The Big Picture: Pink Is Not The Problem

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So this whole thread is just bugging the heck out of me. We can't attribute Pink with girls, but we can attribute certain characteristics with being feminine?

So are we trying to get rid of gender defining characteristics altogether?

And then what will be next? Colors? Why does Black have to be associated with evil or darkness?

Overall, that was surprisingly good stuff.

Much more reasonable and thought provoking than I thought it would be.

One the other hand..... I think you are missing the point on the 300 and Hunger Games bad guys.

Yes, women are often portrayed as evil, but I really don't think that was the case in those two movies. In both cases, the frilly preening and whatnot were less feminine and more wealthy. Everybody hates an arrogant rich guy and it's much more sensible to make the distinction of Catfish and Lionides being the tough, honorable, somewhat average people (even though Leo is a king, he's still shown that way) and the evil people being so arrogant and rich that they look down on the good guys.

Just my take.

This is by far the best politically-oriented episode you have ever put out. Bravo, sir!

I'm an extremely straight white dude, but I love playing as Princess Peach when I get the chance. Ain't nothing wrong with dat!

"I'm on the side of history that says the pink aisle and the whole binary gender separation that its part of is because of an arcane relic pushing arbitrary societal roles on people who might not want or need them"

This is a little off topic but still on the topic of gender differences so bare with me...

Your arguing nurture over nature with phrases like this and I just don't think its completely accurate to sum up these complex issues as only being constructs of culture or society. There are too many variables biologically and culturally speaking for it to be so one sided and absolute.

There have been many studies done that show that young girls and boys could be biologically inclined to like certain things like the color pink for girls http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1654371,00.html or and toy cars for boys http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/200804/why-do-boys-and-girls-prefer-different-toys

I found an interesting documentary that looks into these gender differences http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5LRdW8xw70.

There are also a ton of studies on just how different male and female brains are which helps play into our differences outside of culture http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/12/male-and-female-brains-really-are-built-differently/281962/. There are just too many factors out there to just sum up these as forced gender roles or just cultural stereotypes that have no basis in reality.

LGC Pominator:
SNIP

I largely agree with you except to say that there is some issue with the way certain traits are viewed as a feminine or masculine trait and considered a good or bad trait even if they are not inherently so. For example, vanity is largely considered both feminine and negative, despite really being neither inherently while on the other hand being physically capable is usually considered inherently good and masculine, despite being neither.

I think what Bob is cautioning against is that the side that wants to fight against forcing people into traditional gender roles tend to also fight against the gender roles themselves. People tend to stop attacking the real problem (girls can't like baseball) and instead attack pink toys. There is nothing wrong with girls liking baseball, but there is also nothing wrong with people liking pink toys either. The whole attack on the pink aisle is misguided because it suggests that liking pink things that are made up to be "girly" is itself wrong. Just as there is no problem with girls liking baseball, there is also no problem with girls liking pink dresses and princesses. The real fight is in getting people to accept BOTH as normal.

Plinglebob:
Bob had me right up until the Hunger Games then he lost me. While I agree with his commentary on Katniss, he's reading way to much into the Capital aesthetic which, as Ronack mentions, is about money, but also about time. One of the reasons why women are often characterised by items in the pink isle is because traditionally they've had the time to spend on these things when the men are out working. The point of the Capitol people is that the way they look would take a lot of time and a lot of money which the districts don't have.

I was going to say the same thing (that the Capitol people are demonstrating decadence more than just demonizing feminine traits) but I'd even go a bit further and say Bob may be giving too much credit to the power of the pink aisle. This is not to say Bob doesn't have a point in that trying to force tropes on children is a bad idea, but some (I'd even go as far as to say most...>51% lol?) little girls like princesses, dresses, and what has been deemed "traditional" feminine colors. This is probably because of a greater issue in that we are bombarded by these themes from all angles socially, through the media, in every movie, TV show, magazine, etc. Pink was a boy color 100 years ago. Dresses or gowns were seen as common place for men to wear in the not so recent history; I can definitely see fashion and irresponsible tropes correcting themselves in time.

