Old 02-25-2017, 11:03 AM   #76
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While there are many more movies with the main character or characters being male as compared to movies with the main character or characters being female, there are still a large number of good films featuring a female or many female characters. I have already written about a number of such films from the past and here I have listed a number from more recent times.

Girl on the Train (2016) is a dramatic mystery starring Emily Blunt as Rachel, Haley Bennett as Megan and Rebecca Ferguson as Anna. It is a suspenseful story where the truth is slowly revealed. It is from a novel by Paula Hawkins and the screenplay is by Erin Cressida Wilson.

Brooklyn (2015) is another drama, which in this case stars Saoirse Ronan as Ellis. In watching this movie I remember being struck by how many female characters were in it. I enjoyed this film. It was nominated for best picture and Saorise Ronan was nominated for best leading actress in 2016. I was surprised to learn that the story is from a novel written by a man – Colm Toibin.

Suffragettes (2015) a historical drama, dealing with the Women’s Rights Movement in England during the early 20th Century. This is a quote from the movie. It is from a letter written by Maud Watts, played by actress Carey Mulligan: “Dear Inspector Steed. I thought about your offer, and I have to say no. You see, I am a suffragette after all. You told me no one listens to girls like me. Well I can't have that anymore. All my life, I've been respectful, done what men told me. I know better now. I'm worth no more, no less than you. Mrs. Pankhurst said, 'If it's right for men to fight for their freedom, then it's right for women to fight for theirs.' If the law says I can't see my son, I will fight to change that law. We're both foot soldiers, in our own way. Both fighting for our cause. I won't betray mine. Will you betray yours? If you thought I would, you were wrong about me. Yours sincerely, Maud Watts.” The story was written by Abi Morgan and directed by Sarah Gavron.

Hello, My Name is Doris (2015) is a Romantic Comedy with some dramatic moments in it. It stars Sally Field as Doris (see here https://cfmedia.deadline.com/2016/03...ameisdoris.jpg) and was based on a short film “Doris & the Intern” by Laura Terruso who also co-wrote the screen play for the longer movie. Also in the movie is Tyne Daly playing Roz. This film is a hidden gem and I enjoyed it a lot, but I suspect that not many people heard of it.

Two films nominated for best picture at the upcoming Academy Awards. One is Hidden Figures (2016) starring Taraji P. Henson as Katherine G. Johnson, Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan (also up for an Oscar this year) and Janelle Monae as Mary Jackson. This film is a historical drama dealing with three women who had to contend with both sexism and racism. I enjoyed it. Second is Arrival (2016) nominated for eight Oscars and starring Amy Adams as Louise Banks. This is the only film listed that I have not seen yet, but as Amy Adams is one of my favorite actors I plan to see it.

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Old 02-27-2017, 01:03 PM   #77
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“Moonlight,” a picture about a young man, won best picture at the Oscars last night. I am not in a position to say that that picture did not deserve to win I have not seen it and I’m perfectly willing to trust that this was a very good movie, but this does mean that according to my determination it has been 12 years since a movie primarily about a woman or women won best picture. This is not a criticism of the Motion Picture Academy and I am not claiming that they are bias. What I believe is that so few films about women have won best picture, because there are so few films made that are primarily about a woman or women. This is something that I have asserted a number of times without anyone challenging it. Now, I believe that more people in our current society prefer to see movies about men than about women. However, I do not believe there is any natural, inborn factor in humans that would account for that. Instead I believe that this is a result of what people (female and male) are explicitly or implicitly “taught” in our current society and culture and that is a result of women being treated as second class citizens for so long and due to what I call social inertia (see comment #144 in The Male Form). This means that in a different society and culture we could see people preferring films about women than about men.

