Absurdly Profound or Profoundly Absurd

My musings on meaningful matters and mischievous mechanisms.

Find here: Art, writing and other creative resources. Life philosophy and positive self worth. Craziness and fandorking galore. My other blogging topics vary, see my Tags Directory linked above for specifics. I probably like coffee, Transformers and Dragon Age a little too much.

If my creative works inspire you to create something of your own, please share with me! If you ever want to use my artwork for whatever reason, please credit my Tumblr or DeviantArt page as the source, as well as let me know via Ask/Submit/Reblog.. ;) Thank you!

This blog is occasionally NSFW.
Recent Tweets @ladyofdragons
Who I Follow
Posts tagged "gender identity"

marukobott:

if i ever misgender you:

  1. it is not on purpose i promise
  2. im very sorry
  3. tell me your correct pronouns and ill use them
  4. spray me with cold water

(via spookylaureate)

ladydragon76:

thepopetti:

Using human gender pronouns for transformers makes me somewhat uncomfortable and I think I’m not the only one.

I was just wondering that we could just choose a proper pronoun to use. And if most of the fandom would use that said pronoun maybe just maybe canon would start using it too. 

Now would propably be the time to choose the best pronoun for our purposes. There are quite many of them

I find the new Spivak most appealing for some reason. ( tho I have no idea how it is pronounced)

What do you think?

I personally like per/pem for ‘person’ that I read once, and it’s easy enough to pronounce and slip right in (for me).  The new Spivak isn’t bad, but like you said, how’s that pronounced? Would a reader have to go look it up?  Would it kick them out of the story?  Readers are lazy, and I don’t mean that in a bad way, it’s the author’s job to provide something smooth to read, and per/pers/perself or pemself is nice and easy.  So there’s my vote. ^_^

This is such a hard topic and I (like many?) assume Cybertronians have and use a gender neutral pronoun in their language since they identify as gender neutral in canon. But there’s nothing widely enough accepted in human culture to translate it to, and even if there was, could it overpower 30 years of established male pronoun use? Perhaps, but it might take a good long while.

That said, in a perfect world I’d prefer gender neutral pronouns too. It’s hard to say which I like better though, the all have pros and cons. I like  ’per’ for the reasons stated above, but it could get confusing since it has a separate meaning as a stand alone world already, but ‘pem’ might have potential, and so might ‘ve’.

nolongerpassive:

davidvantas:



Thank you Tresa.
Everyone read this. Now.

nolongerpassive:

davidvantas:

Thank you Tresa.

Everyone read this. Now.

(via the-wardens-vermin)

nellasaur:

xarratha:

nellasaur:


“Why are femmes even important? They’re machines, they shouldn’t HAVE genders FORCED onto them.”

Yeah pretty much this.  It seems so self-evident to me that Cybertronians don’t have an intrinsic gender—or if they do it’s not qualified in a way that human gender is— that I mentally stumble when I come across people who treat them like they do.

Crap, accidentally deleted what I was saying. Okay… shorter this time.
I agree with OP, we shouldn’t force gender on them. Gender is societal, and Cybertronians undoubtedly have a rather different society than we do. The problem with this is: humans write the show, humans watch the show, and humans INTERPRET the show in terms of human experience. Argh, wording. Anyways, the point is that you can’t sidestep an issue by pretending it’s not there. The Cybertronians are written to have primarily masculine traits and most respond to masculine pronouns. Theoretically, a genderless species would seem either a mixture of masculine and feminine to us, or else seem so completely alien that “he” and “she” don’t apply. Ack, sidetracked again.
The point: humans are writing the show with genderless MASCULINE robots, reinforcing the flawed idea that masculinity is the default and feminity is the aberration. Argh wording. But… here, let me point you to someone who said it better: http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2010/05/24/male-as-the-neutral-default/

