Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by Jack Asher, Feb 7, 2015.
Draw it mild and stick to the facts, chief. You're skirting the line.
Well, first I'm going to say that 60-40 isn't 2/3...
But then I'm going to whine about how you promised you weren't going to talk to me until I gave the stat. What happened to that promise?
Was I supposed to read the stats you posted before you posted them?
If I was ignoring you, I wouldn't post a reply.
I'm going to give this a rest, I don't like the way you are making it personal. I'll come back to your points in a bit.
How do we know this is the right explanation? Maybe young males are suspended/arrested more often than females due to discrimination? It's generally assumed that a criminal will be male.
Sorry if I have made it personal. I have given this statistic for some time, so I'm surprised people are only contesting it now.
40/60 isn't 2/3? This is what I meant.
I don't know if you don't understand ratios, percentages, or fractions. But if you've been pedaling a bullshit statistic all this time, and are now surprised when people call you on it, the question has to be asked, "why were you pedaling it in the first place?"
The two lines I put in bold in your post are for you. If it's OK to assume that men's shortcomings in college are do some inherent flaw in men, could not the same be said for the lack of women in STEM?
Also, thank you for taking the time to go over everything point by point with me. Again I sincerely apologize for my overheated post before.
@Jack Asher The underlined bit in Ginger's post is for you. Apparently she had no problem getting what I meant by 2/3, so you'll have to explain to me why you're having a problem dividing 40 by 60.
Seriously, you're doubling down on this?
You can't convert ratios to fractions the way you are.
A 60:40 ratio converts to 60/100 and 40/100. 60/100 is 60%.
2/3 is 67%.
Thanks for the math lesson, but this was more of a lazy language thing conducted on an online argument over smart phones. The difference is not so significant in this case, and should not be the main issue of discussion
No, but what if you very, very seldom saw a man in a strong, plot-driving role? What if you ALWAYS had to cross gender lines to find a strong character to aspire to or identify with? Wouldn't that irritate you?
I posted a while ago about Orphan Black, one of the few TV series that includes plenty of men but nevertheless fails, or nearly fails, the "reverse Bechdel test."
The men essentially never talk to each other about anything other than a woman. Every man can be described as "femalename's noun." Sarah's ex or Sarah's brother or Sarah's lover or Cosima's lab partner or Siobhan's henchman or Aynesley's husband or Rachel's guardian or Rachel's father or Rachel's bodyguard or Elizabeth's (cop) partner or...
And this isn't due to any obvious contempt for men. The male characters are well-rounded and well-drawn and cover the spectrum of personalities. It's instead because the story is about the women. Two men talking about themselves would be wasted plot time, because they're not central characters. Two men talking about anything else, other than a woman, would fairly often be wasted plot time, because the whole plot is about the women.
There are occasional reasons for two supporting characters to talk about something other than a woman. But a lot of those supporting characters are...women. There just isn't a large enough male population in that fictional world to make even a minor reverse-Bechdel-passing conversation likely.
And those are exactly the sorts of reasons why so many TV shows and movies fail to pass the Bechdel test. Because they're about men, and because the population of supporting characters is dominated by men.
People sometimes argue that making a particular fictional work pass the Bechdel test would be wasted plot time. ("What, are you going to insert a scene with two women talking about shoes or something?") And, yep, Miriam talking to another woman about anything but Indie would be wasted plot time, because the story is about Indie. Princess Leia talking to another woman about anything but Luke or Darth Vader or the Emperor or Han would be wasted plot time, because story is about those characters.
And that doesn't mean that those are bad movies. It's OK for SOME movies to be dominated by male characters, just as it's OK for Orphan Black to be dominated by female characters. But when the percentage dominated by males is far, far larger than the percentage dominated by females, that's an issue.
Even movies that are centered on female characters are usually about men. Thelma and Louise, for example, is about how women feel about men. Waitress is about how a woman feels about a man.
The Gift is about a strong woman who lost her husband and is raising two (sorry, three) boys and is having a possible romantic encounter with a man and is being harassed by a man and is trying to get cooperation from a male sheriff and dealing with a male prosecutor and a male defense attorney and trying to help an emotionally disturbed man who is having trouble with his father. Most of the women in the movie are passive victims.
Orphan Black is about female characters and driven by female characters. Matilda is about female characters and driven by female characters. There must be more, but I can't think of any right now.
