Are "Dolls" slaves?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by The Borgified Corpse, Sep 22, 2009.

?

Are Actives slaves?

  1. Yes

    23 vote(s)
    59.0%
  2. No

    16 vote(s)
    41.0%
  1. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

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    Ouch! Forgotten already? You were just down ther
    Correction: Things they would prefer not to do but have willingly consented to doing because they are getting paid for it.

    I think the soldier comparison is apt. You sign up. The organization feeds, clothes, houses, & cares for you. You get paid. In exchange, you do what they say, which is what you agreed to do when you signed up. If you try to opt out, that is called desertion and they'll throw you in jail.

    Because they have consented to everything that is being done, the original personalities are not slaves. You could argue that the Dolls have rights separate from their original personalities. Caroline is not a slave but Echo might be. For the most part, this is not an issue because the Dolls have no self awareness or desire for self determination. But what about a long running self aware imprint like Dr. Saunders? What if she decides that she does not want to cede her body back to its original owner?

    Also, suppose a Doll's original personality imprint was lost or destroyed. Who does the body belong to then?
     
  2. Ptrope

    Ptrope Agitator Moderator

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    I would say they are slaves, mostly for one reason: maybe it will be explained at the end of the series, but does anyone ever come out the 'other end' of their 'indenture' as themselves? They store the actives' original personalities, even wipe out their crimes, but if their reasons for entering the Dollhouse were of a more personal nature, is this only a reprieve from their suffering, or are they programmed with a simulation of their original personality, tailored to eliminate the issues for which they agreed to their contract? Does that mean they never really are released from their contracts, because they aren't the same people who came in originally? Are their original personalities now the property of the Dollhouse, to use in part or in whole for whatever purpose they deem necessary?
     
  3. Captain Craig

    Captain Craig Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I found it interesting that on tonight's S2 premier Amy Ackers Dr.Saunderson/Whiskey makes a brief mention/question as to Dolls as Slaves.
     
  4. Darth_Daver

    Darth_Daver Captain Captain

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    I think Dr Saunders mentioned something to that line of thought in the season premier
     
  5. broberfett

    broberfett Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They are slaves. Their contracts are useless. The Dollhouse is secret. They can't opt out or even try to refuse an order. They can be used for any purpose. They can be used as target practice or to blow a pony. They can be executed on a whim. The only thing that prevents that is profit. If the profit is higher for them to be killed by a client then they will be killed. The place is completely immoral and evil. It is a funhouse for sick, rich assholes looking for a thrill.
     
  6. PKTrekGirl

    PKTrekGirl Arrogant Niner Thug Admiral

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    Part of the reason I turned this show off after I watched the first few episodes is because of this very issue.

    It made me VERY uncomfortable that these guys were essentially slaves. Indentured, maybe...but indentured via coercion...which did not really render a legitimate 'choice' at all. It wasn't as if they were choosing between complete freedom and servitude.... And that whole memory wipe thing is HIGHLY troublesome to me. Didn't Babylon 5 teach us anything? :lol:

    Anyway, I didn't like that about the show, and felt it was demeaning to women. Even the NAME "Dolls" is offensive. So I turned it off.
     
  7. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You know there are dude dolls, right? And that the concept is, indeed, supposed to be bad news that's going to be used for purposes far more troubling than building a better brothel?
     
  8. Ptrope

    Ptrope Agitator Moderator

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    How is the show "demeaning" to women - or more to the point, how do you single women out, when it's clear that they have what appear to be an equivalent number of men? And when do they refer to them as "dolls?" Not saying they don't, but it hasn't ever jumped out at me; they're referred to as "actives" in the show, "doll" showing up only in the name of the "Dollhouse."

    broberfett, where the heck did you come up with that? Have we ever seen an active harmed by a client when the management knew that was a possibility? DeWitt has been very clear to clients that they protect the actives; the presence of the handlers is a part of that effort, as well. Not arguing with the last two sentences, necessarily, but the rest of what you said has no evidence to support it; if you don't like something, you're more than entitled, but why dream stuff up that isn't true, just to support it?
     
  9. Snaploud

    Snaploud Admiral Admiral

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    Epitaph One proves broberfett's point quite well. DeWitt may be running her Dollhouse with some semblance of decency, but it's quite clear that the company cares only for money and power. Actives can be used, abused, and discarded as the company sees fit.
     
  10. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    They've been referred to as Dolls in-show a few times now.

    While I can certainly understand not wanting to watch something that makes you uncomfortable, you should understand that the people in charge of the Dollhouse are not meant to be the good guys. This show doesn't really have "good guys", except to an extent Ballard and Boyd. It's very much about a personal kind of "good", not anything institutional.

    The show simply says, "Suppose this tech exists. What then?", which in many ways is more science-fictiony than many TV shows ever get.

    And the ultimate answer has been given. The technology leads to the fall of civilization. Only the story of how that happened, and what comes after, remains to be told.
     
  11. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes.. sure they sign the contract willingly but who says Rossum or the Dollhouse didn't actively engineer circumstances so they could get the person to sign on?

    Once they have signed and underwent the procedure they basically have lost all willpower and ability to make decisions.. no one knows where they are and they don't remember having signed anything since their mind is reset after each assignment.

    If the Dollhouse decides to keep an Active past contract date who will object? The Active can't and i don't know if the management staff is so ethical to release one of their best Actives who makes them a ton of money.

    So for all intents and purposes it is slavery for me since past aquisition they lose every control over their life and have no say over how they are being used.
     
  12. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Agh! I hate it when people steal my answer (word for word pretty much.) :rommie:

    The ratings guarantee that this show will be cancelled soon, so there's no point belaboring things, but just for the record: the way to have done this show right is to have "dolls" who would sign on the dotted line, not because they are naive, manipulated or dumb (any of which will cause the audience to hold them in contempt for being incompetent at running their own lives) but because there is something so awfully wrong with them that doll-hood is actually a preferable choice.

    The only people who would want to be dolls are the criminally insane - but who retain enough grip on reality to realize they are thoroughly dysfunctional and have zero chance that their condition will improve. (Their backstory can include thorough and futile medical treatment that would arrive at this conclusion. Maybe the Dollhouse can provide this treatment and extend the offer of doll-hood only to those who legitimately cannot be cured.)

    For people like that, negation of the self is the only good option. Doll-hood should be the absolute last resort before suicide.

    Also, the lead character should be some scruffy, big hulk of a guy - think Gerard Butler - so that there will be no nauseating tendency to treat the lead character as a poor widdle victimized girl. Nobody's going to shed tears over Gerard Butler who used to be a serial killer who did stuff that would make Quentin Tarantino violently ill, before his identity was wiped clean, but we might find it interesting to see he can maintain doll-hood and hold that other nasty guy at bay.

    Plus, if you want someone to go kick butt, you're going to hire a big, buff guy with ninja assassin skills, not a skinny little waif with the same ninja assassin skills. There was an interesting series in here somewhere, but Whedon's icky erotic fixation on victimized females sabotaged it. I don't mind icky, but that's a boring and trite kind of icky. :p
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2009
  13. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah.. but having that small stick of a woman suddenly go ninja on your ass tends to surprise people.. a lot! :lol:

    Everybody is loking at that hulk of a man who in real life is just a florist and nobody notices that 5"2' girl slipping into perfect strike position ;)
     
  14. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So, in other words, you want Alpha to be the star of the show.
     
  15. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    But they are denied the ability to change their minds.

    Freedom means exactly that -- freedom. You're not free if you're physically prevented from making new choices.