My Photo


David Thompson
Subscribe
Blog powered by Typepad

« I Hammer Culture Into Your Tiny Minds | Main | Friday Ephemera »

July 31, 2014

Comments

rjmadden

Women just aren’t as interested in this type of crap as men.

My wife and her sister would very much agree.

David

It’s a rare treat to find a female enthusiast with whom one can discuss, at length and in detail, the arcane trivia of Marvel’s fictional crime fighters and their fictional technology. Most of the women I know have no detectable interest in Pym Particles or the catapult Dr Pym sometimes used to propel his tiny self across town. I know, shocking. Why, it’s as if, taken statistically, women tend to have better things, or at least other things, to do with their time.

Anna

Men and women often like different things. WE MUST FIX THIS!

Tom Foster

This may be sort-of relevant.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/30/twitter-diversity-silicon-valley-offices

Our Jess refers to 'white brogrammers' while complaining that Twitter isn't diverse enough. Sample quote:

'…white men unconsciously build products for white men – products that subtly discourage anyone else from using them.'

Rafi

A strong contender for First World Problem of the day.

David

It’s perhaps worth noting that owners of Wisden cricketers’ almanacs, Marvel comic book collections and Star Trek technical manuals – the kinds of things that lead to vast, rather baffling pop-cultural Wikipedia entries - still tend to be male. Not always, not exclusively, but much more often than not. And the people whose livelihoods depend on selling such things to as many people as possible aren’t trying to deter female interest and female customers. Anyone with an interest is welcome, indeed encouraged, to hand over their cash.

I know of a comic book store that has a formidably knowledgeable female member of staff. She can, and will, enthuse about the absurd minutiae of obscure characters. But she’s not exactly typical, and this isn’t because women are being excluded from working in (or shopping in) comic book stores. I suspect many comic stores, if not most of them, would regard a female staff member (or another one) as an asset, partly because of their still largely male customer base.

It’s like the scene from the first Transformers film, in which the nerdish hero encounters an attractive woman who also can rebuild car engines. Boi-oing.

sk60

The entry on Sex and the City includes only a brief summary of every episode, sometimes two or three sentences; the one on The Sopranos includes lengthy, detailed articles on each episode,” he wrote.

Maybe Sex and the City just isn't very interesting compared to The Sopranos? Maybe there's less to say about it. Just a thought.

*reports to correction booth.*

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Tom Foster - They’re a problem because white men unconsciously build products for white men – products that subtly discourage anyone else from using them.

The bastards! Damn you white men and the oppressive products you invented, such as computers, phones, cars, bicycles, power stations, indoor plumbing, and pencils!

Of course, Ms Zimmerman could always not use them, but she seems not to have considered this option.

The problem is, when so many of the people who build my tech are members of the dominant culture, I don’t trust them to have my best interests at heart.

Without the technology created by white men, this woman would likely be dead in a ditch by the age of 30.

In what I'm assuming is not a stunning coincidence given her unpleasant views, the she-beast who wrote this article looks like an extra from Mad Max:

http://i.guim.co.uk/w-140/h-140/q-95/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2014/7/1/1404239004275/Jess-Zimmerman.jpg

INVENT SOME EYE BLEACH FOR ME, WHITE MEN!

Dr Cromarty

Steve2. - that picture explains a lot.

Andrew Duffin

Only the left would assume that Wikipedia is controlled by some sort of "ruler" who has some sort of "agenda" to push - presumably because they assume that's how the whole world works.

Is it beyond them to conceive of a web site where anyone at all can write as much as they like about anything they want?

One on which, if their pet topics don't appear, it's just because nobody - of any gender or none - wants to write about them?

I guess it is beyond them.

sk60

Also, excellent use of boi-oing.

David

I see Ms Zimmerman refers to herself as a “misandrist of note,” one whose interests include “metaphors, misandry and cogent cultural analysis.”

Tom Foster

I see Ms Zimmerman refers to herself as a “misandrist of note,”…

She seems to combine being rather dim – she gets a few basic numbers wrong in the article, surprise surprise – with unshakeable arrogance. Not a good combination.

David

Not a good combination.

But perfectly at home in the pages of the Guardian.

R. Sherman

So what is the solution to this-ahem-problem? Conscript females to write for free during their own leisure time? Refuse to allow anymore "male-centric" articles until some sort of cosmic gender balance is reached?

