Reylo and Female Empowerment

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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by ISeeAnIsland on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 3:06 pm

@vaderito wrote:
@BastilaBey wrote:
@AppleCrumble122 wrote:OMG! Who's read this amazing meta about female characters? http://madlori.tumblr.com/post/51723411550/rebloggable-by-request-well-first-of-all

Someone please tweet that to Kathleen Kennedy!
@AppleCrumble122

Yes to all of this! I am tired of this damaging unhealthy idea that female characters have to be unbreakable, flawless, never conflicted. That is boring af and not relatable, and just as dangerous as the helpless damsels of the past. So so hoping they are brave and willing to flesh Rey out into someone who is complicated, vulnerable and as conflicted as Kylo seems in TFA. These two souls are set up to complement each other but if Rey is not able to explore her darkness or struggle to come to terms with her abandonment and loneliness, it won't happen. The writers and the audience need to kick the pedestal out from under her, because that is what will make her an iconic character in the long run.
@BastilaBey

Marvel does great job with male characters in that regard. They are endearing because they can be silly, defeated, beaten, embarrassing, vulnerable, petty, childish on top of being a**-kickers. But female characters from MCU are boring as hell because they are your generic strong woman - dour, party pooper, smartest in the room, never endearing because they lack above mentioned qualities and moments given to male characters. In short, MCU female characters are poorly written because they are not characters. They are too busy being inspirational/models/message to be be characters. OTOH, there are no such drawbacks when writing male characters.

The reason why Rey's parentage upstaged Rey completely is Little Miss Perfect writing. They wanted an inspiration and they got it but inspiration won't't get people talk. Flaws will. Since there are no flaws, they talk about mystery which isn't part of characterization but allows them to inject interesting characters into conversation. So parentage talk is really discussing Luke, other candidate than Rey cause there isn't much to discuss (not to mention most interesting part of her characterization leads to Kylo and they want to forget about that).
@vaderito
The big exception to the female character/MCU problem is Jessica Jones. I highly recommend checking out the series on Netflix if you haven't already seen it.
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by vaderito on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 6:38 pm

Oh Jessica is great but that's Netflix TV and TV characters in generla are better. It's movie female characters that are mostly generic strong woman type w/o layers and personality given to male counterparts.
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by snufkin on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 8:55 pm

Speaking of Empowerment, the NY Times takes apart the recent push towards "Empowerment" as a Trojan Horse for marketing:

How Empowerment Became Something for Women to Buy[http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/17/magazine/how-empowerment-became-something-for-women-to-buy.html?_r=0]

Women’s empowerment borrows the virtuous window-dressing of the social worker’s doctrine and kicks its substance to the side. It’s about pleasure, not power; it’s individualistic and subjective, tailored to insecurity and desire. The new empowerment doesn’t increase potential so much as it assures you that your potential is just fine. Even when the thing being described as “empowering” is personal and mildly defiant (not shaving, not breast-feeding, not listening to men, et cetera), what’s being mar­keted is a certain identity. And no matter what, the intent of this new empowerment is always to sell.

One of the things I really thought was amazing with Rey was that she position in the story is not just as a woman, but also as somebody who's not privileged. Like I've seen a lot of comments/analysis about the conflict with Kylo Ren including how his entitlement mentality butting up against her beating him is a pretty subtle commentary both on male and social/economic privilege. Which I'd like to interpret as one of the reasons why she confounds him, because it's so out of his realm of experience and it would never occur to him prior to meeting her. The whole "Scavenger" comment was part of that (basically he says, "ew, poor people" as a way of putting her in her place.). I would love to see that come to the surface more once those two really start playing off each other, where she starts schooling him on what life's like for people who don't come from his privileged circles.

