the characters' attitude towards women

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by CommanderKeen, Jul 5, 2017.

  1. CommanderKeen

    CommanderKeen Skutter

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    Looking back at the early series, and even the books, the attitudes towards women are pretty toxic from a modern perspective, and I'm not just talking about Rimmer.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    I don't think so, mostly. The characters often come across as sex-crazed in a really juvenile way. Cat and Rimmer are like 13 year-old boys, Kryten is asexual, and Lister mostly seems pretty reasonable about things off the top of my head. In fact I'm sure there's episodes where he chastises Rimmer for treating women like a different species, maybe in Parallel Universe. There are a lot of weird aspects to Red Dwarf that I'm not sure are necessarily toxic, but that I just wish weren't there. Women are "othered" in Red Dwarf, I suppose. It's a male cast with male writer(s) and right from the Nova 5 we've seen the crew's pre-occupation with "pulling" in deep-space. But is that degrading to women or degrading to men. Maybe that is objectifying women. There's a pre-occupation with women. There's some weirdness that I wish they'd grow up about, but I can't say I've detected what I would call misogyny as such. There was some upset about Lister calling Hayley Summers a slag which divided the Red Dwarf fandom into "that's misogynist" vs "Lister's the victim here".
     
  3. CommanderKeen

    CommanderKeen Skutter

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    Yeah, the whiplash between "women are not a monolith!" and "but, they *are* a monolith that is all harmed by misogyny" was very interesting in the Hayley Summers debate.
     
  4. Saint Nikki

    Saint Nikki Console Officer

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    Somewhat related, as an adult, watching the "Lolita" scene (tearing a certain page from the book to save for later) made me wince a bit. As a child it went straight over my head, but having read Lolita many years later and knowing exactly which part they're referring to (well - they give the exact page number as well, which I guess helps), sort of bothered me a bit.

    I probably can't describe what was going on to those unfamiliar with it, but it's essentially the narrator - a self confessed pedophile - describing how aroused (and beyond) he became when his 12 year old step-daughter laid across his lap (seemingly oblivious to the reaction of her step-father).

    Of course the novel itself is notoriously controversial, and that's irrelevant to the series, but watching any adult male becoming excited by such a questionable scene was a bit of an uncomfortable idea to me as an adult if I'm honest.

    Having said that, I can't say any of their attitudes towards women overly bothered me ever. Seemed quite normal behaviour, especially of slightly immature minds.
     
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  5. HO HO HO I'M JMC

    HO HO HO I'M JMC Deck Sergeant

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    The Lolita reference was absolutely a misstep. I hope the writers were only dimly aware of the story, and chose a random page for the story - with unfortunate results.

    I think a lot of people know that Lolita famously features a character who's much younger than the protagonist, and some will know she's an actual minor. But I don't think many people realise that she's literally twelve (I was certainly surprised when I heard).

    If the writers were familiar with the text, and knowingly referred to that (or frankly any other) passage, it's a very weird moment for the show, and I can't imagine attitudes were that different in the Eighties. Hats off to anyone who asks about it during a Dimension Jump Q&A! :thanks:
     
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  6. RainbowGazelle

    RainbowGazelle Second Technician

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    I don't really recall ant "toxic" attitudes towards women. Any examples?
     
  7. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    Rimmer: You only play Wimbledon because you're having it off with that jailbait ball girl.

    Lister: That is another total lie! She's not jailbait, she's 17.

    Rimmer: Lister, she's a computer sprite and surely that's the point, she's just a load of pixels.

    Lister: Yeah, but what pixels!
     
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  8. Saint Nikki

    Saint Nikki Console Officer

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    Yeah that's my hope too, that it was simply a case of choosing a book that was known to be risqué, and selecting a random part without really reading it properly. The use of the exact page number troubled me a bit, but I am open to believing they did not know the character was only twelve at this exact point in the novel, if they had not read the whole book.

    If however, I was ever to learn that they had indeed read the novel, I would question why they thought this scene was a good idea and if they still feel like that now? In the highly unlikely possibility that I ever attend a Dimension Jump, I would certainly be the one to ask it :P
     
  9. CommanderKeen

    CommanderKeen Skutter

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    Nikki and JMC: Most people who know about Lolita would be more familiar with the film version where she's aged up from 12 to 14 for real world legal reasons. If Rob and Doug had known Lolita was only 12, I pray for all that is holy that they would not have let that joke be broadcast.
     
  10. DivineVarod

    DivineVarod Catering Officer

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    I think series 8 was extremely problematic regarding women. But then everything about 8 was problematic (the beating up and jail-rape hints with Rimmer etc!) ...
    Series 1 and 2 are my favourite, but the McGruder concussion bit was wrong (it's interesting Doug decided to rectify this in his novels). But so was the story about the abuse Rimmer suffered by his parents and in series 3 the bit about him and his uncle. I saw Danny debate this with someone, as they asked if it was maybe better to cut or edit some lines in the Netflix edition of the show as it would be a shame if bits like that would turn off new audiences. I think it's different when you know the characters/what is coming ...
     
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  11. Saint Nikki

    Saint Nikki Console Officer

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    Yeah I did wonder if perhaps the older film version had clouded their judgement (the newer one hadn't been made at that point). I have never watched it myself so I didn't know what her given age was (if at all). Having said that, 14 is not THAT much better really. It's still illegal, although I know it is counted as a slightly different offense than 12 and under. I'd sooner hope they simply didn't know her age at all I think.
     
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  12. Snow Cloud

    Snow Cloud Console Officer

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    14 is still pretty bad... When I was younger I just assumed Lolita was a dirty book. When I found out what it was I was like "wut" I am gonna assume they didn't know exactly.
     
  13. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    To cut the writers some slack, it might just be a case of Lolita being a famous sexual book. What's another famous sexual book that existed in 1989. The joke is that they're burning books, but save one pervy page. What other book could they have used for that joke.
     
  14. HO HO HO I'M JMC

    HO HO HO I'M JMC Deck Sergeant

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    Lady Chatterley's Lover is a famous one.
     
  15. Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century

    Deep_Space_in_the_15th_Century Supply Officer

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    Yeah, that would have worked. Even if the audience wasn't familiar with the plot, the title would be enough to get the joke.
     

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