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6/30/2013 Domestic Violence
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Jody



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
Posts: 139

PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, it's like some people don't want to see a robot girl as a metaphor for the unrealistic and destructive expectations society has on women, and are making it a point to try and take it as literally as possible so they can pretend they don't get it.
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Rune



Joined: 08 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because it got lost in the swampy mess that has been the thread, I'll try to say this one more time, to make sure I'm expressing it clearly.

I think that the fembots have the potential to love, as well as other emotions, and that they probably have a very human-like "OS" and hardware that constitutes their personhood. On top of that, there is a protocol programmed to direct their choices, what they do with that personhood, towards a particular end: the pleasure protocol. A protocol is a set of rules or guidelines. They were behavioral rules programmed into the bots to control their behavior, not necessarily that define the bots. Sort of a prime directive. It is that particular protocol that I say is not love, because it is, essentially, conditioned and commanded behavior. That is not to say the bots cannot love, but if they do, it will be aside from (perhaps in spite of) the protocol, and would have to be given a chance to develop, again, in spite of the protocol.

Botsy's protocol was "supplanted," forcefully/subversively replaced or overwritten, by her rage, again a powerful metaphor. Most feminist awakenings do involve a good amount of anger, sometimes as a trigger, usually (also) as a part of the awakening. As Gloria Steinem herself said, "the truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off." There is a lot to be angry about, and anger can be a powerful catalyst in making change, especially internally, if you manage it. (Botsy clearly needs some help there.)

I find it equally probable that love could develop powerfully in spite of the protocol, if it were given a chance, but there would definitely be additional complications there, because the protocol affects love-like behavior, and there would be, shall we say, cross-contamination and overlap. The protocol may make it difficult to tell if it is love motivating certain behaviors, and also direct expressions of love that might be less than authentic, because of how the protocol defines love-like behavior, even if there is real love behind it.

Because real life is like that, though in much less black-and-white terms. Conditioning and real love will overlap and cross wires in terms of both motivation and expression. Conditioning/brainwashing is still not real love, but its existence does not preclude real love, nor prove that real love does not also exist. It would be a rare person who was not operating on some combination of the two, in varying degrees of balance. None of us is free of social conditioning.

I do think that real love has the ability to grow under, around, in spite of, and even break through it, if given the chance, and work continually towards a truer balance between both motivation and expression being entirely genuine.

I also think that some people are not given that chance, or that it might take longer, or will have more conditioning to break through, and the conditioning will sadly be overbalanced against the real love, or interfere strongly with real love motivating the love behaviors even where it exists. This is part of life, especially where heavily gendered expectations affect relationships between people. That's part of why gender expectations suck. They get in the way of real relationships, and are often something people have to either work through, or get along in spite of. Doesn't mean the love is not there, but doesn't mean the conditioning isn't there either, and that's something for everyone, relationships and individuals, to figure out on an individual basis.

tl:dr: conditioning is not love, but they are not mutually exclusive, and instead exist in a muddled tangle. We do the best we can. Getting rid of stupid gender roles and inauthentic romantic social expectations would help make it less of a tangle, and let more real love motivate more genuine expression.
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Sam



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think, and this is actually a genuine sentiment, that the robot cartoon show as naive and direct feminist struggle metaphor should be easy to get and easy to reject.

Someone like Rothide probably needs to step out of the thread and read Solaris or if that's too hard for them I guess they could watch blade runner for a different but still applicable lesson.
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fritterdonut



Joined: 24 Jul 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I, for one, welcome our new ethically-questionable morally-reprehensible genetically engineered working class.

