Reylo and Female Empowerment

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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by AnneNeville on Sun 22 May 2016, 8:06 am

@Force22 At least for the movie Marianne got Alan Rickman, who is hot as heck.
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by AnneNeville on Sun 22 May 2016, 8:18 am

Things right now are pretty reactionary towards women and many don't even see it. The amount of hysteria (I use the word intentionally) about biological clocks and how women are doomed if they don't have babies by 35 is incredible. Another way to shame and control women, but this time with marginal science. (They don't bother pointing out that infertility in that age range is often caused by silent STDs, not naturally "decaying" woman parts.)
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by Darth Dingbat on Sun 22 May 2016, 8:22 am

@Force22 wrote:
Sense and Sensibility is a different thing. At the time , plays based on "Reform of the Rake"( a really nasty guy) were quite popular. The idea is that a man would do all kinds of wrongs, he'd be sexually experienced and not in a nice way towards women, but once he falls in love with the "right" woman she fixes him. Well... it doesn't work like that. Austen knew it and addressed it in her novels. But it's funny, cause in Austen's novels, the bad guys do fall in love, for real (In SS and Mansfield Park), but it doesn't change them. But yeah, that was a long time ago.
@Force22

At the same time, though, Sense and Sensibility was influenced by the sentiment vs. reason discourse of late 18th-century fiction. It's interesting to read many female novelists of that era because so much of that female-centric fiction is about carving a role for a reasonable woman who remains reasonable and level-headed even against difficult odds. Or about a young not-yet-reasonable woman's growth into a reasonable woman. I'm reminded of an interesting example I once read, Self-Control by Mary Brunton. It's about a young woman whose first love is a "bad" man - such an insistent bad man that she even needs to escape in a canoe over a waterfall in order to escape his advances at some point, if I remember correctly! (Don't ask.) And of course, she later ends up together with a nicer guy. But what I found interesting about this book is that the heroine finds it really, really difficult to get over the "bad" guy. The temptation is real.

Anyway, Sense and Sensibility combines both types of heroines.

I guess a lot of it basically sets out to prove that yes, women can be reasonable creatures, we're not all creatures of sentiment and instinct and we can also be trusted to make moral choices (meaning sexual morality). That was a big deal in its day, women wanting to be trusted enough to be in charge of their own morality. Oddly, I think there's something like that going on nowadays as well. Heroines written to prove that women can be reasonable creatures.
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by Guest on Sun 22 May 2016, 8:29 am

@Force22 wrote:Sorry for the double post, but I wanted to go in a different topic.

You guys might have heard of male gatekeepers. I know some women in gaming community have had some trouble.

Reylo fans are mainly female, and the traditional fandom has not received us very well. Still, I don't think it's a case against women in the fandom. I don't, it's just a case against having different opinions.

Further, I know that Reylo fans had trouble in some sites and discussion forums, but the most vocal anti Reylo fans are actually women.
So I don't know what to make out of it. I know women can be sexist. Or else it's that women believe they have a greater right to determine what other women like.

Anyways, I just don't understand it.
@Force22

Neither do I. But I think in regards to the traditional fandom, it's a combination of many believing Rey to be Luke's daughter and sexism, as well as being used to the traditional good vs evil story. Rey is the first female protagonist of a Star Wars movie and Kylo Ren is perhaps the complex Star Wars villain and character yet. He's also not a big scary monster or a burnt disfigured one, but a handsome, young man. This set-up alone has the potential to tell a whole new story to both the fans and the general audience, one that involves the lost and lonely heroine and the conflicted villain to grow and develop through their respective interactions and connection with each other. But the traditional fans don't expect that - they want another Skywalker family drama akin to the one in the OT, plus some are still upset that the EU is now discarded (where it had a lot of these) and therefore insist on this.

Then with these female antis, as well as some of the traditional fandom it's to do with double standard sexism. There's so much pressure on women and female characters today, that they have to be strong role models and nothing else, yet if they exhibit any skills that best a man's skills then they're labelled as a Mary Sue. Plus there's the notion that they have to be protected - look at the different reactions between Poe's interrogation and Rey's interrogation - Poe is unable to resist Kylo Ren, yet Rey does and beats him at his own game, yet somehow these antis scream "abuse" at the way Kylo treats Rey and not how he treats Poe?! Gender politics and equality has come a long way, but sexism is still ingrained in society and there's no further proof than the way these antis treat Reylo. If anything, they should be happy at it, because not only does Rey prove herself to be Kylo Ren's equal in both strength and mentality, but he treats her as his equal and is in awe of her strength when she gets the lightsaber, and even before he treats her gently in comparison to others. Most of these antis don't realise that making a female character a "role model" and nothing else isn't equal, but damaging in it's own right!

This is why I hope LF have the courage to make Reylo canon. Because it will blow these double standards out of the water. Even since Reygate happened though, more and more fans, both old and new have been open-minded about Reylo and I hope by the time Ep VIII rolls by, most people will be rooting for it.

