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2013-05-16: Problematic
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Yinello



Joined: 10 May 2012
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because they're only portraying 1 skintone in a country that has more.
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Tekii



Joined: 27 May 2012
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



A group of students in the same photo with the same lighting around the same age, all with roughly the same skin tone. Its not hard to think 7 Japanese kids living in the same area would have the same skin tone.

I'm all for diverse racial representations in media in countries that are racially diverse but they're 7 Japanese kids in Japan living in the same area.
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Yinello



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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We'll just have to agree to disagree then. I think people who live in a district could easily have different skintones (be it from heritage or where they came from) but who knows, it may just be me.
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Tekii



Joined: 27 May 2012
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or maybe they just don't care about the skintones that much because they're all Japanese people. Do we really need to divide things even further into pale Japanese people, light Japanese people, tanned Japanese people, so on and so forth?
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Yinello



Joined: 10 May 2012
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll be honest, I'm not too interested in discussing it further because I feel we'll end up running in circles. I doubt that's a good use of our internet time. I'm a stubborn idealist, possibly the worst person to argue with. Wink

That said, Persona 4 does tackle issues that almost all games prefer to ignore and I commend the author for it. I'm excited to know if there will be a Persona 5.
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Zhuinden



Joined: 02 Jul 2012
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the question of racial diversity is more prominent in the US due to how there is far more of a deep wound in terms of historical and cultural in-land racism than in Japan, thus this is not relevant for the message of the show.
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Valerie



Joined: 02 Apr 2013
Posts: 263

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stripeypants wrote:
You know what fucking sucks? If I want to avoid all the bullshit insults to myself and my friends, I have to avoid most media. I did that for quite some time, and it was pretty much a world without stories. And that's kind of like a world without people where nothing happens.

I don't give a fuck about literary theory, because I am pretty fast-food and boorish about the stuff I like. It is simplythat I don't find any value or anything interesting about heteronormative, fat-phobic, racist content.

I also, incidentally, think romance and crime-solving is totally overdone, because there are other things that humans do in than date/have sex and solve murders. There are other adventures people could be having. I used to think that was because I was in no relationship, but then I got in a good one - and I still find romance-laced stories unfulfilling and trite.

Not that there aren't good ones. This hardly covers everything. I guess my ranty starting point is, "Shut up about literary theory, because people are talking about what they like and what they don't and why."


I don't watch TV/movies for this reason. Those seem to be the worst offenders. If I watch something, it tends to be because I've heard it's at least trying to be inclusive.

Webcomics seem to be the best at not-horribly-offending-everyone, maybe just for the fact that there are so many of them and that they're written by people of all stripes.
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Zhuinden



Joined: 02 Jul 2012
Posts: 284

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Valerie wrote:
stripeypants wrote:
You know what fucking sucks? If I want to avoid all the bullshit insults to myself and my friends, I have to avoid most media. I did that for quite some time, and it was pretty much a world without stories. And that's kind of like a world without people where nothing happens.

I don't give a fuck about literary theory, because I am pretty fast-food and boorish about the stuff I like. It is simplythat I don't find any value or anything interesting about heteronormative, fat-phobic, racist content.

I also, incidentally, think romance and crime-solving is totally overdone, because there are other things that humans do in than date/have sex and solve murders. There are other adventures people could be having. I used to think that was because I was in no relationship, but then I got in a good one - and I still find romance-laced stories unfulfilling and trite.

Not that there aren't good ones. This hardly covers everything. I guess my ranty starting point is, "Shut up about literary theory, because people are talking about what they like and what they don't and why."


I don't watch TV/movies for this reason. Those seem to be the worst offenders. If I watch something, it tends to be because I've heard it's at least trying to be inclusive.

Webcomics seem to be the best at not-horribly-offending-everyone, maybe just for the fact that there are so many of them and that they're written by people of all stripes.