Physiologically, psychologically (not talking about intelligence here...don't flame me haha), anatomically...men and women are not exactly the same (generally speaking). I'm not sure if this is what MovieBob is working towards; an androgynous population of people where everyone is gender neutral regardless of sex. I couldn't help but feel that was the point he was trying to make in the end.

I have an 18 yr old and 8 yr old daughter, and they are polar opposites. One likes Call of Duty, wants to be an ASPCA officer and hates wearing dresses (or insert trope), the other won't wear jeans, loves to paint and color, to make her own jewelery but will throw the football and play baseball with me if we are all outside playing. I do not dissuade her from much of anything if it is something she likes to do and enjoys (and obviously constructive in some way).

What it comes down to is the parents discussing with the children what these things mean (or don't mean). I really don't know what the answer is, but I agree that "stuff" is just "stuff". My son will play with his toy drill because I use a real drill. His mother uses the same drill, but because he is a boy, and I am a man, he may identify with me more and want to be like me. As parents we just try to live as examples, shaping our children but trying to allow the kids to make their own choices.

End of blog lol

So we associate feminine with bad yet can't have female villains. Even the ones mentioned are retroactively turned into good guys. I was actually glad they didn't do that to the witches in Oz.
For some reason even famous ruthless female pirates are turned into absolute good guys in Black Flag.
They are feminine even before Kidd reveals he is a Mary and they toned them down so much that Max Black from Two Broke Girls could eat them for breakfast, and Sophie would do something much worse to both.

That was honestly an awesome episode Bob.

My wife and I had our first child, a daughter, early this year. So there has been a lot of pondering and discussion as to what toys we do and don't want her to play with, and honestly it all comes down to the fact that in the long run it's not really our decision. She can play with the toys of her choosing (however limited that is at this point of course). Right now we mostly just grab whatever she thinks will be fun, and I will say that I've actually been impressed with how much there is in the gender neutral category out there. Even if it's not though, we have no qualms buying her a makeup set along side a truck and letting her gravitate towards whatever she chooses at that moment.

So yeah, heartily agree with most everything said here. Thanks for the good show.

Bob you son of a bitch. You just HAD to use that one Triplets of Belleville still, did you? Now I have to watch that movie again! I got stuff to do, you know?

The one line in there I found most important was the comment on how those of us that still enjoy things that are clearly aimed at feminine audiences aren't wrong or somehow damaging. It's always infuriated me when I've seen fellow women judge me because I still appreciate things like the Disney Princess series of merchandise. I like Belle from Beauty and the Beast and Jasmine from Aladdin, that doesn't define me. I like the color pink, though it is not my favorite color (Royal purple > all).

There is a strange historic conundrum here at play as well.
About a 100 years ago pink was a BOY's colour.
That was because red was perceived as the masculine colour and pink is a derivative of that.
A bit like a younger, less bright version of red.

sirjeffofshort:
That was honestly an awesome episode Bob.

My wife and I had our first child, a daughter, early this year. So there has been a lot of pondering and discussion as to what toys we do and don't want her to play with, and honestly it all comes down to the fact that in the long run it's not really our decision. She can play with the toys of her choosing (however limited that is at this point of course). Right now we mostly just grab whatever she thinks will be fun, and I will say that I've actually been impressed with how much there is in the gender neutral category out there. Even if it's not though, we have no qualms buying her a makeup set along side a truck and letting her gravitate towards whatever she chooses at that moment.

So yeah, heartily agree with most everything said here. Thanks for the good show.

May I just say that that is fantastic and I appreciate that component of your parenting? I had parents who were very open to my personal tastes, which included a lot of G.I. Joe, Voltron, and Transformers along with a healthy dose "homemaking" toys. I would have been pretty put off if my parents had decried my choice in some toys as "too feminine" for my gender.