I promise you, this isn’t really something I need explained to me.  XD
My statement that, within the context of the fiction, it makes no sense for TF characters to be gendered as (predominantly) male in terms of the human gender binary is by no means meant to sidestep the fact that the metatext of the TF franchise of the whole is incredibly problematic when it comes to gender.  As I’ve discussed multiple times, on Tumblr and elsewhere, it’s pretty clear that Hasbro and many of the creators still consider Transformers a boy’s club— females are marginalized as characters and generally ignored as fans.  We ladies are not reflected well in TF fiction, partly because Hasbro continues to insist that TF is made by boys for boys.  The way that TF fiction reinforces maleness/stereotyped masculinity as the norm and femaleness/stereotyped femininity as the (inferior) exception via the Cybertronian characters identifying primarily as males is only one symptom of a much bigger illness.
In fact, I would argue that it’s misleading to say that TF is about genderless robots at all.  It’s very, very obvious that it’s about boy robots doing boy things with boy humans (and occasional females thrown into the mix as tokens).  Hasbro as a rule tends to sidestep the issue of either physical sexes or genders in Transformers as a species, and when they do address it, it’s often very glib (the “built to appease human feminists” origin for Arcee in the Marvel comics or the “it’s just a model type” word-of-god for Aligned continuity) or downright problematic (the “genderfucked against his will by Jhiaxus” origin for Arcee in the IDW comics).
Personally, I think it’s totally possible for human writers to produce human-interpreted fiction presented to a human audience and still write the Cybertronians as genderless (or possessing of a non-human gender system).  The fact that it doesn’t happen in TF is, frankly, because TF is lazy sci-fi from an internal consistency/wordbuilding perspective, not because it can’t or shouldn’t be done.   Hasbro is toeing the line by characterizing their TFs firmly within the lines of the stereotypical Western/European gender binary, and making their Cybertronians primarily male is pandering to their perception of their primary audience.
If Hasbro was willing to take a risk, or let its writers take a risk— or hell, let its writers write some real goddamn sci-fi— I daresay we might see a Cybertronian species where the aliens are actually alien and not just people in giant robot suits who sometimes talk using a peculiar lexicon of robotty terms.  It could be done in a way that’s totally comprehensible to its audience, and if a particularly deft hand were allowed to do it, it could also be done in a way that illuminates and challenges the gender hegemony instead of playing along with it.
Wouldn’t that be cool?

It’s a beautiful dream. ;______;
And yup, boy stuff sells better. Parents don’t want to explain non-binary genders to their kids. I’ll just be sobbing in my corner again.
Honestly though, the comics at least are targeted at older audiences who could explore exactly what you describe. Yet in a lot ways the writing seems worse in places. Arg. It’s such a missed opportunity. I just want to find someone and SHAKE THEM until their head pops off… X\ Though I suppose that would be counter productive.
I wonder… if we wanted to make notions and feelings like this known, who would we turn to?

nellasaur:

xarratha:

nellasaur:

“Why are femmes even important? They’re machines, they shouldn’t HAVE genders FORCED onto them.”

Yeah pretty much this. It seems so self-evident to me that Cybertronians don’t have an intrinsic gender—or if they do it’s not qualified in a way that human gender is— that I mentally stumble when I come across people who treat them like they do.

Crap, accidentally deleted what I was saying. Okay… shorter this time.

I agree with OP, we shouldn’t force gender on them. Gender is societal, and Cybertronians undoubtedly have a rather different society than we do. The problem with this is: humans write the show, humans watch the show, and humans INTERPRET the show in terms of human experience. Argh, wording. Anyways, the point is that you can’t sidestep an issue by pretending it’s not there. The Cybertronians are written to have primarily masculine traits and most respond to masculine pronouns. Theoretically, a genderless species would seem either a mixture of masculine and feminine to us, or else seem so completely alien that “he” and “she” don’t apply. Ack, sidetracked again.

