Women and B5 (was Re: Paradigm shifts and B5/Trek)

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at shekel.mcl.cs.columbia.edu
Sat Dec 7 06:14:48 EST 1996

Subject: Women and B5 (was Re: Paradigm shifts and B5/Trek)
 No. | DATE        |  FROM
s  1: Nov 30, 1996: laurat at magpage.com (Laura Tessmer)
-  2: Dec  1, 1996: jmsatb5 at aol.com
+ 27: Dec  7, 1996: cortese at netcom.com (Janis Maria C. C. Cortese)
* 28: Dec  7, 1996: jmsatb5 at aol.com


From: laurat at magpage.com (Laura Tessmer)
Lines: 43

In article <Pine.BSI.3.95.961129181930.10494A-100000 at bermuda.io.com>,
Katherine the Art Chick  <villyard at io.com> wrote:

[many wonderful things about women in ST that should be repeated, but were
deleted to save bandwidth]

>How can "First Contact" be so good and Deep Space Nine so bad, bad, 
>BAAAAD, piece-of-plywood BAD?

More money to be made on movies??? 

You bring up an interesting point, which I've been wanting to write about
for a while but haven't taken the time. How *real* the women on B5 are.
They aren't cutouts, they aren't either simpering waiting for the men to
do something, or so hopelessly trumped up on testosterone that they are
just male characters with boobs. 

This was really hammered home (and I do mean hammered, I'm really tired of
the two-by-fours to the head) during one of the early season four
episodes. Delenn, Ivanova, and Lyta decide they are going to do something,
and just *do* it. During that scene, I was awed at the raw power and
strength that they had. 

And yet, these women can also be women. Delenn in her black dress turning
heads, giggling at John's jokes, and teasing him. Then to turn around and
destroy the Grey Council, save B5 from the Earth Alliance, and become
Ranger One. The depth, the honesty, the reality of her. It is wonderful to
see such a character, to know that there are role models for a feminine
woman who can be hard as nails.

That didn't come out nearly as coherent as I wanted it to, but this seemed
to be the thread to add it to.

Thank you JMS for writing strong women who are real. 


Laura Tessmer               *   Understanding is a three-edged
69763 at chopin.udel.edu       *   sword...knowledge, once received 
Dept. of Animal Science     *   and understood, is permanent and
University of Delaware      *   changes you forever.   JMS


From: cortese at netcom.com (Janis Maria C. C. Cortese)
Lines: 79

In article <dmrovner-ya023180000612960936590001 at news.doit.wisc.edu> dmrovner at students.wisc.edu (Dorothea M. Rovner) writes:
>In article <587ssf$tc2 at news1.mtholyoke.edu>, wmarsden at MtHolyoke.EDU (Wendy
>Marsden) wrote:
>> Sorry, feminist though I am, I don't feel victimized by this show.
>> (I do, however, agree that an occasional pregnant-by-choice lurker
>> ought to show up.  That urge to procreate is hardwired in us!)
>     Not me, evidently. Urge for sex, sure. Urge for procreation -- nope.

Same heah.  Pretty bodies, yes.  Kids -- christ on a stick, NO.

>My only urge when around children is a suspicious-looking twitching of
>the ends of my fingers, almost as if they surrounded a small neck...

"Aren't they so cute, you could just STEP on them."

Kids are actually okay, if they are good kids -- but all it takes is
standing in a supermarket and hearing some shrieking little kid . . .
Besides, it's so NICE to get a catalogue of videotapes and go, "Oh,
that's the Brett Macbeth!  Why don't I get that, and a few posters, and
that CD ROM . . . "  :-)  And walking into a Circuit City and saying,
"Hm, I want a VCR," on a whim.  And I was born and raised working class
and don't make that much money.

>     Anyway, I wanted to mention one other thing that makes me as a
>female-type happy to watch B5. Variation in women's sizes. They ain't
>all model-thin, and there's no token Fat Woman.

They look like they can eat a good meal.  Although I still think that
Pat Tallman would look SO YUMMY with another 20# or so.  And if her hair
were still that lovely dark red from the pilot.  She had LOVELY hair.

>     I'm 5'9" and a size 12-14 (in American sizes; not sure how that
>translates overseas, I'm afraid). Women who look even vaguely like me
>are invisible on American television. There are a few women larger than
>that (like Rosie O'Donnell) who kicked and screamed and clawed their
>way onto TV, and there are all the sticks-with-huge-breasts -- but 
>it's *damn* hard to find someone who looks like me. And I'm pretty 
>normal-looking, I think.

5'8" and 125#, and I see women who look like me all over the place --
usually acting like idiots, in spandex dresses and stilts, shrieking, or
clutching for some dipwad in a cheap suit to save me.  Whee.  Gimme that
sword, pal.  It all sucks.  B5 doesn't, though.  :-)

>     I started watching B5 because of Claudia Christian's Ivanova. Wow. 
>A commander who happens to be a woman (rather than -- well, we all
>know the invidious comparison from the Trek universe), with a lovely
>contralto voice (I can do a *meeean* imitation of her myself) and a 
>normal-looking female body.

This is what first made me like jms -- when he explained to me about
writing the subplot in "A Distant Star."  Having Susan be ordered to
gain weight, basically.

>Wow again. And everybody accepts her body
>as normal and attractive and she doesn't get pig noises or pressure
>from her doctor and relatives to lose weight and she's never on a 
>diet. Triple wow.

They look like they can sit down and eat lunch instead of the typical
Hollyweird stunt of sucking on a popsicle stick until they pass out on

And Claudia is very slim in person -- if ANYONE gives you pig noises if
you're built like her, they are sick in the head.  (If anyone gives you
pig noses period, they are sick in the head.)

Take care,
cortese at netcom.com                        http://www.io.com/~cortese/
Homepage includes Feminism, Lefthanders, and Handgun Education Links!
   There was an old man                Said with a laugh, "I
   From Peru, whose lim'ricks all      Cut them in half, the pay is
   Look'd like haiku. He               Much better for two."


From: jmsatb5 at aol.com
Lines: 24

Just checked back into this thread....

"There was the instance in GROPOS of Delenn being saved by Dodger -- but I
can't for the life of me think of a single instance of a MAN being in the
victim's position.  I'm ready to be proven wrong, though, since my memory
is faulty.  Anyone with counterexamples is welcome to provide them."

ALL ALONE IN THE NIGHT.  Sheridan's taken by the Streibs, and it's Ivanova
who puts together the rescue effort, and is directing the attack on the
Streib vessel, and who decides "screw it, frag 'em" when it seems they
killed Sheridan...then stops his pod from being killed, and orders his

Also, in PARLIAMENT OF DREAMS, G'Kar was restrained and about to be killed
but for the intervention of Na'Toth.

I know there are other examples, but those are the two that come to mind
off the cuff.


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