balance diversity

anonymous asked:

Heeey. Sorry if I disturb you by something or anything but could you maybe list some good shows? (It's not a must that LGBT couples are included) thanks a lot ❤️❤️💫

Hi, Anon! 

You’re not disturbing!

So I’m the type of person that watches a pretty random variety of shows so I’m not sure what your taste leans toward exactly. 

If you have any suggestions, make a comment or drop me a message with the show and why you like it! And if you want, make a suggestion on how to make this list better!

** Is for shows other people suggest to me. I’ll comment if I’ve heard of it or seen any of it. 

*I’ll try to put if it’s LGBT friendly. And also I want to put down if it’s diverse or not and a note if you suggest a show is diverse…I’m looking for either the main character that is a POC or more than 1-2 minor characters that show up often enough to make a difference to the plot. Don’t tell me a show is diverse if it’s 3 black characters are just window-dressing…👀

Let me see what I can remember and rec those and what I tried and didn’t like. 

  • -Shadowhunters: I love this trash show. It’s actually not all that great but it’s got some absolute gems of characters you end up watching it for anyway. I def recommend but S1 was watched with a ton of skip Clary/Jace scenes for me. This is LGBT friendly and diverse.  
  • -Riverdale: I tried man, I used to read Archie comics when I was younger but um, this show…I think it’s supposed to be ironically pretentious? It just falls flat for me tbh. It’s popular though so you can check a couple of episodes out to see if it’s your thing. There’s an openly gay character in this that should get more story than he does. Also, kind of LGBT baits too at times so not sure if I trust them completely. 
  • -The Expanse: My sci-fi pick. I love this show. It’s gorgeous, diverse, rich story, funny without trying too hard. I just get sucked into every character. It had one older married gay couple that was really minor characters but I don’t recall any current mains that are. But It’s an inclusive show so I don’t think it’s particularly averse to the idea. Based on books I haven’t read yet! 
  • -Veep: This is like a completely meant-to-be-offensive comedy show with the amazing Julia Louis-Dreyfus. While I wasn’t in love with the last 2 seasons, the first 4 are amazing. No clear cut character you root for in particular but it’s so close to politics you can’t help but laugh/cry. Watch it for the absolutely unapologetic legendary burns. Also, has a lesbian couple in it although it’s offensive comedy so prepare for that.
  • -Archer: Also another meant-to-be-offensive show that’s hilarious but so terrible and inappropriate. I don’t usually like that kind of comedy but I binge watched this when I was sick and got hooked. 
  • -Vikings: I love this show. If you like Game of Thrones, you’ll like this one only it’s got less nudity and more idgaf fight scenes. It’s got brilliant characters, beautiful battle scenes, really interesting storylines, and just good snarky humor. Watch it! Also, they’re not shy about same-sex couples even if they don’t explicitly say it. 
  • -Mr. Robot: Really good show, very different and…I actually don’t know how to describe it? The main has mental health issues. It’s a sociopolitical commentary type show. It’s about hacking and network security and corporation conglomerates in control of our everything and the fight against it. Also from @cherryrebel : mr robot has a shit ton of diversity in both race and lgbt, the lead is mixed race but the actor is egyptian, tyrell is bisexual, gideon is gay, angela, elliot and darlene are implied being lgbt+, i think i’m forgetting about someone but watch that show, it’s the shit 
  • -Legion: A superhero show that’s so incredibly NOT like the other superhero shows. You'll find yourself in a serious mind trip thinking you’re the one that’s crazy. But it’s really really good. Go watch. 
  • -Mozart in the Jungle: About a bunch of musicians and a crazy conductor you absolutely love. It’s really good. LGBT friendly! And diverse-ish.
  • -Luther: One of the best crime shows in my opinion. Idris Elba just does things and you will want to watch him do it. Anything he does is beautiful and brilliant. But the show actually IS brilliant and amazing and go watch!! 
  • -This is Us: one of those, where-the-hell-did-you-come-from?? shows. Really heartfelt stories that make you laugh, cry, and go aww a million times. 
  • -Killjoys: Another sci-fi show I love. It’s got diversity and great characters and great action and story. 
  • -True Detective: Crime detective show. It’s great, very gritty and serious but good stories and character-driven. 
  • -Humans: Sci-fi show about android robots that are part of normal life- they look human and are basically live in maids. Only five of these have consciousness. Really good UK show. Diverse AND LGBT friendly!
  • -Broadchurch: Another good UK crime show. Slow and gripping. @iamacolor mentioned a lesbian character in this one too. LGBT friendly.
  • -The Americans: Russian sleeper spies in America that lead normal lives, have American children, and are like totally Russians carrying out secret missions. 
  • -The Get Down: Great show that was recently canceled :( has about 1 season out. I’m not sure how to describe it and do proper justice. It’s lovely though with amazing characters. Also, LGBT friendly and clearly diverse!
  • -Stranger Things: Great show sci-fi mystery thriller type show. 
  • -Dear White People: Black college students from all kinds of backgrounds dropping truth bombs all around and being amazing. Also LGBT friendly. Go watch. It’s a balanced show with amazing characters. So both diverse AND LGBT friendly!
  • -Brooklyn Nine-Nine: an Amazing funny cop show that manages to be winsome, hilarious, endearing, quirky, diverse, balanced, and just amazing all around. V. LGBT friendly. 
  • -Fresh Off the Boat: Asian family comedy show that’s endearing and hilarious. (Also check out Jane the Virgin for crazy telenovela-esque antics that are hilarious and cute). 
  • -Orphan Black: Sci-fi show about clones. A really amazing show, LGBT friendly. Great story AMAZING characters…most of which is played by one woman. Diverse and LGBT friendly.
  • -Preacher: Great show based on the graphic novel…uhh not sure how to describe it but it’s good. Reth Negga is in it!! 
  • Also adding Sense8 for its LGBT and diversity. Good show but I’ve heard something about the directors/producers being racist? Not sure so I’m recommending with caution because the show itself esp s2 where the nonwhite characters got a better fleshed out plot is good. But since I don’t know what the producers/directors have done, I’m giving a heads up for someone else to fill me in.
  • Poldark: I just started this one 2 days ago. 2 episodes in I’m really enjoying it. It’s from PBS’s Masterpiece series. Aiden Turner as a Cornishman is delicious. So far I adore his wife and immensely enjoying yet another period show.  
  • Grantchester: Adding this to the list after I discovered it on my prime account. I’m only one season in and I love Sydney Chambers and his gruff buddy cop Geordie? This isn’t a show that is going to have you sitting on the edge of your seat. It’s totally a procedural type of show. But it’s characters are likeable, it’s story feels comfortable, and honestly, if it’s a shitty day for you and you just want something that’s easy? This is it. @iamacolor  :)

Keep reading

TIMELESS, 10 REASONS TO WATCH

[The idea is to post one reason per day until the season finale. We want this show renewed! We love it, and here are some reasons you should love it, too! #Timeless #RenewTimeless]

#2 - DIVERSITY

A very diverse cast. Balance between males and females, POC and white, straight and gay. POC are good guys, POC are bad guys, whites are good guys, whites are bad guys. It’s unbiased. These characters are responsible for the progress of the storylines and the developments are made independent from color, gender, or orientation.

#1

Coming Tomorrow: Reason #3

in collaboration with @officerparker
THE ORIGINALS SEASON 5 Q&A ON TWITTER -  Candice King is not a regular, Freya’s getting old,  Hope flashbacks, possible Stefan mentions, CMD to direct once more, and don’t expect a happy ending for the show!

Don’t expect a friendship between Caroline’s daughters and Hope (x) (x) it seems that the age gap isn’t workable for the three witches to become friends.