Another possibility is that the people, who make movies, meaning the people who decide what types of movies are made, prefer to make movies about men even though it would be more profitable to make movies that are more balanced. I would tend not to accept this idea, but I don’t feel it should be totally disregarded. Here is some information I have found:

According to an article from Vanity Fair by Bruce Handy and dated March 15, 2014 see here http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/20...oss-male-films of the 100 top grossing movies of 2013, 15% were actress-centered, 79% were actor-centered and 6% were gender-neutral. The 15 actress-centered movies earned an average of $127 million, the 79 actor-centered movies earned an average of $95 million and the 6 gender-neutral movies earned an average of $101 million. Also, according to an article from Forbes Magazine by Moira Forbes and dated August 6, 2013 see here https://www.forbes.com/sites/moirafo.../#4dd9a737731e the ten highest paid actresses earned an average of $18.1 million while the highest paid actors earned an average of $46.5 million, more than two and one half that for the actresses. Now, this does not prove that more profits could be earned by making more female-centered. but if the data holds true in general movie producers could take in more while paying the lead actresses less than a lead actor.

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Old 02-27-2017, 06:37 PM   #78
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...because there are so few films made that are primarily about a woman or women. This is something that I have asserted a number of times without anyone challenging it.
It's not being challenged because it's a true statement. I posted a link to a commentary about a UN study several posts back.

I do smile at what seems to be an assumption that the Oscars are an automatic indication of cinematic merit. If you look at Academy top film lists and critic's top film lists there's some crossover but generally speaking, not much. And box office top film lists tell another story again. The awards are a popularity contest, mostly.

Besides, some of the best films ever made (according to recognised writers on film over the last 60 - 70 years) barely get recognised in the Academy Awards because there is one crappy category Best Foreign Language Film. Oscars don't acknowledge Truffaut, Eisenstein, Goddard, Bergman, Murnau, Tarkovsky, Fellini, Ozu, Kurosawa, the list goes on and on. But that's for Film Crit 101, not here. Your thread has a strange fascination, please keep giving us your thoughts.
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:39 AM   #79
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Electric Blue, thank you for your comment. I often wonder what “best picture” means. Basically it is the picture that more of the members of the academy feel is the best picture. In what other way is one picture better than another? The members of the academy may have some criteria for best picture, but then different members may have different criteria. “Best” without being qualified does not mean much. It is my understanding that new members of the academy are appointed by old members and this could internalize a certain amount of conservatism in that it would tend to continue the status quo. This reminds me of the French Art Academy of the 19th century, which tended to reject the works of the impressionist a group of artists who were most influential, for better or worse, in the development of 20th century art. You make some good points and I’m glad you feel my thread has a “strange fascination.” I take that as a real compliment and plan to continue both threads for quite a while so this board is not likely to get rid of me anytime soon. Thank you.

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Old 03-01-2017, 11:44 AM   #80
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Returning to the topic “The Female Form” his post will be about the artist Aleah Cahpin and her “The Aunties Project." The works in this project are mostly paintings of nude, older women including one called “Auntie.” In the following short article the artist is quoted as saying “The ‘Auntie’ painting exemplifies the personification of strength through an unguarded and accepting presence.” The article also shows a picture of Aleah Cahpin standing in front of her painting “Auntie.” See here http://www.brackenwoodgallery.com/bl...rtrait-gallery.

This link goes to a series of painting from the Auntie Project produced in 2014. Painting from other years can be seen by putting the curser over the title “+ paintings” and then clicking on a title from the small menu that drops down. See here http://www.aleahchapin.com/new-galle...ets-of-the-day.

This link goes to a short biography of the artist with a picture of her in from of her painting “The Tempest.” See here http://www.aleahchapin.com/about/. I enjoy these pictures and feel they are beautiful. To my they illustrate the dignity possible in the human form and the dignity possible in the nude body of older women.

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Old 03-01-2017, 12:48 PM   #81
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Moonlight and Roses,
You've raised an interesting issue in this thread.

I agree with electricblue: nobody has challenged your premise, because it's true.

Most directors and producers are male. They make movies from a male perspective. The most attractive demographic for a movie maker is young men, because women will go to movies that young men want to see, but men won't go to movies that women want to see.

