Is this plot surprise sexist, like I was told?

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naturalplastic
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15 Nov 2021, 4:04 am

Kraichgauer wrote:
naturalplastic wrote:
Ganondox wrote:
The issue is NOT the idea of a female villainous, it's the idea that what makes her villainous is that she falsely accuses people of rape. Would you write a male villain who antagonizes women by accusing women by accusing them of raping him? That's what makes it a sexist plot. You also need to remember that in the real world, men rape women and then try to make the women they raped out to be the villain by accusing the victim of falsely accusing them of rape. You're approaching a very touchy subject in a very thoughtless manner. If you're not making a political statement, then why not do something else instead?


Both things happen. Men get falsely accused of sexual harrassment and or rape. And other men really do commit sexual harrassment and or rape, and try to make their victims out to be liars.

Its a REALLY sensitive issue. Not only that but a lying accuser is not really a surprise ending per se. Its an obvious thing to suspect.

Sensitive, and not really a surprise. Two almost mortal wounds to the story.

Kinda like a coworker who was telling me his idea for a sci fi novel about aliens invading earth. It involved alien prisoners of our defense dept. taken alive from UFO crashes in the Nineteen Forties being tortured by earthlings to get info and intel out of them. This was right at the same time Bush was occupying Iraq, and stuff was coming out about Abu Graib and Gitmo etc. Told him to "be careful how you handle the issue of torture- all I can say dude." because that very thing was sensitive at that time.

One suggestion: make the detectives be a man-woman team. And have the woman be herself a victim of some past real sex crime (maybe in childhood). So she really driven to find the perp.

You could have the hero be one person... who is female...but I am thinking that it would be easier for you imagine a team with one member being your own gender assisting rather write it all from the opposite sex pov.

Anyway.... she is driven to find the perp who raped the lady. This creates misdirection (the very essence of every magician's act)because the reader will get caught up in the hero's emotional trauma and so forth... that will more surprise the audience when you spring it on them that ... there was no "perp". And further you will have a female hero (who did survive a real sex crime) to balance this female fake victim who turns out to be the real villain. Defuse the sensitivity, and create real surprise.


Or maybe just keep one detective and turn him into a her who had survived sexual assault, and wants to hunt down the perp.


I already discussed that option in the post. I already said he could have the one dectective be female. But he is a guy - so it might be hard to write from a 100 percent female pov, and might be easier to make it a coed Scully-Mulder type team so he only has to imagine it from a 50 percent female pov. Just a suggestion.



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15 Nov 2021, 5:06 am

Dvdz wrote:
I had a line in my memoir where one woman read it and commented that it showed how much I loved women, and another woman read it and think it was misogynistic.

Whether someone views your work as sexist or not depends more on that someone rather than your work.

What probably happened is that your story had some structural issues (like not showing what the detective character is thinking so that the reveal comes as a "surprise" when it shouldn't have been), then the reader (I assume the screenplay hasn't been filmed yet) blaming it on sexism instead of the actual problem.


It all depends on a reader's dispositions. James Ellroy has been accused by some of his readers of being a misogynist or a racist, yet I don't see it, as he only writes about such persons.


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15 Nov 2021, 5:08 am

naturalplastic wrote:
Kraichgauer wrote:
naturalplastic wrote:
Ganondox wrote:
The issue is NOT the idea of a female villainous, it's the idea that what makes her villainous is that she falsely accuses people of rape. Would you write a male villain who antagonizes women by accusing women by accusing them of raping him? That's what makes it a sexist plot. You also need to remember that in the real world, men rape women and then try to make the women they raped out to be the villain by accusing the victim of falsely accusing them of rape. You're approaching a very touchy subject in a very thoughtless manner. If you're not making a political statement, then why not do something else instead?


Both things happen. Men get falsely accused of sexual harrassment and or rape. And other men really do commit sexual harrassment and or rape, and try to make their victims out to be liars.

Its a REALLY sensitive issue. Not only that but a lying accuser is not really a surprise ending per se. Its an obvious thing to suspect.

Sensitive, and not really a surprise. Two almost mortal wounds to the story.

Kinda like a coworker who was telling me his idea for a sci fi novel about aliens invading earth. It involved alien prisoners of our defense dept. taken alive from UFO crashes in the Nineteen Forties being tortured by earthlings to get info and intel out of them. This was right at the same time Bush was occupying Iraq, and stuff was coming out about Abu Graib and Gitmo etc. Told him to "be careful how you handle the issue of torture- all I can say dude." because that very thing was sensitive at that time.

One suggestion: make the detectives be a man-woman team. And have the woman be herself a victim of some past real sex crime (maybe in childhood). So she really driven to find the perp.

