Mairghread Scott, writer of IDW’s upcoming Windblade comic (which we had previously reported), has released a few statements on her Tumblr regarding the comic. In them, she attempts to clarify and hint at how introducing another female Transformer in the IDW G1 continuity will be handled, and further muses about the subject of female Transformers in general.
Be warned, some of her comments may be considered slight spoilers in regards to Windblade’s nature. If you don’t mind, you can read her statements after the jump, then discuss the matter for yourselves in the discussion thread!
And if you Are a Windblade fan, consider joining TFW2005’s Official Windblade Group, where Mairghread Scott’s husband (and now Mairghread herself!) has decided to drop by to answer some questions!
UPDATE: Scott has provided more insight, this time into what she thinks about writer Simon Furman’s controversial Arcee/female Transformer origin presented in Spotlight: Arcee. Read it after the jump, and keep an on eye on her Tumblr and Twitter pages to see if she provides any more statements! Any further updates that come to our attention will be posted in the discussion thread. “I don’t want to spoil anything, but I would like to assure you that Windblade is not female by accident, or by force, or against her will, or just for kicks. That’s not how it works for biological women on Earth and that’s not how it’s gonna work on Cybertron. Anybody has a problem with that, you know where I am.”http://mscottwrites.tumblr.com/post/71211861958/hey-congrats-on-the-new-comic-i-voted-for-a-lady-robot “Okay, Internet…please, please know that I am doing all in my power to talk about the gender of non-reproductive alien robots in the most respectful terms possible, but it can get really tough. (ex. Is Arcee a transgendered woman even though she was made female against her will?).
The term “genetically female” seems wrong because they don’t reproduce (so don’t pass on genes) so I chose “biologically female” to convey the same sense in a more accurate way (ie most fans would say TFormers are alive, even though that is also debatable in science).
I have since been informed, by people wiser than I, that the technical term for Windblade would be a cisgender woman so I’m going to go with that unless someone knows a better term, or we can agree to invent one. Regardless, know that I am doing all in my power to make this character and her story something all TF fans can enjoy and celebrate together. My goal is always maximum inclusion, so should I stick my digital foot in my mouth again, please let me know so I can correct myself.”http://mscottwrites.tumblr.com/post/71241014898/i-am-so-excited-about-how-the-windblade-comic-is
UPDATE:[/color]“In a vacuum, Furman’s story is completely legitimate. The idea that someone is fundamentally changed against their will and struggles/rages against that is a really interesting idea. In fact, I wrote a very similar thing with the Dinobots. It taps into a deep human fear that God exists and is apathetic to/causes our pain.
Also dealing with characters that are literally alien naturally leads writers to play with/explore what aspects of humanity do and do not translate: are they alive? does Primus really equate to God if they have concrete knowledge of his existance? what does it mean to be male/female in a non-reproductive species?
The issues I have with Furman’s choice is that we don’t exist in a vacuum and the suggestion that 1. women only exist in aberration 2. being a women is inherently traumatic 3. being a women has any correlation to mental illness are extremely upsetting. Do I think Furman was trying to make a statement about human women with Arcee’s origins? No. In fact, the largest share of blame lies with the tokenization of women in the brand in general. If Arcee was one of many women transformers and she became female in this manner, it would not be an issue for women writ large (although still troubling for the transgender community). It is because she is the ONLY women (and that this story ensures that she will ALWAYS BE the only woman) that Arcee’s story becomes untenable.
Hopefully John, James and I have come up with a way around this Gordian Knot that will satisfy the fan-base, but satisfying-or-no, the most immediate imperative is to ENSURE this story does not continue to keep women readers, fans and characters at arm’s length from the brand. I’ve often said that everyone should feel that they are allowed to like Transformers and it is my complete and utter privilege to take this next step to make that happen.
TLDR version: Arcee’s origin is offensive because we don’t have any other female origins to balance it. We’re working on it, stay tuned.
PS To fans that still claim Transformers are asexual: Academically, you have legitimate standing, but practically, ask yourself this: Jazz has been voice by actors from three different races over the years. If, in the next video game, Jazz was voiced by a woman, would you feel the character had been changed at all? If so, you do not perceive Transformers to be asexual. If not, you are a rare, rare bird indeed.
‘Til All Are One,