Candice King will not be a series regular (x) and other than the season premiere it seems the writers have not thought to include her in other episodes (x)

Neither will Danielle Campbell (x)

Judging by this tweet however, it seems that Danielle Rose Russell (Teenage Hope) will be a regular, compared to Summer Fontana and the twins Charlie & Blake who were only guests (x)

The writers were moved by Danielle RR’s audition (x) and as of yet, they have no idea if she’ll be changing her looks (people have called out that Hope is canonically a redhead due to Summer) to play Hope (x)

The writers haven’t discussed a spinoff from The Originals (x)

Freya is in her late 30′s / early 40′s but has physically aged slowly (x)

Despite Steven Krueger being promoted to a series regular earlier in the week, we won’t be seeing all that much more of him than usual (x)

Claire Holt will have a limited role in the final season due to her new show being picked up (x) it’s also unknown how many episodes Christina Moses will appear in, also presumably to do with the fact she also has another show (x)

Stefan Salvatore mentions are possible (x)

Charles Michael Davis will be directing again (x)

The werewolves still have their upgraded power, as Hayley and Jackson kept their vows until he died (x) and the werewolves will be included more this season (x)

There’ll be a better gender balance, though diversity is still lacking. (x)

Don’t expect much in ways of futuristic technology in the show despite the almost decade time skip. (x)

They hope to use Summer Fontana in flashback sequences (x)

A happy ending is probably not the ending the show will get (x)

Marguerite MacIntyre wrote episode 501 (x

Carina Mackenzie will be writing at least two episodes (x) from earlier instagram stories unable to be shown, we know Carina has likely wrote 502

And finally, though not about the upcoming season Freya/Jackson were considered when cooking up relationships (x)

We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.
~ Max de Pree

~ Ellen Vaman_Aksar Aphrodite
~ George RedHawk animation

IT TAKES A VILLAGE

This is the first of a few pieces I intend to write about STRAFE®’s design and how we are working on the game post release. It’s a mix of post mortem, dev blog and an attempt to transparently develop the next update since it’s taking a bit of time. We are using the feedback from dedicated fans while addressing existing issues or adding to STRAFE®’s content.

We began our development of STRAFE® because we wanted to make the roguelike FPS that we didn’t find in the marketplace. The genre at that point in 2014 seemed to have found it’s own language but we felt that it could be approached differently with the end result feeling more like an authored FPS than a collection of challenge rooms.

One of the biggest wants we had was to play a RLFPS with levels similar to the ones you would find in an authored shooter, not a collection of rooms that lock you in, teleport in enemies and then repeat the process. We also wanted a collection of enemies that complimented each other like the classic shooters we loved.

We worked hard to pursue our vision, and when we were finished, we felt that we had achieved our goals. We had four unique zones, level generation that was procedural without gating rooms and quickly navigable, and a total of twenty enemies that all behaved differently. Most of our feedback came from press, developers, or convention attendees, but when we received praise, it was often directed at these specific features.

For that reason, we were surprised at launch that a significant portion of our player base criticized the game as playing slowly, or for lacking enemy variety. The feedback was hard to swallow for many reasons but it left us trying to figure out how we were receiving this feedback when the game played fast for us and our testers and we know the work and diversity we placed into the enemies.

In a lot of cases, it matters far more what is perceived about a game than what the factual information is.

It doesn’t matter how many enemies are in the game if the general consensus is that there isn’t much enemy variety. This was a problem we had to address, alongside the similar criticism that the game played slowly.

We have been working hard for the past months to consider achievable solutions and implement them.

LEVELS

With the levels we believe that we found the major issue and as we work on our next big update it’s been the one we’ve been wrestling with the most.

When a new player jumps in, if they aren’t confident with strafing and offensive movement they take damage quickly and die. After a few times we call this “hitting the wall”. At that point they start to make decisions on how they are going to play and try out new strategies. Some of the players decide to move more and for them the game becomes relatively easier to play (this is what we had designed for). To others, they decide to play it safe, moving more slowly and methodically, drawing enemies to a choke point to kill them.

We believe this latter form of play is not only less fun but also deceiving to the player. The player in this situation believes they are getting a leg up on the game but in most cases they are actually making the game harder for themselves and taking more damage since we have balanced the game around strafing and offensive movement.

The seamless levels we worked so hard to design also allowed the choke point strategy to be utilized since we don’t gate the player in each room.

ENEMIES

We have 7 enemy types in the first zone of our game. Some drop at you from ceilings, some fly at you, some pursue to melee, some run away to shoot and some pursue you and shoot. We thought this mix was a good balance of diversity but upon release we saw issues that weren’t apparent in testing.

We use the GLUTTON in the game as our Goomba. They are fun to kill and not that threatening if you know how to deal with them. Because of that they are the most common enemy. Due to that we believe they stick out in the players mind a lot more and facilitate the perception that we have fewer enemies than we do since most of your interactions are with them.

Outside of GLUTTONS we believe that other enemies behaviors were not extreme enough from one another.

SOLUTIONS

There are many things we have done but I will focus on a few of the interesting ones.

We have broadened the behaviors between the 3 Glutton types as well as lowering the general population of them.

  • Pale GLUTTON - runs faster but has half the health
  • GLUTTON - standard speed and health
  • Armored GLUTTON - Must shoot off armor to kill him, runs slower

We have also modified the pathfinding so hordes of enemies are able to spread out a bit more taking wider and deeper formations.

We have modified the aggro for enemies to make it harder to empty out rooms and fight a single horde.

We are modifying the behaviors of a large number of our existing enemies and adding 3 new enemies into ICARUS that will be specific to the zone.

The new enemies will be significantly slower in an attempt to keep rooms populated and lure the player into a fight with them.

We are removing problem rooms from the spawn pool and implementing 11 new rooms into ICARUS. Although we will never have a perfect solution for players who want to bottleneck enemies (we even support it at rare and appropriate moments) we are trying to encourage players to play more actively and show them the fun that comes with high level STRAFE® play.

We have taken in your feedback and considered it all and we are working on making STRAFE® the best it can be. We have a ton more than this coming in the next update. We will share more news soon.

Thom

I’m thinking a lot about my own, and other people’s, frustration with recs for diverse books/media that simply list the identity categories that the characters belong to without giving much or any information about the actual story or themes. And I really think it’s a symptom of a larger problem in how we talk about progressiveness in media. 

There’s a lot of talk about how “diversity” and “inclusion” aren’t enough, and that we also have to pay close attention to /how/ marginalized characters are treated - are they given as rich an inner life as the other characters? are they granted the same kind of respect and legitimacy? do they exist comfortably and realistically enough in their identity to avoid tokenism? does the narrative subvert common dehumanizing tropes about people like them? And it’s all a good start. But I think that when analyzing media, it’s good to look beyond identity categories and think critically about /what kind of story is being told/. 

Because things like abstract narrative structure and theme are just as relevant to the questions of oppression and diversity. We shouldn’t just be asking if a story has marginalized characters who are treated well, but if the story is creating an environment that is challenging to traditional modes of thought and conducive to a space in which more varied forms of human existence are acceptable. Does the story have a moral authority figure/system that is allowed to be challenged or called out when it is fallible? Does it make numerous forms of happiness or goodness available to the characters, or just relegate them into one acceptable manner of being? Does it have stratified categories of human connection, or does it celebrate varied forms and intensity levels of relationships? Does it acknowledge the messy reality of the harm that people do to one another, and show people who are fully culpable of doing harm while also being victims of harm themselves? Are people allowed to exist in complicated and multifaceted manners, or are they either put on a pedestal or condemned?

