minoanmiss: (La Parisienne)
minoanmiss ([personal profile] minoanmiss) wrote in [personal profile] thedeadparrot 2010-04-11 07:35 pm (UTC)

I came here from agreeing with the essays you linked to, and I... am of two minds.

I agree that the problems you describe are problems -- I am a woman of color and I've *seen* the story where Spock falls in love with someone who is So Much More Awesome Than Uhura and it was all I could do not to vomit, not to flame the author. I hate OFCs that are there to say that the canon female characters are lacking, and I agree with you that they're awful.

BUT. I hate slash like that too (the kind of slash where the male characters get together because the canon female love interest is depicted as a horrible person -- for example, I've also seen the Kirk/Spock stories where Kirk is so much better for Spock and Uhura can't love Spock like Kirk does, and I find them equally as disgusting) and I still disagree vehemently with the people who say that its existence is a reason no one should write or read slash. I don't think all these problematic fantasies, terrible as they can be, are a reason to stop writing OFCs, which is the most common suggested solution I've seen to the problem of Mary Sues.

I don't think every OFC has to do what you've described. For example, I created a LOTR hobbit character once to be the betrothed of a minor canon hobbit character, so I could write about the effect of the Ruffians' occupation of the Shire on the hobbits' lives. To do so, I had to deal with my own fears of being labeled a "Mary Sue writer and thus not worth reading" and had to fence with a couple of people who cast that label at me. There were no canon love interests for her to push aside, and every reason for her to exist, and I still think years later that the concept of Mary Sue did me no good service in creating that character and her stories.

If this is our idea of empowerment, tearing down other women for not fitting into some perceived feminine ideal, I don't want into it.

I certainly don't want that either. Not at ALL. But I respectfully submit that avoiding creating OFCs may be one way to avoid doing that but it is not the only nor, in the end, the most productive.

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