Just started this...posting my thoughts (and just general discussion)

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Royce

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« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2014, 12:15:04 pm »
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Lol, well, that probably just means you're prejudiced, Royce ;).

But ultimately, I think Bakker has to have something up his sleeve or else his writing is spreading conceptions of bigotry - which would make him just about the most subversive sexist I've never heard of.

I guess we all are, some way or another :)

Does it matter if he is spreading conceptions of bigotry? Should he not be allowed to build up a imaginative fantasy world, were woman are portrayed as they are?

I just don`t understand that after reading his books, bigotry is what comes to mind. It is irrelevant to the story, but as
Wilshire said, if you want to find it, you do.

I accept that this is the way he writes. End of story.

« Last Edit: January 08, 2014, 02:15:29 pm by Royce »

Somnambulist

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« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2014, 04:09:57 pm »
It's not like there aren't real-world antecedents to the horrible treatment of women, especially in ancient times when women were basically property in some cultures.  Bakker takes pains to evoke his world by drawing comparisons to our own historical record, and there are many obvious analogies to that of the Bible and ancient Near East.  I always viewed the story from that perspective.  It's not nice.  It's not pretty.  It's not right, by our modern moral perspective certainly.  Doesn't mean it never happened, many times, in many places, all over the real world.  Hell, it still happens today in some countries and cultures.  I see it more as a reflection of what total assholes men are and can be, in terms of how they treat other people, especially those whom they consider inferior to them.  Give a man power over anything, any situation, and he is gonna use it.
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Madness

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« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2014, 12:33:35 pm »
Lol - this post gets a little windy. It kind of reads like I'm responding just to Royce's post but not the case, though, it kind of provided structure to mine.

Quote
Lol, well, that probably just means you're prejudiced, Royce ;).

But ultimately, I think Bakker has to have something up his sleeve or else his writing is spreading conceptions of bigotry - which would make him just about the most subversive sexist I've never heard of.

I guess we all are, some way or another :)

Does it matter if he is spreading conceptions of bigotry? Should he not be allowed to build up a imaginative fantasy world, were woman are portrayed as they are?

I just don`t understand that after reading his books, bigotry is what comes to mind. It is irrelevant to the story, but as
Wilshire said, if you want to find it, you do.

I accept that this is the way he writes. End of story.



No pun intended. Nice.

Well, an aspect is that our perception is biased based on the history of our perception. We find minority X, Y, Z offend us yet that simply means we perceive them more.

In one way, the prejudice is in the eye of the beholder.

Yes, Bakker, can write anything he damn well pleases. I won't read it simply for that reason and commit to playing my role as proponent. And neither will a certain number of others.

I see it more as a reflection of what total assholes men are and can be, in terms of how they treat other people, especially those whom they consider inferior to them.  Give a man power over anything, any situation, and he is gonna use it.

I don't totally agree with these statements, but they highlight an aspect of why Bakker spreading conceptions of bigotry might be bad.

Examples are what people emulate. While I'm trying to explore more of these contentions, FB's pretty much dead on. Dystopian gendered portrayals (as one example of many possible gendered statements Bakker might be trying to make) are only useful in breaking down gendered prejudice insomuch that they offer an alternative vision from our real-life interactions (and I will say that misogyny is alive and thriving, everywhere, just like many other prejudices).

So if we were left with Somnambulist's conception alone (which again, isn't wrong, but I'd like to believe men can aspire to be more than their contemporaries or antecedents), then random fantasy fan X isn't ever jarred with some cognitive dissonance (a strength of Bakker's I feel); cognitive dissonance, estrangement, etc, seem like the foundation of writing that does something.

Just thoughts.

It's not like there aren't real-world antecedents to the horrible treatment of women, especially in ancient times when women were basically property in some cultures.  Bakker takes pains to evoke his world by drawing comparisons to our own historical record, and there are many obvious analogies to that of the Bible and ancient Near East.  I always viewed the story from that perspective.  It's not nice.  It's not pretty.  It's not right, by our modern moral perspective certainly.  Doesn't mean it never happened, many times, in many places, all over the real world.  Hell, it still happens today in some countries and cultures.  I see it more as a reflection of what total assholes men are and can be, in terms of how they treat other people, especially those whom they consider inferior to them.  Give a man power over anything, any situation, and he is gonna use it.