Because my sense is that all of those things are in some way related to systems of oppression and marginalization, and that the amount of questioning and subversion that the narrative does should balance with the diversity of the cast. I didn’t love Sense8 /because/ it had queer characters and polyamory (though that was nice), I loved it because it prioritized character development and relationships over plot and emphasized the importance of different forms of connection and closeness. (And this was why I was more frustrated with season 2, because it seemed to be forsaking that in favor of mostly heterosexual, monogamous romantic relationships). It made sense for Sense8 to have a diverse cast, because the themes and the very structure of the story it was telling were not in line with a universally white, cis, straight cast. In contrast, this is why I found the Shades of Magic series so disappointing - despite its inclusion of queer characters of color (very cool!) the black and white morality and lack of depth and nuance in the characters ended up leaving me cold. The diversity felt like window dressing, not an important part of the story.

Basically, I think we need to take a more holistic approach to how we evaluate stories from a social justice standpoint, and look at the dynamics of narrative rather than simply pinpointing characters and debating whether or not they’re acceptable.   

NEW MOD WANTED!

Hey everyone!! Alys and I have been talking and have decided that we’d like a new mod to come onto the team and make boards with us. With the amount of requests we are getting, we are looking to bring on another mod to help with the load of requests. We would prefer to have a trans poc mod to add some diversity and balance us two feminine white mods out, but it isn’t required. You do not have to have any experience with making mood-boards, you just have to be happy to learn how to and you have to expect every and all gender/sexuality that is requested. You will also have to have a way to contact us (as a group) outside of Tumblr but we can discuss that later with you. 

If this is something you are interested in or have any questions message me (Bayley) @as–if-i-would  

When you message me, I will give you a quick little form to fill out so that Alys and I can get to know you! 

Thank you very much and I hope to see you on this team soon!

~Mod Bayley

Balanced diversity

I was asked to write this article for wonderland back in March of this year but I wasn’t published due to editors cuts… Enjoy :)

In an industry where the standard is akin to the continuation of the essence of the eugenics program. Where by misrepresentation (or as frequently as of late… no representation) is sold to us under the guise according to Demna Gvasalia; an uninterrupted “artistic expression”. Where the history of houses like The then ‘Yves Saint Laurent’ are eradicated, white supremacy is rewarded and unchallenged through whitewashed casting and a lifestyle: “indie-rock” which may I remind you was a musical genre invented by black people :) where ideals of beauty clothing, culture, music language and “lifestyle” are taken from, appropriated repackaged and resold back to us as a cult of exclusivity… the white beauty standard… As a result an unconscious uneducated youth again are brainwashed into believing that they are not only disenfranchised from this world but like the daily examples of injustice, murders and lives not mattering it’s a reiteration that is simply indicative of that very same message.

I’m tired of walking onto set and being greeted with no one who knows how/ has the ability to or worst but unsurprisingly refuses to do my hair or makeup. I’m tired of being greeted by the constant and direct racial and transphobic aggressions and micro aggressions I’m bored of being asked by “creative directors” “have you cut off your cock”… “Don’t I really enjoy Big Black Cock”.


I’m tired of “brilliant” ideas like I know lets dress those “black guys” in non fashion related ghettoised looks featuring devil horned dreads head to toe over sized track suits string vests and bandanas hiding the face and surround their feet with a hundred or so bananas.

I’m tired only been made to seen in a certain light (to which I refuse) I’m tired of being dressed last being made to wear only “streetwear” given the last option told to go and wait in a van all day for a Dior special because you (the stylist) don’t believe that a transgender woman of colour can be or should be seen as beautiful or in that context when the photographer has been asking and waiting to use me all day. I’m tired of being told to take off what I’m wearing so we can put it on your white counterpart model just for the simple matter of fact that’s she’s white and “it would look better on her”.

‘You get to walk around and be mediocre and you still get rewarded with things.

‘We have to be exceptional to get anything in this business.’ Omorosa


I’m tired of being made to feel less than. I’m tired of the constant rejection. I’m tired of being told to lose weight being made to go above and beyond my non poc counterparts just to exist in the same space and for pittance in return. I’m tired of not being respected financially and literally. Having agencies steal money from me for jobs I booked without their aid. Jobs I should’ve been afforded but they don’t believe clients would want a “black tranny”, then why am I on set.

“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity.” —Viola Davis

I think in a world where those who are above and beyond the calibre of their white counterparts and no afforded opportunities or representation due to nothing but the colour of their skin is actually disgusting and it’s something that I’ve witnessed time and time again and on a personal level also web directly affected by, and I’m more than bored!

Im tired of as people of colour we are forced into this constant battle of how We perceive ourselves and how we are perceived. I’m beyond tired of my I guess my “conflicting” intersecting identity being too much being Treated like a ‘Mr Potato Head’ character like my identity isn’t fixed but can be questioned and challenged. Im tired of being asked to do a three day shoot then when I arrive Im greeted by weird looks and told to reduce myself in terms of eradication of that very same identity “Tschan your a man take off your wig” “Tschan act like a thug”… If you want a cis gendered person of colour to perpetuate negative connotations then drop for the following days and only use one image which is the back of my head and have the nerve to credit me. Then It’s begs the question… Why book me. 👀

“More angry more aggressive like really go for it” yet when challenged, when I use my words and articulately explain the reasonings as to why I feel uncomfortable doing so. I’m instantly deemed the “difficult one” and or the “angry black girl” when that descriptive couldn’t be further from my nature.


I’m tired of being seen as a hot topic a prop asked to do interviews talking about the black transgender experience, and the discrimination and exploitation I have received yet have my very words twisted and exploited by that very same interviewee to promote a transphobic film.

I’m so tired of baring witness to or being demonised and to being fetishised through imagery or reiterate a false ghettoisation. I refuse to take part in producing more two dimensional imagery that is pumped out into the public consciousness and we are again and socially conditioned into believing that as people of colour that’s all we are and as non people of colour, that it is all we can be.

I’m tired of reading vogue articles and deeming ethnic based styles but when adopted by white culture the “new it trend” and then comparing the very same styles to which it originates on women of colour and using language like “cheap/ ghetto/ ratchet” but when on white counterparts it’s now “edgy/ beautiful/ on trend/ elegant”.

In tired of being made “privy” to reinforcing stereotypes that originally never existed but were purposely put in place by those who believed in lynching. Stereotypes like the lazy nigger, the theft, the criminal the low intelligence. It’s something that is so archaic and systematically hot iron branded into our consciousness at large that it no longer needs the intention or knowingly racist participant to reinforce it as it has been past down over and over and over generationally like a bad meme or a young tumblr user who is oversaturated with imagery but isn’t knowledgable about the references idea or history behind it… It’s image oversaturation and fashion as is the new religion not just those who are privy to work or have associates within the industry but now the entire population at large are brainwashed into believing what they see (when reiterated enough).

Narratives need to be changed opportunities need to be awarded balanced diversity needs to be put into place their needs to be a range of difference in the way that people are seen and are allowed to be seen. Language needs to be altered and fundamentally changed, opportunities need to be given to the correct candidate and no longer allocated to those who continue to survive off a system that rewards those for simply being white as opposed over the qualified. Also being reactionary by throwing into the mix and or tokenising a black model to simply silence your critics is I believe dehumanising and fetishising onto wards the black body and simply reiterates again otherness which deems us a trend therefore disposable. Casting a black model, the right black model for your shows and campaign should be a conscious act. Casting directors need to step up, step up and realise that Not only can we allow accept or just play witness to exclusionary behaviour but you all have a social and moral obligatory responsibility to ensure it doesn’t happen and no longer goes on unchecked.

Strong Women, Female Agency, and Healthy Relationships in the Fast and Furious franchise

“They make overtly sexual movies that at least have the dignity to give their female characters agency and independence outside of scotch-taping them to the men’s stories.”

