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  1. #31
    Fantastic Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ouroboros View Post
    I think the disproportion comes about simply because there are more male heroes than female. Thus, as with the Conway example, one girlfriend can be killed to make way for another . That said, sometimes male characters are also killed off in order to create emotional chaos. One of the most gratuitous character-killings of all time was David Micheline's execution of Aquababy in the 70s, which didn't even make a lot of sense. The kid was originally conceived as an amphibian like his dad, but Micheline showed the kid die out of water in a few minutes, just to create tension.
    Correct, and you touch on something which I missed to include in my earlier post, and that is that comics (or any other culture) doesn't exist in a vacuum. It both reflects and perpetuates the society in which it is created.

    The fact that fridging is much more likely done to women, and that most heroes are men, are both aspects of patriarchy. It both reflects and perpetuates the thoughts that women are replacable (and thus don't matter), and that men are unique (and thus matter and possibly are heroic). Or put another way, women matter only as status symbols for the man. The hero gets the girl is a natural conclusion if the story is a romance, but if the story isn't a romance?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliffHanger2 View Post
    How many times has the Hero's girl get killed in a movie and he just replaces her? I don't think the message is women are replacable. You do have to wonder why the hero's woman almost always has to die it does get weird after a while.
    Maybe it's not that common in the same movie (though I'm sure you can find examples if you dig, at least of the implication that the next girl is known), but in the next story? To take two examples, How the West Was Won and Supernatural, each which has a male (co-)lead who finds a girl every few episodes only to have her killed in a short while. While not every case might be an example of classic fridgings, it ties into the the meme that women are replacable.

  2. #32
    Chosen One Carabas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliffHanger2 View Post
    How many times has the Hero's girl get killed in a movie and he just replaces her? I don't think the message is women are replacable. You do have to wonder why the hero's woman almost always has to die it does get weird after a while.
    James Bond says hi.

    But this is comics, not movies. In Big Two superhero comics you generally do not get a 'the end', you only ever get a 'to be continued'. The villain kills the hero's girl, the hero takes non-lethal revenge, and then we get the next arc and the next and the next, and the hero will get a new girl, and new villains who want to kill her, and of course the original girlfriend-killing villain will be back too because nothing is permanent, except for the death of the girlfriend, usually.
    "One may be intelligent, and a Nazi. Then one is not decent. One may be decent and a Nazi. Then one is not intelligent. And one may be intelligent and decent. Then one is not a Nazi"
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  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by KNIGHT OF THE LAKE View Post
    Vesper was referenced in two films.
    Which is barely more than most Bond girls get. Not much of an accomplishment in a franchise known for disposable women and those two films were part of the series of Bond films that actually cared for continuity.

    Quote Originally Posted by KNIGHT OF THE LAKE View Post
    Julie Madison was Bruce Wayne's freakin fiance in the Golden Age of comics. Long before Catwoman was ever even viewed as much more than a femme fatale. So that's not applicable whatsoever. She was never competing with Selina Kyle. It wasn't until the 50's that they really started playing her as a possible love interest. No Julie Madison was just the primary love interest of Bruce Wayne no different than Lois Lane/Carol Ferris/Iris Allen etc. It's just in that case they broke up and she left the comics and became a nothing character. Like she's only ever referenced when they make stories revisiting Batman's early days when she would have been his love interest at the time (and even that was only recently with all the reboots).
    MJ didn’t start out Peter Parker’s most well known love interest either. What exactly are you trying to prove with this argument? That the Bat books have been rubbish with any female love interest that isn’t Selina Kyle? Already made that argument.


    Quote Originally Posted by KNIGHT OF THE LAKE View Post
    I mean I didn't hear anybody complaining that Steve Trevor got fridged in the Wonder Woman movie. That was a text book fridging. It motivated her in her final fight and then was used as pathos in the next film.
    As others have pointed out, no it wasn’t. Steve heroically sacrificed himself to help stop the villain’s plan. He had agency in his death, which cannot be said for the female characters who are killed off for the male characters’ emotional turmoil.
    Another reason you didn’t hear any complaints, is because male characters don’t have nearly as much history of getting killed of female characters’ development.


    Quote Originally Posted by KNIGHT OF THE LAKE View Post
    Again it has more to do with execution. The term fridging was created out of an incredibly poor and tasteless use of the trope
    The trope itself is poor and tasteless as it further shows how media in general is not very good at depicting female characters. The Death of Gwen Stacy is just one of the few instances were something relatively good came out of it.
    Saying The Death of Gwen Stacy helped Gwen’s character is just as inaccurate as crediting The Killing Joke for Oracle.

