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Same gender romance discussion

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Story and Lore
Same gender romance discussion
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Tatile's Avatar


Tatile
11.23.2013 , 12:25 PM | #2671
See, that's what solidifies the "women in this game for men" idea, to me. We have companion character who was written, almost entirely, to be a stars-in-his-eyes friend to the male Smuggler, but it was only after all of that was finalized, did it occur that there is a female Smuggler as well. I'm curious as to Ms. Hepler's use of the term "strong" in this context, considering how that's often used to limit and stereotype the representation of women in fantasy and sci-fi (she doesn't need real depth of character, she's Strong, she can punch people and doesn't cry and stuff), but that's beside the point. She calls the romance "non-contemptible", but when put into context, I think it's the most out-of-place, contemptible, dismissive and generally disconcerting romances I've read. He deliberately attempts to foil and disrupt every of the Smuggler's flirts, one-night stands and flings, simply because, what? He believes she can do better? Really? That's the man we're supposed to be so enamoured with? A man who thinks he knows better than this "strong, independent" woman, who's been gun smuggling and people running across the galaxy - he thinks he can tell her how to make her own decisions, and doesn't even have the guts to say it to her face, but tries to sabotage her relationships.

Now, put that next to how he reacts to the male Smuggler doing the same - with gusto, does Corso encourage the male Smuggler to flirt and sleep with women whose names he barely knows. Corso does not discourage the male Smuggler from flirting in otherwise inappropriate situations - in fact, there's on incident that if the male Smuggler doesn't flirt with a woman in imminent danger, affection is lost.

Let that sink in:
Corso stops the female Smuggler enjoying herself
but encourages
the male Smuggler to sleep with every woman they meet

That, to me, makes Corso a vile and misogynist character.

copperjack's Avatar


copperjack
11.23.2013 , 12:34 PM | #2672
I think it would have been cool if they'd let him be a wingman for the female smuggler as well. Although I don't know what the best way would be to transition from "trying to set her up with every attractive male" to "getting married and living happily ever after" or whatever it is they'd do. It would probably have to involve the smuggler taking charge at some point.

Maybe it could be improved by giving the smuggler of either gender a chance to change his viewpoint on things? I haven't quite reached the end of his conversations so I don't know if that ever happens or not.

PS. Her name's Jennifer Hepler, not Helper.

Tatile's Avatar


Tatile
11.23.2013 , 12:44 PM | #2673
- changed to "Hepler"

It could be done, but in the "we're friends let's be more than friends" way. As in, Corso and the Smuggler are friends, he is her wingman, that's fine, but she's running around the galaxy doing loads of cool **** with him, and they go through a lot together. It'd be a more genuine love-story, I think, with two friends realising their feelings for each other. Also, it allows for the Smuggler and Corso to be friends, rather than her finding him insufferable every time he speaks (as my Smuggler does.)

Palar's Avatar


Palar
11.23.2013 , 03:13 PM | #2674
He's got no progression, at all - that's what hurts what they were apparently aiming for. From the get-go, he's just one of those whiny 'nice-guys' who think acting sensitive will get them somewhere. "Why is she talking to that guy? I'm right here..." Well, Corso, maybe it's because you open your attempt by talking about the fiancee you abandoned without so much as a goodbye.

Just... ugh. As awesome as Kath Soucie is, I know I'll be listening to the little freak interrupt her at every chance; poor Fem-Smug is still sitting around Ord Mantell.

(Further down that BSN page, someone speculates 1.4 might have companion SGR. Poor hopeful dear, how they repaid your optimism... And the usual "this year (20212)" info; oddly, that makes me a little nostalgic.)

Tatile's Avatar


Tatile
11.23.2013 , 03:17 PM | #2675
We're having a new event on tumblr:

Gays in Space Week

It'll be a tag for discussing your character's design and personality, beyond their gender identity or sexuality. This comes about due to another user's observation about SWTOR RP's reduction (to the point of fetishizing) gay-male PCs to their sexuality. As Anita Sarkeesian noted about "Character Trait: Female", there's a "Character Trait: Gay Guy" floating around, and it's damaging.

Hopefully the tag will see a nice discussion and we can get the air cleared about character development for queer PCs.

(And hopefully someone at Bioware will read this thread for once and pass the information onto the writing team, who seem to also be having problems with writing gays in space.)

copperjack's Avatar


copperjack
11.23.2013 , 03:48 PM | #2676
I remember around the time Mass Effect 3 came out there was an interview with the guy who wrote Sam Traynor. He was talking about how he'd wanted to write a really great lesbian character and had been concerned about being respectful and realistic. His first draft for her story made the whole thing revolve around her issues with coming out and being a lesbian in the military. He showed it around and thankfully someone said "Hey dude, you might want to rethink that," so instead of that we ended up with a great character who plays strategy games, buys really expensive luxury toothbrushes, and just happens to be a lesbian.

It does kind of weird me out sometimes in discussions about SGR when it turns out that most of the people participating are straight women. Allies are great and it would make things a few orders of magnitude harder to accomplish without them but then you find out that these women only play gay male characters and talk about how sexy they are and so on and it's a little uncomfortable. For some reason I don't see it as much with straight men, although there is the odd one who wants plays as a girl because they like the view from behind and then want lesbian romance options because they feel gay playing as a straight girl. Probably in games straight men are just less likely to support SGR?