A film critic once said this of the franchise during a review article that I read and it has since stuck with me, and the more I think about this sentence, the more truth I find in it - for a franchise that most people only view as mindless action with fast cars, explosions, and bikini clad girls, more female characters make their mark and impact on the franchise than most female characters in any other great award winning films.

Now let me start by saying that I understand that Fast and Furious franchise isn’t perfect when it comes to women, and it isn’t perfect in general either - this franchise is still very much a male dominated series, we don’t have any canon LGBTA characters (though actress Michelle Rodriguez is POC and Bi) and there is still more men than women, so yes, the franchise can use more balance, diversity, and more female lead characters - but given that the franchise’s flagship relationship is really between Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker’s characters Dom and Brian (whether you see it as platonic or something more), it’s safe to say that everyone else sort of comes second string to that, no matter male or female character.

Perhaps the diversity comes from the bi-product of the fact that within the 4 directors of this franchise, only one person is a white male - the three other directors, including current new director for the upcoming 7th film, are all POCs - an African American man for the 2nd film, an Asian man for 3,4,5, and 6, and finally another Asian male director for the 7th movie.

In the end though, it’s really not just about the numbers of female characters, but rather the simple fact that in the Fast and Furious movies, the female characters, even the ones who only appear briefly and say maybe one line or two, have both diversity and agency. And while they might not be the main lead females, they still end up making important pivotal choices, and they can still drive the direction of the story.

Sometimes they are the heroes and sometimes they’re the villains. Sometimes they’re near perfection and sometimes they’re incredibly flawed. Yet at the end of the day, these female characters can all go toe to toe with the male characters and show themselves to be the experts in their skills.

———————————–

<<STRONG WOMEN>>

In the circle of the prominent female characters in the franchise, all of them are incredibly strong in each their own ways - once again, independence, strength, and agency are given to each of the female characters and they are treated with respect by the filmmakers - they are not dumbed down in order to spare the male characters’ feelings.

There is so much awareness of female characters’ great capabilities in these films, and it is embodied in this one line of dialogue delivered:

“You don’t send a man to do a woman’s job.”

The franchise recognize the strengths in female characters and again and again bring them on screen in order to subvert those age-old gender stereotypes that have become all too common place in Hollywood films.

I will run down the character list by movie chronological order.

————-

THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS (2001)

We first see Letty Ortiz in the first Fast and Furious movie and she makes an impression right off the bat. She is tough, rough and tumble, and she doesn’t take shit from anyone, not even main male lead and love interest Dom, whom she will shout and yell at if that’s what it takes to stir him into action. Letty owns who she is and doesn’t change herself for any man and she will happily race you and take you down without blinking or hesitation. She is the tomboy figure in a sense but Letty also doesn’t sacrifice her feminine side when she gets some sexy times with Dom - here is a person who enjoys being who she is and she is just as capable and strong as any of the guys. When trouble comes, she is right in the action, and while she may not have saved the day in the first film, her character isn’t shown to be weak either.

And in the years between first film and when we see them again in the 4th film, she is still always in the action, still confident and strong. And when Dom leaves her and the others behind because he thinks it’s too dangerous with the cops on his tail, you don’t see Letty crying in a corner waiting - in fact, she takes matters into her own hands and does something about it because she isn’t going to sit around and wait for a man to make a move when she can get things done just the same. It’s Letty’s decision that ultimately sets the events of the 4th film into motion and it’s her “death” that propels the storyline forward.

Even during her “death”, she still manages to survive - and while she may be tough, Letty is also not unnecessarily cruel. She does her job efficiently and she understands collateral damage but at the same time she has a sense of honor. When she runs into Dom and the team again, she’s not immediately wooed by Dom’s amazingness and somehow thinks the world of him, sure she’s curious and she thinks he’s got some serious balls, but she’s still not willing to abandon the choices she’s made until she sees something that is worth it for her to take the risk for. And it’s not just Dom saving her that makes her change, it’s the team stepping up to vouch for her and readily calls her family that makes her decide that these people are the ones that are worth fighting to be with.

As Letty states very clearly, whether she has amnesia or not, nobody makes her do anything she doesn’t want to do, she has her own code and a brain of her own to know who and what kind of people she wants to be with - she owns up to who she is and choices she makes and doesn’t let any guy’s manpain overshadow what is her own decisions in her journey. And the fact that she doesn’t have to magically remember everything for her to make the choice that this team is her home, it doesn’t turn her into some overused cliche

————

One could say that Mia Toretto often ends up getting the short end of the stick, being the little sister to main character Dom who is, like Mia once said, like gravity and everyone gets drawn to him. But that’s not to say Mia is some pushover. Sure she is the more girly and feminine one between her and Letty, but she stands her ground with just as much grace and class. We see her as a young girl falling in love in the first movie, we see her get her heart broken in a way, and we see her being a force of nature in not letting the men around her throw shit around and get away with it. Whether it’s Brian lying to her or Vince being a jerk. Mia makes it very clear, she is the one in control of her destiny, not a man. Oh sure she will fall in love, but she won’t be pushed around.

And when it came down to choosing between Brian and her family, she chose her family - yes she loves Brian but it was her family she would stand with, not some guy who lied to her and she’d just fallen for. She might have trusted him to save the day, and mind you he wouldn’t have saved the day without her - but she wasn’t going to just walk back into his arms, not when her family needed her.

When Mia meets Brian again 5 years later, she is understandably pissed and has every right to be, and the film allows her to be angry, to not let Brian off the hook, to not allow Brian’s manpain overshadow her rightful anger at being lied to, being used, and her family being torn apart. She doesn’t just soften because he apologizes, in fact, when Brian says it was the hardest thing he’d ever had to do, Mia’s response was “oh I’m very sorry you ruined my family, I’m sorry that it was hard for you” - she doesn’t leave room for him to wallow in guilt as if it was only hardest for him alone - she doesn’t dumb herself down to spare his feelings.

And in fact, it’s not even on her mind to get back together with Brian at all, that love only returns when she sees what Brian is willing to risk for her family, for her brother, that he was willing to die for them, die to make things right. And when they have to go break Dom out of prison, she’s right in there in the action - there’s never this assumption that Mia can’t handle herself or that she can’t drive or that somehow Brian is the only one who should drive, if anything she’s driven in at least more than two occasions where they save the day together.

Even while being pregnant, she’s still not backing down or running away - it’s her in the 5th movie who tells Dom and Brian that they weren’t splitting up, that family sticks together, and it’s her again being their rock and strength in telling them to go after Letty in the 6th film - it is her words and her blessing that pushes the guys into action, that moves the storyline forward. And where most movies would have dragged out a pregnancy secret, Mia says it right out, she’s not gonna wait any longer or hide it. She is a mother and she is happy being a mother, and even though she’s not in the action, she is the solid support system for the guys - and when she and her baby are put in danger, it is Mia who makes the choice to put herself in harms’ way and allowing Elena to get away with baby Jack.

And she doesn’t wait for people to come hold her hand to save her, when she sees the opportunity to escape, she does. She is capable just as any man behind the wheel and her most defining trait doesn’t have anything to do with her gender but rather the simple fact that she is a Toretto, that she’s tough and strong and a fighter.

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2 FAST 2 FURIOUS (2003)

When we are introduced to Monica Fuentes in the 2nd movie, she is already an amazing agent who had been embedded in the organization of our main villain, Verone. She is shown to not let the men walk all over her, and she is respected by her male colleagues as someone who is good at her job.  Oh she might fancy Brian a bit, what with those pretty blue eyes and cute smile, but she doesn’t let any of that impair her ability to remain in her cover and do what she came here to do.