If we want non-conventional stories, we should be looking at a wide variety of animes. There's everything from comedy (Slayers first two seasons) to fairly serious drama (Monster). But there is a thread about those.
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Felgraf



Joined: 10 Jul 2012
Posts: 709

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Valerie wrote:
stripeypants wrote:
You know what fucking sucks? If I want to avoid all the bullshit insults to myself and my friends, I have to avoid most media. I did that for quite some time, and it was pretty much a world without stories. And that's kind of like a world without people where nothing happens.

I don't give a fuck about literary theory, because I am pretty fast-food and boorish about the stuff I like. It is simplythat I don't find any value or anything interesting about heteronormative, fat-phobic, racist content.

I also, incidentally, think romance and crime-solving is totally overdone, because there are other things that humans do in than date/have sex and solve murders. There are other adventures people could be having. I used to think that was because I was in no relationship, but then I got in a good one - and I still find romance-laced stories unfulfilling and trite.

Not that there aren't good ones. This hardly covers everything. I guess my ranty starting point is, "Shut up about literary theory, because people are talking about what they like and what they don't and why."


I don't watch TV/movies for this reason. Those seem to be the worst offenders. If I watch something, it tends to be because I've heard it's at least trying to be inclusive.

Webcomics seem to be the best at not-horribly-offending-everyone, maybe just for the fact that there are so many of them and that they're written by people of all stripes.


I seriously, seriously, seriously recommend you read the webcomic Digger if you haven't. It is amazing. It's also done, so hey! Once the archive binge is over, you're finished!
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Rune



Joined: 08 Oct 2011
Posts: 1046

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Digger" really is a quality work.
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lostinube



Joined: 08 Apr 2013
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.socialjusticeleague.net/2011/09/how-to-be-a-fan-of-problematic-things/

Quote:
I like things, and some of those things are problematic. I like Lord of the Rings even though it’s pretty fucked up with regard to women and race (any narrative that says “this whole race is evil” is fucked up, okay). I like A Song of Ice and Fire even though its portrayal of people of colour is problematic, and often I find that its in-text condemnation of patriarchy isn’t obvious enough to justify the sexism displayed. I like the movie Scott Pilgrim vs The World even though it is racist in its portrayal of Matthew Patel, panders to stereotypes in its portrayal of Wallace, and trivialises queer female sexuality in its portrayal of Ramona and Roxy’s relationship. For fuck’s sake, Ramona even says “It was a phase”! How much more cliche and offensive could this movie be? Oh wait, remember how Scott defeats Roxy, his only female adversary, by making her orgasm? Excuse me while I vomit…and then keep watching because I still like the rest of the movie.

Liking problematic things doesn’t make you an asshole. In fact, you can like really problematic things and still be not only a good person, but a good social justice activist (TM)! After all, most texts have some problematic elements in them, because they’re produced by humans, who are well-known to be imperfect. But it can be surprisingly difficult to own up to the problematic things in the media you like, particularly when you feel strongly about it, as many fans do. We need to find a way to enjoy the media we like without hurting other people and marginalised groups. So with that in mind, here are my suggestions for things we should try our darnedest to do as self-confessed fans of problematic stuff.

Firstly, acknowledge that the thing you like is problematic and do not attempt to make excuses for it. It is a unique irritation to encounter a person who point blank refuses to admit that something they like is problematic. Infuriatingly, people will often actually articulate some version of the argument “It can’t be problematic because I like it, and I’m nice”. Alternatively, some fans may find it tempting to argue “Well this media is a realistic portrayal of societies like X, Y, Z”. But when you say that sexism and racism and heterosexism and cissexism have to be in the narrative or the story won’t be realistic, what you are saying is that we humans literally cannot recognise ourselves without systemic prejudice, nor can we connect to characters who are not unrepentant bigots. Um, yikes. YIKES, you guys.