Well, as long as I'm not in it.
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Felgraf



Joined: 10 Jul 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
stripeypants wrote:
Because Tat is already portraying women in a varied manner, it is fine for him to represent a few women as robots and explore their lives.


this is what i am trying to work out about the fembot storyline. because if fembots are just robots, i don't really care too much about them. if fembots are a way of looking at women, then i'm interested...but i'm not always sure how they are reflecting women.

like in this case. we have an entity that functions entirely on programming. it behaves in an "affectionate" way towards its owner, because that is how it is programmed, not because it actually feels affectionate. so, similarly, the "supportive mode" (panel 13) is entered not because it feels empathy or a need to be supportive, but because its programming tells it that this is the appropriate thing to do. but it doesn't work - and in this case, i think it doesn't work because the man realizes that what he is getting is just programmed responses, not genuine emotion. and he disassembles it, because it isn't, and can't be, emotionally "real", and so can't fill his need for an emotional response.

now, i can draw a parallel with women who grow up believing that they exist to be partnered with a man, that they need to learn how to please men, that their "function" is to serve men. and they grow up and get married, not because they are in love with a man, but because that is what is expected of them. and they behave as they have been trained to behave, not because it is emotionally satisfying, but because that is what they are supposed to do.

but then if i keep following this line of thought, the woman is going to come up against a day when her man realizes that she doesn't actually love him, she is just going through the motions. and he rejects her.

admittedly, in RealLife he wouldn't (or at least shouldn't) disassemble her...but what would you have him do? he's been duped into spending his life with someone who doesn't genuinely care about him. but it's not her fault she has just done what she has been {trained/programmed} to do - but then what are her options?

our man in sinfest should have understood that he was buying something that would never really love him - but what about real-world men? are they supposed to just assume women don't or can't really love them (but just look at what we say about the men who do believe that!)

if the 'bot really doesn't feel emotions, but only shows programmed reactions, disassembling it because it no longer serves its purpose is no worse (morally) than disassembling an out-of-date computer. it would not be morally wrong to take a hammer to either one. because they are just things, with no real feelings.

the only justification for our fembot's rage is that the disassembled 'bot does feel emotions, and is emotionally hurt by being disassembled...but we have already said the "love" she showed was just programming, which means the only emotion she can truly feel is fear and pain. but that's not the case with humans - at least, not the ones who haven't been severely abused.

i guess i'm not real clear on how tat wants me to react to this. if he is saying "this is woman's lot, you are trained to please men but the only emotion you are able to experience is to fear them"....then as a woman, i'm a bit insulted, because i'm _not_ a robot; i am not unfeeling clay in someone else's hands. if he is saying "inside this thing molded to society's expectations, there is a genuine feeling being that can love as well as fear", then the 'bot could learn to love, her sympathy was genuine, and her destruction is a crime...but what does that say about the relationship, which was based on her being purchased, as an object? she still has no control of who she will love, just the luck of the draw on what the person who buys her is like.

what is tat saying about women, here? or men, for that matter?


I admit I was sort of thinking along the same path, but... given that my posting as such might be seen as defending Crayven (Since they're SLIGHTLY SIMILLAR, in that I'd also be going "Wait but this girls as robots metaphor has issues given the way we've been previously presented it in the comic, and the way the sisterhood has reacted to people interacting with them"), I figured I might be attacked for being dude-bro-ish or what-have-you, so... I sort of shut up, swallowed it, and mostly focused on Sam's referencing an awesome game series.

Plus you said it more eloquently than I think I could have anyways (alibiet with a slightly different perspective-obviously, the 'as a women' parts don't apply to me. Er. Since I'm not one. XD)
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't mean to say the metaphor make complete sense. My feeling is Tat's work would benefit from more focus. I'd love to figure out exactly what he means to say.

I was responding to the idea that portraying a mass produced fembot automatically means all women are being portrayed as robots. That by itself is not bad.
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mouse



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jody wrote:
Wow, it's like some people don't want to see a robot girl as a metaphor for the unrealistic and destructive expectations society has on women


i'm very aware of the unrealistic and destructive expectations society has on women. i'm also aware that, while women can internalize these things, they still retain free will. which is something a robot, pretty much by definition, can't have.

i think the devil girls are a better metaphor. they, too, are fitting expectations of women as sex-objects, they also are subject to societal disapproval for fitting into those expectations (because they are sexy, so they are also sluts! sluts bad! punish the bad sluts!). but we know the devil girls are also capable of feelings and emotions, that they can evaluate the situation they are in and make changes.
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Felgraf



Joined: 10 Jul 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plus, some of the ways the robots have been portrayed/used somewhat.. confuses the free will issue.