Personally, I think stories about women present more dramatic opportunities than stories about men, precisely because of the greater societal burdens women face. We're starting to see that show up in movies. The two most recent Star Wars movies, for examples, have female protagonists. Why? It didn't have to be that way. But it was. And I don't think it seems forced or strange to most contemporary viewers (it sure didn't hurt the box office), although it would have in the 1970s when the first Star Wars movie came out. The drama and conflict are enhanced in these movies by having female protagonists.

I agree with electricblue as well about the Oscars -- they are useless as measures of artistic value. They also don't say a lot about the long-term appreciation for movies.

Movies aside, erotica is an area where I think women, to a greater extent, get their due, although an awful lot of it is male fantasy projection. Women are a more interesting subject for erotic writing than men, because their sexuality is subject to more societal limitations, and they, therefore, have more dramatic hurdles to overcome.
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Old 03-01-2017, 03:41 PM   #82
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Weirdly, this just popped up on my radar. (Actually, it's not that weird at all - I see this sort of thing all the time.) You might find it interesting?
http://polygraph.cool/films/
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:07 PM   #83
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Weirdly, this just popped up on my radar. (Actually, it's not that weird at all - I see this sort of thing all the time.) You might find it interesting?
http://polygraph.cool/films/
Now that's a solid data set which demonstrates cinema is male oriented and male dominated.

I wonder if there is similar data on the audience skew? - although I don't know how you would get definitive data on ticket sales by gender and age bracket.

But as SimonDoom notes, movies follow the money. It will be interesting to see how the gender mix in movies shifts or consolidates as the Chinese audience comes on line and starts to assert its presence. Potential audience is 4-5 times bigger than the US, if you do a really simple comparison of the population difference.
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:26 PM   #84
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Movies aside, erotica is an area where I think women, to a greater extent, get their due, although an awful lot of it is male fantasy projection. Women are a more interesting subject for erotic writing than men, because their sexuality is subject to more societal limitations, and they, therefore, have more dramatic hurdles to overcome.
Agree this, most definitely.

I find women far more interesting than men and therefore my lead characters are always strong women getting their man, but on an equal footing with the male protagonist.

I received an intriguing comment recently, on a story posted in Romance, where a reader took the view that if you have a strong woman you can't have a strong man in the same story. It therefore follows for that reader, that if you have a strong male lead, the woman has to be subordinate. I disagree with that completely, by the way, but it's an interesting expectation. It suggests to me that many men may be insecure when faced with a confident woman - you see it in the language too: "ball breaker", "feisty"; and in the "childless executive".
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Old 03-02-2017, 10:22 AM   #85
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Kim, thank you for the link to the article, it gave important statistics and I did find it interesting. What I also found interesting is a second article (“Researchers have found a major problem with ‘The Little Mermaid, and other Disney movies” from The Washington Post) linked to in the first (click on “men speak more often than women”). The ratio of female to male characters is important as is the ratio of dialog, but as stated in the first article “As with Mulan, a plot can center around a character, even though the dialogue doesn’t reflect it.” Actually I feel that Disney, particularly the Princess movies and the Tinkerbell/Pixie Hollow movies are bright spots as, with one exception, they are about a female or females, even if most of the characters are male and more dialog is spoken by males. I’ve been planning to write about Disney movies and I will explain what I mean in more detail then.

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Old 03-02-2017, 10:26 AM   #86
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Simon, you make a good point about the dramatic opportunities stories about women present and thank you for mentioning the two most recent Star Wars movies having female protagonists.

Electric Blue, I have read that slightly more females attend movies (52%) than males and I also feel that one can have both strong female and male characters in a story.

