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    Thor Is A Woman...

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    Paeter
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    Thor Is A Woman...

    Post  Paeter on July 15th 2014, 7:52 pm

    Looks like DC's obsession with checking off demographic boxes is contagious. A new gimmick (ahem!), I mean storyline is starting soon where the current Thor is out of the picture and a female Thor takes his place. Marvel is saying she is "not a temporary female substitute", which is ridiculous. Of course she is. Nothing in comics lasts forever, especially not stuff like this. Hopefully there is a good story to be told here. Otherwise, I'd like to share the pain with Thor fans. Welcome to my world...



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    Re: Thor Is A Woman...

    Post  Rohelf on July 16th 2014, 5:19 pm

    Shocked confused Shocked 

    Seriously, Marvel? Seriously? You know, you already have female heroes. You could write some interesting stories about them, instead of performing gender retcon surgery like this.

    As a woman, I'm honestly a little offended that they feel they need to do this to reach out to me. I don't need a character to be just like me in order to empathize with him or her. I can and have enjoyed stories about people of a different gender, race, and religion than myself.

    I... I just don't see what's so difficult about this. Make good characters, of whatever demographic. Write interesting stories about them. Everything else should follow naturally from that.

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    Re: Thor Is A Woman...

    Post  Dunadwarf on July 16th 2014, 8:50 pm

    Shocked 

    As Rohelf pointed out to me during "Agents of Shield", there is a small group of people in Norway (I think) that actually still worship Thor...the real Thor. Talk about dumping on minorities!
    If you absolutely had to "fem up" an established hero, he would be my choice for worst possible! Not only is he a representative and even heir apparent of a pretty patriarchal society (Sif seems to be an exception in every continuity I've seen); not only is he, as mentioned, a deity still literally worshipped by a small group of people; not only is he one of the big cinematic draws in the cash cow that is the Avengers movie universe, not only does he have a long history of romance that this, at best, ignores; but he's also long been seen as one of the "hot guys" of comics, and so that link to new fandom, as shallow as it is, will now be lost.
    Gained: another demographic box ticked to satisfy people who probably won't buy more comics anyway and ANOTHER hot blonde superheroine.
    Lost: a classic comic character

    I was really hoping Marvel would teach DC a thing or two, but I guess it's the other way around.

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    Re: Thor Is A Woman...

    Post  DNArington on July 18th 2014, 9:08 pm

    Thor is Thor's name, not his title, so how/why could/would a girl take his name? That would be like Jennifer Walters calling herself Bruce Banner after becoming She-Hulk.

    I'm confused as to whether this is a new character or if Thor got a sex change. From some of those quotes it sounds like the latter, but that would just heighten the stupidity all the more.

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    Re: Thor Is A Woman...

    Post  DNArington on July 18th 2014, 9:13 pm

    This is a part of a new Marvel initiative, Avengers NOW!, to make it's universe more PC. (At least that's my interpretation.)

    Sam Willson (A.K.A. Falcon) is now Captain America. This makes sense to me. Captain America is a title that can be passed on and Sam Willson is a good friend of Steve Rogers.


    Last edited by DNArington on July 18th 2014, 9:22 pm; edited 2 times in total

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    Re: Thor Is A Woman...

    Post  DNArington on July 18th 2014, 9:17 pm

    And now there's The Superior Iron Man (no joke!). It's still supposed to be Tony Stark, but now he's bad for some reason. This is just incredibly stupid to me. Superior Spider-Man was awesome, but they need to find the next awesome thing instead of retrying past awesome things. I hope it's great, but I don't like the sound of it.




    That's all they've announced thus far.

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    Re: Thor Is A Woman...

    Post  mindspike on July 20th 2014, 10:07 pm

    I've been out of the comics scene proper for going on 6 years now. I expect in another 10 things will come back around to where I'm willing to read them again, but am I going to care? All that aside....

    Am I the only one who sees the casting of fem-Thor as an excellent source of story conflict? (Not that I think it's actually going to happen that way.)

    The inscription on the hammer reads, "Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor." When Don Blake first lifted the hammer, it was because he was Thor in human form. Afterward, the power of Thor flowed to a variety of other heroes and aliens, enough to form the short-lived and ill-conceived "Thor Corps". I still have my copies. (My precious.... gollum....)

