Feminization of TPM & SW

Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by TrueJedi, Nov 5, 2001.

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  1. TrueJedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2000
    star 5
    I haven't seen this issue brought up except in a few isolated posts so I thought it deserved its' very own topic.

    Honestly, I hate films that portay women in traditionally male roles. Now, I don't mean roles where a woman is strong-willed, like Princess Leia, but roles like female fighter pilots, female soldiers and female bounty hunters. I think Leia's character was great and it rang real for me. Whereas seeing a female bounty hunter was the height of absurdity. How many female bounty hunters have you ever seen in real life? Come on, that's just ridiculous.

    I think it's a huge mistake for GL to be slowing feminizing the saga as he has been doing. It just seems that he's trying to fulfill some type of Politically Correct agenda and he's using SW to accomplish this task.

    I came across this article of someone who shares some of the same concerns:


    Stop the feminist pandering...

    Seriously, this is a lame idea. Why is a female Jedi necessary or even beneficial?

    From my point of view, "The Phantom Menace" was a fairly weak film in comparison to the previous films in the Star Wars series. Part of the reason is that Lucas is getting away from what originally worked for him and is starting to pander to other people's wishes, political correctness, commercialism, etc. A great example is the all-but-useless character, Lando Calrissian. Did Lando fulfill any essential role in the films other than to be "the black guy"? Couldn't Han Solo have destroyed the second Death Star while Leia led the Endor attack in "Return of the Jedi"? Or maybe vice versa. (After all, Leia was the "other" Yoda spoke of.) I think it would have been a cleaner and more interesting film.

    The original spirit of Star Wars was George Lucas' nostalgic salute to the old sci-fi serials and comic books he grew up with. "A New Hope" was so brillant and fresh *because* he did not make it for anyone other than himself. It was a huge risk for him to take, but it paid off. I honestly believe he needs to get back to that. He does not need to make a film for frustrated feminists, for the NAACP, or even for his own kids. He needs to make the movie he wants to make.

    Further, Star Wars is strongly rooted in the mythological archetypes as presented by Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell. Feminist writers have tried to make "warrior women" archetypes comparable to the "warrior male" by twisting Jung's theories but only with limited success. In classical mythology, there is something lacking in the warrior woman. (The Amazons of Greek mythology, for example, inexplicably cut off one breast, mutilating themselves over a shame of their sex. I am still waiting to see Xena do this...)

    Finally, Lucas has already done more than most for the empowerment of women with the introduction of the strong and decisive character Princess Leia. At the time Star Wars premiered, Leia stood out like a blazing icon for the modern woman. Personally, I would love to see one woman in Star Wars, just one, who is truly submissive and follows the men. To me, that would be refreshing.

    I know that he now has several little girls of his own and I wonder if he is regretting the films he made earlier. As a result of his own films, little girls are brought up in the shadwo of Princes Leia. They are taught to be ashamed of feminity, like the Amazons of old. Girls now let their appearance slack, behave confrontational, and concern themselves with the rat race of making the most money. In short, they have adopted all the bad aspects of men while failing to pick up on the virtues of honor and accountability.

    So are you telling me we need more of that? I don't think so. I say bring back the old myths, George, and tell them true.

    ---------------------------------------------

    Thoughts?
  2. Tropical_Plumber Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2001
    star 4
    I would hardly refer to anything that Lucas has done in TPM as "feminist pandering" or filling minority quotas. What the hell is wrong with including more minorites and women into the saga? Nothing, that's what. This article is ridiculous.


    Why is a female Jedi necessary or even beneficial?
    For the same reason that a small green Jedi and a conehead Jedi are necessary and beneficial. It shows the diversity of the universe, as well as the freedom allowed during the time of the Old Republic.

    Lucas is getting away from what originally worked for him and is starting to pander to other people's wishes, political correctness, commercialism, etc.
    If Lucas is pandering to other people's wishes, then why exactly did he take $#!+ from just about everyone for TPM? If he was trying really hard to pander to political correctness, then he obviously failed to do so, as evidenced by the (ridiculous) "Jar Jar as a black stereotype" debate.

    A great example is the all-but-useless character, Lando Calrissian. Did Lando fulfill any essential role in the films other than to be "the black guy"?
    Lando was a foil to Han, and he served his role very well.

    The original spirit of Star Wars was George Lucas' nostalgic salute to the old sci-fi serials and comic books he grew up with.
    It still is, perhaps in TPM more than ever. I hate to break it to you, but it's still very much possible to have cliffhanger, gee-whiz style fun with women and minorities present.


