I'll be honest, I was at a loss of what to write. I had several ideas- and likely good ones- but I just didn't have the motivation to write them. I'd said it all before, really. I was afraid to branch and and try something new because stepping so far outside my "comfort zone" and getting shot down would be too painful. Plus, I wasn't sure I should write at all- I'm so sick that I can't promise anything more than utter incoherency.
But, without even knowing she did so, chiara607
solved my problem for me by posting a link to the journal entry
, and then specifically to this comment
Now, the entry itself, of course, is bunk. Zoe calls Mal "sir" because he was her superior in the army in wartime. Kaylee is an utter mechanical genius who takes the job out from under an incompetent man. Sure, Inara may be a "prostitute," but in this world, it is not a demeaning profession. Instead of walking street corners, men come to her by the droves, begging for her favor. She views each application and turns it down if the applicant does not fit her liking. Isn't that more... empowering... than demeaning?
Not to mention the author doesn't even address River. Whether she never got that far in the series, or simply has no explanation for how a 17-year-old girl repeatedly overpowers numerous men on the show, as well as hordes of chemically-altered enemies at the end remains to be seen.
But, that aside, let's move on to that comment where she claims that pretty much all heterosexual sex is rape
Yes, you read that correctly.
I have several levels to take this from, and I'll start from the most offensive: this definition of rape is supremely demeaning to the numerous women- and men- who have been violently and forcibly assaulted. The fact you can possibly argue that a woman who has gratifying consensual sex with her husband was just as violated because of the "dominant male paradigm" is both disgusting and laughable.
Furthermore, the implication that women don't really want sex, they just "think they do" paints a picture of women as being such weak, fragile creatures that they are inherently ingrained with this natural submission to the powerful Man Creature and rendered powerless to resist his masculinity. Please. When I look at my fiance, I find him attractive and I'd love to jump him (even though we're waiting TEN LONG MONTHS until the wedding...), it isn't because his essence of testosterone is so overpowering I lose control over my own free will and my feminine soul is putty in his gaze. No, it's that I'm a sexual being and I have wants and needs for gratification as well.
Is it so difficult for her to believe a woman can honestly desire sexual relations with a man? She, quite predictably, publicly identifies as a lesbian, which I don't question for a minute- she clearly believes that no woman can, of her own free will and fruition, be enamored with a man. Frankly, while I hold that others have the right to their own opinions, I just can't grasp that- isn't it far more misogynistic to claim that women are so powerless that they don't even know what they themselves want, but have to be defined in terms of what they CAN'T do because of men?
Furthermore, I resent the author's implication that Joss Whedon must abuse his wife. Aside from the controversial claim that Firefly
is misogynist in the first place, I think that's a far cry from saying he mistreats his wife and light years away from calling him a "rapist." I may not know Mr. Whedon personally, but it still disturbs me to see such grave implications levied against a man for what someone believes to be an anti-feminist portrayal of widely-accepted "not nice" characters in a science-fiction Western.
While I believe men and women are of equal worth and value, I will never subscribe to modern-day feminism, which is really a masked call for feminist supremacy, wrapped in a veil of equality and good intentions. I feel the same way about some factions of the gay rights movement- while I fully support the equality of homosexual, bisexual, and transgendered individuals to their heterosexual counterparts, I have some issue with the type who go around wearing shirts that say "straight people scare me." I've always envisioned the fight for equality as a noble endeavor for equal treatment, despite minority status or a general perception of inferiority. Sometimes, these days, it seems as if it has become a fight to legitimize the minority and not be equal to, but to be considered superior to the "majority."
It begs the question just how secure these people are in their own identities. My own identity is none too common- and proudly proclaimed in my profile. You may not like it, but I don't need you to accept it for it to be right for me. I am who I am, regardless of who determines it to be valid or shuns me for my labels. I don't need to fight a battle to make myself better than those who put me down know- doesn't that make me just as bad as them? If I am to fight against the dominant paradigm, what right do I have to take it over and belittle those who used to put me down? It reminds me of the Myth of the Moundbuilders
. For those of you not so archaeologically inclined, let me explain briefly. When Europeans first arrived in the Americas, it's no secret they considered Native Americans a savage, vastly inferior race. When they discovered elaborate mounds, effigies, and pyramids scattered across the continent, they could not entertain the fact that the Native Americans themselves built these and constructed a theological (and later proved fictional) race of mound builders, who had settled the continent prior to the Native Americans present at the time of contact, and whom the Native Americans had summarily vanquished. The Europeans justified their eradication of Native Americans by claiming they were just doing to the Native Americans what they had done to the mound builders. One superior race conquers another... does it then becomes okay to rise up and conquer that race in return?
Maybe Inara is a "companion" because she likes sex. Perhaps Mal isn't misogynistic- maybe he just hates everyone. Maybe some "savages" are capable of more than we give them credit for. The fact remains that all these are assumptions that lead to qualifiers that enhance the dichotomy between the majority and the minority. In order for true equality to be reached, differences must be explored, understood, and accepted. A cry for equality by means of an overthrow accomplishes nothing but putting another "dominant paradigm" into place, which must then, in turn, be subverted. And, in some instances- like the false cry of rape above- it is downright offensive.
Equality is the right of every human being, but in the quest for equality, the greatest danger is the temptation of superiority. While the author of that Firefly
piece may have had the best of intentions, I believe she may be best served examining her beliefs and keeping only the ones that lead to the least amount of "bad" for the fewest amount of people.