Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Username: Password:
Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Elfquest = anti male?  (Read 4551 times)

Mirror

  • Wolf
  • **
  • Posts: 53
    • View Profile
Elfquest = anti male?
« on: November 18, 2011, 09:06:26 AM »

I was just reading about Elfquest on Wikipedia. (Yeah, I was supposed to look up something completely different, but y'know...)  I quote:

"Interestingly, almost all of the elfin cultures are led by females: the Sun Villagers follow Savah, the Go-Backs follow Kahvi, the Gliders follow Winnowill (even with Lord Voll is the figurehead), and the Wolfriders follow a shared chieftainship between Cutter and Leetah. Only the brutish, warlike and greedy trolls and humans have male leaders without female counterparts. In the Jink/The Rebels/FutureQuest series, the human government thinks that a male leader would be absurd, and the militant "Skyward" is dominated by female officers. The feminine-as-preferable is a subtle but consistent theme throughout the series. The majority of Elquest fans see the misandrist, anti-male approach as completely acceptable"

Obviously, Wikipedia is hardly a source to canon information about...well, anything really. But still, it's clear that someone  out there,who obviously cares enough about EQ to edit a Wikipedia-entry, feels this way. Have you ever met any fans of this opinion - and most of all, what do you think?

(As for the record, I don't agree, but then again, being an EQ-fan I'm probably so used to misandrist thinking that I'm blind to it  :lol )

And.... "Chieftess Leetah"? Wut?
Logged

Foxeye

  • Calendar Judge
  • Tuftear
  • *****
  • Posts: 715
    • View Profile
    • Jungle Fire
Re: Elfquest = anti male?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2011, 09:27:20 AM »

There's no doubt that EQ has some solidly competent women.  But it's men are no slouches either, and leadership is not the only mark of whether one gender is considered as valuable as the other.

Nor does a subtle "feminine-as-preferable" theme equal misandry, anymore than a subtle "masculine-as-preferable" theme would be misogyny.  Mis(andry/ogyny) are extreme things, and the above person is crying foul a bit too quickly in that regard.  

Personally, I think the writers just enjoy the character of the competent lady in charge and can't help themselves.  

(And Leetah is no more a leader of the Wolfriders than Teir is. Yes, they control the tribes via their influence on their mates, but I have a hard time seeing how that could be avoided.  Quasi-leader of the Sun Villagers...? Yeah, they'd have a case for that. She's the closest thing they have to a celebrity. :P)

As for the futurequest scenario...yeah, someone did want to play around with a female-dominant society. That was a bit more overt. But sci-fi does that sort of thing all the time, playing with the balance of gender roles, and quite frankly a lot of those women-in-charge were not shown in the best light. So I'm not sure it was exactly making a case for the superiority of their society.

Jeb

  • Wolf
  • **
  • Posts: 148
    • View Profile
Re: Elfquest = anti male?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2011, 09:30:12 AM »

Yeah, because Blue Mountain was such a wonderful place with Winnowill in charge and the humans near the Forbidden Grove would have been much better off getting rid of that "brutish, warlike" Olbar and letting the bone woman take over.

In my opinion, one of the problems of the series in the beginning was that the elves were too much in the traditional roles of male protector-helpless female.

People see what they want to see.
Logged

Nevaratoiel

  • Treewee
  • *
  • Posts: 10
  • I don't bite... hard...
    • View Profile
    • Elfae.com
Re: Elfquest = anti male?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2011, 12:19:17 PM »

Sure Winnowill and Savah are female leaders. But forget not that they became thus because their mates died. Kahvi is a different story. She's just a strong-willed character of a 'tribe' that has distanced itself from the elven way of life and have become hardened warriors.

To be honest, I really don't see what the writer of the text in Mirror's post is aiming at. It's true that more often than not in a relationship (just look at our human world, or even the animal world) the men are the leaders, but the women have influence over their man's choices. In other words, the man is the puppet and appears full in the spotlight. But behind the scenes it's the woman that holds the strings. In the animal world, look at, for example, lions. The male is big and strong, with their impressive manes, and fights others for leadership. But the lioness keeps everything together, takes care of the cubs and makes sure that everyone, including the male, gets to eat.

Now tell me, Elfquest... anti male? Not at all. It's just that women are are the stronger breed. They just need to have a man protect them physically. And, face it, Elfquest just has its share of strong women.

Eregyrn

  • Tuftear
  • ***
  • Posts: 224
    • View Profile
Re: Elfquest = anti male?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2011, 01:29:15 PM »

Yeah, I'm not buying it, either.

Lord Voll really can't be looked at as an afterthought, an the entire example of Willowill is of a female leader who is a VERY BAD LEADER (and a bad person), so that hardly belongs on the side of an argument in favor of female leaders.

Kahvi is also a somewhat ambiguous case.  In the OQ, you can argue that she is presented as simply a strong leader with a very different style than that of the wolfriders.  Later, she is presented as a quasi-villain, so it's difficult to assess her legacy.

