Skepchick Quickies 6.14


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. The abortion study piece was really interesting though not actually that surprising. I would have expected higher numbers on choosing adoption.

    Luckily I am not an obsessed Tolkien fan so I am able to separate the source materials from the movies, though I am slightly annoyed Jackson dragged this out into three movies. That said, I think she looks cool (as does smaug though he reminds me of the T-Rex in JP) so I will holdout on opinions about her character because you can only read so much LOTR M/M fic before it gets boring.

    1. Abortion is removing a clump of cells, adoption is giving up a child. So, not so surprising.
      All the psychological pain pro-lifers want to pretend that abortion causes the patient – those are actual consequences of giving up a child. They’ve flipped the facts, so that in their made-up narrative abortion is devastating, and adoption is like giving away a puppy.

      1. >They’ve flipped the facts, so that in their made-up narrative abortion is devastating, and adoption is like giving away a puppy.

        Wow, good point. It has long bothered me how flippant they can be about adoption, as if giving a child up for adoption can be done without blinking an eye, but I’ve never actually made that connection.

        1. I think this is another incidence of inept thinkers (i.e. anyone who disagrees with me about anything :-) ) engaging in projection. Claims like “Atheism is just another religion”, “Science is a matter of opinion”, “Science-based medicine and vaccines are tools of Big Pharma”, and so on. It’s the same sort of thinking that accuses people who call out bullies of engaging in bullying. They know (though probably won’t admit it) that giving up a child for adoption can be devastating, so they assume that abortion must be worse.

  2. I must live on an alternate planet. I love Evangeline Lilly, I loved her on LOST. I was excited to hear she was going to be in The Hobbit and was stoked when I saw the character she’s playing! I don’t give a shit if it’s canonical or not–there were lots of things about the LOTR trilogy that weren’t canonical (hello return to the Shire and absence of Tom Bombadil), and as much as I loved those things in the books, I really didn’t care that much when they were absent from the film (minus, of course, the revenge in the Shire–I would have loved to see that on film, but it would have added like another hour to the movie).

    I also love Sansa on GoT and I’m appalled to learn that she’s so hated online! I had no idea. What the hell is wrong with people??

    1. I was fine with them adding Tauriel. Since, hey, it’s stretched to three movies anyway, you need a LOT more content regardless. And Evangeline Lilly was fine on Lost…it wasn’t her fault that the ending was so blargh. Peter Jackson may not always make my favorite choices as a director, but at least he realized how bro-heavy the book is. I just wish elves weren’t so Vulcan in his film-universe.

    2. I know! I love Sansa, too. It took me a while to come around to her in the books, but in the show she’s just so fucking awesome.

  3. Damn, I must have been asleep! I didn’t realize the movie was out already. Got to go see it. But I wish I hadn’t read the spoiler that Peter Jackson has added a character that ruins the whole move. Ugh! How is that even possible for one character to ruin the movie? It’s a really, really long movie in 3 parts, Is she in, like every scene?

    You would think if there’s a bad part, the movie would just pick up again at the next scene and keep going. Tolkien, in the forward to the LotR, said that he got many letters from fans who didn’t like particular parts of the story, thought they were boring or pointless or annoying, but he invariably got letters from other readers telling him those were their favorite parts, so he learned to ignore such mail. (The only complaint that he felt had some merit was that it wasn’t long enough.) So I guess I’ll go see it anyway this weekend and hope for the best.


    Oh, crap! The Hobbit part 2 isn’t out until December? How could these people have gotten a complete advanced screening of it 6 months before the release? I doubt they’ve finished filming it yet, let alone special effects, music and final editing. Oh, wait a minute, the complaints about Tauriel are based on nothing but a few seconds from an early preview and a lifetime of misogyny? Holy Shit!

