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"LEGO Movie 2" Director Wants More Female Characters


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#1 Offline Hapori Tohu

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Posted Apr 13 2014 - 08:36 PM

Lady minifigs are a rare but welcome sight in many LEGO sets, and director Chris McKay said he wants to make that ratio more equal with The LEGO Movie 2. In an interview being reported, McKay cited the Bechdel test, a Hollywood gender bias test, as something to strive for and something that helped shape Wyldstyle and Unikitty into such "interesting" characters in the first film. Various articles explain this further, and we can expect some more lady minifigs to appear in the next LEGO movie. Until then, we'll just have to keep collecting those five versions of Unikitty!

View the full article

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#2 Offline fishers64

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Posted Apr 13 2014 - 09:52 PM

For some reason I was expecting this after the ending to the first film. :shrugs:


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#3 Offline Meiko

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Posted Apr 13 2014 - 09:57 PM

Alatariel's Female Minifigure Set will probably be in the sequel.

 

Just kidding, it probably won't.

 

I'm not really so surprised. I personally don't see why it's such big news all over the place (well I do kind of), since it's just as silly to make males dominant and more abundant in everything as it is to sensationalise the introduction of more females into a storyline. That's just my opinion though.


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#4 Offline Kung Fu Pyro

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Posted Apr 13 2014 - 11:11 PM

Alatariel's Female Minifigure Set will probably be in the sequel.
 
Just kidding, it probably won't.
 
I'm not really so surprised. I personally don't see why it's such big news all over the place (well I do kind of), since it's just as silly to make males dominant and more abundant in everything as it is to sensationalise the introduction of more females into a storyline. That's just my opinion though.


While optimally gender ratio wouldn't have to matter so much in media, given the fact that so many more male characters do exist, news about representing female characters on a larger scale in anything tends to get a lot of attention, especially since the majority of Lego products are marketed towards boys.

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#5 Online Emotionless

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Posted Apr 13 2014 - 11:57 PM

Well, okay. That doesn't sound like a bad idea.
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#6 Offline Observance

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 12:20 AM

When you're dealing with mass media, considering gender ratios is always important. LEGO may be marketed 'for boys', but how often does marketing for just one gender mean only that gender buys the product? I don't like bronies (and what they've done with the show is frankly disgusting), but consider how a show marketed nearly exclusively towards girls wound up with such a large male audience.

 

The LEGO Movie is half comedy, but it's also half action. Giving more women a leading role in that action tells young (and thus very impressionable) girls that they don't have to be just sidekicks or princesses in fancy dresses: they can fight too.


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#7 Offline Palm

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 01:32 AM

Good news! Frankly, if about half of the world's population is women, we have no reason to not make 50% of characters in a narrative women. Simply common sense.

I'm not sure if the film itself will live up to it's predecessor, but this is certainly a good step to move in. Especially in such a grand-scale production when your audience is as massive as this. Glad to hear that the director at least acknowledges this problem and is looking to correct it!


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#8 Online TheSkeletonMan939

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 06:35 AM

I don't get this line from the original article:

 

... only starred three prominent female characters.

 

 

Well, it's not like the movie had many starring male roles either. Emmett, Vitruvius, Batman... and President Business, I guess? All the other characters had short blips of screen time.

 

Also, I can't think of the third female role they might be referring to. Unikitty, Wildstyle, and, umm....


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#9 Offline Yaldabaoth

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 07:06 AM

Wonder Woman?


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#10 Online TheSkeletonMan939

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 08:08 AM

Wonder Woman?

 

I don't think you count as a prominent character if you have two lines.


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#11 Offline Meiko

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 08:59 AM

I don't get this line from the original article:

 

... only starred three prominent female characters.

 

 

Well, it's not like the movie had many starring male roles either. Emmett, Vitruvius, Batman... and President Business, I guess? All the other characters had short blips of screen time.

 

Also, I can't think of the third female role they might be referring to. Unikitty, Wildstyle, and, umm....

Spoiler

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#12 Offline Pomegranate

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 09:19 AM

I like this director, he seems to have his head in the right place. It would definitely be nice to see some more LEGO ladies on the screen next time 'round :)
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#13 Offline Makaru

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 09:22 AM

Well, it's not like the movie had many starring male roles either. Emmett, Vitruvius, Batman... and President Business, I guess? All the other characters had short blips of screen time.

