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You did it, guys! Angry dudes knock down IMDb ratings of shows aimed at women

Sex and the City will EAT YOUR SOUL
Sex and the City will EAT YOUR SOUL

Never let it be said that Men’s Rights activists can’t accomplish great things. Oh, sure, in what the old fogies call “the real world” their victories are pretty much nonexistent; they can’t even manage to organize conferences for themselves two years in a row.

But online, their brilliant strategy of “running around being dicks to everyone” has been an amazing success, causing numerous websites to shut down their comments because they were so sick of all the MRAs gumming them up with endless blather and abuse.

And now it appears the Men’s Rights movement can claim another victory: They have knocked the IMDb rating of the show Sex and the City down more than a point!

Take that, show that ended its run twelve years ago, but that MRAs and other manosphere dudes can’t stop talking about for some reason!

A statistical analysis by Walt Hickey of the data-driven site FiveThirtyEight suggests that men are swarming the IMDb profiles of shows aimed at women in order to give them low ratings.

One of the shows most obviously affected by this new form of cyber-activism is Sex and the City, a show despised more less equally by MRAs, MGTOWs, Roosh, and right-wing mass murderer Anders Breivik.

As Hickey points out, women collectively rated this show at 8.1 out of ten. But so many men gave the show bad ratings that they were able to drag the final score down to 7, which, as Hickey notes, is a below-average rating for the site.

And we’re not talking about a handful of statistical outliers taking down the score. More tha 78,000 people have rated the show. So there are thousands if not tens of thousands of guys out there taking out their anger at women by downvoting one of the most influential recent TV shows aimed at women — often, I would guess, without ever having watched an episode.

It’s a man’s world on IMDb, where, Hickey notes,

[s]eventy percent of IMDb TV show raters are men, according to my analysis, and that results in shows with predominantly female audiences getting screwed.

Why is that? It’s not just that men outnumber women on IMDb; they are also far more likely to give shows not aimed primarily at their own gender terrible ratings. As this chart shows pretty clearly, the more a show appeals to women rather than men, the more likely it is that a man will rate it a rating-killing one star.

hickey-imdbmen-3

“The overall effect of this imbalance is profound,” Hickey notes.

Among shows with 10,000 ratings or more, the average rating of the top-100 male-skewing shows was 8.2, while the average rating of the top-100 female shows was 7.4.

Is it possible that shows aimed at women are just objectively worse? Hickey thinks not. “Everybody watches crap,” he points out. “Men, women, everybody.”

Women may watch more than their share of terrible reality shows like “Say Yes to the Dress,” he notes. But they didn’t make up much of the audience for Beyblade, which, Hickey notes sardonically, is a show based around spinning tops. Spinning tops that fight each other.

Kaito_Unabara_VS_Eito_Unabara!

Nope. The real reason for the difference is that men are far more likely to poop on the ratings of shows aimed mostly at women than women are to poop on shows aimed mostly at men.

Women rated only two shows appreciably lower than their male raters did. Men, by contrast … well, just take a look at this chart that Hickey put together:

Men Are SabotagingAre the men who make up the Angry Man Downvote Brigade all card-carrying MRAs? For the most part, probably not. And I haven’t run across any evidence of organized IMDb downvoting anywhere in the manosphere (though I haven’t looked all that hard).

But if you’re a dude who literally devotes his evenings to giving crappy ratings to TV shows that women tend to like — just to show those ladies what’s what! — I think that makes you pretty much a de facto MRA. The MRAs should send you a little thank you note, at the very least.

Dad, what did you do in the culture wars?

Son, I gave The Mindy Project a one star rating on IMDb. 

EDIT: Hickey made that last chart into a handy gif:

Thanks, Katz, for the link!

EDIT 2: My favorite misogynist response to Hickey’s post:

https://twitter.com/Coondawg68/status/733298158202032128

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Sheila Crosby
4 years ago

I’ve never seen an episode of Sex and the City, but I have a bit of a soft spot for it because it made our local shoe designer, Manolo Blahnik famous. He went to the local art school, which has since been named after him. Every year Manolo come on holiday back to the island, and he makes a point of going to the art school and saying encouraging things to the teenagers.

