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February 04 2009

New Dollhouse Feature at official site called "The Echo Chamber" with great pics of Eliza & music. I wonder if it's the theme music?.

That music is hypnotic. Great gallery too.
Might want to change your link to this: http://www.fox.com/dollhouse/Echo/?src=carousel_on_dollhouse

It's a direct link, I think...
Thank you for that. I appreciate it. I don't post very often. I'm getting more and more excited & confident about this show!
The music in the background is pretty good. I'd be surprised if it wasn't the opening theme from the show. It's just as moody and catchy as the Angel opening theme.
The Echo gallery..is INSANE.
Damn. Eliza is gorgeous in those pix... my eyes actually hurt.
Wow, the music is just amazing.
I'd be surprised if it wasn't the opening theme from the show.

I doubt it. I got the impression somewhere along the line that the opening theme had vocals. But I could be wrong. Still, it'd be a shame to have Jonatha Brooke and not use her for vocals (based on Careful What You Wish For, anyway).
I do like that music. I declare this the Whedonesque find of the week.
I think that may be score from the show. Not theme. Unless it's an instrumental version. The theme is exactly 30 seconds long, and last I heard had lyrics. You'll know when you hear that one, look for the phrase "Maybe the lies are true". Although there was a version which just had somebody saying 'la' a lot.

Also, some of the photos in the gallery are from later episodes. There's also a photo of Eliza singing from (now) episode 3, "Stage Fright".
It's actually the same song heard in this promo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WwPpfyPUC8
The music is good, but i dont think it should be the opening theme to the show.
Love the pics of Eliza, she's beautiful
Awesome music.

However, neither link will work for me. Probably due to dial-up, the OS I've got and any number of other things.

The "snapshots" are cool, though. Just wish I could learn more about Echo & see some more pics.

And...I think I'm developing a girlcrush on Eliza.
I really liked the photos of her as various characters on missions (do we have a name for what a doll is called when imprinted?) - it never ceases to surprise me how they can change a person's face shape and look with just make-up, hair and clothes.

However, is any one else disturbed by the soft-porn nature of quite a few of the photos, in which Eliza is in lingerie or mostly naked? Sure, she looks fantastic, but I found it a bit too 'Eliza as Sex Object'. I know it's not exactly out of the norm for show advertising these days to exploit the charisma of lead actresses or actors, but it seemed a bit extreme to me, especially given this is a Joss show.
The music is just awesome - I hope it's part of the score. Plus Eliza looks fantastic in the few photos I checked out.
OK, OK, the music's great, I get it - jeez, rub more salt in my no-sound-at-work wound why don't you all ;).

Sure, she looks fantastic, but I found it a bit too 'Eliza as Sex Object' ... it seemed a bit extreme to me, especially given this is a Joss show.

Ah, but at least with 'Dollhouse' we can wonder if 'sexual objectification' is a "trope" being set up for subversion (and it's at least got to be one of the things the show's looking at), just like 'attractive bubbly blonde girl is victim' was in Buffy.

(and I think they're just called actives, whether they're imprinted or not. Maybe an active on a mission is called an active-active ;)

And in other news, Eliza Dushku is beautiful. What, nobody felt like telling me beforehand ?
I like the theme, if that's really what it is. I don't know about setting lyrics to it, since there are so many other ways it could go throughout (modes aren't so specific).
The music is very epic! Reminds me of Tomb Raider somehow..
I think it's the score (maybe the one they use for the end credits?).

I personally don't mind the sexy approach, I bet it's gonna work for a lot of viewers. The guns piss me off though.

Oh and did you guys see Eliza singing!? HA! Can't wait.
As I much as I am looking forward to this show, too many of the shots looked like soft porn to me. Thanks Bluey for posting a similar concern. I shall try to struggle past that. I also wonder whyEliza is the only subject of the photos. Is this supposed to be something a client sees when choosing a "doll?" Perhaps I would have liked the site better if there were similar photos of other characters.
existentialhere, I am almost certain the Near Naked Eliza pictures are FOX promo shots only. I've seen the show and they do not represent what the series is about. They might get viewers I suppose, but yeah, I'm not a fan of objectification like that.
Y'know, I think Eliza herself and certainly Joss are probably aware of the implications, seems at least possible it's not done entirely thoughtlessly.

Is this supposed to be something a client sees when choosing a "doll?"

I think that might well be the idea i.e. to put us in the position of "client" and since it's called 'The Echo Chamber' I reckon it could well be that other chambers for the other actives will appear. The idea (on Fox's part) is also, no doubt, sex sells but that's hardly a brand new idea (these are definitely racier but we're kidding ourselves if we conveniently "forget" sex being used to sell BtVS too and at least Echo is a fully grown woman, past the age of consent pretty much everywhere in the world, unlike the Buffster).

Looking at it again BTW, I notice the photos are all polaroids which a) even more than other photos, are all about capturing disposable instants which might be saying something about the value placed on the actives' experiences and b) have a slightly illicit feel to them (e.g. are sometimes on the lewder side) because polaroids, as generations of couples are aware, don't need to be developed by a stranger.

(and everyone's line is in a different place of course but when you can't actually see anything except skin i'm not sure it qualifies as soft-porn - anymore than e.g. a Jessica Simpson video does for instance)
Yes, haunting music. Good for a walk.
You can find a mp3 here, or the same repeated three times here...
Ohh thanks for those links Mel_Anton - much appreciated.

Also ditto what Saje says, nicely put Sir.
We have to call him "sir" now? ;)

I thought that was really cool - creepy atmospheric music, awesome photos. I've yapped on ad nauseum on the threads where we've discussed porn-style photography and exploitation, but I didn't get that vibe from these... because it felt like there was a story behind the whole thing. This was a gallery of so many different Echos, and the lingerie shots were a part of the "who do you want me to be" thing. Also, there was something soulful in her expression, something that made it feel less generic to me and more A Character. The music may have helped with that impression. Anyway, loved them, and she looks amazing in all of them needless to say.
Yes, haunting music. Good for a walk.

Haunting is the word for it alright, but I think if I were listening to it on a walk I'd get really creeped out and paranoid!
I'm happy to wave the honorific in exchange for cash, you can't eat sirs (well you can but generally only in desert island scenarios, otherwise it's frowned upon. Class system eh, whaddya do ?).


(and ta BTW TDTG ;)

[ edited by Saje on 2009-02-04 15:51 ]
Haunting is the word for it alright, but I think if I were listening to it on a walk I'd get really creeped out and paranoid!

Well, that explains a lot, catherine. :-)
Thanks for that link, Mel_Anton!

[ edited by J.I.G. on 2009-02-04 18:36 ]
The music is beautiful, serene, haunting... I love it!

I also love Saje's take on "putting us in the position of the client". It's a very neat way to connect with the audience on a different level. It's almost as if there are Active portfolios that the clients can look through in a private room (chamber) and select the one he needs for whatever assignment.

The nude pictures don't seem soft-porn to me. They seem in Echo-character, another way to portray that character to the client. And, on the "we're not the client, but the audience" front, they're still tasteful, and it plays to the sexbeautiful people campaign they're also using.

I hope they continue with this idea and create many chambers for the different Actives... perhaps even different music (but not necessary) to get the clients "in the mood" of that particular Active. That'd be sweet.

I LOVE IT! (and managed to agree with Saje without using the "sir" or "WSS") ;)
Saje: capturing disposable instants which might be saying something about the value placed on the actives' experiences

Very cool insight. Polaroids are also unique, of course--something that sets them apart form almost all images in this "age of mechanical reproduction." I wonder if there's a kind of double game being played here to do with Echo's "disposable" personality AND that stubborn "unique" remanant: soul?

