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The Gender Issue

Gender Matoran Evolution Reproduction Female

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#41 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Aug 06 2013 - 02:54 PM

Yeah, Helryx is a good example. Toa don't like her morals of allowing killing, but a reasonable justification for this was given -- the Order does what the Toa cannot. The Toa are the public face of good, the Order does the necessary "dirty work" (in the eyes of the Matoran population). And I'm pretty sure it would be that way regardless of who was in charge as some situations that force that really do come up.

 

Tuyet counts as an insane or evil female, yes, although I suspect somewhat driven that way by circumstance. But then, Nidhiki went rogue too.

 

Krakha comes to mind as another that doesn't fit that mold.

There's Vhisola -- not crazy or evil, just petty selfishness, and also not passive or nurturing. That too was plot-driven; they needed the Great Disk Matoran to have questionable motives so there was at least a little room for doubt the traitor was Ahkmou. Nuhrii especially had his issues focused on in the books, and Ehrye at least also had issues. I kinda forget about Orkahm or Tehutti (I didn't focus on them much in my retelling). Vhisola fits in that mold, but not a gender one.

 

Well, there's the teacher/student thing, being Ga. You could make a case about that, but I think it falls apart when you look at Ko-Matoran and Onu-Matoran. Certainly they don't prove all male elements are stargazers or archivists. I think that's an element thing, not a gender thing (after all, a Ga-Matoran took up the old Ko-Matoran job on Mata Nui), and the fact that there was only one female gender (and gender associations with elements) was made for target-audience reasons.

 

I stand by that Macku never fit that alleged rule, nor many, if any, of the Ga-Matoran who never became Toa.

 

I think the impression largely comes from Gali, and then Nokama seeming somewhat similar. May help to recall that Greg didn't invent either of them. If anything, Greg actually moved Bionicle away from that impression. Also, I see Nokama's behavior as largely job-based; teachers are generally best to be nurturing (though I don't buy passive with either one; perhaps more gentle though), and Gali's as intended to be water-based (this was heavily emphasized with all six Toa Mata in 2001, if you recall).


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#42 Offline Toa Zaz

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Posted Aug 06 2013 - 03:40 PM

 

 

Of course, it doesn't help that Greg only knows two types of women: Passive, nurturing females, and violent, slightly-to-lotsa crazy women. 

 

I disagree with this statement. There's Helryx. 

 

Helryx is insanely evil and ambitious.

 

Edit: I meant Tuyet.

 

Actually, kind of, yeah. As I recall, Helryx was willing to sacrifice the entire universe in order to stop Teridax. Even with the justification, it seems pretty crazy to me.

 

I don't really recall Gali being so gentle and peace-loving in her early portrayals. Her urging the Toa to unite seemed more out of being more rational than Tahu or Lewa, as did not charging into battle without a plan. But she was portrayed as powerful and willing and able to throw Rahi across the whole island, etc. I think it was Nokama, being the teacher archetype, and then Hahli, etc, that really started the trend.


Edited by Toa Zaz, Aug 06 2013 - 03:43 PM.

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#43 Offline Exitium

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Posted Aug 06 2013 - 03:51 PM

My memory of the Chiara and Orde issue was that it was quite controversial at first, not just from people who heard about it later.  At the time the serials were the essentially the only story outlet, so pretty much everyone was focused on them.  The issue died down pretty quickly though, so whether or not you want to call it a big controversy is a matter of interpretation.

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Not everything need be interpreted as a gender statement. [/color]

A fair point, but when a character makes sweeping generalizations about a particular gender, that's a gender statement.  It's also worth pointing out that Orde is the one making the statement here, though he's doing so for the Great Beings, who never gave their side of the story.  It's quite possible there's some distortion in his account, whether intentional or not.

 

So I really don't think it was intended as a sexist remark in any sense, even if the poor writing might have caused some to see it that way. That doesn't mean those who may have been offended by it were wrong, and I can see where they're coming from, but Greg's writing as a whole suggests that he is not a sexist at all. 

 

Helryx is a good example.  Making the leader of one of the most powerful factions in the story a female was certainly not an accident, and her character is interesting for several reasons, not the least of which is that she isn't defined by her gender or her element.  The Toa that occupy moral grey areas are my favorite, and she never seems held back by any sort of need to nurture.  On the other hand, you don't get the sense that she's overly ambitious or psychopathic like Tuyet.  In addition, as has been mentioned before, Greg didn't want the secret GB to be a female so he didn't have to undercut a strong female.

 

The only clear thread running through all of the relatively important female characters is that none of them are dull, passive, effeminate characters.  Gali has a temper, Roodaka is a femme fatale (more so in the movie), Tuyet and Gorast are violent (though with different motivations), and Helryx is quite possibly the most powerful Toa.  These distinctions were not always done carefully, but I do detect an underlying intention on Greg's part to avoid the traps that writers often fall into regarding female characters; instead I see the opposite intent.  

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]I think the impression largely comes from Gali, and then Nokama seeming somewhat similar. May help to recall that Greg didn't invent either of them. If anything, Greg actually moved Bionicle away from that impression. Also, I see Nokama's behavior as largely job-based; teachers are generally best to be nurturing (though I don't buy passive with either one; perhaps more gentle though), and Gali's as intended to be water-based (this was heavily emphasized with all six Toa Mata in 2001, if you recall).[/color]

This is certainly a good point.  Gali was multidimensional enough (for Bionicle anyway) but I remember Nokama being rather bland in comparison.  Then again I never really liked any of the Toa Metru, so that might be coloring my opinion.  Either way , it's tough to call any of the females passive, since they were all warriors, so that argument doesn't hold much water.