Handsome "These Pretzels Suck" Jack (formerly Pandapool)

You know, I think you’d be hard pressed to find a cartoon that DIDN’T have Tara Strong in it. And Jennifer Hale. Video games too. They’re goddamn everywhere. (Also Troy Baker and Nolan North.)

What kind of a cut-rate production is this?

It would be funnier if I didn’t need to watch something more than once or read the credits of something to find out one of them voice in it.

Patrick Warburton or Yeardley Smith, yeah, but def not Troy Baker or Jennifer Hale, at least, pfff. What do I have, superhuman hearing? Ha!

Herbert West
Herbert West
4 years ago

Seven points are below average?
Jesus, that only shows how pointless such rating systems are, since too many people give either the highest or lowest score.
A 0/1 system is enough, or at best a 0/1/2, to give a neutral option (which would probably dominate in many cases).

Herbert West
Herbert West
4 years ago

Addendum (too late for edit):
not that it would get any better, since online ratings and votings are ridiculously easy to skewer (as seen here) and essentially worthless, except in the most heinous of all cases. Or because something has a fringe appeal you might like, but most people don’t.
Just a pet peeve of mine.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
4 years ago

(Also Troy Baker and Nolan North.)

I’m reminded* of this:

Also, since Skyrim was the only major release of 2011 without Nolan North in it, you should consider this mod a patch to fix that problem. You can now feel free to include Skyrim in the “Nolan North” section of your video game library, which is to say, your video game library.

*What’s that, the person obsessed with Portal and Skyrim is reminded of Portal and Skyrim? Pfft, get out of here!

Sinkable John
Sinkable John
4 years ago

@katz
That’s… enlightening. Here’s to the slight hope of a more positive trend some day soon then. Luckily I happen to know there’s a generation of young writers (of which I may or may not be a part of) in their early twenties who are all about (okay, most of them/us anyways) breaking the status quo. Actually most of those I met over the years and now spend some of my vacations with are women. Yeah, writing as a femaleANDfeminist dominated space, imagine that. I’m lucky enough that some of these amazing folks regularly review my work in progress and actually give me some praise on how I handle female characters/issues, especially the main character (that’s worth like a thousand feminazi brownie points, enough to turn in and buy like TWO boxes of feminazi cookies). So there’s that, in the end this generation is going to take over and maybe, just maybe, something good might come out of it. Granted I know only about books, not movies but I’m willing to see some hope here, for what hope is worth. *goes back to work to add a small brick to the wall*

Also Troy Baker and Nolan North are like… Starbucks. And Subway. No matter where you go, you’ll see (well, hear) them. At this point it feels like some kind of gimmick or running gag. Buuuuut… then again, I restarted The Last of Us a few days ago and I’m willing to forgive. Used to be a french voice-actor that was famous for… well, being pretty much the only decent french voice-actor. As in, it seems the way we handle that job here is to pick a random person on the street and give ’em a role. (no, I’m serious, they actually do this, I’m not exaggerating at all) And then the one professional dude we had died. I swear, the guy’s voice was in EVERY game or anime that I grew up with, it felt like my childhood dying (but hey, at least no one rebooted him into a woman, hah, sorry, too tempting). About 6 years ago I stopped watching anything or playing any game in anything other than the original version (Skyrim’s language-lock actually pushed me to re-buy it on an english import when I wanted to replay it a few months ago because the french acting was so awful it made me cringe at every conversation and basically turned my character antisocial, which made for an enlightening roleplay experience).

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
4 years ago

@Herbert West,

Seven points are below average?
Jesus, that only shows how pointless such rating systems are, since too many people give either the highest or lowest score.
A 0/1 system is enough, or at best a 0/1/2, to give a neutral option (which would probably dominate in many cases).

This is a well-known problem with self-reporting surveys! They are heavily biased, give results very poorly, and in fact don’t show the actual opinions of the individuals taking the survey. People answering this sort of survey don’t answer with their beliefs, they answer with what they think the socially acceptable answer is (for their in-group). Chances are good that some of these people would actually like to watch SatC, for example, but they know that their in-group doesn’t like it, so they vote it down for that reason.

This is part of a larger problem about self-reporting, which is very hard to tackle. You have to play with wording and examine behaviours to get real answers out of people; the former is error-prone and the latter is very time consuming and expensive, so you don’t get the big sample sizes that you want.

