Do movies teach stereotypes?

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For the record, (I'm just going to state this upfront so we're clear on some terms).

I'm (mostly) apolitical. I think both the right and the left have become radicalized and there seems to be little, (if any), voice of moderation coming from these groups and there's not really a, "Let's agree to disagree, come to a middle-ground, a 'give'," on and on. etc. etc. whathaveyou. This is not to talk politics on this thread or bring politics into the board... all said however, I do think this debate has a thinly veiled "political"-edge to it. And again, we won't delve too much into these things, but I do feel...

You can't have it both ways...

If you really believe films teach stereotypes, how far are you willing to take this argument? Should we put a ban on such speech or representations? Then if it teaches stereotypes, what also does it teach? Films have a lot of smoking. Lots of smoking. Even in current films. Are film responsible for making people smoke? Should we ban or burn films with smoking? After all, I'd say a film with smoking is worse than a film with stereotypes as stereotypes tends to lead to hurt feelings and smoking leads to death. What of violence? Ill-gotten sexual intercourse? The things church groups and their political affiliates rally against, but there's not so much of a bat of an eye from groups that don't 'agree' with them... films are full of it. Even to the modern day. Should we deprive ourselves, get rid of such things, even burn and ban histories we don't see "eye to eye" with...

Point is,

It's a real slippery slope.

Not only do I think the evidence for these things doesn't hold under a hot light and close scrutiny... but if one side says, "yes such things are true, let's do away with..." well guess what? That mouse is going to want his glass of milk and then none of us are going to have much fun or have anything to talk about anymore.

All said,

Tread with caution.
This is a perfect post. 👏 Hat off to you.



Maybe



Registered User
The Magic Eight Ball has spoken.



That’s only a slippery slope if you operate on the paradigm that something that’s problematic should be formally banned and censored. Which is of course an illogical assumption to make.



That’s only a slippery slope if you operate on the paradigm that something that’s problematic should be formally banned and censored. Which is of course an illogical assumption to make.
Making the assumption that I was making that assumption is also an illogical assumption to make as well. There's always room for discourse and back and forth, seeking 'higher truth' as it were, (as we are doing here). However, as the case throughout history, sometimes such discourse behooves action. Sometimes on balance positive, sometimes on balance negative. And since we are engaged in the discourse stage at this moment, and not in a state of action, yet... My point of inquiry is to state that if you really are beholden to this doctrine, exactly "what" action do you feel personally "should" be done in light of these things? If not a ban, censorship, (by personal or external force), then by "what" means of action are you exactly referring? This is the point I'm perhaps a bit confused on, and perhaps you may be able to shed light? Thank you.
__________________
Imagine an eye unruled by man-made laws of perspective, an eye unprejudiced by compositional logic, an eye which does not respond to the name of everything but which must know each object encountered in life through an adventure of perception. How many colors are there in a field of grass to the crawling baby unaware of 'Green'?

-Stan Brakhage



Making the assumption that I was making that assumption is also an illogical assumption to make as well. There's always room for discourse and back and forth, seeking 'higher truth' as it were, (as we are doing here). However, as the case throughout history, sometimes such discourse behooves action. Sometimes on balance positive, sometimes on balance negative. And since we are engaged in the discourse stage at this moment, and not in a state of action, yet... My point of inquiry is to state that if you really are beholden to this doctrine, exactly "what" action do you feel personally "should" be done in light of these things? If not a ban, censorship, (by personal or external force), then by "what" means of action are you exactly referring? This is the point I'm perhaps a bit confused on, and perhaps you may be able to shed light? Thank you.
Making platitudinous statements like “*You can't have it both ways...” makes my interpretation not an illogical assumption but basic literacy.

Discourse and a shift in cultural appreciation and attitudes towards a subject. We didn’t have to ban yellow face in movies and burn all copies of Breakfast at Tiffanys to scourge the world of its existence.*

It begins with hearing the voices of those who dislike the representation of what they’re seeing rather than outright dismissing them out of fear of an eventual slippery slope that leads to nothing but the status quo.*



Can someone tell me where these odd stars come from halfway through some posts? I’ve had them appear myself.



Can someone tell me where these odd stars come from halfway through some posts? I’ve had them appear myself.
Seems to happen when you copy paste. No clue why.

But it’s not where I copied and pasted...



Hmm, never heard of that, can't imagine how/why. If anyone's specifically had that issue, please drop me a private message so we can debug/investigate a bit. Thanks in advance.



