Some concerns with the way male characters are treated on episode


#1

Hey everyone. This is a controversial topic so I shall tread lightly. I’ve been in this community for three years now and have read many stories. And through reading all these stories I’ve always noticed the ways in which male characters have been treated. I’m not saying all stories do this although there are quite a few that do.

Most of these points are just as repeated in real life and other communities as they are on the episode app. Although I decided to address the problem here.

  1. Slapping male characters in stories for things that aren’t big deals:
    So many stories have featured female characters slapping males and included the option to slap them when the female is angry or upset.
    Male violence against females is unacceptable, it should be vice versa.

  2. Episode girlfriends treating their boyfriends like trash.
    This is usually demonstrated by the MC or background characters. I’ve seen quite a few episode female characters give there boyfriends ‘orders’ and ‘commands’ or just bossing them around in general, aswell as a lot of talking down. In quite a few scenarios this isn’t addressed or indicated to show that it’s a bad thing.

  3. Female characters making generalising statements.
    If I had a penny for everytime I’ve read the words ‘boys suck’ I’d be rich. This isn’t a first world problem although I don’t agree that it should be practised.

There’s bound to be people that disagree and that’s okay, just because our opinions don’t match up doesn’t mean I wish you ill or dislike you as a person. Although I do request you be civil!

Side note: yes I support women (I am one) but I also support men and I dont feel the need/ have any complaints to how females are treated in this community!


#2

Moved to Episode Fan Community as Community is for discussing specific episodes. Make sure to check out our Forum Tutorial for more info about where to correctly create topics. :wink:


#3

I haven’t thought about this before (thank you for posting) but you bring up lots of good points. I don’t think I would ever slap another human just for being angry, I’d like to think the same for other humans.


#4

I agree very much with your first point! I would never be able to slap, punch or physically hurt a man (or any other human in that case) because of some stupid misunderstanding or as you say, things that aren’t a big deal. I think it promotes an unhealthy way of dealing with problems in a relationship.
As for your second point, I haven’t really noticed that many stories where the girlfriends treats her boyfriend badly but I do agree that there should be no such things. I think somehow some women have a tendency to think that it’s okay to boss your boyfriend around and I don’t think they see it as a problem, but it really is. I mean, if it was the other way around, it wouldn’t be acceptable either, right?

And the generalising statements, well I honestly don’t think there’s much to do about it. ‘Boys will be boys’, ‘boys suck’ etc. are phrases that have somehow become extremely popular and though I think it’s wrong to generalise anyone like this, unfortunately I don’t think there’s an easy way to change the habit of making such generalisations. :confused:


#5

Agree 100%. Especially with your first point, which is something I have seen in quite a few stories I’ve read. It’s not okay.


#6

Yes! I have posted about this sort of thing before! I wrote a whole long post about the way that men are portrayed in Episode, and noted a part of a featured story where a girl slapped her (presumed) boyfriend for a comedic moment (as I interpreted it), after he checked out the MC and her friend.
Which, uh, is a totally over-the-top response to something everybody does??

Anyways. I do see a decent amount of stories with female characters slapping around and hitting male characters, but usually, it’s the bad boy.
Hitting other people for no reason is never okay, but I will admit, I will always choose the option to hit the bad boy, because he deserves it. I always hope it gets him the hell away from the MC, but he usually ends up getting turned on anyways… :upside_down_face:

As for the boyfriend thing, y e s, I actually do see that a lot. Generally, they’re unhealthy relationships, as the girl gets defensive, angry, and possessive if her boyfriend generally breathes in the direction of another girl. (This also happens vice versa.)

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#7
  1. I absolutely agree with this point. I always disliked how much the media normalized women slapping men. They usually justify it by the large difference in physical strength between the two, but I still believe that it’s unacceptable. A violent act doesn’t have to hurt physically to be condemned.

  2. Well, this actually happens a lot more in the reverse. Have you seen the flooding of bad boy stories on this app? The portrayal of healthy relationships on Episode is just non-existent all around.

  3. This also goes both ways I think. But since Episode is an app mainly geared towards females, we tend to see more female characters talking about male characters than the reverse.

I’m more concerned about the way male characters are shown to not have any emotions when they’re upset aside from anger. Most of them are the typical male-love-interest-from-a-high-school-movie trope. They constantly use “bro”, “man”, “dude” at the end of every sentence and have only one purpose in the story which is to become the female MC’s boyfriend or rejected-best-friend. There’s a good topic about this that you might want to check out if you haven’t, it brings up a lot more points worth reading :blush:


#8

Seriously this! The toxic masculinity found in so many stories is crazy. Especially in the female MC love interests. Never showing any real emotion besides anger until he sees the MC and changes his ways. Stories like In my bed and It starts with a bra just makes it worse too. Showin it’s ok to sneak into a girls bedroom, helping normalising behaviour like this.