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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by Reynak on Sun 22 May 2016, 8:34 am

@AnneNeville wrote:Things right now are pretty reactionary towards women and many don't even see it. The amount of hysteria (I use the word intentionally) about biological clocks and how women are doomed if they don't have babies by 35 is incredible. Another way to shame and control women, but this time with marginal science. (They don't bother pointing out that infertility in that age range is often caused by silent STDs, not naturally "decaying" woman parts.)
@AnneNeville

And to the poor quality of sperm which has become a huge problem and it wasn't in our parents' days.

I tend to think there is a tendency against what many die-hard old school nerds see as "chick" things, "girly things" like shipping, reading fanfiction, fan art and such. They tolerate you if you behave like one of the guys but if you form a buch of people with approaches they don't like and in some cases despise they try to throw you out by being hostile, derisive and downright mean, or close your thread, which is what they did to us in the EE. They did the same in Westeros.org with SanSan and closed threads and ridiculed the fans.


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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by Reynak on Sun 22 May 2016, 8:55 am

@Darth Dingbat wrote:
@Force22 wrote:
Sense and Sensibility is a different thing. At the time , plays based on "Reform of the Rake"( a really nasty guy) were quite popular. The idea is that a man would do all kinds of wrongs, he'd be sexually experienced and not in a nice way towards women, but once he falls in love with the "right" woman she fixes him. Well... it doesn't work like that. Austen knew it and addressed it in her novels. But it's funny, cause in Austen's novels, the bad guys do fall in love, for real (In SS and Mansfield Park), but it doesn't change them. But yeah, that was a long time ago.
@Force22

At the same time, though, Sense and Sensibility was influenced by the sentiment vs. reason discourse of late 18th-century fiction. It's interesting to read many female novelists of that era because so much of that female-centric fiction is about carving a role for a reasonable woman who remains reasonable and level-headed even against difficult odds. Or about a young not-yet-reasonable woman's growth into a reasonable woman. I'm reminded of an interesting example I once read, Self-Control by Mary Brunton. It's about a young woman whose first love is a "bad" man - such an insistent bad man that she even needs to escape in a canoe over a waterfall in order to escape his advances at some point, if I remember correctly! (Don't ask.) And of course, she later ends up together with a nicer guy. But what I found interesting about this book is that the heroine finds it really, really difficult to get over the "bad" guy. The temptation is real.

Anyway, Sense and Sensibility combines both types of heroines.

I guess a lot of it basically sets out to prove that yes, women can be reasonable creatures, we're not all creatures of sentiment and instinct and we can also be trusted to make moral choices (meaning sexual morality). That was a big deal in its day, women wanting to be trusted enough to be in charge of their own morality. Oddly, I think there's something like that going on nowadays as well. Heroines written to prove that women can be reasonable creatures.
@Darth Dingbat

But this is exactly where the problem is. Who is to judge if a woman is reasonable or morally right? Males? This is paternalistic BS that shouldn't exist any more. In Austen's days women were totally subdued but how much have we advanced if fiction still delivers the same messages? I don't want to feel obligued to prove I am reasonable and deserving of trust, or need fiction to contain moral messages to teach us what kind of men we should choose. They don't do the same with men.

In Austen's days women had to find a husband and if they slept with a man and he didn't marry them they were disgraced. Thanks God this has changed. They had to catch a man nice enough to marry them and I can understand why she wrote under that prism. This is not what we, or at least me, want from SW. I went there to dream and enjoy a sense of adventure, just like the guys. The difference is that I'm a sucker for an epic romance as much as I am for adventure flicks. I didn't get there looking for a "moral lesson". If movies have to deliver moral messages why don't people worry about all the violence boys (and also girls) are shown in movies?


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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by Darth Dingbat on Sun 22 May 2016, 8:58 am

@Reynak wrote:
@Darth Dingbat wrote:
@Force22 wrote:
Sense and Sensibility is a different thing. At the time , plays based on "Reform of the Rake"( a really nasty guy) were quite popular. The idea is that a man would do all kinds of wrongs, he'd be sexually experienced and not in a nice way towards women, but once he falls in love with the "right" woman she fixes him. Well... it doesn't work like that. Austen knew it and addressed it in her novels. But it's funny, cause in Austen's novels, the bad guys do fall in love, for real (In SS and Mansfield Park), but it doesn't change them. But yeah, that was a long time ago.
@Force22

At the same time, though, Sense and Sensibility was influenced by the sentiment vs. reason discourse of late 18th-century fiction. It's interesting to read many female novelists of that era because so much of that female-centric fiction is about carving a role for a reasonable woman who remains reasonable and level-headed even against difficult odds. Or about a young not-yet-reasonable woman's growth into a reasonable woman. I'm reminded of an interesting example I once read, Self-Control by Mary Brunton. It's about a young woman whose first love is a "bad" man - such an insistent bad man that she even needs to escape in a canoe over a waterfall in order to escape his advances at some point, if I remember correctly! (Don't ask.) And of course, she later ends up together with a nicer guy. But what I found interesting about this book is that the heroine finds it really, really difficult to get over the "bad" guy. The temptation is real.

Anyway, Sense and Sensibility combines both types of heroines.