(Tackling this problem is actually a fairly big slice of my job, which is why I am rambling about this obscure topic! Trying to figure out how well students are progressing in a course without artificial exams or self-reporting is a tricky pickle!)

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
4 years ago

My last post was making something in my brain itch, and it sort of congealed as I was hitting the send button.

I would like to illustrate with an anecdote. I used to live with roommates, and at one point was living with a guy who was rather right-wing libertarian in his views. He also was a movie buff, and loved his superhero movies and the like.

What’s more, and what was frustrating as heck, was that he refused to see any deep meanings in his movies or fiction in general. One I recall was an argument about The Matrix, the first movie. He could not be convinced of the idea that there was any amount of biblical allegory in the movie at all! Even with a main hero that dies and returns from the dead to ascend to heaven. He was actually convinced that no media had any deeper meaning, and it was all escapist power fantasy.

(I didn’t stay in the same house with him much longer after that.)

This story came to mind when I was thinking about survey bias, because I’ve noticed a lot of MRA’s and Alt-Righties seem to think that survey bias isn’t a real thing. When talking about the “~10% of men are potential rapists” statistic, I’ve encountered people who claim that the number is hugely inflated because of word games. They think that the alternate wording is unfair entrapment.

Keep digging and more links show up. Arguments over actual social problems dissolve into semantics, with the person who can hold the “correct” semantic definition “winning” the argument regardless of what it means in the real world. Dismissal of any science that relies on interpolation and probability, like the social sciences. Dismissal of historical studies with interpretation. Dismissal of any conclusion that acknowledges unknowns. Hyper-skepticism. Stubborn me-first subjectivity masquerading as objective rationalism.

What is it about the alt-right that refuses to accept things that aren’t apparent on the surface? Why do they recoil from examining things deeply? And how the hell can they get away with pretending to be rationalists or scientists while ignoring the worlds’ depth?

Interesting questions, at least.

Jarnsaxa
Jarnsaxa
4 years ago

I really enjoy America’s Next Top Model. It’s extremely interesting to see how much work modeling actually is (certainly more than I thought) and also how far the finished products differ from the conditions of the actual shoot (significantly).

Moggie
Moggie
4 years ago

Moocow:

I use to “hate” powerpuff girls just like I use to “hate” card captor sakura. AKA I was an insecure little boy and terrified of what would happen to me if I liked a girly show. Naturally I was right there watching both to ‘prove how much I hated them’.

CCS was not just a girly show, it was a girly show in which damn near everyone was gay (at least in its non-butchered form). It was brimming with both kinds of cooties.

Axecalibur
Axecalibur
4 years ago

@Scildfreja
Alright, that 1st part gave me the involuntary rage eyes. That guy can… bad things… very bad things… hope he’s got lots of wood furniture and a big ass toe… Fuck!

Fan of superhero movies, huh!? How’d he miss this:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nxLrH5ydSMM
It ain’t subtle!

But hey, we all know that thinking about the entertainment we consume is part of the SJW, Bilderberg, reverse vampire plot to destroy the western world. Ugh. Him and his ilk are holding back the genre and the whole mediumcomment image

And the rest of your comment is good stuff too. Per yoozh
http://www.readunwritten.com/wp-content/uploads/Smart.gif

pitshade
pitshade
4 years ago

hat is it about the alt-right that refuses to accept things that aren’t apparent on the surface? Why do they recoil from examining things deeply? And how the hell can they get away with pretending to be rationalists or scientists while ignoring the worlds’ depth?

It isn’t that they can’t find deeper meaning, it’s just that they have highly attuned blinders to anything that they don’t want to accept. (and confirmation bias for the things they do) They are quite good at finding ‘hidden meanings’ in all sorts of media, secret agendas in any left leaning group, Satanic messages in all the top rock songs etc…

Over the decades I’ve been alive, Right Wingers (old and some new):

Proctor and Gamble logo => occult, Satanic
Health Care Reform => Death Panels
Jade Helm => Martial Law
Tinky Winky => LGBTQIA propaganda
That Disney show about the girl on the football team => White Genocide
Fluoride => Communist Mind Control
Dungeons and Dragons => Occult and Satanic (again)
GHW Bush’s New World Order speech => Conspiracy confirmed and named!

I could brainstorm more but should probably get ready and find some food.

guy
guy
4 years ago

By my count, only half the CCS cast is gay. Xiao’s bi and Sakura’s parents are presumed straight, which tilts things back a bit.