    The power of Thor has been previously wielded by both Jane Foster and Rogue in issues of What If?. The novelty value of this change is gone. But as an extended creative choice? Ooh, this might get me back into the comics section of Comic Quest, depending on the writer.

    From a character standpoint, men and women are fundamentally different. Strong male characters and strong female characters have fundamentally different qualities. If Thoretta (my name, not theirs) turns out to be simply Thor with breasts, I'm not interested. What I'm interested in is the clash between the power of Thor and the desired expression of that power in Thoretta.

    Thor is an extremely male character. He displays physical strength, physical expression, a sense of duty to his position, strong group identification, and intellectual assessment. What happens when a strong female character suddenly finds herself compelled to act in ways that are foreign to her. A strong female character is emotionally complex, verbally expressive, has a sense of duty to her interpersonal relationships, identifies strongly with her personal relationships, and an emotional assessment.

    I see great potential when people who are used to Thor acting in a certain way are confronted with a Thoretta who has different priorities and a different way of evaluating things than every other Thor that has come before. This could be interesting.


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    Re: Thor Is A Woman...

    Post  Drew.Rub on July 21st 2014, 3:21 pm

    Just to boggle your mind

    Disney owns Marvel
    Marvel owns Thor
    Thor is the son of a king
    Thor is now a woman
    Thor is now a Disney Princess.

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    Re: Thor Is A Woman...

    Post  ComiKate on July 21st 2014, 4:39 pm

    Drew.Rub wrote:Thor is now a Disney Princess.

     lol! lol! lol! 

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    Re: Thor Is A Woman...

    Post  Paeter on July 21st 2014, 4:40 pm

    Drew.Rub wrote:Just to boggle your mind

    Disney owns Marvel
    Marvel owns Thor
    Thor is the son of a king
    Thor is now a woman
    Thor is now a Disney Princess.


    Holy crap. Consider my mind boggled.


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    Re: Thor Is A Woman...

    Post  Drew.Rub on July 21st 2014, 4:45 pm

    Drew.Rub wrote:Just to boggle your mind

    Disney owns Marvel
    Marvel owns Thor
    Thor is the son of a king
    Thor is now a woman
    Thor is now a Disney Princess.

    I don't take original credit for this. It's a report from FB. But thought it was funny.

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    Re: Thor Is A Woman...

    Post  DNArington on July 21st 2014, 5:20 pm

    mindspike wrote:
    From a character standpoint, men and women are fundamentally different.

    I believe this is true, but I also believe this is an idea that our culture is trying to destroy. Instead of men and women being equal yet different, our culture is pushing the idea that there is no difference men and women and often times that's where ideas like Thoretta comes from.

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    Re: Thor Is A Woman...

    Post  mindspike on July 21st 2014, 5:30 pm

    DNArington wrote:
    mindspike wrote:
    From a character standpoint, men and women are fundamentally different.

    I believe this is true, but I also believe this is an idea that our culture is trying to destroy. Instead of men and women being equal yet different, our culture is pushing the idea that there is no difference men and women and often times that's where ideas like Thoretta comes from.

    I fear you are correct, but hope ever abideth......


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    Re: Thor Is A Woman...

    Post  Rohelf on July 22nd 2014, 9:39 am

    mindspike wrote:
    From a character standpoint, men and women are fundamentally different. Strong male characters and strong female characters have fundamentally different qualities...

    Thor is an extremely male character. He displays physical strength, physical expression, a sense of duty to his position, strong group identification, and intellectual assessment. What happens when a strong female character suddenly finds herself compelled to act in ways that are foreign to her. A strong female character is emotionally complex, verbally expressive, has a sense of duty to her interpersonal relationships, identifies strongly with her personal relationships, and an emotional assessment.

    I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with this. Vehemently. Why can't, or shouldn't, a female character be physically tough, or a male character emotionally adept? Yes, there are significant biological differences between men and women, but a lot of the differences you're listing above are sociological ones... and even the biological ones can be a case of averages rather than absolute rules. Most men are stronger than most women- but a particular woman might still be stronger than a lot of men. I don't have a problem with a female character with the personal qualities of Thor- I only have a problem with them making this obviously agenda-motivated change to an established, fan-favorite character. I don't see any good reason to divide virtues along gender lines. I find bravery, skill, fortitude, compassion, wisdom, and loyalty admirable in both men and women.