Re the "soft-porn" thing--I'm not one to get much bothered by that in general, but I did find myself thinking--as I worked my way through the photos--"would this be different in any way at all if it was 'meet the latest Bond-Girl!"?

I think it would help if there was some beefcake along with the cheesecake: equal-opportunity voyeurism strikes me as less problematic in principle (blah blah "privileging the male gaze" blah blah--you know the drill).
Thanks for the shoutout for the Whedonesque find of the week! lol
I agree with snot. Just set up one of these for Tamoh, and we're all good with the soft-porn thing.
Oh, wait a second, he's not an Active. Damn.
Or IS he? Dun-dun-DUNNN.

No, wait, that's cylons. As you were.
*sigh*
*sigh*
*sigh*

What you already know I'm gonna say - well, consider I just said it.
Oh, wait a second, he's not an Active.


Like that will stop the promotions folks from finding ways of showing him minus some articles of clothing. You have so little faith...
I cannot believe you just said that QG ! And about Simon of all people !?
What you already know I'm gonna say - well, consider I just said it.

I don't know what you were gonna say, Quotergal. And now I'm so curious! Please say it anyway? Please pleaseplease?

Haunting is the word for it alright, but I think if I were listening to it on a walk I'd get really creeped out and paranoid!

Well, that explains a lot, catherine. :-)


Mel_Anton I spent a few minutes puzzling over what it explained about me and how you would know before catching your meaning... which just goes to show that I'm paranoid enough already ;)!
Ah, but are you paranoid enough enough ? *nods mysteriously*

[ edited by Saje on 2009-02-04 22:12 ]
*freaks out, smashes cell-phone, and hides under the bed*
Wow you smashed your cellphone before reading about Google Latitude? Nice!
Here's the thing with that, has anyone ever overheard a mobile conversation which doesn't start "I'm on the bus/train/ISS/surface of Mars" - if they're your friend just call 'em up and ask them. Time to start carrying my phone in a Farraday pouch I reckon, I just hope I can get one the same colour as my tin-foil hat...

... hides under the bed ...

Yep, that's pretty much exactly where they expected you to hide.

(and I also now know enough to agree that the music is haunting and a bit on the lovely side. Nice layers)

[ edited by Saje on 2009-02-04 22:26 ]
Yeesh, now you made me crawl out from under the bed and google "google latitude." What odd things we people come up with. Going back into hiding now. NOT under the bed. Somewhere super secret that nobody would ever guess.

(I'll come out again when Quotergal says what she was gonna say that we're all supposed to know already except I don't.)
Yep, that's the second place "they" expected you to hide. C'mon, everyone hides where no-one would ever guess, it's like you're barely even trying !
Yes, but they'd have to crack the combination and then get past all my elaborate booby-traps. Would you believe there's internet access in here? I just need a mini-fridge.
Where are all the scantily clad male Actives? Equal objectification, please, if you must go there.
Jeez, bit of patience eh ? I dunno, it's just sex, sex, sex with you women ...

*ruuuunnnnns*

I just need a mini-fridge.

Aha, so you're not hiding in the fridge ...
I'm beginning to think Saje is Google Latitude. He appears to know where everyone is all the time.
How would I get sex in the fridge? That's a no-brainer...
How would I get sex in the fridge?

"Is that a cucumber in your crisper-drawers or are you just happy to feed me?"
Nice, snot monster :). Incidentally, that's the oddest sentence I've ever posted here. It must be the lack of oxygen in... uh, I mean... out here.

I'm not sure that "equal objectification" really cuts it for me. It's the dehumanizing aspect of a particular kind of "sexy photography" that puts me off, not only the fact that it's primarily done to women. I liked that these were sexy but also had character, they felt unique and interesting, like we were getting some of the wondrousness that is Eliza Dushku and not just the wondrous Eliza Dushku trying to look plastic and generic and expressionlessly pouty. But then it makes me wonder if what offends or doesn't offend just depends on taste more than any logic. Maybe I'm just rationalizing the fact that I like these shots, and maybe when I say there's something tasteless about your average playboy mag photo shoot it's only because it isn't sexy to me. Ponder ponder.
Quotergal? What do you think?
; > Catherine, you can come out from under the bed again, but I doubt that it'll be worth your while, as far as my brilliant insights.

As Katharine Hepburn's character Linda says in Holiday, "I've done all my stuff." I've done it on this subject quite number of times. What I had to say in those posts isn't all that different from what I might find to say now, it being kinda beside the point for purposes of identifying sexual objectification whether it's a brand-new idea that sex sells, or if it's old as the hills, and whether the person so objectified is of age or not.

I thought the Grindhouse promo carefully avoided the objectification I am finding in this webpage - both by its wry self-awareness and through its apparently careful choice of images. This feels different to me.

Blahdy and blahdy and blah.

It is highly possible, as Saje mentions, that the apparent sexual objectification in this promo is in fact a trope being set up for subversion - but in that case, I would mention that it's generally good if so to give some noticeable indication of subversion, or else you just end up looking like the thing itself.
*hears crickets*

I don't think QuoterGal can hear you from where you are. Maybe you should come out (or in) from wherever you are so she can hear you better.

Male Actives... isn't Victor/whats-his-name an Active?

I think maybe people would feel more comfortable if all the known Actives had "chambers" and nude shots. Then Eliza/Echo would be singled out as a sex object?

*throws dart into unknown space while blind-folded*

But, as catherine says, maybe it's because I too like these pictures that makes me want to have an excuse for them.

And didn't you know? Saje is all-knowing, which means he knows our thoughts before we do (and where we would hide), which means he is us (NOT hiding under the bed), which means we're all him, which means I just saw nude-y pictures of Saje. *shivers for Saje*

And snot that's probably the BEST pick-up line I've ever heard.

pre-ETA: QG posted while I typed that she hasn't posted yet, but I'm not going to change it. *shakes head*
I liked that these were sexy but also had character, they felt unique and interesting, like we were getting some of the wondrousness that is Eliza Dushku and not just the wondrous Eliza Dushku trying to look plastic and generic and expressionlessly pouty.

Hmmm--hard to know about that kind of thing. Do you feel that way just because it's Eliza, after all, and you're already invested in her as a person and as a character? The photos (especially the nude "I'm covering my breasts" ones) strike me as pretty generic (I assume you've seen the SMG SNL skit about Holding Your Own Boobs Magazine?

I've always been a bit skeptical of blanket arguments about "objectification": it seems to be so incredibly difficult to establish any hard-and-fast distinction between what is "bad" objectification and what is "good" celebration of the human body. I guess there are easy-enough cases at the extremes (the hyper-airbrushed, hyper-implanted Playboy centerfold, say), but you very quickly end up in shrugging-your-shoulders territory. Is Michaelangelo's "David" objectification? I'd fight tooth and nail with anyone who said that the Rokeby Venus is anything less than a great work of art, but I'd also scoff at anyone who said that their response to it wasn't at least at some level "phwoar, eh?" Bah--[sex] makes us do the wacky...

ETA: And snot that's probably the BEST pick-up line I've ever heard.

I don't want to go to the bars you hang out at...
; > Catherine, you can come out from under the bed again, but I doubt that it'll be worth your while, as far as my brilliant insights.

I'm not under the bed! I'm somewhere else! Very very secret and unfindable and untraceable! But if I were still under the bed, your brilliant insights would totally be worth coming out for.