A work that fails the Bechdel test is a work that is so sparsely populated with women that there is rarely a good reason for two characters to talk about anything but men, and when those rare occasions do come up, the population of supporting characters is so dominated by men that it usually just doesn't happen.
I want that to be true of a smaller percentage of fictional works.
Well, it's pretty significant.
If we assume that 50:50 would be an 'ideal' distribution, and you're claiming that we're 17 points away from ideal when really we're only 10 points away? I think that's significant.
And I could have believed the "just lazy language" thing if you hadn't doubled down. But getting snarky with Jack Asher for not being able to divide 40 by 60, when there's no reason for anyone looking at a 40:60 ratio to even think about dividing 40 by 60? If this had just been a weird short-form you were using, you would have mentioned it then.
So, you're welcome for the math lesson. If you need any others, let me know!
I have to ask the chicken and egg question here. Do most films with female MC's revolve around relationships with men because that is what their audience wants? I have a very strong aversion to most romantic movies, generally because the vast majority of them are bad movies by any measure, but their are obviously a lot of people out there who like them.
The problem is, I posted links to two articles with the well thought out hypothesis about boys messing up in high school. Each explored the hypothesis in depth and supported the conclusions with a lot of data. While you made a one sentence claim.
Apology accepted. I am open to learning here, not just arguing. But you have a mountain range to climb to support the idea women have caught up and now surpassed white male privilege.
The following is just for people's learning, not anything more. @BayView and @Jack Asher were both correct. And I see @BayView beat me to it.
Technically, 60 to 40 was given as a percentage in the data you cited. Whereas 3/2 would be 66.6 to 33.3 using the same denominator of 100%. It is a common mistake to look at percentages and forget the denominator is 100, rather than the numbers being whole number ratios.
You've proved your claim, women are surpassing men in college enrollment. Good for us. But we have a lot further to go, starting with pay equity.
Wait, who's "their audience"?
No, I don't think that's it. I think that the people who fund movies may think that that's what their audience wants, which isn't the same thing. If you follow the Hathor link and wander around to other articles about related topics on the same blog, it seems clear that the largely female-free aspect of movies isn't driven by good business sense, but about irrational prejudices not backed up by business reality.
I don't know, I don't have that data.
So it looks like it's ratios, fractions and percentages you have problems with. Why should we take anything you say seriously?
These issues are always very complex. But the overriding theme is mostly white men are producers, writers and directors.
Until there is equity in positions of corporate power (in this case the movie studios) it's not likely the audiences are driving this aspect of the machine. It may explain a small part, but it doesn't explain the whole.
And if I recall correctly, there was evidence movies that passed the Bechdel test were some of the most profitable.
So why are women underrepresented in STEM, then, but doing better than men in terms of college enrollment and presumably high school grades?
So... huh? You're asking whether "most films with female MC's revolve around relationships with men because that is what their audience wants," but can't say who their audience is? Can you say who "their" is referring to? Like, what's the antecedent for that pronoun?
I mean, I think the audience for RomComs is probably mostly female, yeah. But does that connect to the larger movie realm? Like, just because a movie has female MCs doesn't mean it's a RomCom, right? Or at least, it shouldn't...
I think their are two quite distinct markets, and this is pure supposition on my part. The first are the people who will go and watch the CGI laden summer shit-fest or the latest RomCom- and these people probably do, on the whole, match the prejudices of the industry. Then there is a whole other audience who (excuse my snobbery) has a more discerning taste in film who do not.
Seriously, how is it possible to have a sensible discussion about anything if the response is some knee-jerk "how dare you"?
Guys this is silly. I said 2/3 because I forgot the sources I had originally mentioned gave ratios, not percentages. Then I dug a hole for myself instead of just admitting I made an error. It happens to me all the time. This doesn't invalidate my own point. I've already apologized for my heated post, there's no reason (I'm talking to @Jack Asher and @BayView ,specifically) to to try to ridicule me personally instead of engaging (or not) with my points.
But it appears that there isn't really any evidence that men who want a CGI laden adventure insist that that adventure be free of powerful female characters. It's not as if they can point to the abject failure of Alien, for example. Or the abject failure of Terminator. Or the abject failure of Silence of the Lambs. All of those were contaminated with strong female characters right in the center of everything...and none of them were punished by the market for that sin.
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