Discussion in 'Transformers News and Rumors' started by Mechafire, Dec 27, 2013.
I hadn't really thought about this..but yeah that makes a lot sense.
I so want the Brother Vs Sister conflict. The money I would pay to see Female Unicron
It is how I read it as well. We are reading the language in English is what we understand. The actual language Cybertronians are speaking in their own language. So some of it gets lost in translation.
So, while I know this isn't terribly relevant to this discussion, I do believe it's relevant to the issue of female characters in Transformers.
So, you all know the Covenant of Primus has been out for a while, and it has a female character, Solus Prime, who plays an immensely important role.
However, what aggravates me to no end, is that the portion of the fandom which demands better representation of female characters, constantly (and I do believe purposefully), undermines and downplays Solus, to the point that she is considered, and I quote: "A misogynistic baby factory killed by phallus cannon."
It blows my mind completely that this is the same portion of the fandom that wants better female characters, but then takes an excellently written female character and reduces her to a caricature of what she actually is.
How does this work???
BTW, Scott and Furman spoke to each other and it seems, that at least they barried this thing.
Solus Prime is not an "excellently written female character" by any stretch of the imagination. She is the token female in a set of 13 and is treated as such, her entire plot revolves around characters wanting her and it does end with her literally becoming a baby factory.
Also, putting one female in thirteen does not quell a need for more female representation, even if she was written in a world where she was excellently written.
I'd be perfectly content with NO female Transformers, but I accept that they're part of the lore and I deal with it.
I do love BW Blackarachnia and G1 Minerva though.
What if Chromia or another "female" Autobot was voiced by a man? Wouldnt there be outrage there as well?
I haven't read Covenant yet but from what I've read so far I have no problem with Solus Prime. Yes, you can find problematic stuff there, but nothing on the level of Arcee's "maddening storm of sensory input."
And no, not every yonic/birth metaphor, in a MYTHIC story, is degrading or detrimental to women. I think it's clever how that's been combined with the Forge imagery.
Clearly you haven't read the book then. They don't all want her, they're all friends with her because she accepts and understands them. She's only in love with Megatronus.
And she doesn't become a baby factory, Primus is the baby factory. Hell, two of the male-coded figures become the delivery system for the templates of the other Primes (Solus included) which spawns the rest of Cybertronian life.
Solus has nothing to do with the creation of life.
And I'm not saying there isn't a need for more, but you take a character that was created, and handwave everything she is or does to the point that she fails to be a character in the first place, just a "woman".
I don't even consider Solus a "creator" in the sense that she has anything to do with the formation of life. You could perhaps make that connection because they're robots, and engineering/blacksmithing could be the basis of life for synthetically created lifeforms.
But she makes weapons and armor. And need I point out that her being a blacksmith/engineer is a set of roles typically only given to male characters.
More representation is fine, but it saddens me when existing representation is ignored.
^ Definitely agreed on the blacksmith -> male coded business. But what I find interesting is that the Transformers have a pretty blurry line between making stuff and making people, i.e. the Sunbow / Animated Dinobots.
There have been several interesting comments in this thread as of late. One thing I think that needs to be mentioned is while discussing the difference in races of voice actors between characters, were these changes within the same series (I honestly don't know)? I.e.did Animated Jazz have the same voice actor throughout the series or did someone else sub in halfway through the series? If the voices sound reasonably the same I wouldn't care in the slightest. If in the future they decided to make a more feminine Optimus Prime in another TF series, or even make the entire core cast female, I wouldn't be bothered as long Prime's still a truck. (I'm sure people would still throw a fit given what happened when Animated Red Alert and Drag Strip were made female).
My reasoning for this is I just want a good story that makes sense within the universe that it's being told (i.e. consistency as stated in my previous point). The "rah rah, more fembots by any means" sentiment is troubling to me because of the "any means" part. I don't care if Scott adds Windblade and every other fembot into IDW. It's the "how" that intrigues me. If Scott can deliver on this she will have a new fan in myself.