Apparently the dub reedited things to try to appeal to boys by making Xiao straight and the main character. For anyone who isn’t aware of how incredibly stupid a plan that is, he is so much not the main character he doesn’t appear before episode 8.

katz
4 years ago

Here’s to the slight hope of a more positive trend some day soon then.

I certainly hope so. But it’ll be a matter of concerted effort across all levels, not the result of natural momentum.

Unfortunately, there’s only so much the actual content creators can do about it, since it really seems like content creation is quite diverse already — it’s the various levels of gatekeepers who create the whole problem.

What are you writing?

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

@Scildfreja

What’s more, and what was frustrating as heck, was that he refused to see any deep meanings in his movies or fiction in general. One I recall was an argument about The Matrix, the first movie. He could not be convinced of the idea that there was any amount of biblical allegory in the movie at all! Even with a main hero that dies and returns from the dead to ascend to heaven. He was actually convinced that no media had any deeper meaning, and it was all escapist power fantasy

.

Did he have anything at all to say about the examples you brought up? What I mean is that in his responses to you was there any content that reflected having heard what you said, or was he just giving opinions about the superficial general summaries of what you were seeing in the movies?

Because I have been noticing a pattern where I see more aggressive “type A” people that intersect with people like that who basically give characterizations of what they see (subjective “feeling about” statements), but they are very poor at showing me specifically what matches up with the statement content wise, and why it warranted the characterization.

This story came to mind when I was thinking about survey bias, because I’ve noticed a lot of MRA’s and Alt-Righties seem to think that survey bias isn’t a real thing. When talking about the “~10% of men are potential rapists” statistic, I’ve encountered people who claim that the number is hugely inflated because of word games. They think that the alternate wording is unfair entrapment.

Keep digging and more links show up. Arguments over actual social problems dissolve into semantics, with the person who can hold the “correct” semantic definition “winning” the argument regardless of what it means in the real world. Dismissal of any science that relies on interpolation and probability, like the social sciences. Dismissal of historical studies with interpretation. Dismissal of any conclusion that acknowledges unknowns. Hyper-skepticism. Stubborn me-first subjectivity masquerading as objective rationalism.

Do you think that this is related to the discomfort that authoritarian people have with ambiguity?

It’s like a general inability to think in percentages, probabilities, spectrums and other more complicated ways of modeling the world. Like another manifestation of “black-and-white thinking”. I’m wondering if it makes it difficult for them to see synonymous or analogical information when they feel emotionally intense about something. In such a mindset the word “rape” would trigger an emotional reaction, but people who already have a bad idea of consent (or similar reasons to feel intense) might not connect that with a synonym for rape with more words.

Couple that with the tendency to treat these social interactions as conflicts and they will attempt to control the language in a disagreement and that very often involves a refusal or inability to actually engage with your content.

And on top of that I see hyper-skepticism as a knee-jerk application of skepticism without rationality used to target it. Serial doubting with respect to particular topics basically. The person is actually reacting and applying skepticism as a defense mechanism.

What is it about the alt-right that refuses to accept things that aren’t apparent on the surface? Why do they recoil from examining things deeply? And how the hell can they get away with pretending to be rationalists or scientists while ignoring the worlds’ depth?

That is why I’m more interested in underlying motives and ways of getting at them lately. Aggressive people with poor reasoning skills, very strong feelings about these issues and little ability to mentally model probabilities will resort to whatever social tools they have available. So if in the long run we want to do better than making them look bad and double down in front of an audience the next step to me seems to be finding a way to identify the underlying issues that trigger the knee-jerk reaction and sort through that as data.

Wetherby
Wetherby
4 years ago

@Scildfreja

This is a well-known problem with self-reporting surveys! They are heavily biased, give results very poorly, and in fact don’t show the actual opinions of the individuals taking the survey. People answering this sort of survey don’t answer with their beliefs, they answer with what they think the socially acceptable answer is (for their in-group).

In the run-up to the British general election of 1997, where all professional polls predicted a landslide victory for Tony Blair (which duly happened), one poll massively bucked the trend and predicted that his rival John Major would get 72% of the vote.