Emmet, Vitruvius, Benny, Batman and Metalbeard make up the core resistance group. You have core villains President Business, Good Cop and Bad Cop (you can choose whether or not these are separate characters), an if we are going to count Wonder Woman as starring role then you can include everybody's favorite working-class hero Sheriff Not-A-Robot as well who has a whopping one line of dialog more than Wonder Woman and significantly more screen time.

 

That's 8-9 guys for 3 girls. While that's ~300% better than Bionicle, there's still improvements to be made.


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#14 Offline xccj

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 10:11 AM

Well, as the theme of sets went, this did a better job of including female minifigures in with the cast compared to other Lego adventure themes.  The movie could've used some more female roles, but its still steps above where standard Lego themes sit.  :shrugs:

 

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#15 Offline Kung Fu Pyro

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 10:37 AM

I don't like bronies (and what they've done with the show is frankly disgusting)


Wow, way to instantaneously generalize and demonize 7-12 million people based on the fandom they're in. Nothing but class here, folks.

Good news! Frankly, if about half of the world's population is women, we have no reason to not make 50% of characters in a narrative women. Simply common sense.


While I agree women are certainly underrepresented, it really depends on the narrative. If the narrative fluidly allows for more female characters, then more power to ya! Of course, you also have to consider that some narratives wouldn't work as well with more female characters, simply because they would appear somewhat shoehorned in.

Overall, as long as it fits the narrative, more female characters are a good thing!

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#16 Offline Lyichir

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 11:17 AM

I was really pleased by this news. While I could excuse The Lego Movie for just barely passing the Bechdel test (since most of the characters were defined largely by their relationship with Emmet, and it delivered two amazing female characters regardless), there's no reason why the sequel shouldn't allow more time for the female characters to relate to each other, and it's good that the director recognizes that opportunity.

Spoiler

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#17 Offline Arc

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 11:21 AM

 

I don't like bronies (and what they've done with the show is frankly disgusting)


Wow, way to instantaneously generalize and demonize 7-12 million people based on the fandom they're in. Nothing but class here, folks.

Good news! Frankly, if about half of the world's population is women, we have no reason to not make 50% of characters in a narrative women. Simply common sense.


While I agree women are certainly underrepresented, it really depends on the narrative. If the narrative fluidly allows for more female characters, then more power to ya! Of course, you also have to consider that some narratives wouldn't work as well with more female characters, simply because they would appear somewhat shoehorned in.

Overall, as long as it fits the narrative, more female characters are a good thing!

 

please, enlighten me as to exactly what kind of narratives female characters would feel "shoehorned" into, because i cannot think of any.


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#18 Offline Pomegranate

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 11:24 AM


 

I don't like bronies (and what they've done with the show is frankly disgusting)

Wow, way to instantaneously generalize and demonize 7-12 million people based on the fandom they're in. Nothing but class here, folks.

Good news! Frankly, if about half of the world's population is women, we have no reason to not make 50% of characters in a narrative women. Simply common sense.

While I agree women are certainly underrepresented, it really depends on the narrative. If the narrative fluidly allows for more female characters, then more power to ya! Of course, you also have to consider that some narratives wouldn't work as well with more female characters, simply because they would appear somewhat shoehorned in.

Overall, as long as it fits the narrative, more female characters are a good thing!
 
please, enlighten me as to exactly what kind of narratives female characters would feel "shoehorned" into, because i cannot think of any.

I was gonna ask this. What kind of narratives break down when you add ladies to 'em? It sounds like "narratives with females" just means "romance plots" or something in this case :P Seems like a silly thing to worry about to me.

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#19 Offline Kung Fu Pyro

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 11:32 AM

I don't like bronies (and what they've done with the show is frankly disgusting)

Wow, way to instantaneously generalize and demonize 7-12 million people based on the fandom they're in. Nothing but class here, folks.

Good news! Frankly, if about half of the world's population is women, we have no reason to not make 50% of characters in a narrative women. Simply common sense.

While I agree women are certainly underrepresented, it really depends on the narrative. If the narrative fluidly allows for more female characters, then more power to ya! Of course, you also have to consider that some narratives wouldn't work as well with more female characters, simply because they would appear somewhat shoehorned in.
Overall, as long as it fits the narrative, more female characters are a good thing!
please, enlighten me as to exactly what kind of narratives female characters would feel "shoehorned" into, because i cannot think of any.