I guess a lot of it basically sets out to prove that yes, women can be reasonable creatures, we're not all creatures of sentiment and instinct and we can also be trusted to make moral choices (meaning sexual morality). That was a big deal in its day, women wanting to be trusted enough to be in charge of their own morality. Oddly, I think there's something like that going on nowadays as well. Heroines written to prove that women can be reasonable creatures.
@Darth Dingbat

But this is exactly where the problem is. Who is to judge if a woman is reasonable or morally right? Males? This is paternalistic BS that shouldn't exist any more. In Austen's days women were totally subjugated but how much have we advanced if fiction still delivers the same messages? I don't want to be obligued to prove I am reasonable and deserving of trust or need fiction to cantain moral messges to teach us what kind of men we should choose. They don't do the same with men.

In Austen's days women had to find a husband and if they slept with a man and he didn't marry them they were disgraced. Thanks God this has changed. They had to catch a man nice enough to marry them and I can understand why she wrote under that prism. This is not what we, or at least me, want from SW. I went there to dream and enjoy a sense of adventure, just like the guys. The diffetence is that I'm a sucker for an epic romance as much as I am for adventure flicks. But she can't inherit an empire that has been derrocated and is illegal. For instance, in France it would be monstruous to destroy democracy to restablish monarchy and sit a heiress of the old monarchy to rule. Even if she is Palpatine's descendant she has no moral or legal claims over an empire that no longer exists. Only war would make it possible and the Resistance would have none of it. But I didn't get there looking for a "moral lesson". If movies have to deliver moral messages why don't people worry about all the violence boys are shown in movies?
@Reynak

Exactly. I agree with you - I just feel like something like this is going on nowadays.
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by Reynak on Sun 22 May 2016, 9:06 am

@Darth Dingbat wrote:
@Reynak wrote:
@Darth Dingbat wrote:
@Force22 wrote:
Sense and Sensibility is a different thing. At the time , plays based on "Reform of the Rake"( a really nasty guy) were quite popular. The idea is that a man would do all kinds of wrongs, he'd be sexually experienced and not in a nice way towards women, but once he falls in love with the "right" woman she fixes him. Well... it doesn't work like that. Austen knew it and addressed it in her novels. But it's funny, cause in Austen's novels, the bad guys do fall in love, for real (In SS and Mansfield Park), but it doesn't change them. But yeah, that was a long time ago.
@Force22

At the same time, though, Sense and Sensibility was influenced by the sentiment vs. reason discourse of late 18th-century fiction. It's interesting to read many female novelists of that era because so much of that female-centric fiction is about carving a role for a reasonable woman who remains reasonable and level-headed even against difficult odds. Or about a young not-yet-reasonable woman's growth into a reasonable woman. I'm reminded of an interesting example I once read, Self-Control by Mary Brunton. It's about a young woman whose first love is a "bad" man - such an insistent bad man that she even needs to escape in a canoe over a waterfall in order to escape his advances at some point, if I remember correctly! (Don't ask.) And of course, she later ends up together with a nicer guy. But what I found interesting about this book is that the heroine finds it really, really difficult to get over the "bad" guy. The temptation is real.

Anyway, Sense and Sensibility combines both types of heroines.

I guess a lot of it basically sets out to prove that yes, women can be reasonable creatures, we're not all creatures of sentiment and instinct and we can also be trusted to make moral choices (meaning sexual morality). That was a big deal in its day, women wanting to be trusted enough to be in charge of their own morality. Oddly, I think there's something like that going on nowadays as well. Heroines written to prove that women can be reasonable creatures.
@Darth Dingbat

But this is exactly where the problem is. Who is to judge if a woman is reasonable or morally right? Males? This is paternalistic BS that shouldn't exist any more. In Austen's days women were totally subjugated but how much have we advanced if fiction still delivers the same messages? I don't want to be obligued to prove I am reasonable and deserving of trust or need fiction to cantain moral messges to teach us what kind of men we should choose. They don't do the same with men.

In Austen's days women had to find a husband and if they slept with a man and he didn't marry them they were disgraced. Thanks God this has changed. They had to catch a man nice enough to marry them and I can understand why she wrote under that prism. This is not what we, or at least me, want from SW. I went there to dream and enjoy a sense of adventure, just like the guys. The diffetence is that I'm a sucker for an epic romance as much as I am for adventure flicks. But she can't inherit an empire that has been derrocated and is illegal. For instance, in France it would be monstruous to destroy democracy to restablish monarchy and sit a heiress of the old monarchy to rule. Even if she is Palpatine's descendant she has no moral or legal claims over an empire that no longer exists. Only war would make it possible and the Resistance would have none of it. But I didn't get there looking for a "moral lesson". If movies have to deliver moral messages why don't people worry about all the violence boys are shown in movies?
@Reynak

Exactly. I agree with you - I just feel like something like this is going on nowadays.
@Darth Dingbat

There is part of another post there and I don't know how I did that, LOL.
The ipad is very light but I make many mistakes when writing with it. Sorry for that, guys. Embarassed
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by CienaRee on Sun 22 May 2016, 9:21 am

