Tag Archives: Star Trek

Mary Sues Revisited, Part 1: Insert Self Here

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[Mary Sues were the very first topic I wrote about on this blog, some years ago. I’d like to re-examine them with my current mindset, under the hopefully true impression that I’m now older and wiser]

People have been talking about Mary Sues a lot these days, mostly in the great kerfuffle of a conversation that sprang up around Rey, the undisputed heroine of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The young lady did very much awaken the force, and it seems to have upset some folks… though equally as many (if not more) folks have been keen to rebut that Rey being a Mary Sue is a ridiculous accusation, mostly pointing out that she’s a perfectly reasonable and un-Sueish character compared to the male heroes of previous movies. And even if she is some sort of Mary Sue, what’s so wrong with that anyway? Continue reading

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Filed under Pop Culture Ponderings

Fantastically Racist and Scientifically Offensive

"Why are you white?" - Mean Girls

In fictional worlds of boundless possibility and imagination, why are they so often riddled with the prejudices of the real one?

Fantasy and science fiction have a serious problem where it comes to equal representation… which, from my humble point of view, is offensive first of all but mostly just bizarre. I mean, the definition of fantasy is that anything is possible, and science fiction shows us a world that we can strive towards in the future. So why are we so limited to the thought processes of the modern (and the not-so-modern) world?

The most obvious example of this is that fantasy worlds are commonly very, very white. This is a topic of much discussion all over the Intertubes and beyond, and a pretty prickly issue. It’s also really weird if you think about it. If the world itself is completely made up, you can do whatever you wish with it. You can have floating mountains and creatures with six heads and people turning each other into frogs. Your main characters could live in a world covered in volcanoes or hanging over the cliff to different portals of existence, your fantasy landscape designed with any level of implausible ridiculousness in mind. The same goes for the people who populate it… yet most of them seem to look overtly European.

Well, there is some solid reasoning behind this: first of all, if you make your world and its populace too bizarre it won’t be relatable and it will be more difficult for your audience to connect with, whether through a question of empathy or just them going “This is silly” and tossing the book aside. This, and a combination of the infinite inspiration lying wait in history, leads to the Fantasy Counterpart Culture, fantastical or alien civilisations with traits we can recognise in societies that exist or have existed in the real world.

The most common example is the fantasy landscape based on Medieval Europe. This is basically Tolkien’s doing, when it comes down to it, seeing as The Lord of the Rings and company were the first books to really make the fantasy genre cool, and thus authors that followed have looked to their master for example. The fantasy archetypes that we’re comfortably and stereotypically used to all come from Tolkien, from the landscape to the Orcs to the armour to the big dangerous faceless force of evil.

And that’s okay. Let it never be said that The Lord of the Rings isn’t amazing. However, with everyone following Tolkien’s archetype we’ve ended up with a market swamped in Europe-esque fantasy worlds, leaving things suspended in a rather absurdly Caucasian persuasion. Continue reading

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Filed under Fun with Isms

TV Pregnancies: Fun for Absolutely No One

(Version with less screaming avaliable on Feminspire)

Much as I hate to reduce myself to someone who tries to get their point across by typing all in caps, OH MY GOD HAVE YOU SEEN THIS TREND IT IS THE MOST HORRIFYING THING ON THE PLANET

HERE WATCH THIS VIDEO IT EXPLAINS IT BETTER THAN I EVER COULD

I don’t immerse myself in a lot of science fiction and fantasy, as I have said before, so this disturbing trope caught me rather by surprise. Basically, as that keen lady said, it involves using supernatural pregnancy as a plot device.

There are several highly horrifying things about this. Continue reading

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Filed under Fun with Isms