I was gonna ask this. What kind of narratives break down when you add ladies to 'em? It sounds like "narratives with females" just means "romance plots" or something in this case :P Seems like a silly thing to worry about to me.

You seem to be under the impression that I meant some narratives would be better without female characters at all. My point was that a lot of narratives are built around male characters, and if the male characters are indeed the focus of the narrative, sticking in more female characters just for the sake of having more female characters might detract from the story. I suppose it really depends in the creator's intentions and execution.

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#20 Offline Arc

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 11:45 AM

 

 

 

 

I don't like bronies (and what they've done with the show is frankly disgusting)

Wow, way to instantaneously generalize and demonize 7-12 million people based on the fandom they're in. Nothing but class here, folks.

Good news! Frankly, if about half of the world's population is women, we have no reason to not make 50% of characters in a narrative women. Simply common sense.

While I agree women are certainly underrepresented, it really depends on the narrative. If the narrative fluidly allows for more female characters, then more power to ya! Of course, you also have to consider that some narratives wouldn't work as well with more female characters, simply because they would appear somewhat shoehorned in.
Overall, as long as it fits the narrative, more female characters are a good thing!
please, enlighten me as to exactly what kind of narratives female characters would feel "shoehorned" into, because i cannot think of any.

I was gonna ask this. What kind of narratives break down when you add ladies to 'em? It sounds like "narratives with females" just means "romance plots" or something in this case :P Seems like a silly thing to worry about to me.

You seem to be under the impression that I meant some narratives would be better without female characters at all. My point was that a lot of narratives are built around male characters, and if the male characters are indeed the focus of the narrative, sticking in more female characters just for the sake of having more female characters might detract from the story. I suppose it really depends in the creator's intentions and execution.

 

that's basically what you're saying though

 

i'm failing to grasp how a narrative "centered around male characters" couldn't be modified to include female characters

 

and how doing so "just for the sake of having more female characters" could possibly detract from the story


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#21 Offline Kung Fu Pyro

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 11:55 AM

I don't like bronies (and what they've done with the show is frankly disgusting)

Wow, way to instantaneously generalize and demonize 7-12 million people based on the fandom they're in. Nothing but class here, folks.

Good news! Frankly, if about half of the world's population is women, we have no reason to not make 50% of characters in a narrative women. Simply common sense.

While I agree women are certainly underrepresented, it really depends on the narrative. If the narrative fluidly allows for more female characters, then more power to ya! Of course, you also have to consider that some narratives wouldn't work as well with more female characters, simply because they would appear somewhat shoehorned in.
Overall, as long as it fits the narrative, more female characters are a good thing!
please, enlighten me as to exactly what kind of narratives female characters would feel "shoehorned" into, because i cannot think of any.

I was gonna ask this. What kind of narratives break down when you add ladies to 'em? It sounds like "narratives with females" just means "romance plots" or something in this case :P Seems like a silly thing to worry about to me.

You seem to be under the impression that I meant some narratives would be better without female characters at all. My point was that a lot of narratives are built around male characters, and if the male characters are indeed the focus of the narrative, sticking in more female characters just for the sake of having more female characters might detract from the story. I suppose it really depends in the creator's intentions and execution.
that's basically what you're saying though
 
i'm failing to grasp how a narrative "centered around male characters" couldn't be modified to include female characters
 
and how doing so "just for the sake of having more female characters" could possibly detract from the story

The narrative could very well be altered, but my point is that altering it might not be something the creator is willing to do seeing as it would change his or her story.

Adding anything to a story just for the sake of having it there would detract from the story. Imagine if you were reading a space epic and the creator decided to just throw in Shaquille O Neil playing tennis for a few pages. It doesn't matter what it is, it wouldn't matter to the story and would just be wasting our time.

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#22 Offline Arc

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 11:56 AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't like bronies (and what they've done with the show is frankly disgusting)

Wow, way to instantaneously generalize and demonize 7-12 million people based on the fandom they're in. Nothing but class here, folks.

Good news! Frankly, if about half of the world's population is women, we have no reason to not make 50% of characters in a narrative women. Simply common sense.

While I agree women are certainly underrepresented, it really depends on the narrative. If the narrative fluidly allows for more female characters, then more power to ya! Of course, you also have to consider that some narratives wouldn't work as well with more female characters, simply because they would appear somewhat shoehorned in.
Overall, as long as it fits the narrative, more female characters are a good thing!
please, enlighten me as to exactly what kind of narratives female characters would feel "shoehorned" into, because i cannot think of any.