I really have to disagree with the interpretation that Leetah is seen as just as much a leader of the wolfriders as Cutter is.  Pfft, no.  The wolfriders respect her a great deal, and they value her for many different qualities, not just for her healing abilities.  But I really Cutter stands foremost as the leader of the wolfriders.

Now, where you could make this argument would be in the case of Bearclaw and Joyleaf, and how Joyleaf is looked at as much as a chieftess as Bearclaw is chief. 

And of course, there's Ember.  Gosh, so many female leaders!  ::)

Meanwhile, Olbar has really always been presented in a positive way.

I mean, as Foxeye says above -- clearly, the creators of the world/story like their strong female characters.  I think it's also important to recognize that in the times when they started writing, strong female leaders (especially warlike ones) were much harder to find represented in fiction.  Giving the Go-Backs a female leader like Kahvi really went against conventional expectations of the time. (I would argue that the character-types represented by Savah and Winnowill were less against-expectation.)

But to say that it amounts to ElfQuest having an anti-male message is silly.  "Leader" is not the only positive role that a male character can play, so there are many positive male characters in the world/story.  It also ignores the fact that while the creators' tastes (and desires to go against convention) led them to establish a preponderance of female leaders during the main story's time-period, their world's history is not without both positive and negative examples of male leaders, just as some of the female leaders are negative examples rather than positive ones.

For me, what it all boils down to is... I wonder if the person who edited that bit of the Wiki article would equally define stories in which most leaders are males as "anti-female" or misogynist.  Or, more likely I believe, whether the person just regards that as "normal", and what is unnatural is all these female leaders. 

In fact, I think EQ is pretty balanced in its portrayal.  But the key thing for me is it presents a variety of types in both genders.  I suppose I might take claims of misandry more seriously, if EQ was not only filled with female leaders, but if there was a strong thread of "males are incapable of being good leaders".  That's not the case.  EQ doesn't fit either gender into just one category.  So it just starts to look like it's someone who thinks "misandry" means saying that more than one token female can fill what are usually regarded as male roles.
Logged

Jeb

  • Wolf
  • **
  • Posts: 148
    • View Profile
Re: Elfquest = anti male?
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2011, 08:40:54 AM »

Thinking about it, it would be really easy to make the opposite case and say that EQ is decidedly anti-female leader.

The Sun-Village had Savah as at least it's cultural leader, but she had her spirit stolen and abandoned her people. Could be an argument that she was too weak to be a leader. In fact, an adolescent boy had to come forward to teach the Sun-villagers to defend themselves. Blue-Mountain was doing okay under Lord Voll, but became hellish under Winnowill's guidance. Kahvi was initially a strong figure, but slowly lost the allegiance of her people, especially after she became a mother.

Almost any idea can be supported if you ignore the subtleties and paint everything in black and white.
Logged

Mirror

  • Wolf
  • **
  • Posts: 53
    • View Profile
Re: Elfquest = anti male?
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2011, 08:47:07 AM »

For me, what it all boils down to is... I wonder if the person who edited that bit of the Wiki article would equally define stories in which most leaders are males as "anti-female" or misogynist.  Or, more likely I believe, whether the person just regards that as "normal", and what is unnatural is all these female leaders. 

Amen.
The Pinis have clearly intended to create a univers in which human "traditional" gender roles don't apply. But , imo, that does not in any way imply misandry. The idea that "The majority of Elquest fans see the misandrist, anti-male approach as completely acceptable" kind of ticked me off too, because that's not how I see the fandom. At all.  

Oh, and this debate, along with the "are the elves hetero/gay/bisexual"-debate, would probably not even make sense to the elves.  
 
Quote
Yeah, because Blue Mountain was such a wonderful place with Winnowill in charge and the humans near the Forbidden Grove would have been much better off getting rid of that "brutish, warlike" Olbar and letting the bone woman take over.

 :lol
Logged

Obi-Rak Kaeliri

  • The Silent One
  • Treewee
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
    • Jungle Fire webcomic
Re: Elfquest = anti male?
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2011, 10:23:22 AM »

Oh, and this debate, along with the "are the elves hetero/gay/bisexual"-debate, would probably not even make sense to the elves.

Oh but I disagree. Or maybe I don't. The elves would find it great fun. They wouldn't understand why humans are getting all worked up about trying to figure them out, but they'd find the whole process awfully amusing.

Then they'd go, huh, humans have gone from trying to kill us to squabbling over trying to figure us out; won't somebody please break out the popcorn.

Kitt

  • Wolf
  • **
  • Posts: 68
    • View Profile
    • Kitt Mouri
Re: Elfquest = anti male?
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2011, 12:18:44 PM »

Well, it's been said already and I completely agree; a story that has all male leaders is, apparently, wholly acceptable and not something to bat an eye at. But, the second the roles are reversed, people cry "anti-male" sentiments? ...utterly ridiculous. And I also agree that as much as I absolutely adore Leetah, she certainly was NOT the co-chief of the Wolfriders. They just loved and respected her as the healer and the mate of the chief. I wonder if this person who made this wiki edit was a fan or just someone who happened to pick up EQ and started reading to see what all the fuss was about.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up