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#44 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Aug 06 2013 - 03:51 PM

You do think Hahli gave that impression? How so? 'Cuz I kinda thought she was among the least like that.


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#45 Offline Toa Zaz

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Posted Aug 06 2013 - 06:42 PM

You do think Hahli gave that impression? How so? 'Cuz I kinda thought she was among the least like that.

In Power Play, Hahli freaks out about using protodermis-filled Zamor spheres, and then she and Dalu have this big discussion about how Ga-Matoran are normally peace-loving or whatever. Also, in A Cold Light Dawns and maybe Inferno, Hahli says that all the violence for the mask is insane. And she's the one who cries when Matoro temporarily dies.


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#46 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Aug 06 2013 - 07:09 PM

 

You do think Hahli gave that impression? How so? 'Cuz I kinda thought she was among the least like that.

In Power Play, Hahli freaks out about using protodermis-filled Zamor spheres, and then she and Dalu have this big discussion about how Ga-Matoran are normally peace-loving or whatever. Also, in A Cold Light Dawns and maybe Inferno, Hahli says that all the violence for the mask is insane. And she's the one who cries when Matoro temporarily dies.

Alright. I'll have a looksee (got all those books [Edit: Wait, those aren't all books are they lol.]). Probably should at the Dalu thing anyways because I presume that's the quote I thought the topic starter misunderstood.

 

Let's note again that any of that could be element-based rather than gender. :shrugs:

 

Out of time at moment though...


Edited by bonesiii, Aug 06 2013 - 07:33 PM.

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#47 Offline ~Shockwave~

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Posted Aug 06 2013 - 07:42 PM

 

 

You do think Hahli gave that impression? How so? 'Cuz I kinda thought she was among the least like that.

In Power Play, Hahli freaks out about using protodermis-filled Zamor spheres, and then she and Dalu have this big discussion about how Ga-Matoran are normally peace-loving or whatever. Also, in A Cold Light Dawns and maybe Inferno, Hahli says that all the violence for the mask is insane. And she's the one who cries when Matoro temporarily dies.

Alright. I'll have a looksee (got all those books [Edit: Wait, those aren't all books are they lol.]). Probably should at the Dalu thing anyways because I presume that's the quote I thought the topic starter misunderstood.

 

Let's note again that any of that could be element-based rather than gender. :shrugs:

 

Out of time at moment though...

 

 

That's hard to tell, since barring light types all elements have a single gender.

 

I didn't read very many of the serials, so I've probably missed quite a bit of the stuff that's being referenced. And It's been a long time since I've really gone over story materials.


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#48 Offline Exitium

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Posted Aug 06 2013 - 08:25 PM

 

You do think Hahli gave that impression? How so? 'Cuz I kinda thought she was among the least like that.

In Power Play, Hahli freaks out about using protodermis-filled Zamor spheres, and then she and Dalu have this big discussion about how Ga-Matoran are normally peace-loving or whatever. Also, in A Cold Light Dawns and maybe Inferno, Hahli says that all the violence for the mask is insane. And she's the one who cries when Matoro temporarily dies.

 

I always thought Hahli was a little more aggressive than, say, Nokama, but she did have her own adventure in MNOG II and once the fighting actually starts she never backs down.  Here are the quotations you are referring to in context:

 

"Keep quiet and keep moving," Dalu replied.  Hahli's eyes widened at her tone.

 

"Don't mind her," Piruk said quietly.  "She's just edgy."...

 

"Maybe you two [Piruk and Jaller] would like to take a rest and discuss the history of Voya Nui?" Dalu snapped.  "I'm sure Toa Hahli and I can manage the mission without you."

 

"Dalu!" Hahli exclaimed.  "We're all on the same team here.  Let's not fight among ourselves. In Metru Nui--"

 

"Right," said Dalu.  "I'm sure where you come from, Ga-Matoran are all gentile peacemakers who never raise their voices.  That's what they ... we ... were like where I came from too.  But I have bad news for you sister--this isn't Metru Nui.  We don't have time to be polite.  It's fight or end up like them." (Power Play, pp. 53-55)

 

It seems to me that Hahli is more surprised that Dalu would raise her voice to a Toa than anything to do with the Zamors themselves.  For me, this says less about Hahli than Dalu, who would appear to be speaking sarcastically (or ironically, if you want to be technical) here.  The difference that Dalu seems to be noting is not so much the difference between male and female Matoran (although she does seem to be aware of the expectations of Ga-Matoran) and more the difference between Matoran on Metru Nui and Voya Nui.  Interestingly enough, she suggests leaving the males behind to allow the females to do the fighting.

 

Hahli's comments about violence:

 

"Insanity," said Hahli.  "How can a mere Kanohi mask be worth so many lives?"

 

"If you do not know its worth," Umbra replied,"then why are you here?" (Inferno p. 67)

 

The same scene from the comic:

 

Hahli: "Do you know how many battles have already been fought to reach this spot?  This is insanity--how can this mask be worth so much violence and death?"