I think some have authors have been cinditioned to think that females should want more than passion because passion fades and couples wouldn't last beyond the honeymoon phase so instead they choose to portray the guy who elicts stroing feeling like passion and desire as a passing fancy and a mistake on the girl's part because passion fades and what's important is the connection and freidnship she builds with the other so called nice giy.For example this aryciale about Little Wome perfectly illustrates what I'm talking about and why some fans consiusly ignore the Reylo connection and hang on to the Finnrey ship that's passionless and not even remotely romantic in any way:

The reasons that Jo accepts Prof. Bhaer and not Laurie are clearly articulated in the text of Little Women. While Jo and Laurie have great fun together, they also fight frequently. Additionally, Laurie is handsome, accomplished and wealthy; he enjoys music and seems to enjoy the social life. Jo is more of an introvert; social obligations bore her and make her feel awkward. When Laurie proposes, Jo answers, "'I'm homely and awkward and odd and old, and you'd be ashamed of me, and we should quarrel,--we can't help it even now, you see,--and I shouldn't like elegant society and you would, and you'd hate my scribbling, and I couldn't get on without it, and we should be unhappy, and wish we hadn't done it, and everything would be horrid!'"

Jo's answer should please the modern reader to this extent: She knows herself. She sees the points of incompatibility between herself and Laurie, how their respective needs would not mesh, and she has no desire to spend her life trying to become what she is not. This view is seconded by her mother, who says, "'You are too much alike and too fond of freedom, not to mention hot tempers and strong wills, to get on happily together, in a relation which needs infinite patience and forbearance, as well as love.'"

This is where I think today's audiences are disappointed: they want passion. "Infinite patience and forbearance" are not nearly as exciting, even if Mrs. March is right about their necessity in a marriage. Jo and Prof. Bhaer have a quiet love. They start as friends; they have a mutual respect and enjoy each other's company. Their affection is more the tender, steady sort. As a reader, I confess that I like the Jo-Bhaer match a lot more than many other Little Women fans do. (In the interests of full disclosure, I'll say that I also married someone several years older than I, but since we both act like teenagers a good deal of the time, it's rather different from Jo's match.) I happen to agree with Jo and Mrs. March that lifetime commitment requires more than just sparks, and I have a hard time seeing Jo and Laurie being happy together beyond the honeymoon.
http://jenniferrhubbard.blogspot.bg/2011/10/on-jo-and-professor-bhaer.html

What's intersting however is despite these protests many novels like Wuthering Heights,Phantom of the Opera and Jane Eyre became famus because of the obsessive and passionate love between the characters.In the Phantom of the Opera while the original novel paints the romance as the one between Christine and Raul the Phantom and his love for Christine has become iconic to the pont where other authors and musicals have crated a real romance between these two.With Wuthering Heights the main tow charactres are extremly selfish and unlikable and ultimately their love leads them to detsroy each other yet they're the couple that the readers remeber not Cathy and Edgar or Cathy's daughter and Heriton .Emily Bronte also makes it clear that while Cathy's love for Edgar will pass in time it's Heatchliff who's her true love and the one she's reunited in the after life.
With Jane Eyre the author could have had Jane choose another man that doesn't symbolie the passion she seeks yet she doesn't do that which I applaud her for.

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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by Reynak on Sun 22 May 2016, 12:24 pm

Sparks are not enough but who wants a relationship without them, especially in fiction? Other things are needed, of course, but I can't imagine how a relationship without chemistry is desirable. Perhaps in the old days, because women had to marry for basic survival reasons but this would never work for Rey, who is brave, independent and capable. She wants a family but she'd never settle for a match that is short of life-changing romantic and memorable. That means Reylo all the way.
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by Saracene on Mon 23 May 2016, 3:29 am

@Force22 wrote:Sorry for the double post, but I wanted to go in a different topic.

You guys might have heard of male gatekeepers. I know some women in gaming community have had some trouble.

Reylo fans are mainly female, and the traditional fandom has not received us very well. Still, I don't think it's a case against women in the fandom. I don't, it's just a case against having different opinions.

Further, I know that Reylo fans had trouble in some sites and discussion forums, but the most vocal anti Reylo fans are actually women.
So I don't know what to make out of it. I know women can be sexist. Or else it's that women believe they have a greater right to determine what other women like.

Anyways, I just don't understand it.
@Force22

I think that male and female anti Reylo fans often react for different reasons.

With male-dominated fandoms, there can be a tendency to look down on "girly" things like shipping and romance. Plus, it's taken for granted that male fans can talk all they want about how hot a female celebrity/actor/musician is, but when girls do it about a male celebrity/actor/musician, they're labelled fangirls. There's a music forum I've been on for ages, where one of the threads got quite female-dominated at one point, and one of the guys actually complained that we made him feel emasculated (meanwhile, it was taken for granted that the much cruder comments in other threads about the female musicians were totally the norm).

I think also that as a character, Rey can inspire very protective feelings in both male and female fans; she's independent and kickass but she has this very strong childlike vibe about her too. I've seen comments that basically they want the best for her and that she can do much better than Kylo.