I have read those threads (but thank you for the blahdy links ;)) but was curious if you felt the same way here. I felt a little differently, like a story was happening... but perhaps I'm just flighty and inconsistent, or especially partial to Eliza Dushku, who has a way of bringing out the adolescent boy in me.

And didn't you know? Saje is all-knowing, which means he knows our thoughts before we do (and where we would hide), which means he is us (NOT hiding under the bed), which means we're all him, which means I just saw nude-y pictures of Saje.

Hmmm... I think I should have studied logic at university ;).
Do you feel that way just because it's Eliza, after all, and you're already invested in her as a person and as a character?

I think... probably... yes. Partly. Mostly?

but you very quickly end up in shrugging-your-shoulders territory.

'swere I live. (But not where I'm hiding).
... which means we're all him, which means I just saw nude-y pictures of Saje. *shivers for Saje*

It's true, I am everywhere and I am always naked (albeit sometimes under my clothes). So don't judge OK ? It's cold over here.

I don't want to go to the bars you hang out at...

I dunno, sounds like if you did you might get lucky ;).

... but in that case, I would mention that it's generally good if so to give some noticeable indication of subversion, or else you just end up looking like the thing itself.

I dunno QG, to me the subversion would come in the actual show itself i.e. you have a lot of stuff setting us up as the voyeurs and the people that have certain expectations and then you use the show to point out why that's wrong. Seems like it might be quite an effective way to hold a mirror up to the viewers.

Course, that's pure speculation and might be rubbish and it could be that the promo is genuinely objectifying Eliza but I just try, in these situations, to not immediately assume that the woman being photographed is a mere puppet or victim that does what she's told, when she's told to. Does that sort of pressure exist ? Betcha but for me (as a man) it seems a bit patronising to always assume the subject never has a choice or an awareness of how she's being used and the wherewithall to prevent it (and in this case it's arguably worse, since ED clearly knows what the show's about, as heard in several interviews and is also a producer on the show - given that, would she let herself be objectified in this way if that was all there was to it ?).

I may well be so far off-base the people on base are all "WTF is that ? ... Is it a pea ? ... Those look like arms though, can peas have arms ?" but i'm happy to extend the benefit of the doubt to the show, the Fox promo team (presumably the same one that came up with the self-aware Grindhouse advert) and Eliza, at least for a while.
Shrugging your sexy, naked, glistening shoulders that is.
I dunno, sounds like if you did you might get lucky ;).

Or a salad. (Tossed, no doubt.)
This is veering dangerously close to my colander fetish. Mmmmm, colanders, they're so sievey.
I think that the discomfort some people (sometimes including Quotergal? sometimes including me) have with certain kinds of photos is more complicated than whether or not the woman in the photo had a choice or was being manipulated. I would assume absolutely that most women who pose nude or semi-nude or "holding their own boobs" have a choice about it and perhaps enjoy it or think it's cool or whatever. And I think it's only a wacky fringe few who would moralistically suggest that it's a "bad" choice or they "shouldn't" do what they want or show what they want of their own bodies.

It seems to me like it's kind of a deeper problem... with the way our culture (*la la la, pretending to know what I'm talking about*) views and portrays women and nudity and sex. And how "sexy" photos often participate in and strengthen an overall icky attitude. And the point of raising the issue is obviously not to say "these should be banned!" or "these are bad!" or "looking at them is bad!" but to talk about what they mean, or to introduce a more complicated level of awareness into the equation. I think that it's a good thing when instead of "check out her tits" the conversation goes more like it tends to go here... wow, Eliza is gorgeous, what do we think about these kinds of photos as well as these particular photos? (And I think it's entirely possible to enjoy them and question them at the same time... either that or I frequently do the impossible; some of my favorite things are things that I heartily disapprove of).

But it does get very tricky, as snot monster said above, to distinguish between what is objectification and what is celebration, or to separate prudishness from a kind of political awareness. I mean, I think those things are very separate, but whenever I wade into this territory, I just end up offering my own peas-that-might-have-arms to the on-base folk.

Also, you guys is silly.
Hope this also reaches catherine in her Super Secret Special Hideout-Place:

I forgotted that you did already read blah and blahdy.

Some of the thumbnails and some of the larger photos did feel like story-telling to me - but (most importantly, I thought) the splash page emphatically did not. And some of the Eliza photos captured by Miranda Penn Turin - albeit beautifully-shot - seemed to be of the very standard "hot babe" variety. It's too bad, because that photographer can do fairly interesting stuff without venturing into her "fashiony-glamour" zone, but she didn't seem to go there much for Eliza.

I am particularly interested to find out if Joss had much say over this promo, or if it's all marketing and out of his hands. Also, if it's part of Joss' own Master Plan - whether Subversion de la Trope was intended. There is apparently a conference call with Joss and some TV bloggers tomorrow, so I've submitted this question to several of them in hope of finding out.

Saje - not sure why you need puppetry or lack of choice on the part of the woman being photographed for sexual objectification's occurrence. Many women are very happy being objectified, with their full consent and knowledge and awareness - tant pis or tant mieux, depending on your point of view. Doesn't mean I don't think they are, and that I have my own opinion about what effect that has on the culture - without being patronizing.

But as I've posted above, it may be as Saje mentioned - subversive. (Saje - if the subversion consists of using what seem to be "hot babe" come-ons to attract viewers, only to confound the viewers within the show itself about what that could mean, and help bring them to a better understanding of this objectification - well, aren't you still exploiting the old trope to put put asses in seats, as it were?)


ETA: catherine posted while I was posting, and what she said was smart and not silly at all.

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2009-02-04 23:54 ]
Oh, why does that "submitted this question to several of them" link go to an old-looking cough-drops ad on wikipedia? That completely cracks me up, even though (or because?) I don't get it.
This is veering dangerously close to my colander fetish. Mmmmm, colanders, they're so sievey.

Strain it baby, strain it! Oooooooooooohhhh.

But it does get very tricky, as snot monster said above, to distinguish between what is objectification and what is celebration, or to separate prudishness from a kind of political awareness.

I've always felt that "objectification" is less something an image does than something people do. That is, if we lived in a completely egalitarian society, we'd still look at sexy naked pictures of male and female bodies, and some of them might even look exactly like the images that to us seem so deeply implicated in our deeply misogynist society; but we'd just look at them differently. That is, we'd look at them kinda in the way that, say, a gay man looks at images of men: some are sexy, some aren't, but there's no implicit suggestion that an image of a sexy man is being offered to you as in some way alienated from his own status as potentially desiring subject.

As it is, though, it's hard for us to look at an image of a naked woman and not frame it implicitly as being offered control over a submissive and disempowered plaything (or, at least, be aware of that as one possible frame).
catherine - "Oh, why does that 'submitted this question to several of them' link go to an old-looking cough-drops ad on wikipedia? That completely cracks me up, even though (or because?) I don't get it."

Because I'm the Laziest Gal in Town.

Well, I'm the Laziest Cut-and-paster in Town. My Town. The Naked City. (Or is that NYC? I don't remember now. ;> )

I like Nakedness. Nudity is Boss. It's just really, really tricky to do this stuff right without falling into some real canalizations, if that's what I mean.
As it is, though, it's hard for us to look at an image of a naked woman and not frame it implicitly as being offered control over a submissive and disempowered plaything (or, at least, be aware of that as one possible frame).

Which is mainly because of the current attitude to women and therein, indeed, lies the difficulty.

... well, aren't you still exploiting the old trope to put put asses in seats, as it were?

Yep but aren't those exactly the asses you want in those seats ? I.e. if you use objectification to eradicate objectification, that's a win, right ?