 

Umbra: "If you do not know the mask's worth, then why are you here?" (A Cold Light Dawns)

 

These scenes are essentially the same, and both suggest the irony that the Mask of Life has caused so much death, a sentiment that is more clear in the latter version.  Hahli's line is mostly there to trigger Umbra's which raises the stakes of the battle and makes it more suspenseful.  And Hahli is making a good point here, especially considering that 2006 was darker and edgier than previous years, complete with more violence, and that they were novice Toa at the time.  Any concerns one may have about her passivity however can be dispelled by 2007 when she starts to take a much more active role in the team, to the point where Jaller feels like she's taking over his job as leader (don't have the exact quote for this one, sorry).


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#49 Offline fishers64

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Posted Aug 06 2013 - 08:55 PM

 

[color=#282828;][font="helvetica, arial, sans-serif;"]Not everything need be interpreted as a gender statement. [/color][/font]

A fair point, but when a character makes sweeping generalizations about a particular gender, that's a gender statement.  It's also worth pointing out that Orde is the one making the statement here, though he's doing so for the Great Beings, who never gave their side of the story.  It's quite possible there's some distortion in his account, whether intentional or not.

 

The GBs didn't think the Matoran were sapient, so this doesn't exactly hold water. It's like me programming my computer to do something better for me, or deciding one piece of machinery will work better for this thing than another thing. I don't recall any sweeping generalizations made - Orde said that his Psionics mistakes caused the Psionics Toa to be made female, not that females were gentle. The GBs might have been under that (false, given all the examples to the contrary) impression, but it's false, even proven false in the exact scene. 

These scenes are essentially the same, and both suggest the irony that the Mask of Life has caused so much death, a sentiment that is more clear in the latter version.  Hahli's line is mostly there to trigger Umbra's which raises the stakes of the battle and makes it more suspenseful.  And Hahli is making a good point here, especially considering that 2006 was darker and edgier than previous years, complete with more violence, and that they were novice Toa at the time.  Any concerns one may have about her passivity however can be dispelled by 2007 when she starts to take a much more active role in the team, to the point where Jaller feels like she's taking over his job as leader (don't have the exact quote for this one, sorry).

  

Eventually this team is going to have to come together under one leader, whether it's me or somebody else.

 Also, everyone's forgetting Kiina here. Not sure if that's a good or bad thing... :P But it does show that Bionicle does have the full spectrum - from silly little girl to supertough Order leader to femme fatal.  @Helryx destroying universe: I think she was a little depressed, honestly. Having worked all your life to serve Mata Nui only for this...being...to take over in his place. I think I would be a little depressed too. That's realism.


Edited by fishers64, Aug 06 2013 - 09:31 PM.

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#50 Offline SarracenianKaijin

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Posted Aug 07 2013 - 05:56 AM

 

I don't really recall Gali being so gentle and peace-loving in her early portrayals. Her urging the Toa to unite seemed more out of being more rational than Tahu or Lewa, as did not charging into battle without a plan. But she was portrayed as powerful and willing and able to throw Rahi across the whole island, etc. I think it was Nokama, being the teacher archetype, and then Hahli, etc, that really started the trend.

 

 

... Wait, "early potrayals"? Wait, so what kind of character is Gali now? I don't remember all those web serials anymore so please remind me.


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#51 Offline DuplexBeGreat

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Posted Aug 07 2013 - 11:34 AM

Re: Onua being "nuturing" just as Gali was... Well note the descriptive adjectives for them in the '08 retrospective video. All the other Toa have somewhat adventurous words applied to them... Tahu is "Courageous", Lewa is "Agile", Kopaka is "Powerful", Pohatu is "Mighty". But Onua and Gali are "Wise" and "Noble".And Helryx was kinda over the top at times. She wasn't crazy or evil, but she always thought she was right.
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#52 Offline Toa Zaz

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Posted Aug 07 2013 - 03:40 PM

...And Hahli freezes up while fighting the Muaka illusion.


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#53 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Aug 07 2013 - 05:02 PM

And Helryx was kinda over the top at times. She wasn't crazy or evil, but she always thought she was right.
...And Hahli freezes up while fighting the Muaka illusion.

I gotta say, not to put words in yall's mouths, but it's beginning to look like yall think female characters are supposed to be perfect. :P No character is flawless (nor real people). These are things that could happen to anyone, and do, regardless of gender (or element per se). Some of this is now coming across as "a female character made this mistake ergo it could be mistaken as due to her gender, ergo she shouldn't have made that mistake."

 

The male characters made mistakes as well. Tahu usually thought he was right originally, Jaller froze up for just long enough at the "volunteer to die" test for Matoro to step up first, etc. Should those, too, have not been done lest anyone think these are male traits?

 

Again, I say this mainly to ask where you're coming from with this rather than to accuse you of meaning this. :) Or if you did mean this, how do you get around the problem that this would lead logically to all characters being required to have no flaws (or perhaps no gender lol)?

 

 

Also, Helryx may not have always thought she was right, but being a leader of such a powerful organization may feel you can't show self-doubt.


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#54 Offline fishers64

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Posted Aug 07 2013 - 07:01 PM

And this is why I consider people in a story as people, not as representatives of their gender. IMO that's the right way to look at it...:shrugs:


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#55 Offline SarracenianKaijin

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Posted Aug 09 2013 - 05:47 AM

 

And Helryx was kinda over the top at times. She wasn't crazy or evil, but she always thought she was right.
...And Hahli freezes up while fighting the Muaka illusion.

I gotta say, not to put words in yall's mouths, but it's beginning to look like yall think female characters are supposed to be perfect. :P No character is flawless (nor real people). These are things that could happen to anyone, and do, regardless of gender (or element per se). Some of this is now coming across as "a female character made this mistake ergo it could be mistaken as due to her gender, ergo she shouldn't have made that mistake."