Patrick Brown

One of the things I like to do in my spare time is sing. I'm even quite good at it, even if I say so myself. And every time I run into someone who's involved in a choir, they beg me to join, because while recruiting altos and sopranos is easy, they just can't find enough basses and tenors.

Choirs, which are generally voluntary organisations, are unquestionably female dominated. If we were to follow feminism's lead, we'd have to conclude that choirs have a hostile misandrist culture that drives men away, that female singers hate and harass male singers constantly. Which is clearly not true. But feminism has an obvious bias. When considering any question, it will only accept answers that are consistent with all men being bastards.

Another of my spare-time activities, I must confess, is editing Wikipedia. Not as much as I used to, because it's aggravatingly full of cranks and pedants. But when I discovered recently that illustrator Margery Gill didn't have an article, I wrote one. That's nice to be able to do. It's also dead easy. If you're genuinely upset that Sex and the City doesn't have the same coverage as The Sopranos or friendship bracelets don't have the same coverage as baseball cards, you can fix it. By design.

Unless your only interest in Wikipedia is confirmation of your prejudice that all men are bastards, of course.

Jeff Guinn

Steve2, thanks for the trigger warning.

Not.

wtp

So if there isn't enough information about the kind of things women are interested in on Wikipedia, why the f#€k don't women write some up? Why must they sit around whining about how men aren't doing things for them? What happened to "sistas doing things for themselves"? There's no chromosome check on the edit button. STFU already.

Joan

*Googles 'Pym Particles'*

Sigh. That's boys for you. ;-)

sackcloth and ashes

'The entry on 'Sex and the City' includes only a brief summary of every episode, sometimes two or three sentences; the one on 'The Sopranos' includes lengthy, detailed articles on each episode,” he wrote'.

I've noticed the following here. Noam Cohen is firstly assuming that to be interested in a show like 'The Sopranos' you have to be male - I wonder why he presumes that if you're a woman you're not going to be interested in a convoluted psychodrama involving the train-wreck that occurs when a gangster's 'professional', family and personal lives collide. The assumption seems to be that women are such sensitive little flowers that violence and criminality are an automatic turn-off, as are black humour and bleak story lines.

I'm pretty sure that there was a similar theme in the Cholmondley-Warner skit 'Women, Know Your Limits!', except that was supposed to be a piss-take.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LS37SNYjg8w

Secondly, I'm struck by the assertion that 'SATC' is somehow a TV show that is somehow the genre that women automatically like. Now judging by the ratings clearly there was a demographic for watching a show about four shallow Manhattanites who lives revolved around (a) buying designer clothes, shoes and accessories and (b) being rodded by as many men as possible, but again I'd ask myself if it was - erm - perhaps somewhat sexist to suggest that women wanted to watch frothy comedies about well-paid tarts rather than challenging and at times harrowing dramas.

Thirdly, that Zimmerman is utterly howling.

Civilis

So if there isn't enough information about the kind of things women are interested in on Wikipedia, why the f#€k don't women write some up? Why must they sit around whining about how men aren't doing things for them? What happened to "sistas doing things for themselves"?

It's not just Wikipedia where this applies. The answer to '…white men unconsciously build products for white men – products that subtly discourage anyone else from using them.' is that there's nothing stopping women of color from going out and filling in the gaps. Capitalist economics works to encourage people to fill unfilled niches, like products for non-white non-men, by rewarding those that fill those niches.

The reverse of this often applies. (Caution: Minnow bait) There's nothing that says that men can't like "Sex in the City" and women can't like "The Sopranos". Looking at photos from ComicCon, the fanbase, while skewing towards white men demographically, has a fair number of women and people of color. I wonder how much bias the researchers assumed when assigning TV shows to genders.

The questions that would need to be asked here:
How much does the demographic for the studied show skew one way or the other? I'd wager more women like "The Sopranos" then men like "Sex and the City".
How much does the demographic for Wikipedia article authors skew for gender neutral articles? Perhaps more men write wiki articles in general.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Dr Cromarty - C'mon. I bet you were as stunned as I was to find out that Little Miss Radical looks like one of the witches from The Witches, just after she put on her human mask but before she could adjust the wig.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-BOk1FQpC6No/UnKn3i5rQhI/AAAAAAAAD_A/vJZ_vPh3fvE/s1600/Witches.gif

Course, cynical old me wonders exactly what's radical about believing that technology can be somehow tainted by the white maleness of the people who invented it.

