Helluin (auronlu) wrote,

Geeking about my own writing, and gender

I was pondering gender, stereotypes, and my own tendency to get swept along by them, despite four years at Bryn Mawr. My fascination with Auron/Lulu has always puzzled me. Is it just that they're "hot" characters? Did Square-Enix push all the right buttons with Auron's tragic hero hunkitude, and Lulu's cynical Goth boobitude? Why on earth do I keep writing about them? (And "what's with all the het?!" but that's a whole other TMI can of worms.)

Things I've noticed about Love Her and Despair which I've been writing for a year and a half now (!)...

-- Summoner and guardians were ALL MEN until Elma crashed the party. Somewhat unavoidable, since I was trying to stick with canonical characters. So I had a choice between Dona (whom I can't write) or Isaaru (whom I wanted to "rescue" from the travesty that X-2 did to him). Isaaru comes with brothers.

-- A number of strong women, more of them in leadership roles than in a typical Final Fantasy game: Maester Lucil, Lulu, Rikku, Captain Kiyuri (who's disappeared from the story, ack).

-- But still, a lot of women in secondary/supporting roles: Elma, Shelinda (a maester, but not a mover and shaker), Paine. Oh yeah, and Rikku's daughter. Too young to do much, but important in the way that Marlene is important for FFVII.

-- Several female characters are strongly connected to nature, the body, healing, death, living things. On the whole they seem to be earthy, grounded, physical personalities, apart from Lulu who's more sky-oriented (weather, the elements).

Lulu acts as Kali, an angel of vengeance on behalf of Yuna and all of Yevon's victims, but sometimes destroying innocents as she tries to "revolutionize the world" (Utena reference). Mother goddess, death goddess, Morrigan and Valkyrie and Siren. Very slippery stuff here, ranging from blatant sex objectification to the most diligent Sin that Spira has known, meting out punishment on the church for its lies.

I'm reminded slightly of Anthy, trapped goddess in Utena. I hadn't noticed the connection with both of them maintaining wildly prolific gardens (with odd roses) as a form of mute self-expression.

My Rikku's another earth-woman: now a mother, raising a garden and a family and carving out a life for herself and her loved ones. Again, the female characters seem to have a lot of connections with body and earth and healing, although Rikku:life::Lulu:death. She also tends to cut through BS, especially Auron's.

Elma barged into the story without my intending it. Also very body-oriented. She's got a sword somewhere, but she seems to be punching things (or people) a lot, and/or getting up close and physical when there's work to be done. Another kill-the-BS character.

The guys?
They're all about tactics and plotting and planning and guns. Lots of guns, weapons, politics, keeping secrets, fighting with each other, and mistrust. They have little connection to place, physical things; a lot more emphasis on what's going on in their heads.

It's not quite that simple -- Rikku has her grenades as distance weapons, Auron's all about physical combat, and (I hope) I presented Lucil as a military tactician, ESTJ Meyers-Briggs.

I feel a little less glum after thinking this through: maybe I haven't completely fallen into Joseph Campbell's "The Hero with a thousand penises" quest. (Come to think of it, the closest thing I've had to a "damsel in distress" so far is Cid.)

There's such a fine line between evocative, mythic archetypes and superficial stereotypes. FFX -- and my own writing -- are rife with both.
Tags: fic: multichapter: lhad, stuff: writing process

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