Friday, June 20, 2014

The Friday Four, Part 71


An enterprising young woman created this poster, first handwritten, then edited and printed neatly, of common phrases that we got from Shakespeare.  You always hear how much Shakespeare affected the English language, but it's still astounding to me to see the specifics.  Without Shakespeare, the sentence "Good riddance to the green-eyed monster with a heart of gold who vanished into thin air after a wild good chase!" would just be gibberish!  Okay, so it's still gibberish, but really - I use at least one of these phrases weekly.


These book dedications made me giggle.

I like 2, 6, 19, and 20.

(slight language warning)


Anita Sarkeesian has come out with the next Tropes vs. Women video!  In this one, she looks at Women as Background Decoration and, I have to say, it's more disturbing than the previous ones because it deals with video games that literally portray women as objects to be used and abused.

**Major language and graphic violence warning.**

Among many other topics, Sarkeesian covers racist exotification, how video games move us from spectator to participant (which is particularly disturbing with the content of some of these games), and the negative effects of sexual objectification on both women and men.  She ends the half-hour video with this zinger:
Compounding the problem is the widespread belief that, despite all the evidence, exposure to media has no real world impact. While it may be comforting to think that we all have a personal force field protecting us from outside influences, this is simply not the case.  Scholars sometimes refer to this type of denial as the 'third person effect', which is the tendency for people to believe they are personally immune to media's effects even if others may be influenced or manipulated. Paradoxically and somewhat ironically, those who most strongly believe that media is just harmless entertainment are also the ones most likely to uncritically internalize harmful media messages. In short, the more you think you cannot be affected, the more likely you are to be affected.


This article provides a fascinating - and somewhat depressing - look at the "Strong Female Character" in several recent films.  Strong Female Characters who turn into "Superfluous, Flimsy Characters", "Strong Female Characters With Nothing to Do", and "Subservient Trophy Characters" don't really count, after all.
So maybe all the questions can boil down to this: Looking at a so-called Strong Female Character, would you—the writer, the director, the actor, the viewer—want to be her? Not want to prove you’re better than her, or to have her praise you or acknowledge your superiority. Action movies are all about wish-fulfillment. Does she fulfill any wishes for herself, rather than for other characters? When female characters are routinely “strong” enough to manage that, maybe they’ll make the “Strong Female Characters” term meaningful enough that it isn’t so often said sarcastically.

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