Misogyny and the treatment of Night Elves

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10/09/2018 08:09 PMPosted by Roghter
10/09/2018 08:04 PMPosted by Ferlion
Thats not how writing a good character works. The character will ALWAYS justify it. A reason that they "lost it".

The character should very rarely see their own motives.


You might have a point worth discussing, if there was anything in the lore that supported her having an emotional reaction. Unfortunately you don't have lore, you have a hasty conclusion you reached based off of animated faces in the Warbringer cartoon. And devoid of lore there is no good faith argument you can make for your assertion.

Also she's not the only character to justify it. She laid out her reason immediately, and then Saurfang justified it by agreeing with it.


The justification is every other tantrum shes had. Like the end of Warcrimes, for instance
10/09/2018 08:15 PMPosted by Ferlion
The justification is every other tantrum shes had. Like the end of Warcrimes, for instance


Sylvanas is capable of intense emotions in extreme circumstances and for that reason, you are justified in assuming that is what is happening here even as lore tells you it's not.

Like I said, short and not very productive.
10/09/2018 04:08 PMPosted by Cannibal
I fully believe you're making connections where there are none.

10/09/2018 03:34 PMPosted by Akiyass
We are acknowledging something that is reoccurring. Female characters are written by men who hold misogynistic or fetishizing views of women.
Blizzard offers 100 days of job-protected maternity leave and 40 days of fully-paid maternity leave. The average mother working at Blizzard takes 94 days of maternity leave.

56% of those employed at Blizzard are Millennials, 41% are Gen X and 3% are Baby Boomers. 92% of those working at Blizzard state they believe their management is honest and ethical in its business practices. This would include apparent misogyny in writing.

They have "Formal programs (such as resource groups, mentorship, networking, or other affinity groups) support professional development for: Women; Lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender employees; Speakers of English as a second language; Employees reentering the workforce." Their medical care coverage also fully covers gender confirmation surgery.

http://reviews.greatplacetowork.com/activision-blizzard

I'm sure there's some closeted misogynists or racists working at Blizzard, as there would be at a company that large, but please stop pretending the whole lore team sits around and plans to be sexist in their writing.

10/09/2018 03:34 PMPosted by Akiyass
We are acknowledging something that is reoccurring. Female characters are written by men who hold misogynistic or fetishizing views of women. The fact that Tyrande has been written down to the role of a hysterical trophy wife is reason enough. The fact that every female character in WoW is emotional and impulsive, is reason enough.
No, it's not. Tyrande is a character, a prominent one, who's been given similar treatment to many other characters in the Warcraft universe have been as well. The fact that she is a female is just a character trait; you are creating the connection that because she is a female, she's being discriminated against in the writing. Poor writing for a lot of characters that happens to include a female, doesn't mean the poor writing exists specifically to trash the female.

Nathanos is suddenly OP in the writing, and he has glowing red eyes. Sylvanas has glowing red eyes and is OP too. Blizzard must be showing favoritism towards red-eyed people. How terrible of them.

10/09/2018 03:34 PMPosted by Akiyass
This is about Gender, because Night elves are repeatedly portrayed as victims as a plot device for other races. Saurfang, Varian and Anduin most notably. It is no coincidence that this also happens to be a very female dominated race, with matriarchal veiws.
Yes, it is a coincidence.

Night elves were invented after Warcraft II because they wanted to build off the Drow trope from D&D. They were first mentioned in Day of the Dragon, and Medivh recounts their story in The Last Guardian before Warcraft III was released. The matriarchal society was the one thing they wanted to keep from the Drow race to make them stand out against the other, predominantly male-dominated cultures. This is also the reason they gave the night elves a very prominent female goddess, Elune.

Source:
  • https://wow.gamepedia.com/The_Art_of_Warcraft pg. 58, "The night elves were originally based on the Drow from the various Dungeons & Dragons campaign settings. The gender divisions (warrior and ruler women and magically-inclined men), darker-hued skins, and a very powerful goddess are the only elements of this that survive."
  • Them being female-dominant is a cultural choice, but that cultural choice isn't at the forefront of Blizzard's minds when they're writing for the entire night elven people. Being led by females shouldn't be the main thing that makes night elves interesting, and I personally don't think it is. They're allowed to have political relationships and experience events with the matriarchy side of their culture being mostly ignored. Why does it need to be considered every time they do something? They can't behave or be interacted with like any other group of people because they're led by females?

