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Art is dead...

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StefaanE

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#22
Ok, but who says this character is going to be "agonising" over their love life or sexuality?

It seems to me that you may be assuming that any trans character must be a tortured soul whose story arc is all about coming to terms with their sexuality or gender. That assumption seems unjustified to me. Trans people have hopes, passions, values, beliefs and interests like anyone else. Surely trans characters can, too?

More importantly, taking your line of reasoning to its logical conclusion leads only to one place: no trans character is acceptable in any Hollywood film.

That seems quite an extreme exclusion, wouldn't you agree?
That’s running very fast with very little.

Either the character’s sexuality is not germane to the overall story arc, and hence mere virtue-signalling to appease the activists, or it is. Speaking about SciFi and superhero franchises, it seems to me that especially people with superpowers are the wrong vectors for exploring issues of human relations, as they are by definition super-human, and hence never an equal partner in a relationship with a normal human.
Spiderman tries to come to terms with his mutation and his responsibilities towards society in general more than his personal relationships, which are providing a backdrop for his soul-searching. Making him homosexual would not change anything, and would not even make him more relatable to homosexuals. Transsexuality is far more complex than homosexuality, and making Spiderman trans would be mere tokenism unless it is specifically addressed — and he’s got enough problems with how his spider-part affects his relationship with Mary Jane, that sensitively adding trans issues doesn’t seem feasible. In any case, the interesting thing about the superhero is their superpower, not their sexuality.

As far as all Hollywood films are concerned, do you imply they cannot make a movie about the issues facing a transgender person? You might be right, because it is a highly complex issue and a balanced approach would not satisfy the activists, and the story would have to be very strong for it not to become a pamphlet or caricature. Hollywood is probably not the best place for such movies. Brokeback Mountain and Milk are not exactly typical Hollywood blockbusters.

How do you see transsexuality integrated in a (human) Jedi (I guess declaring that Yoda is a hermaphrodite doesn’t really cut the mustard)? How would one avoid the tokenism of Dumbledore’s gratuitous homosexuality?
 

StefaanE

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#24
So the Sexuality of Deadpool is not interesting?
I must admit to not having seen a Deadpool movie. Is the character more complex and balanced than the typical superhero?
 

Blumlein 88

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#28
So the Sexuality of Deadpool is not interesting?
I didn't find anything about Deadpool interesting. Didn't find the humor funny. Couldn't watch the entire movie. Stopped after a few minutes and forgot about it.

But that doesn't mean anything, other than it didn't speak to me.
 

andreasmaaan

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#29
Either the character’s attribute is not germane to the overall story arc, and hence mere virtue-signalling to appease the activists, or it is.
I don't know what "virtue signalling" means to you, but to me it means disingenuously expressing or promoting a "moral" value in order to enhance one's own image.

IMO, the inclusion of trans characters in popular culture need not be about virtue signalling at all, for the following reasons:

Non-trans kids grow up in a world in which characters who share their gender are everywhere. These characters' gender is not generally an "attribute" that is "germane" to the story arc. It's just a basic fact about the character that may or may not feature in some way in the course of the narrative.

Trans kids, on the other hand, grow up in a world in which characters who share their gender identity are entirely erased from mainstream culture, unless their gender identity is emphasised, problematised, or "dealt with" in some way. By this I mean that, in mainstream culture, no character ever just happens to be trans in the same way that characters just happen to be non-trans.

Imagine if we were having a discussion similar to this one in the middle of last century and you said something like, "The inclusion of Black characters in popular culture is just virtue signalling. Either their race is not germane to the overall story arc, and hence mere virtue-signalling to appease the activists, or it is."

I would answer exactly as I've just answered now. Placing Black characters in popular culture, in just the same way White characters always had been, was clearly a positive development. Black children should not grow up feeling that their race is obscured from popular culture and that whenever a Black person appears on screen, it's because their Blackness is germane to the story arc (after all, White characters aren't written into scripts simply because their Whiteness is germane to the story arc).

The same goes for trans children in this century.

