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Masterman

I have no idea if I'm posting this in the right board. "World Watch" sounds like it's for more important articles, but anyway I wanted to share this post for all of you who are interested in the matter of media representation. Feel free to move it to the correct place.

 

This is Part I of an entry in my blog, and this one is entirely devoted to Asexuality and Aromanticism. I usually write about films and fandom, but this is something I thought would be pertinent: talking about how few characters in popular media can be read as possibly asexual, if only on the surface level.

 

My blog is very new and has only a small readership, but I would also like for our community to be repressented there, so don't hesitate to comment and share it with people who might be interested. I'll surely answer any issues you bring out in the upcoming PART II. The only rule is being polite!

 

Thanks!

 

 

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It was interesting to read through your blog entry! Thanks for sharing it!

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Masterman
5 minutes ago, Faleeria said:

It was interesting to read through your blog entry! Thanks for sharing it!

Thanks! If you're into popular culture, give it a look to my other articles and recommendations :)

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everywhere and nowhere

Can we provide examples here?

I'm more into adventure games than movies (and, of course, my greatest love remains literature, although very often non-fiction), so here are a few examples.

 

There is the great Blackwell series by Wadjet Eye Games, very recommended to people who prefer retro games (as I do). The main protagonist is Rosa Blackwell, although part 2 ("Blackwell Unbound") takes place yet before Rosa's birth and has her aunt, Lauren Blackwell, as protagonist.

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(Screenshots from parts 1 - "Blackwell Legacy", 3 - "Blackwell Convergence" and 5 - "Blackwell Epiphany")

Rosa is a medium, an ability she has inherited from her aunt. Working together with a ghost named Joey, she helps spirits who haunt the mortal world because they don't realise that they are dead - she helps them realise it and, after they have come to terms with that, sends them into the afterlife. And she clearly seems an aro ace to me. She has no romantic interest. She is socially awkward (not an asexual trait per se, but one common among asexuals). And in the instances where sexual topics come up, she seems definitely uncomfortable with them. The section below is not an ace-type TW, rather a gamer-type spoiler. :)

Spoiler

In part 4, "Blackwell Deception", one of the ghosts is a student, Jamie, who died in a nightclub and remains there ever since. Joey can go into the small room because only other ghosts and mediums (as well as babies and animals, but these are not found in nightclubs ;)) can see him. And Joey and Rosa's task is to learn as much as they can about Jamie so that he can pretend that they have so much in common, flirt with her and get her to come back to the dormitory. So at some point Jamie is back in her room, Rosa and Joey are standing in front of her door, and Rosa asks what is Joey going to do. And I love the way she phrases it: "I mean, CAN you even... you know?". ;)

 

I have also though about another game by the same developer: "Unavowed". The Blackwell series has ended, but "Unavowed" takes place in the same "universe". It's about a group committed to fighting supernatural threats and one member of the group, Logan, is a medium or "Bestower" just like Rosa:

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The game is much darker than the Blackwell series. Anyway, one of the starting members of the Unavowed is Eli, who is a fire mage... spoiler again below.

Spoiler

We learn that he has inherited this ability from his grandfather, who became an evil person and was finally killed... however, the people who killed him decided that all fire mages were evil. So, after discovering his abilities, in order to protect his family, Eli feigned his death. He is now about 90 years old, but looks about half that age - his abilities also allow him to age slower and live longer than what is possible for "ordinary people". Anyway, the player character can talk to him and learn his backstory: how he really loved his daughters, loved family life, and yet was forced to abandon it.

One of the stories we investigate is the story of a baby who just disappeared... and who turns out to have been kidnapped by the Fair Folk. And, by studying the case, we discover the unexpected truth: that the baby is Eli's great-grandson (and also inherited his abilities, displaying them already at such a tender age). Anyway, as Eli reads his grandson's e-mails, we learn that his older daughter never married and instead has devoted her life to her hobby: travelling. :D

Altogether, I like how Wadjet Eye stories take care to include minorities. At some point Dave Gilbert, responding to people who still think that putting people other than white heterosexual men as protagonists is "Political Correctness" rather than a strictly artistic choice, wrote something like: hello! these games take place in New York, and New York is diverse...

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1 hour ago, Masterman said:

I have no idea if I'm posting this in the right board.

no, i think it's right.

 

1 hour ago, Masterman said:

My blog is very new and has only a small readership, but I would also like for our community to be repressented there, so don't hesitate to comment and share it with people who might be interested. I'll surely answer any issues you bring out in the upcoming PART II. The only rule is being polite!

 

Thanks!

very nice bolg btw, didnt reaad the 2nd part, but the 1st is great!!
Keep it up.