(and it's only what Joss has always done - horror tropes for BtVS, horror/detective tropes in Ats. Jesus, in Firefly we had a gen-U-I-ne whore with a heart of gold ;)

Doesn't mean I don't think they are, and that I have my own opinion about what effect that has on the culture - without being patronizing.

No, but it surely means you're claiming you know when they're being objectified even if they don't ? For instance, flip it around - they think they're being objectified but you don't. That's so wacky it barely even makes sense, right ? Why should we be able to vice the versa so easily without examining what it means to do so, what position we're elevating ourselves to ?

Or are you saying you're allowed to think stuff's objectifying because that's your opinion ? Cos I totally agree with that, it's just that then we're left with catherine & snot monster's distinction based entirely on personal taste. And that makes it hard to make a case that objectification exists at all cos then what does it come down to, a vote with the majority deciding if it is or not ? Not a big fan of that idea cos I think it's a real thing with all too real effects.

(I see what you mean BTW, what i'm saying here is a lot like what I said in the long ago and blahdy blah ;)
I think if it wasn't a Joss show, I'd be thinking the pics are just a tad tacky and unnecesary. The fact that it is for a Joss show will make Friday 13th a very interesting place to be online.
Precisement. That's foreign y'know, means WSS ;).

(we have too many 'S's)
I think there is a difference between how Buffy did the Subversion de la Trope (thx, QG! :) and how Dollhouse (possibly) does it. Buffy sold you the joke in its title. Joss described that trailer-moment where you have this blond girl go into an dark alley and then suddenly not become the victim. The "blond horror flick girl" never was the selling point. If you watch the whole trailer (which, I think, never existed) you get that this show does something to that trope. The title does it too.

But Dollhouse? Is there ever any actual hint on the "awakening self-awareness"-stuff in the trailers? Sure, interviews mention it, and for us fans it's maybe the wonderflonium of the show, but is it the selling point for the big audience? Even worse: We have at least one interview with Joss were he tries to explain the show... and basically gives up and blames it all on Eliza's hotness. Funny, yeah. But I don't think it's marketing and marketing alone thinking along those lines.

Not that I'm complaining. I think it's great they actually want to pull in big numbers, and they will use whatever aspects of the premise they see fit for that end. Since sex and hotness is a part of the show and part of the vision the creators had for that show, that's all right.
I think there is a difference between how Buffy did the Subversion de la Trope (thx, QG! :) and how Dollhouse (possibly) does it.

I think the main difference is, the way Buffy did it didn't hit people where they live (so to speak) because the tropes Buffy subverted plainly were tropes whereas this is more a "trope" of society. Pretty sure I remember Joss talking about how 'Dollhouse' was gonna make people angry and how he didn't know if we'd follow him there. Maybe this is part of what he means ?

(we're relying on Pink Ray Gun to set our minds at ease. Ah, 'twas ever thus ;)
Blahdy blah II! Or... Blahdy blah IV? IX? XIII?

No, but it surely means you're claiming you know when they're being objectified even if they don't ? For instance, flip it around - they think they're being objectified but you don't. That's so wacky it barely even makes sense, right ? Why should we be able to vice the versa so easily without examining what it means to do so, what position we're elevating ourselves to ?

So dazzled by the fancy footwork there I'm not sure what to think ;)! But I think that I think that that doesn't necessarily follow. Simplistically, I do think there's a real difference between a) model claims she is being objectified and viewer says, no way, get over yourself, lean a little more this way, honey, and b) model claims the photo shoot is empowering and viewer scratches head and says, maybe for you, but there's a big picture to think about here.

I may think posing nude in playboy, say, means that you're participating in something that IMO plays a negative role in the cultural perception of women. I'd assume that the model would disagree, but I can respect her opinion and decision while still holding my own opinion, no? I don't think the Atkin's diet sounded very healthy, but I hope that opinion wasn't patronizing to those who were on it. (How do you like my apples and oranges? OK, not a great example... but I mean, is it necessarily patronizing to have an opinion about someone else's choices?)

if you use objectification to eradicate objectification, that's a win, right ?

I guess the question is, can you really fight fire with fire? Or, do the ends justify the means? Or, what should I have for supper?
if we lived in a completely egalitarian society, we'd still look at sexy naked pictures of male and female bodies, and some of them might even look exactly like the images that to us seem so deeply implicated in our deeply misogynist society; but we'd just look at them differently.

That makes all kinds of sense to me.
"No, but it surely means you're claiming you know when they're being objectified even if they don't ?

Again, no, it doesn't. I'm not saying they don't "know" it. They may "know it" and like it. And where does "elevation" come in?

But remember, I'm not saying I in fact know it. I'm just saying it has some earmarks of sexual objectification as far as I'm concerned. And I have some beliefs about what sexual objectification does to the male/female split in our cultures, and to humanity as a whole.

And even tho' I also think it's "a real thing with all too real effects" I can only start the approach from my reaction to it, which includes my feelings (which can be seen as one input, for instance) as well as my brain - i.e., my emotional reaction is a beginning part of that process wherein I invite us to look at the possibility. My "understanding" of the effect it has on society is bound to be all wrapped up in my opinion.

I do know you know what I mean, btw. And you must know I'm not claiming to be an expert in determining sexual objectification. I do think I'm sensitive to instances where it's a possibility, but that may 'cause me to "overreact" more than anything else.

Sorry, I don't feel like I'm explaining myself particularly well today, because I'm 1) nearing a deadline, and 2) my jaw is aching from a particularly harsh novocaine injection, so please forgive my S.O.C. responses...

I just know if Dollhouse is gonna use "hot babes to put asses in seats" they better deliver on any Subversion de la Trope pretty damn toot sweet, as my people say.
I just know if Dollhouse is gonna use "hot babes to put asses in seats" they better deliver on any Subversion de la Trope pretty damn toot sweet, as my people say.

hee hee hee
I like Nakedness. Nudity is Boss.

Full nakedness! All joys are due to thee;
As souls unbodied, bodies unclothed must be
To taste whole joys.
--John Donne
I may think posing nude in playboy, say, means that you're participating in something that IMO plays a negative role in the cultural perception of women. I'd assume that the model would disagree, but I can respect her opinion and decision while still holding my own opinion, no?

No ;). If objectification is a real thing (in the sense of being measurable) then either it actually is objectifying or it isn't. If it is then, entitled to her opinion (and to act as she likes) as she may be, she's wrong. Respecting her opinion when objectification is an objectively measurable aspect of the world would be like respecting her opinion when she said "2+2=5" or "I don't believe in gravity" - you can do it but why would you (for me it seems like a lot of folk confuse respecting someone's opinion with respecting that someone but I respect a lot of people that hold some opinions that are, frankly, banoonoos. And though it's hard for me to see from this side, I bet I hold a few doozies too ;) ?

But if it's just a matter of opinion then that's all it is. Now, that can still be real (just based on a consensus, same as any other cultural more) but there's a good chance we'll never, ever be rid of it (cos opinions vary, especially where sex is concerned) AND we'd have to accept that other cultures (even what we might call "enlightened" ones) are gonna do stuff we consider to be objectifying and they don't and they'll be right not to, just are we are to do so (just like, within reason, i'm right to think 'Empty Places' is fine and you're right not to). I don't want that to be the case with something so important but i've a horrible suspicion it might be. Stupid reality.