Re: Laurie and Jo in Little Women, I agree, they would have been a total disaster of a couple and I never wanted them to get together. It's just that the professor was such a bloody bore.
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by Darth Dingbat on Mon 23 May 2016, 4:58 am

@Reynak wrote:Sparks are not enough but who wants a relationship without them, especially in fiction? Other things are needed, of course, but I can't imagine how a relationship without chemistry is desirable. Perhaps in the old days, because women had to marry for basic survival reasons but this would never work for Rey, who is brave, independent and capable. She wants a family but she'd never settle for a match that is short of life-changing romantic and memorable. That means Reylo all the way.
@Reynak

This is where Reylo has the potential to become the Ultimate Romance(tm). The physical element of the attraction was quickly established, but they share a mental connection that's literally out of this world. I'm telling you, if Reylo happens and is done well, it would be a metaphysical soulmate romance, like Shiva and Parvati brought to a more human scale. An unbreakable bond that transcends all dualism, both physical and psychic at the same time. Not realistic at all, and therefore difficult to pull off in ordinary fiction. You need a mystical concept like "both sides of the Force uniting" as the basis of it in order to make it "believable", and that's why the opportunities to do something like this are very rare.

It would be a shame if this potential is wasted or if they try to scale it down into something more "realistic", as in "the relationship will be very subtle (so subtle that you can barely notice it) and at the end of Episode IX there are small hints that they might become a couple some day, possibly in Episode XII or something". NOTHING about this dynamic was realistic or understated to begin with. By trying to make it more "realistic" its foundation would be diluted into something that's not only not very powerful anymore, but also doesn't make sense in the internal logic of the story itself. Because without that irresistible supernatural bond of two people being drawn together like elemental forces, there are no "realistic" reasons why Rey and Kylo would end up together as an ordinary couple.

I'm sorry but something like this set-up isn't made to be subtle and understated. It's the stuff of grand passions and souls merging. Go big or go home, says I.
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by Saracene on Mon 23 May 2016, 6:05 am

@Darth Dingbat wrote:I'm sorry but something like this set-up isn't made to be subtle and understated. It's the stuff of grand passions and souls merging. Go big or go home, says I.
@Darth Dingbat

Given the operatic nature of Star Wars, I really really doubt they'll go the understated way.

Just as long as they don't go the prequels way, with bad melodrama and sand and all Wink
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by Darth Dingbat on Mon 23 May 2016, 6:12 am

@Saracene wrote:
@Darth Dingbat wrote:I'm sorry but something like this set-up isn't made to be subtle and understated. It's the stuff of grand passions and souls merging. Go big or go home, says I.
@Darth Dingbat

Given the operatic nature of Star Wars, I really really doubt they'll go the understated way.

Just as long as they don't go the prequels way, with bad melodrama and sand and all Wink
@Saracene

I think on Ahch-To we're more likely to get, "I don't like water. It's wet and it's cold and it gets everywhere..."
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by ZenBrainJam on Mon 23 May 2016, 6:46 am

@Darth Dingbat wrote:
@Reynak wrote:Sparks are not enough but who wants a relationship without them, especially in fiction? Other things are needed, of course, but I can't imagine how a relationship without chemistry is desirable. Perhaps in the old days, because women had to marry for basic survival reasons but this would never work for Rey, who is brave, independent and capable. She wants a family but she'd never settle for a match that is short of life-changing romantic and memorable. That means Reylo all the way.
@Reynak

This is where Reylo has the potential to become the Ultimate Romance(tm). The physical element of the attraction was quickly established, but they share a mental connection that's literally out of this world. I'm telling you, if Reylo happens and is done well, it would be a metaphysical soulmate romance, like Shiva and Parvati brought to a more human scale. An unbreakable bond that transcends all dualism, both physical and psychic at the same time. Not realistic at all, and therefore difficult to pull off in ordinary fiction. You need a mystical concept like "both sides of the Force uniting" as the basis of it in order to make it "believable", and that's why the opportunities to do something like this are very rare.

It would be a shame if this potential is wasted or if they try to scale it down into something more "realistic", as in "the relationship will be very subtle (so subtle that you can barely notice it) and at the end of Episode IX there are small hints that they might become a couple some day, possibly in Episode XII or something". NOTHING about this dynamic was realistic or understated to begin with. By trying to make it more "realistic" its foundation would be diluted into something that's not only not very powerful anymore, but also doesn't make sense in the internal logic of the story itself. Because without that irresistible supernatural bond of two people being drawn together like elemental forces, there are no "realistic" reasons why Rey and Kylo would end up together as an ordinary couple.

