Monday, June 8, 2015

Feminist-approved art is boring

Even the feminists who demanded it think so:
    I am bored.

    Which isn’t to say I don’t enjoy many of these books, or that I think they have no redeeming qualities. But these brave new heroines can, by and large, be summed up as “smart, nice, vaguely sassy.” There is individual conflict, sure — Barbara’s academic work, Gwen’s band, Kate Bishop’s desire for independence — but it’s rarely defining, and never truly risky. Certainly none of these books approach the kind of comedy, pathos, or danger that define the greatest male characters. They’re all a little safe, a little tame, a little quiet.


It is true the characters are boring, yet what Khan describes — this smart, nice, vaguely sassy woman — is the very character feminists adore. All their icons fit that description. That is Tina Fey. That is Lena Dunham. That is Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, Kristen Schaal, and Mindy Kaling.

It also describes the women they flock to online. That is Anita Sarkeesian. That is Brianna Wu. That is Zoe Quinn, Leigh Alexander, Lindy West, Amanda Marcotte, Jessica Valenti, and Zerlina Maxwell.

This is precisely the personality type one finds among female comic book creators like Gail Simone, Kate Leah, and Kelly Sue DeConnick.

This is exactly what feminists asked for. What did they expect would happen?

The character type they prefer is boring. Nothing of interest will happen to the character because she has no flaws, makes no mistakes, and does nothing that could make her look bad. She is nothing but a snarky Mary Sue. There can be no character development from that position.
This is the problem with characters that must be beyond criticism. They cannot fail. There is no conflict. There are no surprises. Just rainbows, unicorns, and unstinting praise from start to finish.

Feminism is boring. This should not be a surprise, so are feminists.

25 comments:

Nate Winchester said...


The character type they prefer is boring. Nothing of interest will happen to the character because she has no flaws, makes no mistakes, and does nothing that could make her look bad. She is nothing but a snarky Mary Sue. There can be no character development from that position.

This is the problem with characters that must be beyond criticism. They cannot fail. There is no conflict. There are no surprises. Just rainbows, unicorns, and unstinting praise from start to finish.


I don't think it's just quite only feminists. One thing I've noticed when reading about the plots (because of course I've never read them) of such anti-feminist books like Twilight or 50 shades is that the conflicts in them are very often NOT. Either the "dangers" in them are nothing of the sort, or are solved within minutes of introduction. Obviously this isn't always the case (I've personally known some daredevil gals and even some critics of these stories mock the lack of threat) but it seems to be widespread enough to make a rule of thumb: Women do not like vulnerability in their lives. Even the "dangerous" men seem usually to be more pseudo-danger than a real threat.

Of course the applications of this rule to game are immense.

Nate Winchester said...

Just rainbows, unicorns, and unstinting praise from start to finish.

P.S. And the next example of this? One America Chavez from Young Avengers. Go on, look at reactions to her on tumblr. I DARE you. ;-)

Cail Corishev said...

Either the "dangers" in them are nothing of the sort, or are solved within minutes of introduction.

That's a great observation. I watched one of the Twilight movies, because I figured the Rifftrax guys would do a great job with it (they did, but it was still awfully hard to watch). The heroine is never in any real danger, since she has not one but two supernatural heroes and their friends defending her; but there's lots (and lots and lots) of talking about how much danger she's in. Her only real danger is that one of the heroes will find his balls, notice that she's not that special, and stop letting her string them both along.

Tommy Hass said...

Not sure if I would refer to those cunts as "nice" or "smart".

Nate Winchester said...

Here you go, Cail. (I did a semi-comedy, semi-serious satire of Twilight on a dare - maybe someday I'll try submitting it to Castalia lol)

hank.jim said...

Women love inconsequential drama with them as the center of attention. Twilight works because the heroine has absolutely no flaws and she has the undying attention from two alphas males where neither will be harmed, and thus she will have no guilt of either one's non-demise. The concluding movie showed that nothing happened. The drama was played out and it turned out to be a dream. It was boring at the end, but not the journey, which is pure drama as any woman desires.

PhantomZodak said...

this is why the latest she-hulk got cancelled. they removed the reason comic book buyers like she-hulk & tried to turn her into a feminist friendly hero. did i mention it got cancelled?

Rabbi B said...

"This is the problem with characters that must be beyond criticism."

Art imitating life.

Owen said...

The real life Mary Sues find no satisfaction in others, only their cats.

Earl Thomas said...

The very people they seek to muzzle are the same people that do give them some excitement in life.

It would be boring if you never had crosses, criticisms, retorts, adversaries, or something to overcome. If everything is given to you on a silver platter...boredom is your reward.

Mr.MantraMan said...

Yes it is true even girl girl porn if freaking boring.

Dexter said...

"Nothing of interest will happen to the character..."

Except for her agonizing choice between the two alpha badboys who yearn for her tragically!

