lords and sporting that black swan dress; didn't stop to think about the pragmatic specifics of moving alone into a house of treasonous flaying pricks, and was trusting LF's judgement too much:
if he managed to secretly poison the king, and was so great at manipulating people, and hd was telling her he could do that with the Boltons, well that's good enough then!

Had she been smarter and more aware in S1, she wouldn't have had to learn it the hard way, and had she been smarter and more aware in S5, she wouldn't have had to learn it the hard way.
In S1, it was unmistakeably portrayed as a character flaw (she was a delusional airhead and hothead); in S5, as I said, confusing characterization and people had the impression that now she was smart and evolved - but, judging from the events as they were shown on screen, evidently that wasn't the case.


Conclusion:
Sansa becoming more realistic and smart from being exposed to Joffey's and then Ramsay's deception and abuse, is a result of her not thinking things through and seeing the warning signs ahead - very much in line with Robb/Catelyn, Jeor Mormont etc., flawed characters paying a price for their tunnel vision;
*that's* the lesson/pattern that's at play here, not some nonsense about women in general becoming smarter/stronger "through rape". You need to be able to recognize pattenrs properly.
 

27 minutes ago, Risto said:

Same with Dany and her rape. 

Completely opposite example: it started out similarly, however Drogo turned out to have a softer, kind of decent side to him (unlike Joffrey or Ramsay), so she eventually gained in power and influence by virtue of being popular with the tribe and loved/respected by Drogo; plus, she was already entitled to some authority due to her status, which was denied to Sansa esp. with Ramsay.

True empowerment obviously was reached when she got part of the tribe to worship her religiously after Drogo died; so in that case kind of similar to Sansa, except Sansa was empowered by arriving IN a tribe that already had that respect for her, i.e. the Starks.

And unlike Sansa, who snapped out of her "worshipping the abusive guy" as soon as Ned died and has been hating Joffrey and later the Boltons ever since, until the moment they all died - Daenerys obvioously obviously developed a Stockholm syndrome that still hasn't been completely abandoned till this day.



So... ENTIRELY different scenarios, comparing them is absurd.

27 minutes ago, Risto said:

4. They have? Well, I haven't known that, as I didn't see anyone making any sort of reasonable claim in which female characters of D&D don't fit into one of the terrible molds. 

I'm pretty sure it was all me, so that should make searching for that in this thread a bit easier ;)

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Searching is not the same as finding. And it's hard to find something that isn't there. 

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7 hours ago, Pink Fat Rast said:

But she had already thought of that - when Cleganebowl got Cancelled, she made like a desperate face but then asked Qyburn to investigate "those rumours" or whatever the phrasing was.

So that wans't the first time that thought came up.

Cleganebowl was cancelled because Tommen abolished the Fight by Combat. In that moment, Cersei found out she had no other options. Blowing Sept of Baelor was Hail Mary for Cersei. And it all comes down to "she brought another to the fold" aka Tommen to Faith.

7 hours ago, Pink Fat Rast said:

Conclusion:
Sansa becoming more realistic and smart from being exposed to Joffey's and then Ramsay's deception and abuse, is a result of her not thinking things through and seeing the warning signs ahead - very much in line with Robb/Catelyn, Jeor Mormont etc., flawed characters paying a price for their tunnel vision;
*that's* the lesson/pattern that's at play here, not some nonsense about women in general becoming smarter/stronger "through rape". You need to be able to recognize pattenrs properly.

So, in translation your conclusion goes "Sansa needed to be abused and raped to become more realistic and smart" Sansa is not a living person, she is a character bound by the laws writers make for her. And that made it quite clear that the rape is used as a method of empowerment. And that speaks a lot about writers. As you said, she became more realistic and smart. The comparison with Robb, Catelyn or Jeor is notwithstanding as their tragedies haven't turned them into "better" versions of themselves.

OK, let's play a game...

Did Tyrion get more realistic and smart after killing Tywin? - No. He was influenced by it but his intelligence hasn't changed.

Did Jon get more realistic and smart after being killed? - No, One can argue that he had become more vigilant but his intelligence hasn't changed.

Did Jaime get more realistic and smart after losing hand? - No. For a brief moment it seemed like he changed and then they backpedaled his storyline.

And the last one...

Did Theon get more realistic and smart after Ramsay's torture? - Well, this one is self-explanatory, I think.

So, we have Sansa and Dany who became more realistic, astute, smart, whtever positive adjective you want to use after being subjected to abuse and rape. Which then leads to the fact that the writing is inherently based on the tragic trope that is considered one of the most repugnant in the modern media.