I have to say, this is one of the best "The Big Picture" episodes you've ever done. Bravo.

Nicolaus99:
@ Bob Pretty unfair to point at Hunger Games' villains but gloss over the main villain himself, Donald Sutherland as President Snow. Doubt anyone would accuse that lead villain of being feminine. Though he DOES keep a rose garden, I believe that carries entirely different literary allusions. It's like harping on Star Wars' villains and never mentioning Darth Vader.

I can see where he is coming from. There is an unfortunate parallel between the rich vs poor, and camp vs macho. In a story about slaves vs the oppressors, the most obvious way to differentiate them is to have the slaves unadorned blue collars and the oppressors as epicural dandies - which has the downside of suggesting epicural dandies are bad people. Same thing in 300 with the grounded Spartans and the lofty Persians. That said, I think the second film does the right thing by at least giving us a couple of sympathetic flamboyant, fashion orientated characters.

Rabidkitten:
As much as I'd like to say Bob is right, he is kind of wrong about a few things. Gender tropes do sometimes actually exist. I'm a father of 2 sons, and across the street are 2 little girls. They all play together, but what I notice is that the boys have an increased interest in violence, especially competitive violence. The girls are more developed mentally which is to be expected as girls development faster mentally. As thus they tend to get tired of the endless wave of swords, guns, and the sheer obsession with violent character types (ninjas, soldiers, zombies, alien invaders, etc).

We have thousands of years of history of men rushing off to die meaningless deaths in supposedly "glorious" battle. Sure the female hero's pop up now and then but you don't see the ridiculous war hawking coming from females across history. Its proven fact that testosterone influences violent behavior, and assuming that the reason the "gun" aisle is for boys is purely based on societal gender constructions is a crock of shit. Genetics influence our development more then experience There is no way in hell that EVERY single little boy I know is out playing war because of cultural constructs. Its not true.

While I'm not trying to knock your experience as a father, I would say that you couldn't possibly know everything that those girls across the street have been exposed to, so you can't possibly say that their inherent impatience with violent games is a result of genetic coding when you don't know what little lessons have been taught to them their entire lives by their parents (who you can know very well), their friends (who you know less well), the schools, and the media.

This is the problem with the nature versus nurture argument, some traits could very well BE nature, but we have to always assume they are nurture, because nature implies that a personality is created in a vacuum and there is no possibly way that an outside force has had any influence, and when the mere act of singing a song to a child is considered outside influnece, we must always take the time to see how much of an influence that actually is.

It's something that I've held for years and to be honest I'm really tired of seeing feminine things get dismissed or outright hated for simply being geared towards a female aesthetic. Now, of course, what a woman enjoys changes depending on each woman, but the traditional, make-up, hair, clothes, flowers, cooking, make things pretty in purple and pink, and romance is considered stupid by the wider general audience. And I know people have brought it up already but MLP is a good example of that. Whether you like the show or hate it, whatever I don't care, it's a well-done show, but when it was first being noted as popular to an older, male audience, people were freaking out. I doubt I'm the only person who remembers the article about how real men don't watch "girl shows."

I grew up doing my best, in school at least, to pretend that I did not enjoy feminine things, clothes, make-up, barbies. Which sort of was and was not true. I wasn't into it to the extent that my friends were, but I did enjoy them to a point. I loved my spiderman and batman and x-men shows, but I also wanted to go on the computer and play my Barbie Hairdresser and give Barbie highlights while I watched. But I knew if I wanted any respect, especially from my male classmates, I could never admit that. These days, I do both and I admit it proudly, I take down monsters and then let my cousin dye my hair and do my make-up when I visit her. Yet still to this day, I am unwilling to buy a Cooking Mama game in a gamestop because I know that I'll get that knowing look from the male cashier across the counter "Battlefield 3 too manly for you huh?" It's not that I'm ashamed of my Cooking Mama collection...it's that I don't want to go to jail for punching the guy in the face.

