Friday, September 25, 2015

Captain Plasma is the female remodel we need!

I was in the shops the other day when I saw a large Captain Plasma doll standing next to some plain white Storm Trooper dolls. And it suddenly dawned on me... this was a FEMALE character... and you couldn't tell. Her armor is so gender-neutral you might think she was a man. But she's not. She's a woman. And she's awesome. I love how her outfit looks the same as the other storm troopers except it's a little bit more fancy and she has a cape. Her sexuality isn't over the top. Attention isn't drawn to her breasts or her butt or her vagina or her legs. She isn't super thin and hasn't got over sized breasts. She isn't supposed to be a sex symbol. We're not supposed to look at her and comment on her body. Her body is not important. When we look at Plasma what we are supposed to see is strength. This woman is important. And she's serious about her job.

Someone commented on the Star Wars facebook page recently "Her armor isn't female looking enough" and the person in charge of the Star Wars page had an awesome response: "It's armor. On a woman. What more do you want?" DAMN RIGHT SON.

When we have female super heroes who run around in heels or in tight clothes with their zipper pulled down to show off a generous amount of boob it is such a tired, old cliche. Let's have some realistic female heroes please. No more heels because who the hell can chase down bad fellas in platforms I ask you? and who would want to do it in a skin-tight outfit that would be impossible to move around in yet alone run:

I love that Plasma looks the same as the other Storm Troopers because it tells me that she is their equal and is not meant to be goggled at. She is more than just a pair of boobs and a vagina. She is to be taken seriously. She is just as smart and just as much as a threat as any other trooper in the Empire. And you can buy a doll of her! She isn't going to suffer the same fate as Black Widow. She is being celebrated. She exists in the toy isles right next to the male Star Wars characters. And that people is HUGE. Because try and find something with Black Widow on it. Because you probably won't be able too. Because she wasn't included in much merchandise at all because of the old fashioned idea that little boys wouldn't want her included because they wouldn't want to be "the girl" when playing make believe.

So you can understand then why I was happy to see a big Plasma doll in the shops. We need more female role models like her that are so cool, so awesome, that their gender should not matter. Anyone, boy or girl, should want to be her. Because she is awesome.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Why I think Sailor Moon is an awesome female role model

I had to do a questionnaire for a university assignment recently and I did it about characters and plot. One of the questions I asked was about female role models in fiction and if people wanted to see less damsel in distresses. One of the answers said that they did want to see more and less female characters who had to have a "male balancing act" and I immediately thought of Sailor Moon. Sailor Moon has a lot on her shoulders for a fourteen year old but also has a lot of people surrounding her who want to help. Her friends are her body guards and would not hesitate to lay down her lives for her and then there's Tuxedo Mask never hesitates to pull her out of a tricky spot.

Sailor Moon depends on others for support. And she's criticized a lot for that. But I don't think she should be. She draws a lot of strength from her friends and partner. And that's ok. It's ok to depend on others for support and help. To ask for help. But what makes her a great role model is that the person she depends on the most and draws the most strength from is herself. If you were to take away all of the people precious to Sailor Moon you would not crush her. You would not stop her. And I love that about her. Her friends are killed more than once in the manga and the show and she just keeps on fighting. She doesn't stop until the job is done. She has a "male balancing" act and I don't think that's a bad thing. It makes her a stronger person. And let's be honest. We all have someone in our life we would fight for.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Writers shouldn't be shamed or bullied into being politically correct

I posted a questionnaire about writing and publishing online recently as part of a university assignment and got a whopping 128 responses! I'm slowly reading through them all and it's been very interesting thus far. One question got a lot of interesting and slightly fired responses and that was one where I asked is the "damsel in distress" trope overused, overdone, and would you like to see it reinvented? Most said yes, but some said that writers should not be pushed into doing it, and should write the stories they want to write. And I agree.

I don't think writers should be shamed for not being politically correct and forced into changing their stories to meet the demands of the social justice crowd. Like the people who want Link from Zelda to be a girl in the next game. He's never going to be a girl. He's a boy. And that's that. I've been playing Zelda since A Link to the Past came out and I've never had a problem with Link being a boy. And then there are the people arguing that the Assassin Creed games should change their main character to be a female...but why? If the writers want it to be male then that's their decision to make, and there's nothing wrong with their decision. I think more games should go the the Splatoon route and give players the option of being either a boy or a girl and what their skin colour can be. But if a game doesn't do that I'm not going to attack them on social media for it.

Writers should not be censored. They should be able to write whatever they want. The "damsel" trope IS tired and old and I would like to see more writers moving away from it but it has to be their decision. And I think it's happening. We're seeing more and more shows and books with female protagonists coming out like Orphan Black. I'm excited about the character of Captain Plasma in the new Star Wars film. A FEMALE STORMTROOPER! and one in pretty, shiny, awesome armor! How amazingly awesome is that!?! It's pretty mind blowing that TWO of the main characters in the new film are going to be female! That's pretty big considering in the original trilogy there was like...two female characters in the whole three films I think and that was Leia and Mon Mothma.