Thursday, July 28, 2016
Gender-swapping: I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means
There has been a lot of talk (whining), lately, about gender-swapping, and a lot of those talking (whining) about it, seem to be misinformed as to what gender-swapping actually is.
I am going to try to clarify things.
(I am going to ignore fan-fiction, here, and focus on gender-swapping (or not) by those who own the characters I will be talking about.)
Bond. J**** Bond.
Gender-swapping occurs, generally, when a character, or franchise, is being rebooted/remade, and that character, or characters, are portrayed as a different gender than the one originally created. The new Ghostbusters movie is a gender-swap. If it was a sequel, let's say the ladies inherited the business, or bought a Ghostbusters franchise, then it would NOT be a gender-swap. But, because it is a remake, or reboot, or whatever, it IS a swap.
Look at it this way: If I remake Casino Royale, and my main character is Jane Bond, that's a swap. If James Bond retires, or, more likely, dies of syphilis, and a woman takes over the 007 designation, that is NOT a swap.
There's Something About Riri
Marvel Comics has announced that a new character, a 15 year old, African-American girl, named Riri Williams, will be taking over the Iron Man armor, from Tony Stark. As soon as the news hit the web, I saw many people talking (whining) about another gender-swap. I'm here to tell you that this is NOT the case.
If I decide to reboot the Marvel Universe, wiping out everything that has happened, and starting from scratch, and I introduce Antonia Stark, millionaire weapons manufacturer, who builds a suit of high tech armor, and fights crime as Iron Woman, THAT is a gender-swap.
Are you with me so far?
Now, in a Marvel Universe in which Tony Stark has been Iron Man for decades, before he decides to retire, and pass the mantle to a young girl, well, this is NOT a swap. Tony Stark is NOT being changed. He still exists. His adventures as Iron Man still exist. This is simply a passing of the torch. As far as I know, there has been no announcement regarding Riri's superhero name. While the book she appears in may be titled Invincible Iron Man, that does not mean that that will be her identity. (My theory is that Marvel will see what kind of reception the character receives, then they will either change the name of the current title, or, more likely, spin Riri off, into her own book.)
What's important here is that Iron Man is NOT being gender-swapped.
Touching a Thor spot
This one is gonna ruffle some feathers.
Thor has NOT, I repeat, NOT been gender-swapped.
If I decide to reboot the Marvel Universe, wiping out everything that has happened, and starting from scratch, and I introduce Dr. Donna Blake, hiking, attacked by orange rock creatures, trapped in cave, walking stick, strike ground, BOOM! Thor Odinsdottir! Say it with me: "THIS is a gender-swap."
What Marvel has done is NOT a swap. We are talking about a world in which an alien has taken on the mantle of Thor. A world in which a FROG has taken on the mantle of Thor. (I'm not talking about the time that Loki turned Thor into a frog, I'm talking about the frog who found a piece of Mjolnir, and became THOR FROG! Or FROG THOR! Either way, he is the greatest animal character ever.)
Jane Foster was found worthy, and, like the alien and the frog before her, has taken on the mantle of Thor. The original, Thor Odinson, is still around. HE has not changed gender. How can Thor Odinson be gender-swapped, when HE is still around? Think about it, people.
Looking back at what I have just written, I notice a pattern. All of these characters that people are talking (whining) about, have gone from male to female. Hmmm. Maybe it's not about gender-swapping (or not), but about men fearing that their "power" is being usurped by women. Or, maybe, it's just a bunch of people who don't like change. Either way, when talking (whining) about gender-swapping, please, try to use the term correctly.