Varysblackfyre321

Do D&D hate feminity?

48 posts in this topic

Just quick for the record, I'm not insisting he answer my question it's alright (not that I'm in a place to insist on anything to begin with, lol).


Just to expand on this particular question a bit, there are two related escapist power fantasies that humans tend to have . the notion that "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" (all too often not the case IRL; Nietzsche himself ended up being a counterexample), and the fantasy of finding unprecedented strength in a helpless terrifying situation - such as being overpowered or tied up somewhere.

Just remembered a scene from Legend of the Seeker where a female protagonist is tied to a chair by the villains, and (I think for the first time) manages to use mystical energy powers to defeat the bad guys and free herself.

I'm sure there's some other movies out there where a similar thing happens in a rape situation - or, in accordance with Nietzsche's meme phrase, the trauma makes a stronger person out of the victim; not at some later point when she pulls herself up by the bootstraps, but perhaps right then and there.


However, one would still have to distinguish between an escapist fantasy, or 2) some naive writer thinking that's how it actually reliably works irl, and of course 3) someone with some kind of shady sexist ideology or mindset conveying the notion that "women need rape/trauma to become strong", which is what the accusation here seems to be.

I doubt Risto would have the nuance for that though.

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18 minutes ago, StepStark said:

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.

They were changed, but they didn't become a better versions of themselves. Trauma impacts people, that is for sure, but if you use the narrative of violence or sexual assault in order to put just another ordeal in a story that is essentially about growing and becoming empowered then there is something very wrong in the way how you perceive the said empowerment. 

Rape can't or shouldn't be used as something a female character has to go through so we would start perceiving female character as sympathetic, more astute or more politically savvy. And that is what happened with Sansa.

Sansa should not have been married to Ramsay that is for sure. Rape couldn't have happened for the sake of shock or worse to become a tool that would make Sansa "better version of herself"

24 minutes ago, StepStark said:

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.

It is entire culture of using rape as a plot tool in order to demonstrate female strength. Not so long ago, Jessica Chastain spoke about these practices and the necessity of them in portrayal of what Hollywood would refer to as strong female character. It doesn't matter whether the character gets more sympathetic and when rape is used to cast "positive light" on the person (like Claire Underwood of "House of Cards" or Mellie Grant of "Scandal"), when you have totally unlikable female character and then they just add the touch of rape in order to make , what essentially boils down to, "better image". Then there are countless examples of rape being used as a motivation for revenge (and this one has becoming more and more prevalent that some producers have complained that almost 30% female-oriented movie scripts at one point contained the element of rape and abuse)

Simply, female strength and intelligence can't be tested with rape and abuse for us to be convinced that the said character is able to do great things. That is the main issue here. That rape is so often used in storytelling as plot device for all sorts of reason. Finally, I will return to what Chastain has said on topic:

 

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13 minutes ago, Risto said:

It doesn't matter whether the character gets more sympathetic and when rape is used to cast "positive light" on the person (like Claire Underwood of "House of Cards" or Mellie Grant of "Scandal"),

Ok, you cited 2 examples of what could actually be examples of what you're claiming; that's a start eh - maybe I'll go check them out, I don't watch either show though, I only saw the SNL spoof with Lena Dunham.

 

Quote

when you have totally unlikable female character and then they just add the touch of rape in order to make , what essentially boils down to, "better image". 

Ironic how GoT is actually a counterexample to what you're describing here - Sansa went from unlikeable/stupid to likeable and acceptably smart, when? In S5 at Ramsay's? Nope it was at the end of S1, where there wasn't any rape. And of course it made sense in the story.





Anyway, these two... answerable... bits aside, Risto is simply a typical political ideologue with distorted perception and a blurry, confused thought process.
The best reaction would be to simply handwave it away (after the 1st couple attempts at discourse didn't work), however unfortunately this is also "typical" on this forum, the GotGifsMusings blog and raelly this entire GoT criticism network.

So what can you do

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43 minutes ago, Risto said:

Rape can't or shouldn't be used as something a female character has to go through so we would start perceiving female character as sympathetic, more astute or more politically savvy. And that is what happened with Sansa.

Are you saying that rape must never be used in such a way? Or in any way?

If you are saying that, then that is just wrong. Just like anything rape can serve the story and make it stronger, or it can be used for shock, spectacle and perversion. Same thing with murder or any other trauma that is frequently used for dramatic purposes.

Theon pretty much became a better person because of all that suffering he's been through. That's true for both show and the books. In the show it was done in the only way Benioff and Weis know, which means pathetically and for the lowest common denominator, but the fact remains that suffering improved him as a person. And in the books it was done masterly. So are you saying that the books are wrong for making Theon improved through extreme suffering?

Edited by StepStark

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48 minutes ago, Risto said:

It doesn't matter whether the character gets more sympathetic and when rape is used to cast "positive light" on the person (like Claire Underwood of "House of Cards" or Mellie Grant of "Scandal"), when you have totally unlikable female character and then they just add the touch of rape in order to make , what essentially boils down to, "better image".

If I don't remember wrong, Clair Underwood was raped years before. It's part of character's background story. And that doesn't really count. And on top of that, she doesn't become more likable or stronger because of rape.