Put another way, imagine we wanted to eradicate objectification in the world (we wanted to achieve snot monster's ideal of looking at images and not seeing them as objectifying). How would we tell when we had if it was just a matter of opinion ? When everyone agrees that e.g. a particular photo isn't objectifying ? When 99% of people agree ? 60% ? 51% ? See what I mean ? When you want to eradicate poverty you define what it is and how to measure it. Without knowing (beyond "When I see it") what objectifies, it's more like a war on terror (on that topic BTW, WTF are we doing on the Pakistani border when we should so clearly be starting with spiders and then considering moving on to clowns ? ;).

[ edited by Saje on 2009-02-05 01:50 ]
I'm not sure that the dichotomy "just a matter of opinion" vs "real thing" quite holds up in this realm. That is, when it comes to cultural matters "matters of opinion" become "real things"--or have real effects--when they're sufficiently widely held.

Moreover, most cultural acts are at least bivalent and usually polyvalent. Thus I might know a feminist model who decides to make a porn magazine as a deliberately feminist act: i.e., to show a woman in charge of her own sexuality and unafraid to display it. I might "respect her opinion" that what she is doing is in some sense subversive of the Hugh Heffner model--I may even believe that in part it is subversive--and at the same time I might feel that unfortunately the final product too easily feeds the established cultural modes of appropriating the female body to exploitative ends and that therefore what is happening in fact is a kind of objectification, despite the model's intent.

(By the way--disagree about Empty Places? What kind of crazy talk is that? Nobody disagrees about that episode, do they?)
Blahdy blah II! Or... Blahdy blah IV? IX? XIII?

We all know that Blahdy blah V was the BEST of the Blahdy blah's.

Clipped quotes:

I don't want to go to the bars you hang out at...
I dunno, sounds like if you did you might get lucky ;).
Or a salad. (Tossed, no doubt.)
This is veering dangerously close to my colander fetish. Mmmmm, colanders, they're so sievey.
Strain it baby, strain it! Oooooooooooohhhh.
How do you like my apples and oranges?
Or, what should I have for supper?


Are you all hungry? Or is it just the simple matter that in the end, sex and food go hand in hand?

QuoterGal, snot, catherine, & Saje... I'm following this as best as I can, but it seems the nut of the matter is that while these images may seem objectifying to some, there is no way to measure this comparably to other images without using personal opinion or preference. Am I right?

Also, if they are selling sex to get more people to watch the show, isn't that most of Hollywood? I haven't seen an actor/actress that has been "ugly" in the sense. Again, however, this is an opinion, and not something that can be measured for its essence.

So, even if the ends do/do NOT justify the means, the "sex sells" is an effective rouse to get people to watch their shows, to put their name out there. And it's all based on personal preference.

Now, QuoterGal, I'm with you that Miranda Penn could have done better shots of Eliza compared to her other photos on the link you provided, but it seems that Eliza was the only one subjected to "wet t-shirt" and "fully nude torso seen" ideas. The other pictures on that site have most of the women clothed, in an environment that plays on their emotions as well as their beauty. So, let's say it's visually comparable on the quantity of clothing used, and not personal preference.

But how to combine both nudity and art, in connection to something that will aide in making a profit, and avoid the selling sex issue? I have no idea. Someone will always see it in the other light, I think.

pretty damn toot sweet

Great. Now I'm going to have Chitty Chitty, Bang Bang in my head all day. :p
sex and food go hand in hand

You're doing it wrong!
Yeah, sex only sometimes goes in the hand. Err, wait ...

Also, if they are selling sex to get more people to watch the show, isn't that most of Hollywood?

Sure but as QuoterGal implies, that doesn't make it right (it doesn't make it wrong either BTW, I don't have an inherent problem with using sex to sell). Is ain't ought and all that ;).

Now, QuoterGal, I'm with you that Miranda Penn could have done better shots of Eliza compared to her other photos on the link you provided, but it seems that Eliza was the only one subjected to "wet t-shirt" and "fully nude torso seen" ideas.

See, again, this would seem to suggest it's deliberately crafted to be a simple, objectifying fantasy. It's just for why that's the issue (i.e. one layer, "to get bums on seats" vs two+ layers, "... to then make a point to those bums about objectification").

(By the way--disagree about Empty Places? What kind of crazy talk is that? Nobody disagrees about that episode, do they?)

Only the crazy ones ;).

I'm not sure that the dichotomy "just a matter of opinion" vs "real thing" quite holds up in this realm.

Well i'm pretty sure you're right there (this reality business just isn't how i'dve built it at all - i'd have more plants over there for instance, probably do the walls in something neutral and also abolish evil). And then we get back to the issue of considering our opinion over others because what separates this from 'Empty Places' disagreements is, just holding a conflicting opinion isn't enough, right ? We need to act as if we're actually right i.e. in order to prevent objectification we need to take steps, we can't just agree to differ and go on our merry way.

And that means elevating our (subjective) opinion over others in an objective way which ... irks me.
snot, I'm just casually observing how this thread started with "sexy photos" and veered toward salads. BTW, you should be safe at the bars, but it's the kitchen where you should watch out for me. ;)

See, again, this would seem to suggest it's deliberately crafted to be a simple, objectifying fantasy. It's just for why that's the issue (i.e. one layer, "to get bums on seats" vs two+ layers, "... to then make a point to those bums about objectification").

Well, Saje, I was referring ONLY to Miranda Penn's website (not Dollhouse itself) at this moment. Her website if full of pictures of women, and only Eliza is the most revealing of the women photographed. Since Miranda is not tied to the show like Joss or Eliza, I doubt she knows about the evil plan to subvert the objectified- she is merely showing pictures she took of women. In that aspect, Eliza IS objectified there BECAUSE there is no tie-in/explanation/overall picture of Dollhouse to go with it. :p

something neutral and also abolish evil

If you abolished evil, how would we ever know what we did was good? Again, there's no system of measurement to compare right vs. wrong. You'd be banishing us to the subjective category for life. Which would inherently make you evil.

We need to act as if we're actually right i.e. in order to prevent objectification we need to take steps, we can't just agree to differ and go on our merry way.

Inevitably, if this were to become anything more than just our opinion, we'd have to establish an institution that was elevated (government, university, religion, whatever) that would be trusted with deciding if things were "objectified" or not. But, again there's no proof. (Remember when the world was flat and some whacko came up with proof that the world was actually round?) Which is where the system fails. They're only right until they're wrong. Slaves are slaves until they're free. Books that focus on individuality are corrupt until they're part of mandatory reading in high school. See what I mean? Our institutions that regulate the black & whites of our world are constantly changing because there's really only gray.

*head explodes*
I think the people who are there to see [Eliza Dushku] in a bikini - which is a great thing - are going to find themselves with a moral dilemma that they might not expect.
-Olivia Williams

@Saje:

Yeah, I get the irkage. That's why I so often end up shrugging my naked glistening shoulders (or throwing up my sexy-foody hands) about these issues.

I tend to find any dogmatic take on these issues ends up either in puritanical fatwa-mode or Spinal Tap "what's wrong with being sexy?" mode. I guess it's just the price of living in a society that is still riven with social inequalities and prejudices that it's impossible to have a purely "innocent" relationship to our own sexual identities and desires--gay, straight or otherwise. I guess the only thing one can do is say that there is a value in posing these questions and in asking people to consider what is at stake in their enjoyment of these images, or in the decision to use them in marketing a show like this, or what have you.

All that said, it's clear that Dollhouse isn't going to be "jiggle TV" redux.

[ edited by snot monster from outer space on 2009-02-05 02:58 ]
"First this appeared as a moral dilemma."

*grin*

Thanks, Pointy - nifty. (Was that from a clip? I think mebbe I haven't watched all of the clips...)