I was gonna ask this. What kind of narratives break down when you add ladies to 'em? It sounds like "narratives with females" just means "romance plots" or something in this case :P Seems like a silly thing to worry about to me.

You seem to be under the impression that I meant some narratives would be better without female characters at all. My point was that a lot of narratives are built around male characters, and if the male characters are indeed the focus of the narrative, sticking in more female characters just for the sake of having more female characters might detract from the story. I suppose it really depends in the creator's intentions and execution.
that's basically what you're saying though
 
i'm failing to grasp how a narrative "centered around male characters" couldn't be modified to include female characters
 
and how doing so "just for the sake of having more female characters" could possibly detract from the story

The narrative could very well be altered, but my point is that altering it might not be something the creator is willing to do seeing as it would change his or her story.

Adding anything to a story just for the sake of having it there would detract from the story. Imagine if you were reading a space epic and the creator decided to just throw in Shaquille O Neil playing tennis for a few pages. It doesn't matter what it is, it wouldn't matter to the story and would just be wasting our time.

 

yes but like i said earlier, why not work female characters into the plot in the first place

 

i cannot think of a plot that wouldn't work with more than the usual amount of female characters in it


Edited by Arc, Apr 14 2014 - 11:57 AM.

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#23 Offline Makaru

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 11:58 AM

Emmett could easily be replaced by Gail, changing little else in the movie.

 

The story, I think, would be vastly improved in every single way.


Edited by Makaru, Apr 14 2014 - 12:18 PM.

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#24 Offline Pomegranate

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 12:05 PM

Please don't compare adding more female roles into a story with a male protagonist to adding Shaq playing tennis for no reason into a sci fi story, thats just ridiculous, women aren't nonsense. It's more like adding... female roles to a sci fi story (not a big deal at all).

You realize there's more to character than just their gender and the accompanying archetypes, right? I think shoehorning any character into a story poorly is a bad idea, wether they're ladies or men or robots. Obviously nobody is saying "just throw em in for representation" :P

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#25 Offline Kung Fu Pyro

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 12:06 PM

I don't like bronies (and what they've done with the show is frankly disgusting)

Wow, way to instantaneously generalize and demonize 7-12 million people based on the fandom they're in. Nothing but class here, folks.

Good news! Frankly, if about half of the world's population is women, we have no reason to not make 50% of characters in a narrative women. Simply common sense.

While I agree women are certainly underrepresented, it really depends on the narrative. If the narrative fluidly allows for more female characters, then more power to ya! Of course, you also have to consider that some narratives wouldn't work as well with more female characters, simply because they would appear somewhat shoehorned in.
Overall, as long as it fits the narrative, more female characters are a good thing!
please, enlighten me as to exactly what kind of narratives female characters would feel "shoehorned" into, because i cannot think of any.

I was gonna ask this. What kind of narratives break down when you add ladies to 'em? It sounds like "narratives with females" just means "romance plots" or something in this case :P Seems like a silly thing to worry about to me.

You seem to be under the impression that I meant some narratives would be better without female characters at all. My point was that a lot of narratives are built around male characters, and if the male characters are indeed the focus of the narrative, sticking in more female characters just for the sake of having more female characters might detract from the story. I suppose it really depends in the creator's intentions and execution.
that's basically what you're saying though
 i'm failing to grasp how a narrative "centered around male characters" couldn't be modified to include female characters
 and how doing so "just for the sake of having more female characters" could possibly detract from the story

The narrative could very well be altered, but my point is that altering it might not be something the creator is willing to do seeing as it would change his or her story.
Adding anything to a story just for the sake of having it there would detract from the story. Imagine if you were reading a space epic and the creator decided to just throw in Shaquille O Neil playing tennis for a few pages. It doesn't matter what it is, it wouldn't matter to the story and would just be wasting our time.
yes but like i said earlier, why not work female characters into the plot in the first place
 
i cannot think of a plot that wouldn't work with more than the usual amount of female characters in it

Are you actually reading my posts? ANY plot could work if the existing cast had more females, yes, but ADDING characters JUST so you can even out the gender ratio is absurd. If the characters you add have PURPOSE in the story, then it doesn't matter what gender they are! It always has and always will depend on the creator in question, and what their purpose is!