 

The male characters made mistakes as well. Tahu usually thought he was right originally, Jaller froze up for just long enough at the "volunteer to die" test for Matoro to step up first, etc. Should those, too, have not been done lest anyone think these are male traits?

 

Again, I say this mainly to ask where you're coming from with this rather than to accuse you of meaning this. :) Or if you did mean this, how do you get around the problem that this would lead logically to all characters being required to have no flaws (or perhaps no gender lol)?

 

 

Also, Helryx may not have always thought she was right, but being a leader of such a powerful organization may feel you can't show self-doubt.

 

... Wasn't the arguement about how Greg can only write two female character types?

 

What's all this thing about perfect characters?


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#56 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Aug 09 2013 - 12:12 PM

What's all this thing about perfect characters?

Isn't it clear from the post you quoted? I don't get what you mean. Perhaps you could help me understand though by answering a stock question that Greg himself has also usually advised which is, what specific advice for improvement do you have (keep in mind it's too late, but for sake of discussion)?

 

What would you, specifically, do differently, and why?


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#57 Offline BioGio

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Posted Aug 09 2013 - 01:05 PM

 

What's all this thing about perfect characters?

Isn't it clear from the post you quoted? I don't get what you mean. Perhaps you could help me understand though by answering a stock question that Greg himself has also usually advised which is, what specific advice for improvement do you have (keep in mind it's too late, but for sake of discussion)? What would you, specifically, do differently, and why?

 

 [font="georgia, serif;"][color=#000000;]I don't mean to speak for Toa Zaz and DuplexBeGreat, but I think that your earlier response missed the mark a bit.  I don't think anyone here would disagree with the notion that characters ought to have flaws (and they may even agree with the more forcefully-stated idea that characters are in many ways best defined by their flaws)--and if they would so disagree, that's a completely different discussion from this one.  Rather, they seem to be trying to say that there is a marked trend towards female characters' possessing certain flaws:  in this case, apparently passivity, hesitancy, and/or self-righteousness.  Thus (particularly since characters are defined by their flaws), Greg can only write two female character types because all of his female characters have one of two particular flaws.[/color][/font][font="georgia, serif;"][color=#000000;]Of course, male characters also can share in these flaws (e.g., Tahu's righteousness and Jala's hesitancy, to use your examples), but many male characters have completely different flaws as well.  The central thrust of Zaz's and Duplex's argument as I understand it was that, while all characters are flawed, female characters taken as a whole show a marked tendency to possess one of two specific flaws (and thus personalities), while male characters show a much greater variety of flaws (and thus personalities).[/color][/font][font="georgia, serif;"][color=#000000;]~ BioGio[/color][/font]


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#58 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Aug 09 2013 - 08:31 PM

What I'm saying is, what flaws instead would yall have female characters have, and would you actually avoid the flaws mentioned, even though they're realistic for character-based reasons? Wouldn't that just be the same problem in the opposite way? And as I pointed out, the idea that these are inherent to female characters in Bionicle is simply not so (at least in those cases; I gave examples).

 

These seem like a perfectly normal range of flaws to me, not at all in a bipolar set of extremes of intense action or passivity. They could only seem like a trend for female characters if you judge the female characters in a vacuum.

 

To be more to the point, how is someone not admitting out loud that she might be wrong remotely comparable to something like Gorast's extremism? The point is that female characters exist in Bionicle in a fairly average "scatter pattern" at all major possible points along that spectrum, just like male ones. This does indeed disprove the hypothesis that was put forward, does it not?

 

And the idea that these are the only flaws females have does not at all seem reasonable, especially if you're treating examples like freezing up in a moment of extreme stress as being in one of two "quantized" extremes. (Surely not. I have done this myself in real life; it's perfectly realistic.) It seems to me this is commiting an equivocation fallacy by using a very loose meaning of "only two types" for the females yet a very constricted one for the males. For example, "insane" could be loosely applied to nearly any flaw. But if that is so for the female characters, it should be equally so for the males.

 

If memory serves, for example, the "Muaka" in that example was actually a test of a hologram that the others killed, which then switched to "really" be the Toa Mata. So the males, according to the loose definition, must fit into the other extreme of insane violence, right? The test itself was designed to force only two choices. Hahli happened to choose the one in that case. Likewise, the "prepare to die" test forced only two choices, and Hahli plus four males chose the equivalent, while Matoro chose the other.

 

To then treat this as a female-only trend ignores the underlying problem of a lack of an equal sample size. There's only one female in the group but five males -- and that female's personality may also be attached to her element, her individual personality (let's face it, picking seaweed is not the same as a guard; had one of the Ga-Matoran guards or Macku become a Toa they would likely not have had that reaction). So, the logic being used in that case just does not seem to work to me. :)

 

Hope this helps. ^_^


Edited by bonesiii, Aug 09 2013 - 08:38 PM.

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#59 Offline SarracenianKaijin

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Posted Aug 10 2013 - 02:40 AM

These seem like a perfectly normal range of flaws to me, not at all in a bipolar set of extremes of intense action or passivity. They could only seem like a trend for female characters if you judge the female characters in a vacuum.

 

Of course if you look at it overspecifically and individually like that.

 

The big picture however, still adheres to the arguement of only two types of female characters.


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#60 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Aug 10 2013 - 03:59 AM

The big picture however, still adheres to the arguement of only two types of female characters.