    They exist in a location on Kalimdor in direct, mechanical contrast to the Forsaken. Three Horde races in Kalimdor, and Alliance race night elves. Three Alliance races in EK, and Horde race Forsaken. If the Forsaken were going down, it makes sense from a logistical and gameplay standpoint that the night elves would too. It's the perfect balance. That's why the decision was made, not because "Blizzard is sexist."


    Unfortunately the topics of misogyny and sexism in gaming bring up an irrational defense mechanism because players see it as a personal attack on their own character. Bringing in a few statistics about Blizzard's employment is not a quick and easy defense against any flaws in a very subjective and expansive type of media.

    Ive seen a few arguments with this idea in mind, that misogynistic elements are impossible within creative writing because: its a southern California company, one of the writer's is a woman, millennials are totally liberal, and the job security has good approval ratings. Throwing a bunch of new female characters does not automatically make the story a feminist power fantasy. Being a woman writer also does not make one immune to these pitfalls.

    Blizzard is like most companies; their hierarchy is predominantly male. They might have women and minorities as consultants, but ultimately, men have the final say in the creative and administrative ideas. This real life makeup is reflected in the downfall of Night Elves. A once independent, vast, and uniquely matriarchal nation, is now dependent and under the authority of human men. There is a real fear that Tyrande will be shown to be irrational, fool hearted, and reckless in her pursuit of the Night Warrior power, and be reprimanded - again - by another human man/boy. Elements that predict this outcome are shown with the dialog between Anduin and Genn. Greymane has to ask permission to speak, and permission to leave. Do not question the Wrynn patriarchy or be proven incompetent to "human potential."

    The creators have pulled ideas from real life influences and mythologies. The Amazons - a society of women leaders and warriors - are one of the more obvious influences. Another is Asian culture. Yang, from Taoism's Yin and Yang, represents: darkness, the night, wetness, the moon, and women. All elements used to create the Night Elf culture.

    I will make another post comparing Teldrassil and Silvermoon, and the use of erasure - an element of employing misogyny - in another post. Thanks all for your discussion.
    10/09/2018 08:18 PMPosted by Roghter
    10/09/2018 08:15 PMPosted by Ferlion
    The justification is every other tantrum shes had. Like the end of Warcrimes, for instance


    Sylvanas is capable of intense emotions in extreme circumstances and for that reason, you are justified in assuming that is what is happening here even as lore tells you its not.

    Like I said, short and not very productive.


    "Lore" does not.

    Her reasoning, which is hers, and not word of god, does.
    10/09/2018 08:23 PMPosted by Ferlion
    "Lore" does not.

    Her reasoning, which is hers, and not word of god, does.


    Her reasoning and the reasoning of an ideologically opposed character on the scene. Which is the only lore we have on the subject.

    Now, Blizzard's writing is not subtle and if they had wanted to communicate an interpretation like yours, where Sylvanas had an emotional response and was deluding herself with some post hoc rationalization, they would have written that. As the two of us have established already, they never wrote that and so there is no honest reason to hold your point of view.

    And yet you assert it as fact and continue to do so even as your failure to support it must be very apparent to you.
    I think you're reading too much into this. Yes, there is contempt and hatred, but it isn't borne from misogyny but simple favoritism of one faction over another. Night Elves have -always- been the punching bags of WoW, and so long as the lead developers and writers have an obvious Horde slant, it'll remain that way.
    10/09/2018 08:23 PMPosted by Ferlion

    "Lore" does not.

    Her reasoning, which is hers, and not word of god, does.


    Just a quick reminder, Sylvannas is not a real person, she has no reasoning. She is 100% a puppet to whoever is writing her so using her actions as justification for themselves is a silly one.
    10/09/2018 06:37 PMPosted by Loenar
    10/09/2018 03:26 AMPosted by Korra
    .


    Well written and thought out OP.


    Thank you very much. I'm still reading replies and thrilled with the amount of engaging discussions.
    It's the time of year when soft sciences majors decide, after a few weeks back in college, that somehow they have developed some sort of ideological grasp of "all the things" and thus must share their misinformed opinions.

    Therefore everything becomes an 'ism' and all things that they don't agree with are somehow oppression.