This video is amazing as always. This video gives me a new view on gender stereotypes and how hundreds of years of myths and tropes can have a negative effect on society. The stuff isn't the problem its the arbitrary way in which people label things as feminine or masculine.

I have to honest... when I heard Bob say "Stuff is neither good or bad" THIS popped into my head.

image

OT: I loved this episode; It was a long time coming and it reminded me as to why I like Bob's shows (big picture, Game Overthinker and Over bytes).

It does raise the BIG point... The stuff, as it is, is neutral; Those who view it and what they take away from it, is the real factor.

If you think of it YES; Barbie can do anything... Except hold onto a job!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbie's_careers

That girl's done everything from a McDonalds burger flipper to American President!

Thanks bob, makes me happy to know that's what you think

Darrosect:
This video is amazing as always. This video gives me a new view on gender stereotypes and how hundreds of years of myths and tropes can have a negative effect on society. The stuff isn't the problem its the arbitrary way in which people label things as feminine or masculine.

But in some cases that is not the absolute truth, saying gender sterotypes are arbitrary is completely dismissing evidence that shows that there are a lot of biological factors that come into play through evolution that show there is some truth to these ideas on gender roles. I am not saying culture doesn't play a role but its just not that cut and dry to say its all negative myths and tropes.

So glad to see someone else realizing that there is a problem and that everything mentioned is a symptom and not the root cause of the issue. Great video this week.

Darrosect:
This video is amazing as always. This video gives me a new view on gender stereotypes and how hundreds of years of myths and tropes can have a negative effect on society. The stuff isn't the problem its the arbitrary way in which people label things as feminine or masculine.

I don't know that there is a problem in using terms like feminine and masculine when discussing things. I think the issue is in demonizing someone for being feminine or masculine. If you have a boy who likes feminine things, there simply should be no problem with that. Nor should there be an issue with a girl liking masculine things. Essentially, people should not be thought less of, made fun of, demonized, hated or condemned for liking what they like, no matter their gender.

Yal:

MB202:
I almost thought he was going to get into My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic for a moment there, since it ties into the fact that Lauren Faust created that show with the intent of showing that something "girly" doesn't automatically make it bad.

Funnily enough, it was Powerpuff Girls where I first noticed this problem. Remember this guy?

image

Even back in the 90s, that one was blatant enough to rub me the wrong way.

True, though given who the main characters were I felt kind of countered the whole feminine is bad thing, not to mention even King Camp of Gayhala would look at HIM *shudder* and say wtf!?

I feel the overly feminine bad guy stems more from trying to appeal to the middle/working classes that hold alot of these 'old school' values more so than out rightly saying femininity is weak/evil. However this still has the same negative effects such as the more vocal members of the COD fandom and Frank Miller so i'm glad to see stupid standards like this put under scrutiny.

HOORAY FOR PINK!
image

So much wrong in this video. bob, if you want to keep riding the 'equality is good' clickbait train please research what you want to speak about first.

1) Men and women are different. There is a thing called sexual dimorphism that means that on the genetic level we are different. Men are physically stronger and more resistant to injury, Women are mentally stronger more able to fight off infection. High testosterone (more common in males for obvious reasons) levels are linked to Psychopath's while low Oxytocin levels (Genetically more common in females due to it's location on the 'X' chromosome) is more linked to sociopath's. Men are more likely to suffer genetic illnesses due to their shorter 'Y' chromosome making their single 'X' the only source of some gene's. Ect...

At all levels there are subtle remnants of our biological heritage from a time when men really were hunters, and women really were just carers and breeders. We are all different, but we have the right to be treated the same.

2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTOFXLl7eh4 <<< watch this, ignore the title, it's the only version of the documentary that's not split into 10+ parts.