The only reason her position became compromised was because she took a risk to go to Brian and tell them about Verone wanting to kill him and Roman when their hired job for him was done. Her slip up had nothing to do with romance, but everything to do with her being a good decent person who wasn’t just going to let two people from her own side walk into a massacre without any warning. She might be willing to do things for her job, but not send people to slaughter when she could do something about it.

Yes she did get taken hostage by Verone, but she never lost her cool and even he admires her, tells her that she was perfect until this one slip up, that no one else got this close to him for this long except her - and even as Brian and Roman saved the day by crashing their car onto the boat she was held hostage, it was Monica who fought off her guard, it was Monica who made sure the day was saved by pointing a gun at Verone’s head and preventing him from trying anything else like blowing Brian and Roman’s heads off with his gun. She played her part in saving the day and rescuing herself, not just letting the men do her job.

And let’s not forget it was her returning cameo at the post credit scene of Fast Five that allowed Hobbs to go to Dom about the information on Letty - she was the one who found it, she was the one who noticed, thus driving the storyline forward.

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If there ever was a character who was my childhood hero, Suki was that character for me. She taught me that a person could be badass and still love all things pink, that gender stereotypes meant nothing and pink is just a color, an awesome color especially painted onto cars. Smart, sassy, brave, loyal, girl power, and not taking anyone’s shit, Suki blew through the movie like a wave of fresh air. She didn’t speak with some heavily accented English, she wasn’t exotic or dragon lady or someone always commenting on her looks - she was respected and treated just like one of the guys. When she spoke, people listened, they acknowledged her and praised her and took her seriously.

In fact, in the beginning race of the 2nd movie, she is the only person other than Brian, our protagonist, to have made it across that huge bridge gap and land on the other side - two other men couldn’t do it, one even chickening out right before the jump - but Suki made it and she did it with style.

She’s always kept to her individuality and let no one change her, and if a man were to say anything against her, she’d dish it right back at him. Not to mention she plays a huge part in allowing Brian and Dom to pull off their schemes, even risking getting arrested for the plans to work and she doesn’t let Brian forget it.

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FAST AND FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT (2006)

One might take a look at Neela and just assume that she must be that quiet soft obedient girl who does what she’s told and knows her place - in a way yes, that is part of her personality, but don’t mistake her politeness and kindness for a weakness or somehow she doesn’t fight back ever when provoked. She may have been happy in her status quo when the 3rd movie starts, but when her boyfriend starts acting like a jerk, Neela doesn’t put up with that behavior - she confronts him and calls him out on it, even telling him off and walking out.

She make it more clear than once that she controls her life, she can and will get to choose who she wants to be with, and no one, not even the Yakuza boss who helped raised her can prevent her from following in her choices, and you know what, he respects her for that. The only reason that she ever went back to her boyfriend again was because he was threatening people with guns and all Neela wanted at that point was for people to be safe, even if at her expense, because enough blood had already been shed and she wasn’t gonna just stand by when she could do something to stop it.

In the end though, Neela is freed from her previous boyfriend when he loses the race to main protagonist Sean - free to make her choice, she chooses to be with the people who respect her, who doesn’t mock her vulnerability, and accepts her for who she is - she is the character that I think young girls can look up to as a role model because she gets to be vulnerable, she gets to be upset, but she also has steel in her and doesn’t back down - she doesn’t let men walk all over her, when her boyfriend acts out, she doesn’t coddle him, and when he disrespects her and bullies her, she cuts ties and finds someone who does treat her with respect that she deserves.

More girls need role models who doesn’t settle for less than what they deserve, role models who doesn’t let men push them around or make excuses for men’s behaviors. Neela shows that you can walk away from a relationship that is bad for you and you don’t owe that person any favors to stay. She follows her own happiness and that is strength of character.

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The only girl in Han’s crew of mechanics and drivers, Reiko may have been mostly background as a character but she follows the same mold as Fast and Furious female characters always end up being - good at what she does and doesn’t need a man to make her life complete. We see her with her computer, she see her running engine checks, we see her with the boys building up a car so Sean can race - she is very much part of the team and there’s again never anything said against that, it’s simply just another case of of course this character is good at what they do, why shouldn’t she be - they don’t try to justify her skills or somehow make a big deal why she knows what to do or that she’s different than the other girls - it’s simply that she is a good mechanic and she can build things, that’s that, nothing more to be needed to be said or shown - the character is just accepted as what she is capable of and the audience accepts this too because it’s just a fact and reality.

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I’m sure at first glance you’ll easily assume that this is another dumb blond stereotype - after all, her name is Cindy, a stereotypical white girl name, and she’s got a stereotypical jerky white boyfriend - couldn’t be more cliche right? You’d be prepared to roll your eyes and you’d say this girl could never be a paragon of strong female character. Except you’d be wrong. Because Cindy is far from stereotypical. Because when her boyfriend and another boy (the main male lead) start to have a tussle and short of measuring their dicks, it is Cindy who puts her foot down and basically suggests that if they wanna compete, then compete like real men in a race and “winner gets me” - instead of the trophy girlfriend that gets fought over, Cindy subverts that stereotype and takes back all the control to herself. She’s the one making the choices, and she’s clearly the one wearing the pants in this relationship. And yes she ends up getting into trouble in the end, but it doesn’t change the fact that she’s not some dumb blond pushover who knows nothing of what she wants.

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FAST & FURIOUS (2009)

When we first meet Gisele Harabo in the 4th movie, she was working for the bad guys, but even then, it was clear that she was a woman who knew what she wanted and wasn’t afraid to go after it. She liked Dom, she was interested, so she went after him. But when she found out that he didn’t share the same feelings, she didn’t bat an eye, she didn’t sob and cry, she got over it and moved on. When her employer had no hesitation in abandoning her and almost killing her and Dom helped her, she had no trouble letting go of previous loyalties to be on Dom’s side and give him the chance to save the day. She provided him with the information that Dom and Brian needed to take down Braga. It was clear that she likes Dom and who he is as a person, and that trust would call her back for the 5th and 6th movies.

Gisele’s famous words were always that you don’t send a man to do woman’s job - she might have liked men but she certainly didn’t put their skills above her own. If men around her gave her issues, she’d squash them down before it even becomes a problem - such as when Roman greeted her with the lines “sexy legs baby girl, what time do they open” and she responded by pulling a gun on it and calmly replying “they open the same time as I pull this trigger, still want me to open them?”

She doesn’t hesitate in shutting someone down when any sort of inappropriate comments are made towards her and what she can do, and she certainly doesn’t walk away from the fight either. Her love for Han was one that grown out of respect and her agency was always respected. Her staying and fight was her choice, and her letting go of Han in order to shoot the man who would have killed Han and falling to her death was also her choice.

Now one would say her death was fridging a woman for manpain but in the case of the 6th movie, it was the simple reality that because the third movie which Han appeared in on his own was really set after the 6th and the third movie was released way before the 6th was ever made - timeline and story discrepancies had to be dealt with - Gisele wasn’t in the 3rd movie, and she wasn’t one to just walk away from Han and the family, so the only way to allow the story to come full circle for the franchise and everything in the timeline to fit, was to let her die and for that to be the reason Han goes to Tokyo on his own without the team.

And she died on her own terms, she died fighting for her family, and that is more respect given to the character rather than just let her randomly disappear. Gisele was a fighter and she died a fighter - a fitting goodbye for a character who has always been strong.