(BTW, I was never particularly concerned about Joss' take on women - it was more about the FOX marketing dudes and dudettes...)

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2009-02-05 03:04 ]
That's a great quote Pointy. Of course--we've short-circuited the process by giving ourselves a moral dilemma about Eliza Dushku's bikini.
Oh, Pointy, that's great news to hear! Could you please link that or something?

Aside from Pointy's awesomeness, I just don't know where to go from here. The questions are good ones and they are asked, but we don't hold the answers (or I don't, at least). And as such nothing will come from this thread (besides of having saucy images of Saje & snot shrugging and handling food while naked... *strains!*).

I applaud you, QuoterGal, for taking this view seriously (while others may not have... or get lost like me) and at least attempting to ask the questions to the person who might hold the answers, Joss himself.

I hope, for this thread's sake, you are rewarded for you efforts with an answer.
Found the link! It's from Olivia's Dollhouse interview from the LA Times.

And it's already posted to Whedonesque.
If objectification is a real thing (in the sense of being measurable) then either it actually is objectifying or it isn't. If it is then, entitled to her opinion (and to act as she likes) as she may be, she's wrong. Respecting her opinion when objectification is an objectively measurable aspect of the world would be like respecting her opinion when she said "2+2=5" or "I don't believe in gravity"

I'm not sure about the word "objectification." I don't know what to do with it. But "this photograph is objectifying" vs. "this photograph is not objectifying" feels a little too simplistic. I guess I see it more as... how does a single photograph participate in or subvert or challenge or possibly even have little to do with the general complicated messed-up-ness of how female nudity is thought of / consumed in our culture? That's kind of wordy though.... Anyway, I think I can hold an opinion about that, and have a discussion with, say, a nude model who disagrees with me, that would be entirely different from the discussion I'd have with a nude model who told me that gravity wasn't real. In the second case, I might get a little patronizing. I'd still lend her a sweater though, it's February for god's sakes.

Or...
I'm not sure that the dichotomy "just a matter of opinion" vs "real thing" quite holds up in this realm. That is, when it comes to cultural matters "matters of opinion" become "real things"--or have real effects--when they're sufficiently widely held.


I've come up with a new one: WSMFOSS!

As for these photos of Eliza specifically... I think that probably snot monster and Quotergal are right that they aren't actually less generic or more self-aware or anything than your standard sexy magazine shot, I just... like them better than I usually like that kind of thing. Maybe 'cuz I'm stuck in a fridge with nothing but a cucumber in the crisper.

D-oh! *changes hiding spot*
And since snot monster is quoting John Donne on bodies and souls, I'm going with Oscar Wilde: "Those who see any difference between soul and body have neither."
I'm stuck in a fridge with nothing but a cucumber in the crisper

I'll be in my bunk.
Yeah, I get the irkage. That's why I so often end up shrugging my naked glistening shoulders (or throwing up my sexy-foody hands) about these issues.

Yeah, ultimately me too. I just take a while to get there over stuff that really matters (whereas with 'Empty Places' style arguments I basically start out shrugging and just get shruggier ;).

I think the people who are there to see [Eliza Dushku] in a bikini - which is a great thing - are going to find themselves with a moral dilemma that they might not expect.

OK, i'm feeling all pre-caffeinated so excuse this if you feel like it but with the best will in the world to the Point-man who, exemplar of his ilk that he is, is so often out in front when it comes to good sense, why is that nifty and great when Olivia Williams says it but worth arguing over when it's exactly what i've been saying all along ? Bit baffled at the moment to be honest (or are we seeing it as a semi-authoritative partial confirmation of subversion, the next best thing to a Jossian answer to the Pink Ray-Gun question (even though it isn't IMO) ?).

I'm not sure about the word "objectification." I don't know what to do with it. But "this photograph is objectifying" vs. "this photograph is not objectifying" feels a little too simplistic.

Yeah but since we don't have a magic wand to cure all of society simultaneously (damn our unmagic-wandedness, dammit all to the really bad Hell) surely we have to break it down ? And besides, for objectification to exist at all (not just in the measurable sense) then we need to be that "simplistic" in order to judge.

(or do you mean objectification is purely a symptom of inequality ? Get rid of inequality and objectification disappears along with it, just like when you deinstitutionalise racism, lynchings - virtually - disappear ? Could be, could be)

I guess I see it more as... how does a single photograph participate in or subvert or challenge or possibly even have little to do with the general complicated messed-up-ness of how female nudity is thought of / consumed in our culture?

Well, that's how I see it too, i'm not saying it's simple or black and white i'm saying it's either simple/black and white OR it's interminable shades of grey - but it can't be both. If we could stop all general-messed-uppedness tomorrow that'd be aces but I don't see how we can without identifying the problem. A heap is composed of a lot of single grains but it's still composed of single grains. To stop racist behaviour for instance we first had to decide what actually was racist behaviour, right ?

What i'm balking at is essentially identifying my problem with something and then telling you that it's also your problem. I'm sceptical basically, and always have been, of people that set themselves up as moral guardians, even when I agree with them and even when I consider them good people (just to be clear, no-one here's doing that explicitly but it does follow from acting to prevent something based on subjective judgment - not just from making that judgment but from acting on it). We do it all the time, we have to do it but i'd like as much detail as possible before I start arbitrarily pressing my will on others.

If you abolished evil, how would we ever know what we did was good?

If you abolished darkness would light stop existing ?

(and besides we already have a long list of good stuff, we could just refer to that. I'll start us off:

colanders
...
Mmmmm, colanderrrrsss.... ;)
Wow, am I *really* the only person who looked at the shots of Eliza wearing no clothing and thought "clothing represents the personality that was taken away"?
And besides, for objectification to exist at all (not just in the measurable sense) then we need to be that "simplistic" in order to judge.

I think I plain old-fashioned disagree with that. And maybe it's still because "objectification" itself feels like ... not quite the word I want. Maybe I'm not even sure "judging" is exactly what we need to be doing. But...

(or do you mean objectification is purely a symptom of inequality ? Get rid of inequality and objectification disappears along with it, just like when you deinstitutionalise racism, lynchings - virtually - disappear ? Could be, could be)

...uh... maybe? Again with the maybe. I probably should have prefaced alla this by saying that I don't really know what I think. So I join in the shoulder shrugging (in an "I dunno" way, not in a "I give up" way ;). Except that my shoulders are clothed and not especially glisteny - unlike snot monster and saje I don't get naked and oiled up to use the internet.

To stop racist behaviour for instance we first had to decide what actually was racist behaviour, right ?

I think it's a really different case, though. I mean, when it comes to sexism, I actually don't think porn is something that needs to be stopped, the way violence or unequal pay need to be "stopped." I think porn and sexy photos can be a healthy part of a healthy society, and sometimes are, but that at this point we need to think a little about the images we put out there and to what degree (and I think it would be a matter of degrees, not just "bad photo" or "good photo") they reinforce a kind of stereotype that has some (if not only) negative implications. I don't think the idea is to prevent or stop something, so much as to try and change the way we think in general. And if that happens, then the kinds of photos we look at might change, or the way we look at the same kinds of photos might change, or both. But changing the way we think includes changing the way we think about the images we're inundated with right now, so... yes my argument is circular! Is that a problem? ;) (Not changing to thinking "Bad bad photos!" - I really do think just changing to this is plenty good enough to start the ball rolling... just having "objectification" or whatever you want to call it be an issue that inevitably comes up).

What i'm balking at is essentially identifying my problem with something and then telling you that it's also your problem.

