I was having a discussion about this rule with some other members and it came to my attention that there might be some confusion with this rule on this forum.
At one point in time we were being overrun by posts admiring fictional characters... "Look at Gaston from Beauty and the Beast. Isn't he soooo great?" or criticizing beta traits from other characters in popular movies or shows. (Stop being such a Ted Mosby!)
Because they're fictional characters, their motivations are made up, and their successes or failures are entirely at the whim of the writers. This means it does not provide any insight or prediction to us for how these behaviors work or what they accomplish.
Now, if you read the full rules page, we clarify:
Use of fiction or other controlled narratives (reality tv, etc) should only be used as an example of the author's psychology, not the character's.
And I think we haven't been seeing much of this here because people have incorrectly assumed all discussion of fiction in itself is off topic. We actually welcome discussion of culture and I personally would like to see more of it.
Discussion of our culture's art and media and how it shapes opinions and cultural mores is important. But that discussion should focus on some of the following topics:
- Why did the author choose to portray certain behaviors in certain lights.
- Is the piece accurate? If not, what was the motivation of the author for presenting a falsehood?
- What is the net effect on society if the average viewer/reader believes this fiction reflects reality when it does not?
- What opinions or ideas is this piece trying to change?
We are amidst a culture war. And while TRP has always been (and shall always be) focused on sexual strategy, it is crucial that we ensure that focus includes discussion of this culture war. Understanding how we got here, and tracking future changes in our culture will keep us ahead of the curve.