As opposed to what types of male characters, by what universal standards? :)

 

Helryx has been shown not to count into this. Krahka, etc. I listed many other examples, as did others. By no means are all the female characters reducible into only two highly specific categories at all. You have to seriously reach to even make most of them seem a little like that.

 

Let's take Gali's expertise at martial arts as another example -- passive and nurturing? Insanely violent? No, active, sane, and only as 'violent' as a hero needs to be, according to the Toa Code against killing. I fail to see how things like this fit an "only" statement. :)

 

Are you sure you're not seeing what you (for whatever reason I can't imagine) want to see?


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#61 Offline Exit Sign Fuses

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Posted Aug 10 2013 - 04:06 AM

 

To then treat this as a female-only trend ignores the underlying problem of a lack of an equal sample size. There's only one female in the group but five males --

I admit I'm coming into this conversation a bit late, but wouldn't the lack of female characters seem to imply an overarching sexist theme in the narrative?


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#62 Offline SarracenianKaijin

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Posted Aug 10 2013 - 04:22 AM

 

The big picture however, still adheres to the arguement of only two types of female characters.

As opposed to what types of male characters, by what universal standards? :)

 

By the standards of more than two types of male characters ;) ;)


Edited by SarracenianKaijin, Aug 10 2013 - 04:26 AM.

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#63 Offline krikanalo

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Posted Aug 10 2013 - 10:05 AM

 

 

To then treat this as a female-only trend ignores the underlying problem of a lack of an equal sample size. There's only one female in the group but five males --

I admit I'm coming into this conversation a bit late, but wouldn't the lack of female characters seem to imply an overarching sexist theme in the narrative?

 

yeah pretty much

 

the great beings were so sexist that they couldn't even bother to add in more and make the ones that are already there more personable

 

man what is even up with those guys


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#64 Offline ~Shockwave~

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Posted Aug 10 2013 - 12:23 PM

 To then treat this as a female-only trend ignores the underlying problem of a lack of an equal sample size. There's only one female in the group but five males --

I admit I'm coming into this conversation a bit late, but wouldn't the lack of female characters seem to imply an overarching sexist theme in the narrative?
Not really. It depends on the situation. Besides, it's a toyline aimed at boys.

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#65 Offline DuplexBeGreat

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Posted Aug 10 2013 - 01:21 PM

It's not completely sexist, it's just another example of a trope common in nearly every single boy-oriented action series with a small group of main characters. I think this was mentioned already- look up "The Chick", also known as "Action Girl" or "Smurfette Principle".
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#66 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Aug 10 2013 - 03:11 PM

 

 

To then treat this as a female-only trend ignores the underlying problem of a lack of an equal sample size. There's only one female in the group but five males --

I admit I'm coming into this conversation a bit late, but wouldn't the lack of female characters seem to imply an overarching sexist theme in the narrative?

Yes (though this, too, would be a misunderstanding, re: "seem to imply", or really, people could infer it (incorrectly), but one LEGO walked into). This is why I have said all along they should have had each element have half/half, and just forget the whole "target audience prefers males" thing. But unfortunately this very well might have harmed sales. All of this awkwardness revolves around LEGO trying to work around that limitation (so, I think most people realize we can't really blame LEGO for the root of the problem).

 

In a vacuum, it's just as legitimate to say a population happened to have less females, though, when reproduction is not part of their world. So on this point the appearance of a problem largely goes away.


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#67 Offline fishers64

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Posted Aug 10 2013 - 04:29 PM

C'mon guys, it's just realism. Would you want a bunch of girls running your giant-planet-rescuing-all-important-spaceship giant robot? Yeesh. (Even I acknowledge that would be a bad idea!) 

And I think they went with male/female mental structures to begin with was because that is what they knew, and they sort of needed a baseline for the nanotechs' brain in order to expand on it. It was easier to make the ladies and then program the water attributes in rather than to debate all the personality qualites of water beings. It's easier to make a bunch of guys and say "These are the statue builders" and "These are the airship technicians." and then optomize each group for that. And inevitably, they needed fewer teachers and more airship techs. This is not something to be held against the GBs - there's nothing wrong with them acknowledging that males do some things better than females, and vice versa, and they needed more guys. (This is in response to your third question, Nuva Tube, so yeah.)

 

In my mind, the MU gender imbalance is justified. 

 

* * *

 

There is one point of contention that might get me, though. I haven't seen any female GBs in the story. If the GBs are organic, there should be some, right? :shrugs: I just imagine if those are revealed to be all male there will be no end to the cries of "gender bias!". :wince:

 

It might be implied much by the Vorox tail incident - some bleeding heart GBs honoring the Vorox's request. But story evidence would seem to indicate a male dominated society there - did I miss the giant robot and shapeshifting killers they invented? Unless all the females act like me or something but I tend to doubt that. :P


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#68 Offline Ghabulous Ghoti

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Posted Aug 10 2013 - 05:28 PM

There is one point of contention that might get me, though. I haven't seen any female GBs in the story. If the GBs are organic, there should be some, right? :shrugs: I just imagine if those are revealed to be all male there will be no end to the cries of "gender bias!". :wince:

The Great Beings could all be asexual.