The point: humans are writing the show with genderless MASCULINE robots, reinforcing the flawed idea that masculinity is the default and feminity is the aberration. Argh wording. But… here, let me point you to someone who said it better: http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2010/05/24/male-as-the-neutral-default/

I promise you, this isn’t really something I need explained to me. XD

My statement that, within the context of the fiction, it makes no sense for TF characters to be gendered as (predominantly) male in terms of the human gender binary is by no means meant to sidestep the fact that the metatext of the TF franchise of the whole is incredibly problematic when it comes to gender. As I’ve discussed multiple times, on Tumblr and elsewhere, it’s pretty clear that Hasbro and many of the creators still consider Transformers a boy’s club— females are marginalized as characters and generally ignored as fans. We ladies are not reflected well in TF fiction, partly because Hasbro continues to insist that TF is made by boys for boys. The way that TF fiction reinforces maleness/stereotyped masculinity as the norm and femaleness/stereotyped femininity as the (inferior) exception via the Cybertronian characters identifying primarily as males is only one symptom of a much bigger illness.

In fact, I would argue that it’s misleading to say that TF is about genderless robots at all. It’s very, very obvious that it’s about boy robots doing boy things with boy humans (and occasional females thrown into the mix as tokens). Hasbro as a rule tends to sidestep the issue of either physical sexes or genders in Transformers as a species, and when they do address it, it’s often very glib (the “built to appease human feminists” origin for Arcee in the Marvel comics or the “it’s just a model type” word-of-god for Aligned continuity) or downright problematic (the “genderfucked against his will by Jhiaxus” origin for Arcee in the IDW comics).

Personally, I think it’s totally possible for human writers to produce human-interpreted fiction presented to a human audience and still write the Cybertronians as genderless (or possessing of a non-human gender system). The fact that it doesn’t happen in TF is, frankly, because TF is lazy sci-fi from an internal consistency/wordbuilding perspective, not because it can’t or shouldn’t be done. Hasbro is toeing the line by characterizing their TFs firmly within the lines of the stereotypical Western/European gender binary, and making their Cybertronians primarily male is pandering to their perception of their primary audience.

If Hasbro was willing to take a risk, or let its writers take a risk— or hell, let its writers write some real goddamn sci-fi— I daresay we might see a Cybertronian species where the aliens are actually alien and not just people in giant robot suits who sometimes talk using a peculiar lexicon of robotty terms. It could be done in a way that’s totally comprehensible to its audience, and if a particularly deft hand were allowed to do it, it could also be done in a way that illuminates and challenges the gender hegemony instead of playing along with it.

Wouldn’t that be cool?

It’s a beautiful dream. ;______;

And yup, boy stuff sells better. Parents don’t want to explain non-binary genders to their kids. I’ll just be sobbing in my corner again.

Honestly though, the comics at least are targeted at older audiences who could explore exactly what you describe. Yet in a lot ways the writing seems worse in places. Arg. It’s such a missed opportunity. I just want to find someone and SHAKE THEM until their head pops off… X\ Though I suppose that would be counter productive.

I wonder… if we wanted to make notions and feelings like this known, who would we turn to?

nellasaur:

Photobucket

Ladyofdragons asked me this really wonderful question, which I am answering both publicly and as a text post because both of us would love to see some discussion on this topic.

Because this is a big one, people. How do you write female characters without resorting to stereotypes or cliches?

Read More

Oh, so much wonderful input here and food for thought, thank you! You hit on several of the challenges I’ve come up against and provide some really insightful thoughts I definitely want to keep in mind during my process. I’ve been a lover of story and character development for many, many years, both as audience and craftsperson, but there are always new challenges and things to learn!

I have definitely caught myself falling into the trap of coming dangerously close to making a female character too masculine in the process of avoiding feminine tropes and stereotypes, same as I often flirt with the danger of turning her into a mary sue in the process of trying to make her strong. 

I suppose the key to the latter is making her strong despite her weaknesses (or perhaps because of them), to give her real challenges—ones that are not trivial—to overcome in an effort to portray the source of her strength in context. I think I have a pretty good handle on this (I am a terrible sadist to my characters, I do like breaking them and putting them back together again via story), though it’s always been a challenge to portray a strong character whose weakness are not external or obvious and not have them come off as a mary sue in the initial stages of establishment, before development can kick in.