  3. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    *sigh*

    This is going to get ugly, and will likely be locked by this evening.

    Oh well, off to wreak ethics at the hospital...
  4. Binary_Sunset Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 5
    TrueJedi, I tend to agree with you here. The Jedi Knights were modelled after the knights of western Europe and the Samurai of Japan. I don't think that there were any female knights or Samurai. Female Jedi are too, well, Star Trekish for me.
  5. Darth-Stryphe Former Mod and City Rep

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2001
    star 6
    I'm curious what you think about Padme's role, TJ, given your above comments.

    As to the supposed femination of SW, I really don't see it. We see a female bounty hunter for all of 1-1/2 seconds and a female pilot for all of about five seconds (who doesn't do jack-squat). We see 4 of the 13 council members are women. Big deal. First of all, their the notable minority on the Council. Secondly, it doesn't mean their lightsaber wielding bad ***es like Qui-gon and Ben. And thirdly, they don't do a single thing in the story except sit there. Besides, the idea of a female jedi's was introduced in ROJ.

    Now, if we had Panaka's, Qui-gon, and/or Maul's role played by a woman, I might agree with your assesment, TJ.


    Couldn't Han Solo have destroyed the second Death Star while Leia led the Endor attack in "Return of the Jedi"?

    No, it couldn't. Having Han with Liea on the planet allowed for them to flush out their romance storyline some more.
  6. Dionysus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2001
    star 1
    Who honestly cares whether men fit traditional male stereotypes or if women fit traditional female stereotypes? We're talking about simple anatomical differences here. The ideas of "male" and "female" are mostly conceptualizations (powerfully influenced by history, tradition, and social structures) that have nothing to do with the physiological/neurochemical differences that supposedly define them. To insist that women be "women" and men be "men" is to simply to insist that we continue to reduce human beings to the shallow, one-dimensional characicatures that certain segments of Western society have developed through history.

    As far as I can tell, Star Wars is neither male nor female, but human. What's wrong with that?
  7. Ulaleros Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2001
    star 2
    i agree with you somewhat truejedi. political correctness now supercedes all logic and common sense. feminism is a very iffy kind of subject for me. it seems to function not by elevating female roles but by invading male roles. that is to say, they feel women should do all the things that males do because they regard those things as more important. for me, it kind of ruins being a man, by which i mean, for example, i have a masculine desire to protect my woman, but she does not want to be protected anymore. anyway, political correctness has found its way into star wars and it will only get worse as time passes. look at the trend these days in making women physically superior to men, even though it flies in the face of logic. you had that show dark angel, which was a success, so now other shows jump on the bandwagon and make that show alias, and that other one, i cant recall the name right now. it's similar in movies too, every one of them is almost required to have a female character that is warrior-like and physically equal or superior to men. i find that to be illogical and unnatural. now, i dont agree with that article that there should be a "truly submissive" woman in star wars. men and women are equal in their humanity, and while i believe in gender roles i do NOT believe that being "submissive" to men is a female role. i also dont really agree with this persons evaluation of lando's role in the movie. the character was required by the script, it wasnt written especially so they could put a black guy in the film.

    also, dionysus...do you deny that men are naturally taller and physically stronger than women? is it a conceptualization of society that makes them that way? men, by virtue of being men, have a chemical in their bodies (i cant recall the name of it right now) that makes their muscles grow when they work out, women do not have this chemical. testosterone and estrogen do different things in the body...testosterone tends towards agression, estrogen tends towards emotion. do you think we invented these chemicals and inject them into males and females to accord with our societal conceptualizations? no, these are NATURAL circumstances. and do they not suggest anything at all to you? your opinion demonstrates how political correctness now supercedes logic in society.
  8. Darth-Stryphe Former Mod and City Rep

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2001
    star 6
    Ulaleros, I agree with much of your opinion, what I do not agree with is that this "PC"-ness has infiletrated SW, see my above post for why.
  9. SqueakyG Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2000
    star 1
    I strongly DISAGREE with you, TrueJedi.

    Point 1:
    The problem of "female characters in masculine roles". I don't know why you think this is a bad thing. I think it is PROGRESSIVE to see that roles are not dictated by gender so much anymore. It was a BAD thing... a BAD aspect of patriarchal society and culture that women were relegated to inactive roles and men had the "strong" roles. I see it as a sign of modern culture that woman can have the same active roles as men. To criticise women having the strong roles previously only occupied by men sounds sexist.