I'm sorry but something like this set-up isn't made to be subtle and understated. It's the stuff of grand passions and souls merging. Go big or go home, says I.
@Darth Dingbat

You know... I think you are right... I was all for the subtle and the hinted and the "well this is SW we can't have so much romance, c'mon" but your perspective make total sense.
They are all about epic and nothing about realistic couple. That's why fluff make me cringe so much with them, not because I abhor tenderness, but because it's so much related to real life.
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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by CienaRee on Mon 20 Jun 2016, 9:08 am

This post makes great points about the double standards councerning a possible romance between Kylo and Rey:

A podcast was brought to my attention via Ohtze on the website talkingstarwars.co.uk in which Reylo and Ohtze’s famed ‘Death and The Maiden’ was discussed. To be fair, these men seem nice and reasonable but I definitely take issue with their views on Reylo. Now, everyone is allowed to ship or not ship whoever they want without being condemned, demonized or otherwise alienated for it. There are many understandable reasons for not wanting or caring about Reylo, just as there are in favor, the most obvious and unarguable of which is that it simply doesn’t speak to you personally. You can’t fault someone for that. However, the reasoning behind ideas, preferences and opinions - the whats, the how, the whys - can and should be critiqued. 
One thing in particular that stuck out to me in the podcast trio’s denial of the possibility of Reylo, was that they said that such a romance, utilizing the gender dynamics discussed by Ohtze, would be too “Twilight”, in that it was a diminishing and feminizing of Rey’s character in relation to the dark domineering masculinity of Kylo Ren, and that it was ‘rapey’. They brought up that considering what an icon Rey is as a hero, to have her character go down that route wouldn’t be tolerable for the public. It was also mentioned that Rey isn’t a feminized character, she is a character who happens to be female, and basically they were of the thought that Reylo would undercut this seemingly progressive characterization. This last bit in particular was very distressing to me as it brings to light again the double standards female characters have to contend with. On the one hand there is plenty of legitimate reasons why we discuss and worry over female characters in a way we do not their male counterparts. (In this instance we are talking solely of ciswomen - trans/genderqueer females are a whole other story that deserve their own thousand pages…) Our society is still in the process of learning how to write nuanced female characters without relying on traditional tropes, sexist stereotypes or regressively gendered narratives. It is a hard thing to achieve when you are writing with literally thousands of years of inequality behind your back and it does require scrutiny and criticism. Our fear that a female character will be disempowered, undermined or compartmentalized is not unwarranted. 
But this kind of mindset and treatment does bring it’s own set of potentially sexist baggage. I’ve always been fairly disturbed by how we talk about woman characters as “a character who happens to be female,” as if the femaleness of a character is incidental. When we talk of a character that isn’t “feminized” we are talking about neutralizing femininity and positioning this as a positive and enlightened step. There is no flip side to this: male characters have no such preface. Manliness and masculinity is never brought up as a worry. We never try to separate their gender from their character. The maleness of a character is built into it with little fanfare as a generic template that doesn’t alienate its audience, whereas femininity is posited as a glaring anathema to the hero formula. For a female heroine, her gender, far from being of innate importance to the character as a natural part of her identity, is erased; it is something we are required to ignore. What happens with female characters, particularly those who are put in the role of hero/protagonist, is that we are asked to put on the goggles of ‘gender blindess’. The gender of a character elicits shallow acknowledgement in the form of that ever tiresome buzzword “strong female character” but outside of this female gender is something that must be disregarded in fear that it is costly to the character. The line of “the character didn’t have to be a girl” means that a movie/show has successfully rendered her gender moot - we have overcome the obstacle of her being female and therefore too particular for audiences to relate to. What this results in is a careful spaying down of anything that might evoke complaints of being too “girly” and therefore either sexist or alienating to a wide audience. The character must not draw attention to the fact that she is a girl. 
The net effects of this are startling in that they entrap female characters in a catch-22 and create new double standards. Yes, an effort must be consciously made on the part of creators to avert or subvert the classic sexist tropes that plague fiction and find better, more three-dimensional ways to depict characters that transgresses traditional models of thinking. But this also might led to overcorrection that is ultimately limiting. By trying to avoid feminizing a female character we stigmatize the concept of femininity in general, associate it with negatives. Neutralizing markers of gender completely and indiscriminately denies that the femaleness of a female character’s identity as part of their lived experience. And that simply isn’t true to life. In Rey’s case, we have so many of the fandom who are against or prefer Rey not to have a romance for the stated reason that this would be a progressive move, prove that a woman doesn’t need a man in her journey and validate her status as a bad***. The sentiment gets double downed when Reylo is mentioned; since Kylo Ren carries traits of a dark, brooding Alpha Male and Rey of the innocent maiden people argue that it’s regressive and too “Twilight”. Romance could potentially feminize Rey or at least emphasis the more feminine aspects of her being and that’s not good apparently.
Well, I reject this notion that including a romantic narrative in Rey’s story (or any heroine’s story), especially with Kylo, undermines Rey character and put forth that this is a dangerous opinion to hold. Romantic relationships are a huge part of people’s lives, including women’s, the idea that romance is contrary to progressive female characters is in my mind its own brand of subversive sexism, as is disregarding her gender and labeling it unimportant. By creating new hard and fast rules on what specifically must govern a “strong female character” we are limiting the scope of exploration of females in fiction and denying them the right to a full and diverse range of life experiences. It is a parring down of complexity, a potential threat to creative freedom and a roundabout affirmation that femininity is indeed bad. It gives no consideration to execution and skill, which surely individuals like Rian Johnson, have in storytelling, and instead leads to broad assumptions about what narrative templates are “appropriate” for female characters and what are not, something male characters don’t attract, without regard for nuance and context.
I know this may seem like weird examples but take for instance, Sailor Moon or Mad Max Fury Road. The former takes traditional aesthetic and behavioral femininity - pretty clothes, jewelry, bright colors, a cute romance, girl squad dynamics etc. - and far from treating them with disdain or simply erasing them reimagines these qualities as empowering rather than weak, expansive rather than limiting, and important rather than frivolous. The main characters all live, struggle, develop and eventually work in concert with their own femininity by weaponzing it and not defining itself by society’s standards. The heroine gets to kick a** while wearing a skirt and smooching handsome, dapper men. Here, the feminine principal is both turned on its head and shown not be antithetical to the hero formula. Here, the character’s genders are accepted as an innate element of who they are that informs their character. 
In Mad Max you have Imperator Furiosa and The Five Wives as interesting contrasts. The Five Wives are easily the most feminized characters in a movie full of manly men and masculinity and violence. In a lesser director’s hands they might have been reduced to McGuffins and eye candy. Yet the presentation of their femininity serves a poignant purpose: the conflict is not the wives helplessness in their overt femininity but in the fact that a brutal patriarchal autocratic society wants to keep them in a box because of it. The Wives are targeted specifically because of their fertility and beauty. The satisfaction is that The Wives, who are as much individuals as they are a unit, are not made to neutralize their femininity or not draw attention to their gender but are shown rebelling against the society that traps them for those very reasons. They escape with the help of a female road warrior to discover a place that will neither erase nor solely define them by their gender. The point is most audaciously exhibited when Splendid, the most heavily pregnant of the wives and thus the one we expect to be most vulnerable, flaunts her body as a shield to protect Furiosa and simultaneously demonstrating an act of defiance in the face of her rapist. They subvert our expectations of them by putting their gender front and center yet never being reduced or compartmentalized because of it. It’s not ignored nor is it treated as a lazy gimmick. Furiosa adds diversity to feminine representation as a woman who’s taken measures to masculinize herself. She is the one token female allowed to rise in a world hostile to women. Furiosa’s gender is not incidental.
In both of these cases gender is never the sum of the female characters but it is not erased either.
Star Wars is obviously a different animal then my two above examples, and the issue of female representation in media and how we perceive it is a complex issue that requires ongoing discussion, insight and education. And though I’ve spent this entire essay seemingly ranting against gender neutrality, I am actually not against it and think it does have its place in formation of female characters. Neutrality can be a perfectly legitimate strategy to help expand and revolutionize female characters, fictional characters in general and buck conservative ideas attached to gender. But it’s being applied unequally and enfolded back into traditional ways of thinking by positioning men as generic and women as special, so long as people are saying Rey can’t have a romance with Kylo or a romance at all because it could feminize her and that’s bad but Finn can have a romance with KMT and it’s fine, so long as it is asking us to employ ‘gender blindness’ with female characters only, and treating what is seen as feminine with hostile circumspect, neutrality is not serving the progressive purpose that it aspires to: it is only one type of practice that can get us so far until we are forced to contend with the actual social values at work. What is clear is that we need some sort of discussion about what we believe constitutes femininity, masculinity, anything and everything between or outside of it and how this is portrayed in fiction (notice that I haven’t specified what I think femininity is exactly - that’s intentional) in order to arrive at some sort of holistic conclusions on this subject. This may seem overly complicated and led to contradictory viewpoints but that is the price you must accept when dealing with something like sexism. It’s not suppose to be easy, and if it’s seems easy like neutrality does, then I wouldn’t trust it.
TL;DR. In the end, Rey is not a “character who happens to be female”. She is our heroine, and that shouldn’t be made into a sidenote. What she (and the audience) needs to overcome is not her femininity, it’s the darkside. Yes, characters are human beings (or living beings - or droids), but gender is a dimension of the human experience and asking us to downplay or avoid one gender and gender expression is a form of stigmatization that has to go. 