7 hours ago, Pink Fat Rast said:

Completely opposite example: it started out similarly, however Drogo turned out to have a softer, kind of decent side to him (unlike Joffrey or Ramsay), so she eventually gained in power and influence by virtue of being popular with the tribe and loved/respected by Drogo; plus, she was already entitled to some authority due to her status, which was denied to Sansa esp. with Ramsay.

The situations are different, no one is talking about that. But, Dany became empowered after being raped, after having to be taught how to sexually please Drogo. It became a love story, but ultimately she was raped. She gained power through that. Her story obviously progressed but it hasn't changed the fact how it all began.

8 hours ago, Pink Fat Rast said:

I'm pretty sure it was all me, so that should make searching for that in this thread a bit easier ;)

Thanks... But unfortunately I don't share the same high opinion about said material ;) 

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2 hours ago, Risto said:

The situations are different, no one is talking about that. But, Dany became empowered after being raped, after having to be taught how to sexually please Drogo. It became a love story, but ultimately she was raped. She gained power through that. Her story obviously progressed but it hasn't changed the fact how it all began.

You seem to be entirely content with using the crudest, blurriest, and sloppiest possible "political ideologue" approach towards reading plotlines - "there's a rape somewhere, and somehow, somewhere it's part of an empowerment arc - that means rape made her powerful, which is sexist/immature/etc.", that's it;
even if the real narrative paints an entirely dfferent picture, and maybe even directly contradicts such a conclusion - the specifics don't matter: there's rape + empowerment arc, and that's all you need to know apparently.

But then the obvious question is: in what position are you to call the writers immature and stupid, when you're not even willing to examine the plot at their level (to put it mildly)?


Yes, Daenerys' empowerment arc started out with rape; the obvious answer to that is - so what? That's what the arc is.
Nothing in it implies that she needed the rape to acquire power and other qualities, let alone women in general; which was your original point, and it's not holding up.
 

And same story here:

2 hours ago, Risto said:

Cleganebowl was cancelled because Tommen abolished the Fight by Combat. In that moment, Cersei found out she had no other options. Blowing Sept of Baelor was Hail Mary for Cersei. And it all comes down to "she brought another to the fold" aka Tommen to Faith.

At some point Margaery used sexual manipulation; at a later point she used non-sexual manipulation; got blown up => the writers punish women for using something other than sex for manipulation?

Yeah no; and at this point it seems you're not really trying anymore to argue for that angle either - cause as you just said, Cersei exploded the sept because she was pushed into a corner.
Do you think if Margaery had instead fucked the corrupt HS with the same outcome, that Cersei would've failed to blow her up?

And didn't the sex manipulation of Tommen get her arrested in the first place? Your point makes even less sense when you count that in.


 

2 hours ago, Risto said:

So, in translation your conclusion goes "Sansa needed to be abused and raped to become more realistic and smart"

Because she was flawed and shortsighted - not because she was a woman.

A translation isn't supposed to leave out key parts of the original text you know

2 hours ago, Risto said:

Sansa is not a living person, she is a character bound by the laws writers make for her.

So what? I'm not even sure what point this statement is supposed to make;
however I know that you still haven't reached the point where you're reading that stuff the writers wrote accurately, so you might wanna catch up in that department.

2 hours ago, Risto said:

And that made it quite clear that the rape is used as a method of empowerment.

No, it's DISempowerment - the empowerment comes later, in the form of having influence over two allied armies.

2 hours ago, Risto said:

And that speaks a lot about writers. As you said, she became more realistic and smart. The comparison with Robb, Catelyn or Jeor is notwithstanding as their tragedies haven't turned them into "better" versions of themselves.

If those had survived somehow (Jeor the most likely one), they would've had the same opportunity to realize their mistakes, yes.
I wonder if Sam learned his lesson from that mutiny - he probably should've and brought it up to Jon somewhere around late S5.

The thing is, those guys were legit being whacked, while Sansa was a captive - so saying those died and she lived is like, duh, yeah.

 

 

 

2 hours ago, Risto said:

OK, let's play a game...

Did Tyrion get more realistic and smart after killing Tywin? - No. He was influenced by it but his intelligence hasn't changed.

The proper equivalent here would be "did he get smart after his big mouth got him in trouble"? Well we don't know, considering he didn't discuss it, and hasn't found himself in a comparable situation yet.

His scene with Cersei was pretty solid and covered lots of bases, but maybe that should've been squeezed somewhere in there as well.

2 hours ago, Risto said:

Did Jon get more realistic and smart after being killed? - No, One can argue that he had become more vigilant but his intelligence hasn't changed.

He probably shouldn't have been reasonably anticipating getting stabbed by the Northern Lords as soon as he suggested talking to Daenerys, however it's a factor that should've been brought up at some point, in one form or another.