That said, my 3rd wave feminist sensibilities say Hell yes if she totally wants to hit it with him. In fact, I hope she totally does because all of the "she's a role model for little girls and he's the bad guy" are ridiculous IMO.
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by MeadowofAshes on Fri 29 Apr 2016, 8:07 am

@snufkin "You. A scavenger." That part of the scene is so great, and I agree, wonderful social commentary. I will say, it honestly didnt read to me like he was purposely putting her in her place. At least he had the good grace to look like he feels bad when he realizes he has embarrassed her. It came off to me as he's just vocalizing his thoughts. He's genuinely puzzled at how the girl from the wrong side of the tracks could best him at something and doesn't consider that other people don't share his view. Like she obviously knows what her place is, right? Oh whoops, looks like she doesn't, sorry girl. That's Prince Ben characterization. It automatically takes my imagination to hhis upbringing I adore Princess Leia but she really is a snob lol. It's easy to tell how much, as much as loves Han and Luke, she looks down on them especially in ANH. So I imagine that although she has certainly grown as a person between ANH and raising Ben, some of that snobbishness probably rubbed off on Ben. Anyway, even without him getting his butt kicked twice by the desert rat, I love how that line and his reaction to her face set him up as the haughty Prince who has the potential to change his views on those who are "lesser" than him. Seems Benny Boy is going to be learning more than one lesson in this trilogy.
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by Saracene on Sat 07 May 2016, 6:20 am

Great article from a few years back that touches on a few things discussed in this thread:

http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2013/08/i-hate-strong-female-characters
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by Reynak on Sat 07 May 2016, 12:16 pm

@snufkin wrote:Speaking of Empowerment, the NY Times takes apart the recent push towards "Empowerment" as a Trojan Horse for marketing:

How Empowerment Became Something for Women to Buy[http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/17/magazine/how-empowerment-became-something-for-women-to-buy.html?_r=0]

Women’s empowerment borrows the virtuous window-dressing of the social worker’s doctrine and kicks its substance to the side. It’s about pleasure, not power; it’s individualistic and subjective, tailored to insecurity and desire. The new empowerment doesn’t increase potential so much as it assures you that your potential is just fine. Even when the thing being described as “empowering” is personal and mildly defiant (not shaving, not breast-feeding, not listening to men, et cetera), what’s being mar­keted is a certain identity. And no matter what, the intent of this new empowerment is always to sell.

One of the things I really thought was amazing with Rey was that she position in the story is not just as a woman, but also as somebody who's not privileged. Like I've seen a lot of comments/analysis about the conflict with Kylo Ren including how his entitlement mentality butting up against her beating him is a pretty subtle commentary both on male and social/economic privilege. Which I'd like to interpret as one of the reasons why she confounds him, because it's so out of his realm of experience and it would never occur to him prior to meeting her. The whole "Scavenger" comment was part of that (basically he says, "ew, poor people" as a way of putting her in her place.). I would love to see that come to the surface more once those two really start playing off each other, where she starts schooling him on what life's like for people who don't come from his  circles.

That said, my 3rd wave feminist sensibilities say Hell yes if she totally wants to hit it with him. In fact, I hope she totally does because all of the "she's a role model for little girls and he's the bad guy" are ridiculous IMO.
@snufkin

I agree so much. She has no obligation to set a role model for little kids, as they say, especially because the model antis put forward is that of a woman with no compassion in her heart and with no life of her own. They want her to become the biggest prize for the most "deserving" male character (Finn) or otherwise dedicate her life to a mission and never have the family she craves or the man she wants. What model is this? A woman without humanity or a wish to live her life as she chooses? I have a son and a daughter and I'd never want a model like that for any of them.

Love is never about deserving or an award for the coolest guy. She has the right to love who she wants although people may think he is not the best choice. What do they know anyway? People giving their opinions on who Rey should choose is deeply rooted on sexism and paternalism, like parents choosing a guy they like for their daughters without considering they are no longer kids. A woman must choose her partner just like any man and she may make mistakes and learn from them, but her right to take her own decisions must be respected. They talk about empowered women on the media and all too often this is false because fiction usually either over-sexualizes female characters or infantilizes them and tries to make them asexual, which is just as bad. These antis like to infantilize Rey for some reason and approve of a school-yard crush with Finn but abhor a likely passionate love with Kylo/Ben.

Another thing that's wrong is cofusing a good character with a morally perfect one. Male characters may be deeply flawed and compelling at the same time but females "have to" set a model, be strong and capable and never need help or fall for a less than perfect guy. Why? I dislike this, female characters should come weak and strong, innocent or impish, good or evil, just like male characters. This is what actresses and the audience deserve , rich varied characters, both male and female, the rest is trying to sell us a fraud.