    Point 2:
    I don't see the difference between Leia's "acceptable" strong role, and the "unnacceptably wrong" strong roles of other female characters. Leia was an ambassador and a rebel -- surely they are masculine roles too? But are you saying this is acceptable because she is also a "princess"?

    Point 3:
    Cinema reflects society at the time. 1977 is not like 1999. Two decades-worth of change happened... very subtle, but change nontheless. You may see this as Lucas pandering to political correctness. I see it as Lucas reflecting modern life. I would think there was something amiss if a film made in 1999 did NOT have women in (previously masculine) positions of power. But we accept there were no women in those positions in the original trilogy, because those films reflected their time too.

    Point 4:
    If you wanted to come up with an explanation WITHIN the Star Wars universe to explain why women have positions of power in the prequel trilogy, but they aren't in positions of power 30 years later... this is easy. The Old Republic is liberated and progressive, but when the Empire comes along it opresses women. Impirial rule will change the social and cultural state of the galaxy, opressing women. We use this explanation to explain why technology is so much better in the prequel trilogy (the Empire's rule will set back the technological age), so why not use this explanation for femisnist social change too? We know the Empire opresses alien races because of their belief that Humans are superior... I expect they will do the same for men vs women.

    I apologise if any of this sounded personal. i tried to keep it normal and nice.
  10. Tequila617 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 20, 2001
    star 1
    "To insist that women be "women" and men be "men" is to simply to insist that we continue to reduce human beings to the shallow, one-dimensional characicatures that certain segments of Western society have developed through history." -Dionysus

    Um, are you saying that ONLY western cultures have done that?! If so, you are SORELY mistaken...
  11. Grizham1 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 2001
    star 2
    A good topic to tackle to true jedi, as to the pc ness of star wars it is very interesting to see how the first star wars has only white boys flying the pilots and doing all the work, the same with esb to a certain extent, and then in rotj it's noticeable that some of the pilots who fight in the battle above endor are black and asian but still all males. Slowly pc ness creeps into the saga, jump to tpm then we have minorites as well as females in fighting postions. Regardless of anyone's views of on race or sex it's very interesting how gl's vision of what star wars was has changed, diversity isn't always a good thing as is very apparent in the u.s. even today. I don't like the idea of a female jedi at all, I know it's un PC to say, but women aren't usually able to do the same things as men physically. A female bounty hunter wouldn't be a joke if she used other methods than force to get her prey, but indeed female warriors, bounty hunters, soliders, etc. they just don't exist it's a male role even today, and gl putting women in these roles shows that the older he has gotten the more liberal his politics have as well.
  12. Darth-Stryphe Former Mod and City Rep

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2001
    star 6
    Um, are you saying that ONLY western cultures have done that?! If so, you are SORELY mistaken...

    Yes, Afganistan is known for it's abusive treatment of women and known for keeping them down and un-educated. China also has certain "sexist" views of women.
  13. rdsiam Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2001
    star 1
    As a matter of historical fact there were female samurai... there were also female gladiators in ancient Rome.
  14. Binary_Sunset Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 5
    Dionysus wrote: "As far as I can tell, Star Wars is neither male nor female, but human."

    Well, it used to be human. But starting with ROTJ, then the SE's, and now the PT, it is anything but; what with all the weird critters running around.

    Rdsiam wrote: "As a matter of historical fact there were female samurai."

    Really? Are you sure? I'm not saying it's not so, but that seems kind of strange to me. Can you refer me to a source for this?
  15. Darth-Stryphe Former Mod and City Rep

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2001
    star 6
    it is anything but; what with all the weird critters running around.

    ?? You lost me, B_Sunset. Did not ANH have lots of wird creatures running around?
  16. baggles Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 1999
    star 4
    Yeah , I guessed he missed the cantina sequence which featured 90 % aliens.

    Then we have the issue of the Facist Empire, which shall be covered very soon..
  17. TrueJedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2000
    star 5
    Tropical_Plumber:

    What the hell is wrong with including more minorites and women into the saga? Nothing, that's what. This article is ridiculous.

    I think you missed the point of the article. The problem is that GL is adding females into the saga in masculine roles. That may be OK for you but for many fans, it's not.



    Binary_Sunset:

    TrueJedi, I tend to agree with you here. The Jedi Knights were modelled after the knights of western Europe and the Samurai of Japan. I don't think that there were any female knights or Samurai. Female Jedi are too, well, Star Trekish for me.

    Exactly.



    Darth-Stryphe:

    I'm curious what you think about Padme's role, TJ, given your above comments.

    I think Padme was doing great up until she decided to lead an assault on the palace. That part was lame.