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#69 Offline HERP DERP DERP

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Posted Aug 11 2013 - 03:13 PM

To make a big deal of mr. Farshtey's rather two-dimensional and archetypical female characters is a bit silly considering that every single male villain he introduced in the later years was personality-wise basically Takadox, and most of the later additions to the OOMN cast were just the same bloody guy with some different superpowers. I think you could swap any of Botar's and Trinuma's gritty wise-cracking oneliners and broody threats and no-one would really notice.Everyone was starting to become a stereotype of themselves. It wasn't really a gender issue, more a general writing issue.


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#70 Offline Silverglass

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Posted Aug 11 2013 - 03:25 PM

 

There is one point of contention that might get me, though. I haven't seen any female GBs in the story. If the GBs are organic, there should be some, right? :shrugs: I just imagine if those are revealed to be all male there will be no end to the cries of "gender bias!". :wince:

The Great Beings could all be asexual.

 

We don't know how many GBs even exist, so I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that every GB is male (and if they are, so what?). The simple answer could be that every GB who was mentioned in-canon just so happened to be male. And as a grammar-Nazi note: it's proper English to refer to a being as "he" if his gender is unknown. This could have been the case in Bionicle writings with the purpose of simplifying things.  

 

To make a big deal of mr. Farshtey's rather two-dimensional and archetypical female characters is a bit silly considering that every single male villain he introduced in the later years was personality-wise basically Takadox, and most of the later additions to the OOMN cast were just the same bloody guy with some different superpowers. I think you could swap any of Botar's and Trinuma's gritty wise-cracking oneliners and broody threats and no-one would really notice.Everyone was starting to become a stereotype of themselves. It wasn't really a gender issue, more a general writing issue.

Sad, but largely true.


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#71 Offline Toa Zaz

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Posted Aug 11 2013 - 03:46 PM

C'mon guys, it's just realism. Would you want a bunch of girls running your giant-planet-rescuing-all-important-spaceship giant robot? Yeesh. (Even I acknowledge that would be a bad idea!) 

And I think they went with male/female mental structures to begin with was because that is what they knew, and they sort of needed a baseline for the nanotechs' brain in order to expand on it. It was easier to make the ladies and then program the water attributes in rather than to debate all the personality qualites of water beings. It's easier to make a bunch of guys and say "These are the statue builders" and "These are the airship technicians." and then optomize each group for that. And inevitably, they needed fewer teachers and more airship techs. This is not something to be held against the GBs - there's nothing wrong with them acknowledging that males do some things better than females, and vice versa, and they needed more guys. (This is in response to your third question, Nuva Tube, so yeah.)

 

In my mind, the MU gender imbalance is justified. 

 

* * *

 

There is one point of contention that might get me, though. I haven't seen any female GBs in the story. If the GBs are organic, there should be some, right? :shrugs: I just imagine if those are revealed to be all male there will be no end to the cries of "gender bias!". :wince:

 

It might be implied much by the Vorox tail incident - some bleeding heart GBs honoring the Vorox's request. But story evidence would seem to indicate a male dominated society there - did I miss the giant robot and shapeshifting killers they invented? Unless all the females act like me or something but I tend to doubt that. :P

Are you a chauvinist, or are you just kidding?

 

As far as the Great Beings thing goes, it probably is because of an inherent bias that superior beings are all or mostly white males. This is present in a lot of fiction. Doesn't excuse it, though...


Edited by Toa Zaz, Aug 11 2013 - 03:47 PM.

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#72 Offline HERP DERP DERP

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Posted Aug 11 2013 - 03:56 PM

 

Are you a chauvinist, or are you just kidding?

A peek at the so-called chauvinist's profile might answer your question.


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#73 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Aug 11 2013 - 04:38 PM