And even if you think that’s true (which scares the hell out of me), I don’t see you arguing for an accurate portrayal of everything in your fiction all the time. For example, most people seem fine without accurate portrayal of what personal hygiene was really like in 1300 CE in their medieval fantasy media. (Newsflash: realistically, Robb Stark and Jon Snow rarely bathed or brushed their teeth or hair). In real life, people have to go to the bathroom. In movies and books, they don’t show that very much, because it’s boring and gross. Well, guess what: bigotry is also boring and gross. But everyone is just dying to keep that in the script.

Especially do not ever suggest that people not take media “so seriously”, or argue that it’s “just” a tv show. The narratives that we surround ourselves with can subtly, subconsciously influence how we think about ourselves and others. That’s why creating imaginary fantasy and sci fi worlds that have more equal societies can be a powerful thing for marginalised people, who mainstream media rarely acknowledges as heroes. But even if you don’t think that media matters, there is still no reason to focus exclusively on unequal or problematic fictional worlds and narratives. If it doesn’t matter, why don’t YOU stop taking your media so seriously and stop fighting us on this? You with your constant demands for your narrow idea of “realism” (which by the way often sounds a lot like “show me naked skinny ciswomen, and gore”). If in your framework tv shows aren’t serious business, why does realism matter? Why can’t you accept that it would be totally cool to have AT LEAST ONE BIG MEDIEVAL FANTASY EPIC WHERE WOMEN AND POC WERE LIKE, EQUAL TO WHITE MEN AND STUFF. STOP TAKING IT SO SERIOUSLY.

Secondly, do not gloss over the issues or derail conversations about the problematic elements. Okay, so you can admit that Dune is problematic. But wait, you’re not done! You need to be willing to engage with people about it! It’s not enough to be like “Ok, I admit that it’s problematic that the major villain is a fat homosexual rapist, but come on, let’s focus on the giant sandworms!”. Shutting people down, ignoring or giving minimal treatment to their concerns, and refusing to fully engage with their issues is a form of oppression. Implicitly, you’re giving the message that this person’s feelings are less important than your own. In fact, in this case you’re saying that their pain is less important than your enjoyment of a book, movie or tv show. So when people raise these concerns, listen respectfully and try to understand the views. Do not change the topic.

Thirdly you must acknowledge other, even less favourable, interpretations of the media you like. Sometimes you still enjoy a movie or book because you read a certain, potentially problematic scene in a certain way – but others read it entirely differently, and found it more problematic. For example, consider the scene in Game of Thrones where Drogo rapes Dany (which he does not do in the books). One of my friends feels that it was portrayed like rape fetish porn, sexualising the act and Dany’s pain. But I feel that the scene focuses on Dany’s pain and tears in a manner that is not fetishising them (though even so the narrative is still totally fucked up because Dany and her rapist then go on to have a good, sexyfuntimes relationship…uh, no, HBO). I don’t agree with my friend’s interpretation but I recognise it as a totally valid reading of the scene.

Also, as a fan of problematic media, you need to respect the fact that others may be so upset or angered by media you love that they don’t want to engage with it at all. In fact, one of my best friends won’t watch HBO’s Game of Thrones because of the racism and misogyny. That’s a completely legitimate and valid response to that tv show, and me trying to convince her to give it another shot would be disrespectful and hurtful. If you badger others to see what you see in something when they are telling you it’s not enjoyable for them, you’re being an entitled jerk. You’re showing yourself to be willing to hurt a real person over a television show. That really is a sign you’re taking things too seriously.

As fans, sometimes we need to remember that the things we like don’t define our worth as people. So there’s no need to defend them from every single criticism or pretend they are perfect. Really loving something means seeing it as it really is, not as you wish it were. You can still be a good fan while acknowledging the problematic elements of the things you love. In fact, that’s the only way to be a good fan of problematic things.
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Samsally



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 6375

PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for joining the forum to randomly dump a link to an article that's already been posted ages ago I guess?

I mean, it's a good article but usually it's good form to at least add additional comments or something.
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