Monday, March 05, 2007

Which (probably male) Superhero/Sci-Fi/Fantasy Character Are You?

So having taken the obligatory myspace-favourite, the ‘which superhero are you’ test, it was only a matter of time I think before the ‘which sci-fi character are you’ test came along. Being more up my street than superheros (the two times I took the test, the first time I came out as the Incredible Hulk ((-no comments please!-)) and the second time as Batman, which was a mild improvement I think, although anything has to be an improvement on being associated with something built like a juggernaut, luminescent-green, and about as articulate as a bulldozer!) I took the test newer test; quickly realising that the so-called sci-fi test should be called ‘which sci-fi/fantasy character are you’ since there are many Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter characters thrown in.

Your results:
You are Hulk

The Flash
Green Lantern
Wonder Woman
Iron Man
You are a wanderer with
amazing strength.

Click here to take the "Which Superhero are you?" quiz...

The first time I took the test I came out as Yoda (what is it with my apparent affiliation with linguistically challenged, unambiguously ugly creatures, who look like they emerged from the same chemical-waste plant??), and the second time as Galadriel! (From one extreme to the other – although she and Yoda do have the same ears… ((my ears are not pointy, I should add…))… Which was surprising, initially, since I counted, out of a possible 48 character results, only 4 of these – 4!!! – were female characters!

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

This was an issue I had with the superheroes test too, although the fewer possible outcomes and the inclusion of strong female characters such as Wonder Woman and Cat Woman made the imbalance less obvious. Also, there is a whole other separate issue about the overall lack of female comic superheroes, already a cause of concern for a number of feminist Marvel fans...

But I feel personally that this concern need not apply to sci-fi and fantasy characters since, on reflection, there is no shortage of popular females in this genre. For such a test to suggest that a similar absence in this genre has happened for the same reasons is erroneous.

The other argument, of course, is the assertion that this kind of test is taken mainly by men, and that men don't like to be compared with female sci-fi, fantasy, or superhero characters (whilst, apparently, the women who do take these tests apparently have no problem with this at all!!). I’m not sure of the accuracy of this assumption either, since all of the myspaces where I viewed superhero results were women’s! And, out of the those results – I remember seeing Superman twice and Spiderman once, out of the ones I remember – I saw no-one’s results come out as either Wonder Woman or Cat Woman.

Actually, in itself, I really don’t have a problem with being compared to a male superhero or fantasy/sci-fi character, and don’t see anatomy to be necessarily a problem in identifying with anyone. So why should men?? Why should equally popular female characters be missing from a list just because they may not, debatably, share the same anatomy as many of the characters taking the test? Do men genuinely object to being sometimes identifiable as female? Is it that, as many of these throw-away tests reveal – as well as not so throw-away tests – women have just become so acclimatised to having to identify with male characters that they simply no longer notice, and take it almost entirely for granted?

I wrote a blog post two months ago about how female children are so often required to identify with male child characters in children’s films, because there are so few films made that follow young female protagonists. These identifications with male sci-fi/fantasy characters are a result of the same socialisation process.

And anyway, as I stated above, this absence of female sci-fi/fantasy figures is an unforgivable oversight (that’s it wasn’t a deliberate oversight!) considering the abundance of possibilities. If Star Fleet Captains Jean-Luc Picard and James T. Kirk are there, where is Captain Kathryn Janeway? If Wesley Crusher, Worf and Data are all there from Star Trek: Next Generation, then where is Deanna Troi, Beverly Crusher and Natasha Yar, who all occupied as much screen time and as many story-lines as their listed male counterparts?

In fact, all three of these female characters appeared more times than Beverly’s son Wesley ever did!

If Harry Potter, Severus Snape and Lord Voldemort are all listed in the test, then where are Hermione and Professor McGonagall?

An interesting twist on this particular ‘which sci-fi character are you’ test however, is found if you go to its Character Statistics page, which displays the results submitted: it shows that the most frequent character identified with was, in fact, Galadriel – one of the four females!

So perhaps, at least among sci-fi/fantasy fans, there is quite a lot of the feminine (or the elf!) in all of us, regardless of our anatomy, after all…

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

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