That's actually a pretty relevant topic there, chum. Don't sell yourself short! You are a kind and intelligent individual! Don't forget that, slagger!
With that said, I have to disagree about Solus. For one thing, she's a token female. In my opinion, most teams should have at least two girls on it.That way you can avoid the the Smurfette Principal and pass the Bechedel Test....Maybe. She's one out of Thirteen. Which is why I usually like to image Micronus and Prima as females. Is it true? No. But it makes me like the characters more. Why? Not 100% sure.
Secondly, I think Solus is a bad character. Yeah, you could say I'm picky with my characters, but that may be because she's the only one of her fembot kind.
True, you can say that Nexus is the only Combiner of his kind at first, but I don't know any real combiners so I cannot sympathize with a combiner about him being....I forget the point. Ahem. Female characters, especially when they're just one, to me, get a harsher judgement and a closer look.
When I first heard about her, while I didn't like she was the only fembot, I did like her idea and concept. Badass weaponsmaker, wielded Magnus' hammer before he did. Sounded awesome. What's her place in the story?
The Fallen and her love each other, she dies by his hand because....something to do with Nexus Prime? Yeah, I don't know. TFwiki ain't helping me here.
And before you ask, I have not read the Covenant of Primus, and I probably won't, cause I have no interest in wasting over 50 bucks for something I don't want.
She was Stuffed in a Fridge. A tired, worn out trope about killing off women.
That a woman's role in the story is to be mourned after, not on the battlefield or anything. Do I think her death was an example of that? Not....100%. But I do think it can be easily seen as that.
And I know she WAS a warrior, but now she's a corpse.
And the final, arguably most important reason I don't like her? She has a bad design.
I'm not saying all ladies need to be big tittied, two moons under the skirt looking. But somewhat pleasing to look at would be nice. She looks like a regular person with silver skin and metal clothes to me. Her optics make her look like she's sick and about to throw up. When I showed her to my girlfriend, we both agreed it was one of the worst designs.
So that's my reasons why I don't like Solus. Are they the best reasons? Maybe not. But honestly, we don't really know much about her. She made a bunch of weapons, loved the Fallen, and is dead.
Well, there's a lot of details that could change that, Co-co. For one thing, is her mold feminine? Or more in between? Is she a she or is he labeled a man by others?
Character traits? Its the difference between an adaptation and a nameslap.
And what kind of man voice? Deep Christian Bale-y man voice? Or high pitched man voice? Or a man, imitating a woman?
Devil's in the details, Co-co.
Regardless of the whole "Arcee" business, I think we could all agree that what Scott did was quite unprofessional. She is a newcomer to writing TF comics (as I understand due to various reasons she had to give half of Beast Hunters to another writer as well) and she makes her big debut by basically - not even subtly - attacking the guy who has been writing TF comics since 1984.
In Star Wars terms, that'd be like a new SW comic writer to make her opening interview by attacking George Lucas for how stupid midichlorians are. Are midichlorians a stupid idea? Hell yeah. Is it a good point on your resume that the day you are hired, you attack the founder of the company? Heck no. So, Scott has been acting quite unprofessionally, however valid her points have been.
I have no problem with Solus Prime being a female. What I have a problem is simply her name, as it is plain stupid.
Anyone with a marginal education in latin will tell you that words with the suffix 'us' belong to the second declination, which is for MALE words in latin. (Optimus, Dominus, Primus, Ambus, Straxus just to mention a few TF equivalents). The first declination has FEMALE words, which have the suffix 'a' (Chromia, Botanica, Blackarachnia just to mention a few). Hence, Solus Prime is an inherently MALE name, especially when you consider how most Primes have latin names. I always assumed ever since Furman first used the name in Matrix Quest III that Prima was the female Prime, and that'd have made logical sense... And then comes this covenant and some author who probably never learned Latin gives the male name to the female Prime and the female name to the male Prime. Le sigh... One more reason why I am glad this whol aligned continuity nonesense is getting dropped soon.
