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On this board there are always many recommendation threads for aro themed books/movies/shows etc. @Apathetic Echidna made a list earlier of a lot of different ones. I think it could be fun to try to determine a few that could be seen as the ultimate aro content. Things that aro themed but also with very wide appeal. Something you could recommend to any aro and expect them to like it.

The way we could determine this is to make a list of some criteria the content should have in order to make it as accessible for as many aros as possible. When we have a list I could ask the different users who made suggestions in various threads to fill in which criteria their recommendations fit and see which ones get the highest score. Obviously these factors wont mean that people automatically will like it. But I thought it could be a fun way to sum up all different suggestions of various content. 

 

My thoughts on criteria:

  • No romance (as an alternative there could be romance present as long as it's not the topic of the story)
  • It should be in English (since I think that's the most widely accessible language and it's also easier for people to get the cultural context)
  • No graphic sex or violence (possibly it shouldn't have sex at all since some aros are also sex repulsed)
  • Passes the Bechdel test (or possibly some more nuanced way at judging if well written female characters are included)
  • Diversity (presence of different ethnicites, LGBT+ , dissabilites, what else?)


What objective criteria do you think general accessible aro content should have?

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I... don't think having to be in English is a very fair criteria. Sounds pretty ethnocentric to me.

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True that we all speak some English here, but a lot of people out there don't, so it could be cool for them to have things in their own language. Even when we speak English it could be difficult for us to understand. For instance, I can write and read English, but when it comes to people talking, I don't understand half of it if there is no subtitles. And when it comes to scientific or technic article, it's exhausting for me to read. Plus we could forget very good content just because they are not in English.

i see where you come from, but I think it's better to have it in any language; and maybe traduce it if needed.

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1 hour ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

I... don't think having to be in English is a very fair criteria. Sounds pretty ethnocentric to me.

 

41 minutes ago, nonmerci said:

True that we all speak some English here, but a lot of people out there don't, so it could be cool for them to have things in their own language. Even when we speak English it could be difficult for us to understand. For instance, I can write and read English, but when it comes to people talking, I don't understand half of it if there is no subtitles. And when it comes to scientific or technic article, it's exhausting for me to read. Plus we could forget very good content just because they are not in English.

i see where you come from, but I think it's better to have it in any language; and maybe traduce it if needed.


Don't you think that it being in another language than English would deter people from partaking in it?
I personally don't mind getting all the dialogue through subtitles, since I've grown up watching a lot of movies that way, but I know many people haven't and they might prefer knowing as much of the language as possible. Plus, there's often a lot of cultural context to a story. Most people have at least a general idea about the context of American or British media, but I doubt many people would get the context of a lot of premise for, say a Swedish tv show. So that's my reasoning for suggesting language. If we would like something with as wide appeal as possible.

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15 hours ago, Holmbo said:

the ultimate aro content

I'm reading Oishinbo and this totally made me laugh! 

 

As for criteria I like what you have already but maybe instead of being in english it should just have a global distribution or worldwide access. There is lots of media locked up in countries or even regions that is fairly impossible to find outside of that area, and so cannot be an 'ultimate content'. Plus english is fairly pervasive, so if it is good there is bound to be some translation somewhere (english-speakers are gonna english-language stuff). Even english language things can be locked within regions, like I bet none of you know about a Country/Americana cover singer called Archer? (the ones you find online are probably not the guy I mean, like seriously, he sells his CDs wrapped in newspaper) and I have never managed to lay my hands (well, eyes) on the movie ANUVAHOOD (and I know a few native english speakers who can't understand this English english). 

So..

  • no romance
  • no sex
  • no violence
  • everyone (globally) can access 
  • English, or with available english translation or equivalent content
  • respectful diversity (LGBT+, cultural, racial, ethnic, disability, other, more, ???)*
  • Female content (if present) is well defined as individual from male content

*Flawed characters are fine, and generally more interesting, but I'm sure we all know many many terrible representations of 'diversity' that are just insulting to those they claim to be representing. Lets avoid those. 

 

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@ApatheticEchidna I like your suggestion. The only thing that gives me pause is the "no violence" that might be too harsh. It would discount pretty much all Pixar movies for example. But maybe it can be nuanced a bit.

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23 hours ago, Holmbo said:
  • No graphic sex or violence (possibly it shouldn't have sex at all since some aros are also sex repulsed)

Plenty of aros, including aro aces, are not at all sex repulsed.
If things are excluded on the basis that some aros don't like them there's likely to be very little left to consider at all.
Excluding graphic violence could equate to excluding the horror genre, which can be light on romantic subplots.