But on closer examination, it transpired that this was a phone-in poll run by one of the UK’s teletext services (a kind of low-tech precursor to the World Wide Web, which most TVs by then could receive), and the chances are that it was overwhelmingly skewed by bored pensioners who were demographically more likely to vote Conservative. Certainly, if a proper poll had come up with a figure like that it would have been front page news for days. It was also skewed by the fact that it was a phone-in poll and there was a financial cost to participation.

Self-reporting surveys can be fun to take part in – I remember a wonderful one in the Daily Telegraph which offered suggestions for what to do with people who stand on the right of the Tube escalator (a major cultural crime, as any Londoner would know), which escalated from “mild criticism” to “jailed”, and then threw in “all of the above” at the bottom. Naturally, that last option was substantially the most popular, to the tune of 43% – but that in itself emphasises why taking methodology into account is critically important when assessing the likely usefulness of a poll..

kupo
kupo
4 years ago

@Scildfreja
That’s interesting about the self-reporting surveys. I have a tendency to only participate in product ratings if I have strong feelings about them. If I rate a product on Amazon it’s either because I had an exceptionally good or exceptionally poor experience, for example, so I’m either rating 5 stars or 1 star. But with Netflix I will rate truthfully how much I personally enjoyed a movie / show, even if I think the show is low quality and therefore “less deserving” of a higher rating, because the way I rate it will affect the suggestions I get. So my ratings are not only more nuanced because I have motivation other than an extreme experience for reporting my enjoyment level, they’re also more of an honest reflection of my personal enjoyment rather than what I think is socially acceptable. In other words, I’m not putting those ratings in for others, so I don’t feel the need to adjust for considerations of how others might or might not enjoy it. So I’ll give those “guilty pleasure” shows a higher rating than I would give them if my purpose for rating were to inform others of their content, which would be my reason for participating in a rating system like IMDB.

Moggie
Moggie
4 years ago

Wetherby:

Self-reporting surveys can be fun to take part in – I remember a wonderful one in the Daily Telegraph which offered suggestions for what to do with people who stand on the right of the Tube escalator (a major cultural crime, as any Londoner would know)

Excuse me? This long-time Londoner thinks it’s perfectly fine to stand on the right. It’s standing on the left which makes you history’s greatest monster.

http://citytransport.info/Video/Stand_on_right.jpg

Sinkable John
Sinkable John
4 years ago

@katz
These days I’m back to the fantasy novel I started when I was around 6. It was kind of a dream back then, so I stuck with it, but with the years I started to hate the genre for numerous things like the glorification of violence, hero cult, machismo, racialism etc. Not to mention the poor and overused plot devices and deus ex machina every five minutes. I kinda want to make it more about people and their experiences and relationships and tone down the epic etc. So over the years I restarted it MANY MANY times and now I believe what I have right now will be the definitive version. First part is the tale of a lady knight’s trip across the country and how she learns the different meanings of freedom, including from any sort of domination.

Leads me to writing fantasy that is feminist and… err… I dunno what word to use here, because the proper one would be “libertarian” except it has nothing to do with the libertarians we know. The french word for it actually means an entirely different thing, pretty much the opposite, or closer to “anarchist” which isn’t accurate either. If you can read french, look up “libertaire”.

Point is, the aim is to write something that’s so foreign to fantasy as a genre, but remains in its context. I’m smug and pretentious enough to believe it uplifts the genre. Well, there’s already some novels out there that go the same way and I know they do uplift the genre, to be fair I’m only trying to do the same on my own scale and with my own devices. And… I FREAKING LOVE IT. And I freaking love that I’ve seen so many people try to do something similar and sometimes it’s even been inspired by my work (for example my main proof-reader got back to writing after she read my stuff and just that is a victory in itself) which feels so huge. Yeah content is diverse already and yeah it’s not enough given the various gatekeepers but it does look like the “positive trend” is catching on. Sure it’s been pretty slow given that it started so long ago but these days I see more and more content creators exploring women’s and LGBT issues, along with the older trend of racial issues. Now the mere fact that we’re seeing more and more of this means said gatekeepers are keeping less and less with each passing year. Besides there ARE concerted efforts on all levels, even though it’s on a rather small scale, and that’s still enormous progress.

Or maaaybe I’m just a hopeless optimist.

Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
4 years ago

As I understood it, the girls in SATC were modelled after gay men, and their behaviour, although the characters are played by women, it’s all a bit postmodern when you go into it. SATC is not actually a show aimed at women, but at guys. 🙂

There are very few girly shows I enjoy, I did enjoy Ugly Betty, as she was a positive role model, she was not over sexualised and she was appreciated for her brains and her people skills, while everyone around her fell to corruption, she was always honest and did the right thing. And of course, she wasn’t ugly at all, she was beautiful.

What do you think of all the guys who enjoy My Little Pony Friendship is Magic?!!

Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
4 years ago

@moggie

Anybody who ‘stands on the Left ‘ is a criminal to these people, in more ways than one 😉

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

@Everyone
Don’t hold back on Virgin Mary’s question. I’ve seen some great people and awful people that tempted me to look at the diagnostic criteria for psychopathy and sociopathy. I’m biased so I’ll hold off 😉

Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
4 years ago

@brony

I am a musician, so naturally I enjoy the music – FIM Fandom has some amazeballs musicians, from Sim Gretina, MandoPony, Living Tombstone et al. So much great talent!! I also love most of the art and animation created by bronies. I cosplay myself as Rainbow Dash (she is my fave, I guess because I’m asexual and relate to her Tom boyishness)
I do not like porn about the Cutie Mark Crusaders, especially vile when they are ‘humanised’ ie Equestria Girl porn, with under aged kids. I don’t like this in Adventure Time fanfic/fan art either. Yuck.
I also don’t understand the minority of MRA and Nazi bronies.
Lauren Faust is a feminist, so why do they obsess over her show?

Viscaria
Viscaria
4 years ago

I super appreciated all the “stand on the right” signs in the Heathrow airport, since it went against my every instinct.

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
4 years ago

@Brony,

Did he have anything at all to say about the examples you brought up? […] they are very poor at showing me specifically what matches up with the statement content wise, and why it warranted the characterization.

Arguments with him were always terrible experiences. He steadfastly refused to acknowledge any depth or nuance in, well, anything. Refusal to engage, combined with assertion that there wasn’t anything there. So, matches your pattern pretty well!

Do you think that this is related to the discomfort that authoritarian people have with ambiguity?

[…]

And on top of that I see hyper-skepticism as a knee-jerk application of skepticism without rationality used to target it. Serial doubting with respect to particular topics basically. The person is actually reacting and applying skepticism as a defense mechanism.

I am sure it matches very well with that discomfort with ambiguity, stemming from an authoritarian mindset. He was very, very much an authoritarian, reveling in military history details (not that this is enough to make someone authoritarian on its own) and “who’s in control of what”. He works as a social worker in a house for people with mental disorders, which pleased him very well, since he got to basically be in charge of other grown adults. I always grit my teeth at that part. I’ve seen him work and know some of the guys at the house, though, so I could see he isn’t a tyrant.

Interestingly – he’s not much of a skeptic or rationalist at all. Very much an old-school authoritarian, happy to follow authority just because it’s an authority. No justifications required. Don’t see as many of those these days.

finding a way to identify the underlying issues that trigger the knee-jerk reaction and sort through that as data.

Oh wow, there are all sorts of interesting studies one could do on that. It would be interesting to pass forum threads through an NLP parser for negativity and see if there are any incongruous spikes that match up with topic changes, and then use them as predictors. That’d be fun.

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
4 years ago

@Kupo

@Scildfreja
That’s interesting about the self-reporting surveys. I have a tendency to only participate in product ratings if I have strong feelings about them. If I rate a product on Amazon it’s either because I had an exceptionally good or exceptionally poor experience, for example, so I’m either rating 5 stars or 1 star. But with Netflix I will rate truthfully how much I personally enjoyed a movie / show, even if I think the show is low quality and therefore “less deserving” of a higher rating, because the way I rate it will affect the suggestions I get. So my ratings are not only more nuanced because I have motivation other than an extreme experience for reporting my enjoyment level, they’re also more of an honest reflection of my personal enjoyment rather than what I think is socially acceptable. In other words, I’m not putting those ratings in for others, so I don’t feel the need to adjust for considerations of how others might or might not enjoy it. So I’ll give those “guilty pleasure” shows a higher rating than I would give them if my purpose for rating were to inform others of their content, which would be my reason for participating in a rating system like IMDB.