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    Re: Thor Is A Woman...

    Post  mindspike on July 22nd 2014, 2:51 pm

    Rohelf wrote:
    mindspike wrote:
    From a character standpoint, men and women are fundamentally different. Strong male characters and strong female characters have fundamentally different qualities...

    Thor is an extremely male character. He displays physical strength, physical expression, a sense of duty to his position, strong group identification, and intellectual assessment. What happens when a strong female character suddenly finds herself compelled to act in ways that are foreign to her. A strong female character is emotionally complex, verbally expressive, has a sense of duty to her interpersonal relationships, identifies strongly with her personal relationships, and an emotional assessment.

    I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with this.  Vehemently.  Why can't, or shouldn't, a female character be physically tough, or a male character emotionally adept?  Yes, there are significant biological differences between men and women, but a lot of the differences you're listing above are sociological ones...  and even the biological ones can be a case of averages rather than absolute rules.  Most men are stronger than most women- but a particular woman might still be stronger than a lot of men.  I don't have a problem with a female character with the personal qualities of Thor- I only have a problem with them making this obviously agenda-motivated change to an established, fan-favorite character.  I don't see any good reason to divide virtues along gender lines.  I find bravery, skill, fortitude, compassion, wisdom, and loyalty admirable in both men and women.

    Rohelf, please don't misunderstand me. Individual people can be many complex things. Your list of admirable qualities is universal, and you have the support of scripture in saying so. Virtue is not divided along gender lines. But I want to make perfectly clear a point which not everyone recognizes:

    Characters within a story are not people. They are literary constructs that represent a set of qualities that serve the purpose of telling a story. They are essentially sociological in nature. A strong character is not necessarily the same thing as a virtuous character.

    We see this kind of thing most clearly in the differences between Japanese literature and American literature, where the cultures are radically different, especially between feudal Japan and modern America.

    Strong character creation communicates a clear set of qualities to the reader that is logically consistent in presentation and behavior. When you study characters you find a set of qualities that resides along a continuum. Real people fall within the median but effective characters are outliers. For example:

    Dominant Physical Expression
    O - strong character
    O
    O - weak character
    O
    O - strong character
    Dominant Verbal Expression

    Physical expression is a predominantly male characteristic. Verbal expression is a predominantly female characteristic. A character that uses dominant, consistent physical expression is strongly male expressive. Examples of strong male characters (evaluated using only this single variable) include Captain Kirk, Karrin Murphy, Honor Harrington, and yes, Thor. Of those examples please notice that two of them are girls. Examples of strong female characters (again, only one variable) may include Captain Janeway, Frodo Baggins, Lazarus Long, or Jean Grey. Once again, only half of the examples are girls.

    You also mentioned character virtues. Once again we find a continuum with real people in the median and effective characters on the outliers. The division here is between desirable and undesirable, and is used to define the place of the protagonists and antagonists as heroes, anti-heroes, and villains. It is gender-neutral. For example:

    Honesty
    O - strong character
    O
    O - weak character
    O
    O - strong character
    Dishonesty

    A protagonist who is strongly honest is a hero. A protagonist who is strong dishonest is an anti-hero. An antagonist who is strong dishonest is a villain. An antagonist who is strongly honest is an anti-hero. Good anti-hero examples would include Thomas Covenant or John Marconi.

    Back to Thoretta: when evaluating Thor as a character, he registers as dominantly male on every single variable. If you take Thoretta and treat her the same way, what's the point of changing the character except as a blatant agenda-beater? Again, if you take Thoretta and register her as dominantly female on every single variable, what's the point except as a blatant agenda-beater? But if you take Thoretta as a dominantly female character and give her overpowering urges to act in a male-dominant manner, you have the makings of a complex internal conflict that could give real life to the character. Add in the Asgardian setting and community expectations and you have a dynamic external sociological conflict as well.