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We may have never seen her holding a gun, we may have never seen her in a big action scene or fight scene, but Sophie Trinh is every bit the dedicated FBI agent as any other man or woman, and she does her job with great efficiency. One can even say that without Sophie, Brian would be in a lot of trouble and having a lot harder time getting any of his job done - it’s Sophie who helps him with the paper work, it’s Sophie who lets him get away with certain leeways in the rules, and it’s Sophie who supports him. Brian doesn’t have a lot of people he trusts in the FBI but Sophie is one and he does rely on her. She is almost always seen at his side whenever they have scenes in the FBI headquarters, she is his first contact, and all the important things he leaves to her.

She may be a woman, but that certainly doesn’t stop Brian from looking to her for help or relying on her to get whatever info they need to do their job - she is a part of his team, and he simply accepts that.

—————

We only see a little bit of Cara Mirtha in the 4th film, we see her as Han’s girlfriend and a part of Dom’s crew when they’re out robbing trucks in the Dominican Republic - but even in the bits we see, she is portrayed in the way female characters in Fast and Furious films are always shown as - tough, dependable, and capable - she does her job, she is confident, she doesn’t waste time or breath, and once again her gender is never an issue - she’s just another character who is good at what she does and do it well and is part of the team.

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In the 4th film we only end up seeing this unnamed female FBI agent one time in this briefing room scene, but again, it is what she does in this scene that makes her memorable. Her only line of dialogue is the moment where she calls out a white male character for making a stereotypical racist against Asians remark - she doesn’t let him get away with it, she stands up to him and makes it clear that he’s wrong - sure it might sound like a throwaway line but they could have easily let it slide and not included it. And maybe this has something to do with the fact that the director is of Asian descent, but still, a female POC character calling out a white male character and not be shoved down for her comment, it’s rare in films.

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FAST FIVE (2011)

We are first introduced to Elena Neves in the 5th film and it’s clear from the beginning that she is a dedicated and moral person. Sure she isn’t as trained as the task force that she ends up getting assigned to in the film, but it doesn’t stop her from doing her job, and it doesn’t stop her from using her brains to point out the obvious things and question what is going on when the men around her couldn’t. 

It’s Elena who points out the road in the area that allowed Hobbs and his team to get to Dom and Brian and Mia, and it’s Elena who first reads the situation with Dom as more than just a group of bad guys doing bad things but actually something more. She is willing to see things that men around her are entirely blinded to.

And yes Elena and Dom does end up sharing a connection, but their relationship is something about respect, it’s two people who both understood what loss is - Elena is driven and motivated to her duty because of the loss of her husband who is a good police officer, note here that it’s not the woman that’s being fridged for manpain, but rather the man whom the woman mourns for - Elena is not portrayed as whiny or clingy even when Letty eventually comes back to the picture, she is a grown woman who is mature and makes her own choices.

It is in fact Elena who tells Dom that he needs to go after Letty, it is Elena who tells him that if this was her husband then she would go - Elena understands and respects Dom, she doesn’t make him choose or force her choices onto him - she doesn’t try to cling to him or try to push herself into his life - she respects that he has a family and that’s where he belongs, and that she has her own place that she considers family, that she will care always about them but she has a life of her own too.

Elena does not sacrifice her self respect and dignity for a man, she would rather let the man she cares about go than to compromise herself. And I think that is so rare for a woman to be portrayed that way in a big film franchise these days, for a woman to let go and walk away with her head held high.

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FAST AND FURIOUS 6 (2013)

As soon as we are introduced to Riley Hicks in the 6th film, we get a list of her impressive accomplishment - top of her class at FLETC training and youngest RSO in Afghanistan - you are immediately shown that this woman is trained, is the best, and is more than capable. Oh sure she might look tiny next to The Rock, but then again, anyone would look tiny next to The Rock, even Vin Diesel looks tiny. But her size and her gender are never called into question though, everyone simply accepts her and the attitude is basically just okay she’s a soldier, she’s here to do her job then let her do it.

And oh my does she do her job well, so well that none of the good guys ever saw her betrayal coming - she was so good at quietly placing herself into every single piece of action, she was so aware of everything, she was the perfect eyes and ears for the main baddie Shaw - she pulled a wool over everyone’s eyes and no one noticed that it was happening right under their noses until it was too late.

She was sneaky, smart, manipulative, and deliciously evil at the very end, she owns who she is and never gives remorse for looking after her own interests - and sure she is defeated in the end, but she was taken out by Letty, once again paralleling a previous fight scene her character and Letty had earlier in the film (there’s a lot of parallel fight scenes in this movie) - and she goes down fighting too, she’s not whimpering in a corner or running away - she’ll fight for what she wants.

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Vegh is practically portrayed as Shaw’s second in command in the 6th film - we never see anyone dissing her skills just because she’s a woman, in fact, the issue of her gender never comes up, rather she is always in the middle of the action, she is giving command, and she is trusted with back up plans put in place. If anything, it’s the guys around her who asks her for help, not the other way around. She even manages to smartly put in a plan to flip over main male character Brian’s car before driving past him and giving him a smug wink. Oh sure she is eventually taken out, but it’s more about the fact that she is a bad guy and to parallel her and Brian’s first run-in with each other than the fact that she’s a woman.

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<<FEMALE AGENCY and HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS>>

Agency for its female characters is something that Fast and Furious movies have done surprisingly well. For a franchise that most people give the shallow interpretation that it’s just about sexy girls and fast cars and mindless explosions, the female characters never play dumb to the whims of men - they make their own way, they control their own destiny, and they make that clear every single time a man may question her choices and intentions.

That agency for the female characters also relates to relationships, especially what I call the Big Four couples of the franchise - when a women is in a relationship, her agency doesn’t disappear, in fact, it is that agency that makes sure that these relationships are of love and mutual respect.

So many Hollywood films these days have a tendency to portray questionable and problematic relationships as amazing and romanticize/glorify them - how can we have young women watch these things and not end up getting hurt?

This is why the relationships in Fast and Furious movies are what I consider role models that young girls, or just anyone really, can learn from - because these relationships are built out of respect, it’s a balance, it’s hard work, it’s putting effort into listening to your other half, and it’s treating them with dignity and grace.

In a way, the four most prominent couples of the franchise portrays four kinds of different ways when it comes to love and relationships, yet each one keeps to the heart and the love and the respect, never forgetting that relationships should be built on honest equal grounds.

—————–

Brian and Mia - in so many ways, these films are the journey of their relationship, they represent growth and a kind of love that’s slow burning, that grows every single day and every single moment. When we first met them, it was a relationship that had started out under rather false pretenses - Brian was an undercover cop and Mia was a way for him to get in - but Brian fell in love and so did Mia and those true feelings never went away. There was a trust no matter how small and a respect for each other’s abilities at the very least even though they parted on less than favorable terms.

When they reunited again for the first time in 5 years, Mia didn’t stop herself from giving Brian a piece of her mind, she wasn’t afraid to let out her anger and Brian accepted it. And despite Brian’s guilt, Mia didn’t sit around and wait for his manpain to overshadow her rightful anger - I point this out as a part of a healthy relationship because so many times the woman is expected to just accept the man’s guilt and apologies and somehow immediately soften and accept them. Mia didn’t and she would be right not to. To be in a relationship, there shouldn’t be an imbalance - everyone’s feelings should be accounted for and be honest, not just more lies to spare more guilt.

So when Brian and Mia were able to clear the air with each other, they built the ground for them to start a new relationship, this one of honesty and trust, this one of knowing who each other are and what they need from each other - this is young love growing into a mature love that is steady, and adding in a baby for them is the perfect way to allow that relationship to grow because we have seen them grow together, we have seen their love transform and become stronger, and they have earned their way to have this family with each other.

Director Justin Lin once said this of the couple and I think it sums up what their relationship on screen really is about:

“It’s exciting to be able to take these characters and acknowledge their age, their maturity, and where they are in life.”