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#26 Offline Arc

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 12:15 PM

 

Are you actually reading my posts? ANY plot could work if the existing cast had more females, yes, but ADDING characters JUST so you can even out the gender ratio is absurd. If the characters you add have PURPOSE in the story, then it doesn't matter what gender they are! It always has and always will depend on the creator in question, and what their purpose is!

 

ADDING characters JUST so you can even out the gender ratio is absurd.

 

how. i legitimately do not understand

 

"If the characters you add have PURPOSE in the story, then it doesn't matter what gender they are!"

 

sorry but if the new character is female then that automatically makes the addition of the character better, BECAUSE female characters are underrepresented


Edited by Arc, Apr 14 2014 - 12:16 PM.

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#27 Offline Pomegranate

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 12:19 PM

I think the misconception here is that Arc means changing the genders of characters around to be more even and adding female characters to group and crowd shots and stuff like that, rather than adding in entirely new characters after the story has already been fully written out (although like you said, that can work just as well as long as the writers are skilled and clever). Your first post, Kung Fu, didnt express what you really meant very well because it read as "females in male oriented stores don't fit" and it just sounded reeaaally bad :P

I don't think anyone is saying to throw characters in just for the sake of it, after all the topic is about more female characters in a movie that won't even be out for several years and is just getting started in its development. Arc also has a point about just being female gives the characters purpose, 'cause it'll help with representation and maybe even help whatever medium of work it is to stand out, as people notice that sort of thing and like that quality and may tell others about it, and just generally enjoy it more. Ladies enjoy seeing ladies represented in media, and not just as token characters. Of course it's not gonna work for EVERY story, but generally, it would not outright hurt a narrative in the slightest.

Edited by Pomegranate, Apr 14 2014 - 12:26 PM.

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#28 Offline Arc

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 12:23 PM

I think the misconception here is that Arc means changing the genders of characters around to be more even, rather than adding in entirely new characters after the story has already been fully written out (although like you said, that can work just as well as long as the writers are skilled and clever). Your first post, Kung Fu, didnt express what you really meant very well because it read as "females in make oriented stores don't fit" and it just sounded reeaaally bad :P

I don't think anyone is saying to throw characters in just for the sake of it, after all the topic is about more female characters in a movie that won't even be out for several years and is just getting started in its development.

i meant both a] making plots with more female characters in the first place and b] adding more female characters to sequels are good

 

although hey, gail instead of emmet would have been pretty much the best thing


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#29 Offline Kung Fu Pyro

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 12:29 PM

I think the misconception here is that Arc means changing the genders of characters around to be more even and adding female characters to group and crowd shots and stuff like that, rather than adding in entirely new characters after the story has already been fully written out (although like you said, that can work just as well as long as the writers are skilled and clever). Your first post, Kung Fu, didnt express what you really meant very well because it read as "females in male oriented stores don't fit" and it just sounded reeaaally bad :P
I don't think anyone is saying to throw characters in just for the sake of it, after all the topic is about more female characters in a movie that won't even be out for several years and is just getting started in its development. Arc also has a point about just being female gives the characters purpose, 'cause it'll help with representation and maybe even help whatever medium of work it is to stand out, as people notice that sort of thing and like that quality and may tell others about it, and just generally enjoy it more. Ladies enjoy seeing ladies represented in media, and not just as token characters. Of course it's not gonna work for EVERY story, but generally, it would not outright hurt a narrative in the slightest.


You make a very good point, and I can certainly concede that I wasn't getting my point across very well. Good on you.

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#30 Offline fishers64

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 04:46 PM

 

 

 

While I agree women are certainly underrepresented, it really depends on the narrative. If the narrative fluidly allows for more female characters, then more power to ya! Of course, you also have to consider that some narratives wouldn't work as well with more female characters, simply because they would appear somewhat shoehorned in.

Overall, as long as it fits the narrative, more female characters are a good thing!
 
please, enlighten me as to exactly what kind of narratives female characters would feel "shoehorned" into, because i cannot think of any.

I was gonna ask this. What kind of narratives break down when you add ladies to 'em? It sounds like "narratives with females" just means "romance plots" or something in this case :P Seems like a silly thing to worry about to me.

 

Any military historical narrative, especially involving wars like Korea, Vietnam, WWII, etc. You might be able to add them as nurses or another historically appropriate role, but if you're talking about the actual blood & guts fighting, than females are out. 

 

Also, throwing females into the story just so they are represented is bad. 


Edited by fishers64, Apr 14 2014 - 04:48 PM.