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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by Guest on Mon 20 Jun 2016, 9:14 am

@CienaRee Goodness! What an amazing article! Sums up everything about what we've been saying perfectly! Absolute kudos to the person who wrote it! Claps Claps Claps Claps


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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by CienaRee on Mon 20 Jun 2016, 9:23 am

AppleCrumble122 wrote:@CienaRee Goodness! What an amazing article! Sums up everything about what we've been saying perfectly! Absolute kudos to the person who wrote it!  Claps  Claps  Claps  Claps  

@AppleCrumble122

The tumblr name of the person is thesovereignempress and she really sumps up perfectly the sexist treatment of the female characters vs that of the male ones.I actually hope we do get to see the more feminine side of Rey because being feminine isntead of masculine female character is nothign to be ashamed of.
I feel like because women have bene depicted as damsles in distress for so long authors/writers nowdays try to write them as strong and unfeeling.Being feminine or feeling helpless/not having any idea how to defend yourself are viewed as wekness(look at the hate Sansa from GOt gets because she doesn't behave like Arya)and somethign women shouldn't aspire to be and while I agree that we absolutely need exmaples of wome being able to take care of themselves feeling at some point in your life  helpess or accepting help/being recued by someone doesnt deem you as weak.
Not every female character can be Buffy or Katniss and honestly they shouldn't be.I think encouraging women to behave in more masculine manly way does no good to represntation fo women and only adds to the sexism that cotnues to affect us even today.I think that's why I prefer wuxia movies to the Holywood ones.