It sadly seems so with many TF fans, mostly the younger ones.
Anyone who saw any meaningful sci-fi series can tell this - for example, Star Trek has species who have not two, but three genders, or only one gender, or are hermaphroditic. And yes, translations to english do not work for such cases, as Riker found out once after trying to romantically approach someone he thought was "female", little understanding that such a gender did not exist in "her" species.
Speaking of female characters in a robotic species, how about the Borg? The Borg Queen is female, as are many of the drones, but they never reproduce sexually as newborn Borg are grown and cybernetically augmented in artificial vats. She is still a she, because of her mindset, and... we could say the whole collective is equal part male and female since it shares the minds and mindset of all of the Borg drones within the collective. How would we define the gender of such a species? I doubt we could even begin to understand it.
One more thing no-one seems to consider. Scott wrote Beast Hunters, and it featured at least 2 female characters (Chromia and Firestar). Were they written as females? Erm... no. I could easily replace them with "male" TFs and their roles in the story would not change in the slightest. I dunno about you, but for a writer who is so hell-bent on adding more females to the TF universe, she isn't particulary good at it. I liked the addition of more females to TF Animated or Beast Wars/Machines, because they were all quite different, but interesting characters, who were noticeably female (not just in appearance, but in behaviour too). With Scott... I did not notice any difference. Sadly I could say the same about her portrayal of the Dinobots, despite the ton of dialogue she gave to Snarl or Sludge, they still feel very 2-dimensional.
Isn't it obvious WHY he did it? At the point Furman wrote this story, there was no Matrix established in TF continuity. No Matrix - no new TFs. Nova Prime was an expansionist, and for that he needed new troops and builders, obviously. Jhiaxus probably saw organic species, and thought making TFs gendered would allow them to reproduce. He probably never made a male TF or more females because the experiment with Arcee was a failure, she mentions this herself in the Spotlight. But I always assumed she was created in order for the TF race to be able to reproduce sexually.
Bravo, BB. Your posts are the best since jenbot's. keep them coming!
I have to disagree there. For one thing, whenever people say, we could all agree on so-so, there is always going to be that one guy who says I don't agree.
Except in this case, that one guy is a lot of guys, I digress.
I still don't agree that what Scott said was offensive. It seemed like a perfectly reasonable thing to say. Heck, even a smart thing to say.
Actually, for me, that is the PERFECT way to write a female. The preferred way. Where gender isn't a character trait. I think the best female characters can have their gender switched around, and they're still great characters. Look at Korra from Legend of Korra. Her being a woman isn't much of a plot point.
Or how about Toph from the series before? She's a badass, blind, earthbender. Few, if no one, makes reference to her lack of testies and chesties.
My favorite female characters are the ones where gender isn't a character trait.
Its not about writing GOOD female characters, its about writing good characters that just so happen to be FEMALE.
See what I mean?
I don't read the comics (time/money), but ended up reading this whole thread out of curiosity. Good discussion overall, despite what sounded like one element of "boo wimmins and gheys" that's disappointing.
I'll throw one point into the mix:
In today's society, the key element to gender is what the individual self-identifies as. Not what others refer to them as (directly or via pronouns, etc). So what would Cybertronians self-identify as: male/female/none? And would they all answer in unison, or differently per individual?
Could "none" be a kind of third gender in their race?
Or the only gender?
Perhaps they have dozens of genders?
Is Ravage a female cat? Buzzsaw a male bird?
If Cybertronians were real, the only way to know their gender would be to ask each one of them.
Interesting thought. My favorite female sci-fi character is Fem-Shep (female Commander Shepard in Mass Effect series) and s/he was written as a male. Playing her, despite/because of me being a straight guy, created a character that for me endures as one of my favorites. That surprised me.
Separate names with a comma.