For fun, I thought of actually listing all the main Bionicle females in each year and see if they meet the claimed "only two types" thing that DV brought up. Although it seems like it's really "Only four traits", since he listed passive, nurturing, insane, and violent. I'll test both "passive and nurturing" / "insane and violent" and for any of those traits individually.2001:Gali -- Nurturing, sure. Definitely not passive (martial arts, spoke up against the will of the others to urge them to work together, etc.). I don't know how much of a stretch "violent" is meant to be (the martial arts thing), but I wouldn't count that as it's as much for protection and stopping harm as anything.Nokama -- Nurturing again, sure. All six Turaga are somewhat passive, due to being "elders", but she isn't passive compared to the others (Nuju anyone?) and in fact takes the top leadership role for Takua, even over Vakama, at one point by appointing him Chronicler. As for why she's nurturing I'll get back to that for 2004.Macku -- No.Kotu -- Not as far as I know, but she wasn't really featured, was she?Nixie -- No.Other Ga-Matoran as shown -- No, just normal villagers.2002:Bahrag -- No! They were put in a position where after who knows how many times cleaning the robot's face, Toa are shockingly opposing them. They may have less than full humanlike intelligence to grasp why, but I think it's understandable without that. Stubborn, yes, but not insane. And they certainly defended themselves "violently" but so would any gender in that position so that wouldn't be fair to allege.2002 does suffer from a lack of new female characters, though (and 2001 from a lack of equal balance, though I think we all understand why).Bohrok animation guard Ga-Matoran -- let's bring them up because it debunks a possible misconception raised earlier.2003:Hahli -- Maybe a little passive in her old job, but only in the sense that she was not apparently involved much in the defense of the village (somebody's gotta do the chores in any village). Otherwise no. And she went on to become a Kolhii Champion which is the exact opposite of passive. I'll come back to her for 2006.Other MNOG2 Ga-Matoran -- I don't think so, but I didn't spend a lot of time talking to every single one when I played the game. I think it's just more normal villager type personalities, with normal variety.Graalok -- Do we count the Rahi? :P I guess I will because Krahka below enters that territory anyways. Graalok was violent at first but due to being a bear.While we're at Rahi, I guess we should list Pewku (both 2001 and 2003). I dunno how you judge that. Friendly. But being a steed, not really a position to be "nurturing", and definitely not passive, ironically. I would say no.2004:Nokama as Matoran and Toa -- Very much the nurturing thing, but now we see an explanation; she's a teacher, and one of the top ones. It's a common teacher trait (though I'm sure all college students can think of that one professor who wasn't at all nurturing lol). Of course, we also learn this is a common job for Ga-Matoran at the time. But here I think we can see the explanation for both Nokama and Gali as water-focused. Gali is named after her element and Nokama is best at the job associated with her element. Water is nurturing to life (though it has its dangers). Contrasted to other elements which are more of "there", mildly nurturing with ice, or "absolutely essential" with Air.So, this is a Water thing, not a female thing. Other female elements, as rare as they are (and female Av-Matoran or female Shadow beings) will likely not follow this trait. Worth noting that BS01 mentions she is known for dislike of compromise, so apparently was not always that nurturing.Lariska -- Definitely violent. Not any of the other things, though a bit quirky that might seem insane to a degree. Of course, villains are almost always violent! But ironically we're about to see an exception starting off 2005.Krahka -- No. She did lack a full sapient-style intelligence at first, being a puddle of goo. As a Rahi we can't expect what we would think of as humanlike sanity. And she's violent at times, sure. But she grows up to what to me seemed almost normal for a human, Matoran, etc.Tuyet (I think she was 2005 or later technically but I'll group her with Metru Nui's intro when we saw Lhikan) -- Big yes to the insane and violent and quite possibly insanely violent. Not passive, and I don't recall if she acted nurturing while pretending to be good or not, but certainly not genuinely so.Naho -- I don't think we know enough about her. But she was the one who snuck past DH lines in that war, so not passive. Nor violent, as she didn't FIGHT past them. Her alternate Toa Empire self was apparently violent, but IMO alternates shouldn't count (she would likely have just been trying to fit in there... I dunno).Vhisola -- No.2005:Roodaka -- Not really. She's a schemer, not any of those things really. She would use violence (sometimes killing a Visorak out of anger for example) but prefers others to do her work, so less so than your usual sapient villain. She's no more insane than any villain (due to not being good which is the only fully sane thing to be :P), but possibly more sane than the vast majority. Definitely not nurturing, and despite possibly -seeming- passive, that is just a cover for a very active, order-giving, plus personally acting (with the Visorak killing thing) schemer.However, I do think "Insanely violent" can work for the moments when she just kills a Visorak to instill fear in the others. But this is a common Bionicle trait for leader villains, not inherent to females. Pridak especially comes to mind, as well as nearly all the Piraka, probably other Barraki (though we really only saw Pridak in his old role), many of the Makuta, and TSO to some extent. I think it's just a trope used to show that the villain leader is really, really evil.Gaaki -- I honestly don't remember much about most of the Rahaga other than Norik and Kualus (who I focused on in my retelling), but I don't think she fits. BS01 says she's "feisty" and a hard worker, so not passive. As for nurturing I have no idea. Probably to some extent, but again, this should likely be associated with Water element, not female gender.2006:Hahli -- No, about normal. The Muaka hologram incident has been alleged, but that was a situation literally forcing you to be either passive (freeze up and possibly die) or violent (violate the Code and kill the Muaka). Had she acted as others did and killed it, you could then claim that she fits the pattern due to being "violent". So this really is irrelevant.And her reaction makes sense for someone who came to the mantle of Toa from being an assistant flax maker and sports champion rather than a guard, warrior, etc. as other Ga-Matoran have been. As pointed out earlier, had Macku become the Ga-Toa Inika she might not have acted that way. As for nurturing, this team really didn't need much of that, to be honest, unlike the Mata/Nuva and Metru. They already understood they needed to work together, so I would say they all were, even the Ko-Matoran.Dalu -- No.Nokama deserves a mention here, too, since she was the one who actively disobeyed Dume in allowing the to-be-Inika and Takanuva to leave.2007:Idris, Kyrehx -- I really don't recall much about them at moment. BS01's description of Idris sounds like a maybe to nurturing, but Kyrehx doesn't seem to fit. And these traits seem like general Matoran traits to me.Apparently 2007 did not have a ton of new female characters. Ironic for being the water year...2008:Gorast -- Heck yeah. Insanely violent, and violent, anyways. Insane itself, not really. Hopelessly misguided, yes, though.She does lend the most credence to the claim, I think, because she seems the most extreme of the Makuta. Of course, why must that not happen to be a female? Surely among other groups there are male examples of the most extreme. Hakann with the Piraka (and Vezon being obviously the most insane), several contenders among the DH, probably Pridak of the Barraki, etc. On the other hand, Lariska is one of those DH contenders, and Roodaka has at least the insanely violent trait among Vortixx and/or Visorak-related people. So there does seem to be a trend with that side of the scale.Personally, though, I think this is actually done out of anti-sexism. LEGO wants to show strong females. This is the one common thread I see. The female good guys... er gals... tend to often be strong in good ways, the bad ones strong in bad ways. It's empowerment, right? You can make a case that they oversell it, though, and in so doing lose a statistical normalcy that might be even more effective at countering sexism. But the downside of that would be the females would tend to be more boring, which also might be counterproductive. :shrugs: So I think at best this is highly debatable. It definitely cannot show sexism on LEGO's part, so although it might possibly enable misunderstandings, that could go both ways.It also may simply be trying to balance out the statistical lack of females -- making sure you don't forget about the few that are there.And let's bring up Icarax while we're on it, who is quite possibly legitimately insane, mildly, for trying to rebel against Teridax, and also going up against the Ignika. And is also among the most violent. And many of the Makuta are very violent.Gavla -- No! She's a major example of a female (note: of another element) who was not nurturing. She actually tended not to get along well with others. But she wasn't passive either. While a Shadow Matoran, she seems to have been general evil-type stuff, albeit with a grudge still (due to not being nurturing before!).2009-end:Kiina -- No.Sisters of the Skrall -- Again, no.Annona -- Also no.Chiara -- No.So, in conclusion, myth busted. :P Both the literal claim that "only" those two types are there and the looser sense that they're even the majority.