    As to the supposed femination of SW, I really don't see it. We see a female bounty hunter for all of 1-1/2 seconds and a female pilot for all of about five seconds (who doesn't do jack-squat). We see 4 of the 13 council members are women. Big deal. First of all, their the notable minority on the Council. Secondly, it doesn't mean their lightsaber wielding bad ***es like Qui-gon and Ben. And thirdly, they don't do a single thing in the story except sit there.

    That's bad enough. That's far more than we had in the first two films. There is definitely a bad trend here.


    Besides, the idea of a female jedi's was introduced in ROJ.

    Sure, but Leia was an exception. She had as much midi's as did Luke and she was "Plan B" if Luke didn't make it. They had no other choice.



    Dionysus:

    Who honestly cares whether men fit traditional male stereotypes or if women fit traditional female stereotypes?

    I do, and so do many fans.


    We're talking about simple anatomical differences here.

    On the contrary, the differences between men and women are highly significant, not limited to merely anatomical differences.


    The ideas of "male" and "female" are mostly conceptualizations (powerfully influenced by history, tradition, and social structures) that have nothing to do with the physiological/neurochemical differences that supposedly define them.

    Incorrect. Study after study has shown that men and women have vast differences in this area.


    To insist that women be "women" and men be "men" is to simply to insist that we continue to reduce human beings to the shallow, one-dimensional characicatures that certain segments of Western society have developed through history.

    Can you name a "society" that has acted differently?


    As far as I can tell, Star Wars is neither male nor female, but human. What's wrong with that?

    It's not just human. There are thousands of species in the SW universe.



    Ulaleros:

    i agree with you somewhat truejedi.

    Thanks. :)

    now, i dont agree with that article that there should be a "truly submissive" woman in star wars.

    I agree. Leia's character was great. She was like the strong-headed, wise-cracking woman from the '30's and '40's films. Nothing wrong with her character.



    SqueakyG:

    I strongly DISAGREE with you, TrueJedi.

    How can this be? :p


    Point 1:
    The problem of "female characters in masculine roles". I don't know why you think this is a bad thing. I think it is PROGRESSIVE to see that roles are not dictated by gender so much anymore. It was a BAD thing... a BAD aspect of patriarchal society and culture that women were relegated to inactive roles and men had the "strong" roles. I see it as a sign of modern culture that woman can have the same active roles as men. To criticise women having the strong roles previously only occupied by men sounds sexist.


    Do you really know of any real live female bounty hunters? Do you know of any army in the world that uses females to lead troops into battles or fight battles as soldiers? Do you know of any female pilots that go into combat? Think about t
  18. Tropical_Plumber Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2001
    star 4
    I think you missed the point of the article. The problem is that GL is adding females into the saga in masculine roles. That may be OK for you but for many fans, it's not.

    I don't think I missed the point. Admittedly, though, my thoughts may not have come across 100% clear. The author clearly talks about his (her?) dissatisfaction with Lucas' inclusion of women and minorites, stating that he is somehow giving in to left-wing societal pressure.

    And yes, you are right, the article also discusses putting females in "masculine roles". I fail to see the problem with it.
    You and the author of this article claim that it has an adverse effect on girls today and I couldn't agree less. Nobody should have limits put on their personnal goals by society (unless, of course, those goals present a clear danger). Allowing women to be portrayed in both "masculine" and "feminine" roles opens up many doors.

    As for your arguement against Aurra Sing (who, btw, has about 2 seconds of screentime), I don't quite follow it. Why is it so hard to believe in a female bounty hunter? No, I don't know any female bounty hunters, but then again, I don't know any bounty hunters period. However, I do know female police officers and military personnal, and they do their job just fine. Positions that envolve force or combat are not beyond a women's reach. I will concede that men are physically built to deal with this better, but that is no reason to exclude women.

    Also, I really don't think that "many fans" have any sort of problem with this. You're actually the first that I've ever heard with this complaint.

    And if I could ask... where did you get that article? I'd be curious to know who wrote it.


  19. Darth-Stryphe Former Mod and City Rep

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2001
    star 6
    The point is that these issues you mention are merely the exception rather than the rule, as opposed to what we see in TPM which is the rule rather than the exception.