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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by snufkin on Sat 07 May 2016, 1:14 pm

@Saracene, thank you for posting that. Great summary of how f***ing tired the token Strong Female Character/Hero's More Competent Lady Sidekick trope has become. The sad thing is that TFA had to be marketed in a way to hide Rey being the protagonist by making people think that she was going to fill that character slot. And now that it's been out, people expect her to be the Strong Female Character as protagonist, rather than allowing her to be as 3 dimensional as a male hero gets to be.

@Reynak:

People giving their opinions on who Rey should choose is deeply rooted on sexism and paternalism, like parents choosing a guy they like for their daughters without considering they are no longer kids. A woman must choose her partner just like any man and she may make mistakes and learn from them, but her right to take her own decisions must be respected. They talk about empowered women on the media and all too often this is false because fiction usually either over-sexualizes female characters or infantilizes them and tries to make them asexual, which is just as bad. These antis like to infantilize Rey for some reason and approve of a school-yard crush with Finn but abhor a likely passionate love with Kylo/Ben.

F*** yes! Sorry for the swearing, but as above, it's about pretending to be empowered when it's actually putting women into the same old morality box they've always been policed by (@solosidecousin has made some great observations about that). Every time I tried reading the other board, it's a lot of "she'd be a bad role model for my daughters if she dates that emo bully who killed Cool Dad Han." How the Hell do they even know what their daughters want? And yeah, nobody should make that decision except for her. Kind of reminds of a larger debate that's gone about about sex education here in the States for girls and the radical proposition we should be teaching them less about responsibility and more about their own authority/pleasure. Like I sad before, why the Hell shouldn't Rey get to make out with that, even if he's a hot mess? She doesn't have to be his girlfriend if she doesn't want to



http://qz.com/674336/the-revolutionary-idea-that-sex-should-feel-good-for-teen-girls-too/
The revolutionary idea that sex should feel good for teen girls too

Girls & Sex makes a strong case for changing the way Americans approach sex education. “When kids go into puberty education classes, they learn that boys have erections and ejaculations and girls have periods and unwanted pregnancies,” Orenstein tells Quartz. Many parents are equally guilty of this kind of framing, whether out of moral concern or simple embarrassment. “In the US, we emphasize danger and risk. The Dutch talk about responsibility and joy.”
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by Saracene on Sun 08 May 2016, 3:28 am

To be honest, all this gushing over what a great role model Rey is left me a bit puzzled, because while Rey has many great qualities and skills, she's essentially a very reactive character without any real goals or ambitions. I'm pretty certain that, if Rey was instead Raymond, he'd never get this passive characterisation where he waits around on a crappy planet waiting for his family to come back, he'd probably be out there searching for his parents instead. And don't get me wrong, I think it's perfectly fine for Rey to figure out what she really wants, but I think it's way too early to put her up there with someone like Furiosa, like some people seem to.

As an aside, I've read this observation once that one of the reasons people love fictional villains is because they tend to have a clear goal they're working towards.
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by Darth Dingbat on Sun 08 May 2016, 4:33 am

You know, it's only quite recently that I've realised how prevalent and toxic the "girl gets burnt by Bad Boy, then realises the Nice Guy was there all along" trope is. It's even surprisingly prevalent in female-centric fiction. I read quite a bit of chick lit at some point, and it's surprising how many of those books went for a message along the lines of "don't expect too much from your love life, or you'll only get disappointed".

I find it disturbing not because I think Bad Boys are somehow the ultimate in swoonworthiness - far from it - but because women making sexual and romantic mistakes somehow seems to have become even more of a stick to beat women/female characters with than it used to be. It's like the "role model women" have internalised the complaint of Nice Guys(tm) all over the world that women only fall for Bad Boys, and therefore are now determined to prove that no, that's wrong, Strong Modern Women do fall for Nice Guys and not Bad Boys because Strong Modern Women are wise and level-headed and not flighty and silly like those other women who expect romantic love and sexual chemistry and stupid frivolous crap like that.

And of course, a Bad Boy doesn't even have to be especially Bad to be the Bad Boy. Everyone who's not the Designated Nice Guy is a Bad Boy nowadays, it seems.