That’s actually a slightly different problem you’re talking about there! You’re talking about voluntary self-reporting, and the points you mention are mostly about the voluntary part. Which is certainly a big thing! It’s a large bias that needs to be accounted for. You generally can’t use that information on its own, since you have a biased sample with no control. If the survey is detailed you can do some propensity score analysis to tease out some useful information, but in general you can’t use it on its own. So: Yeah, the IMDB stuff is biased for that reason, certainly!

My point of interest was sort of adjacent to that, though, it’s about the self-reporting part. When we fill out a survey or questionnaire, we don’t fill out our honest opinions – even if we think we do. Instead, we tend to give what we think the socially acceptable opinions are, for our personal values of “socially acceptable”.

For example, a progressive person who doesn’t condone violence might rate an action movie with lots of explosions poorly, and complain about the needless violence that solves every problem … while they secretly actually really enjoyed the movie. Or, someone might rate King Lear highly because it’s a classic, and approving of it conveys higher social status … even if they thought it was dry toast and boring as heck.

A lot of this can be conscious, but there is an unconscious layer as well. Building a good questionnaire is about ensuring that the wording is as neutral as possible, to try to avoid socially-charged language. Hence the shift from using the word “rape” to using “non-consensual sex”, specifically to reduce the social charge. Pretty much everyone has a strong negative reaction to the former; relatively few people have as much of a care about the latter. And it’s why the 10% result from that questionnaire is a more reliable measure of the number of potential rapists out there – that questionnaire reduced the self-reporting bias in comparison to the other.

Sorry for droning on! We do lots of questionnaire work in my field, so it’s a subject that takes years of practice to get right. There’s a lot of hidden nuance.

EJ (The Other One)
4 years ago

@Viscaria:
We are deeply appreciative of that. Londoners are not by nature a gregarious and welcoming folk, but you may have noticed a drop in the level of contempt; this is about as close as we get to throwing our arms around you and welcoming you as a long-lost sister.

@Virgin Mary:
I like Lauren Faust’s work on My Little Pony, and I think it’s a great series. However, I worry that it’s inadvertently become the standard bearer for the New Sincerity movement. I am, to put it mildly, not a fan of New Sincerity.

Therefore, I feel that if My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic existed without context it would be amazing, but like a lot of things it becomes problematic when context is introduced.

Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
4 years ago

@EJ

I’ve not come across that New Sincerity thing before. Very interesting. It looks a lot like post post modernism. Does this make Deadpool New Sincerity? I did wonder why he’s so popular all of a sudden.

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
4 years ago

I’ve never quite gotten what the whole New Sincerity thing is about. It’s some sort of quantum superposition between honest surface appraisal without deep investigation, and sneering. Parts of it resonate with me – I don’t really do irony very well – but parts of it really turn me away.

Axecalibur
Axecalibur
4 years ago

@Mary, Brony, whoever’s interested in my ramblings
Demographic aim is bullshit. A movie with more than 1 black person in the cast is viewed/advertized by the industry like a Madea flick, and studios are still reluctant to sell action movie toys depicting women. MLP is a show for little girls, cos the industry decided boys and adults can’t like a show about pastel pony/pegasus/unicorn things. Unless they jump into magazords halfway thru the 3rd act of every episode, it’s a ‘chick show’, and that’s that
The brony phenomenon seems, at it’s heart, to be a rebellion, mostly unwitting perhaps, against such pigeonholing. There’s no gendered word for Adventure Time fans of either persuasion, cos everyone is pretty much accepted as a ‘normal’ part of the fandom. Bronies, on the other hand, formed a kinda community around their shared feelings of exclusion. This typa thing tends to either provide a sort of cathartic therapy or galvanize a group into… not so nice things
Liking MLP or anything else isn’t a bad thing. Anything (legal and ethical) we find to give yourself joy in our too short lives is a good in itself. Basically, it comes down to collective guilt. Are some bronies immature bullies? Yes. Still, people can’t be judged on what they like, but instead on what they do in the name of same. BSJC is good people, so any disparagement of his brothers (assuming gender based on, well…) should come with at least some caveats

BTW, just finished the series finale of Good Wife (another chick show, but this time for 40 year olds). Spoiler alert: it ended pretty sad, so now I’m sad. 7 seasons, my favorite show for 5 1/2, you will be missed
http://photos.vanityfair.com/2015/04/27/553e39a4db753b82389c709a_kalinda-leaves-the-good-wife.gif

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
4 years ago

Bronies, on the other hand, formed a kinda community around their shared feelings of exclusion

This feels true, and also explains why some less-than-great groups gravitated there. The chans, alt-right extremists, etc, have learned to define themselves in terms of the social groups which they are outcast from. The more their opinion pushes them away from the “mainstream”, the more “right” they feel. The more their tastes differ from everyone elses’, the more it reinforces their sense of self. Superiority over the “sheep”, “rational thinking”, etc – it all seems to boil down to a self-definition featuring separation.