Curly, after all, 'supplanted their programing'. Not gave them free will. Not gave them more information to make better choices with. Nor did Curly really seem concerned with telling the robots to *escape*-just make them angry. It sort of feels like it was, perhaps to Curly, just another one of her anti-devilcorp sabotage runs. (This does not mean RAR SISTERHOOD ARE EVIL AND TEH REAL BADGUYS, even if that *was* what Curly was doing. If this is where Tats is going, it would be *INTERESTING* if the sisterhood also doesn't/didn't 'realize' the robots were real people, but... then we're delving into "What is the measure of a nonhuman", and Tats currently seems more interested in other themes.)

I'm not sure even the *sisterhood* sees the bots as 'real' people (if they did.. why would they assume any bot that was in a relationship was a 'fake' realtionship? For all they know, it could be one whose programming they changed, and decided it still wanted a relationship.) I think they may view the 'bots the same way they view the drones, in a sense: Tools that are being used to further the patriarchy? ((We, the audience, know better, but we also know the drones can have distinct personalities, and aren't necessarily just mindless spythings. Which really makes the 'fixing' of the zenbopped drones by devilcorp all the more horrifying and downright *EVIL*, when you think of it...))

I'm probably overthinking, honestly, it's a bad habit I have. It just sort of feels like... metaphors are being mixed and used and changed on the fly. "And if we hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes will fall like a house of cards. Checkmate."
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"No, but evil is still being --Is having reason-- Being reasonable! Mousie understands? Is always being reason. Is punishing world for not being... Like in head. Is always reason. World should be different, is reason."
-Ed, from Digger
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How do you know Curly's intention was for the fembots to just make them angry? She disrupted the programming of the dudebros coming out of the dudebro factory; do you think she intended for them to suddenly try to suddenly rage and then be shot?

Maybe free will isn't even something Tat is concentrating on with the fembots, then? Since this bot was seen switching to autopilot mode, then maybe this is supposed to be the logical conclusion reached when something is perfectly programmed to respond in socially appropriate ways - except without the omission of grisly details.

Rage like what this fembot and those who Curly gave new information to might have been reserved for protecting an owner. Maybe the fembots were also meant to do some surveillance work, and could have been used to hold or bring to justice any dudes who stepped out of line. Maybe if the fembots see a man who doesn't live up to the ideal that men in the patriarchy are supposed to have, they bolt or kill or whatever. Maybe this rogue fembot has had the devotion reserved for her owner replaced by devotion to other fembots.

I wonder how many people in the cult of masculism have bought fembots.

I also wonder if some of the dudebros of Sinfest are not simply robots. Since there is also a Dudebro factory. Except no one is buying them, but D-Man could have them released unto the populace at large. Maybe all of Sinfest land except for our principle characters are robots, and the main characters are all living in some elaborate Truman Show construct.

Oh and it's all done by God, who manipulated D-man into doing this so that God could have entertainment to watch.

yup, I figured it all out.
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Sam



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
Jody wrote:
Wow, it's like some people don't want to see a robot girl as a metaphor for the unrealistic and destructive expectations society has on women


i'm very aware of the unrealistic and destructive expectations society has on women. i'm also aware that, while women can internalize these things, they still retain free will. which is something a robot, pretty much by definition, can't have.

i think the devil girls are a better metaphor. they, too, are fitting expectations of women as sex-objects, they also are subject to societal disapproval for fitting into those expectations (because they are sexy, so they are also sluts! sluts bad! punish the bad sluts!). but we know the devil girls are also capable of feelings and emotions, that they can evaluate the situation they are in and make changes.


yeah it's like the one particularly relevant criticism I think I get the most traction from in regards to sinfest's fembot analogies is that they are so artificial in terms of presenting moral issues that honestly they stop being applicable to real life feminist issues in an academically presentable way

but then again for each attempt at what i would consider a legitimate criticism of these pastiches, we get something like ten pages of, say, this thread, so
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