Does that mean Arabic numerals are oppressey and smell of camels?

It all sounds a bit like 1930's German National Socialist demanding everything be Judenrein.

Jeff Guinn - I'm sorry. Here's Jess looking all sexy. Watch out, Benedict Cumberbatch!

http://m.xojane.com/author/jess

ac1

sackcloth and ashes yes, but her coming off the gold standard line was highly unconvincing. She should stick to fluffy things.

David

Sigh. That’s boys for you.

Pah. Here’s a lovingly detailed cutaway of Ant-Man’s helmet. Because you girls need to know these things.

Smudger

I'm a chap and I had never heard of Ant-Man til today. Now I have heard of him I still don't care two hoots. (Sorry David).

I dunno. It's almost as if identity politics is BS, or something.

Re identity politics and inventions, the dishwasher was invented by Josephine Cochrane, a female woman. The microwave oven was invented by Percy Spencer, a male man. So is one labour-saving kitchen appliance okay and one not? Or is one just less bad than the other? Both inventors were white, after all.

'White goods'. The horror.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

So I hear Ant-Man is getting his own film.

I think that's a sign that comic book films have jumped the shark.

This is scraping the radioactive ooze off the bottom of the barrel. Superman, Batman, the Hulk and Spiderman are global cultural icons. The Flash, Thor, Captain America, the X-Men and Iron Man are solid B-list characters.

Ant-Man has the cultural cachet of Sixpence None The Richer, powers based on Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, and the easygoing charisma of Mel Gibson after a bottle of Bushmills.

If we're giving crap superheroes their own films now, why not Bananaman?

Rob

They spent $200k on this?

In unrelated news, the Federal Government runs a colossal budget deficit.

Joan

'White goods'. The horror.

Snork.

David

I think that’s a sign that comic book films have jumped the shark.

I don’t think you appreciate the high drama of a hero who can be menaced by a hungry anteater.

What?

WTP

If we're giving crap superheroes their own films now, why not Bananaman?
OTOH, Space Ghost once had is own talk show back in the 90's. Shazam and Isis shared an hour on Saturday morning TV in the US in the 70's. Don't be so 21st Century-centric. You know we really need an ism for such.

In unrelated news, the Federal Government runs a colossal budget deficit.
You know, they've done numerous studies on why this is. Perhaps more need to be done.

Dom

Ms. Zimmerman's article is interesting in that it shows she does not understand her own data. For example, here is her claim:

"Twitter is even whiter and maler than you imagined"

The link is to http://www.dailydot.com/business/twitter-diversity-numbers-low/

Read the link first. 70% of twitter programmers are white, vs 72% of the population. 25% of twitter programmers are Asian American, vs 5% of the population. This is what she calls "too white."

So maybe the real problem is that there are not enough women majoring in mathematics.

sackcloth and ashes

'If we're giving crap superheroes their own films now, why not Bananaman?'

Or indeed Madame Fatal?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madame_Fatal

David

Madame Fatal is notable for being a male superhero who dressed up as an elderly woman and as such is the first cross-dressing hero.

See, it’s vital to know these things.

Erwin Bartlett

I am a woman. When I heard that Sex and the City was really about gay men, it suddenly made sense.

Civilis

So I hear Ant-Man is getting his own film.

I think that's a sign that comic book films have jumped the shark.

This is scraping the radioactive ooze off the bottom of the barrel. Superman, Batman, the Hulk and Spiderman are global cultural icons. The Flash, Thor, Captain America, the X-Men and Iron Man are solid B-list characters.

The reason here is that generally, Marvel knows how to write characters and tell stories, and their original favored medium (comics) is quickly dying. Coupled with people that have experience turning characters and stories into good movies, and you have something that actually turns a profit, such that someone is willing to put money into it, even for a C-List hero. DC has had issues turning even A-list heroes into good movies (Superman). Other studios working with Marvel properties have had issues (X-Men, Fantastic Four, Spiderman).

Make a good movie, and it sells. You can even throw in a little Political Correctness as long as it doesn't take precedence over making a good movie; Samuel L. Jackson is an awesome Nick Fury. There's enough money associated with a superhero blockbuster movie that the producers are going to stick to a proven formula, with all the upsides and downsides that entails. Meanwhile, Marvel's comics division is getting laughed at for making Thor a woman, which may get platitudes from the usual suspects on the left (hey! A female character heading up an A-List comic!) but is likely to lose current fans and not attract new ones to replace it, as the people that care about the number of female main characters in comics are not likely to ever actually buy a comic.