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#31 Offline Makaru

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 04:56 PM

Any military historical narrative, especially involving wars like Korea, Vietnam, WWII, etc. You might be able to add them as nurses or another historically appropriate role, but if you're talking about the actual blood & guts fighting, than females are out. 

 

First of all, no.

 

Second of all, there are a large number of movies that aren't war documentaries that have no excuse to not feature more than just the gender binary dude.

 

I mean, yeah of course don't shove a poorly-written girl into the narrative. But even if you do, that's still better than the current and well-overdone movie staple, the poorly-written guy narrative.


Edited by Makaru, Apr 14 2014 - 05:14 PM.

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#32 Offline Willy Brandt

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 06:05 PM


Any military historical narrative, especially involving wars like Korea, Vietnam, WWII, etc. You might be able to add them as nurses or another historically appropriate role, but if you're talking about the actual blood & guts fighting, than females are out.

 

I'm not sure if you've heard of this Jeanne d'Arc person. She kind of saved France. In a war.

 

Yeah.

-Dovydas


Edited by @Maidan, Apr 14 2014 - 06:12 PM.

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#33 Offline Palm

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 08:48 PM

 

Also, throwing females into the story just so they are represented is bad. 

 

 

This is one of my least favorite "arguments" towards not putting in "new" women in stories (or changing the gender of some characters in a few specific cases whatever those may be and however little it happens). It suggests that when putting in more female characters, you have to be asking yourself for a reason to add them, which you presumably did not do for men because "hey gotta have some characters right?".

 

Adding a layer of justification (however implicit) is just another pointless block in your creative process that can only hurt your narrative (as a result of poor representation). Whether you mean for that to be sexist or not, you're making things more difficult for female characters not only to exist within a narrative, but to be written freely without being forced to stay in the "gotta have a reason for her to be here" slot you set up before-hand because you told yourself you had to have a reason.

I presume much of the point you're making is that - in general - adding characters for "no reason" isn't good storytelling. To which I would say that yes I agree.

 

However. A social issue as wide-spread as gender/sexuality/race identification however, has a huge impact on the world around us. So when we feature women existing in a story almost exclusively as a love-interest to the (probably male) lead actor, young women grow up to believe that they are to fit into that sort of role. Whether it's on purpose, or by accident, it's social sexism. Stories are propaganda. They bend and shape the worldviews of the young or otherwise undecided, and is a very powerful tool in social change. If you haven't read any studies on the importance of representation, I would seriously suggest you do that.

 

Without identification, we're implying (9/10 times accidentally) that women exist only as love-interests or eye-candy. Logically, 50% of your characters should be women, because that accurately reflects the population of our world today. If that is not the case, you have a responsibility as the author to make it clear why your story works that way or maybe you're just a bad storyteller because you couldn't work hard enough to make it work. You're just lazy.

 

 

Also, throwing females into the story just so they are represented is bad.

 

 

A case of what I like to call, accidentally sexist by mistake.

 

You're socially a bad storyteller if your gender ratio isn't 1:1. We live in the 21st century, and whether you like it or not, I'm going to "force" and "squeeze" women "badly" into my stories because it's the right thing to do. I don't need to justify my actions for giving women an actual presence in my story. If you don't see representation as "justified' (as if we ever needed justification to add people of whatever type we want into stories) then you need to educate yourself.

 

 

Any military historical narrative, especially involving wars like Korea, Vietnam, WWII, etc. You might be able to add them as nurses or another historically appropriate role, but if you're talking about the actual blood & guts fighting, than females are out. 

 

 

Factually incorrect as pointed out by people above so I won't say anything about that. What you said about representation might be slightly less sexist (it's a somewhat new concept in mainstream medias), but this is downright sexist. Don't tell people not to write women into places "they don't belong". Don't tell people that women can't participate in "actual blood & guts fighting".

 

You've stated in this case that one gender can (or cannot) do a certain thing (or be written as a certain thing). Which if I'm not mistaken is pretty close to the actual definition of sexism.

 

 

 

sex·ism

[sek-siz-uhthinsp.pngthinsp.pngm] Show IPA

noun

1.
attitudes or behavior based on traditional stereotypes of sexual roles.

 


Whether you think you are sexist or not, what you have said is sexist. So cut it out. You're being sexist.

 

I wish you all the best, and hope you decide for yourself to look into these things. Knowledge and awareness is the greatest key to social change. I'll be over here doing "bad" storytelling.