Where has this neo-moralism come from? Am I imagining things or just seeing things I've ignored previously, but have "role models" and expectations really got simplistic and super-restrictive lately? It's weird because I think old TV series like Golden Girls and The Nanny were a lot more human, encouraging and yes, empowering than anything we see nowadays. And considering that The Nanny is basically about a woman whose main goal in life is to find a husband, that says a lot.
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by Mana on Sun 08 May 2016, 4:52 am

....and even in the context of the inherently violent Star Wars universe, Rey isn't exactly a miss goody two shoes....we are definitely yet to see the true nature of Rey...
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by Saracene on Sun 08 May 2016, 6:42 am

I often have mixed feelings about the "girl chooses the Nice Guy in the end" trope. Sometimes I find it sweet, and sometimes it makes me go, well is that the two choices? It's either romantic/sexual chemistry and passion with the Bad Boy, or a sizzle-free relationship with a worthy sexless Nice Guy?
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by Darth Dingbat on Sun 08 May 2016, 6:52 am

@Saracene wrote:I often have mixed feelings about the "girl chooses the Nice Guy in the end" trope. Sometimes I find it sweet, and sometimes it makes me go, well is that the two choices? It's either romantic/sexual chemistry and passion with the Bad Boy, or a sizzle-free relationship with a worthy sexless Nice Guy?
@Saracene

Yeah, I agree. It's not the Nice Guy itself that I find disappointing - like I said, I have no preference for Bad Boy LIs whatsoever, quite the opposite in fact - but it's the way it's set up like you can only be deluded and disappointed by strong romantic/sexual chemistry and would be better off settling for something less.

Most of my favourite fictional men are very nice, and gentle, and shy etc., so that's not the problem at all. Any romance can be well-written, and any romance can be a snoozefest...

Edited to add: I think it's because I actually usually prefer male characters who aren't obvious romantic heroes that it took me a while to realise how distasteful it is to shame women (real or imaginary) for their romantic/sexual preferences. Just because I prefer Nice Guys, that doesn't mean the Nice Guy is automatically the right choice for the heroine in a story. A lot of the time it's just a disappointing snoozefest.
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by CienaRee on Mon 09 May 2016, 7:31 am

I think if Rey gets more layered and complex in the next two movies I can accept TFA as a sort of symbolism of Rey letting go of her childlike state and takes control of her own destiny and desires.I mean we knew what kind of character Luke was in ANH but we also shouldn't forget that unlike Rey he was raised in a loving home where he had friends and a good albet boring life.Rey however was abandoned when she was a child and she had to spend years defending herself and surving in a planet where she could be killed every day for al she knew so she wasn't able to properly grow up and have dreams and ambitions of her own because of the childhood state she remained in all these years.
Sorry if I don't make much sense I was just thinking a lot about childlike Rey appeared to be in TFA and I thouhgt this could ba a main reason as to why we don't know much about her-hrowing up children pften don't know what they want or who they are as a person untill later in their lives.

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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by CienaRee on Sat 21 May 2016, 11:30 am

I find it sad that some fans want Rey to be this perfect  role model and not a complex and full fleshed character.TFA was a clear example of how damaging this is for her since the writers were clearly trying to make her lovable to the audinece isnetad of a charater with real personality . I've ou watched TFA  a couple fo times and I've picked up on how passive Rey is most of the movie.She displays rage but it's very subtle and what you get is really someone who's one defining quality is waiting for her family.I mean with Leia eventhough you didn't know anything about her family in ANH she still had real personality.She was sarcastic, bossy,angry,daring,compassionate on top of being a real bad a** and she wasn't even the main hero in the trilogy.Rey on the other hand had this childish sweetness mixed with rage whcih in theory should be good but they spend too much time trying to make her likable which resulted in her being somewhat passive because they didn't want to take risks with her like they did with Kylo.
Sometimes I think playing a villian is a much oreferable option because writers aren't afraid to take them in whatever direction they want and in many cases they gte much better writing than the good guys.