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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by Guest on Mon 20 Jun 2016, 9:40 am

@CienaRee wrote:
AppleCrumble122 wrote:@CienaRee Goodness! What an amazing article! Sums up everything about what we've been saying perfectly! Absolute kudos to the person who wrote it!  Claps  Claps  Claps  Claps  

@AppleCrumble122

The tumblr name of the person is thesovereignempress and she really sumps up perfectly the sexist treatment of the female characters vs that of the male ones.I actually hope we do get to see the more feminine side of Rey because being feminine isntead of masculine female character is nothign to be ashamed of.
I feel like because women have bene depicted as damsles in distress for so long authors/writers nowdays try to write them as strong and unfeeling.Being feminine or feeling helpless/not having any idea how to defend yourself are viewed as wekness(look at the hate Sansa from GOt gets because she doesn't behave like Arya)and somethign women shouldn't aspire to be and while I agree that we absolutely need exmaples of wome being able to take care of themselves feeling at some point in your life  helpess or accepting help/being recued by someone doesnt deem you as weak.
Not every female character can be Buffy or Katniss and honestly they shouldn't be.I think encouraging women to behave in more masculine manly way does no good to represntation fo women and only adds to the sexism that cotnues to affect us even today.I think that's why I prefer wuxia movies to the Holywood ones.
@CienaRee

Agreed! This term of thinking has become damaging in itself. But I think more and more people are very slowly coming to see that. It's slow, but good! I love the fact that she mentioned Sailor Moon in her article as well. I love that series because it has feminine women wearing skirts, make-up and looking sexy kicking butt and instead of diminishing them for it, it empowers them. It also helps that all the girls are flawed and complex and their friendships with each other are real too. Yet Sailor Moon is an Asian media and part of the magical girl genre which allows female characters to kick but and still be feminine - it's actually astonishing at how different the West and the East treat their female characters in fiction! I was going to write my own meta on this subject, but now I don't think I will because this writer has summed up everything perfectly!

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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by spacebaby45678 on Mon 20 Jun 2016, 10:01 am

[size=36]Kill the “Medieval Girl is “Not Like Other Girls” by wielding a sword and is therefore better than traditionally-inclined women” trope 2k16[/size]
Some of the greatest accomplishments by medieval and renaissance women were accomplished over a banquet table or tea. And there were tons of women warriors (many and most of whom merely ended up casualties of war, as was the case for most warriors of either sex).
Actually making a significant difference as a female warrior a la Joan of Arc was near-impossible. Meanwhile there were numerous Kings’ mistresses who ended wars and created public service programs like hospitals over tea and therefore had far more positive, powerful, and lasting impact upon the world we live in today than most of the warriors in history, male or female. It’s just that most female accomplishments are often written out by historians, dismissed as being nothing but frivolous partying (when in fact said “frivolous partying” did more to shape the medieval and renaissance periods than 90% of the wars fought). It was a Sumerian princess in a tower who essentially invented literature, a Japanese noblewoman attending parties who wrote the first modern novel. 
Women who defied gender roles were awesome, yes. Women who used “feminine” pursuits to assert their strength were JUST AS awesome. 
“Other girls” were almost ALWAYS AMAZING. Just because the dudebros who have held the pens for centuries who reinforce the idea of “traditional masculinity = strength” have written out the importance of the banquet table, chivalry, and legends DOES NOT MEAN THAT MISOGYNISTIC B.S. SHOULD BE REINFORCED NOW.
“Proper ladies” were rarely, if ever shallow or mere baby machines, even if they were treated as such. We should not be perpetuating that. The pens are in our hands now. Use them for good.

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Re: Reylo and Female Empowerment

Post by snufkin on Mon 20 Jun 2016, 11:00 am

I reject this notion that including a romantic narrative in Rey’s story (or any heroine’s story), especially with Kylo, undermines Rey character and put forth that this is a dangerous opinion to hold. Romantic relationships are a huge part of people’s lives, including women’s, the idea that romance is contrary to progressive female characters is in my mind its own brand of subversive sexism, as is disregarding her gender and labeling it unimportant. By creating new hard and fast rules on what specifically must govern a “strong female character” we are limiting the scope of exploration of females in fiction and denying them the right to a full and diverse range of life experiences. It is a parring down of complexity, a potential threat to creative freedom and a roundabout affirmation that femininity is indeed bad.

Thanks for posting, the bolded is exactly what so many of us have noticed in the "Rey is a role model" type comments as an attempt to shut down and discussion of the larger topic at hand. And it is subversive sexism, she can be a hero and be worthy of respect, but only if she hews to safe/traditional morality. If it turns out Finn's LI is morally complicated, think that people would be having the same discussion about how he should stay single because he's a role model? Doubt it.

Also double standard, but the whole argument that she should be Luke's daughter because he "deserves" to have had a relationship and a child instead of being a celibate monk. Like he deserves it because he's the hero, but she doesn't?
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