Edited by Palm, Apr 14 2014 - 08:50 PM.

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#34 Offline Pomegranate

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 09:39 PM

As for the whole military historical narrative "exception", unless its a short story, writing that sort of take and only focusing on the actual fighting is pretty boring, at some point you're gonna have to focus on something that's going on off the battlefield, and there's the perfect place for women to be represented (civilians, military personnel, nurses, sisters, wives, neighbors, shop owners, daughters, basically anyone in the world who isn't a soldier in the fighting force that has to be almost completely male for historical accuracy.) I did make the point that there are always exceptions to every rule, and all you prove by pointing out a super specific example like "narratives of a militaristic historical nature taking place in this time period and these places for the most part" is that, yeah, you can always write a story that'll justify having something and not something else. It doesn't really have much of an impact on the entirety of storytelling, does it?
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#35 Offline fishers64

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 11:04 PM

 

Also, throwing females into the story just so they are represented is bad.

 
This is one of my least favorite "arguments" towards not putting in "new" women in stories (or changing the gender of some characters in a few specific cases whatever those may be and however little it happens). It suggests that when putting in more female characters, you have to be asking yourself for a reason to add them, which you presumably did not do for men because "hey gotta have some characters right?".

 


This is the exact opposite of what I was trying to convey. I think that the needs of the story, narrative, etc, whatever you're telling should come first. Not some arbitrary standard of equality. If your story is about a war or a machine shop or somewhere where there would logically be more guys, there's no reason why you shouldn't put more guys in the story. If there would be, logically, more girls in the story, then put more girls in there.

Logically, in human history, more guys fought in wars. This is not something that is open for dispute. Now girls can fight in wars, in theory, but that doesn't mean they did, so if you want your piece to be historically accurate, you would probably have more guy characters in the story. Now you can have girls in support roles as I mentioned, and if you want to focus on that, fine.

Now, admittedly, I have the opposite problem when writing. I have too many female characters in my stories, and I constantly have to adjust the gender ratio a bit towards the other direction. One writer I read had this problem to an extreme - only girls had superpowers in her universe for some reason. As a result, there was a continual overload of female characters, because the people with superpowers were more interesting. The story was excellent, passed the Bechdel test with flying colors - but I guarantee that 90% of her readers were girls.

Consider Bionicle as well - most of the characters are boys. If you're writing a story in the Bionicle universe, the majority of your characters will likely be boys. It's just logic of that universe.

Further, making things so it has to be 1:1 limits writers creatively, and its unnecessary. You'd be better off trying to strike a balance between "GIRLS ARE #1 AND CAN DO ANYTHING THAT GUYS CAN AND A WHOLE LOT MORE!!111!!" and "girls are boys' slaves and are kind gentle homemaker people." in the female characters that you do have.

Anyway, point is forcing your story to conform to a ratio and live in terror of not conforming to it so much that you don't make a change that could improve your story is terrible. I refuse to live by this rule of artificial fear.
 

Adding a layer of justification (however implicit) is just another pointless block in your creative process that can only hurt your narrative (as a result of poor representation). Whether you mean for that to be sexist or not, you're making things more difficult for female characters not only to exist within a narrative, but to be written freely without being forced to stay in the "gotta have a reason for her to be here" slot you set up before-hand because you told yourself you had to have a reason.


I don't make reasons for characters to be there. If they have a reason to be there, they will be there. If not, they won't. In fact, forcing stories to abide by the 1:1 ratio forces characters to be there for no reason.

I don't think of females as "love interest" or "eye candy" for the male characters in a story. That's because I am one. (Don't worry about it - lots of people have made the mistake if you did.) I have a lot more respect for myself than that. I think it is important to convey female characters in a story logically and accurately. But that's the word - logically and accurately. You don't compromise logic to set up an artificial standard. If someone is logically going to fall in love with someone in a story, you don't change the story to avoid it. By the same token, if it's not going to happen, it won't. I've seen more than a few stories with strong female characters. It is possible.

Lastly, the "girls are going to internalize these images and become weak-willed" is just as sexist as anything else is. That just says that girls don't have the capacity to reason and accept or reject media messages like guys can. In my experience this isn't quite true. Some of us are more susceptible to media messages than others, but that's across both genders. I've seen guys who blindly accept things like sponges, and I've seen girls who practice logical discernment and try to understand what's true and what's not. This is not to say that the opposite can't be true, but to blindly say that girls can't use logic is wrong, because some girls do.  