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Old 03-04-2017, 11:01 AM   #87
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Most likely modern humans, as a species, developed in tropical Africa, possibly 200,000 years ago. As dark skin offers protection from the direct rays of the sun found in those areas, the first modern humans almost surely had very dark skin. However, it appears that the relative advantage of dark skin over light skin decreases in non-tropical areas and light skin seems to be more advantageous in those areas, so we have humans with a wide spectrum of skin complexions from very dark brown to very pale white. I am glad of that. The degree, to which I experience a person to be visually attractive and beautiful, does not depend on just one characteristic of that person, but on how a person’s different characteristics combine. So I experience people of all different skin shades to be attractive and some people of all different skin shades to be beautiful. The following links go to images (portraits) illustrating what I mean:

All Beautiful

Clara Aker Benjamin
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com...8a08fbd66e.jpg

Alek Wekhttps://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com...d2808bf4b0.jpg

Amilna Estevãohttps://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com...ec215c5a03.jpg

Sessilee Lopezhttp://cdn-img.essence.com/sites/def...?itok=exsXOhV5

Leslie Uggamshttp://waytofamous.com/images/leslie-uggams-07.jpg

Misty Copelandhttps://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com...89d696f844.jpg

Joan Smallshttp://wallpapersdsc.net/wp-content/...ls-full-HD.jpg

Nethra Raghuramanhttp://frostsnow.com/uploads/biograp...raghuraman.jpg

Constance Wuhttp://pixel.nymag.com/imgs/daily/vu....w529.h529.jpg

Reba McEntirehttps://www.biography.com/.image/t_s...5-1-402jpg.jpg

Anastasia Zhidkovahttps://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com...320ee88b67.jpg

Clara Aker Benjamin is a fashion model who was raised in Juba in what is now South Sudan. She also works with the Red Cross to help with the effects of war on the children of her homeland. Here is another image of Clara Aker Benjamin: http://68.media.tumblr.com/f422bc065...xf3o1_1280.jpg

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Old 03-04-2017, 07:56 PM   #88
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I received an intriguing comment recently, on a story posted in Romance, where a reader took the view that if you have a strong woman you can't have a strong man in the same story.
Soooo many famous counter-examples. Lizzie and Darcy. Han and Leia. Sarah and Kyle. Sherlock and Irene. Max and Furiosa. Harry and Hermione. etc. etc.
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Old 03-04-2017, 08:18 PM   #89
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Soooo many famous counter-examples. Lizzie and Darcy. Han and Leia. Sarah and Kyle. Sherlock and Irene. Max and Furiosa. Harry and Hermione. etc. etc.
I totally agree, my first reaction was, "you really think that?" Someone who has never had a positive relationship with a partner with a mind of their own, was my thought.

It's certainly not a dichotomy that I would ever write about. I try to write equality into my characters, not dominance and submission, weak or strong. He wants her, but gets her on her terms, and vice versa.
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Old 03-07-2017, 11:15 AM   #90
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It may seem strange that in a thread such as this one I would write about Disney Princess stories. In my original post I wrote “The woman in such a story [a story about women] would be the focus of interest in her fictional or biographical story. She would be the one that we know most about, she would be portrayed as being multiple dimensional and the story would be about her thoughts and feelings – her happiness, her fears, her ambitions, her loves and her anger” and I feel that is the case in most of the Princess stories and well as some other Disney productions. I also wrote “The female ‘star’ of these stories may take stereotypical female and even passive roles, but she can also be the one who get things done and she could have an active and assertive character.” Some of the Disney Princess are passive and do take on stereotypical female roles, but in most cases the stories are about them and to me that is most important. Something does not have to be perfect in order to be good.

At this point there are eleven Official Disney Princesses: Snow White (1937), Cinderella (1950), Aurora (Sleeping Beauty, 1959), Ariel (The Little Mermaid, 1989), Belle (Beauty and the Beast, 1991), Jasmine (Aladdin, 1992), Pocahontas (1995), Mulan (1998), Tiana (The Princess and the Frog, 2009), Rapunzel (Tangled, 2010) and Merida (Brave, 2012) see here: http://wondersofdisney.webs.com/disp...ncesschar5.png. It appears that Moana (2016) is to be the twelfth official Princess: see here http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/...20161201165303. While Anna and Elsa from Frozen (2013) do not seem to be Official Princesses I consider them to be: see here: https://images.plurk.com/6PAFpMq6Kb8X0haQbes9Mp.jpg.