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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by AppleCrumble122 on Sat 21 May 2016, 10:33 pm

@CienaRee wrote:I find it sad that some fans want Rey to be this perfect  role model and not a complex and full fleshed character.TFA was a clear example of how damaging this is for her since the writers were clearly trying to make her lovable to the audinece isnetad of a charater with real personality.
@CienaRee

Agreed! However, watching the movies now, I think JJ have no choice but to make his heroes sweet and likeable, because TPT had flat, boring and unlikeable ones so he probably felt he needed to make the audience root and care for them again - which was a huge task after TPT mess. I hope RJ and KK have the courage to really make Rey go through flawed and complex character development and arc in the next two films, and the recent comments by Daisy Ridley saying "some fans won't like the direction she's going in" and Oscar Issac saying "everyone gets tested" gives me hope.
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by Mana on Sat 21 May 2016, 11:07 pm

Daisy didn't exactly say people wouldn't like the direction that Rey's going in, she just said that she knew what people loved about Rey and hinted that this time they would be taking more risks with the character...implying that people might be surprised by the changes the charater is going through.
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by AppleCrumble122 on Sat 21 May 2016, 11:16 pm

@Mana wrote:Daisy didn't exactly say people wouldn't like the direction that Rey's going in, she just said that she knew what people loved about Rey and hinted that this time they would be taking more risks with the character...implying that people might be surprised by the changes the charater is going through.
@Mana

Yeah I was paraphasing what I've heard from other people since I can't find the exact quote myself, but it still gives me hope! Smile
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by Mana on Sat 21 May 2016, 11:17 pm

@AppleCrumble122 wrote:
@Mana wrote:Daisy didn't exactly say people wouldn't like the direction that Rey's going in, she just said that she knew what people loved about Rey and hinted that this time they would be taking more risks with the character...implying that people might be surprised by the changes the charater is going through.
@Mana

Yeah I was paraphasing what I've heard from other people since I can't find the exact quote myself, but it still gives me hope! Smile
@AppleCrumble122

Yeah..I think that's what she meant without actually saying it outright...Wink
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by Reynak on Sun 22 May 2016, 3:34 am

@Darth Dingbat wrote:You know, it's only quite recently that I've realised how prevalent and toxic the "girl gets burnt by Bad Boy, then realises the Nice Guy was there all along" trope is. It's even surprisingly prevalent in female-centric fiction. I read quite a bit of chick lit at some point, and it's surprising how many of those books went for a message along the lines of "don't expect too much from your love life, or you'll only get disappointed".

I find it disturbing not because I think Bad Boys are somehow the ultimate in swoonworthiness - far from it - but because women making sexual and romantic mistakes somehow seems to have become even more of a stick to beat women/female characters with than it used to be. It's like the "role model women" have internalised the complaint of Nice Guys(tm) all over the world that women only fall for Bad Boys, and therefore are now determined to prove that no, that's wrong, Strong Modern Women do fall for Nice Guys and not Bad Boys because Strong Modern Women are wise and level-headed and not flighty and silly like those other women who expect romantic love and sexual chemistry and stupid frivolous crap like that.

And of course, a Bad Boy doesn't even have to be especially Bad to be the Bad Boy. Everyone who's not the Designated Nice Guy is a Bad Boy nowadays, it seems.

Where has this neo-moralism come from? Am I imagining things or just seeing things I've ignored previously, but have "role models" and expectations really got simplistic and super-restrictive lately? It's weird because I think old TV series like Golden Girls and The Nanny were a lot more human, encouraging and yes, empowering than anything we see nowadays. And considering that The Nanny is basically about a woman whose main goal in life is to find a husband, that says a lot.
@Darth Dingbat

This is very interesting and worth considering. I think this "choose the nice guy over the bad boy" trope is more about the male gaze than the female one, as usual. It shames women for having sexual desire and being passionate, also for wanting a beautiful or potent love story in their lives.

The bad boy is usually the sexy guy, the one that exudes sex appeal and attracts poor weak women to disaster, because seeking chemistry and great sex leads to disaster for women in fiction all too often, even in classic novels like "Sense and Sensibility", where the sensitive passionate girl finds happiness with a nice guy whereas passion only had led her to despair. It's worse now, I agree, in the past fiction was more honest because at least it showed what women craved while now the trend is going for the "nice" less sexy, less risky option.

It's as if there's fear of female sexuality and desire and a will to tame it in fiction. The "bad boy" , the pirate, the warrior the girl wants in romance novels is not about men but about the woman herself, about what we desire, some adventure, trepidation and thrill in our sex and love lives. It's like letting you hair down and just do what you want from the safety of your seat, watching or reading a good story.

We are less bold in our real lives and we go for restraint much more than men because of the way we were educated. They always talk and talk about role models for little girls and not so much for little boys. In the end I guess we like the bad "boys" in fiction because they represent our freedom as regards sex, love and life in general with the risk that freedom always entails.