Sorry, rant mode off. (And I'm a geek that's never bought a DC or Marvel comic book.)

Sam Duncan

I'm finding it hard to think of an online organisation more in thrall to the “politically correct” orthodoxy than the Wikimedia Foundation. It bends over backwards to accommodate every passing political fad. If there's a better recent illustration of the futility of appeasement, I'd like to see it.

Patrick: Excellent comment. Funny how we never see angst-ridden Guardian articles about the overwhelming female bias in choirs (and you're absolutely right: it is). Maybe Guardianistas don't sing.

Dom

Patrick: "If we were to follow feminism's lead, we'd have to conclude that choirs have a hostile misandrist culture that drives men away"

Actually, if we were to follow the feminist lead, we'd have to wonder about the misandry behind the low number of male sopranos, the world's smallest vocal category. Why so small? Shouldn't it be 50%? After all, listen to Robert Crowe:

http://artery.wbur.org/2014/05/14/male-soprano-robert-crowe-boston

There are subtle signals and micro-aggressions that prevent men from entering this field.

Henry

Why, it’s as if, taken statistically, women tend to have better things, or at least other things, to do with their time

Feminists will switch between saying:

a) you pig, how dare you suggest that men and women have natural psychological differences. That shows your latent sexist prejudice

and

b) ooh yes women are more interested in the important, mature stuff like relationships. Girls are better than boys and their toys

...at the drop of a hat. And then back again, apparently unaware of any contradiction.

dicentra

Men (well, those of a nerdly bent) tend to be interested in trivia and obscura; women tend to not be, or at least not so much.

Again the Aspie continuum raises its sexist head: males are more likely to obsess about the technical details of their favorite fictional pursuits than women — hence the tendency to pick apart Star Trek minutiae and insist on internal consistency — such as we see in the classic SNL bit wherein Shatner is asked the combination to a safe.

Female-driven fandoms are not interested in technical detail because they're most all of them shippers — a scourge and an abomination, IMAO — who fantasize about various pairings and write slashfic to that effect.

I was in the thick of the shipper vs. theorist battles on Harry Potter for Grown Ups (HPfGU): we required that shipping posts be marked with SHIP in the header so that the rest of us could skip the horrid things, and as with the rest of the board, we required that it be canon-based: fanfic and fever dreams were not valid bases for your arguments.

Because nothing ruins a perfectly good discussion on the implications of the animagus spell than 13-yr-old girls going SQUEE! about that thing Ron said to Hermione.

::spit::

A pox upon shippers, to whose clamoring The X-Files writers acceded, thereby ruining the series in the worst way.

dicentra

Caution: Minnow bait,

In the real world, minnows are bait.

D

So when a writer describes herself as a misandrist, are we supposed to automatically assume that her identifying herself as a person who hates men is ironic? Are we to take hatred of people due to their sex as a good thing as long as the hatred is directed at the proper, hate-worthy sex, or is this a "joke" because "misandry" is a thing that cannot exist, either because one cannot hate men enough for it to be excessive or because misandry happens so infrequently or to such a small extent as to not count?

I genuinely don't know if she means to say that she hates men and feels justified in doing so, or if she's "joking" because while misogyny is apparently rampant misandry does not or cannot exist.

dicentra

I don’t think you appreciate the high drama of a hero who can be menaced by a hungry anteater.

Anteaters are tired of being thought benign and have begun to take over the world, one disembowelment at a time.

dicentra

So when a writer describes herself as a misandrist, are we supposed to automatically assume that her identifying herself as a person who hates men is ironic?

I'm guessing that in her circles, "misandry" is not ironic at all but rather a sign of the utmost piety: men being the worst oppressors imaginable and so being against the whole lot of them shows your solidarity for the largest possible group of victims: women.

It's also highly edgy and transgressive to come right out and identify as a "misandrist" instead of the blander "feminist"; edginess and transgressiveness also being sure signs of True Piety.

David

edginess and transgressiveness also being sure signs of True Piety.

And what could be edgier than feeling a need to continually announce just how edgy you are?

Civilis

And then back again, apparently unaware of any contradiction.

There are no female video game protagonists, and they're all too objectified and *gasp* attractive!

