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View Full Version : BotCon's Strika - A Few Thoughts


Jaynz
2013-02-20, 08:58 PM
FunPub has released information about one of their coming exclusives, “Strika”. This character is based on the Beast Machines character of the same name. She gets a unique place in the Transformers hierarchy in that it’s a female character that has no blatant physical attributes. Her face was a typical Vehicon face, looking more like an armored trooper than a person of either gender. Her frame was a generic ‘tank’ frame, and so on. And, of course, with her introduction there care a torrent of internet outrage that this ‘girl’ didn’t look like a girl. Sadly, this generally meant that she didn’t have a discernible cleavage area – as if this is what defined a feminine shape, much less feminine character.

Let’s ignore the fact that his mindset would mean that Prowl and Rapido would be extremely female, due to the nature of their transformation. Let’s also ignore for the moment that quite a few real-world females don’t have two naturally-occurring floatation devices strapped to their chests, either. When it comes down to it, it’s more than a little dumb to assume that there’s nothing female about Strika’s character because she’s not a super-model.

The fact is that Strika is already a female stereotype, the ‘lady Russian soldier’. While admittedly this is a stereotype which may be lost on younger people who have no personal connection to the Cold War, it is none-the-less a female stereotype. She’s a bruiser, a woman who can and will kick ass to achieve her militaristic means. She won’t win beauty contests but that’s not her ambition in life anyway. She’s here to kick afterburner and chew energon, and Cybertron’s all out of energon!

Now, that said, could the figure and character model be made a little more feminine in some respects? I admit that I would have preferred the most ‘human-like’ pieces of the robot mode to be more feminine, which means longer and more slender hands, slightly flared-hips, and perhaps more feminine eyes. These efforts, though, would largely be subtle and serve as no more to reinforce the ‘feminine’ in the eye along with the voice. (Amusingly enough, the original toy actually has some of these features.) None of these changes would require making Strika into a sex-symbol, of course, nor should that even be the goal.

Of course the idea that a female character, much less a Transformer of all things, needs to be built like a silicon-injected super-model to be a passable female is laughable. If we’re talking about a pretend reality where Prowl, Cheetor, BB, Soundwave, Omega Supreme, and Beast Machines Thrust can all be considered “male”, surely we can accept – and even desire - just as much variance in the female characters?

So, I admit it, I like Strika as a character concept and I think she’s probably the best thing to come out of Beast Machines. I also am glad to see FunPub put out an homage to this fan-favorite in their new collection (even if I don’t agree with the collection’s direction really). In light of the type of character homage, the complaints about her ‘sex appeal’ seem sorely misguided and juvenile. Here’s hoping that we see more characters like Strika in the future and far fewer characters like Cybertron’s Thunderblast.

Thunderwave
2013-02-20, 10:40 PM
lol wut? Are people really bitching about Strika's lack of "Sex Appeal"?

Jaynz
2013-02-20, 10:52 PM
lol wut? Are people really bitching about Strika's lack of "Sex Appeal"?

Sadly.. yes. They did it back in '99 as well. :S

Warcry
2013-02-21, 06:09 AM
If you're hoping for a debate you're probably going to be disappointed, because I don't think you'll find too many people here that disagree with you. The concept of gendered robots is silly enough as it is without expecting them to conform to human sexual dimorphism, and doubly so when you're talking about robots who can change their forms with relative ease. A female robot should adapt to suit it's surroundings the same as it's male counterparts.

It saddens me, though, that there are corners of the fandom where this is actually an issue.

starlord
2013-02-21, 06:18 AM
Boys will be boys. I still think it is sexist to view as sex objects. They probably still think Starscream look effeminate. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and just because it isn't your idea of beauty doesn't mean it isn't beauty.

Jaynz
2013-02-21, 08:32 PM
If you're hoping for a debate you're probably going to be disappointed, because I don't think you'll find too many people here that disagree with you.

Actually I'm forcing myself to write at least 750 words a day, between mind-flow articles like this one and more formal works. :) It wasn't so much a debate as just an exercise in structuring my thoughts on the subject.

Denyer
2013-02-21, 08:49 PM
It saddens me, though, that there are corners of the fandom where this is actually an issue.
Those parts really hate stumbling on slash fiction, as well, which is cosmic irony considering that the main demographic producing it is straight women they'd like to get into the pants of.

Kungfu Dinobot
2013-02-22, 02:07 AM
Those parts really hate stumbling on slash fiction, as well, which is cosmic irony considering that the main demographic producing it is straight women they'd like to get into the pants of.


:up::up:(I have 2 left hands).


Yeah, fanboys are a sad bunch, could you link me to those losers so that i can have a laff?

Cliffjumper
2013-02-22, 04:36 AM
http://sad-fanboys.com

Hound
2013-02-22, 05:30 AM
Seriously, can we get a "like" option for Cliffy's posts?

Kungfu Dinobot
2013-02-22, 08:27 AM
http://sad-fanboys.com


Are you punking me with that "link"? 'Cos it's not working.


BTW, I was talking more about the losers Jaynz/Vanguard was talking about.

Cliffjumper
2013-02-22, 06:00 PM
Are you punking me with that "link"? 'Cos it's not working.

My bad... try http://sad-fanboys.net

Kungfu Dinobot
2013-02-23, 12:54 AM
My bad... try http://sad-fanboys.net

Hng... Well played.

inflatable dalek
2013-02-23, 09:05 PM
I want a "Sad lamp".

Starscream was a girl somewhere wasn't he?












































When Chris Latta was playing him! ZING!