  4. #34
    Astonishing Member dancj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirby101 View Post
    SPOILERS DUDE!! You just ruined a major plot point on Deadpool 2 for me. Please edit or delete so others won't have the movie wrecked.
    Thanks for the warning. Luckily I saw your post before I read the initial post, so I won't read any more.

  5. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    Which is barely more than most Bond girls get. Not much of an accomplishment in a franchise known for disposable women and those two films were part of the series of Bond films that actually cared for continuity.


    MJ didn’t start out Peter Parker’s most well known love interest either. What exactly are you trying to prove with this argument? That the Bat books have been rubbish with any female love interest that isn’t Selina Kyle? Already made that argument.



    As others have pointed out, no it wasn’t. Steve heroically sacrificed himself to help stop the villain’s plan. He had agency in his death, which cannot be said for the female characters who are killed off for the male characters’ emotional turmoil.
    Another reason you didn’t hear any complaints, is because male characters don’t have nearly as much history of getting killed of female characters’ development.



    The trope itself is poor and tasteless as it further shows how media in general is not very good at depicting female characters. The Death of Gwen Stacy is just one of the few instances were something relatively good came out of it.
    Saying The Death of Gwen Stacy helped Gwen’s character is just as inaccurate as crediting The Killing Joke for Oracle.
    Exactly two Bond girls got referenced in more than one film. Vesper and Tracy. They both died. In the books it’s pretty much the same way.

    2nd your completely missing the point. There was nothing inherently wrong with any of Bruce’s love interests besides they didn’t last. There was nothing different between Julie Madison and Iris Allen or Lois Lane or whoever besides they broke up and became irrelevant. If Gwen and Pete just broke up and she was phased out to make room for MJ a lot of the mystique around Gwen and the fact that people still write stories about her and the affect she had on Spidey and even go great lengths to make alternate universe stories about her probably wouldn’t happen. Her death was so significant to the characters mythos that she’s referenced nearly every year in the comics as some kind of symbol for the character. You can’t honestly believe all that happens if she doesn’t die.

    No Steve got fridged to service Wonder Woman. His last line was basically saying “I’m expendable and you aren’t so I’ll die”. Then the whole next film her arc was having angst over his death. The reason it’s mostly women has more to do with comic super heroes originating as a medium for 10 year old boys who were reading about male power fantasies. Characters dying to motivate a character existed long before comics. The problem has far more to do with the medium evolving to be more inclusive but not growing out of that and as a result character deaths to motivate heroes remained mostly female.

    The trope is a trope that’s been done long before comic heroes and it’s worked effectively in many mediums including comics. There’s nothing wrong with the trope. If it didn’t work people wouldn’t have been doing it for centuries. The problem is tasteless execution like Green Lantern. Now let’s go to Gwen, it’s hard to buy into the idea that Gwen didn’t instantly become a permant and more significant figure in Spider-Man’s mythos post death. Oracle..... I agree to a point but let’s be very clear Oracle ended up doing a lot better than Kathy Kane. Hell there’s a lot of people that prefer her as Oracle now than Batgirl.

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by CliffHanger2 View Post
    How many times has the Hero's girl get killed in a movie and he just replaces her? I don't think the message is women are replacable. You do have to wonder why the hero's woman almost always has to die it does get weird after a while.
    Death of a loved one is the ultimate character motivator. See Dante’s Inferno. If there were more women heroes you’d see more men die.

    If comics were historically better at being more inclusive we wouldn’t be having this conversation because there wouldn’t be a perceived imbalance.

  7. #37
    Incredible Member Skedatz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KNIGHT OF THE LAKE View Post
    No Steve got fridged to service Wonder Woman. His last line was basically saying “I’m expendable and you aren’t so I’ll die”. Then the whole next film her arc was having angst over his death. The reason it’s mostly women has more to do with comic super heroes originating as a medium for 10 year old boys who were reading about male power fantasies. Characters dying to motivate a character existed long before comics. The problem has far more to do with the medium evolving to be more inclusive but not growing out of that and as a result character deaths to motivate heroes remained mostly female.
    There's a bit to unpack here.

    Steve did it in service of a goal. His feelings were he himself, as a regular soldier, was expendable like all soldiers are. It was his job and duty to ensure that he did everything within his power to prevent the weapon from making landfall. In duty of that he killed himself because it was the "heroic" or "right" thing to do. In this act he had character self-agency like a regular superhero to make that choice.

    The concept of fridging is a little bit different where a character is often created to be killed by a villain to give the hero drama and resolve for the conflict ahead, or sometimes skin in the game at all. They may be "underperforming," until the death of a loved one spurns them on to become a better hero. Basically making the writer some sort of reverse Reverse Flash where in an effort to give the hero weight they use a cheap kill. Steve was not that because the movie wasn't built up of Wonder Woman needing to protect or avenge Steve, and in the end she didn't. In the end his death was seen as an unwanted loss in the greater conflict while she maintained her vows as an Amazon.