Again the Aspie continuum raises its sexist head: males are more likely to obsess about the technical details of their favorite fictional pursuits than women — hence the tendency to pick apart Star Trek minutiae and insist on internal consistency — such as we see in the classic SNL bit wherein Shatner is asked the combination to a safe.

Female-driven fandoms are not interested in technical detail because they're most all of them shippers — a scourge and an abomination, IMAO — who fantasize about various pairings and write slashfic to that effect.

That's one of the reasons I like anime; Japanese producers are unafraid of making a series that appeals to two completely different demographics, and the overall creativity and originality tends to be much greater than a single-market focus group tested American product.

Hal

I'm a chap and I had never heard of Ant-Man til today.

and

So I hear Ant-Man is getting his own film.

I think that's a sign that comic book films have jumped the shark.

Oh, the first time I learned of an attempt to make an Ant-Man film was upon getting a reminder email from the Nikki Finke website and then running across a movie news update

David

Anteaters are tired of being thought benign and have begun to take over the world, one disembowelment at a time.

And then of course there was flypaper. That was another deadly peril.

Nikw211

The National Science Foundation is spending over $200,000 to find out why Wikipedia is sexist.

Words fail me.

Luckily, they came easier to this guy

    It occurs to me that we’ve spent $202,000 for a “study” which deliberately avoids a very simple explanation: Women just aren’t as interested in this type of crap as men.

… and to MacDonald

    The most straightforward explanation ... is that, on average, males and females have different interests and preferred ways of spending their free time.

Is this all some justification for the God-awful idiocy that is the Feminist run 'Edit-a-thons' of Wikipedia?

mojo

As a wise man once observed, "Skirts is weird".

David Gillies

I would wager that the Wikipedia articles on Stengle's Postivstellensatz or the pinacol rearrangement were written and edited by men, too. That goes for the articles on King Valdemaar IV of Denmark and ratio decidendi as well. So what?

dicentra

As a wise man once observed, "Skirts is weird".

I heard it as "Bitches be crazy."

Both are empirically true.

sackcloth and ashes

''Madame Fatal is notable for being a male superhero who dressed up as an elderly woman and as such is the first cross-dressing hero'.

See, it’s vital to know these things'.

Mrs Doubtfire meets Paul Kersey. Now that would be something to watch. Is John Waters free to direct?

Rich Rostrom

R. Sherman | July 31, 2014 at 13:35:
So what is the solution to this-ahem-problem? Conscript females to write for free during their own leisure time? Refuse to allow anymore "male-centric" articles until some sort of cosmic gender balance is reached?

That's supposed to be a joke, right? Do you know how Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 has been applied to college athletics?

Title IX reads "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."

In 1979, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare ruled that this requires equal participation in college sports by men and women. Colleges tried to expand women's sports programs to match men's programs, but women aren't as interested, despite generous funding and aggressive recruiting.

So hundreds of men's programs have been abolished to achieve "equality". In some cases, successful, popular men's wrestling and hockey programs were dissolved so the funds could be used for women's basketball or soccer teams that had trouble finding players and no one came to watch.

If this rule was applied to Wikipedia, the administrators would be required to generate additional "female" articles, and when that failed, to remove "excess" "male" articles.

dcardno

dicentra:
to whose clamoring The X-Files writers acceded, thereby ruining the series in the worst way.

Well, it certainly ended up pretty ruined, but I was unaware of this cause-effect relationship. Could you amplify, or provide a reference or two. Perhaps there is a lengthy Wikipedia entry?

Cheers,

Dean

pst314

"Because nothing ruins a perfectly good discussion...than 13-yr-old girls going SQUEE!..."

Or worse, 34-year-old girls.

dicentra

Well, it certainly ended up pretty ruined, but I was unaware of this cause-effect relationship. Could you amplify, or provide a reference or two. Perhaps there is a lengthy Wikipedia entry?

One of my first online fandoms was X-Files, on USENET. One of the members used to transcribe all the episodes for the hard-of-hearing, and then she compiled a "companion book" for the series (I see she's got a few more) since then. She paid pretty close attention to the behind-the-scenes stuff insofar as it was reported.

I can't remember if it was from her (she wasn't on the staff nor did she have connections thereon) or from other fans, but I did see a link wherein one of the writers remarked that some of the events preceding Mulder's departure were to gratify the shippers. He didn't say "shippers"; he said "fans."

