VIDEO: Tropes vs. the Dorky Dane: Ms. Male characters

Sofie begins an experiment where she may or may not go through every trope on Anita Sarkeesian’s list.

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Tag: Tropes vs. The Dorky Dane

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  • jjramsey

    From what I read on TvTropes, the female Question wasn’t really a female counterpart of the original male Question. Rather, when the first Question, who happened to be male, had died, the one who took up his mantle happened to be female. It’s not quite like the situation with the female Thor, which came across more like a temporary gimmick to attract attention.

    Also, I can’t say I see a big problem with alternate universe counterparts of a character having a different race than the original character. So what if the Human Torch in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is black? It’s a different universe and doesn’t have to be a slavish copy of the main Marvel comic universe. Heck, having a black Nick Fury seems to have worked out pretty well. The same goes for changing the gender.

    • Sofie Liv

      Must admit that Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury is perfect. I love it.

      When it comes to casting actors I do think the rules changes a bit, when casting actors it should be about casting the best person for the role and then skin colour and gender matters less, you are creating new characters already, create them as good as you can.

      When writing for already exsisting characters in comic books things get different though, you are writing for long time established things and that’s also where the freedom is much larger and you could just make new interesting characters of your choosing, so merely changing the already popular instead of trying something new is playing it safe and kind of lazy.

      • CaptainCalvinCat

        Sorry, I disagree – if you change ceteris paribus just the gender or the skin colour of a specific superhero you could be able to explore other aspects, you probably couldn’t explore, if you’d have him in that standard-state.

  • Moppet

    Nice video Sophie, good reasons backing the points and great points on characters that escape the issue by not just being race/gender counterparts to existing characters. Many things I’ve been saying myself for ages. It’s not that gender/race flipping can’t work (Nick Fury as a Black person is still great), it’s that, at the end of the day, it’s lazy.

    Why make Superman, Supergirl and “insert whoever you like here” black when you can just use Icon, Rocket and Static? All three existing characters, that are all already black, written as such from the ground up, and all three worthy of actually being used intelligently. Laziness.

    The same issue, as you point out, exists for creating new and unique characters. Want a great female character? There are plenty out there, but it’s so much easier to flip an existing popular male character, for lazy people, instead of creating a new and interesting one, or using an existing character. Which makes me even more glad characters like Korra exist, it’d be so easy for them to just make Korra be a female Aang in the Legend of Korra, but they didn’t. And I’m so glad they didn’t.

    • Sofie Liv

      Thank you very much, glad you enjoyed the video.

      Oh yes, Korra ended up being great in the last two seasons, she really ended up growing on me. You bring up good points.

      Yeah, i’m afraid brand recognision, going the safe route plays such a big role here… And yeah, that is just lazy :/

  • maarvarq

    Given that (so I’m told) there is a large female comic readership who want to see representatives of themselves in comics, it shouldn’t then be too big a deal to establish new female characters on their own terms, and the Kamala Khan Ms. Marvel would appear to be an example of this. Of course, you need decent writing and art, but one would hope that that went without saying by now. Upshot, yeah, shouldn’t be a problem from now on.

    • Sofie Liv

      It isn’t, it is fixing itself as we speak, which is so great.

      I mean sure, if you outright look for it, you can always find examples of lazy writing. But new exsisting writing is dominating this field these days so… no problem.

  • Gallen_Dugall

    I look forward to Fant4stic failing as it is covered with so many tell tale signs of lazy writing, but to be fair it is allegedly keeping very close to the “Ultimate” version so maybe it is failing on its own merits rather than trying to shield itself from criticism. I take more of an issue with the once again broken portrayal of Doom, but I also wonder why they they went with a blond haired blue eyed Sue – were no dark skinned female actors available? It seems unnecessarily clunky for such a constrained story telling medium.
    Tweety Bird was a male? I shall take your word for it.
    I have a general thought on the subject of character creation. There are two ways to create a character; either you start at the basis of what it is to be human (or whatever) and work your way up, or you work backwards from the most defining characteristics. Both can work with effort although the first way front loads its effort which is hard to justify for minor and supporting characters especially given the time constraints available for film.
    George Lucas’ homages to ’30s serials are infamous for stereotypical and 2D characters. His philosophy for those films was to always present the viewer something they can understand at a glance so the story never stops moving. Stereotypes and 2D characters are useful in this respect from a narrative point of view.
    I think you’re mostly right about the situation correcting itself because certainly outside of film it’s true. In my mind it is as the pendulum returning to center, but I don’t think it’s effortless. Certainly film studios are paranoid about presenting female characters as central protagonists and it is taking determined campaigning by film makers to get even baby steps in that direction. Then again I’m dubious about general Hollywood script writer ability to write a anything at all – the Supergirl TV show looks fun, but film Wonder Woman looks like she’s going spangly grim-dark.