There are also other female characters who are sometimes considered unofficial Princesses and there is also the Pixie Hollow female Fairies. The six main female Fairies are: Tinker Bell, Fawn, Rosetta, Silvermist, Iridessa and Vidia. See here: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Ct8a-MFWgAAlpHZ.jpg. All of the female characters mentioned above are thin sometimes with very thin waists. I would like to see some new Princesses with more normal figures, but then the princes are also drawn with fit forms.

The three earliest princesses tended to be passive in the sense that things happened to them and others were in control, particularly in the cases of Snow White and Aurora. Cinderella is somewhat more active. While in each story there are more or an equal number of male compared to female characters, there are, in addition to the princess other important female roles, some friends of the princesses and some villains. While some are villains we still are shown their feelings and emotions and they are active and in many cases more important than the males and the most important role is a female role. These stories do not present the princesses in non-stereotypical female roles and it is the princesses’ beauty that is emphasized over other attributes, but what is most important to me is that the princesses are the ones that we know most about and that the stories are about the princesses’ thoughts and feelings – their happiness, fears, ambitions, loves and anger. In addition it is the princesses who are at the center of the stories. They bring together all of the other characters and the princesses are the reason for the story. These females, the princesses are the most important.

The following are links to short videos (the longest less than 4 minutes) from the first three movies that I feel illustrates the princesses’ characters.

Snow Whitehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQZ6zzLpoNQ&t

Cinderellahttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Cajbphq_vg&t

Aurorahttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2Ot9vxZKPs

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Old 03-10-2017, 10:20 AM   #91
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Earlier Kim recommended a film entitled “Girlhood” (comment #61, February 13). I recently saw it. This is a French film and the original title “Bande de filles” (Band of Girls) is a better description of the first 90 minutes of the almost 2 hour story. Those first 90 minutes is perhaps the most female centered of any movie I have seen, with the last half hour being only somewhat less so. It is a serious drama that presents an intense examination of gender roles from the female point of view and highlights the solidarity and interactions of young women and girls. These are qualities that I liked, although there is, many times, a stoic quality to this interaction and hostility between different bands of girls. The film was directed and written by Celine Sciamma and stars Karidja Toure as 16 year old Marieme also known as “Vic.” This is Karidja’s first film. Celine Sciamma also directed “Naissance des pieuvres” (Birth of octopus) aka “Water Lilies” (2007) and “Tomboy” (2011), both which seem to address issues similar to that addressed by “Bande de filles,” (Girlhood). The following are quotes, about the film’s production from IMDb: “Actresses were scouted on the streets for the film” and “The director was inspired by teenage girls that she would regularly see hanging out in the vicinity of Paris area shopping centers and train stations. Wanting to delve deeper, she sought out their blogs and became fascinated by their esthetics and styles.” Here is a link to the movie’s trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85TTGKs3YFE&t. Visually the film is attractive, but to me the trailer suggests the story to be happier and more upbeat than it is. It is not a happy film. The film is in French and I saw it with English subtitles.

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Old 03-10-2017, 12:04 PM   #92
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Soooo many famous counter-examples. Lizzie and Darcy. Han and Leia. Sarah and Kyle. Sherlock and Irene. Max and Furiosa. Harry and Hermione. etc. etc.
I wonder how anyone who says this can claim to know much about romance. The theme of a strong, independent woman needing a strong man goes back a long way. Lizzie and Darcy is an excellent example. So is Gone with the Wind, with Scarlett and Rhett. You can go back to Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing. I'm not sure how it would work the other way. If you have a strong, interesting female protagonist, she's going to need a strong, interesting man as her romantic counterpart.
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Old 03-10-2017, 06:26 PM   #93
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I'm not sure how it would work the other way. If you have a strong, interesting female protagonist, she's going to need a strong, interesting man as her romantic counterpart.
Exactly.