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Masterman

Thanks! The second part will be uploaded later on. It's not there right now. I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

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Thank you for sharing, you have a really nice blog! Going to check out other posts later

Nice to see someone else reading Poirot as possibly ace/aro too, have watched through the whole show over summer and felt like he'd fit the description (and is also just an amazing character).

 

And yes I'd say it's the right forum😊 there is a "master" thread for books/comics/manga with asexual characters ("the new asexual bookshelf") and I'd like to create something similar for films/TV shows soon-ish (just started out as World Watch mod and there's a bit of backlog, sorry). But you may find something in the "bookshelf"

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Masterman

Thank you very much for the responses! And yes, you can mention other characters, Nowhere Girl. I'm always glad to learn about new ones.

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everywhere and nowhere
38 minutes ago, Masterman said:

Thank you very much for the responses! And yes, you can mention other characters, Nowhere Girl. I'm always glad to learn about new ones.

The games are really worth trying. Particularly the Blackwell series can be bought quite inexpensively - the first four as a bundle and the fifth separately, plus sometimes there are seasonal discounts on top of that (Christmas sales, GOG summer sale...).

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Masterman

For those still interested, here's Part 2:

 

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everywhere and nowhere

I found an interesting example which is not openly asexual or aromantic, but could be said to hint at it - it even includes what we recognise as "asexual symbols". ;)

I'm just playing the game "Eselmir and the Five Magical Gifts" (with some help, by the way, from a walkthrough in Italian, even though I don't speak the language, because there's no English one. ;) I just can't use Google Translate, because looking at machine-translated texts offends my love for Language.* And yup, I understand the walkthrough to some extent... by knowing a word or two in Italian, a bit of Latin, a bit of French, or even just similarity with Polish words of Latin or Italian origin...). It's a game in "high fantasy" style, with beautiful graphics:

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And it includes the story of the protagonist's (he's the Eselmir from the title) fiancee, Jeselion, who died when they were about to get married. And here's the story of how he won her heart, with game-type spoiler again:

Spoiler

Jeselion was a court baker who made the finest pastries in the kingdom. She had three suitors, but she didn't feel like marrying, always thought she never would. However, the three men arranged a competition in which the one who gives the finest cake to the king will have a right to marry Jeselion. So they baked the same cake as Jeselion and Eselmir, as her friend, presented them to the king, distinguished only by plate colour. Jeselion's cake was judged the best and so she said that she knew it was not her destiny to marry. But then Eselmir said that since, technically, he had given the finest cake to the king, he has a right to marry Jeselion. And she decided in her heart "that the friendship she felt for him was close enough".

*That said, I consider machine translation, automatic checkouts, autonomous taxis and similar stuff a bad thing which could have good results: advanced automatisation could, at some point, result in introduction of guaranteed basic income because decision-makers wil recognise that there will no longer be work for everyone and it's time to reward people just for existing.

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Masterman

Thanks for sharing, Nowhere Girl.

 

Here's PART III:

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Masterman

The final entry is about characters who have been cannonically recognized as aro / ace:

 

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spooky_moss
On 1/27/2021 at 4:17 AM, Masterman said:

For those still interested, here's Part 2:

 

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Would it be possible to edit the part about Ariadne to use Elliot Page's name rather than his deadname? And use he/him pronouns when talking about Elliot himself?

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Masterman
On 2/12/2021 at 6:21 AM, spooky_moss said:

Would it be possible to edit the part about Ariadne to use Elliot Page's name rather than his deadname? And use he/him pronouns when talking about Elliot himself?

Thanks for the heads up. If I made a mistake in that regard, it's only because I'm not fully aware of how it works, not because I was trying to be disrespectful. For instance, I assumed it was fine to use the former name if we're talking about the past (the film was released in 2010, and I'm commenting on things that happened back then).

 

In any case, I tried to fix the opening paragraph a little to make it more neutral. There's still female pronouns, but only when talking about the character, not the performer. Again, thanks for the contribution.

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spooky_moss
On 3/11/2021 at 3:24 PM, Masterman said:

Thanks for the heads up. If I made a mistake in that regard, it's only because I'm not fully aware of how it works, not because I was trying to be disrespectful. For instance, I assumed it was fine to use the former name if we're talking about the past (the film was released in 2010, and I'm commenting on things that happened back then).

 

In any case, I tried to fix the opening paragraph a little to make it more neutral. There's still female pronouns, but only when talking about the character, not the performer. Again, thanks for the contribution.

As long as you're trying, then it's great :) I'm certainly not an expert myself but just figured it's best to use his pronouns when talking about him as a person, and using female pronouns when referring to the female character - which is what you changed it to :) 

 

I found your articles really interesting. I've definitely kept a closer eye out lately for unconfirmed characters who could be ace

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  • 1 month later...
Masterman

Thanks!

 

My new article is about the Academy Awards this Sunday. I'll discuss absolutely every film nominated in every category:

 

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