    If Steve were to be "fridged," it would've been a little closer to the beginning or middle of the film where Ares shows up to kill Steve personally (or through a roundabout way) to get to Diana and therefore put the fire in her to finish the fight.

    These are very clearly different concepts.

    However, you're partially correct that men being the primary narrative focus for comics is a big part of it but that only reinforces why it's considered a negative female trope. Since comics viewed females are expendable emotional fodder while men were meant to take up the sword and avenge them it sets women in an inherently negative light. It's not that it couldn't happen to men, it's just we are waaaaay more likely to do it to women because that's sort of how society set it up. Women are frail and prone to dying, men are strong and will avenge them.

    Maybe not that much to unpack. It's really not that complex of a subject I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by KNIGHT OF THE LAKE View Post
    The trope is a trope that’s been done long before comic heroes and it’s worked effectively in many mediums including comics. There’s nothing wrong with the trope. If it didn’t work people wouldn’t have been doing it for centuries. The problem is tasteless execution like Green Lantern. Now let’s go to Gwen, it’s hard to buy into the idea that Gwen didn’t instantly become a permant and more significant figure in Spider-Man’s mythos post death. Oracle..... I agree to a point but let’s be very clear Oracle ended up doing a lot better than Kathy Kane. Hell there’s a lot of people that prefer her as Oracle now than Batgirl.
    Appealing to history isn't necessarily the best way to case your point. Just because it was okay or acceptable or even lauded at one time doesn't mean we can't or shouldn't improve our understanding and talent for handling the situation today. That's the exact argument once used for when people complained about how Asian people were represented in comics. Some fans would claim the decades of treating them as a "yellow menace" meant it was an acceptable practice before, so why not now? It's not like an appeal to history can't be done right, but only if said history can reinforce your claim and not lead to a situation where very similar subjects came back with negative results for your claim. Also refer to black representation in comics and other media for talk about handling subsections of culture regarding tropes and presentation.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    Correct, and you touch on something which I missed to include in my earlier post, and that is that comics (or any other culture) doesn't exist in a vacuum. It both reflects and perpetuates the society in which it is created.

    The fact that fridging is much more likely done to women, and that most heroes are men, are both aspects of patriarchy. It both reflects and perpetuates the thoughts that women are replacable (and thus don't matter), and that men are unique (and thus matter and possibly are heroic). Or put another way, women matter only as status symbols for the man. The hero gets the girl is a natural conclusion if the story is a romance, but if the story isn't a romance?



    Maybe it's not that common in the same movie (though I'm sure you can find examples if you dig, at least of the implication that the next girl is known), but in the next story? To take two examples, [UR
    L="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_the_West_Was_Won_(TV_series)"]How the West Was Won[/URL] and Supernatural, each which has a male (co-)lead who finds a girl every few episodes only to have her killed in a short while. While not every case might be an example of classic fridgings, it ties into the the meme that women are replacable.
    Can't really agree with that.The whole point of the trope is the emotional impact because of the love one's death.If we had the mindset that woman are replaceable that impact wouldn't exist

  9. #39
    Fantastic Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baseman View Post
    Can't really agree with that.The whole point of the trope is the emotional impact because of the love one's death.If we had the mindset that woman are replaceable that impact wouldn't exist
    There is a difference between the individual and the society here. For the individual hero, then yes, you are correct. But fridging is not problematic on that level; it is problematic on the society level, because it occurs more or less continously in fiction, and because how the affected men are (not) affected long-term.

    You also missed the addition I had that one way that women are viewed to matter is by being status symbols for men.

    As for Wonder Woman the movie, it does have one near-perfect case of fridging: the gas bombing of Veld. But here it is part of the First World War, and the destruction of Veld is just one more piece of the senseless murder and destruction that Diana has been confronted with since she first crossed that bridge at the English harbour. It also hits both men and women, and thus I'd judge it as a non-problematic use of the trope.
    Last edited by kjn; 06-11-2018 at 08:15 AM.

  10. #40
    Screams Eternally Duskman's Avatar
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    It is a very ordinary trope with logical reasons to exist in fiction when you look at the broader social-sexual dynamics of human culture. It is also a very tired and played out trope, like all tropes, but in the modern day of hyper-awareness of gender inequality and identity politics, it is one of the tropes that is looked upon very disparagingly at the moment. Depending on how loudly people protest, it can be bad for business in the sense that it might be bad PR for the publishers. On the other hand, it's still a trope you see all the time, so it doesn't seem to actually be hurting companies bottom line in and of itself, so make of that what you will.