    It's a story. It isn't the most well-written or consistent story, but it is a story.

    It is not misogynistic, or racist, or any of the trendy trigger terms. Just because -you- don't agree with their storytelling, or their depictions, or where they are going with -their- story does not mean that you need to hop on a soapbox and start squawking about whatever your victim narrative is for the day.
    First and foremost, thank you for actually engaging in discussion and not just immediately calling me sexist or misogynistic or, some other insult.

    10/09/2018 08:20 PMPosted by Korra
    Bringing in a few statistics about Blizzard's employment is not a quick and easy defense against any flaws in a very subjective and expansive type of media.

    Ive seen a few arguments with this idea in mind, that misogynistic elements are impossible within creative writing because: its a southern California company, one of the writer's is a woman, millennials are totally liberal, and the job security has good approval ratings. Throwing a bunch of new female characters does not automatically make the story a feminist power fantasy. Being a woman writer also does not make one immune to these pitfalls.
    I agree, and my bringing up Blizzard's stats was more to squash the idea that Akiyass was screaming about; that Blizzard is just a terrible group of sexist men. The statistics and facts of the company don't agree with it, because it just isn't.

    If sexism or predominantly sexist writing were intentional, as she was arguing, there wouldn't be that high of an approval rating by those employed. There's just no way that that many bad people work there, and from the four employees I know personally, it just genuinely doesn't seem like an atmosphere where anything like that would be tolerated.

    10/09/2018 08:20 PMPosted by Korra
    Blizzard is like most companies; their hierarchy is predominantly male. They might have women and minorities as consultants, but ultimately, men have the final say in the creative and administrative ideas. This real life makeup is reflected in the downfall of Night Elves. A once independent, vast, and uniquely matriarchal nation, is now dependent and under the authority of human men. There is a real fear that Tyrande will be shown to be irrational, fool hearted, and reckless in her pursuit of the Night Warrior power, and be reprimanded - again - by another human man/boy. Elements that predict this outcome are shown with the dialog between Anduin and Genn. Greymane has to ask permission to speak, and permission to leave. Do not question the Wrynn patriarchy or be proven incompetent to "human potential."

    The creators have pulled ideas from real life influences and mythologies. The Amazons - a society of women leaders and warriors - are one of the more obvious influences. Another is Asian culture. Yang, from Taoism's Yin and Yang, represents: darkness, the night, wetness, the moon, and women. All elements used to create the Night Elf culture.
    I'm not disagreeing with anything stated here, but I want to offer alternative explanations.

    To preface this, literally no one here can pretend to know what was going through the minds of the writers writing these events. We can make guesses based on the outcomes, but that's about it. Personally, I think at the very most, some deep-rooted, subconscious misogyny made its way into the writing. I don't believe any misogyny from Blizzard on this topic was intentional.

    On the note of the downfall of the night elves in general, I already touched on this in a previous post. Night elves are the direct counterpart to the Forsaken from a gameplay perspective. In the same way it would make sense for the goblins to receive a graphical update, the worgen would as well. In the same way it would make sense for the Exodar to get an update, Silvermoon would as well.

    I genuinely feel it's coincidental, in this regard, that the night elves suffered the Burning of Teldrassil, and that they also happen to be a matriarchal people. I think if they weren't, if they were replaced solely by a tribe of Alliance-aligned furbolgs or something, we'd still be seeing the same result.

    On the note of Tyrande's expectations to have irrational reactions to things, I think that's just... a logical step. Not because she's a women, but because she just lost her people's capital and thousands of innocents, and almost lost her husband. That'd be extremely painful for any character, regardless of gender.

    10/09/2018 08:20 PMPosted by Korra
    I will make another post comparing Teldrassil and Silvermoon, and the use of erasure - an element of employing misogyny - in another post. Thanks all for your discussion.
    Looking forward to it.
    10/09/2018 08:31 PMPosted by Loenar
    10/09/2018 08:23 PMPosted by Ferlion

    "Lore" does not.

    Her reasoning, which is hers, and not word of god, does.


    Just a quick reminder, Sylvannas is not a real person, she has no reasoning. She is 100% a puppet to whoever is writing her so using her actions as justification for themselves is a silly one.


    Again, this is not how writing a character works. And you, as a MVP, should know better.