    See, now that's what I don't see. How do we know the TPM women aren't the exception rather than the rule? They're really aren't many of them. One female pilot, could be the only one on Naboo. And besides, she doesn't do squat, so it's not like GL was glorifying women as great pilots. Aura Sung -- we don't even know she's a bounty hunter without getting into EU. All we know is she's a chick with a gun, and if I were a single woman on a place like Tatooine, I think I'd want a gun like that to keep myself safe :). I don't see Padme do anything that Leia didn't do, and as to the female Jedi, I still hold that the Classics support this. Sure, Leia was plan "B", but notice that it is Yoda (who tried to talk Luke and Ben out of letting Luke train) who suggest Leia as plan "B" in the first place (Ben apparently flat out forgot until Yoda spoke up). I always assumed Yoda would have only suggested it if he'd had experiences with female jedi's the past (i.e., knew they could handle the job), and he was obviously less afraid to train Vader's daughter than he was Vader's son.
  20. Darth23 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 14, 1999
    star 4
    The 'article' a message was posted by "XXJohnXX" on 04/09/2000 on the scifi,com message board.

    It's not on the site any more, but there's still a copy in google's cache. :)



    Want to see something really weird? GO to Google and search for "worked for him and is starting to pander to other people's wishes, political correctness, commercialism".

    It's interesting to see the links that come up.
  21. DarthGunray Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2001
    star 3
    This just sickens me! There was a time up until now that I thought that sexism was on its way out, how wrong was I. TrueJedi, give one really good reason why women shouldn't be put into strong so called "masculine" roles in the Star Wars films.

    Your views are pure filth! Women are every bit as strong as men, and to think that they aren't is incredibly pig-headed, dumb, and above all assinine. Think about it, how many women are now in the military. How long did it take for the USA to finally open its eyes and allow women the right to vote? Aren't women human? Aren't men human? Doesn't that make us technically equal? Women deserve respect, they put up with a lot, and are then expected to sit watch the world go by? Why can't they go and take up tough jobs? Explain to me what's wrong with a female bounty hunter!

    You know, now I see why women refer to PMS as putting up with men's ********. Because, most men really do give them a lot. I'm sorry if I have offended anyone with my language but I feel very strongly about women being equal to men. Thank you for hearing me out.
  22. Dionysus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2001
    star 1
    Ulaleros,

    do you deny that men are naturally taller and physically stronger than women? is it a conceptualization of society that makes them that way?...no, these are NATURAL circumstances. and do they not suggest anything at all to you? your opinion demonstrates how political correctness now supercedes logic in society.

    Apparently my post was not clear enough. My point was simply that while there most definately are physiological and neurochemical differences between men and women, the majority of the "gender-specific" traits that are assigned to either sex are a a result of cultural baggage.

    Let me give you an example. It has been argued for centuries that a trait of men is that they are "naturally" leaders of the family unit and society. Men are active and aggressive, women are passive, so the theory goes. TrueJedi alludes to this idea in his opening post. However, there are no anatomical features that demand that this be so. In fact, from about 8,000 BC to 6,000 BC women held the dominant social and familial position in early Western civilizations (notably that of the Fertile Crescent). This was due to the fact that women were largely responsible for the domestication of plants (farming), and this brought with it social power. Two thousand years later men domesticated animals and the pendulum swung the other way.

    What I am saying is that the ideals of "women" and "men" that TrueJedi feels Lucas is violating are, in fact, mostly products of specific historical events and sociological structures. That is not to say that there are no differences between men and women (especially on the physical level).
  23. Dionysus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2001
    star 1
    Tequila617

    Um, are you saying that ONLY western cultures have done that?! If so, you are SORELY mistaken...

    Certainly not. I am saying that TrueJedi has in mind certain ideals of "men" and "women". My point is simply that these ideals - which posit a host of supposedly "inherent" traits to both genders - are largely (but not entirely) a product of specific historical events and specific sociological structures, and aren't inherent at all. Given that TrueJedi, Lucas, and most of us live in a Western society (which itself developed within the context of Western history), then TrueJedi's conception of gender traits are a product of his society, which is Western. I am well aware that Eastern cultures have often oppressed women just as much as their Western counterparts.

  24. TPMrules23 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2000
    star 5
    Expand your horizons people. Women are proven to be better pilots physically. Just a tidbit I'd throw out there.
  25. MORMEGIL Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2001
    star 2
    TrueJedi, I tend to agree with you here. The Jedi Knights were modelled after the knights of western Europe and the Samurai of Japan. I don't think that there were any female knights or Samurai. Female Jedi are too, well, Star Trekish for me.

    There were female ninja. And what about the legend of the Valkyrie? It has some basis in reality. I see no reason not to insert females in warrior roles, as long as it's not too artificial. Leia was good as she was, but it wouldn't take much to turn that kind of character into a warrior. Truly, if done correctly, these measures make the saga more 'accessible' to more people, which is fine for me.
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