Is it sexist

Discussion in 'Character Development' started by GrahamLewis, Aug 2, 2022.

  1. Earp

    Earp Contributor Contributor

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    Well, there's not really any such thing as a 'sexist' word.

    I think we forget sometimes that we're artists, and if you're not offending somebody, you probably aren't doing it right. I'd say leave it to the PC Warriors to argue about how many angels can dance on the head of this particular pin. Tell your story, -isms and -ists be damned.
     
  2. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin I don't feel tardy.... Staff Supporter Contributor

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  3. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    That holds true pretty much everywhere.
     
  4. GrahamLewis

    GrahamLewis Contributor Contributor

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    I have a great-great-grandfather who was born in Rhode Island. but eventually left for the greener grass of Ohio. Orrin Smith. Of course being a Quaker he might have left because of intolerant RIers -- some of whose descendants no doubt grew up to be troopers.
     
  5. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Everything is 'sexist' nowadays. Everything is some kind of phobe, ist, ism. There's no avoiding it, someone is going to be ticked off somewhere.
    The only way to get around the undecided (the ones that will join in with the kooks) is to own the descriptions. Don't make escuses like she was pretty curvy for a fat person, or she made everyone else look like a tent pole. Just describe her in pleasant, clear imagery that isn't apologizing for how she looks or how the person assesses her.
    You're description looks great to me.

    Curvaceous is not in itself a sexist word. Bootylicious maybe. Still it's all about the execution of the surrounding words and the tone that slants how that word is to be taken.
     
  6. trevorD

    trevorD Active Member

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    I guess it would depend on the context and genre. If its a textbook for gross anatomy, then yeah, prolly not a good idea. If it's in a work of general fiction then have at it. There's a million other ways to describe obesity if you feel the subject matter may be too sensitive for the intended reader, like a children's books, etc..
     
  7. TJ Waters

    TJ Waters Member Supporter

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    I don't think it's necessarily sexists. It depends on how you use it. If the POV character looked in the mirror and was pleased the dress complimented her curvaceous figure, then it's fine.

    I would just be careful to not use it as a standard for a good looking woman. A man enters a bar hoping to find a curvaceous woman.

    You can also use "Shapely."
     
  8. ABeaujolais

    ABeaujolais Member

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    In my opinion the word "sexist" is like the word "fair." Ask a lot of people to define it, and you'll get a lot of very different answers, which all lean in a particular direction depending on which side of the table you sit.

    I might be offended if the word "curvaceous" was used as a cheap adjective just to throw a word into a sentence, but use of the word itself? Are we really having this discussion?

    I suppose the computer Gods came up with spell check and auto correct. They'll probably come out soon with an approved word and phrasing filter.
     
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  9. Brandon P.

    Brandon P. Active Member

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    I'm a straight and cis-gendered man, so my perspective on what most women would consider sexist or offensive is admittedly limited. But, IMO, it depends on the context the word appears in. If you're writing a moment in which the POV character admires the woman's beauty, then vocabulary like "curvaceous" makes sense. You're supposed to be describing how attractive they find her. I believe the problem comes in when you emphasize her sexual attractiveness in contexts where it shouldn't be relevant, in which case it would come across treating her like a one-dimensional sex object. There's a time and place for everything.
     
    Louanne Learning and evild4ve like this.

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