It would be so easy not to, so easy to do some will-they-won’t-they romance or love triangle, but Fast and Furious doesn’t play with that - instead they decide to acknowledge how far these characters have come in their development and growth.

———————–

Dom and Letty - the simplest way to describe what these two are as a couple are raw and passionate - they are not reserved, they show their love, they show their passion, and they don’t care who sees it. They are who they are, their connection is laid bare for all to see. If Brian and Mia are the reserved slow growing love, then Dom and Letty occupies the other end of the spectrum where it’s fast burning flames that can ignite into fireworks.

They are not the types to settle down for normality, they are adrenaline lovers and thrill seekers, being out there racing and being free is what they are all about - so many ways the words that basically has become the motto for the whole franchise is really all about them:

“Ride or Die, remember?”

Their love is constantly unpredictability yet again it is healthy - it is two people who love each other, respect each other, and worship each other and there is nothing wrong with indulging in that love when both sides know what to expect. Even when Letty didn’t remember, even when Dom clearly yearns for her, you still see that respect at work - Dom doesn’t force her to be with him, he lets her make her own choices, yes he’ll fight for her and he’ll wait for her and he won’t give up, but he won’t make her do what she doesn’t want to do or what she’s not ready to do.

They both save each other, they both are each other’s heroes, and their relationship breaks those silly old romantic cliches, because even in their romantic moments when you expect some big dramatic kiss, it never comes - in fact, they come out of this whole movie never even having kissed at all - and even when you think when Dom’s telling the story of their first meeting, how Letty almost lost her arm because some kid trying to show off wiped out next to her and you thought oh god it’s gonna be about how he saves her, even she thinks that’s what it is, but Dom breaks that cliche by saying that “no, I was the kid showing off” and not the hero.

Even when in the end you’d expect her to magically remember - she doesn’t - and that’s okay with Dom, because he doesn’t care she won’t remember, all he cares is that she’s here and safe and happy.

That is what healthy relationships should be - happiness and respect.

———————–

Han and Gisele - this is a bond that is made later in life, it represents the kind of relationship you discover when you are mature, when you’ve already grown, when you’ve already know who you are and you’ve experienced life. And this is the kind of love and partnership entered by two people who are both mature, who both are adults and know what they want - they may not have young love, they may not have grown up together, but they see something in each other that ignites a spark.

It is a healthy relationship that is built on mutual respect first and foremost, a respect of each other’s abilities and what each other believes in - both Han and Gisele have their own code, and they accept each other’s code - they don’t try to boss over each other, they say what they mean, and they enjoy life’s challenges together. 

As Gisele once said to Han:

“This is who we are.”

And that is very true - they are fighters, they are warriors, they know who each other is and accept everything about each other - they don’t expect anything more or less, and as long as they share that respect, that’s what makes it work.

———————-

Sean and Neela - their relationship is as much about young teenage love as how to walk away from a relationship that isn’t right for you anymore and find someone who will respect you as you deserve. I would even go far as saying that many teenagers could use this relationship as a role model for real life.

When Neela and Sean first met, it’s clear that Sean likes her, but when he does say something that upsets her, he immediately feels bad and knows to apologize - something that is so very important in any kind of a relationship and shows how Sean takes things seriously as one should when it comes to affairs of the heart. And it’s not just Sean that makes choices, when Neela is confronted with the fact that her boyfriend Takashi is beating Sean up and generally being possessive, she doesn’t put up with that kind of behavior, she calls him out and leaves.

I can’t stress how important it is to see that happening in a film, to show that you have every right to walk away if a relationship doesn’t work out and you don’t owe someone just because you knew them for years since you were kids. Neela chooses to walk away, she chooses to be around people who do respect her, who don’t act possessive like she’s property, and she chooses Sean because he doesn’t disrespect her - with Neela and Sean, there is equality, they are on the same level, and that is paramount in a relationship if you want things to work out. And the fact that Neela and Sean does that, it gives them the potential in the future to be a great couple as they both grow up.

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<<IN CONCLUSION>>

Now I am sure that for most people, they would never call these films feminist, because after all, it’s just mindless action and shots of sexy scantily clad girls in their view. But I frankly would say that this franchise is more feminist than most films in Hollywood could ever be. Yes it is often the boys’ playground, but the female characters who do exist and inhabit in this world are never shortchanged or made less than they could be - they are respected, they are accepted, there is never a question that because you are a girl then you are less than the boys. They never make gender into an issue and when gender is brought up then it is used to clearly state that the girls are just as badass as the boys.

The filmmakers of this franchise from the very beginning has treated the female characters with dignity and respect, they have allowed these female characters to be strong, to be vulnerable, to be evil, to be good, to be tough, to be weak, to be stoic, to be emotional - they have made these characters into real people - no matter what role they have, be it lead or brief seconds of scenes, the ladies in the franchise are always given agency and independence - the choices they make are for themselves, for what they love and what they want, never just for the sake of men.

Tumblr speaks a lot about wanting diversity, wanting strong women - in fact, most people in big fandoms make complaints about it and get upset when it doesn’t happen in Hollywood films - but the Fast and Furious franchise has that in spades yet most simply shrugs off the franchise because before they even really sit down to watch the film, they’ve already decided as judge, jury, and executioner that the franchise is unworthy just because the promotions and marketing have always focused on just fast cars and explosions and sexy girls - I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it is a shallow view - because these films are so much more than that, and if you’d give it the time of day, then you’d realize what quiet greatness this franchise has managed to achieve and what it does for diversity in casting and strength in women.

Yes it is lots of action, but as director Justin Lin once said:

“it’s best way to express who these characters are, by putting them in action.”

Or as Dom once said:

“show me how you drive, I’ll show you who you are.”

anonymous asked:

I'm writing a middle-grade light fantasy novel and I'm trying to balance making the characters diverse in lots of ways but I worry sometimes that I'm focusing TOO much on it. Specifically, the main character's best friend is very sick with a genetic illness and her new friend's mother has recently died of cancer. I'd like to show another character living happily with a visible physical disability, but I worry I'm just throwing it in there randomly for no good reason. Any advice / thoughts?

I think it’s important to remember that everything we portray in fiction is a choice; often, it’s a subconscious one. We’re influenced by society to see abled people as the norm, the same way we’re influenced to see white, straight, male, and thin people as the norm. If a story has three abled men in it, most people wouldn’t even take note of it, but when a story has three autistic women, it’s suddenly “over-the-top” or “unrealistic.” (Let me tell you: there are a lot more autistic women than abled men in my personal circle of friends. Realism is subjective.)

Anything we do to break free from this norm of majority characters becomes noteworthy and extra visible. I understand the anxiety you feel about focusing too much on diversity; I’ve often felt this myself. I’ve spent hours pondering how many characters in my next novel would be queer, and which ones, and what flavor of queer, and how prominent would it be, and was I “trying too hard” with that casual mention of those two chatty girls in wheelchairs passing my main character in the hallway …

Including these characters is a choice, yes. But not including them is a choice, too, yet people often see that as neutral.

While I understand your concerns, my personal opinion is that we should write all the diversity we damn well want. Some people may criticize you for it, sure. I’ve had people put down my book because of my approach to diversity. It might happen. But you might also reach those readers who clutch your book and say, “Finally.” You might reach those readers who blink at your book and say, “I’ve never seen characters like these before,” and they read and they learn. And you, as a writer, may feel more content and comfortable with what you’re producing.

From the sounds of it, you’re not “throwing it in there randomly for no good reason.” You’re including it because, as a writer, you care about portraying characters–people–who often aren’t portrayed. You care about balancing the scales. You care about portraying the world as it is.

That, to me, is a very good reason.