*must be a mobile phone thing*.
I second that, believe it’s to do with formatting changes during pasting in the mobile version.



Registered User
There is no such thing as "film without stereotypes." Most stereotypes are invisible to us as they are either innocuous or welcome. They are a shorthand (something which is indispensible to film) for identification. Who is this character? What is happening here? Stereotypes answer these questions without reinventing the wheel.

How? By generalizing. Stereotypes are nothing more than generalizations. The thought that "stereotyping is bad full-stop" is a poorly thought out platitude offered by an after-school special. The whole enterprise of humanity as we know it depends on the function of generalization. Asking if films exhibit stereotypes is like asking if mammals exhibit fur.

When generalizations are welcome we just call them truths, or trends, or inductions, or observations or iconic or whatever. When they're unwelcome we call them slurs, stereotypes, reductions, lies, attacks and so on.

What makes a stereotype welcome or unwelcome is bound up, in part, with the outlook of an age. The unanswered question is "What makes a generalization bad?"

  1. The most obvious answer is when it is not true it's not welcome. Of course, cultures flatter themselves with all sorts of stereotypes, so not all falsity is unwelcome in practice.
  2. Another answer is that, although it may be true (to some extent), it is not polite. This is at odds with the prior criterion and takes us into the orbit of "hate facts." Certainly, to be impolite without good reason is bad form. I hold that this is true, even in film. At the same time, art allows us to challenge each other with depictions that are sometimes painful because they're true.
  3. The most honest answer is "this offends by preferred picture of reality." This is a bit of a cheat, of course, because it is a truism and offers no discriminating power. Even so, we don't always have to take a side in a controversy to see that "taking sides" is all it really amounts to. Someone has an emotional response and tries to rationalize it. Another person has an opposite response and we're off to the races.

There are no easy answers. Answers that are objective or even universal will drag our discussion into ethics, biology, etiquette, politics, etc. Let us then satisfy ourselves with the most direct answer to the question of whether films teach stereotypes: Yes.



Making platitudinous statements like “*You can't have it both ways...” makes my interpretation not an illogical assumption but basic literacy.

Discourse and a shift in cultural appreciation and attitudes towards a subject. We didn’t have to ban yellow face in movies and burn all copies of Breakfast at Tiffanys to scourge the world of its existence.*

It begins with hearing the voices of those who dislike the representation of what they’re seeing rather than outright dismissing them out of fear of an eventual slippery slope that leads to nothing but the status quo.*
I gave two examples, one my personal political position in leu of recent times, and one hypothetical—serving as a cautionary tale. You miss the forest for the trees.

Anyway,

At what point will you be satisfied with those voices? Seems very "vague" to me. Is there a roll call on this? Are we making this a democratic thing? So an asian or non-asian person is offended. Must I sit and listen to every person who got their feelings taken advantage of? I don't mind I guess, but I personally am beginning to take offense at all this offense. Now do I get in that roll call and claim that my voice must be heard. Or is this not a "voice" thing? Is it something deeper? Perhaps I'm missing something. Enlighten me.



I gave two examples, one my personal political position in leu of recent times, and one hypothetical—serving as a cautionary tale. You miss the forest for the trees.

Anyway,

At what point will you be satisfied with those voices? Seems very "vague" to me. Is there a roll call on this? Are we making this a democratic thing? So an asian or non-asian person is offended. Must I sit and listen to every person who got their feelings taken advantage of? I don't mind I guess, but I personally am beginning to take offense at all this offense. Now do I get in that roll call and claim that my voice must be heard. Or is this not a "voice" thing? Is it something deeper? Perhaps I'm missing something. Enlighten me.
At what point will you feel enlightened? Will I have to write a multi-page dissertation with a works cited for the construction of a rigid rule set for my “rules of discourse?”

You implied a slippery slope of rigidity in that thinking movies enforce stereotypes means we should support censorship. I said it doesn’t and we should probably listen to discourse and concern instead of outright dismissing offense.

Now you’re offended by the prospect of listening to offense. So... *shrug*



No, I just want people to get over themselves. Honestly.

I have two mental illnesses, Bipolar I Disorder and Schizophrenia. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I hear the narrative that, "Mentally ill people are a danger to society." I cannot begin to tell you the stigma I face, especially because I'm vocal about it... but guess what? I move on. If a person is a dill weed to me, their loss. I'm a good person.