  4. From the Hobbit article:

    >The Hobbit doesn’t need more women! There’s already one in it!!<

    Are they talking about the first movie, with Galadriel's appearance? Because if they're talking about the book, I'm hard-pressed to remember a single speaking female character, and I just read it out loud within the last year or two. So many male dwarf voices to keep track of….

  5. It’s weird to me that people would be hating on Evageline Lilly; she’s a perfectly competent actor. But then I’m not in the habit hating on people because of their gender. And besides, expanding on franchises (like, adding new characters or changing old ones) is time-honored and usually pretty interesting. Like, take Starbuck in the reimagined Battlestar Galactica–silly godbottery of the series aside, how awesome was it that the character was a woman instead of a skeezy dude like in the original series? The fantasy fans complaining about this stuff should just repair to their wood-paneled dens, relax into their leatherette recliners, and enjoy their library of VHS tapes that don’t fall short of their rigid expectations.

    1. You’re asking fans of the oldest fantasy franchise – a series of novels portraying a conservative utopia – to chill out and accept change. Not. Gonna. Happen.

      Seems a bit hypocritical, all these calls to just go along for the ride and enjoy the show. How many people around here threw a shit fit over the Star Trek reboot, hmm?

      1. The reboot had new characters. That was fine. It was also a poorly shot, fairly whitewashed, kind of demeaning, poorly researched, poorly scripted thing. Which were the things picked apart.

      2. At least as far as I’m concerned. I can’t speak for everyone, obviously, but I’ve been pretty disappointed in them, and JJ Abrams has explicitly stated he doesn’t like nor understand the underpinnings of the series (or any of the series).

        1. Actually, you should look up the context of that quote. You’ve been fanboyed. Abrams said he didn’t like it understand them growing up, but came to appreciate them later in life.

          1. Having not followed up, I may totally concede that, but it has no effect on the bulk of my dissatisfaction. I heard it after I saw them. I didn’t suddenly dislike it after reading the quote.

      3. Fuck that, the Hobbit was the first novel I ever read that didn’t have the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew in it. I’ve read it dozens of times. And I refuse to allow sexist dudebro jerks to define what a Tolkien fan looks like! I’m damn glad that Jackson has expanded the roles for female characters in his adaptations. I’m a Colbert level Tolkien-phile and I approve of Tauriel wholeheartedly. Anybody grousing about this needs to take a Cave Troll sized chill pill.

        1. When I see “dudebros” explicitly reacting to her being female, sure. All I’ve seen so far is a bunch of whining about the introduction of a new character. That kind of fanbase just doesn’t like change. It’s great that you’re an outlier and all. Pat yourself on the back. But a lot of the fans are clinging to their holy book here. Do not change his sacred word!

          1. All I’ve seen so far is a bunch of whining about the introduction of a new character.

            Really? That’s *all* you’ve seen? You’re saying that people are making up the sexism directed at the character and Lilly? Did you even read the linked article? It’s not just about Tolkein fanbois, you know. As they point out in the article Sansa and the actress who plays her on Game of Thrones get the same shit.

          2. The linked article has all I 5 quotes complaining about the character, followed paragraphs if the author editorializing and psychoanalyzing a strawperson. None of the complaints in the article were about the character being a woman.

      4. Umm, funny how the Lord of the Rings was co-opted by hippies during the 60s then. I also seem to recall fans coming around to a sword-wielding Arwen with a larger role in the film trilogy. Also, these discerning fans seem ok with Tauriel: http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2013/06/11/73168-torn-staff-react-to-desolation-of-smaug-trailer/

        As for the Star Trek reboot, I can’t speak for everyone here, but my problems with it weren’t the changes, it was the regressive nature of the sequel. Recycled storylines and sexist tropes.

        1. The themes to the books are conservative. Lots of the fanbase is conservative. Again, pat yourself and all your friends on the back for being the Only True Fans Who Really Get It, but there are a lot of people (including Tolkien himself) who come to this fantasy world with some ugly ideas.