That's why the comment intrigued me, that the reader thought there was a place for only one strong character in a story. It seemed like a simplistic binary thing to me which made no sense.
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Old 03-13-2017, 11:02 AM   #94
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Simon and Electricblue, I disagree with the statement “If you have a strong, interesting female protagonist, she’s going to need a strong, interesting man as her romantic counterpart.” First I’m not sure what those who have commented mean by “strong character.” Basically whatever strong means it seems that the statement limits the type of story that can be written. It maybe that stories with a “strong,” interesting woman tend to have a “strong,” interesting man, but I would think that is because of the nature of our culture. I would not call Darcy a strong character, at least in his interaction with Lizzie Bennet. At the beginning he is arrogant, but as he explains it is because of his insecurity. He controls Mr. Bingley, but then Mr. Bingley is weaker than Mr. Darcy. As to “Gone with the Wind” I would consider both Scarlett and Rhett to be strong, but I do not consider Rhett to be necessary. Up until the last act I consider Juliet to be a strong character, but not Romeo and in “As you Like it” I consider Rosalind to be a strong character, but not Orlando.

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Old 03-13-2017, 12:36 PM   #95
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Simon and Electricblue, I disagree with the statement “If you have a strong, interesting female protagonist, she’s going to need a strong, interesting man as her romantic counterpart.” First I’m not sure what those who have commented mean by “strong character.” Basically whatever strong means it seems that the statement limits the type of story that can be written. It maybe that stories with a “strong,” interesting woman tend to have a “strong,” interesting man, but I would think that is because of the nature of our culture. I would not call Darcy a strong character, at least in his interaction with Lizzie Bennet. At the beginning he is arrogant, but as he explains it is because of his insecurity. He controls Mr. Bingley, but then Mr. Bingley is weaker than Mr. Darcy. As to “Gone with the Wind” I would consider both Scarlett and Rhett to be strong, but I do not consider Rhett to be necessary. Up until the last act I consider Juliet to be a strong character, but not Romeo and in “As you Like it” I consider Rosalind to be a strong character, but not Orlando.

Tom,
M&R, I suppose in a strict sense romance fiction doesn't "need" to conform to a particular pattern, but it's not a stretch to say it often does. Darcy certainly is a strong character: he is fiercely independent, he has a strong moral code and sense of rectitude. His weaknesses are his pride and his prejudice against Elizabeth's inferior social status, which he overcomes. He contrasts sharply with all the other male characters in the novel, and it's the way he stands out that makes him attractive to Elizabeth, even though he's an ass at first.

It's a familiar pattern in romance -- the plucky heroine gravitates to the hero because of something strong about him. It's a driving force behind the appeal of romance.

My comment was in response to the earlier comment that romance required one character to be strong and the other to be weak -- that strikes me as totally wrong. On the contrary, romance stories often feature two characters who stand out in some way from the others around them, and their mutual recognition of their distinctiveness is part of the appeal, to one another and to the reader.

In Romeo and Juliet, for instance, what makes both distinctive is their mutual willingness to rise above their families' feud against one another. That's a type of strength. Perhaps "independence" is a better term.
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Old 03-13-2017, 01:59 PM   #96
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Simon, I agree that romance fiction does often conform to a particular pattern, but I feel that is because of our culture that male characters are usually written to be stronger than female characters. In a different culture it would be opposite. Darcy is “fiercely independent” because he is insecure, he doesn’t want anyone too close to him, particularly someone he can’t control such as Miss Elizabeth Bennet. Now as I wrote I am not sure what people mean by “strong,” but I would not consider Darcy to be strong. You wrote “It's a familiar pattern in romance -- the plucky heroine gravitates to the hero because of something strong about him. It's a driving force behind the appeal of romance.” That may be the appeal of romance for most people, but not for me. I feel it is the appeal of romance for most people because of our culture. Romeo does try to rise above the family feud, but fails – he is inconsistent. Juliet is very consistent and brave – she does not falter in her attempt to rise above the family feud even to the end. Earlier I wrote about the movie “Bande de filles” aka “Girlhood.” This is not primarily a romance, although I don’t consider “Gone with the Wind” primarily a romance either, but in “Bande de filles” Marieme, played by Karidja Toure is in a relationship with a boy and Marieme is much the stronger character. What about reversing the situation, does having a strong male mean that the female has to be strong? Also, I do not feel that one character has to be strong and the other weak. I feel that could be the case, but it also could be that both are strong or both are weak. One problem is that since I do not know for sure what people mean by “strong” we may be talking about two different things. Perhaps the most important point I am trying to make in this thread and “The Male Form” is that culture influences how females and males are portrayed.

