She-Ra Leads to Scrappy-Doo Distemper

I will concede a massive bias in favour of the work of Noelle Stevenson, artist and writer and genius behind one of my all time favourite webcomics Nimona, as well as the quirky Lumberjanes. So I’ve been anticipating the project she has been working on: a Netflix re-boot of 1980’s cartoon She-Ra Princess of Power.

For those who may have forgotten, She-Ra was the girl-version of the oddly sanctimonious He-Man & The Master of the Universe. Like He-Man, it wasn’t great but wasn’t entirely terrible either by the admittedly weak standards of 1980s kid’s cartoons but like any children’s media it carries with it nostalgia and affection as an idea in the hearts of many who grew up with it.

Now, the series doesn’t start until November, so I don’t know if it will be good, bad or mediocre but I do know that what will decide that will be the quality of the story telling and based on Stevenson’s track record I’m definitely going to check it out.

Now something else I’m pretty confident of based on track records: the assorted rabid puppies and scrappy-doos of rightwing science fiction have never shown much interest in, affection for or nostalgia for the original She-Ra cartoon. It is also safe to assume that regardless of the art style, that barring a more risqué anime re-boot of She-Ra, they wouldn’t be tuning in regardless of the character design.

However, orders must have come on down the line from somewhere (Moscow? Skeletor?) and with the kind of unanimity that only aggressively authoritarian individualists can muster, howls (barks?) of protest about She-Ra’s new look have emanated from the usual quarters.

The gist of the argument is, in essence, that She-Ra does not have big enough boobs but it is dressed up in quite odd rhetoric about the world being robbed of beauty because She-Ra looks a bit boyish.

Here is our old pal Brian Niemeier posting a very confused rant about the whole thing: http://www.brianniemeier.com/2018/07/the-sjw-turkey-shoot.html

There’s a lot there about Netflix’s precarious business model which he then muddles in with stuff about SJWs. Now note HE DOESN’T EVEN LIKE the original She-Ra (for reasons so obvious that they can be summed up by the pronoun in the character’s name).

On Twitter, former Gamergater and Castilian House blogger Jasyn Jones aka “Daddy Warpig” also had a good old rant about She-Ra because…well again, he pretty much ALWAYS has a rant about female characters in current mainstream media unless they are anime characters. It’s so inevitable that only the immediate rationale changes, suffice to say a genre media property with a female lead will have a “grassroots” campaign from the same tiny cadre of extremists regardless. If the character design had been more stereotypically feminine then Brian and Jasyn would be using that to claim she couldn’t lift a sword or some other nonsense.

Why then even mention their nonsense? Mainly for example number a thousand and something, that despite their protestations to the contrary, they only care about how media conforms with their factional ideology and have zero interest in what story it tells. Yes, yes, I know you all knew that all ready BUT this way I also have a pretext to point out that there’s a Noelle Stevenson led cartoon coming to Netflix in November and it looks really great! 🙂

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52 thoughts on “She-Ra Leads to Scrappy-Doo Distemper

  1. Kee-ripes. That’s some of the most ridiculous, convoluted arglebargle I’ve ever read.

    It sure as heck convinced me (as if I didn’t already know) that I’m never, ever reading any of his books.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Here is our old pal Brian Niemeier posting a very confused rant about the whole thing:
    Those last four words are really superfluous.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I quite liked the original She-Ra, if only because it was one of the few 1980s cartoons adventure cartoons featuring more than a single token woman (Jem was the other).

    I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of the character redesign, but then I’m not the target audience for She-Ra anymore.

    As Brian Niemeier, it’s the usual argle-bargle we’ve come to expect from him. Could someone send him a one way time machine, so he can finally get his wish and go back to the Middle Ages?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was a fan too. I used to have to fight with my brothers to watch it, because it was on at the same time as Spiderman. Normally, I would have been all for watching Spiderman too, but She-Ra!

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  4. It’s not just the Puppies — it’s manosphere wide, from the costume to the look to the woman artist, etc. It’s a temper tantrum of “we have lost control and women think wrongly that they are people,” along with a lot of sexual creeping on what’s supposed to be a kids animated show. Somebody picked it out of a hat, I guess, but this one isn’t particularly going well for them. It’s been more an opportunity for people to discuss the homoerotic subtext of He-Man.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Where might one read said homoerotic subtext? Asking for a friend.

      It’s a kids’ show, she shouldn’t have giant boobs! He-Man shouldn’t have a giant protruding dong either (unless one’s doing said subtext, but that won’t happen on Netflix).

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      1. https://www.cartoonbrew.com/tv/he-mans-five-gayest-adventures-80303.html

        http://drewrowsome.blogspot.com/2015/05/masters-of-universe-high-camp-gay-love.html

        https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/09/05/skeletor-man-back-epically-gay/

        https://www.elitefitness.com/forum/chat-amp-conversation/he-man-most-homo-erotic-cartoon-all-time-291402.html

        I know you didn’t really need them, but enjoy anyway.