 

You're socially a bad storyteller if your gender ratio isn't 1:1. We live in the 21st century, and whether you like it or not, I'm going to "force" and "squeeze" women "badly" into my stories because it's the right thing to do. I don't need to justify my actions for giving women an actual presence in my story. If you don't see representation as "justified' (as if we ever needed justification to add people of whatever type we want into stories) then you need to educate yourself.


Which is more important to you, logic or societal convention? Which is more important, truth or what society prefers?

 

Which is better, writing a good story or writing one that fits into society?

 

I decided long ago that I'd rather stick with truth. Just me though. :shrugs:

 

And even still, you're wrong. Gender-imbalanced stories get published. Gender-balenced stories get published. Whether the gender is balenced or not doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, because at the end of the day, people have brains. At least, most people do, and having one less male character in your story isn't going to magically save the ones that don't.  
 


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#36 Offline Makaru

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 11:56 PM

Which is better, writing a good story or writing one that fits into society?

It's time to start demanding both at the same time because there are people who still think that's an outlandish request.


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#37 Offline fishers64

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Posted Apr 15 2014 - 12:29 AM

 

Which is better, writing a good story or writing one that fits into society?

It's time to start demanding both at the same time because there are people who still think that's an outlandish request.

 

It's possible. I'm not disputing that. I just think story quality comes first. 


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#38 Offline Palm

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Posted Apr 15 2014 - 12:57 AM


And even still, you're wrong. Gender-imbalanced stories get published. Gender-balenced stories get published. Whether the gender is balenced or not doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, because at the end of the day, people have brains. At least, most people do, and having one less male character in your story isn't going to magically save the ones that don't.  
 

 

Not exactly... Ok, yes, people are smart. But there are far different powers in our human nature at work here.

 

If your story is about a war or a machine shop or somewhere where there would logically be more guys, there's no reason why you shouldn't put more guys in the story.

 

The point isn't that the story is meant to reflect society in the current state it's in. The point is that storytelling will affect society in a later state. It's the idea that those that control and run mainstream forms of media (ie. books, news, television, movies ect.), will inherently over time, have their own views and ideas implicitly placed upon the masses or those that consume mainstream media. Whether this is intentional or not, it doesn't matter. It's referred to as Hegemony.

 

The Power of Representation talks about this rather thoroughly. Putting things in spoilers to avoid clogging up the entire forum here.

 

I really hope that throughout this discussion I haven't/don't come off as pretentious or condescending in any way? I don't think I'm better than you or anybody else, and I do seriously apologize if it comes across that I believe that. That being said, I'd like to source some things here cause this is a topic that is extremely interesting to me (and something I'm sorta passionate about. It... it probably looks that way already :/) and I'd really like to be clear on what my point is. Unfortunately this might require slight tangents, although they do all relate directly to my point.

 

Anyways...

Spoiler

 

I'm not saying your story has to fall apart just to conform to the ratio. It's that there is almost never a good reason not to have the ratio. It's extremely rare for a story to fall apart as a result of changing your gender representation. You'd have to be in very specific cases for this to even apply.

 

I'm not going to stop complaining until people start writing women of all different kinds with all sorts of different stories. It makes for a better future. Representation, as studies show, will change the course of social history whether you like it or not.

 

But despite my fancy wall of text, I think Makaru says it best.

 

 

It's time to start demanding both at the same time because there are people who still think that's an outlandish request.

 


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#39 Offline Reznas

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Posted Apr 15 2014 - 06:12 AM

I find it funny that most of, if not all of, the people that are debating with Fishers are males. Here we have men advocating for women; and then a woman comes and tells them that a lack of a constant gender ratios in movies makes sense in certain situations and doesn't really bother her. Yet you're still arguing with her--arguing with the person you're supposed to be advocating for. 

 

-Rez

 

EDIT: Basically I'm saying: don't take Fisher's input for granted. Since this discussion has to do about women, you should value a woman's opinion.


Edited by Reznas, Apr 15 2014 - 06:14 AM.

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#40 Online Black Six

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Posted Apr 15 2014 - 06:44 AM

This topic is about the possible inclusion of more female minifigs in the LEGO movie sequel. It is not for the debate of story versus characters, whether a balanced ratio needs to be achieved over all else, or anything along those line. While I appreciate the honest discussion, this really isn't the place for it.
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