It includes 2 studies on a similar subject. One proves that from our first day after birth males prefer to study mechanical constructs while females prefer to look at faces and study social behaviour. That seems like it could easily carry over to the toys each gender naturally prefers.
The other study is more relevant and shows that children under the age of 5 still prefer their gendered toys when all packaging and pre-conception is removed. While that is more open to social bias through upbringing it only confirms the study on day old babies.

I'd say that once you can prove the majority of people want an item based on their social groupings it's only expected for businesses to split the items in the same way. It makes it easier for each person to find what the want and thus more likely they buy something.

3) They're not usually neutral objects. I've never seen a truly neutral toy that wasn't made in all colours and sold to all genders. If a company can sell a thing to everyone, they will sell it to everyone.

4) All this talk about 'the system', we all know what you mean bob. I suppose you're worried you lose all credibility when you say "THE PATRIARCHY DID IT"... And all this talk of 'coding' isn't much better.

5) Wait... when did the classically feminine represent weakness? I could name a dozen films where it's the super-ripped guy who's the evil one. Countless myth's and legends that do the same.

6)Using the Bible isn't exactly a good place to get your moral messaged from either since the bible includes some fun stuff like the slaughter of defenceless people purely because "they might not believe in god, and they could lie when asked so its safer to kill them anyway. P.S. don't forget the children, God loves children's souls."

7) You do know about Spartan society right? Ultra-warlike with strong emphasis on combat for every male and to only a slightly lesser extend female in their society enforced by to-the-death combat and routine beatings of the male children and the legality of rape being legal if the woman did not push her attacker off more than three times. And the Persian royalty wouldn't be hardened in combat the same way, and likely would have been soft due to the pleasures at his command. Sure the film goes a tad extreme on both but it's from a historical context that was very real.

8) So Bob's suggesting that rich and pompous is "feminine" while dirty and violent is "male"? and still have the nerve to call other things sexist? The hypocrisy is strong with this one. Those aspects are more a result of upbringing than gender.

---------------------------------------------

At least this one was a lot more neutral than a lot of the real feminist video's on the subject. Any person can like whatever they want, but expecting businesses to ignore split's in their customers is really dumb.

Oh well, I suppose I'll just stick to the ZP reviews and rhymeoff's from now on if Bob's just going to generate clickbait video's with little information and almost an aversion to making a real stand for anything. If I can sum up a video as "this is bad, M'kay" Then the video failed. You need to offer solutions, or at the very least reasons it's bad.

Fappy:
This is by far the best politically-oriented episode you have ever put out. Bravo, sir!

I'm an extremely straight white dude, but I love playing as Princess Peach when I get the chance. Ain't nothing wrong with dat!

Indeed, we all like to play the chick sometimes.

Oh for fucks sake Bob, you're still holding onto this idea that the Hunger Games was anti-gay or anti-feminine in this case?

I especially like how you used the image of Seneca Crane when showing the "evil villains" instead of President Snow or even Thread, the two who arguably have the larger part of the overall "evil" plot and ultimately act as the bigger bastards especially considering that Crane was more of a cornered subordinate. But no, you can't get your point across if you show them because they aren't feminine enough to make an actual impact, are they? In fact, neither have any of the qualities that you brought up.

That was both refreshing and brilliant in equal measure. Thank you MovieBob for speaking sense into a world where sense in in short quantity.

I think the association of negative and vain characteristics is the main root of the problem. It seems that Bob has gotten the associations of these things in the wrong order.

Vanity and wealth goes hand in hand, and it has done so throughout human history. Having your base needs covered opens up a whole new set of wants, needs and desires. Many of them related to social standing; to see oneself and be perceived as better than those around you.

Historically, the wealth and class meant that you wouldn't need to perform any kind of manual labor. So, wearing a white jacket and makeup is a statement that you won't be plowing any fields in the near future. They'd be ruined within minutes!

Women, to whom beauty is more valuable in society, have simply been more closely associated with these vain characteristics. When in truth they exist throughout all of humanity.

This is the case in The Hunger Games. It's not about effeminate villains, it's about excess and decadence.