Speaking about SciFi and superhero franchises, it seems to me that especially people with superpowers are the wrong vectors for exploring issues of human relations, as they are by definition super-human, and hence never an equal partner in a relationship with a normal human).
Spiderman tries to come to terms with his mutation and his responsibilities towards society in general more than his personal relationships, which are providing a backdrop for his soul-searching. Making him homosexual would not change anything, and would not even make him more relatable to homosexuals. Transsexuality is far more complex than homosexuality, and making Spiderman trans would be mere tokenism unless it is specifically addressed — and he’s got enough problems with how his spider-part affects his relationship with Mary Jane, that sensitively adding trans issues doesn’t seem feasible. In any case, the interesting thing about the superhero is their superpower, not their sexuality.
I've always seen superheroes' stories as representational of the experiences and challenges of real people. I can't see how any superhero story would be in the remotest bit interesting if this weren't the case...

Also, you seem to think Spiderman's human relationship with Mary Jane and the impact of his superhero status on this relationship is a legitimate topic for a superhero movie. This seems to contradict your earlier statement that "people with superpowers are the wrong vectors for exploring issues of human relations".

What it seems to me that you're really saying is that "people with superpowers are the wrong vectors for exploring issues of human relations of trans people".

As far as all Hollywood films are concerned, do you imply they cannot make a movie about the issues facing a transgender person? You might be right, because it is a highly complex issue and a balanced approach would not satisfy the activists, and the story would have to be very strong for it not to become a pamphlet or caricature. Hollywood is probably not the best place for such movies. Brokeback Mountain and Milk are not exactly typical Hollywood blockbusters.
I think there's room in Hollywood for both types of trans characters, that is, trans characters who just happen to be trans in the same way I happen not to be, and trans characters whose trans-ness is a vector for the narrative, character development, etc.

I can understand your concerns about such a story risking becoming a pamphlet/caricature. That's Hollywood in general, though.

How do you see transsexuality integrated in a (human) Jedi (I guess declaring that Yoda is a hermaphrodite doesn’t really cut the mustard)? How would one avoid the tokenism of Dumbledore’s gratuitous homosexuality?
TBH, amazingly, I'm not familiar with the Harry Potter universe so I can't comment on Dumbledore, lol.

In terms of how I see being trans integrated into a Jedi character, I guess in a similar way to how being non-trans is integrated into Jedi characters.

For example, we see from the way Luke Skywalker looks and behaves that he's a man. The films don't explore what being a man means to him, nor do they (intentionally) explore how being a man shapes his experiences.

Could we not similarly see that a character is trans from their appearance and behaviour, while not feeling obliged to explore this aspect in any great depth?

Nice to have a longer discussion, and a respectful one, about this, btw :)
 
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617

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#30
I don't know what "virtue signalling" means to you, but to me it means disingenuously expressing or promoting a "moral" value in order to enhance one's own image.

IMO, the inclusion of trans characters in popular culture need not be about virtue signalling at all, for the following reasons:

Non-trans kids grow up in a world in which characters who share their gender are everywhere. These characters' gender is not generally an "attribute" that is "germane" to the story arc. It's just a basic fact about the character that may or may not feature in some way in the course of the narrative.

Trans kids, on the other hand, grow up in a world in which characters who share their gender identity are entirely erased from mainstream culture, unless their gender identity is emphasised, problematised, or "dealt with" in some way. By this I mean that, in mainstream culture, no character ever just happens to be trans in the same way that characters just happen to be non-trans.

Imagine if we were having a discussion similar to this one in the middle of last century and you said something like, "The inclusion of Black characters in popular culture is just virtue signalling. Either their race is not germane to the overall story arc, and hence mere virtue-signalling to appease the activists, or it is."

I would answer exactly as I've just answered now. Placing Black characters in popular culture, in just the same way White characters always had been, was clearly a positive development. Black children should not grow up feeling that their race is obscured from popular culture and that whenever a Black person appears on screen, it's because their Blackness is germane to the story arc (after all, White characters aren't written into scripts simply because their Whiteness is germane to the story arc).

The same goes for trans children in this century.



I've always seen superheroes' stories as representational of the experiences and challenges of real people. I can't see how any superhero story would be in the remotest bit interesting if this weren't the case...