    With the exception of Frigga, every character in Marvel's Asgard is dominantly male - and that includes Lady Sif and The Valkyrie. I'm ready to see a Princess of Thunder. I prefer to remain optimistic until they actually crush my hopes.

    There is a great deal of overlap between studies of male and female literary characters and male and female leadership practices. Some of the literature suggests this is because effective leaders create a "leader persona" of idealized traits. If you wish to pursue the study of effective characters with an emphasis on gender roles, you may find the work of Christine Conradt to be very helpful. Also, here are some articles you might find interesting.

    Differences in Male and Female Management Characteristics: A Study of Owner-Manager Businesses
    Syeda-Masooda Mukhtar
    Small Business Economics
    Vol. 18, No. 4 (Jun., 2002), pp. 289-311

    Stylistic Gender Differences in the Literary Representation of Detective Talk
    Elena Ortells and Santiago Posteguillo
    Revista Alicantina de Estudios ingleses 15 (2002): 153-167
    Jaume I University


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    Re: Thor Is A Woman...

    Post  Dunadwarf on July 22nd 2014, 4:56 pm

    It sounds like you're using misnomers, Mindspike.
    Male and female are very digital concepts. Masculine and feminine, however, are matters of degree (not to mention variant within societal values). In other words, a character who acts stereotypically masculine or feminine is not then a male or female, respectively.
    Not only this, but not all characters are intended to portray broad, archetypal characteristics like you described. Many characters are designed to fit within the story first, and factors like race and gender are decided later (Ben Sisko springs to mind here). They might play a factor, even a significant factor after a certain amount of time, story and development, but like real people, their "categories" are only a part of who they are, and defying convention in one way does not suddenly change such a basic trait as gender.
    Another example, from your own lists...why would you consider Frodo to be female? I see nothing girly or dainty about him, unless you equate "masculine" with "macho", in which no Hobbit could be considered male.

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    Re: Thor Is A Woman...

    Post  mindspike on July 22nd 2014, 9:14 pm

    Dunadwarf wrote:It sounds like you're using misnomers, Mindspike.
    Male and female are very digital concepts. Masculine and feminine, however, are matters of degree (not to mention variant within societal values). In other words, a character who acts stereotypically masculine or feminine is not then a male or female, respectively.
    Not only this, but not all characters are intended to portray broad, archetypal characteristics like you described. Many characters are designed to fit within the story first, and factors like race and gender are decided later (Ben Sisko springs to mind here). They might play a factor, even a significant factor after a certain amount of time, story and development, but like real people, their "categories" are only a part of who they are, and defying convention in one way does not suddenly change such a basic trait as gender.
    Another example, from your own lists...why would you consider Frodo to be female? I see nothing girly or dainty about him, unless you equate "masculine" with "macho", in which no Hobbit could be considered male.

    One thing is clear. We don't seem to be communicating effectively. I feel this is my fault.

    Literary character construction using the dominant male-dominant female continuum methodology has nothing to do with masculine or feminine traits, race, gender, gender-identification, convention or anything else. This same methodology is used effectively to describe all literary constructs, not limited to characters and including significant elements of setting.

    When I described Frodo, I said that Frodo is strongly female expressive, which means that he communicates dominantly through verbal interaction. This is not the same as being a female, and has nothing to do with being masculine or macho. This also does not mean that all of Frodo's traits are female. I would describe Frodo as possessing strong male identification, which means he prioritizes group membership over personal relationships.

    In Frodo's case, it is the strong sense of duty to the Shire, other halflings, and Middle-Earth that makes him take up the ring. Sam is the other way around. He is strong male expressive and strong female identification. He undertakes the quest for love of Frodo, and communicates mostly through actions rather than speech.

    Not all characters are intentionally constructed using this methodology, but all characters can be effectively described using this methodology. Not all characters will be identified as strong in every variable; the model is used to identify points of strength and weakness in character construction. This is one model of literary criticism, but not the only model of literary criticism.

    I was speaking about Thoretta, and what I would like to see in the upcoming comics. This is the model I chose to use. I'm not trying to pick on anyone.


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    Re: Thor Is A Woman...

    Post  mindspike on July 23rd 2014, 9:34 am

    Here is a helpful article on the subject.