Those are all the wrong words to describe what I am thinking 😐 Hopefully you follow!

If the above is true, then it makes sense that they’d be attracted to the ponies. On the negative side, posting ponies pissed off the mods of their boards enough to create a site-wide ban and form the creation of more exclusive boards. The kindness and happiness of the show was something for them, directed at them; it wasn’t a theme that the viewer should use as a philosophy in dealing with the world. Kindness for fellow outcasts, the rest of the world can go to hell. Hence the (annoying) meme, “I’m gonna love and tolerate the shit outta you.” (usually as part of a passive aggressive sealion party or something).

On the positive side, a great number of bronies took the message of toleration and kindness to heart and formed communities that maintained their separation (by being mostly adults who liked the marshmallow ponies) but still formed meaningful bridges with the mainstream in the form of music, stories, poems, and a new dedication to kindness.

I think you can probably imagine which of these camps I would consider myself in! As usual, all of this is just my opinion. I read Equestria Daily for awhile, but never really got deep into the brony culture.

http://media.giphy.com/media/xTiTnhpQOwsiFo1QT6/giphy.gif

Axecalibur
Axecalibur
4 years ago

@Scildfreja

passive aggressive sealion party

http://www.clipartbest.com/cliparts/yio/46a/yio46aXrT.png
The Sea Lion Party for Parliament, 2016: We’re always civil and back up our opinions with peer reviewed sources… but you first

The Sea Lion Party for Parliament, 2016: We care about you, and we’ll make sure you never forget it

The Sea Lion Party for Parliament, 2016: We’re not like those other politicians. Why would you think we were? Can you prove it? Let’s politely discuss that, shall we?

The Sea Lion Party for Parliament, 2016: If you can’t prove we’re bad, that means you can trust us

The Sea Lion Party: Get ready to refute that point for the 1001st time

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
4 years ago

Hee! I feel like that sealion picture is exactly the right level of angry for the text. Vote ABSL, everyone! (Anyone-But-Sealion)

EJ (The Other One)
4 years ago

But if I vote Anyone But Sealion, then the funny-haired party might get in!

(As a semi-related aside, has anyone noticed how Boris Johnson’s hair has drifted in colour over the years? It used to be peroxide as white as driven snow, and now it’s looking positively Trumpian.)

katz
4 years ago

Hold the phones, everyone, Cathy Young is on the case.

weirwoodtreehugger: communist bonobo

I love how she thinks that a show can’t have a gender inclusive target audience if they have a female main character. I never saw Jessica Jones (a comic book adaptation) or Orphan Black (sci-fi) as shows targeted to women, despite their feminist friendly aspects. I saw them as targeted towards geeky genre fan types of all genders.

katz
4 years ago

I love how she thinks that a show can’t have a gender inclusive target audience if they have a female main character.

And fails to realize that, you know, that’s part of the problem.

Same as all the guys going “It’s just because IMDB is almost all dudes!”

Steve D
Steve D
4 years ago

In only two days this got light years from SITC. Now I’m not a TV watcher, which means I’ve never seen a raft of shows that would leave you aghast if I listed them. But SITC is about four young women and their sex lives. Isn’t that what guys want? Women with a serious preoccupation with sex? I mean, if the show were “Embittered Spinsters Who Use Cats As Surrogates For Men*,” I might see why you’d go on Imdb and vote it down. But when you have women seriously talking a lot about their sex lives…. What am I missing here?

*Not intended as a slur against embittered people, unmarried women, cat owners, or people who use cats as surrogates for something else.

Binjabreel
Binjabreel
4 years ago

Ah, but you see, when women *choose* to have sex then there’s no status to be gained by tricking or coercing them into it!

Also, these ladies walk around, having jobs and opinions and buying things. That’s clearly misandry of the highest order.