You could have the hero be one person... who is female...but I am thinking that it would be easier for you imagine a team with one member being your own gender assisting rather write it all from the opposite sex pov.

Anyway.... she is driven to find the perp who raped the lady. This creates misdirection (the very essence of every magician's act)because the reader will get caught up in the hero's emotional trauma and so forth... that will more surprise the audience when you spring it on them that ... there was no "perp". And further you will have a female hero (who did survive a real sex crime) to balance this female fake victim who turns out to be the real villain. Defuse the sensitivity, and create real surprise.


Or maybe just keep one detective and turn him into a her who had survived sexual assault, and wants to hunt down the perp.


I already discussed that option in the post. I already said he could have the one dectective be female. But he is a guy - so it might be hard to write from a 100 percent female pov, and might be easier to make it a coed Scully-Mulder type team so he only has to imagine it from a 50 percent female pov. Just a suggestion.


It can certainly be hard to do a rewrite. But if it turns out to be good, then it's worth all the effort.


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15 Nov 2021, 9:27 am

But the thing is, if I rewrite it, then I would have to throw the themes I was going for out the window. So the story would the be themeless if I were to take the thematic parts out. Is theme important, or do readers prefer if it's themeless, if it means it will not be dealing with sensitive subject matter? What's more important? Not having sensitive subject matter, or having a theme?



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15 Nov 2021, 9:32 am

I believe most people would like some sort of "theme" in any creative work which they peruse.



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15 Nov 2021, 9:47 am

Oh okay. It's just that if I change the gender of the detective, it changes the theme, because I wanted to thematically, tell this type of subject matter from a male's point of view specifically.



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15 Nov 2021, 9:54 am

And what's wrong with that?

Let's face it: not all literary characters are going to be paragons of virtue.



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16 Nov 2021, 3:31 am

Oh okay, but are you saying what's wrong with the character being a male, or what's wrong with changing it to a female?



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11 Dec 2021, 10:27 am

ironpony wrote:
:skull:
Ganondox wrote:
The issue is NOT the idea of a female villainous, it's the idea that what makes her villainous is that she falsely accuses people of rape. Would you write a male villain who antagonizes women by accusing women by accusing them of raping him? That's what makes it a sexist plot. You also need to remember that in the real world, men rape women and then try to make the women they raped out to be the villain by accusing the victim of falsely accusing them of rape. You're approaching a very touchy subject in a very thoughtless manner. If you're not making a political statement, then why not do something else instead?


Well it's just that other fiction has done this type of idea before without being seen as sexist. To Kill A Mockingbird had a woman falsly accuse a man of the same thing, and no one says its sexist, and it's a classic. So how do other works do it and are not considered sexist though?

As for the question would I write a male villain who falsely accuses a woman of raping him, it depends. It depends on what the story is about and other things within the story. I get ideas for stories, and I write them, but I cannot say would I write this or that, without knowing more of what happens in the story first.

It's that I mean to come off as close minded or dismissive of the issue, it's just that this has been done in other works of fiction before and it was fine. So I just need to know how I am the exception in order to understand it, if that makes sense?


If you read To Kill a Mockingbird and think it's about a woman falsely accusing a man of rape then you've completely missed the point of the story. The point is the accusation is based on racism, not vengeance, and it's a deeply political novel. You can't tackle a subject like this while just ignoring the wider cultural context. People WILL interpret in such, and unless you make the effort to send a egalitarian message than people are going to assume you're making an anti-feminist political statement.


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16 Dec 2021, 3:15 pm

Ganondox wrote:
ironpony wrote:
:skull:
Ganondox wrote:
The issue is NOT the idea of a female villainous, it's the idea that what makes her villainous is that she falsely accuses people of rape. Would you write a male villain who antagonizes women by accusing women by accusing them of raping him? That's what makes it a sexist plot. You also need to remember that in the real world, men rape women and then try to make the women they raped out to be the villain by accusing the victim of falsely accusing them of rape. You're approaching a very touchy subject in a very thoughtless manner. If you're not making a political statement, then why not do something else instead?


Well it's just that other fiction has done this type of idea before without being seen as sexist. To Kill A Mockingbird had a woman falsly accuse a man of the same thing, and no one says its sexist, and it's a classic. So how do other works do it and are not considered sexist though?

As for the question would I write a male villain who falsely accuses a woman of raping him, it depends. It depends on what the story is about and other things within the story. I get ideas for stories, and I write them, but I cannot say would I write this or that, without knowing more of what happens in the story first.

It's that I mean to come off as close minded or dismissive of the issue, it's just that this has been done in other works of fiction before and it was fine. So I just need to know how I am the exception in order to understand it, if that makes sense?


If you read To Kill a Mockingbird and think it's about a woman falsely accusing a man of rape then you've completely missed the point of the story. The point is the accusation is based on racism, not vengeance, and it's a deeply political novel. You can't tackle a subject like this while just ignoring the wider cultural context. People WILL interpret in such, and unless you make the effort to send a egalitarian message than people are going to assume you're making an anti-feminist political statement.


Oh ys, I am not saying I missed the point of the story. What I am asking is how come people are all tangled up in one plot turn in my story, instead of seeing the story as a whole, like To Kill a Mockingbird for example, rather than only focusing on one plot point only, rather than the whole story?



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18 Dec 2021, 8:19 am

False accusations of rape happen. I know of three biologically male victims of such accusations in my personal life & I really don't even know that many people.

They happen for all different kinds of reasons. Hurt feelings, misunderstandings & sometimes just plain old malice. Sometimes the perpetrator does it to shut a person out of their life that they deem 'inconvenient'.

And they go underreported too, because what biological guy wants to bring that to a police station?


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08 Aug 2022, 2:35 am

ironpony wrote:
Ganondox wrote:
ironpony wrote:
:skull:
Ganondox wrote:
The issue is NOT the idea of a female villainous, it's the idea that what makes her villainous is that she falsely accuses people of rape. Would you write a male villain who antagonizes women by accusing women by accusing them of raping him? That's what makes it a sexist plot. You also need to remember that in the real world, men rape women and then try to make the women they raped out to be the villain by accusing the victim of falsely accusing them of rape. You're approaching a very touchy subject in a very thoughtless manner. If you're not making a political statement, then why not do something else instead?


Well it's just that other fiction has done this type of idea before without being seen as sexist. To Kill A Mockingbird had a woman falsly accuse a man of the same thing, and no one says its sexist, and it's a classic. So how do other works do it and are not considered sexist though?

As for the question would I write a male villain who falsely accuses a woman of raping him, it depends. It depends on what the story is about and other things within the story. I get ideas for stories, and I write them, but I cannot say would I write this or that, without knowing more of what happens in the story first.

It's that I mean to come off as close minded or dismissive of the issue, it's just that this has been done in other works of fiction before and it was fine. So I just need to know how I am the exception in order to understand it, if that makes sense?


If you read To Kill a Mockingbird and think it's about a woman falsely accusing a man of rape then you've completely missed the point of the story. The point is the accusation is based on racism, not vengeance, and it's a deeply political novel. You can't tackle a subject like this while just ignoring the wider cultural context. People WILL interpret in such, and unless you make the effort to send a egalitarian message than people are going to assume you're making an anti-feminist political statement.


Oh ys, I am not saying I missed the point of the story. What I am asking is how come people are all tangled up in one plot turn in my story, instead of seeing the story as a whole, like To Kill a Mockingbird for example, rather than only focusing on one plot point only, rather than the whole story?


We don't have your entire story, but from what we do have the circumstances between what happened in To Kill a Mockingbird and yours are very different. You say it's necessary for the themes in your story, which frankly sound like sexist themes - why does a male's perspective need being falsely accused of rape? To Kill A Mockingbird meanwhile had anti-racist themes, with the emphasize being based on the fact he is being falsely accused due to his, not his sex. You're free to express whatever themes you want, but I think people are adept at picking up on the differences in themes, and that's the real reason for the difference in reactions.


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08 Aug 2022, 7:08 am

Oh okay thank you very much for the input! What sexist themes would I be sending me out exactly though?



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08 Aug 2022, 2:19 pm

ironpony wrote:
Oh okay thank you very much for the input! What sexist themes would I be sending me out exactly though?


I don't know, I haven't read your book, maybe that woman who accuse men of rape are evil?


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08 Aug 2022, 3:41 pm

Ganondox wrote:
ironpony wrote:
Oh okay thank you very much for the input! What sexist themes would I be sending me out exactly though?


I don't know, I haven't read your book, maybe that woman who accuse men of rape are evil?


The male who is being accused is not evil but an innocent fall guy for her plan. Is that bad though?



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08 Aug 2022, 5:04 pm

ironpony wrote:
Ganondox wrote:
ironpony wrote:
Oh okay thank you very much for the input! What sexist themes would I be sending me out exactly though?


I don't know, I haven't read your book, maybe that woman who accuse men of rape are evil?


The male who is being accused is not evil but an innocent fall guy for her plan. Is that bad though?


I don't think so. What's the woman's motivation? Is she evil? Is she mentally ill?


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