  11. #41
    Ultimate Member MindofShadow's Avatar
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    What is the definition of fridging these days?
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  12. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skedatz View Post
    There's a bit to unpack here.

    Steve did it in service of a goal. His feelings were he himself, as a regular soldier, was expendable like all soldiers are. It was his job and duty to ensure that he did everything within his power to prevent the weapon from making landfall. In duty of that he killed himself because it was the "heroic" or "right" thing to do. In this act he had character self-agency like a regular superhero to make that choice.

    The concept of fridging is a little bit different where a character is often created to be killed by a villain to give the hero drama and resolve for the conflict ahead, or sometimes skin in the game at all. They may be "underperforming," until the death of a loved one spurns them on to become a better hero. Basically making the writer some sort of reverse Reverse Flash where in an effort to give the hero weight they use a cheap kill. Steve was not that because the movie wasn't built up of Wonder Woman needing to protect or avenge Steve, and in the end she didn't. In the end his death was seen as an unwanted loss in the greater conflict while she maintained her vows as an Amazon.

    If Steve were to be "fridged," it would've been a little closer to the beginning or middle of the film where Ares shows up to kill Steve personally (or through a roundabout way) to get to Diana and therefore put the fire in her to finish the fight.

    These are very clearly different concepts.

    However, you're partially correct that men being the primary narrative focus for comics is a big part of it but that only reinforces why it's considered a negative female trope. Since comics viewed females are expendable emotional fodder while men were meant to take up the sword and avenge them it sets women in an inherently negative light. It's not that it couldn't happen to men, it's just we are waaaaay more likely to do it to women because that's sort of how society set it up. Women are frail and prone to dying, men are strong and will avenge them.

    Maybe not that much to unpack. It's really not that complex of a subject I guess.



    Appealing to history isn't necessarily the best way to case your point. Just because it was okay or acceptable or even lauded at one time doesn't mean we can't or shouldn't improve our understanding and talent for handling the situation today. That's the exact argument once used for when people complained about how Asian people were represented in comics. Some fans would claim the decades of treating them as a "yellow menace" meant it was an acceptable practice before, so why not now? It's not like an appeal to history can't be done right, but only if said history can reinforce your claim and not lead to a situation where very similar subjects came back with negative results for your claim. Also refer to black representation in comics and other media for talk about handling subsections of culture regarding tropes and presentation.
    The difference is the concept of killing a character to motivate the hero isnt inherently wrong. It’s that the male dominated nature of heroes meant it was mostly female love interests filling that plot. Again that’s external to whether the trope is bad or ineffective.

    Racism in a story is.
    Last edited by KNIGHT OF THE LAKE; 06-11-2018 at 07:55 AM.

  13. #43
    Screams Eternally Duskman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MindofShadow View Post
    What is the definition of fridging these days?
    It's supposed to be when a female character is killed specifically to motivate a hero, especially when it's done purely as a shock value tactic.

    But like most tropes, it's often expanded to mean, "When something happens in fiction that I don't like." So some people will just say any female death in fiction is basically "Fridging" regardless of context, under the assumption that any display of female mortality is inherently an insidious, cheap thrill for sexist men to enjoy.

  14. #44
    Incredible Member Skedatz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KNIGHT OF THE LAKE View Post
    The difference is the concept of killing a character to motivate the hero isnt inherently wrong. It’s that the male dominated nature of heroes meant it was mostly female love interests filling that plot. Again that’s external to whether the trope is bad or ineffective.

    Racism in a story is.
    While I agree the death of a character motivating a hero isn't in itself wrong because dying SHOULD affect the hero, that's not exactly what we're talking about. We're discussing the purpose, build, and execution concerning women specifically and the tones which bring it about. In this case, introducing a woman just to kill her to motivate the man and pushing the stereotype of the frail disposable woman being used as a tool. This is why men don't die as commonly as a motivator in superhero comics even though they could (outside of the origin story). It's kind of a falsehood to say, "Well, the general idea behind the trope isn't bad so all iterations of the trope aren't bad," because that would be drowning the subject being talked about in a general sense. Think of it this way, "A totalitarian fascist government isn't inherently wrong because governments have always existed and often enough there has been legal or allowed oppression of some group or another." It's creating a false equivalency of being okay by trying to elevate a smaller concept onto the same level as the trope it descends from instead of treating it as the focus it was intended to be.

    Subculture exploitation and abuse is what is bad. Not just racism in a story.

  15. #45
    Incredible Member Skedatz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MindofShadow View Post
    What is the definition of fridging these days?
    Mostly the exercise in creating a female character to kill off as a plot device with the express purpose of motivating the male hero into action as he needed a fuel for it. More or less the same definition it always had.

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