Tatile's Avatar


Tatile
11.23.2013 , 04:03 PM | #2677
Strange, because most of the accusations against SGRA content is "it's just teenage boys wanting to watch girls kiss".

Possibly it's because of the difference between *ahem* how men and women consume relationships in media? We're talking with generalisations here, but it's studied to be typical that men are more interested in the physical side, and women with the emotional. That's likely going to be due to the ways in which women and men are couched to approach relationships, but just because it's socially constructed, doesn't make the findings inherently false.

I'm reminded of a lot of posters who query why anyone would be interested in the romances in this game, as "you don't see anything", due to the Fade to Blacks. I'm fairly sure those would have come from male posters (though, of course, I'm sure the majority of posters on the forums are male anyway.)

Seireeni's Avatar


Seireeni
11.23.2013 , 04:10 PM | #2678
Quote: Originally Posted by copperjack View Post
It does kind of weird me out sometimes in discussions about SGR when it turns out that most of the people participating are straight women. Allies are great and it would make things a few orders of magnitude harder to accomplish without them but then you find out that these women only play gay male characters and talk about how sexy they are and so on and it's a little uncomfortable.
It's probably, at least partly, because of this japanese anime/manga genre yaoi. Seems to make some young women/girls think that all gay men are somehow especially cute, while they actually are just like all the other people. (Not to mention the "fangirls". They seem to be obsessed about "shipping" two males of their series of choice. Haven't yet found a series where they weren't doing this. That's weird. And I don't have any idea what causes that.)

(To clear the reputation of straight females, at least I'm here and defending your cause because I want more options to RP with my characters. Let me decide if they are straight or not, not the game.)
There is a face beneath this mask but it's not me.
Red Eclipse - 22 characters - The Firslay Legacy

copperjack's Avatar


copperjack
11.23.2013 , 04:14 PM | #2679
I suspect the people who are against SGR have never actually talked to anyone who is for it and assume that most players are straight men. After a few years of experience I now tend to assume that anyone supporting SGR is actually a straight woman unless they say otherwise. That's held true for other forums I've been on, no idea what it's like in this thread though.

It's amusing when people seem to think the romances are all people wanting to see pixel sex. When they had something approaching actual sex scenes in Dragon Age it was really disturbing, for me at least. Watching two CGI characters go at it is the last thing I want, I'm just in it for the story. I love having fade to blacks, it prevents awkwardness.

Tatile's Avatar


Tatile
11.23.2013 , 04:26 PM | #2680
Quote: Originally Posted by Seireeni View Post
It's probably, at least partly, because of this japanese anime/manga genre yaoi. Seems to make some young women/girls think that all gay men are somehow especially cute, while they actually are just like all the other people. (Not to mention the "fangirls". They seem to be obsessed about "shipping" two males of their series of choice. Haven't yet found a series where they weren't doing this. That's weird. And I don't have any idea what causes that.)

(To clear the reputation of straight females, at least I'm here and defending your cause because I want more options to RP with my characters. Let me decide if they are straight or not, not the game.)
And for those who don't consume yaoi, there's stuff like Glee and Will & Grace that perpetuate stereotypes of gay men being inherently fun, cutesy, comedic fashionistas. There might also be the link that, unlike straight men, gay men are perceived to be less threatening to women, which might give them a natural attraction (like Gay Best Friend trope.)

The shipping thing has been addressed a few times...

Ok, this femslash and the white gaze: http://eshusplayground.tumblr.com/post/67443005341
But, it is noted in quite a few places (that, naturally, I can't find now *rages*) that a lot of shipping that takes place is between cis white men, not what I'm thinking of now, though

I remember an older Sherlock fan talking about his distaste with the constant Holmes/Watson shipping for the latest BBC drama, and he spoke of how it was nice to see two men with a strong friendship, but not a romantic relationship. I think some of the shipping might come down to society's over-bearing presence of romantic relationships in all our media - you rarely see a friendship between a man and a woman that doesn't get some sort of sexual tension inserted by the narrative (one reason why I'm hesitant about a Black Widow film, because I want her to be really good friends with Hawkeye, not some sort of forced, awkward love affair.)

Now, some shipping is from queer people wanting representation in a medium that ignores them - the same with other queer head- or fancanons. Now, this isn't the same thing as straight people shipping queer characters*, as that has airs of appropriation and attempting to define identities onto people, rather than people defining their identities for themselves. The latter is a natural reaction to being excluded from something you're still expected to consume.

I don't ship existing characters myself - partly because of a respect for the author and the characters themselves, partly because I can't be bothered. It's much more fun to create my own characters, and they have their own stories. Yes I'm arguing for SGRA content with existing companions to be introduced into this game as standard, but that's not because I particularly want to see my Agent getting smoochy with Vector (nice as that might be), but because it should be in the game anyway - it's 2013, we're better than this.

Does anything of that make any sense? I think I went a bit... all over the place...


*Edit: They keep censoring the damn plural of queer. It's really getting on my ****.

SMALL BIRDS.