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Finding Serenity

I finished reading Finding Serenity late last night.

Who wants to borrow it?

For the most part, I enjoyed the book, even a couple of the essays I disagreed with. I must say, as funny as I found "Firefly vs. The Tick", I wonder how much funnier it would have been had I ever seen The Tick. It was very interesting to see that some high-profile writers are Firefly fans. Also, Jewel Staite's set of lists of her five favorite moments from each episode clearly demonstrates how an actor can be a huge fan of their own show without being ego-centric.

One essay was completely lost on me. It's an essay on existentialist philosophy, by a philosophy professor. Philosophy is perhaps my area of greatest incompetence, so while the essay seems to be well written, and I think I got the gist of it, the nuances elude me.

Then there was the piece by the militant feminist, who was disappointed in Firefly because there are no powerful women, unlike Joss Whedon's other shows. Hello? Lady, are you watching the same show I am? The feminist rhetoric inevitably confuses me, but especially so in this case - because the author made some excellent points about powerful women doing interesting things that they could not have done in the traditional Western genre, and then each and every time said "But this shows women have no power." At the end, she says she's disappointed, because while she likes the show, it's still obviously better to be male in Firefly. I have to wonder exactly what would satisfy her. Frankly, that's often my problem with the militant feminists. They seem to assume they are being oppressed, and twist whatever they hear or see to support that.

I consider myself to be a feminist, because I do believe in powerful women, I do insist upon equality, and I won't let anyone keep me from doing anything I want because I am female. You know what? It works. It works to such an extent that I frequently feel like I'm just one of the guys, and wonder whether anyone even notices I'm a woman. But, I don't think I have ever seriously wanted to be a man, aside from the curiosity value of a temporary body switch just to try it out. In the long run, there isn't anything about being a man that is intrinsically better than being a woman (or vice versa) . Or, as my mom jokes, "Why would women want to be equal? We've been superior all these years." For all that it's a joke, there is something to it. I think that part of the militant feminists' problem with the world is that they themselves are the ones who are devaluing women. At heart, they cannot accept the idea that a woman can be an equal, or in a position of power, perhaps because they themselves have not personally achieved it - and so they never see it, even when it's rubbed in their faces.

I've seen, I think on the Bujold list, that one of the measures of whether a TV show or movie is feminist is that it has 1) two women 2) talking to each other 3) about something other than a man. This is, of course, an exaggeration, but again, there's something to it if you look at it. Firefly, however, qualifies.

At any rate, I could go on, but the longer I babble, the more likely I am to develop huge gaping holes in my logic as well.

Then, immediately following that essay, one on why Firefly failed: because you can't have a successful Western without chivalry. Chivalry, here, has a particular definition which doesn't quite match the way I understand it. It's also quite clear that this author really wasn't watching the same show I was. Actually, I suspect he watched it in its TV run, and never on the DVDs. In addition to completely missing some counter-examples to his argument, he gets some plot points wrong. Given that the rest of the book assumes that the reader has watched all the episodes on DVD, you'd think that it would be a requirement for being an author. This just wasn't up to the caliber of the rest of the essays.

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Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
soupkills
May. 27th, 2005 03:24 pm (UTC)
Want me to bring some of the tick comics down with me this weekend and give them to someone likely to see you? :)
soupkills
May. 27th, 2005 03:30 pm (UTC)
note: I would like to borrow the book. :)
talanos
May. 27th, 2005 04:23 pm (UTC)
Add me to the list. :-)
leftsphenoid
May. 27th, 2005 04:54 pm (UTC)
me too, but after everyone else reads it :)
jaedeth
May. 28th, 2005 05:33 pm (UTC)
The problem with militant femanists is the problem with all fanatics. They have a world view they believe in above all else, and when evidence is presented to the contrary "they never see it, even when it's rubbed in their faces", as you said. To paraphrase another book, also of strong females: She cares about things, and she's just trying to make us better people. But WHY can't people like that have a sense of humor?
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )