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general update + meme

I have ... a lot to write: Revenge, by far the more epic of my au_bigbang fics, only squeaked past at 12k, I have to critique two chapters for class, finish Lucy (Season 1!), and I have a couple of fifty themes bouncing around my hard drive. And I have a few posts I've been thinking about too - Luke and Leia are fundamentally pretty similar; why I'd love to see Darcy/Fitzwilliam; how being asexual doesn't, in my experience, get easier over time and in some ways gets much worse; and Black family headcanon.

But then I saw all these awesome thirty days memes, and thought they looked fun and amazing, but I never actually finished the one I was working on! So I'd better do that.

This clearly meant it was time to procrastinate moar, so I browsed a bit and found an ... interesting essay on Mary Sues. As I've mentioned before, I think the term is both (1) valid and (2) overused. Unsurprisingly, I was initially enthusiastic about seeing a feminist take that didn't defend them and articulated why Canon Sues, specifically, are often anti-feminist. So I was nodding my head in cautious agreement when I got the point where the author started talking about Princess Leia, of all people.

Her premise, as far as I understand it, is that Leia's arc resembles Luke's in many respects, but she doesn't get the narrative attention that he does - which is warranted by her character's arc - so her characterization suffers for it. Yes, I agree with this! And then she turns this an argument that Leia is flawless and unerring (Lando Calrissian might disagree slightly with that assessment - among others) and is therefore a Mary Sue.

Oh no you didn't.

Once I got over the immediate reaction of FLAMES ON THE SIDE OF MY FACE, I progressed to total confusion. I realise that Mary Sues are not consistently defined by any stretch of the imagination, but getting more narrative attention than the character warrants (however one defines warranting - or narrative attention) is kind of a big deal? I mean, the "it's a Sue!" chorus mostly comes up around important characters. I haven't noticed a lot of complaints about Padma Patil or, I don't know, Mon Mothma. But Leia, apparently, is a Sue because she's a super-important character who doesn't get enough attention.


Anyway, a happy fluffy thing:

- that moment when you bring your three books of "old" (--> older than you) music to play with your grandfather and discover that you have the music to Luke's Theme AND Luke and Leia.


Day, uh, 22: Who is a female character you love that everyone else hates?

"Everyone" is putting it strongly, but an awful lot of people do hate Emma Woodhouse.

Yes, she's a snob, and she's controlling and interfering and thinks she knows what's best for everyone. She isn't doomed to penury, or in the shadow of more beautiful sisters/cousins/whomevers. She's smart and rich and young and beautiful and everyone loves her except people who largely misunderstand her or are just awful people anyway.

So basically Darcy. I'm sure it's totally coincidental that most everyone loves him, while the response to her is ... divided, at best.

Me, I love her. I love her because she's genuinely clever, though not in the ways she thinks she is. I love her for owning up to being wrong and trying to make amends. I love that even when she is blatantly on the "wrong" side, she's miles away from being a straw ... er, woman. She actually makes some excellent points that Mr Knightley can't really refute. She's sweet and generous and kind-hearted, but not content to be passively so. She wants to do more than sit around and fuss over her father (even though she insists on doing that too). I love that when she gets married, they live in her house with her family. I love that she's complicated and well-meaning and ambitious and strong-minded and deluded and a thousand other things that fit perfectly together.

Day 23: What is your favourite female platonic relationship?

I'm very fond of Angela and Brennan from Bones, but I think I'll have to go with Azula, Ty Lee, and Mai for the sheer awesome.

It's so ... messed-up, because Azula, but I love how even though there's all this menace, they seem to be genuine friends as well. And Ty Lee is the only person who can make Azula feel remorse about anything. And it's genuinely tragic when the relationship (dysfunctional though it was) breaks down, even though you can't hope that any one of them will do anything other than what they did do. Well, it might have seemed more Azula-ish for her to kill them outright, but oh right this is for kids she ... didn't. Maybe even she couldn't bring herself to do it. And they're badass separately but nigh-unstoppable together.

Day 24: What is your favourite female romantic relationship?

Rosethorn and Lark from The Circle of Magic books. I love that they're not "the lesbian couple." They're mentors and primarily defined by being mentors, and what they do when they're not teaching frankly isn't the kids' business. They don't hide it either - Sandry, Briar, Daja and Tris definitely know.

I also like that: they're different, but they understand each other and live together happily. Not tragic doomed romance!  They're not codependent; they very definitely have separate lives and identities, and sometimes Rosethorn goes off for a few months and Lark does her own thing. Also, they're completely kickass - again, in different but shared ways. I also really like that there's no real question about how much they care for each other and how wholly committed they are.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 10th, 2011 12:37 am (UTC)
I think Eowyn's reaction kind of sums up the whole "Leia is a Mary Sue" bullshit. Seriously. 0.0.

And definite agreed regarding Day 23! :D
Aug. 10th, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC)
Ha, yeah. It's amazing how fast something can go from "okay, yeah" to DO NOT WANT.

Heeeeeh, we clearly agree about the important things.
Aug. 10th, 2011 08:51 pm (UTC)
XD Pretty much this. :)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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