Worgen:

MB202:
I almost thought he was going to get into My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic for a moment there, since it ties into the fact that Lauren Faust created that show with the intent of showing that something "girly" doesn't automatically make it bad. Also, Bob's comments about "coded" characters is very similar to what the Nostalgia Chick said in her "Disney Needs More Gay" video, in that you can tell most villains are gay by being incredibly vain and feminine. It's strange, I never realized it until people like Lindsay (the Nostalgia Chick) and Bob pointed it out to me.

I'm really surprised he didn't mention ponies also, since I've heard that one reason they are starting to get rid of the pink isle is so that male bronies didn't feel weird looking for mlp stuff at toys R us. It's also really interesting how the mlp toys are packaged.
image
we have one of the standard sets, with even a pink Princess Celestia (ugh, CELESTIA ISN'T PINK DAMMIT) clearly aimed at the young girl age group.

image
but then we got something like the vinyl figures and their packaging is mostly black, aimed at an older male collectors market.

TBF, Bob has said in the past that MLP is not in his area of expertise, and I wouldn't blame him if he consciously decided not to bring it up because of the potentially volatile implication of talking about MLP on the Internet, but yeah, it's a valid point to say that FiM works not in spite of being femenine, but because it embraces feminitity. And yes, it's a smart decision to have certain MLP products not being marketed to the target demo.

I think Egoraptor has said in the past that pink is his favorite color, so I wouldn't be suprised if he found a lot to agree with in this video.

Overall I agree with Bob's statement, but I'm not convinced that the classic divide between what girls and boys like and dislike is purely arbitrary and based on social archetypes.

Men and women are equal and similar, but they are not the same on a fundamental level. Consequently, their likes and dislikes are equally fundamentally different. Sure, it's not that black and white in practice, and girls can like boy stuff and vice versa, but generally this holds true. Gender is not just a social construct we made up, it's biology. After all, all those social archetypes have biological roots of their own.

That said, I'm very much against what often comes down to basically forcing people to adhere to these social and biological standards. People can like what they like and shouldn't be pushed a way they don't want to go. Enforcing gender roles is nonsense. But at the same time I think things like 'female quota' in certain industries are nonsense from a social standpoint. It's just not that simple and black and white.

You want to know the real deep irony of this. The Pink for girls Blue for boys is a very recent thing as in .. within the last 200 years...seriously. More ironic is that it was actually reversed. Pink was used for boys because it was vibrant, lively, stood out and a derivitive of the masculine red, while blue was for girls because it was a was a more quiet, soothing, passive colour perfectly suited for passive soft girls...

I'm not kidding.

So it is ironic.

PunkRex:

Yal:

MB202:
I almost thought he was going to get into My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic for a moment there, since it ties into the fact that Lauren Faust created that show with the intent of showing that something "girly" doesn't automatically make it bad.

Funnily enough, it was Powerpuff Girls where I first noticed this problem. Remember this guy?

image

Even back in the 90s, that one was blatant enough to rub me the wrong way.

True, though given who the main characters were I felt kind of countered the whole feminine is bad thing, not to mention even King Camp of Gayhala would look at HIM *shudder* and say wtf!?

I feel the overly feminine bad guy stems more from trying to appeal to the middle/working classes that hold alot of these 'old school' values more so than out rightly saying femininity is weak/evil. However this still has the same negative effects such as the more vocal members of the COD fandom and Frank Miller so i'm glad to see stupid standards like this put under srutiny.

HOORAY FOR PINK!
image

My mind is full of Pink(ie Pie) and I love it.

Yal:

MB202:
I almost thought he was going to get into My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic for a moment there, since it ties into the fact that Lauren Faust created that show with the intent of showing that something "girly" doesn't automatically make it bad.

Funnily enough, it was Powerpuff Girls where I first noticed this problem. Remember this guy?

Even back in the 90s, that one was blatant enough to rub me the wrong way.

Pfft not even that, how about something more recent:

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