But we know which ones he meant. The writers had earlier indicated that they had very deliberately made the relationship non-romantic, and the eventual mating was a deliberate accommodation of "fan requests" or some damn thing.

I was a RABIDLY against the Mulder/Scully ship. I often butted heads (IRL) with one shipper who refused to believe that two hot-looking people who spent that much time together wouldn't be romantically involved; I argued that as fictional characters, they have the characteristics that the writers give them and none else. It doesn't matter what would happen in reality: if they're written as platonic then they're platonic. Period.

She was unmoved and unconvinced: shipping the pair as was emotionally important to her as my insistence on their canonical platonic-tude was to me.

That kind of compulsive match-making is one reason I don't like most women: I have zero desire to engage in shipping (unless the character is unbelievably hot, and then I ship him with ME).

No, there's no Wikipedia article on the perfidy of shippers vis-à-vis the demise of a Totally Awesome Partnership; it's just written on the fleshy tablets of my soul, to my everlasting grief.

Shiggz

@Posted by: Henry | July 31, 2014 at 17:54

Well said!

Shiggz

"hence the tendency to pick apart Star Trek minutiae and insist on internal consistency"

I think the dynamic we really are discussing here is that people tend to bristle and some hardcores double down, when you ruin their suspension of disbelief during an "escapism" event. For lots of nerdy type guys this is shows up as the above.

So that leaves me to the more interesting question, what do women use as escapism? Do they obsess about minor things which ruin their suspension of disbelief? That example about xfiles and relationships, or lots of stuff you could say to wimmin reading a gossip or beauty magazine might draw an interesting parallel.

Pellegri

So that leaves me to the more interesting question, what do women use as escapism? Do they obsess about minor things which ruin their suspension of disbelief? That example about xfiles and relationships, or lots of stuff you could say to wimmin reading a gossip or beauty magazine might draw an interesting parallel.

Relationships and gossip. Social positioning is a Real Big Deal. Beauty magazines kinda come under this subhead because they're about status enhancement and making one better at capturing a man.

Caveat: I'm kind of halfway between dicentra and most women. I have a lot of masculine, aspie-esque traits when it comes to stuff I enjoy about stories (and I adore trivia), but I also like good relationship psychodrama a whole lot. I just have a saturation point on it after which I do not want to hear any more about so-and-so's ~adorable~ relationship with such-and-such.

David

It’s interesting how the she-nerd persona has become fashionable among some feminists – Laurie Penny, for instance, goes to great lengths to let her fans know she’s into comics, science fiction and things like Doctor Who, as if it were complementary to, or an extension of, her supposedly “radical” politics. Which makes me wonder how much of it (if any) is an affectation too.

Events like Comic Con now have much more female participation and gender-bending ‘cosplay’ is apparently a thing. But according to the mindset of our fretful academics and the New York Times, Comic Con should see anything less than attendee gender parity as a social problem, one needing a taxpayer-funded “solution.” Perhaps they’d feel obliged to start offering subsidies to female ticket buyers or have an attendee quota system. To, as they say, “get more women interested.”

Jimmy

So that leaves me to the more interesting question, what do women use as escapism? Do they obsess about minor things which ruin their suspension of disbelief? That example about xfiles and relationships, or lots of stuff you could say to wimmin reading a gossip or beauty magazine might draw an interesting parallel.

I'm not sure if this qualifies, but when my wife and I watch a movie together on television, she tends to spend just as much time looking through each actor's bio on Wikipedia as she does watching the movie. The number of children and past marriages, and their current relationship status are Kind of a Big Deal.

Patrick Chester

If we're giving crap superheroes their own films now, why not Bananaman?

Posted by: Steve 2: Steveageddon | July 31, 2014 at 15:33

What? No Squirrel Girl?

Karen M

Shouldn't this be titled "The Undoing of Social Science"?

Civilis

So that leaves me to the more interesting question, what do women use as escapism? Do they obsess about minor things which ruin their suspension of disbelief? That example about xfiles and relationships, or lots of stuff you could say to wimmin reading a gossip or beauty magazine might draw an interesting parallel.

When that fails, there's always romance novels. The ones with a totally-not-objectified male on the cover.

I suppose mystery novels might have a female-dominated readership as well.

Events like Comic Con now have much more female participation and gender-bending ‘cosplay’ is apparently a thing.