 

 

Also, I agree with HDD. Greg's writing had some definite limitations as far as characterization went, and that naturally affected the female characters as much as the males. There were some clear tropes and "shock value" things, and it is what it is. But it isn't sexism nor is it fair to justify people confusing it for that. It's just a kid's story, really.

 

Fishers -- I'm not sure how you figure about "would you want" females having those types of jobs. In real life, females will tend to have less upper body strength, so if you have two options, a typical female and typical male, to hire for a job for lifting heavy things, perhaps you wouldn't, but I highly doubt it works that way with Matoran. That has to do with reproductive considerations and how bodies grow biologically. Neither apply to Matoran. So... I dunno about that. That might actually apply with the percentage of Glatorian seen in-story though. :shrugs: Assuming the biology of Agori/Glat-species even works that way. I don't see it as working to explain why we didn't get to see female Agori, though.

 

We should keep in mind here that the GBs really did not think they were making genuinely sapient beings. So all of this might be simply overthinking this stuff. They may have simply seen the males as just robots that they would call "he", but (as I mentioned earlier) thought of having there be females (though I originally had the timing off on this guess), and not really cared about numerical equality since they thought of it as just nanotech with some programming similarities to gender, albeit with organic components and likely brains.

 

I would guess the GBs are half/half, but we don't really know. They DO have gender, at least in how they are referred to by the pronouns. My guess is that both with Agori and GBs, the only LEGO explanation would be "coincidence" in-story, relying on the out-of-story explanation of the target audience majority. :shrugs:


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#74 Offline Toa Zaz

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Posted Aug 11 2013 - 08:16 PM

 

 

Are you a chauvinist, or are you just kidding?

A peek at the so-called chauvinist's profile might answer your question.

 

Fine, but to the casual observer it comes off as just intolerant.


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#75 Offline ~Shockwave~

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Posted Aug 11 2013 - 09:21 PM

 

 

 

Are you a chauvinist, or are you just kidding?

A peek at the so-called chauvinist's profile might answer your question.

 

Fine, but to the casual observer it comes off as just intolerant.

 

 

Than be an informed observer.


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#76 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Aug 11 2013 - 09:28 PM

Alright, guys, it was a simple misunderstanding; let's move on and get back on-topic. :)


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#77 Offline fishers64

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Posted Aug 12 2013 - 10:30 AM

XD. *bangs head on desk* *uncrosses mental wires* Getting back on topic... 

Fishers -- I'm not sure how you figure about "would you want" females having those types of jobs. In real life, females will tend to have less upper body strength, so if you have two options, a typical female and typical male, to hire for a job for lifting heavy things, perhaps you wouldn't, but I highly doubt it works that way with Matoran. That has to do with reproductive considerations and how bodies grow biologically. Neither apply to Matoran. So... I dunno about that. That might actually apply with the percentage of Glatorian seen in-story though. :shrugs: Assuming the biology of Agori/Glat-species even works that way. I don't see it as working to explain why we didn't get to see female Agori, though. We should keep in mind here that the GBs really did not think they were making genuinely sapient beings. So all of this might be simply overthinking this stuff. They may have simply seen the males as just robots that they would call "he", but (as I mentioned earlier) thought of having there be females (though I originally had the timing off on this guess), and not really cared about numerical equality since they thought of it as just nanotech with some programming similarities to gender, albeit with organic components and likely brains. I would guess the GBs are half/half, but we don't really know. They DO have gender, at least in how they are referred to by the pronouns. My guess is that both with Agori and GBs, the only LEGO explanation would be "coincidence" in-story, relying on the out-of-story explanation of the target audience majority. :shrugs:

7.- why there´s only one female Toa in every team? (except on the Toa Mangai)7) Because we are writing a story for 8-9 year old boys, most of whom aren’t looking for loads of heroines in their stories.

 

I assume that this would apply for the Agori and GBs as well. :shrugs: Although GG could be right, but I doubt it because of the out-of-story relate-ability  point. 

 

And you're probably right that my explanation there is erroneous. It could be that the GBs developed the "teacher Matoran" and gave them female-style characteristics, and those developed out once they became sapient. But that seems to be contradicted by Orde's statement, which implies that there were two types from the beginning. What I was trying to say was that the GBs felt the "female" programming characteristics fit better with some things more than others, the "male" programming characteristics fit better with other things, and then the GBs decided that they needed more of the "male" characteristic beings to operate their robot. This doesn't make them sexist as much as practical. :shrugs: This seems to be implied by Orde's statement, to me. :shrugs:

 


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