Yeah, you're right, and that's why this gets so tricky. But again... I don't think the goal is judgment or "stopping" anything so much as trying to complicate the view somewhat, and raise questions about it. I'm definitely not interested in becoming any kind of anti-porn activist! I think it's something that is intended to be joyful, and as such it's rather a nice thing, but it also has other implications that I don't think ought to be ignored entirely.

But it's entirely possible that I'm just being sort of half-assed and on-the-fencey about something I'd like to just enjoy but have some niggling uncomfortable issues with.

Mmmmm, colanderrrrsss.... ;)

I'm just hearing Gollum with that one! It's the drawn out ssss.

Wow, am I *really* the only person who looked at the shots of Eliza wearing no clothing and thought "clothing represents the personality that was taken away"?

Ooh.... it seems you might be, but nice one. I like the idea that we see her in all these different "costumes" but naked she's just... Echo. I think they could have made that a bit more explicit, if it was the goal, though. Plus there is the problem that a lot of clients might precisely want Echo naked, and maybe the whole issue we're addressing here is the way that nakedness becomes another costume of a kind, rather than something authentic and actually "stripped down." It's loaded, instead of bare. I like that idea a lot, though.
unlike snot monster and saje I don't get naked and oiled up to use the internet.

The difficult part was learning to type with my nose while holding my own boobs.

I don't think the idea is to prevent or stop something, so much as to try and change the way we think in general. And if that happens, then the kinds of photos we look at might change, or the way we look at the same kinds of photos might change, or both

Yeah, that was what I was trying to say earlier. There's an experiment I've always wanted to try, which is to take a suite of stereotypically "sexy" photos (from porn-style through to advertising style) in which each photo is paired with an exact counterpart in which all the genders are reversed. Thus, if you have a photo of a woman in underwear lying on a bed with a fully-clothed man standing over her, then you reshoot the scene with the man on the bed in underwear and the woman fully-clothed and standing over him etc. Then divide the photos up at random (except that no "pairs" would stay together) and give them to classes of media-studies, women's-studies, cultural-studies types and ask them to analyze the pictures in terms of their gender-politics. My guess is that almost all the photos would end up being read as putting the women in the relatively "powerless" and the men in the relatively "powerful" position. The very same things, that is, that would be read as being "powerful" for the man in photo A would be read as being "disempowering" for the woman in the paired photo B (one might call this the hero/bimbo effect; David Hasselhoff actually bared a lot more flesh on Baywatch than Pamela Anderson ever did, but there's no doubt whose body the show was marketing to us). And that's just because we live in a society which vests many kinds of power in masculinity, so that identical acts by males and females get "read" very differently (just as a film that opens with an attractive young woman walking alone through a darkened alley differs from a film that opens with an attractive young man walking alone through a darkened alley).

Wow, am I *really* the only person who looked at the shots of Eliza wearing no clothing and thought "clothing represents the personality that was taken away"?

I'm sure you're right, but I'm not sure that that solves the problem, exactly. For one thing, a lot of the sexy photos of Eliza in the portfolio aren't nude. For another, the "holding my own boobs" pose is in itself problematic, and problematic particularly in the light of a "nakedness=blankness" way. That gesture of modesty suggests a kind of unwilling exposure (I've been caught without clothes, and do my best to cover my nakedness) which puts the viewer in the position of power (I've caught her with her defenses down). If we want to read the nakedness as a kind of selflessness, then it would make more sense, to me, for it to be a kind of edenic nakedness--unselfconscious, unaware, with no "self" there to 'protect.'
Yeah but then she'd have to actually be naked which won't happen on the promo stuff for a network show (before we even get into 'no nudity' clauses etc.). It's a good point though, the actives are supposedly innocent of these things (communal showers etc.) so why would Echo cover herself ? Either that's just a goof OR it's purely to get past Standards and Practices/Eliza's contract OR it's not Echo in (all of) those photos, it's some more aware personality in at least some of them. ETA: i.e. as you'd expect in a sales pitch.

I don't think the idea is to prevent or stop something, so much as to try and change the way we think in general. And if that happens, then the kinds of photos we look at might change, or the way we look at the same kinds of photos might change, or both

Yeah, that was what I was trying to say earlier.


OK, this is kind of a head scratcher for me. WTF ? Isn't that stopping it ? Is it somehow not stopping it because we don't have to man any barricades (ah delicious irony ;) ? "Raising questions" is taking steps to stop it, surely ? You all get that when I say "act" I don't mean, like, shooting anyone we see enjoying what we consider to be objectifying images, right ? Wondering if we're just talking past each other completely at this point.

I'm definitely not interested in becoming any kind of anti-porn activist!

Well, in this case it's you that doesn't feel it objectifies catherine, right ? If anything, i'd be the anti-porn police here ;).

(imagining a pro-porn activist now:
"What do we want ?" ...
"More nudity" ...
"When do we want it ?" ...
"Actually, we already have it we just wanted to share the good news !" ...
"What do we ..."

;-)

I think I plain old-fashioned disagree with that. And maybe it's still because "objectification" itself feels like ... not quite the word I want. Maybe I'm not even sure "judging" is exactly what we need to be doing. But...

Maybe it is because for a "thing" to exist you must at least "know it when you see it" and that involves judging whether what you're seeing falls into the category that "thing" or not. But if you don't think it's about objectification then i'm not really sure what we're going on about, we're apparently not even using the same terminology which would seem to make a discussion pretty tough (i.e. we seemingly actually are just talking past each other ;).

[ edited by Saje on 2009-02-05 19:23 ]
OK, this is kind of a head scratcher for me. WTF ? Isn't that stopping it?

I'm not sure what the "it" is in this sentence. If it's "using naked photos of the stars to sell a TV show" then the answer is no--because what I think both Catherine and I are saying is that in a perfect world that might be a perfectly fine thing to do--the problem is that we live in an imperfect world where, conceivably, such a practice reinforces certain kinds of negative stereotypes, behaviors etc.

So...we're (and I realize I'm probably just speaking for myself here) saying that we wouldn't agree with any kind of censorship. Nor would we say it was obviously better if shows weren't advertised that way. But we do think that discussions of this kind (and other forms of 'consciousness raising'--to use a hoary old '60s phrase) may help to bring about the kind of change in perception of these images that would make their use less problematic.

If the "it" refers to "the way people think" then, yeah, I guess we both think that there are ways people currently think that do nothing to add to the sum of human happiness in the world. I'd be surprised if you didn't think so too.

Apologies to Catherine if I've misrepresented her views in this.
Maybe it is because for a "thing" to exist you must at least "know it when you see it" and that involves judging whether what you're seeing falls into the category that "thing" or not.

See, I suspect that this is where the "talking past each other" is occurring. Because the point Catherine and I have both made is that there are images which can be used or received, or mobilized in ways that are "objectifying" (or whatever other word would work better there), but which aren't necessarily inherently so. In an entirely innocent world, you wouldn't care about publishing, say, naked snapshots of your toddler online. In the world we actually live in, you'd probably rather not do that. That's not because the photo is "inherently" sexualizing the toddler, it's because it would be received in certain quarters in the wrong way.

So there isn't so much even a "know it when I see it" factor at work here as a "suspect it's possible that others will see it in such-and-such-a-way" factor--which is a pretty soggy standard, I'll admit, but when we're dealing with changing cultural practices that's about as good as the standards get. My argument would be that it is in general less problematic to work on on the "how others see it" side of the equation than the "what the actual image looks like" side of the equation. I.e.--go for "consciousness raising" rather than boycotts or censorship.
The 'it' is the objectification of women which is what I thought we were talking about. I've suggested that's a "symptom" of inequality (or, ultimately, the way we think in general) and been told that only maybe coincides with what you guys are saying. So i'm puzzled ;).