    Toward a Cognitive Theory of Literary Character: The Dynamics of Mental-Model Construction
    Schneider, Ralf
    December 2001
    Style;Winter2001, Vol. 35 Issue 4, p607
    http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/6606649/toward-cognitive-theory-literary-character-dynamics-mental-model-construction

    or if your library doesn't have an EBSCOHost subscription this article isn't peer-reviewed, but still helpful

    Literary Analysis Tips In a Glossary of Analytical Terms
    http://faculty.goucher.edu/eng211/literary_analysis_tips_in_a_glos.htm


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    Re: Thor Is A Woman...

    Post  Dunadwarf on July 23rd 2014, 4:46 pm

    I don't think you're trying to pick on anyone, but you are communicating with very bad terms. If these are your terms, I'd suggest you find new ones. If these are terms some areas of academia use that I'm not aware of...you should still find new ones.
    Just look at how the confusing "male/female interactions" terminology has already muddled this discussion. Frankly, I don't see any merit to tying the concepts of verbal- or physical-dominant behaviors to gender, and a lot of detriment. It's like using "blue" to describe generous characters and "orange" to describe stingy characters. Not only is this a pretty arbitrary use of terms, but it confuses things to bring those terms into a conversation, especially when that conversation is also about colors, to extend this particular metaphor.
    Even if this is some established literary device used to define characters, it seems, at best, fruitless and confusing and, at worst, divisive and offensive. Why not simply define characters along these lines as "physical" or "verbal" or, if that's too stark, try "pen-characters" Vs. "sword-characters".

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    Re: Thor Is A Woman...

    Post  mindspike on July 23rd 2014, 5:35 pm

    Okay.

    It is not my intention to cause division, and I regret any distress I have caused.


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    Re: Thor Is A Woman...

    Post  Rohelf on July 23rd 2014, 6:06 pm

    Okay, Mindspike, I read both of the articles you provided links for, and have ordered the other two you gave citations for through interlibrary loan.  (I may not be able to get the Ortells and Posteguillo one, though.  Very few of our supplier libraries carry the source periodical in English, and I'm not sure my Spanish is up to tackling the obscure vocabulary likely to be found in an academic paper.  We'll see what response I get.)  I was unable to find anything in my library or its databases either by or about Christine Conradt, and simple googling of has proved unproductive.  (The only thing I found online regarding her views on strong female/male characters or gender roles in writing was an ad for her webinar addressing those topics, and I'm not going to pay $80 just to figure out where she stands.)  Can you please provide some specific examples of her work that you think would be relevant/helpful so that I can make the necessary ILL requests?

    Neither the Literary Analysis page nor the Schneider article gave me any explanation for why I should refer to some female characters as "strong male characters", or some male characters as "strong female characters," because they possess certain personality traits stereotypically associated with the opposite gender.  Neither discusses what those personality traits might be, or whether continuing to verbally connect them to gender is useful or desirable.  Neither mentions the "dominant male-dominant female continuum methodology" you refer to.  The Schneider article doesn't specifically address the issue of character gender or gender-based classifications at all, and the Literary Analysis page touches on it only tangentially.  To be honest, I'm not sure why you listed these articles in support of your argument- you and they don't seem to be talking about the same things.

    The only thing I can find on the Literary Analysis page that comes near to your point is the following passage about 3/4 of the way down:

    "The school of analysis called "Structuralism" (1930s-1950s) sought to identify "deep structures" in cultural artifacts, enormous but subtle relationships that organized their operation by allowing the human players to make choices between mutually exclusive alternatives. That is, a thing must be either one or another without ambiguity. For instance, in most religions there is a tradition of the sacred and the profane or the clean and the polluted. Science/Nature, Earthly/Heavenly, Earthly/Intellectual, Legal/Criminal and Masculine/Feminine are some other typical binary oppositions found in Western European literature." (emphasis mine, for clarity)

    However, this only tells the reader that this is how Structuralists view the world, and does not offer any arguments (convincing or otherwise) for why we should agree with this viewpoint.  Personally, I'd argue against the mutual exclusivity of most of the dichotomies presented above, not just Masculine vs. Feminine.  Indeed, the fact that Structuralism is only one "school of analysis" among others implies that there are probably a lot of literary analysts who find it unconvincing, unhelpful, or otherwise less than ideal.  Ralf Schneider himself appears to be one of those people: "Drawing on results from cognitive psychology and cognitive social psychology, as well as from research in discourse processing, I attempt to capture the quality of this interaction more precisely than the more text-oriented, structuralist approaches have been able to do" (Schneider, 608).  Unless the work under criticism displays clear structuralist views or themes, or the author is known to embrace structuralism, I don't see why a critique from a structuralist perspective would be particularly insightful or appropriate.