The nice guy is the option your parentes would choose for you but they can't see you as a woman in bed with a man, they can't imagine that as you'll always be their little girl. The fact is that perhaps girls don't want a "nice" guy in bed, so to speak, they want fun. But seriously, chemistry is essential, it's better to remain single than go for a relationship without passion only to avoid solitude and/or risking heartache , IMO.


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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by AppleCrumble122 on Sun 22 May 2016, 3:37 am

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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by Reynak on Sun 22 May 2016, 3:45 am

@AppleCrumble122

Thanks dear! Very Happy

In the end, girls just wanna have fun, LOL.
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by Saracene on Sun 22 May 2016, 3:47 am

@Reynak wrote:The bad buy is usaually the sexy guy, the one that exudes sex and attracts poor week women to disaster, because seeking chemistry and great sex leads to disaster for wome in fiction all two often, even in classic novels like "Sense and Sensibility", where the sensitive passionate girl finds happiness with a nice guy whereas passion only led her to dispair.
@Reynak

I love the ending in Sense and Sensibility, mostly because of my love for Alan Rickman in the screen adaptation, but yeah the fact that it's put as such a binary choice did rub me wrong, somewhat.

Now the ending in Little Women, with Jo marrying that old boring professor, I hated. Haaaaaaated it with passion.
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by AppleCrumble122 on Sun 22 May 2016, 3:52 am

@Reynak Welcome! What you've written is completely true though. You should write a full meta on it.
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by Reynak on Sun 22 May 2016, 4:18 am

@Saracene wrote:
@Reynak wrote:The bad buy is usaually the sexy guy, the one that exudes sex and attracts poor week women to disaster, because seeking chemistry and great sex leads to disaster for wome in fiction all two often, even in classic novels like "Sense and Sensibility", where the sensitive passionate girl finds happiness with a nice guy whereas passion only led her to dispair.
@Reynak

I love the ending in Sense and Sensibility, mostly because of my love for Alan Rickman in the screen adaptation, but yeah the fact that it's put as such a binary choice did rub me wrong, somewhat.

Now the ending in Little Women, with Jo marrying that old boring professor, I hated. Haaaaaaated it with passion.
@Saracene

@Saracene wrote:
@Reynak wrote:The bad buy is usaually the sexy guy, the one that exudes sex and attracts poor week women to disaster, because seeking chemistry and great sex leads to disaster for wome in fiction all two often, even in classic novels like "Sense and Sensibility", where the sensitive passionate girl finds happiness with a nice guy whereas passion only led her to dispair.
@Reynak

I love the ending in Sense and Sensibility, mostly because of my love for Alan Rickman in the screen adaptation, but yeah the fact that it's put as such a binary choice did rub me wrong, somewhat.

Now the ending in Little Women, with Jo marrying that old boring professor, I hated. Haaaaaaated it with passion.
@Saracene

Alan Rickman was sooo attractive that this "nice", less sexy guy trope gets lost in the movie. I loved him too and preferred him over the pretty boy, but many people say Alan was the one who made the character yummy because in the book he isn't like that, only the safe, decent, older guy option for the oversensitive girl who learned her lesson.

In the movies, very often the "nice" guy is just another pretty actor wearing glasses or conventional boring clothes, or who is a nerd in contrast with the bad boy in a leather jacket and tight pants. But they are selling you the nice guy using a handsome actor as a means. The message is the same though. Look twice because the nerd guy next door who asked you out may be "sexy" if given a chance. And he may be, but perhaps he isn't and the girl may want a one-night stand with the "bad boy". Boys do that all the time, both in movies and RL. There's a song in my country where a guy says "I chose the prettiest but the less good girl", the singer calls that femme fatale a "mermaid". In fiction men chase the prettiest girl and in the end she leaves the "jock" for the nice "nerd". The "good" girl remains his friend the whole movie, which is not funny if you think of it.

If Rey was a guy and Finn a girl most viewers, especially the guys, would think they would always be good friends and the hero would hook up with hot DS villanous temptress with great body and gorgeous hair. They would probably expect Ray, the hero, to rescue Kyla from the DS and Snoke's influence because she has been brainwashed. After all, she is Leia's daughter and the last Skywalker.
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