In fact his whole resurection plot is full of holes, so lots of bits are missing already; right after he came back to life, he expressed dismay at having been killed over "doing the right thing", and that seemed like an important factor in his depression and death wish; but that's just one loose element.

The hanging scene was murky as well.

2 hours ago, Risto said:

Did Jaime get more realistic and smart after losing hand? - No. For a brief moment it seemed like he changed and then they backpedaled his storyline.

Well, he did get cocky again with Roose, and Roose quickly pointed that out to him - so in that case, he clearly had failed to learn his lesson to a full extent and the script was very aware of that.

Afterwards he didn't really face such a situation anymore, so again hard to tell; he definitely became a better and more heroic person, but that was due to a whole combination of factors - the friendship with Brienne really more than anything; he already saved her from being gangraped right before he lost his hand.

Hr probably didn't really expect Areo Hotah to kill him just for not dropping his sword right away, so that doesn't count; the Dornish were evidently much friendlier captors - had it been the Sand Snakes who captured him, he maybe would've known to keep his mouth shut?
 

2 hours ago, Risto said:

And the last one...

Did Theon get more realistic and smart after Ramsay's torture? - Well, this one is self-explanatory, I think.

Yes it is - he stopped being a hothead douchebag invading his home for glory, for one thing; he also hasn't since found himself in a situation where he got surrounded by a siege and had to yield, but refused - or generally acted against the interest of his men and hence should've been watching his back.

When Euron invaded the ship, he did flee - however that was more due to the general trauma, and not due to a lesson learned; however fact remains he didn't remain on board to stand his ground so that he'd be put into songs ;)

 

2 hours ago, Risto said:

So, we have Sansa and Dany who became more realistic, astute, smart, whtever positive adjective you want to use after being subjected to abuse and rape.

So them being smarter than, say, Jaime, is supposed to be sexism against women?

2 hours ago, Risto said:

Which then leads to the fact that the writing is inherently based on the tragic trope that is considered one of the most repugnant in the modern media.

Seriously though, can you cite any example from some other movie where someone actually become powerful by being raped? I can't really think of any, but considering it's the most repugnant trope in modern media there must be plenty of examples?

I guess some kinda sorcery along those lines is possible.

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3 hours ago, Pink Fat Rast said:

Seriously though, can you cite any example from some other movie where someone actually become powerful by being raped? I can't really think of any, but considering it's the most repugnant trope in modern media there must be plenty of examples?

Seriously? You can't cite ANY example of rape being used for dramatic purposes after which a female character was considered more valuable, sympathetic, or simply stronger. Like, seriously? O...K.

Given that I have no desire to continue this, let we agree to disagree. Good day to you

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39 minutes ago, Risto said:

Seriously? You can't cite ANY example of rape being used for dramatic purposes after which a female character was considered more valuable, sympathetic, or simply stronger. Like, seriously? O...K.

Given that I have no desire to continue this, let we agree to disagree. Good day to you

Well sounds like you can't either.

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15 hours ago, Risto said:

OK, let's play a game...

Did Tyrion get more realistic and smart after killing Tywin? - No. He was influenced by it but his intelligence hasn't changed.

Did Jon get more realistic and smart after being killed? - No, One can argue that he had become more vigilant but his intelligence hasn't changed.

Did Jaime get more realistic and smart after losing hand? - No. For a brief moment it seemed like he changed and then they backpedaled his storyline.

And the last one...

Did Theon get more realistic and smart after Ramsay's torture? - Well, this one is self-explanatory, I think.

I'm sorry for interrupting discussion but I'm not really sure what you're trying to prove here. All of them WERE changed because of those traumatic events which happened to them, and that is actually consistent with real life. Traumas change people. Actually, Tyrion in the show isn't really changed, but that's due to Weiss and Benioff's incompetence. The rest were hugely changed.

And also, are you actually saying that the show made mistake by making Sansa change after being raped by Ramsay? Do you think that they should left her unchanged? Or that they should made her worse after the rape?

And just to be clear I think that that entire plot with Sansa in WF was one of the stupidest things I ever watched, and she never should be there to marry Boltons, but somehow it seems that you're actually defending it even if you are trying to attack it.

8 hours ago, Risto said:

Seriously? You can't cite ANY example of rape being used for dramatic purposes after which a female character was considered more valuable, sympathetic, or simply stronger. Like, seriously? O...K.

I think that he asked you legitimate question. If you don't have the answer then admit it, instead of implying that something's wrong with his question. Victims usually become more sympathetic after they're hurt and that goes for any victims, not just rape, but about more valuable or simply stronger I also can't think of such examples where some female character became more valuable or simply stronger after she's been raped. There may be such films but they certainly aren't that often.

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