I guess what I find problematic in the way men’s-rights issues can be framed in terms of losing out to feminists; there seems to be an idea that as women’s rights advance, men will lose out or be marginalized. Is that zero-sum logic wrong?
It depends. A discussion of women’s gender rights can quite naturally lead into a discussion of the ways that men also experience discrimination and defamation, including the institutional variety. But sometimes men do receive a message that this is a zero-sum game—that vastly complex issues like violence, family rights, cultural representations, and so on tend to have a meaningful and actionable “gender” dimension only insofar as they concern women and girls. In theory and often in practice, advancing women’s rights shouldn’t mean freezing out men or vilifying them as a group. But frequently, at the levels of both discourse and policy, it does. That should be confronted and rejected, in my view. But it should be done in a way that acknowledges the legitimacy and necessity of many pro-female perspectives and campaigns.
An interview with Adam Jones, a political scientist at the University of British Columbia
my father told me once to never date anyone who talks smoothly around you from the start because if someone likes you they should be a little nervous and honestly i think that’s some of the best advice anyone has ever given me
“One thing I’ve said in terms of the word likable, and Netflix got mad at me for saying it: Fuck likability. I don’t give two shits if someone likes my characters. I do care whether they’re attracted to them. And there’s a big difference. I don’t mean sexually attracted. I mean attracted so that you can’t keep your eyes off them, you’re invested in them. He’s not likable, but you have to know where he ends up, you have to follow his path. I’m interested in the tension where one moment you might like them and the next you abhor them, or maybe simultaneously.”—
Beau Willimon, screenwriter for House of Cards, in a panel discussion covered by The Atlantic.
This is what I mean when I say characters don’t have to be “likable”, but they do have to be “sympathetic” (the word sympathisch in German has a slightly different meaning from our “sympathetic”, so I think that’s why I choose that term over another one, such as “attractive”). How else would a character like Humbert Humbert be a protagonist?