But I digress! 

Well, it helps to remember that in most cases, it’s not necessarily the cliches themselves that are bad. It is not an intrinsically inferior thing to be emotional, or nurturing, or even to own your own sexuality. It is only when these traits are consistently shown to be inferior, and when women are consistently shown to have only these “inferior” traits, that they become harmful to gender equality here in the real world.

An excellent point. Having other characters in the story validate those traits is a step in the right direction. I realize I’ve used a not uncommon trope of rejecting emotional attachment out of fear of the repercussions in the new OC I’m developing. Even the character herself considers emotional attachment as a negative and unwanted thing. This gave me some momentary concern in light of your feedback, but after some consideration I think it works but only because as it’s one of her primary points of development. As an old war hero (antihero actually) who’s been seasoned by war in some of the worst ways, much of the story is about her learning to live again. Regaining her ‘humanity’, metaphorically speaking.
 
For me, I’ve found the trick is really to just be aware of the metatextual implications of what I’m writing. I try to give my female characters, even secondary and side ones, at least some complexity. I don’t let them be static, or embody only a single stereotypical trait. For minor characters, this can be as simple as picking a “male” trait to pair with a “female” one; for major characters, obviously this process is more involved. It’s important to remember that it’s not the stereotypes themselves that are bad, it’s how you use them and present them in the context of your story.
Bolded the best for reference later! This is a great tactic I shall have to remember.

To that end, it’s just as important to be aware of the way that other characters react to your female character. For example, if I write gentle female character A who doesn’t want to fight, and then write gruff male character B deriding her as weak or useless, well, that’s not intrinsically a bad thing. You don’t want to— nor should you have to— sanitize the opinions of all your characters to be ‘politically correct’. But I always try to make sure to qualify misogynist (or racist or heterosexist or ableist) assertions in the text— to make it clear that even though character B thinks character A is weak, he’s not right. Having another character defend her choices or otherwise making it metatextually clear that character B’s opinion is nothing more than just that, an opinion, is paramount to dodging the stereotypes and writing female characters that are equal to males.
Another fantastic point! I often get torn between portraying what I know to be in-character for different individuals and trying to keep topics somewhat safe/unoffensive.  Often the result is watered-down characterization that is distinctly unsatisfying all around. What you describe seems so very simple I can’t believe I didn’t consider it before.  Again we seem to come back to the validation of those traits as a positive thing, so we can override stereotypes and challenge common/default perceptions.

It’s not easy, and there’s no foolproof way to write “good” female characters, I’m afraid. All you can really do, if it’s important to you to write female characters well, is to be aware. Educate yourself on what portrayals are harmful and why, and how they’re used in a text. Build female characters who are more than just stereotypes and write them into a story that doesn’t minimize or shame them, or paint them as plot objects instead of plot participants. Be aware of the harmful attitudes in your characters and be careful that your metatext doesn’t turn those individual harmful attitudes into a more generally problematic statement. Remember that women make up 50% of the population on Earth— don’t just include one or two female characters because you need a token woman to do womanly things.

Definitely the biggest challenge I find is not being aware of the harmful attitudes but being consistent with that awareness and having a wide enough perspective on how the attitudes interact. It’s the classic artist’s issue where you spend so long looking at a piece you’re working that you stop seeing things that are right in front of you. Often I don’t see mistakes I’ve made until I put the art away and come back to it the next day and see it with fresh eyes.  I’m not sure how you tackle that issue as a writer (which I am distinctly inexperienced at, I’m more accomplished at art, but I can’t tell the stories I want to tell with it—and comics take me too long—so fiction it is) but at the very least that’s what beta readers are for I suppose? It’d be nice to see those mistakes earlier in the process though.

Ahh, damnit, I’m so excited now. I just want to go home and get crazy with this. Silly day job! D: