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  1. #31
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    I can see how you'd be irritated, and I admit I may have overstated the case. I haven't really thought about this topic much before and I may have gotten carried away by my own train of thought.

    I do not believe that "any nudes that are created as an artistic celebration of form is just an excuse". Many nudes are an artistic celebration of form, without sexual connotations. However, when I, personally, look at Wu's pieces, I see strong erotic overtones. The window-lit bedroom settings, the gossamer, the warm and soft light, and most of all, the overwhelming preponderance of shapely young lasses in wistful or even overtly sexual poses...I really don't see how you can look at that body of work and not see the erotic overtones. If it's just about the human form, why are there no men, no children, no older or less fit women? Why are there no other settings? Why are none of them engaged in activities other than reading?


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  3. #32
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    No worries. I've taken a few of Wu's classes, I assure you that he does paint men and women of different ages and shapes as well, just not as much. Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures back then :/. As I said, there's a very particular model type that he gravitates towards in most of his work, and that's the foundation. What he does after that has everything to do with the abstract qualities, the color, the texture, the edges, the mood above all. That's why I brought up his 'figure as landscape' analogy. It's not only about the subject, although the handling does work with the subject. It's hard not to see the poetry inherent in female form, although some of those clinical atelier studies do a pretty good job of doing away with it .

    On a tangential note, I don't really equate all eroticism with pornography, it is a human experience in its own right that doesn't always have to do with mere titillation. That's a blurry line though, and I honestly don't think I could do justice to that line of thought in discussion right now.

    But, I've gotta get back to work before the boss comes around. Cheers on the discussion .

  4. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benedikt View Post
    The latter is the product of the former and in any case it seems extremely narrow minded to say that in the nature vs nurture debate nature can be disregarded completely.
    I absolutely agree. And we are finding more and more ways that nature and nurture fold round on eachother; children and grandchildren of people who were embryos during a great famine still show differences in their genes compared to babies born before or after the disaster. Your grandmother's prenatal environment will have clear and present effects on who you are, today. And so on.

    Gene methylation, ie switching on and off, adds even an another layer of complexity over the already insanely complex behviour of the genes themselves.
    we are 100% nature + nurture.
    Culture is a very thin skin on the surface; its like the old bromide goes, we're only 3 days from barbarism if the food runs out.

    " I just think it is more beneficial to look at it as if it were a cultural phenomena, instead of anything else, because that means we can change it. And I think it really is cultural, and we really can change it."

    I again agree completely with Benedikt here. Witness the total lack of success and the terrible psychological damage done when mothers were told they were causing schizophrenia in their children by their parenting techniques (yeah that happened), or that being gay is a choice and can be changed. Both schizophrenia and homosexuality are wired in and theres absolutely fuck all culture can do about them aside from understanding this fact.

    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    . Women in primitive societies have always been expected to do massive amounts of the actual physical work, they didn't just loll around popping out babies. There's a lot of active things to do besides fighting, you know. So saying women evolved to be "passive" is bollocks. .
    TobbA Covered this but I should clarify, im not suggesting women were lazy or incapable of physical or intellectual work, Im saying their sexual role (and by role i mean, the part they play, the image they emply0 has evolved to be the passive one as a result of tournament sexual selection.
    If you disagree, why did 50 shades of grey sell a jillions copies? The fantasies in there were, according to the reviews, generally about being dominated sexually. Not dominated intellectually, financially, just in the bedroom for fun.

    Also, there seems to be this idea that dominance = good and male, and submission = bad and female. Guys want to compete, and win and BE THE MAN. The worst thing a guy can be is sexually submissive, once a cocksucker always a cockucker eh? "You cant control your woman, youre weak!" And less so recently but historically definitely, woe betide that a woman be dominant; that makes her 'mannish'. I infer no such moral positions from sexual ones, any more than I inately support the white pieces in chess because Im caucasian.
    I am saying that passivity might be a strategy to attract males, and does not represent real submissiveness, much as dominance behaviour is a strategy (to demonstrate fitness) and earn the right to breed with females even thogh big muscles dont necessarily eaqual good genes. Gaming these strategies for personal benefit is why we might go to the gym to build our muscles or wear make up that makes our lips seem engorged with blood.
    Like Sid says, a lot of this says more about you than it does about the work in question.

    The only way all this nonsense will be squashed is when people can select the gender they prefer to physically appear as.
    Last edited by Velocity Kendall; December 13th, 2013 at 10:41 PM.
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  5. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velocity Kendall View Post
    TobbA Covered this but I should clarify, im not suggesting women were lazy or incapable of physical or intellectual work, Im saying their sexual role has evolved to be the passive one as a result of tournament sexual selection
    Oh, it's a lot more complicated than that. Even when it comes to sex it's hardly a matter of a guy doing everything and the woman receiving everything. Because if you are passive and submissive, someone who is more active and socially manipulative is going to poach your testeroney protector. Or you may lose your chance at getting a better testeroney protector.

    I think pictures of passive women are kind of like pictures of Jesus healing the sick. Wishful thinking. It's like "wouldn't it be nice if I could just get orgasms without having to do anything". And that goes for dominance fantasies too. They're mostly a convoluted way to fantasize about orgasms without guilt. "Wouldn't it be great if some guy I totally want to screw JUST HAPPENED to force me to do everything that I would do in a second if it weren't socially frowned-upon."
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  6. #35
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    "Oh, it's a lot more complicated than that. Even when it comes to sex it's hardly a matter of a guy doing everything and the woman receiving everything. Because if you are passive and submissive, someone who is more active and socially manipulative is going to poach your testeroney protector. Or you may lose your chance at getting a better testeroney protector."

    Now youre talking! And we're into the game theory of sexual selection... which is insanely interesting reading by the way...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fixed_action_pattern
    Last edited by Velocity Kendall; December 13th, 2013 at 11:40 PM.
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  7. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobbA View Post
    Yeah. I think that when we stereotype things we tend to take small biological differences and exaggerate them. Men are seen as actors, while women are seen as passive victims. Or if you look at comic book covers, women are seen as bendy and flexible, while the men are rigid and strong.
    exactly, the artist plucks the archetype from reality and buffs it.

    someone asked about an evolution of women in art as a function of time. i cant provid ethat but this might be germaine.

    The Passive Female

    over the years artists have found ways to embellish mickey's childlike (neotenous) features to ellicit the cute response from people. thats the thing that makes people, especially women, go aww when then see a baby's big eyes, small muzzle and cute ickle fingers. kids love it too. it opens parents wallets.
    theyve also been evolving out the stuff that looks like an adult monster rat thing; long spiky face, long whip tail, tiny beady eyes, small hand to head size etc.

    artists do the same thing for strong powerful dudes and sexy inviting chicks lounging on sofas. The mistake is thinking sexual posturing is the same as desire for interpersonal dominance. it might be fun to be sexually dominated for a while, but not so much in the work place or marriage for years.
    i dont think theres anything wrong with this posturing or media featuring it per se, and i dont want us to 'grow out of it', just recognise it for what it is; our animal past shone through the prism of culture and selected for in a large part by its automatically broad appeal; sex sells..
    the reason we have trouble with this? no idea, but chimps have different theory of mind abilities during different tasks. during competitive tasks, they can accurately model the mental states of their opponants, cooperatively this isnt so much the case.. might be something like that going on..
    Last edited by Velocity Kendall; December 14th, 2013 at 01:20 AM.
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  8. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beeston View Post
    Solution is simple. Paint more active women.
    Or--
    More women [than men] actively painting.

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    “In 1985 a group of female artists from New York, the Guerrilla Girls, began to protest the under-representation of female artists. According to them, male artists and the male viewpoint continued to dominate the visual art world. In a 1989 poster (displayed on NYC buses) titled "Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum?" they reported that less than 5% of the artists in the Modern Art sections of the Met. Museum were women, but 85% of the nudes were female.”

    ANDROCENTRISM

  9. #38
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    vk and benedikt. I still disagree. Of course there are biological differences between the sexes. Gender inequality (and gender studies as a whole)however isn't about the actual sexes but about the way we perceive our socially constructed gender roles. There is a difference between being female and the ideas in our heads about what constitutes "female-ness".

    The creation of thousands of images with docile woman on them is saying something about how we perceive the female gender. These ideas are constructed and have little to do with our biology and everything to do with our culture and politics.

    edit: the problem for me with using scientific observations about our sex to say something about our gender is that these observations become part of our ideas about gender and because of that lose all there scientific credibility. How easily is an observation that females tend to be more caring, nurturing, emphatic (or whatever) used to actually advocate gender inequality. The step, females are more caring, nurturing and emphatic so females should be house-wives isn't really that big.
    Last edited by D.Labruyere; December 14th, 2013 at 11:10 AM.

  10. #39
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    "Socially constructed gender roles"

    What about biologically-emergent gender roles? In what sense can you separate societal morés from biology?

    I believe that ideology is holding you back, D. You are shutting down the scientific method by refusing to allow in certain strains of information because you can't tolerate them morally. But the reality is, you can't investigate something scientifically while also viewing it through a prism of morality. In order to really have investigative rigor, you must be willing to think all possible thoughts.
    At least Icarus tried!


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  11. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.Labruyere View Post
    These ideas are constructed and have little to do with our biology and everything to do with our culture and politics.
    “Human nature is deeper and broader than the artificial contrivance of any existing culture.”

    “The genes hold culture on a leash. The leash is very long, but inevitably values will be constrained in accordance with their effects on the human gene pool.”

    “The first is that no species, ours included, possesses a purpose beyond the imperatives created by its genetic history. Species may have vast potential for material and mental progress but they lack any immanent purpose or guidance from agents beyond their immediate environment or even an evolutionary goal toward which their molecular architecture automatically steers them. I believe that the human mind is constructed in a way that locks it inside this fundamental constraint and forces it to make choices with a purely biological instrument. If the brain evolved by natural selection, even the capacities to select particular esthetic judgments and religious beliefs must have arisen by the same mechanistic process. They are either direct adaptations to past environments in which the ancestral human populations evolved or at most constructions thrown up secondarily by deeper, less visible activities that were once adaptive in this stricter, biological sense.
    The essence of the argument, then, is that the brain exists because it promotes the survival and multiplication of the genes that direct its assembly. The human mind is a device for survival and reproduction, and reason is just one of its various techniques. Steven Weinberg has pointed out that physical reality remains so mysterious even to physicists because of the extreme improbability that it was constructed to be understood by the human mind. We can reverse that insight to note with still greater force that the intellect was not constructed to understand atoms or even to understand itself but to promote the survival of human genes. The reflective person knows that his life is in some incomprehensible manner guided through a biological ontogeny, a more or less fixed order of life stages. He senses that with all the drive, wit, love, pride, anger, hope, and anxiety that characterize the species he will in the end be sure only of helping to perpetuate the same cycle. Poets have defined this truth as tragedy. Yeats called it the coming of wisdom:

    Though leaves are many, the root is one;
    Through all the lying days of my youth
    I swayed my leaves and flowers in the sun;
    Now I may wither into the truth.

    The first dilemma, in a word, is that we have no particular place to go…"

    – E. O. Wilson
    Last edited by bill618; December 14th, 2013 at 02:45 PM.

  12. #41
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    I am starting to get really confused and have the feeling that I am getting moronic or something...
    We are aware that many females are portrayed as passive but our very ability to be aware of that is based in ideology(feminism) and after that we say it is wrong(or right) which is morality. Of course we can investigate and explain why. But shouldn't we be aware that after the investigating part is over and we start making further claims (be they ideological or moral or political or etc...) about any subject based on science, that science itself will also be seen through that prism of morality?

  13. #42
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    And then there's that wonderful human capacity to choose to go a different way. Just because we can.

  14. #43
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    The male body is a superior machine for generating force and power, thicker bones, stronger muscles, tendons and joints, it makes sense that it would be chosen to illustrate force and power in action pictures, kind of like a lever would be good for illustrating leverage. Other than that it is hard to have an opinion when I'm not seeing concrete examples of these paintings, don't know what the woman is symbolizing. Thing is, it's possible to have a great painting celebrating the passive side of women, and I don't see how even an averagely successful image of that could be offensive. It makes sense to make an illustration by drawing a woman as a generative power, and a man as a shaping power.
    The real failure of "artists" today is one of homogenous viewpoint, supposedly art, and especially sci-fi, are supposed to be about possibilities. There's actually more cultural discrimination against men, in particular against blacks and latinos, than their is against women.
    Last edited by armando; December 14th, 2013 at 07:38 PM.
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  15. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by armando View Post
    The male body is a superior machine for generating force and power, thicker bones, stronger muscles, tendons and joints, it makes sense that it would be chosen to illustrate force and power in action pictures, kind of like a lever would be good for illustrating leverage. Other than that it is hard to have an opinion when I'm not seeing concrete examples of these paintings, don't know what the woman is symbolizing. Thing is, it's possible to have a great painting celebrating the passive side of women, and I don't see how even an averagely successful image of that could be offensive. It makes sense to make an illustration by drawing a woman as a generative power, and a man as a shaping power.
    The real failure of "artists" today is one of homogenous viewpoint, supposedly art, and especially sci-fi, are supposed to be about possibilities. There's actually more cultural discrimination against men, in particular against blacks and latinos, than their is against women.
    It can be offensive because it is as though some men do not notice the actions women take. It is as if you worked hard to help your friends and family and one day you overheard them saying "oh yeah, that Armando... he never does anything" and you realized that nothing you did was even seen, much less appreciated. All people want to do work that is meaningful and be given credit for the work that they do.

    And if you think there is cultural discrimination against minority men, think about the discrimination against minority women, who get shafted from both sides.
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  17. #45
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    You didn't understand my post and you don't understand race politics. Women are absorbed into the culture, men are treated like the enemy, the whole thing with "culture" is an illusion anyway... I can only comment on America, but over here there is only one culture, the races are really just brands. " I don't see how even an averagely successful image ...", I mean a picture that successfully illustrates that one aspect of femininity, but there is no point in arguing about pictures without specific examples.
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