Also, you seem to think Spiderman's human relationship with Mary Jane and the impact of his superhero status on this relationship is a legitimate topic for a superhero movie. This seems to contradict your earlier statement that "people with superpowers are the wrong vectors for exploring issues of human relations".

What it seems to me that you're really saying is that "people with superpowers are the wrong vectors for exploring issues of human relations of trans people".



I think there's room in Hollywood for both types of trans characters, that is, trans characters who just happen to be trans in the same way I happen not to be, and trans characters whose trans-ness is a vector for the narrative, character development, etc.

I can understand your concerns about such a story risking becoming a pamphlet/caricature. That's Hollywood in general, though.



TBH, amazingly, I'm not familiar with the Harry Potter universe so I can't comment on Dumbledore, lol.

In terms of how I see being trans integrated into a Jedi character, I guess in a similar way to how being non-trans is integrated into Jedi characters.

For example, we see from the way Luke Skywalker looks and behaves that he's a man. The films don't explore what being a man means to him, nor do they (intentionally) explore how being a man shapes his experiences.

Could we not similarly see that a character is trans from their appearance and behaviour, while not feeling obliged to explore this aspect in any great depth?

Nice to have a longer discussion, and a respectful one, about this, btw :)
I'm not reading these comments closely enough to respond as thoughtfully as I like, but I disagree that sci fi or any other genre is unsuitable for exploring these themes, or that Dumbledore's homosexuality (never even mentioned in the movies? correct me if I'm wrong) is tokenism.

The inclusion of transgender people honors the fact that they exist and are normal. Nobody says anything about the token hetersexuality in almost every movie, and certainly every star wars movie. We're supposed to believe that western sexual identifications form the basis of an epic sci fi universe? How sad it would be if aliens with long hair and handbags only coupled with aliens with short hair selling propane and propane accessories.

As far as the art being dead if it truly bothers you (and I can't blame you if it does) I would recommend making some.
 

andreasmaaan

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#33
I'm not reading these comments closely enough to respond as thoughtfully as I like, but I disagree that sci fi or any other genre is unsuitable for exploring these themes, or that Dumbledore's homosexuality (never even mentioned in the movies? correct me if I'm wrong) is tokenism.

The inclusion of transgender people honors the fact that they exist and are normal. Nobody says anything about the token hetersexuality in almost every movie, and certainly every star wars movie. We're supposed to believe that western sexual identifications form the basis of an epic sci fi universe? How sad it would be if aliens with long hair and handbags only coupled with aliens with short hair selling propane and propane accessories.

As far as the art being dead if it truly bothers you (and I can't blame you if it does) I would recommend making some.
Just to clarify, I 100% agree with you (and was trying to make a similar point, albeit in a more long-winded fashion) :)
 
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EB1000

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Thread Starter #35
More and more Hollywood movies get "woked" and the audience are getting progressive agenda shoved down their throat. Now a prerequisite for getting an academy nomination is to have at least 50% people of color as characters. They actually gave a B-movie like the Black Panther 3 Oscars, and the latest Terminator installment had only woman leading roles, an Hispanic terminator, and the T1000 married to an illegal alien... At the first 20 minutes, I thought I accidentally downloaded the Spanish dubbed version of the movie. Stopped watching after 30 minutes... This is a serious problem! Look at all the recent Netflix movies.. The role casting is like nature in reverse...
 

Robin L

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#37
Love all the old white guys getting disturbed by being "woke" :). Consider the opposite and equally unrealistic view that's often been shoved down everyone's throats before....
Hey! I'm an Old White Guy! [Who has lived through the civil rights movement of the sixties from the inside, up close and personal, and is here to tell you that Privilege is real].
 

andreasmaaan

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#38
Now a prerequisite for getting an academy nomination is to have at least 50% people of color as characters.
What are you talking about?

The role casting is like nature in reverse...
The vast majority of humans in "nature" are most certainly not White (as opposed to the ~75% of characters in top-grossing films).

Barely even 75% of the population of the United States is White, let alone the rest of the planet.

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