I guess we both think that there are ways people currently think that do nothing to add to the sum of human happiness in the world. I'd be surprised if you didn't think so too.

Try living with a colander fetish to really understand intolerance *tears up*, i'm sorry, it's just so hard ... err, living with it I mean, you get that right ?

But we do think that discussions of this kind (and other forms of 'consciousness raising'--to use a hoary old '60s phrase) may help to bring about the kind of change in perception of these images that would make their use less problematic.

Well, there I might differ to be honest since we're all basically preaching to the converted here and i'd submit that, without tricking people, you're unlikely to get folk that don't see the problem to enter discussions like this in order to have their 'consciousness raised'.

Still, I genuinely think we're all basically agreeing but for some reason the way i'm saying it isn't striking any chords with you guys. Which, frankly, is starting to get frustrating so I think i'll recuse myself ;).

Good discussion all, as per ;).
Because the point Catherine and I have both made is that there are images which can be used or received, or mobilized in ways that are "objectifying" (or whatever other word would work better there), but which aren't necessarily inherently so.

Breifly (cos of cross-postage, i'm still recused-ish but i'm using a, err, 'borrowed' connection at the moment, bit slow ;), yeah, I think this is where we're talking past (and where i'm getting frustrated) because i've said from about half-way through the thread that I accept that photos aren't inherently anything (if they were then objectification would be an objective property of the world, not a 'mushy' matter of opinion). I just dragged my feet a bit cos, as mentioned, the idea irks me.

So there isn't so much even a "know it when I see it" factor at work here as a "suspect it's possible that others will see it in such-and-such-a-way" factor ...

So "suspect it's possible that others will see it in such-and-such-a-way" when you see it, right ? ;) See, there's still a judgment being made, categorising anything is impossible without it. Now that'll probably seem like splitting hairs but you've no idea how frustrating it is to be saying, basically, "1 = 1" and for people to be responding "Hmm, maybe" ;).
The difficult part was learning to type with my nose while holding my own boobs.

Let me just say, knowing that, I'm all the more impressed that you're able to type posts that make sense out of my gobbledygook.

You all get that when I say "act" I don't mean, like, shooting anyone we see enjoying what we consider to be objectifying images, right ?

Well, that does completely change the conversation... I was getting a little worried there, thinking of using Google Latitude to find you and talk you down a bit ;).

OK, this is kind of a head scratcher for me. WTF ?

WTF indeed! I'm going to go with WSMFOSS again, for the sake of simplicity. But if it makes you feel any better, I have that same response when reading my posts post-posting ;).

Well, there I might differ to be honest since we're all basically preaching to the converted here and i'd submit that, without tricking people, you're unlikely to get folk that don't see the problem to enter discussions like this in order to have their 'consciousness raised'.

That's true. I didn't really mean that this kind of blithering on-line discussion was a form of wonderful activism (or, if I did mean that, I take it back!)... I'm not sure what the right kind of "action" is.

Still, I genuinely think we're all basically agreeing but for some reason the way i'm saying it isn't striking any chords with you guys. Which, frankly, is starting to get frustrating so I think i'll recuse myself ;).

Oh, whatever, you just want to go hang out with your colander. But also - sorry - because I think I get incredibly confused by this topic, and I know what I don't mean but it's harder to pin down if I'm saying what I do mean, or even meaning what I say... and yet I can never resist plunging in somehow. Silly me. I'm hoping that maybe by Blahdy Blah XVII I'll have figured out my line on this.
See, there's still a judgment being made, categorising anything is impossible without it. Now that'll probably seem like splitting hairs but you've no idea how frustrating it is to be saying, basically, "1 = 1" and for people to be responding "Hmm, maybe" ;).

Hee. Well, that first 1 does look sort of fatter on my screen...

But OK, fair enough - I took "judging" to mean saying "this is bad" but of course there is some kind of judgment involved in any opinion so I'm sorry if my harping on that was confusing. I don't think a judgment needs to be patronizing, which was maybe what I was hanging on to before. Especially given how half-assedly-unsure I feel about my "judgment" that such photos can be problematic.

I just dragged my feet a bit cos, as mentioned, the idea irks me.

I totally get the irkage. I just spin in circles instead of dragging my feet. It's a thing. Either way, not much forward momentum.

ETA rereading all this (whew!) I think maybe the sticking points came with words like "respect" and "judge" where I thought you (saje) were saying something a little more inflexible than perhaps you were. And I do think the "solution" if there is one, in our culture at least, is "consciousness raising," dippy as it sounds. Not here on whedonesque (hee) but through the kinds of programs Equality Now runs, or to some degree, the kinds of shows Joss Whedon makes... but while it's a whole other topic too big to get into, much as I adore the shows, I feel like they participate in a lot of the same not-so-healthy-or-empowering images and stereotypes that they sometimes sort of provide a counterpoint to. But that's just me, and now that I've used the word empowering, I think I'm going to recuse MYself. At least until somebody else posts something ;).

[ edited by catherine on 2009-02-05 20:20 ]
ETA: ETA rereading all this (whew!) I think maybe the sticking points came with words like "respect" and "judge" where I thought you (saje) were saying something a little more inflexible than perhaps you were.

A little less pedantic is what you're too nice to say I think ;). True dat BTW. [/ETA]

Heh, no worries at all, it's my fault for getting frustrated, I just didn't want to take it out on anyone else ;).

(so you're saying international incidents could be avoided with more carefully chosen fonts ? Is there someone at the UN we could email ? ;)

But OK, fair enough - I took "judging" to mean saying "this is bad" but of course there is some kind of judgment involved in any opinion so I'm sorry if my harping on that was confusing. I don't think a judgment needs to be patronizing, which was maybe what I was hanging on to before.

I wondered if that was it, actually had a whole thing about "no-one wants to be seen to judge cos it has connotations of 'judginess' but it's still necessary" in one post but when I read it back it just seemed ... I dunno, bit patronising in itself maybe ?

(and I agree that judging doesn't need to be patronising BUT I still think acting on it has an element of claiming 'correctness' when what you actually have is 'opinionness' - which is so totally a word BTW)


Note to self: look up 'recuse' in the dictionary cos you may not be doing it right.

[ edited by Saje on 2009-02-05 20:24 ]
Note to self: look up 'recused' in the dictionary cos you may not be doing it right.

hee, well, I just looked it up, having used it myself. Note to self: look up words that Saje uses before trying to use them yourself. He may not be doing it right.

I wondered if that was it, actually had a whole thing about "no-one wants to be seen to judge cos it has connotations of 'judginess' but it's still necessary" in one post but when I read it back it just seemed ... I dunno, bit patronising in itself maybe ?

No, I think that's fair, and certainly part of where my problem with it came from.
What...you mean nattering away on Whedonesque.com isn't toiling at the coal face of social reformation? They really should remove that line from their "about" page, then!
It's still the only guaranteed way to get to heaven though.
Answer to QG's question BTW.

So I was kinda both right and wrong to extend the benefit of the doubt (it's knowingly asking the question but at the same time it's knowingly part of the problem). Everyone's a winner. Or loser if you're a glass-half-empty sort of person. So loser it is ;).
Wow--great question and great answer. No wonder the guy's forehead is like the Great Wall of China--it has to hold back that enormous pulsating brain.

I think his answer kinda nicely mirrors/predicts our conversation here, too--so...kudos all 'round.
Yeah, between us we add up to one Joss Whedon. Yay ... ? ;)

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