The other sexism

I remember reading at Gamefaqs that one poster suggested that it really is sexist for female characters to be constantly scantily clad or naked but it rarely happens for males. It’s as bad as demanding women to dress too modestly but men are just right. Regardless, the double standards remain.

It also makes sense on why it can be irritating for some to have female characters be almost always described in terms of how they appear and/or have flaws without being demonised. Not that the flaws should be inconsequential but something to make her well-rounded.

Not cutesy flaws but something like balancing good with bad or having good intentions that sometimes come off as annoying. You know like what real people do. But that would mean showing more empathy and experiences. That could cure problems if somebody’s willing to or if it does by accident.

Writing for others

That’s really difficult because that would mean being more receptive to their influences and develop new experiences, interests and hobbies even whether if you like it or not. Not easily done but can be a good way to develop strong perspective taking empathy, especially if you have to write about a character that isn’t like yourself. It’s really the only other way to avoid a Mary Sue self insert.

That’s also true in work environments where unless if things get really bad you have to cooperate with everybody else. You may not always like it but you have to respect or tolerate it. That can lead to more interesting casts where the protagonist has to deal with supporting characters without demonising or marginalising them. It also makes it more realistic and believable if the character has to work with or save them at all.

Saving a character that’s really annoying can be more interesting than killing it because it could have a second chance. Writing for others means being able to respond to their influences for better or worse and reach out to everybody else. Again it’s hard but practically gratifying for one’s career and social skills.

Speak to others

Writing autobiographies or autobiographical stories and poems aren’t bad in and of itself, the real trick here is to make it appealing and relatable to everybody else. That’s hard but it can do a lot of good when it comes to reaching out to others, bothering to show empathy and condolences. Sometimes it’s accidental, sometimes it’s deliberate.

But appealing to everybody is admirable. Some stories don’t bother and are content with appealing to small audiences interested in that topic to begin with. While someone could relate to Marianne Faithfull’s bad school experiences and losing a parent or relative at a young age, it’s predictable that anime nerds will gravitate to stories featuring them.

Even if or when not all of them do as what Serdap said in his blog. Similar things can be said of other stories outside of anime where the same problem persists. It’s one thing to write what’s autobiographical, it’s another to write only for the intended audience in question.

Fan entitlement

I suspected before that if a writer who’s never beholden to Tim Drake and hardly reads comics ever got to write his adventures, there’s a chance that the writer could accidentally destroy fanboys’ perceptions of him and treat him as a flawed, sinful human being. Allowing Tim to be truly fallible and imperfect.

Like if he hates dogs, is a pervert and a sadist who gets into trouble with Batman. Fans would stop projecting themselves onto him but still feel upset about not being entitled to him anymore. The problem with fan entitlement is that they get too attached to not only the character but try to make it look perfect.

Even though that results in a Mary Sue and nobody likes those. A writer who’s hardly attached to him and seldom reads comics could expose not only his flaws but also the problems with fan entitlement to him. Is it wrong if Tim masturbates a lot or enjoys porn in his spare time?

Everybody else did it or something similar, if he did it he’d be far more relatable but some fans would be horrified even if that means accepting that Tim, despite being fictional, does make mistakes and disappoint people.

They don’t read comics

It’s not a bad thing especially if they can bring in new influences and do research into the characters or at least the essentials and ideas of them. It needn’t to be exact for as long as they get the idea of them right. That’s as if a writer developed enough experiences with actual journalists as well as being interested in them and their works (and doing journalism itself) to write about one for DC or Marvel.

To me, that’s more important than getting too obsessive over the details of certain characters in stories because you might not enjoy the way they’re sometimes portrayed or that it would take too much time. You might start thinking that Tim Drake, as he was initially presented, sucked and you ┬ámake him resemble Marquis de Sade to make him flashier.

It could be any other character but that’s inevitable with people who hardly read comics but get to write them anyways. They’re not too beholden to things. While fans would get upset over Tim sinning, the writer who isn’t a fan of him to begin with would allow him to sin. It says a lot about fan entitlement and being too attached.

A Handmaid’s Tale

I remember reading this book before and it’s about a woman living in a very fundamentalist America where women’s sexual activity is severely restricted. Though it was composed in the Republican, Reaganite 1980s it’s relevant enough to continue getting adapted for other media.

The first of which starred Faye Dunaway, followed by a ballet, opera and a telly series starring Elizabeth Moss. I heard there’s also going to be a comic book adaptation. As to why it’s relevant, it deals with issues like severe clothing and sexual restrictions on women and slut-shaming.

You also have the issue of surrogate mothers who act as donors for real mothers. This isn’t just an issue with adopted children who’re forcibly taken apart from their ‘sinful’ mothers (the Magdalene laundries are any indication) but also historically among some women they had wet nurses who breastfed their children.

Not only that you also have women policing other women if they behave out of line in a rather misogynistic context and stuff. There’s still high rates of female illiteracy in other countries which is also the case in A Handmaid’s Tale.

Again many things described in that story easily have real life precedents and counterparts, thus validating its relevancy.

Dialogue between a priest and a dying man

The plot, if it ever existed at all, is about a Christian and an atheist arguing back and forth on morality and God’s existence. This is coloured by Sade’s bad personal experiences not just in school but also because his uncle was an abbot who participated in very sinful practises. Said uncle was also a bad influence on the young Sade.

It allegedly inspired a scene in the film Nazarin and its director Luis Bunuel is no stranger to adapting portions of Marquis de Sade’s other works and even included him in one of his films. Since Sade wrote really graphic stories, it’s one of the tamer ones out there but could offend certain sensibilities as Sade distrusted organised religion ever since and is very vocal about it.