    Sylvanas is a character in universe. Her thoughts and actions in universe are taken as if she were a real person, because thats how she is written. What is not done, because its breaking character, is have a characters thoughts treated as word of god.

    "I am angry and this is why I am doing this for reasons rawr" is bad writing.

    "Things didn't go according to plan, I have to still deal the blow I set out to deal or the Alliance will come and they will come energized, this little elf thinks they will never lose hope? I'll show her!" BURN IT!

    The end result is still an emotional response. It is a thought process taken by a character in universe, and should be treated like a "real person", because in universe, she is a real person, and her motives should be believable to the observer/reader/whatever.

    When a character takes an action that is against characterization (There's a nice little term for this that people like to use called OOC or out of character), it breaks immersion because it's not how that character would act.

    The "100% a puppet to who is writing her" is kiddiepool kindergarten crap, and again, especially as an MVP, you should know better. The same is true for classic characters like Superman and Batman, or Sherlock Holmes, or take any famous literary figure thats had more of an impact on people than most "real" people.

    In theory, the writer can have Sherlock speak in pig latin, wear pink boots, and dance the dance of Sugar Plumb Fairies for the entire book, all while mainting his belief that it is all perfectly logical, but it would be against character.

    If past actions can't be used as justification and motivation and development, you aren't writing a character, you are creating a prop.

    All of which you are aware of on some level, because I assume you have taken basic English and literature courses and were asked to analyze and do character studies when you did basic book reports. Or did you miss out on Elementery school?
    I miss the dislike button.
    10/09/2018 09:08 PMPosted by Lachrimae

    It is not misogynistic, or racist, or any of the trendy trigger terms.


    Why not? I don't agree with everything the OP wrote, but at least she has put together a cogent, detailed, and thoughtful argument.

    Your response amounts to "nuh-uh" with a little ad hominem thrown in. Which not only doesn't refute a word she wrote, it kinda supports her wider argument.

    If you want to actually convince anyone beyond the choir, you'll have to make an actual argument. You know, with premises, evidence, and conclusions and stuff.
    10/09/2018 09:58 PMPosted by Cidrithir
    I miss the dislike button.

    I wish the like button got axed as well, honestly.
    10/09/2018 09:44 PMPosted by Ferlion
    <span class="truncated">...</span>

    Just a quick reminder, Sylvannas is not a real person, she has no reasoning. She is 100% a puppet to whoever is writing her so using her actions as justification for themselves is a silly one.


    Again, this is not how writing a character works. And you, as a MVP, should know better.

    Sylvanas is a character in universe. Her thoughts and actions in universe are taken as if she were a real person, because thats how she is written. What is not done, because its breaking character, is have a characters thoughts treated as word of god.

    "I am angry and this is why I am doing this for reasons rawr" is bad writing.

    "Things didn't go according to plan, I have to still deal the blow I set out to deal or the Alliance will come and they will come energized, this little elf thinks they will never lose hope? I'll show her!" BURN IT!

    The end result is still an emotional response. It is a thought process taken by a character in universe, and should be treated like a "real person", because in universe, she is a real person, and her motives should be believable to the observer/reader/whatever.

    When a character takes an action that is against characterization (There's a nice little term for this that people like to use called OOC or out of character), it breaks immersion because it's not how that character would act.

    The "100% a puppet to who is writing her" is kiddiepool kindergarten crap, and again, especially as an MVP, you should know better. The same is true for classic characters like Superman and Batman, or Sherlock Holmes, or take any famous literary figure thats had more of an impact on people than most "real" people.

    In theory, the writer can have Sherlock speak in pig latin, wear pink boots, and dance the dance of Sugar Plumb Fairies for the entire book, all while mainting his belief that it is all perfectly logical, but it would be against character.

    If past actions can't be used as justification and motivation and development, you aren't writing a character, you are creating a prop.

    All of which you are aware of on some level, because I assume you have taken basic English and literature courses and were asked to analyze and do character studies when you did basic book reports. Or did you miss out on Elementery school?


    So I have a first-class honours degree in lit, an MA in lit, am ABD on a doctorate in lit, and teach lit. Am I qualified to address this?

    Because you are wrong. If Conan Doyle had opted to have Sherlock do those things, then it would have been, by definition, in character. I think we agree that it would have been bad writing, but that would not have made it any less canonical.