Standard rebuttals to these thoughts bullet-point to something akin to (just notation, I don't know that there are argumentative merits to these as I wasn't part of the first couple Bakker & Women threads at Westeros and so didn't argue against these then - I was in the latest and, maybe another before Disciple came out):

- There are plenty of real-world antecedents that aren't horrible (I don't know why this means Bakker needs to include them in his narrative argument).
- The instances of rape (or sex) are gratuitous. (Maybe. I actually tried to go over each one that people brought up with an analytic eye but never got any help with that really).
         - If they aren't gratuitous, they fail to make the point Bakker intended.
- Portrayal is endorsement (This is something of a known fallacy, but evidence from social psychology wouldn't be so sure - perceiving behaviors goes a long way towards influencing our own, unless we're somehow divided from the experience of perception, in the case of debriefing - or you know, parents suggesting that one behavior should be stopped now - or alternative portrayals in the works themselves).
- Again, all men aren't so domineering. But this is the argument at hand.

Personally, I'm just waiting for Mimara and Esmenet to rule their All-Women Matriachy and fight off the gluttonous lust of the armies of Man ;).

I think FB said it well, I'm just not at that state of perception yet: I'd feel differently somehow about the books, if Bakker remains bound by the gendered portrayal that he's made central to the series. They're fantasy books, as is said. And it being Bakker, I expect his eventual portrayal of women to be the mind-fuck that everything has been as separating TSA from other fantasy is.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 12:37:32 pm by Madness »
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Royce

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« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2014, 01:27:03 pm »
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Yes, Bakker, can write anything he damn well pleases. I won't read it simply for that reason and commit to playing my role as proponent. And neither will a certain number of others.

I agree, and to me personally his "treatment" of women is not something that will stop me from reading it.
It is not that I enjoy women being treated like rats and being raped all over the place, but I accept it on Bakkers terms
in this particular story.

Maybe a strong female character will show up, and what will people say then? That he succumbed to peer pressure?
Or finally he understood that he should not portray woman this way? I do not really see the point in dragging this
discussion on, either you either read it on his term or you don`t.


Madness

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« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2014, 01:30:02 pm »
Maybe a strong female character will show up, and what will people say then? That he succumbed to peer pressure?
Or finally he understood that he should not portray woman this way? I do not really see the point in dragging this
discussion on, either you either read it on his term or you don`t.



I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Bakker's been good about having the large arcs planned and he's said gender issues was intended from the beginning, so I'm willing to take him at his word as having planned it all alone. Plus I think Mimara, Serwa, Esmenet, Psatma are strong female characters.
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Royce

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« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2014, 02:01:38 pm »
Indeed they are, so maybe he did succumb to pressure then, since they became strong later in the series :P

Somnambulist

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« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2014, 02:31:21 pm »
The aforementioned women in the narrative are indeed strong because they survive the depredations of men.  All the crap that happens to them and they refuse to give up.  All the giving.  If Yatwer has her way, they should be about to start taking.
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« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2014, 06:41:09 pm »
The aforementioned women in the narrative are indeed strong because they survive the depredations of men.  All the crap that happens to them and they refuse to give up.  All the giving.  If Yatwer has her way, they should be about to start taking.

+1.

Indeed they are, so maybe he did succumb to pressure then, since they became strong later in the series :P

Well, personally, I think, Esmenet's been almost uncharacteristically strong since TDTCB. But yes, Mimara, Serwa, and Psatma are all TAE additions (but again, I feel Bakker had always had their introduction planned).
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Royce

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« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2014, 03:01:28 pm »
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Well, personally, I think, Esmenet's been almost uncharacteristically strong since TDTCB. But yes, Mimara, Serwa, and Psatma are all TAE additions (but again, I feel Bakker had always had their introduction planned)

Probably planned it yes, which is also a reason not to jump on the sexist wagon.

Wilshire

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« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2014, 04:20:29 pm »
Love is pain, 'highness.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

Royce

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« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2014, 11:39:42 am »
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Love is pain, 'highness.

The absence of love is pain. When it is there, in whatever form that may be, it is beautiful :)

Madness

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« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2014, 12:28:27 pm »
I've heard it both ways.

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Love is pain, 'highness.

The absence of love is pain. When it is there, in whatever form that may be, it is beautiful :)

Monstrously beautiful?
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Royce

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« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2014, 02:55:37 pm »
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Monstrously beautiful?

 :)

Wilshire

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« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2014, 05:51:06 pm »
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Love is pain, 'highness.

The absence of love is pain. When it is there, in whatever form that may be, it is beautiful :)
Wait the pain is always beautiful? Dunno about that.

Anyway I was just quoting Princess Bride. Not sure why but the bits of the posts I read reminded me of that movie.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

Royce

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« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2014, 06:38:16 pm »
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Wait the pain is always beautiful? Dunno about that.

Lol. It might be though, if you are an extreme sadomasochist :)

Maybe if you read it again you will see that it is love(when it is there in any form you like) which is beautiful.
I do not yet regard pain as beautiful, but I might learn to like it eventually:)