    I found Schneider's article both interesting and informative, but many of his points seem to contradict rather than support your thesis.  For example, he states that bottom-up personalization of characters who don't fit easily or quickly into predefined categories in the reader's mind  "...is responsible for the more differentiated, more interesting and more effective cognitive and emotional responses in character-reception" (Schneider, 625). He also mentions how the categories we use to sort both real people and fictional characters "...allow us to understand situations and to attribute dispositions to others, but they may also create social stereotypes that can have negative effects on social life" (Schneider, 612).

    I've only had time for a cursory search so far, but I can't seem to find anyone or anything that categorizes strong male and strong female characters the way you do- not in the two style and criticism texts I've looked at so far, not in our library's literary criticism database, not generally online.  I even popped upstairs early today to talk to ask the folks in the campus writing center if they'd ever heard of this sorting/labeling method before, and none of them had.  Can you please point me in the right direction and provide some citations or links for this unusual definition of strong male/female characters?

    Also, since we seem to be experiencing difficulty in communicating clearly, I want to go back over some points from your earlier post and make sure you're actually saying what it sounds like you're saying before I attempt to address specific remarks.

    mindspike wrote:
    Characters within a story are not people. They are literary constructs that represent a set of qualities that serve the purpose of telling a story. They are essentially sociological in nature.

    Are you saying that characters can't (or shouldn't?) attempt to represent a fully realized person?  That characters who attempt this are not "strong?"

    mindspike wrote:
    Dominant Physical Expression
    O - strong character
    O
    O - weak character
    O
    O - strong character
    Dominant Verbal Expression

    Are you saying that a character can't (or shouldn't?) be dominant in both physical and verbal expression?  Or that such a character would be weak?

    mindspike wrote:
    Honesty
    O - strong character
    O
    O - weak character
    O
    O - strong character
    Dishonesty

    Are you saying that a character who is highly conflicted or shows an uneven history with regard to honesty is a weak character?  Or that such a character would be considered "weak" in this specific aspect, but not necessarily weak overall?

    mindspike wrote:
    But if you take Thoretta as a dominantly female character and give her overpowering urges to act in a male-dominant manner, you have the makings of a complex internal conflict that could give real life to the character.

    Are you saying that a female character with leanings to act in a traditionally male-dominant manner must (should?) experience internal conflict as a result of this?  Or perhaps that a character who did not experience such conflict would be considered flat or weak?

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    Re: Thor Is A Woman...

    Post  mindspike on July 23rd 2014, 8:27 pm

    As much as I love to discuss literary criticism, it has already been gently pointed out to me that I should probably take that to a new thread. So I'll address the quick points here and maybe we continue the talk in a new thread?

    Rohelf wrote:
    mindspike wrote:
    Characters within a story are not people. They are literary constructs that represent a set of qualities that serve the purpose of telling a story. They are essentially sociological in nature.

    Are you saying that characters can't (or shouldn't?) attempt to represent a fully realized person?  That characters who attempt this are not "strong?"

    There are multiple schools of thought on this subject. I am of the opinion that attempting to create a written character to reflect all of the subtlety of a fully realized person will be less effective (and thus weaker) than a character built to reflect a specific mix of sociological values.

    Rohelf wrote:
    mindspike wrote:
    Dominant Physical Expression
    O - strong character
    O
    O - weak character
    O
    O - strong character
    Dominant Verbal Expression

    Are you saying that a character can't (or shouldn't?) be dominant in both physical and verbal expression?  Or that such a character would be weak?