    In fact, since you chose a Sherlock example, CD did put the reader through some incredible leaps of faith when, under enormous public and financial pressure, he brought Sherlock back from the dead. But that doesn't invalidate those later texts, or make them non-canonical.

    It is up to the reader to choose how to interpret the texts. Arguing about meaning is fine. But it is not up to the reader to decide which parts of the text "count" and which don't.

    Sylvanas is, always, a character created by the Blizzard team. Analyzing her as if she has agency beyond that is simply bad analysis. The first question I always ask a student to consider is "what is the author doing and why is the author doing it?" Writing as if the character exists independently of authorial intention would indeed be elementary school.
    10/09/2018 09:58 PMPosted by Carmageddon
    10/09/2018 09:08 PMPosted by Lachrimae

    It is not misogynistic, or racist, or any of the trendy trigger terms.


    Why not? I don't agree with everything the OP wrote, but at least she has put together a cogent, detailed, and thoughtful argument.

    Your response amounts to "nuh-uh" with a little ad hominem thrown in. Which not only doesn't refute a word she wrote, it kinda supports her wider argument.

    If you want to actually convince anyone beyond the choir, you'll have to make an actual argument. You know, with premises, evidence, and conclusions and stuff.


    What "wider argument?"

    Oh... wait... let me guess.
    You think I'm a "cisgender, heteronormative, white, male" and thus I'm wrong and therefore have no argument?

    You know what my actual argument is...

    I'm female, educated, well-read, and I'm calling BS on the "omg misogynist! misogynist! oppression!" inanity.

    And you know what, my argument is no less valid than that of some sophmoric twit jumping up and down squealing that everything that doesn't fit her narrative is somehow a violation of the current special snowflake edict.

    10/09/2018 10:06 PMPosted by Carmageddon
    So I have a first-class honours degree in lit, an MA in lit, am ABD on a doctorate in lit, and teach lit. Am I qualified to address this?


    Oh, wait, so you couldn't hack the STEM fields?

    I'm sorry.
    10/09/2018 10:08 PMPosted by Lachrimae


    Oh, wait, so you couldn't hack the STEM fields?

    I'm sorry.


    Implying that STEM specialists aren't some of the most broadly unintelligent and socially dysfunctional people on Earth lol.

    I bet you think Elon Musk is a role model too.
    10/09/2018 10:24 PMPosted by Mystaerica
    10/09/2018 10:08 PMPosted by Lachrimae


    Oh, wait, so you couldn't hack the STEM fields?

    I'm sorry.


    Implying that STEM specialists aren't some of the most broadly unintelligent and socially dysfunctional people on Earth lol.

    I bet you think Elon Musk is a role model too.


    Yeah no.

    In the real world liberal arts and STEM specialists and those who liest betwixt are all mostly fine. They all do fine.
    <span class="truncated">...</span>

    Why not? I don't agree with everything the OP wrote, but at least she has put together a cogent, detailed, and thoughtful argument.

    Your response amounts to "nuh-uh" with a little ad hominem thrown in. Which not only doesn't refute a word she wrote, it kinda supports her wider argument.

    If you want to actually convince anyone beyond the choir, you'll have to make an actual argument. You know, with premises, evidence, and conclusions and stuff.


    What "wider argument?"

    Oh... wait... let me guess.
    You think I'm a "cisgender, heteronormative, white, male" and thus I'm wrong and therefore have no argument?


    Wow...you read a lot into my comment. Actually, I wasn't thinking any of those things. I hadn't put any thought into you at all, except for that you hadn't actually made an argument. As in, you didn't advance any premises in order to establish a conclusion.

    You know what my actual argument is...

    I'm female, educated, well-read, and I'm calling BS on the "omg misogynist! misogynist! oppression!" inanity.

    And you know what, my argument is no less valid than that of some sophmoric twit jumping up and down squealing that everything that doesn't fit her narrative is somehow a violation of the current special snowflake edict.


    None of those things are an argument.

    10/09/2018 10:06 PMPosted by Carmageddon
    So I have a first-class honours degree in lit, an MA in lit, am ABD on a doctorate in lit, and teach lit. Am I qualified to address this?


    Oh, wait, so you couldn't hack the STEM fields?

    I'm sorry.


    At least I know what an argument is.

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