I don't watch "Scandal" but it looks like the same thing there, she was raped when she was kid, so it's part of her background story, so again it's not similar to what you described and called a frequent trope. Cops being divorced because their ex couldn't cope with their job is that kind of thing, but again, that almost always happens off screen and before the story actually starts, so it's not really something that authors use as a narrative tool to show character's progression. It's frequent and stupid, but I don't see how is that relevant to the discussion here about a very particular case of on-screen rape.

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13 minutes ago, StepStark said:

Are you saying that rape must never be used in such a way? Or in any way?

If you are saying that, then that is just wrong. Just like anything rape can serve the story and make it stronger, or it can be used for shock, spectacle and perversion. Same thing with murder or any other trauma that is frequently used for dramatic purposes.

According to the particular ideological/ emotional mindset you're dealing with here:

1) No, rape can't be used for spectacle or perversion; "shock" is also too sensationalist and profane for this subject matter; especially if it's "cheap shock value".

2) Rape is an inherently offensive act to put into a movie; so when it's to be done, it's only with sufficient justification of educating the audience about rape, solid artistic justification for including it in the story, and trying to avoid any "unfortunate implications" (i.e. what the plot could appear as to an emotionallly invested viewer, while not really being that - case in point this discussion).

If it's done for profane reasons like 1), it's offensive and wrong;
and if there's a plot hole somewhere, the "art" or "realistic depiction" justification falls apart and all that remains is the wrongness and offensiveness of it; the writer, no longer concealed by things like "plot structure", is now fully exposed as having consciously made the decision to include a rape scene in his work where he didn't have to.


So that's kind of the key for understanding this opposing view, and all its seemingly irrational arguments; well, they ARE irrational, but the notions that drive them become clearer.
 

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16 minutes ago, StepStark said:

Are you saying that rape must never be used in such a way? Or in any way?

In general, we could all benefit from stories without rape. But as it is one of those ugly realities, it has to be part of the art. I don't have issue with rape in general, although as I said, we could have less violence on TV/media, but the rape too often becomes a plot device for the sole purpose of challenging woman's strength, both physical and emotional. There are shows and movies that have dealt with said topic with much grace. GoT hasn't. Naming the said episode with "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" while, not referring to it, but having Ramsay bending Sansa on the bed and raping her, seems like a truly bad joke. In short, it's important how a writer deals with it. 

10 minutes ago, StepStark said:

If I don't remember wrong, Clair Underwood was raped years before. It's part of character's background story. And that doesn't really count. And on top of that, she doesn't become more likable or stronger because of rape.

Actually she does. The Ice Queen has been turned into relatable woman. Even in-universe, they have been using it.

Same goes for Mellie Grant. The reveal of rape was used to make Mallie more relatable. That is the thing. The rape served as a tool to make these women more humane, just like it was a necessary obstacle for Sansa to become "empowered young woman". And that, with abuse (and Sansa experienced a lot of those too) becomes something that many writers, intentionally or not, use in demonstrating the women's strength. It is not that it can't show woman's strength, it can but it is just a drop in sea of situations writers can use as challenges women face.

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3 minutes ago, Risto said:

In general, we could all benefit from stories without rape. But as it is one of those ugly realities, it has to be part of the art. I don't have issue with rape in general, although as I said, we could have less violence on TV/media, but the rape too often becomes a plot device for the sole purpose of challenging woman's strength, both physical and emotional. There are shows and movies that have dealt with said topic with much grace. GoT hasn't. Naming the said episode with "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" while, not referring to it, but having Ramsay bending Sansa on the bed and raping her, seems like a truly bad joke. In short, it's important how a writer deals with it. 

I'd say that we could all benefit from less political correctness in evaluating art. Rape certainly doesn't have to be part of the art. Many horrible crimes from the history didn't find their way to art. Nothing is really necessary when it comes to art. But if rape happens to be part of some particular work of art, then it has to be evaluated in the same way other bits and points of that same work are evaluated.

I agree that GOT didn't deal with rape responsibly, but GOT is the kind of show that doesn't deal with anything responsibly. Worse things than rape happen to characters in GOT and I can't remember any of those things that was dealt with responsibly.

Responsibly doesn't necessarily means with grace, because sometimes very ungraceful depiction of some crime can be the main purpose (like "Irreversible" movie, for example).

3 minutes ago, Risto said:

Actually she does. The Ice Queen has been turned into relatable woman. Even in-universe, they have been using it.

Same goes for Mellie Grant. The reveal of rape was used to make Mallie more relatable. That is the thing. The rape served as a tool to make these women more humane, just like it was a necessary obstacle for Sansa to become "empowered young woman". And that, with abuse (and Sansa experienced a lot of those too) becomes something that many writers, intentionally or not, use in demonstrating the women's strength. It is not that it can't show woman's strength, it can but it is just a drop in sea of situations writers can use as challenges women face.

If I remember right, Clair's rape was revealed in her TV interview in the first season. How it was reacted to in-universe was the main point of it, as I remember. It showed that the audience felt sympathy toward this woman, even though she really isn't someone who deserves sympathy. She is someone who'd use even rape to make people sympathize with her, and it's clearly depicted as immoral. That's something entirely different from what you mentioned as some sort of frequent trope.

I'm not watching "Scandal", but from your description it also sounds more similar to "House of Cards" than GOT.

So even if there is a trope of using rape in background stories for female characters (though two examples hardly make trope), Sansa rape is obviously something very different from that.

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