Links Lundi

A message for JJ Abrams as the new “Star Wars” approaches:

(Enjoy having that stuck in your head for days. Sorry!)

If you’re not totally burned out on GamerGate yet, check out this amazing makeup tutorial, with tips like “line the waterline of your eyes so feminists can’t drink your tears.”

Speaking of feminism, I’m not all that thrilled with Joss Whedon’s depiction as the king of male feminists, and this piece explains why. It was printed before “Avengers” came out, so here’s my addition: Black Widow is another “strong female character” who’s threatened with brutal sexual violence by a powerful male character. It turns out she was prepared for (sort of) an attack like this, but why does a female character need to prove herself immune to sexual violence (or even the threat of it) to be considered “strong?”

Adam Savage nails it, though, in an interview question about GamerGate: “I could be a little girl’s role model, but I’m not going to be her ideal role model. She needs a woman to do that. We need to find that balance.”

15 things to start doing by the time you’re 30. They’re not even that painful!

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2 thoughts on “Links Lundi

  1. I don’t know enough about Buffy or the other show to comment on Joss Whedon’s ‘strong female’ characters, but I think that the Mary Sue article to which you linked doesn’t view characters on Firefly as I would. I think Simons must have a pretty strong agenda to prove to warrant such strong eisegesis.

    Especially with Zoe, I’d argue that the article’s author is being a bit too harsh. I’m not a Captain Mal fan by most means, but I definitely would argue that he wasn’t “[having] a thoroughly embarrassing fight over which of them Zoe will listen to most, making a mockery of the intense trust she places in both of them.” Malcolm’s naive and often misguided reasonings are a common theme throughout the show, and I think that his problem with loss of control in “War Stories” can’t be boiled down to devaluing Zoe’s character. I also don’t think that Inara’s ‘profession’ is as universally lauded as Simons implies, though I do agree with much of the rest of her case.

    I guess I kind of wish that the author would have picked on Kaylee’s character more, as I see her as much more of a stereotypically-written waif and damsel in distress than the other female leads in the show. I don’t know, maybe I’m nitpicking! I’m not a Whedonite, and am not arguing for his place in feminism, but I think that Simons’ dissemination of strong women in Firefly isn’t very fair.

    • I haven’t watched Firefly recently enough to remember a lot of specifics, but I do remember being really bothered by “War Stories” because it felt more like a forced play on love triangles rather than commentary on them, when I think it was aiming for the latter. I think it does devalue her character because it undermines her, not necessarily because of her actions, but because of the way the other characters treat her. Having Mal and Wash fight over her doesn’t take away her inherent strengths, but it does weaken her portrayal because the other characters (and by extension, the audience, who’s almost always supposed to relate to/sympathize with Mal) don’t observe or respect those strengths.

      It makes me think of recent Doctor Who (season 6, maybe?) when the writers kept forcing love-triangle episodes even though the story made clear, repeatedly, that there was no love triangle and Amy was committed to Rory. It cheapened Amy’s character to focus on who she was in love with, when they could have been doing way more interesting things with her.

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