Discussion in 'Literature' started by Havac
, Jun 13, 2013.
9th of July
I wast referring to one vague thought by "Marvid', but Denning's refernces in all his books people were complaining about., I havent even read this book yet.
You mean like in Invincible, where she's deliberately posing for some guys on a Coruscant street to ogler over while she's dressed in hot pants?
Haven't recognized that about Denning? Well, now here's your chance.
And these are just the scenes I remember off the top of my head.
See, the problem I have with this isn't that it's an older woman being portrayed as attractive. It's that it seems like it's just fetishizing Carrie Fisher, an alternate universe Carrie Fisher that deigned to give a crap about keeping up appearance for the sake of Star Wars. It's just weeeeird.
I'm torn. On the one hand, ITA with the assessment that Denning likes to sexualize the female characters, Leia in particular. There's no subtlety to it at all, so it feels pretty ham-fisted. OTOH, there's so little sex in the GFFA - and we are talking about grown, consenting adults here - and that feels weird as well. I'd like to imagine that Han still finds Leia attractive after all these years, and that they're at least getting some action in all that hyperspace travel.
The trillion-high club then?
Havac - I recognize the scenes, and yes, it's sexualizations, small tidbits in a number og many SW novels (just like a few Luke@Mara scenes in some NJO novels were small islands of married life in an otherwise long oddyssey of wars and missions) - but I can't in any way be offended. I know this is part of a huge discussion, one which is much larger than tehse boards, but I can't accept that glimpses of sexualization -OR EVEN OBJECTIFICATION- are a problem in themself! Not when the character in case is otherwise treated with respect and in every way (as far as charactreization goes in SW novels) is shown as much more than this. In all the scenes, its' the male viewer who draws the shortest straw, even Han. in every scene, Leia's in complete control. In the rest of these novels, Leia's completely on top - it was even Denning who finally let her become Jedi, dammit! Don't tell me he's not taking her at least as seriously as all the other characters. And really, if Leia's dressing "slutty" as you an others call it- what's the problem? If she was a real person, that would be her damned right and she wold deserve no less respect for that reason! Who' s to decide what's slutty anyway in a kriffing sci fi universe where every female comic book character has less clothes than the males - and not least when we all should know Carrie Fisher stunned more than one teen generation in ROTJ. Do we have double standards for comics and novels? Or triple - for movies as well?
You can say it's all Troy Denning, of course, and that he's something I'm not even sure I dare spell out for the mods, and principle, I agre that women shouldn't be randomly sexualised. I'm a feminist, and I'm proud of it! But this is Leia Kriffing Organa - she can bear a tight jump suit and some ooglers - not least when you check out the test of her charcatization. And women look at men with sexualized eyes- and men look at women with sexualised eyes, and if we're pervy, well, then we're sure a merry lot! The problem arises IMO when the sexualization and objectification comes in randomly or particularly when it nullifies the person behind.
Ok, if you think Denning's objectification of Leia is random, that's fair enough. but remember it's your personal POV. Probably shared with a few others. I think all the passages quoted above ( thank you for bothering BTV!) are not only ok, but actually fun. We have different views, obviously, that's fine, and I don't want to run over anybody's right to be offended, but personally I think it's relieving to see some lighter take on sexuality in a SW novel.
Besides, If we think dressing as a slut, is degrading, why do we see so many fangirls dressing as slave Leia at cons? Are they all pervy (and why is it so bad anyway?) or is it, because Leia was one of the first women on screen who made palpable, that a woman can be both strong - and sexual at the same time? Or even, that being sexual, is a power in itself? I don't see Denning degrading Leia at all. On the contrary, I see him allowin Leia keep the power she had!
Denning wrote Dark Empire?!
True, but my problem is twofold: 1) the joke is always the same, which gets boring and kind of lame, and 2) I don't see the guys treated this way, too. (And you know I'd remember Luke being sexualized, haha.)
You have them all bookmarked, don't you?
Adult workoholic daughter who has troubles with her own relationships partly because she takes everything too seriously Say what you want about Leia and Han Solo - but it's a reverserd Ginger Rogers/Fread Astaire: he gave her class, she gave him sex. Thing is, I thought the talk actually showed some great character insight - and made a fun reference to ROTJ.
Well, sometimes the repeated joke gets lame, sometimes it gets funnier. In general SW is a repeated jokes universe. Sometimes you just don't think a person is funny, which is what I think is the case many have with Denning. Fair enough still - you don't need to like what you don't like - but it doesn't make the arguments objective.
2) Hmm. I foresee other, strong reactions if Denning starts to write a sexualized Luke ;-P But you're right that we don't really see it in the novels. In comics, there's certainly Cade - drawn by a woman! And yeah, I know we'd both earmark every page if Luke was sexualized LOL - but my point is - is it bad? In itself? As long as the character in general is treated with respect? I know some say that dressing Leia as a prostitute isn't respect - but I say also real prostitutes deserve the same respect.
This said, I don't generally vote for the more and more polished and visually clean & perfect look the society has been taking the last couple of decades. I like people who still look like normal people and f.eks. I much prefer the OT casting to the overly pretty faces of Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen. Which is why I think 50/60 year old Leia still functioning as sexy actually works!
The issue isn't the presence of sexuality. It's the selective, weird application of it. Luke and Mara don't get comparable sex-life banter. The books don't drool over Jaina's body. As I said, the issue is the same as with Wolverton's COPL Amazons -- the kink is so pervasive and so specific that you're stuck with the creepy feeling of being a forced spectator of authorial fantasies. It's not that I want Leia never to be mentioned as attractive . . . it's that I don't want to feel like I'm reading passages that were written as a function of fantasy rather than story. The effect of that sort of fetishized writing is offputting. By all means, mention that Leia is attractive. But I can do without OHH LEIA'S HOT BOD YEAH scenes, or with her disguise always being a sexy space tramp while Han just puts on a fake mustache and pretends to be a different smuggler.
It's like the scenes in TCW Gambit: Siege where a helpless, unoffensive middle-aged woman gets horribly attacked and degraded by the villain, and Karen Miller obviously has a hurt/comfort thing. It's one thing when a villain hitting a woman is just something that happens in the story because villains are bad people; it's a very different, very uncomfortable feeling when you get the sense that the author is privately enjoying writing it and goes over-the-top with it for personal pleasure rather than story reasons.
Enjoy whatever you want in private, but as an author, don't force me to be a spectator to your narratively extraneous bouts of public self-indulgence.
That was more agonizing than anything I've quoted in the GODV thread. By miles.
You know, I just had a thought that really bothered me. Remember Shadows of the Empire--you know, the book when Leia was nearly seduced--I mean, raped--by creepy Prince Xizor? Also remember Scoundrels, the book in which a group of really disgusting Falleen basically mind control people? After those incidents, why in the GFFA would Leia of all people choose to disguise herself as a Falleen, complete with manufactured pheromones? And why would Han find that attractive?
(Also, is it even possible to manufacture pheromones? I think that would be extremely dangerous, and should probably be illegal, but whatever.)
This is off-topic to Crucible, I know, but I had to say it.
Because apparently green skin that changes to red and perfume that makes people lustful is sexy in a GFFA.
Not to mention that pheromonal lust perfume gets sold by the Zeltrons, too.
hmnn. July 9th. I am getting Crucible and NCAA Football 14 on the same day. Happy early birthday for me.
It's the GFFA, anything is possible
The way you put it here, I see your point. And gotta agree in principle. Only, I don't get that same vibe from the books or scenes listed. Denning books, I should add - Woverton is pretty obvious. Then again, Wolverton isn't nearly as bad as about any comic on the market... Ah, well. It's individual on how we react on the silent voices of the author's, I suppose.
Something in this line captures perfectly both the genius and weakness of Han Solo's character, I think.
It is off topic, but off my head, I'd say two things. First, Leia's above all practical - she'll use a disguise she know's working. Second, Zixor was most certainly not the first nor last Falleen she's encountered ( I even remember a Falleen Jedi - was it in LOTF?) so I don't think he'd condemn a whole species for her. Also, as you yourself use both seduced and raped here, it would be a mixed memory for her. Had it happened, it should have been classified as rape - but as it didn't, what happened that far, was seducement, the way Leia experienced it. It was only afterwards that she would be disgusted about it. But again, Leia's not really the person to dwell on anything like that.
Haven't read the thread except for the last two pages, since I was summoned to look at Havac's quote-a-thon. Here's my two cents:
There's a difference between sexuality and lingering over a character's physical appearance, which demeans both the character and the reader. Repeated emphasis on a character's physical attributes feels like authorial self-gratification, at least in bad fanfiction and stuff. Now I will admit right here and now that I have not read most of LotF, have not read most of FotJ, and will not read Crucible and I feel very, very uncomfortable about criticizing a work or an author when I haven't read it because I feel it's not my place. I even feel a little uncomfortable just criticizing on the basis of the paragraphs Havac posted because it's very easy to take things out of context. I'm trying to be fair here.
That said, discussing this in the abstract, I'm bothered by what I see in those passages and I do think that in the general sense, lingering descriptions like that are problematic. Especially with a character we know like Leia -- does she act like this in any other works? It feels like she's being used as a sex object. There's nothing wrong with characters having sex lives or being flirtatious -- indeed sometimes the EU feels a little sanitized, understandably -- but there are limits.
Does this cross the line? I don't know, I honestly have no business judging since I've only read Star by Star out of those quoted works and I thought he handled Leia just fine there. Can it cross the line? Absolutely.
Finally -- kataja , I wouldn't draw a dichotomy between seduction and rape. Someone can be seduced into rape -- especially when we're talking about chemically-assisted seduction, as we were in SotE. Even affirmative indicia of consent -- verbal or physical -- can actually NOT be real consent under those circumstances, especially when the rapist knowingly or intentionally induces that consent under false pretenses. It's not rape because nothing happened, but it was DEFINITELY an attempt at rape and probably not the greatest memory for her. I doubt there's any positive association about it.
GrandAdmiralJello, I see I expressed myself unclear. I wasn't trying to draw a dictonomy, I was speaking about the specific scene in SOTE, and that from Leia's POV, not rape in general. I agree with your point, to the degree that I assumed this was evident. Which is my bad, of course, in RL things like this are indeed far too unclear to too many. My own point is strictly in universe, and considering toughnut characters like Leia, that while she wouldn't have fond memories of that incident, she woulnd't find it overly traumatizing either - mainly because Zixor didn't succeed but also because she found out to fight back. She'd be troubled for a while with whether she had any part in it, then move on. In that context, I reacted on use of the word "rape" from Leia's POV.