 

23 hours ago, Holmbo said:
  • Passes the Bechdel test (or possibly some more nuanced way at judging if well written female characters are included)

The Bechdel test is subject to quite a lot of critique

 

23 hours ago, Holmbo said:
  • It should be in English (since I think that's the most widely accessible language and it's also easier for people to get the cultural context)

Not convinced of the latter.
It can be hard for someone who's not from North America to get US cultural context.
Similarly for someone not from the UK or Eire to get British cultural context and someone not from Australasia to get Australian cultural context.

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2 hours ago, Holmbo said:

But maybe it can be nuanced a bit.

oh yes yes of course. I just wanted a basic sum up. They could be much more flexible and nuanced.  

And as per your original post I thought we would be proposing content then seeing how it fits in the criteria, rather than using the criteria to find something that fits (then giving it a score or creating warnings like 'Generic Zombie movie example: 100% aromantic content, but may contain beheading' 😛). The song and music video clip for 'Never been in love' by Will Jay seems to fit all the criteria so far.

 

(wow, I never knew emojis could be in italics before now!! 😘😎😛😃😥)

1 hour ago, Mark said:

The Bechdel test is subject to quite a lot of critique

oh definitely. I am one of those critical of it especially when people use it blindly to categorise 'good' and 'bad' media. 

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21 hours ago, Holmbo said:

Don't you think that it being in another language than English would deter people from partaking in it?
I personally don't mind getting all the dialogue through subtitles, since I've grown up watching a lot of movies that way, but I know many people haven't and they might prefer knowing as much of the language as possible. Plus, there's often a lot of cultural context to a story. Most people have at least a general idea about the context of American or British media, but I doubt many people would get the context of a lot of premise for, say a Swedish tv show. So that's my reasoning for suggesting language. If we would like something with as wide appeal as possible.

Your example is funny because I watched a Swedwish tv show (trandslate into my language), and had no difficulty to understand, even if I don't know anything about the country and never been there. Maybe it would not have been the same if I watched a movie from Bollywood, but when it comes to Western countries we share a lot of similarities. I'm not saying we are the same, of course, but we speak of "general ideas of the context" so it doesn't matter.

I'm not saying we could watch any movie from any country without problem, but you can for a lot. For instance, as I know about French, I would never recommand to watch Asterix et Obelix if you don't know about French culture because of all the references; but you can easily watch Intouchable.

For culture very different, I just think that way : if other can adatp to our cultural context, we can do it too.

And for people who won't read subtitles, that's a problem you have with any language (cf my dad who prefer to wait months instead of watching in vostfr).

 

 

All this to say that if the ultimate aro content had to be watchable for everyone, but as said  @Apathetic Echidna, instead of it being in English, it would be better if it was translate in mutliple languages so everyone can watch it.

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Yeah. The idea that English is the most accessible language and that "English" culture (what do you even mean by that? American? English? Australian? They're all VERY different) is the most universally understood is ethnocentric at best, borderline racist at worst. Do you have any idea how many people in the world speak English?

Well? Care to guess?

Yeah, it's about 20% of the world population at best. If you really want to reach a "wide audience", try Spanish or Mandarin. English is not some magical universal language and culture, and it's absolutely not fair to aros from other cultures to place English on a pedestal like that. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go watch some nice romance-free 遊戯王.

(It's also perhaps worth mentioning that the Bechdel test is not about plain old feminism- It was designed, specifically, to see if media pass the bare minimum in being accessible to lesbians. Lesbians, specifically. I wish people would stop forgetting that.)

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I just got done talking to THE Andrew Hendricks!™ about this and he suggested we have some allosexual aro media and some ace aro media? What does everyone think of THE Andrew Hendricks!™'s marvelous idea?

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2 hours ago, The Angel of Eternity said:

I just got done talking to THE Andrew Hendricks!™ about this and he suggested we have some allosexual aro media and some ace aro media?

So how would you break down 'allosexual aro' and 'ace aro' into categories or criteria? 

or do you mean that the criteria list should include

  • author/creator is on aro-spectrum

(which is actually a pretty good one to include for the ultimate aro content)

 

Also, I had to google Andrew Hendricks and I still have no idea who you mean....the racecar driver? ???

9 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

watch some nice romance-free 遊戯王.

lols, that brings back memories. I'm still trying to finish watching 蟲師 so I can't comment on romance-content, but it is gooooood!