It's one of the reasons I really don't support NAMI. Their big thing is about, "The STIGMA! The STIGMA!" Truth be told, in dealing with what I deal with on a daily basis, "STIGMA!" is the least of my problems.

So again, what about my voice? Should I be all hot and bothered if a film gets it wrong? Stereotypes me? Even calls me names? Or, do I behave like an adult, get over it and just better my own self? Perhaps if I can show people with my actions that I'm not the stereotype... doesn't that make me the better person? For the sake of my loved ones I've had to work hard in such ways. I've had to work hard by the skin of my teeth to remain in good standing? Where's my voice? Medal? Parade? Again, get over yourself. Everyone's got problems. Instead of "talking" and "listening" to it, better your own damn self.

Anyway, retort to this or not, I've stated final opinion/argument and I'm pretty done. Here's looking at you, kid.



No, I just want people to get over themselves. Honestly.

I have two mental illnesses, Bipolar I Disorder and Schizophrenia. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I hear the narrative that, "Mentally ill people are a danger to society." I cannot begin to tell you the stigma I face, especially because I'm vocal about it... but guess what? I move on. If a person is a dill weed to me, their loss. I'm a good person.
Would you say films reinforced those stereotypes that cause you to face stigma?



Would you say films reinforced those stereotypes that cause you to face stigma?
Hard to say, really. You got a guy exhibiting problems, maybe homeless, or something you see on the news. Hell the news will talk up a storm about "hypotheticals" about what led to what crime when it occurred but never giving you "real" concrete answers. It's all really up in the air. My point here is though:

It doesn't matter!

Listen, about three weeks ago I attempted suicide by overdose, and when that didn't work I beat my on my own temples until I passed out... "Stigma" and "Stereotyping" didn't do that... you know what did? My own damn mind. Again, I got bigger problems than if a f**king movie doesn't portray me the right way. You know what I did in aftermath? I started over again. I picked myself up. Brushed myself off. And went back to the drawing board. New and better days. At least for now God willing. So again, "So what?" It's better to deal with actual issues than complain about non-existent f**king diatribes of, "Oh no, my poor precious feelings."



Hard to say, really. You got a guy exhibiting problems, maybe homeless, or something you see on the news. Hell the news will talk up a storm about "hypotheticals" about what led to what crime when it occurred but never giving you "real" concrete answers. It's all really up in the air. My point here is though:

It doesn't matter!

Listen, about three weeks ago I attempted suicide by overdose, and when that didn't work I beat my on my own temples until I passed out... "Stigma" and "Stereotyping" didn't do that... you know what did? My own damn mind. Again, I got bigger problems than if a f**king movie doesn't portray me the right way. You know what I did in aftermath? I started over again. I picked myself up. Brushed myself off. And went back to the drawing board. New and better days. At least for now God willing. So again, "So what?" It's better to deal with actual issues than complain about non-existent f**king diatribes of, "Oh no, my poor precious feelings."
I think that we accept criticism of films that have absolutely no impact on someone’s life: tired characterizations, predictable plotting and constant cliches. When someone complains about stereotyping, I don’t see how it’s any less valid than someone critiquing a film for having a tired ******* boyfriend that the lead girl will break up with for her true love. It simply has a more personal stake in disliking that type of cliche.

Sorry to hear about your mental troubles. I hope you’re getting the help and peace of mind you need. Have a good one!



I guess what it all boils down to is the western world's affluence and life of luxury is ultimately going to be its downfall. Its led to a bunch of spineless yuppies who have nothing better to do than think up pathetic topics and even more pathetic conclusions. You want to talk "Privilege?" I'll talk "Privilege" with you, its a bunch of, (mostly, as far as I can tell) white people who have way too much time on their hands and to sit around and debate on the internet or in college forums, (earned on their parents dime), and say s**t like "How dare you assume my godd**ned gender!" and to that I say, "How dare you assume I give a s**t!?" Honestly. It wasn't even much as a century ago that the Nazi's were turning people into soap and "Privilege" and "Stereotypes" is "The Big Issue" of our day??? We should be so lucky! Anyway, I'm pretty fumed about this topic because its basically a bunch of folks arguing and debating a non-issue and making it a potential "issue" with (potential) horrendous consequences. Don't mean to turn this political, again I am not right and I'm not left, I do not like either political isle right now... but reality check people. It could be much worse.