          As for Tauriel, anyone who has an opinion on a character from a movie that hasn’t even been released isn’t “discerning”. We’ve seen her costume and a few short clips of her. For all we know, she character could be written in a completely sexist way. We know nothing, and won’t for months. Loving or criticizing her at this point is just dumb. It’s the Traditionalist Fanbois vs the Jackson Fanbois.

          There are lots of regressive movies. Didn’t hear a peep about how sexist Transformers was. Why did it bother you that Star Trek was regressive? Could it be that this was a *gasp* change?

          1. Wow. Just wow.
            You got me, delphi_ote. Unless I talk about every movie, I can’t talk about any movie. Lesson learned. Also learned is that Star Trek, a franchise which has featured characters of different colors and genders in strong leadership roles portrayed with complexity and depth is far beyond our comprehension for regressive/progressive when those same attributes are flattened, sexualized, exoticized, demoted, and reduced in presentation. Y

          2. Weird, I never claimed to be the “one true fan who totally got it”. I’m very well aware that Tolkien was racially biased and a pretty religious fellow who was unhappy with the hippies who latched onto his work. So? You seem to the be under the impression that just because these “negatives” are normally a part of this subculture, there’s no use in criticizing it (while you get to criticize them yourself for some reason). If it’s ONLY about the fear of change, and not the specific form of that fear in the use of gendered language or targets, well, heck, you’re right! We’re just dumb, self-congratulatory and two sides of the same coin according to delphi_ote! A “conservative” (your word) club that mostly rages at Tauriel (not Azog being alive or Radagast having a role…haven’t heard a peep about those two, have you?) isn’t about sexism! What is the point in trying create a space for other viewpoints…obviously, it’s one solid edifice of wrong that cannot be delineated…homophobia, racism, sexism…unless we address them all at once and for good, arbiter, delphi_ote says we shouldn’t! Touche!

            By they way, the OneRing folks ARE “discerning” fans — of the franchise. We’re discussing the trailer and the casting news, but sure, strawman that all you want I guess. If you actually READ the comments the folks on that site make, they don’t make any proclamations of “loving” Tauriel in the movie that no one has seen, clearly discussing her in the context of the trailer. But hey, context might be difficult for you for some reason, so who knows.

            I say that because, WTF? Didn’t hear a peep about how sexist Transformers was? What, was I supposed to do, check in all the movies I’ve seen and register my complaints with you first? YOU were the one to bring up Star Trek in this forum, and Transformers wasn’t part of the discussion, so to bring it up as somehow a point in your favor is a) a non-sequitur and b) disingenuous.

            It does seem a bit hypocritical coming here and bitching about fans because fans are bitching about fans. Very meta! But then again, *gasp* it must be so important to you to be better than these other, obsessive, loudmouthed nerds (apparently like myself since you just lumped me in with them) who bring all of their nerd-knowledge to bear to argue a vague semantic point (completely unlike yourself of course). Thanks to delphi_ote I now know I don’t understand anything about Tolkien fandom or what I am or am not supposed to get annoyed about on the Internet! Thanks delphi_ote for telling me not to get annoyed by people telling others how to feel!

            Try not to break your arm patting yourself on the back btw.

          3. And I liked the first Star Trek reboot because IT WAS different. The sequel went backwards, regressive, as in it recycled an old storyline. I don’t know how you possibly get that I didn’t like the changes…it didn’t change enough in my opinion!

          4. See? Poke fanbois of any stripe and they go ape shit. Change their beloved franchise in a way they don’t approve, and they go crazy. Period.

            If you want me to jump on them for being sexist, show me sexist comments. “Why did they have to add a woman.” “She looks ugly and weak.” Anything that isn’t “Nooo! Don’t touch out precious!” I’ll be on board and mocking those assholes in a heartbeat. The linked article didn’t quote anything but genetic fanboy hate along the lines of “They added a 5th ninja turtle with a pink bandana?! My life is over!!!”

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