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5 minutes ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

 

lols, that brings back memories. I'm still trying to finish watching 蟲師 so I can't comment on romance-content, but it is gooooood!

 

Oh 蟲師! I've never actually watched that one, but I've heard it's very pretty. I gotta give it points for interesting character design, but somehow I get it mixed up with 刀語 a lot? Lmao idk what's up with that tbh...

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14 minutes ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

I get it mixed up with 刀語 a lot

oh, I haven't seen that one. If anything 蟲師 brings to mind 妖怪大戦争 by 三池 崇史 even though that is live action, and 蟲師 is way more chill. 妖怪大戦争 could be put forward as aro content! but the violence! so much violence and cruelty.....and it is a 'childrens movie'! but then it is 三池 崇史 so what do you really expect? also it is so deep in the Japanese cultural content it took me a university course to figure some stuff out and I know I still don't get everything.

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3 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

So how would you break down 'allosexual aro' and 'ace aro' into categories or criteria? 

Well, I was simply thinking that, since aros can have various sexual identities, there could be media representing ace aros, homo aros, hetero aros, pan aros, bi aros, poly aros etc.

 

3 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

Also, I had to google Andrew Hendricks and I still have no idea who you mean....the racecar driver? ???

Ah, yes, I see how that could be hard to understand. THE Andrew Hendricks!™ is a dear friend of mine from University and is, indeed, THE brightest Engineering mind in his field. I just have so much respect for this guy that I don't just call him Andrew Hendricks (boring!) but I give him his own "™" and call him THE Andrew Hendricks!™

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To be honest, I think if you try to put together a list of criteria that will exclude any content that might not appeal to every aro person, you're going to end up with a reclist of precisely zero media. 

 

I think it'd be a lot more useful to come up with a list of criteria that would be important to many aros, and then put together an assessment of each piece of media based on each of those criteria. 

 

So criteria might include diversity, violent content, sexual content, etc. And then rather than decide which of those criteria should matter most to others, you simply let people know how the piece of media does in terms of each criterion, and let them decide whether they want to avoid violent content, or sexual content, or media with poor diversity. 

 

20 hours ago, Mark said:

The Bechdel test is subject to quite a lot of critique

FWIW, the point of the "Bechdel Test" and the comic that spawned the term was to highlight how at a systemic level, women and relationships between women are vastly underdeveloped in films compared to men. It was never intended to be a test of how feminist individual films are. Literally from the Bechdel Test Fest website:

 

The test is not a measure of how good or ‘feminist’ a film is but it does highlight just how male-dominated cinema really is.

 

Passing the test doesn't make a movie feminist. A movie doesn't have to pass the test to be feminist. I'd be all for having a criterion along the lines of how women and their relationships are represented in a piece of media, but the Bechdel Test shouldn't be it. 

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Lots of replies. Yay! :)

 

20 hours ago, Mark said:

If things are excluded on the basis that some aros don't like them there's likely to be very little left to consider at all.

 

That was kinda my thought though. That we exclude a lot and end up with just a few works which we deemed the most generally accessible aro content. This doesn't mean they will be the best aro content, likely most people will have other favorites that they prefer. We could also do it like @Apathetic Echidna suggested and kinda just rate things based on the aro rating system. The thing is, I don't have anywhere to put an extensive list of aro content so I wouldn't really know what to do with such a list.
Or like the friend of @The Angel of Eternity suggested, to have two categories. Maybe one could be with sex and one without. It wouldn't have to be categories as ace and allo either really, since not all ace are sex repulsed.

 

14 hours ago, nonmerci said:

Your example is funny because I watched a Swedwish tv show (trandslate into my language), and had no difficulty to understand, even if I don't know anything about the country and never been there. Maybe it would not have been the same if I watched a movie from Bollywood, but when it comes to Western countries we share a lot of similarities. I'm not saying we are the same, of course, but we speak of "general ideas of the context" so it doesn't matter.

I'm not saying we could watch any movie from any country without problem, but you can for a lot. For instance, as I know about French, I would never recommand to watch Asterix et Obelix if you don't know about French culture because of all the references; but you can easily watch Intouchable.

For culture very different, I just think that way : if other can adatp to our cultural context, we can do it too.

And for people who won't read subtitles, that's a problem you have with any language (cf my dad who prefer to wait months instead of watching in vostfr).

Maybe more useful criteria could be: globally accessible, and light on obscure cultural references.