One of the cardinal differences between the sexes: a woman dressed as a male character is attractive, a man dressed as a female character is creepy.

One of the tensions behind the scenes is that a lot of the female attendees are there to make friends and form emotional bonds with other attendees. Some of them prefer to express this new friendship physically. No, not like you are thinking, usually the preferred physical means of expression is a hug; you actually see people with signs around saying 'Free Hugs!'. Or, rather, saw, as another predominantly female group of attendees noticed this sometimes involved males, and males are icky, so this was SEXUAL HARASSMENT and MUST BE STOPPED, so rules were put into place.

Half the drama of geekdom is the tension between women that see a male-dominated social environment as a place to get attention by appealing to the inherent attention given a good looking female by males (who, as a bonus, likely shares some interests with them) and women that see an alternate social environment being contaminated by the MALE GAZE.

shiggz

great points!

D

Of interest:

http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/timblair/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/but_this_is_an_artist/

Funny how producing the same work for less money is rejected because if a company does it it's no longer "artistic." Makes you wonder about the value of the original. Would The Last Supper be an inferior work if it was made to order by a company that provided pleasant artwork?

Hal

Would The Last Supper be an inferior work if it was made to order by a company that provided pleasant artwork?

Well, actually, . . . The Last Supper . . . was made to order by a company that provided pleasant artwork . . .

And someone even did a Wiki article on some pleasant artwork: . . . was commissioned as part of a scheme of renovations to the church and its convent buildings by Leonardo's patron Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan.

So it wasn't commissioned by BP, Tesco, or Apple, however . . . . . . . .

dicentra

Bitchez be crazy: the memes.

One of the tensions behind the scenes is that a lot of the female attendees are there to make friends and form emotional bonds with other attendees.

In all likelihood, some know each other from online fandom, so a "defictionalization" is going on. I ended up meeting tons of online friends and acquaintances at Lumos 2003…

…while dodging the squeeeeeing teenaged girls (and some older) who, besotted by fanfic, totally befouled the screening of HP2, wherein every 30 seconds they giggled at the double-entendre some slashficcer had inserted into the narrative.

Shippers ruin the world.

Every. Time.

Civilis

Shippers ruin the world.

Every. Time.

Unless you give them something shiny to distract them. "You can go squee over Twilight while us fans that are more emotionally driven by things going boom go watch something else."

Which, of course, leads back into the thesis that different groups of people go to movies for different things, and that some reasons are more represented amongst certain groups than others. Which leads to perceived sexual imbalances amongst, say, Wikipedia authors...

rxc

I am an engineer. This means that I use the results from real science experiments to design real things that actually get used by people to do stuff that they want to do.

These studies done by social "scientists" are used by politicians to do "social engineering", to change behavior that they find abhorent, which in many cases, does no one any harm, and which, in many cases, gives lots of people pleasure.

If my creations hurt people, I can be sued. People can ask for their money back if it doesn't work as advertised. The results of social engineering failures are just ignored, or worse, more money is thrown at the same people to create more junk "science" to support throwing away even more money on hare-brained ideological schemes.

Social "Science" has corrupted real science very badly. They have corrupted the language and the methodology, they misuse statistics, and they are steadily corrupting the public understanding of science to the point where non-technical people cannot differentiate real science from quackery.

They have a lot to answer for.

dicentra

The results of social engineering failures are just ignored,

The experiment failed because TEA Party. So let's sic the IRS, EPA, OSHA, etc at them.

You can go squee over Twilight

Alas, during the rise of HP, Twilight wasn't shiny enough to divert the rascals. There was Just Enough Teen Romance in HP to keep the shippers interested.

:: grumble ::

Hal

Alas, during the rise of HP, Twilight wasn't shiny enough to divert the rascals. There was Just Enough Teen Romance in HP to keep the shippers interested.

Ah, yes, The Transformers Saga: Breaking Wind, Parts One and Two, and all that . . . . or was that Broken Down? I can never remember.

Well, yeah, while HP is all out warfare, the story is anchored in a rather standard high school---which for me has repeatedly brought up the question of; If Hogwarts is merely high school, what does Uni look like!?!?!?--- . . .

By contrast, for Twee-lite, the main characters sparkle, float through the air, are visible in daylight, are particularly fixated on adolescents instead of adults----in short, Vampires. My. Ass.: That is Tinker Bell---are any of the Lost Boys really any older than, say, eleven? Twee-lite shippers would have to be pedophiles, really . . .