#9

Oh boy, don’t even get me started on IMB and ISWAB! Episode’s portrayal of relationships is frankly poisonous for both genders, and because male characters often aren’t developed as much as female characters, we get a cookie-cutter bad boy or a cookie-cutter soon-to-be-rejected-second-love-interest in nearly every Episode story.


#10

In each concern that you have addressed, I noticed one recurring theme: generalizations.

Here’s how…

For your first point, I agree. I’m sure most of the world is no stranger to seeing that. You see it. I see it. We all see it, whether in the movies, on TV and of course, on Episode, and even in real life. It comes from a common stereotype that most women are generally ‘weaker’ than most men are, and their attacks won’t do as much damage than in reverse; so it’s deemed ‘okay’; a common generalization.

However, it isn’t about the damage. It isn’t about who’s stronger or weaker.

It’s about the morals and decency on a respectable human level.

I think it is rather unfortunate that a lot of people have grown too comfortable with this portrayal as you have described. Violence, in general, is unacceptable no matter what gender you are. If included in a story over a something so small, then it should at least not be glorified or normalized and should be presented as a character flaw, or a negative characteristic of that specific character.

No matter how strong or weak you are. Violence is and shouldn’t be justified. Some will say men shouldn’t hit women, but that rule shouldn’t be exclusive to one gender. Some people I have come across find it okay for women to hit others with no repercussions. With these people, I almost never find them say that women shouldn’t hit men either, especially for petty things.

So what is the premise? Truth is, you should keep your hands to yourself; no matter who or what you are, no one should be hitting anyone.

Now, there is a difference between violence and self-defense and that’s where it depends on the situation such as abuse. Self-defense is perfectly fine in similar regards, but with other things, meaningless violence is not. Self-defense is about avoiding violence and reducing risks. You can walk away from a someone who’s
a ‘heated volcano about to erupt’ and it can be self-defense. Assess the situation and select your options wisely, because there’s no turning back. These are often confused by many, again, because of the generalizations.

So, your second point… as people have said, relationships, in general, are portrayed badly as a whole on Episode for pretty much anyone. But one thing that I notice is a certain notion and motivation to write a ‘strong female character’. I don’t even like the term ‘strong female character’. I prefer the description ‘well written, unique, developing characters’, because that’s what we should be striving for anyway. Anyone can be ‘strong’. Anyone can be ‘weak’.

But above all, everyone is human.

For example, You can be nice and strong, at the same time. Strength isn’t one way, and in the way some authors write ‘strong female characters’, it’s supposed to be good.

But it isn’t.

You see, let me explain something: the mistake I notice often of some authors writing ‘strong female characters’ is that their end result is usually a mean, rude, controversial, one (or two) dimensional generalized ‘strong’ female character for the sake of being ‘strong’; a bully, you can even consider. I suppose that notion comes across this way and the way you described. I suppose this is what you mean, but correct me if I am wrong. Even so, the character should develop and grow but again, do you see how generalizations play a role, once again contributing to these problems from the last point to the second? Guess what… yes, even the third point.

True strength comes from within, and it shall be expressed in multiple (good, positive, motivational) forms…

And now my thoughts on your final point.

As you probably have noticed by now, I think generalizations are a huge factor and component to the core of the problem itself. In my first year of college when I took English 1101, my first professor always corrected me in my essays - to be aware of generalizations and to never use them.

Now I understand why.

It’s because it can lead to things like these. For example, that’s why they are often negative because the characters are almost never unique individuals but a representation of a vision that a lot of people have been taught by many things. We are all unique ourselves; why not our characters and most importantly why not our writing? Even if you use a generalization, it again, shouldn’t be glorified or praised.

There is a lot that can be done about generalization and generalising statements… sure, it’s trendy but that doesn’t mean we can’t help with the problem. It all starts with the learning process, from what we teach from generation to generation, and how we teach it, etc. A good place to start would be to stop using generalizations and to teach and educate that all people are unique, and not everyone is the same. I don’t think generalizations should be practiced either; I agree. We must set the example; that’s the least that can be done.

We are humans, and we make mistakes.

But we should also learn from them.


#11

Ugh yes the bad boy relationships are so unhealthy, I haven’t read any stories like that in awhile though mainly because I’ve been reading stories where the guy is actually a good person and not bothering with choosing stories that feature bad boys.

As for the whole masculine toxicity I couldn’t agree more, I forgot to add that in my initial post so thanks for bringing it up.

In one of the stories I read the author added a conversation between the characters where they discussed that sexism against males doesn’t exist and that was my favourite story, still is. However I do not under any circumstances agree with that.


#12