Tom,
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Old 03-13-2017, 07:05 PM   #97
Bramblethorn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonlightandRoses View Post
Simon, I agree that romance fiction does often conform to a particular pattern, but I feel that is because of our culture that male characters are usually written to be stronger than female characters. In a different culture it would be opposite. Darcy is “fiercely independent” because he is insecure, he doesn’t want anyone too close to him, particularly someone he can’t control such as Miss Elizabeth Bennet. Now as I wrote I am not sure what people mean by “strong,” but I would not consider Darcy to be strong.
It's been a while since I reread P&P, but I don't think that characterisation is supported by the book.

Darcy's certainly more introverted than his friend Bingley, and cautious (for reasons that are hinted at in the first sentence of the book) but I don't recall anything that I'd characterise as "insecurity". To the contrary, I'd say that the way he interacts with Wickham shows a man who's confident in himself.

When Lizzie chastises him, he's not pleased (who would be?) but he does listen, and even though part of her criticism is wrong he doesn't use that as an excuse to ignore the rest of it.

I'd also say it's quite clear that he does want Lizzie close to him - he proposes to her twice, even if the first time is badly misjudged. The only time he feels the need to contradict Wickham's slanders is when it influences Lizzie's view of him.

He goes on to bail out Wickham and Lydia at considerable expense, even though Wickham is his worst enemy, because he feels partly responsible for not doing enough to warn people about Wickham and because he understands that it's important to Lizzie. But even there, he tries to keep his own role secret rather than using it to win her favour; it's only by chance that Lizzie finds out.
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Old 03-14-2017, 11:06 AM   #98
MoonlightandRoses
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Bramblethorn, Simon and Electricblue, the following is a line from chapter 31 “'I certainly have not the talent which some people possess,' said Darcy, 'of conversing easily with those I have never seen before. I cannot catch their tone of conversation, or appear interested in their concerns, as I often see done.''' This and other happenings in the book lead me to feel that Darcy is insecure and I would add shy (see the beginning of chapter 32). Originally I wrote “I would not call Darcy a strong character, at least in his interaction with Lizzie Bennet. At the beginning he is arrogant, but as he explains it is because of his insecurity” (comment 94). I see the line I quoted from chapter 31 as Darcy saying he is insecure, maybe others see it differently. He does take action to help both his own sister and Elizabeth’s sister, but this is only when he is highly motivated and at the end he stands up to his aunt, but these instances do not seem to me to be his normal mode of behavior especially when conversing with Elizabeth. Perhaps I wasn’t careful enough when I used the word “insecure” and for that I apologize, but I do not see him as a strong character. My main point is that stories can be written in many different ways and with different combinations of characters, but that in our culture the tendency is to make the men more powerful and assertive or even aggressive.

Jane Austen is my favorite author so I am glad that one of her books was brought up, but I would prefer to talk about her female characters. I feel that her books are very well written and are very good examples of stories about women.

Tom,
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Old 03-14-2017, 11:01 PM   #99
VixxTheLover
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My series of stories is my first and aren't the best on this site, but they are all centered around one woman and her life over fifteen years or so,
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Old 03-16-2017, 11:49 AM   #100
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Vixx, thank you for mentioning your stories.

Moonlight and Roses,
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