 

3 minutes ago, eatingcroutons said:

Passing the test doesn't make a movie feminist. A movie doesn't have to pass the test to be feminist. I'd be all for having a criterion along the lines of how women and their relationships are represented in a piece of media, but the Bechdel Test shouldn't be it. 

I agree with it's flaws (and also the aspect of taking it out of it's original context)
Maybe a better metric would be at least one woman with a distinct speaking role?

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11 minutes ago, Holmbo said:

Maybe a better metric would be at least one woman with a distinct speaking role?

That... seems like it'd be even less useful? There are plenty of awful misogynist films with women in speaking roles. 

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4 hours ago, eatingcroutons said:

That... seems like it'd be even less useful? There are plenty of awful misogynist films with women in speaking roles. 

You're dissing all my GREAT suggestions 😄

Now it's your turn to make one then.

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so for the criteria why don't we have scaling scores with extra notes? So in my example 0 is a good score for everything so we don't have conflicting score values. so 0 is none, or wide access and 10 is lots or hard to find/understand

for example:

Moana

Romance Score: 0/10

Sex Score: 0/10

Violence Score: 3/10 (cartoon only, no blood)

Access: 0/10 (Global distribution)

Language: ?/10 English, wide variety of subtitles and dubs? Doe Moana even have dubs? I know about Frozen but not Moana 

Misogynist Score: 1/10 (women are strong in this movie)

 

Diversity Score: Low (everyone is Polynesian, no recognisable disabilities and LGBT+ unknown)

A-spec Creator: Unknown/Not Applicable

 

Total: 4/60 Very good! but Low diversity

 

 

if there is a site format somewhere where averages of votes can be taken it would incorporate many peoples views. Maybe an excel spreadsheet or something?

 

 

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53 minutes ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

Language: ?/10 English, wide variety of subtitles and dubs? Doe Moana even have dubs? I know about Frozen but not Moana 

Well, usually with a Disney/Pixar/dreamworks movie , we have a french dub. I don't know about other languages. I am not sure how it's going with Dutch. But I watched Moana in french... well, Vayana at least. They changed the name.

 

 

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On 5/14/2019 at 9:01 PM, Apathetic Echidna said:
On 5/14/2019 at 6:16 PM, The Angel of Eternity said:

I just got done talking to THE Andrew Hendricks!™ about this and he suggested we have some allosexual aro media and some ace aro media?

So how would you break down 'allosexual aro' and 'ace aro' into categories or criteria? 

 

This seems overly reliant on the idea that all aros are either aro allo or aro ace. Some aros aren't.

 

 

Anyway, can we just put together a list of some aromantic media in the first place before figuring out how to numerically rank it?

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4 hours ago, Coyote said:

This seems overly reliant on the idea that all aros are either aro allo or aro ace. Some aros aren't.

I can see @Coyote's point of view here and yes, I do understand and realize that some aros don't want to have their sexual orientation with their romantic one. Maybe it, indeed, is best if we stick to this idea presented by @Coyote until and unless any allosexual aros want their sexual orientation represented along with their romantic orientation.

 

Godspeed to All

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On 5/17/2019 at 6:42 AM, Coyote said:
On 5/15/2019 at 10:31 AM, Apathetic Echidna said:
On 5/15/2019 at 7:46 AM, The Angel of Eternity said:

I just got done talking to THE Andrew Hendricks!™ about this and he suggested we have some allosexual aro media and some ace aro media?

So how would you break down 'allosexual aro' and 'ace aro' into categories or criteria? 

 

This seems overly reliant on the idea that all aros are either aro allo or aro ace. Some aros aren't.

I said what I said because I don't think you can actually categorise those two as distinct things in media unless there is named representation. I would be happy to be proved wrong but for now it doesn't seem to apply anyway because it couldn't be done. 

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18 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

I said what I said because I don't think you can actually categorise those two as distinct things in media unless there is named representation. I would be happy to be proved wrong but for now it doesn't seem to apply anyway because it couldn't be done. 

 

I guess I did the quote tree wrong, because that comment was directed more at Angel than at you.

 

Oh well.

 

Still, re: can you categorized those two as distinct things, in media, unless it is named? ...Eh. I don't think I'd want people to try. A possible alternative that I think would work better: if someone did make a list, there could be an asterisk-type symbol to denote if a character also has an explicitly-stated sexual orientation, if a character is involved with/pursues sexual relationships, if a character self-describes as "aro" specifically vs. just strongly implied, etc. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think there'd be so many entries as to warrant a set of completely separate lists. Or maybe there would be, but it would easier to... build up to that.

 

...We are talking mostly fictional storytelling here, right?

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