- Corinne

anonymous asked:

This topic isn't specifically about One Piece, but it is still definitely applicable. Is it wrong to create sexy characters? (Not trying to assume you're against them, just asking about your opinion). Like if they had bodies like Nami's and wore really revealing outfits, but there was a well balanced diversity of characters who weren't as "sexy," would you consider it wrong? I know there are women in the real world who dress in revealing clothing, and there's nothing wrong with that, (PART 1)

Anonymous said:
because that’s who they are. But would it be wrong if an artist/author did this since, as you said, everything the characters do/are is the creator’s choice? I’m aware that many creators, like Oda, sexualize many female characters and it’s wrong and demoralizing. Yet I like sexy characters like Nami and Robin…. (God I feel bad for saying this) And I don’t exactly find it wrong how Nami hasn’t worn a top or that Robin wears tight dresses (PART 2)
Anonymous said:
since like I said, women in the real world dress revealingly, but I find it wrong how Oda makes many of the females similar to them. So would it still be wrong that Nami and Robin dress like that even if (let’s pretend) Oda made his female characters much more diverse and gave them a lot more respect (I.e no damsel in distress, letting them fight, have other characters treat them as they would w/ the males, etc)? I rambled/ repeated a lot, sorry! I just wanted to get my point across! (PART 3)    

Of course it’s not wrong to have sexy characters. I think you touched on the important part–the presence of respectful diversity. I don’t have any problem with Nami being the way she is (though really, Oda COULD do more to diversity her wardrobe than just giving her a different color bikini each arc), and I think she’s hecka attractive. The problems comes in when there is a massive plethora of women looking exactly the same, with the few women who look different being mocked for their appearance. When that is the case, the narrative and content of the story make it clear that women’s inclusion and respect is predicated upon their conventionally attractive appearance. It tells the audience that women aren’t worth including and respecting in the story unless they’re physically attractive. 

So yeah. The existence of conventionally sexy women in media isn’t the problem. The problem is when they are everywhere, especially when it doesn’t at all take into account their personality and role in the story. Like I’ve been saying with regard to Oda… Shy mermaid princess? Sexy body and wears only a bikini top. 16 year old gladiator princess who is constantly publicly ridiculed? Sexy body with 0 muscles or scars on it wearing the world’s skimpiest chain-mail bikini. Professional assassin trying to eliminate a crew of dangerous pirates? Identically muscleless body AND she gets naked and takes a bath during the fight. Fat woman with a lot of muscles too so she can swing a big iron club? Returns magically slim and busty with no muscles even though her Devil Fruit was supposed to just be about making her skin slippery. Woman around 70 years old? Looks 25 and sexy. That’s not designing women to fit their characters and role in the story. That’s designing women to be fanservice and ignoring everything else about them.

People don’t need to feel bad for being attracted to scantily clad characters. I’m attracted to plenty characters in OP, men and women, and do like it when they don’t wear much clothing (looking at you, Wiper). But that’s not the only thing I care about seeing in One Piece. I love the wild designs and dramatic heights and the cool eyebrows and intense scars and the broken noses and the missing teeth. It’s great! The Colosseum was such a place of diversity with all sorts of characters–Bartolomeo being a pointy-teethed punk, Cavendish being dramatic eye candy, Chinjao being a huge old guy, Hack being a cool Fishman, and just so so so many other interestingly and uniquely designed characters. And then there was Rebecca… who had a completely unoriginal and boring design because she needed to be fanservice. She was the only woman in the Colosseum, aside from Acilia. Acilia DID have a different/diverse design, but she only appeared in literally 3 panels the whole arc. That’s how insignificant she was. She got all of 3 panels. SO, bascially it was Rebecca and her skimpy “armor” who represented women for the entirety of the gladiators. That’s not right or good character designing. I know there are plenty of people out there who are attracted to Rebecca and her design, but still wish Oda had done something different with her because they’re so bored of seeing all these women who just look like Nami. 

Mulcair-Mansbridge

“-as soon as we’re able to form a government we would see change in our attitudes internationally. I’d love nothing more than to go to Paris at the Conference of the Parties in December and get Canada on track. Start working with the world and stop working against the planet. That will be the most important conference on climate change since the signature of Kyoto. We’re the only country in the world to have withdrawn from Kyoto. And I sincerely believe that we have an obligation to future generations to start getting that right. Here at home there’s more inequality than ever and we’ve got to start reducing that gap.“

“And right now we know that we’ve gone through a predictable drop. I mean it’s cyclical. But Mr. Harper did nothing to prepare for or react to the predictable drop. He had made a massive bet, Peter, on oil and gas. He had made the economy – the whole economy, less diverse, less balanced. As I say we lost 400,000 manufacturing jobs. So we’ve got to get back to a balanced economy. There are lots of opportunities out there but you have to have a government that believes in helping create the conditions to create jobs and Mr. Harper sees no role for the government in that. I do. I want to be a champion for manufacturing and innovation.”

“[Mulcair chuckles]”

“Every time I’ve opened the door with the current Liberals, Mr. Trudeau has personally slammed it. He’s gone so far as to say that he could work with the NDP but he can’t work with me. My priority is to get rid of Stephen Harper; apparently Justin Trudeau’s priority is to get rid of me. “

“I am the leader of the NDP.”

“Peter, I know what poses a threat to Canada and Canadians, it’s continued war in a region that’s known almost nothing but for 35 years, going back to the Iran­-Iraq war shortly after that revolution. We went through Desert Storm and the first Gulf War and then we went through, which was supposedly mission accomplished by getting rid of Saddam Hussein. And everything has flowed from that, all the horrors ­ and I’m not trying to understate them that we’re seeing flow from that. So I think that the best thing for Canada to do is to start playing a positive role for peace and that’s – that would be a top priority for me as the prime minister of Canada.”

“I was a minister and when I was a minister, instead of worrying about every access request, we tended to put as much as we could on our site. I understand that every dollar being spent by Canadian taxpayers, they have a right to see how it’s being spent. Instead of trying to shut down the parliamentary budget officer – I had to go to court, as leader of the Opposition, to try to help Kevin Page get access to the information, the fiscal information he was allowed to get under the law. So I mean I’m going to practice what I preach. It’s going to be very open. I want Canadians to have a parliamentary budget officer who is directly under Parliament. I’m going to make that a much stronger office-”

“Yeah. Well, here’s what happened with Bruce–”

“What is it about Tom Mulcair…”

Cool little Avengers roster fanart I cooked up. I think it’s got a nice balance of characters with diverse powersets, personalities, maybe it’s a little repetitive color-wise, but I’m pretty proud of it. I should be, considering how long I worked on it. But it was fun, practicing with lighting and angles.

She-Hulk, Spectrum, and Hawkeye would share team leader duties, while Thor, Silk, and Ms. Marvel would be more on the rookie side. America only really came along cuz of Kate but ya know.

200 FOLLOWERS GIFT // POTENTIAL 1X1 PLOTS // PART 1

TWO HUNDRED FOLLOWERS for an RPC who really could stand to be more active. I blame life. But anywho, wow, guys thank you <333 I love you all. In the greater scheme of things, 200 isnt’ a lot but it means so much to me that you guys think I’m worthy of such attention. I hope I can keep doing what I do to the level of dedication I do and help making the roleplay community a more beautiful and loving place!

Moving along! I considered doing another follow forever, but decided on something more practical and helpful to the rp world instead! So as my 200 follower gift, below the cut you will find 6 potential 1x1 plots (or just plots in general) inspired by One Direction songs. This is part one of several posts. Whenever I listen 1D, my mind just goes crazy with plots and I felt it was time to write them down and share them.  This particular post features songs from the ‘Midnight Memories’ album. If you found this to be helpful in anyway, please like or reblog! And here’s to another 100 followers!

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