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October 11 2013

(SPOILER) Preview scene from Agents of SHIELD episode 1.04 "Eye Spy".

Why is it a catfight? Because it's women?
It's a fight scene, similar to the Paris one in Pilot.
Yay Melinda! She is currently my favourite SHIELD character.
Post edited to reflect a lamentable lack of cats.
I'll be happy if she's the focus of the episode. Time to move away from Skye.
Sorry if "catfight" is a derogatory term, I always assumed it was used to describe a physical clash between women, no offense was meant.
Perseo - I don't think you really need to apologize for using a common colloquial term that pretty much everyone understands. I've never thought of it as a derogatory term - just shorthand for a longer description (ie. - a physical altercation between women). It's sort of the opposite of what Joss did when he wrote "crazy, random happenstance" instead of just saying "coincidence".

[ edited by steverogers on 2013-10-12 06:41 ]
Catfight defined. Fight is a better word. We don't call it a dogfight if it's between two guys, unless they're both piloting planes.
Catfight defined.

catfight: (slang) Acrimonious fighting or bickering between two or more humans in which a significant quantity of verbal exclamations in a high frequency range are employed (ie. most often, but not always, among females) thereby giving the overall impression of the characteristic sounds of caterwauling.

We don't call it a dogfight if it's between two guys, unless they're both piloting planes.

...or if they start barking at each other (which, granted, is something humans tend not to naturally do with their voices - unlike, say, growling or hissing or screaming...)

Imo sometimes a word is just a word that means what it means.
Thanks for the clarification. It was just supposed to have a humorous connotation :)

Back to the preview at hand, I love Ming Na's interpretation so far. So contained, so cold, to underline Melinda's attempt at never letting go, especially physically. And I also love her fighting style, very subdued and practical. When she dodges, she barely moves. It's something very rare in action scenes these days.
The term "catfighting" has been a put-down phrase as long as I can remember. It was always used by my contemporaries to make women look lesser.

I'm sure someone somewhere will compare May's fighting style to River or Buffy.
More River than Buffy, I think.

I should specify that English is my L2, even if I've been speaking it for a while now, and I never encountered the term in a seriously demeaning context. But I can certainly see how it might be used that way, yeah.
I hadn't noticed it, Perseo, but now that you mention it, Melinda May's fighting style does reflect her character. Perhaps visual storytelling is your L3.
Catfight most definitely has a sexist and demeaning connotation when used to refer to two women fighting. I made a joke when I deleted it rather than directly describe it as sexist to try and prevent the thread from becoming about it, but ah well, so much for that idea. So I'll be more blunt: language does matter, and this isn't up for a vote, sorry. I'm not saying this to pick on Perseo, who has been a good sport about it and understandably didn't pick up on the connotation when he used it. The scene is a nice bit of acting and fighting and I'm sad that the discussion has been almost entirely about a now deleted term that does in fact diminish it. Can we talk about the scene instead, please? Personally I'm very intrigued by the idea of a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent being controlled by someone else and the pictures from the filming of this gave me all kinds of epic scifi hopes.
I love the way Melinda holds herself, so tightly wound and controlled. She exudes "interesting backstory" without saying a thing.
I'm dying to know more about Melinda since the second she appeared on screen in the pilot. "Exudes interesting backstory" sounds like a perfect description, jcs.
Yes, please let it go.
I'm 60 years old and a catfight to me has always meant a fight between women, with possible screaming at each other and pulling of hair. It never seemed derogatory to me. It just is what it is. All this political correctness just made me throw up a little.
madmolly - Agreed. It's getting to the point where you can't say anything about anything any more because someone, somewhere might be offended. Supposedly, we have a Constitutional right to free speech (1st Amendment - because free speech is the MOST important ingredient of a successful Democratic society). People say things that offend me all the time, but I never complain about it - because we DON'T have a Constitutional right to censor everyone around us. I guess that's the wrong approach these days. I'm nearly 60 as well and I think our generation just has a thicker skin than our descendants who seem to complain about almost everything, no matter how minor.
The term "catfighting" has been a put-down phrase as long as I can remember. It was always used by my contemporaries to make women look lesser.

What can I say - some of us are blessed with a love for the actual meanings, usage, and etymology of words, and don't believe that they should be outlawed based on someone else's ignorance or misuse...
Well, I wasn't going to say anything but... the problem, as I see it, is that when two guys fight, it's a fight. When it's two women, it suddenly needs a different word even when, like here, there is no high-pitched screaming or hair pulling involved (my understanding of what a catfight between people is supposed to be).

It's the old thing where male (and white and straight) is the "default setting" and everything else needs a different definition.

This scene is a straight up fight between two highly trained, highly professional special operatives, calling it a catfight is just inappropriate and that's why, I think, people reacted. Because it felt like the only reason the word was used was their gender, regardless of skill and contest.
The "catfighting" topic is actually closed and not up for discussion anymore. So if anyone wants to carry on, do feel free to email us. And brinderwalt, watch it.
nyrk - Well, white men are obviously evil. Imagine what the world would be like now if ALL of them had died fighting the Civil War to free the slaves instead of just 650,000. Of course, if that had happened, then the 500,000 that died to defeat German/Japanese racial fascism in WWII wouldn't have been available for that war. We should obviously get rid of all white men and everything they stand for. Oh wait, isn't Joss Whedon white? Eh - sacrifices have to be made.

Moderators - I apologize for the snarkiness of this comment. However, given the apparently widely accepted impression that all things white and male are wrong and bad, I thought the injection of a little actual history might be in order. I also apologize for only using the number of American dead in WWII. I don't know how many British, Australian, Russian, Polish, French (and many other countries) white men died in that war - but it would obviously raise the numbers by multiples.
(deleted accidental double post)

[ edited by steverogers on 2013-10-13 17:45 ]
I don't recall anyone attacking white men but I do recall two moderators saying repeatedly the topic is closed. So now, regrettably, it very much is.

This thread has been closed for new comments.


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