Jimmy

Of interest:

http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/timblair/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/but_this_is_an_artist/

Funny how producing the same work for less money is rejected because if a company does it it's no longer "artistic." Makes you wonder about the value of the original. Would The Last Supper be an inferior work if it was made to order by a company that provided pleasant artwork?

I don't even...

I need to go lie down

JL

The milk crate saga is even funnier than the Tim Blair article suggests. After the Mayor of Sydney announced the $2M milk crate, it was discovered that a Melbourne artist had already "created" a giant milk crate in the southern city. No matter, it was decided, the Sydney work was still "valid". So with any intellectual property issues settled, it was wide open for the construction firm to offer to build the Sydney crate for a mere $500K.

D

@Hal

I was pretty sure it was a commissioned work. I once saw some da Vinci artwork and notes and such on display. He clearly saw himself as a craftsman, not as an "artiste" in the modern sense. I had much more respect for him, having seen that.

I think the company's offer is fascinating because it really gets into the intersection of intent and meaning vs. the final product when it comes to modern art. Presumably a giant milk crate is only interesting to have because of the "artistic" idea of a giant milk crate. It's not particularly edifying or beautiful to look at once it's actually constructed. So if a company builds it, why is it being built? It probably wasn't the city's idea to build this exact sculpture. Its only value is that an artist thought of it, essentially. So if a company builds it then the "thought" is sort of lost; the "art" is sullied by lowly commerce.

And yet, much of the great artwork of the past was done on commission. The Last Supper would still be equally beautiful, even if it was first produced by Bob's Pretty Paintings Co., Ltd. Therein lies a big difference in the way we view art. Beauty can't really be undone by the identity of the one creating it, but pretension can be made ridiculous that way.

Tim Newman

Maybe Guardianistas don't sing.

That would imply talent, so probably not.

Regarding Sex and the City, I'm guess I'm one of the few males who liked it, having had two girlfriends (one of whom is promoted to wife) who watched it. I think I saw every episode at least twice, and did like the portrayal of 90s NYC as well as some of the story lines. I think it was quite fresh in its day, but having watched it recently it hasn't aged well.

Tim Newman

Surprised people don't know that Da Vinci's work was commissioned, right down to the Mona Lisa which is, after all, merely somebody's portrait. He didn't paint it for fun. Similarly, Rossini's operas were commissioned by somebody else, as were Mozart's AFAIK. These guys were professionals, producing works for those who were paying for their skills.

Patrick Brown

Not sure what the difference is between accepting a commission, and tailoring your work to the grant application criteria, which is what most artists I know do.

WTP

Accepting a commission from a private citizen who pays for the work with his own money for the benefit, presumably, of himself. A grant, presumably money taken from citizens in the form of taxes, is spending someone else's money for the benefit of someone else. Milton Friedman spoke of how these different arrangements effect the quality and cost of a product or service.

http://youtu.be/5RDMdc5r5z8

Patrick Brown

Yeah, but from the artist's point of view, you're still deciding what art to make according to the preferences of who's paying you.

WTP

Which customer do you suppose will be more demanding? Won't the nature of that relationship effect the art and the artist?

Patrick Brown

Don't really know. The point I was trying to make is, artists funded by grants have no right to who look down on artists funded by commissions.

WTP

Agree. Absurd that it would be that way. If anything, artists funded by commissions would be entitled to look down upon artists funded by grants.

Kevin B

Having spent part of last week wandering round Verona and Mantua marveling at the art and architecture I was reminded that these masterpieces were commisioned by rich men showing off.

Of course the Baroque marble facade was also bolted on to the early renaissance Cathedral of Saint Peter the Apostle in Mantua by a rich man showing off.

Jonathan

The class of person who could be described as an 'Artist' really only came into being in the last two hundred years or so. Before that, most 'Art' was regarded as decoration and 'Artists' merely as skilled tradesmen. Men like DaVinci and Michaelangelo were really jack-of-all-trades who made sculptures, paintings and frescoes but also designed fortifications, weapons and uniforms for whoever they could persuade to pay them. In other words they had to produce something of value for their customers, they never had the idea that someone should pay them for simply 'Being'.

The comments to this entry are closed.

For Amazon US use this link .

Your filthy consumerism supports this blog.

Blogroll