    It is my opinion that consistent character presentation methodology will convey information to the reader most effectively, creating a strong character.  Consistency in the example is achieved when expression is either predominantly physical or predominantly verbal. The two modes of expression are indeed mutually exclusive, but every character is going to use some mix of them.

    Rohelf wrote:
    mindspike wrote:
    Honesty
    O - strong character
    O
    O - weak character
    O
    O - strong character
    Dishonesty

    Are you saying that a character who is highly conflicted or shows an uneven history with regard to honesty is a weak character?  Or that such a character would be considered "weak" in this specific aspect, but not necessarily weak overall?



    A character who is highly conflicted with regard to honesty is a strong character if the character consistently presents one value while consistently displaying the other. If the character either presents or displays in an inconsistent manner, that character is a weak character because it ineffectively communicates to the reader.

    Rohelf wrote:
    mindspike wrote:
    But if you take Thoretta as a dominantly female character and give her overpowering urges to act in a male-dominant manner, you have the makings of a complex internal conflict that could give real life to the character.

    Are you saying that a female character with leanings to act in a traditionally male-dominant manner must (should?) experience internal conflict as a result of this?  Or perhaps that a character who did not experience such conflict would be considered flat or weak?
    [/quote]
    Conflict in this case would not come from the character being a female, but from the character possessing a strong tendency in one variable and suffering a strong compulsion to act in a conflicting manner. In the example, a character who predominantly expresses themselves in a verbal manner should experience conflict when experiencing an outside compulsion to express themselves in physical manner. If this conflict is not experienced, the character is inconsistent (weak). In general, I would consider a central character that does not experience conflict to be either weakly constructed or meant to be archetypal.

    Do you like Forster's flat vs round methodology? But I digress.....

    You may find the works of Doris Lessing rewarding; she was a strong proponent of the male-female sociological dominance school and its crucial role in feminist literature. For effective criticism of Lessing's work, find the essays of Donna Haraway.

    And thank you for taking the time to read the articles!  Very Happy  Even though we seem to have different interpretations of their conclusions.


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    Re: Thor Is A Woman...

    Post  Rohelf on July 24th 2014, 8:04 pm

    Well, Mindspike, it seems that neither of us is going to be able to persuade the other to change their minds on this topic, so I don't see the point in continuing to argue it.

    Back on topic, if Marvel wanted to more thoroughly explore the concept of superpowered woman warrior in the Asgardian setting, that could be interesting. But, as you pointed out, they already have Sif and Valkyrie. Why not use one (or both) of them? And if for whatever reason they don't feel like those characters are capable of carrying their own title, there are plenty of tough gals of Norse myth and folklore that they could use as a template to design a new character. (I'd be interested to see the Marvel take on a figure like Skadi, for example.)

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    Re: Thor Is A Woman...

    Post  mindspike on July 25th 2014, 1:16 pm

    That would be something! The tension between Skadi and Frigga would be unique to Marvel's take on the mythology, or the introduction of another half-sibling for Thor. We got to see the daughter of Thor in the "Next Avengers" movie, what could be done if Lady Sif were given responsibility for Thor's sister? Unfortunately Marvel has tried the "Asgardian Adventures" thing before and it didn't work out so well.

    Imagine Skadi as created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for Journey Into Mystery! Marvel's own version of the Black Racer. Put her as one of the key figures in the Wild Hunt, and give it Marvel's unique space-adventure theme.....


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    Re: Thor Is A Woman...

    Post  Paeter on July 25th 2014, 4:04 pm

    Can I just throw in a brief rabbit trail?
    I LOOOOOVE this community and the way we've committed to interacting here. At several points your interaction could have taken a bad turn, but you all displayed grace to each other and avoided something heated. Maybe it felt heated to one or more of you, I don't know. But I was I was impressed. (I can tend to feel hurt and defensive pretty quickly.) But I love that this feels like a safe community to disagree in. Thank you all for making that a reality. Not easy stuff.


    Now back on topic. Anyone care to place bets on how long it takes for the "real" Thor to hold the hammer again? I'm trying to remember how long Superman was dead for in real world time. Was it a year? Six months?
    If someone can figure that out, I place my bet at it being roughly twice the length of Superman's absence until Thor Prime comes back. And I ALSO think that Thor will return sporting a mullet.


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