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

There is no conflict. There are no surprises. Just rainbows, unicorns, and unstinting praise from start to finish.

Yes. It's not just feminism that is at fault, but liberalism and democracy in general. For all their much-touted support for Diversity, modern people fear and hate The Other. They are unable to tolerate difference, disagreement, and dissidence. To them, disagreement is direct conflict, so it must be stamped out. The differences between men and women, or Europeans and Africans, present a profound problem for them that must be eradicated by any means necessary. What we are seeing here is the totalitarian mindset at work.

It also arguably has roots in monotheism, but that's an argument for another day.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

It's the Left that despises diversity and difference. They prefer boring because it is safe, compliant, and manageable.

I did research on Joseph de Maistre in grad school. I recall writing an essay defending him from Isaiah Berlin's accusation in "The Hedgehog and the Fox" [or was it "The Crooked Timber of Humanity"? I don't remember] that Maistre was somehow the godfather of Fascism. Nonsense. I had in mind the following Maistre quote:

"The constitution of 1795, like its predecessors, has been drawn up for Man. Now, there is no such thing in the world as Man. In the course of my life, I have seen Frenchmen, Italians, Russians, etc.; I am even aware, thanks to Montesquieu, that one can be a Persian. But, as for Man, I declare that I have never met him in my life. If he exists, I certainly have no knowledge of him."

Considérations sur la France (1797)

Eric said...

I don't think it's just quite only feminists. One thing I've noticed when reading about the plots (because of course I've never read them) of such anti-feminist books like Twilight or 50 shades is that the conflicts in them are very often NOT. Either the "dangers" in them are nothing of the sort, or are solved within minutes of introduction.

"Danger" to women is loss of her place in the social hierarchy. There might be a little actual danger to spice up the plot, but women don't face physical danger on an ongoing basis the same way men do.

Sometimes they don't even recognize it. I recall nearly being in a serious (and seriously outnumbered) bar fight in my 20s when two female acquaintances dragged me to a neighborhood dive bar. There were no other women at the bar, and the men turned immediately hostile to me. The women didn't even realize we were just a few seconds from chair legs and broken bottles.

maniacprovost said...

This is the problem with characters that must be beyond criticism. They cannot fail. There is no conflict. There are no surprises.

Ms. Marvel is a good example of PC crap with great production values, and some interesting bits, that is overall boring. It's not just that the style is bland, and the writing (like most American comics) is targeted toward remedial 3rd graders. It's just... pointless. However the heroine does fail literally, and they trot out the old "I blame myself for not being able to save X" trope. So you'd think it would be an interesting comic. Nope.

"Chihayafuru" hooked me more in the first chapter, despite being a pastiche of cliches on an incredibly boring premise, than the whole Ms. Marvel volume 1 with its smart, nice, slightly sassy heroine.

maniacprovost said...

This is the problem with characters that must be beyond criticism. They cannot fail. There is no conflict. There are no surprises.

Ms. Marvel is a good example of PC crap with great production values, and some interesting bits, that is overall boring. It's not just that the style is bland, and the writing (like most American comics) is targeted toward remedial 3rd graders. It's just... pointless. However the heroine does fail literally, and they trot out the old "I blame myself for not being able to save X" trope. So you'd think it would be an interesting comic. Nope.

"Chihayafuru" hooked me more in the first chapter, despite being a pastiche of cliches on an incredibly boring premise, than the whole Ms. Marvel volume 1 with its smart, nice, slightly sassy heroine.

Retrenched said...

"Danger" to women is loss of her place in the social hierarchy. There might be a little actual danger to spice up the plot, but women don't face physical danger on an ongoing basis the same way men do."

^ Nailed it.

SirThermite said...

"Danger" to women is loss of her place in the social hierarchy

I have a strong suspicion this is why married women are considered more "spiritual" than their husbands are in general by those using the metric of active participation and regular attendance at Sunday morning Churchianity services. If there are social gains to be made or appearances to be kept-up, then women are more likely to play the game and toe the line, even if that's the only reason they're there.

Sean Carnegie said...

Is that "woman" and Brianna Wu in the same paragraph?

Markku said...

this is why the latest she-hulk got cancelled. they removed the reason comic book buyers like she-hulk & tried to turn her into a feminist friendly hero. did i mention it got cancelled?

Ha! I know who YOU are...

Nate Winchester said...

Let's face it, complaining is just the hobby of feminists.

Thelien said...

"Chihayafuru" hooked me more in the first chapter, despite being a pastiche of cliches on an incredibly boring premise, than the whole Ms. Marvel volume 1 with its smart, nice, slightly sassy heroine.

Well, manga cliches are more appealing than American cliches. I'd take a modest, sweet Yamato Nadeshiko heroine over a sassy feminist heroine every time.

LP 999/Eliza said...

The list reminds me why I dont have local tv, cable tv, go to movies and why I have an instant avoidance of those screechychichy voices.

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