Whoosh! Issue 91 - July 2004
Letters to the Editor

To write to the editor regarding your comments, observations, and questions about Whoosh!, send an e-mail to letters@whoosh.org. All letters received by the editor are subject to publication and may be edited. Due to the volume received, some letters may not be answered individually or receipt acknowledged and may be published at the editor's discretion. Letters received may be reserved for a later issue.

Topics Covered: Middle Easterners in Xena: Warrior Princess and Other Renaissance Pictures Series; Translators Needed; Hercules Question

Letters To The Editor

Middle Easterners in Xena: Warrior Princess and Other Renaissance Pictures Series

From: J. Collins Fisher
Sent: Saturday, June 05, 2004 6:41 PM
Subject: Middle Easterners in Xena: Warrior Princess

While Michael Klossner's article is good as far as it goes, the problems he describes I believe were not limited to the portrayal of "Non-Jewish Middle Easterners". Specifically in regards to gender relations (that is, power distribution between males and females), we see a disturbing pattern: the "West" has a mythical (i.e. imaginary) gender equality, whereas Everywhere Else is patriarchal and/or misogynistic.

That Xena: Warrior Princess posits an imaginary gender equality in the Grecian world is a bedrock without which the story of Xena, the former warlord turned hero could not exist. Its extension to the Hellenistic Graeco-Roman world may have been inevitable (certainly well-established by the time Xena's daughter grows up to be Livia, Champion of Rome). However, this imaginary equality is then extended still further to the (also "Western") Celtic world: see for example Boadacea (with, notably, female fighters in her army) in Britannia, and Vercinix's warrior wife Mendela. Furthermore, in the Norse lands, mortal women can apparently become the mightiest of warriors, the Valkyrie (and if some women are doing the considerably less-empowered profession of prostitutes, they, like their good-natured Greek counterparts in WARRIOR...PRIESTESS...TRAMP seem very OK with it. Not at all like the women of Gurkhan's harem). *

But there are distinct limits to the Lands of Equality, and those limits seem to be only as far as the indigenous people are Caucasian. For contrast, see not only Klossner's Middle Eastern examples, but also:

Chin: "The only way a woman could rule in Chin" (that is, behind a facade of male control), Lao Ma, THE DEBT

India: "bride-burning" (the sentence of a widow to die in her husband's pyre), as seen in BETWEEN THE LINES

Japan: "Women are not permitted to own katanas." Akemi, FRIEND IN NEED

The vague tribe-of-color Pomira, aka "The Horde": fetching kaltaka for the men-folk is women's work (and being a warrior is not), THE PRICE

[Unfathomable is the apparently male-only world of the cannibals of THE ABYSS. They look pale enough, but where in the world are they?]

What are we to make of this dichotomy, between the Western and non-Western (ancient) worlds? It's one thing to posit imaginary equality for the purposes of entertainment (Xena: Harem Concubine certainly would not have prompted me to first tune in). It's quite another, however, to selectively limit this imaginary equality to one portion of the globe (and/or one racial group). Scratch the surface of Xena: Warrior Princess's multi-culturalism, and it's just same 'ol, same 'ol underneath.

Judy Fisher

*While Russia is not seen as "the West", Russians are seen as Europeans (and "white"). The existence of female-separatist (hence, not male-controlled) Amazons on the Russian steppes may yet be another example of imaginary ancient Western (or Northern) gender equality.

Translators Needed

From: Minu Apac
Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 2004 8:15 PM
Subject: Request for post on Web site

The CRPXH (Xenacentro) that was started in 2001 continues its works of promoting and supporting the activities of all Xenites. After finishing the translation of Virtual Seasons 7 and 8 to Spanish of the a http://www.xwpvs.com. We are now finishing the 8th season of http://www.xwpsubtextvs.com and are in the process of translating season 9.

We are a very diverse group of people of all ages, from many different countries and are open minded in our believes of all that is the Xenaverse, we work jointly in our efforts to keep the Xenaverse united.

The spirit of the series is maintained nowadays thanks to the creativity and the work of its fans, individually or in teams; and if you should chose to assist us we would expect you to help translate these virtual episodes, as well as to participate in the planning of any future projects that will help carry on the preservation of the Xenaverse all over the world.

The requirements to assist in the work are:

1) Knowledge of Spanish: You must be fairly fluent in Spanish, although we do count on the aid of our other expert translators in case there is a need.

2) Availability of time to translate a small part that is distributed weekly

You can write to us at xenacentro@hotmail.com, for more information. Please help keep Xena and Gabrielle among us always.

Battle On!!!

Hercules Question

From: Eric Giunta
Sent: Sunday, June 13, 2004 11:08 PM
Subject: Hercules Question

I have a Hercules question, and wondered if you could answer it, or direct me to someone who can.

In the first Herc film, Iolaus was engaged to be married. In the last film, its strongly implied that he is married, with children.

What happened to this first wife of Iolaus?

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