        She-Ra’s costume was quite clearly modeled on Wonder Woman’s but she was supposed to be a teenager. Now she looks more like a young teenager in the reboot which is for a kids’ show. I don’t think the anime style of the new art is really an issue for them. It’s the mini-dress with the pasties loss that they’ve been left to seize on as part of the evil feminists destroy sexiness. (While at the same time the evil feminists are “sluts” who shove sexy stuff in everyone’s faces as equal empowerment and show no “feminine” modesty.)

        But it’s a kids show. If they did a kids show with the mini-dress and pasties currently, most parents would not be too happy. In the 1980’s, they made animated shows to sell toys, but they would sexualize human characters because they thought that was necessary to sell to the parents, or rather for some reason they thought the “hetero dads” were buying the toys, rather than the “moms” who were actually buying the toys. They let 1980’s white male creators do mostly whatever heavy metal Playboy stuff they wanted in the art, which also interestingly enough contained a lot of homoerotic art as well. And parents didn’t pay much attention, something that stopped in the 1990’s when entire kid-programming channels popped up on cable and the Internet introduced kids to porn.

        So these poor boys are all mixed up now. The dictate comes down from the cult leaders — trash the show! — but they can’t come up with anything that sounds logical and not predatory.

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      2. Nobody needs homoerotic cartoon links, but on a miserably hot Friday afternoon, they’re fun.

        It’s no accident that the people who grew up with these toons embraced (har) The Ambiguously Gay Duo.

        I’d object to the anime style as being the big difference from the original than the less-bimbo part, but I’m then not a fragile snowflake under orders from cultists who has too much of my self-image tied up in the dumb cartoons I watched as a kid.

        Those boys just don’t really understand what’s going on in their brain and their underpants region.

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  5. I watched plenty of He Man* but didn’t watch She-Ra precisely because of the “for girls” thing (darn you, gender based marketing). The concept of getting She-Nimona-Ra is just excellent – Stephenson portrays her characters getting to have lots of fun on their own terms, which would fit this reboot perfectly.

    I see Neimeier’s opening argument seems to be that original She-Ra did badly because it wasn’t feminine enough, and that’s what the reboot should have done. I guess he wanted The Adventures of Cooking-and-Cleaning-Ra or something.

    Now, if you want to talk about weird reboots, what was up with The New Adventures of He-Man? The one where the setting was changed to a science fictional planet?

    (*I may have, uh, owned a Man At Arms toy. Look, he bounced up and hit people with his head, that was cool, okay!)

    Liked by 2 people

      1. If they think that picture looks like a boy, or even boyish, they really need their eyes checked. Even the genderfluid persons and most transwomen I’ve seen don’t look that girly. Most cis-women who aren’t cheerleaders, models, or actresses don’t look that girly except on rare occasions. I didn’t look that girly at my own wedding! That is so girly that RuPaul would say “Tone it down a bit, gurl.”

        Maybe this explains the incel thing? They can’t identify/recognize women properly.

        Beware the kitten holy.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. As this has popped up more for me on twitter today, it’s become really obvious that in a lot of cases the art being passed around by those pretending to be outraged has been messed with. It looks like it’s perhaps been reduced in res and then put back up? Or maybe just screencapped badly or something? (Dunno, my photoshop-fu is weak)

      e.g. the first set of images in this article include a decent res version cropped from the official poster:

      https://www.buzzfeed.com/tanyachen/backlash-to-backlash-of-she-ra-not-sexy-enough

      Whereas this tweet by asshole D&C uses a muddied-up version:

      https://twitter.com/DiversityAndCmx/status/1018367555248033792?s=19

      (Some credit to Neimeier, he’s used a more honest picture in his blog)

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    2. I’m pretty sure Eternia, the setting of He-Man and She-Ra was always supposed to be another planet. He-Man and She-Ra were more sword and planet than sword and sorcery.

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  6. Any Pup daring to insult anyone else’s business model would do best to recall a saying involving glass houses and stones.

    Oh, and what am I thinking? They doubtless believe their houses are built of a mysterious transparent steel that can withstand anything.

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    1. Stone-breaks-pane is only something that people with WEAK PANES have to worry about. Anyone who is a manly man with STRONG HANDS won’t have a problem. Obviously?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I suppose anything relating to women is particularly nutritious food for the Perpetual Outrage Machine.

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  8. I was a huge fan of He-Man when I was little and did watch She-Ra religiously. I thought (retrospectively as an adult) it was a clever idea to tie the universe of boy-norm and girl-norm toys together to get plenty of audience spilling over from one to the other, and putting them back to back made it totally natural. And, being the He-Man fanatic that I was, just getting a more expanded universe for that shit was just awesome.

    Hearing that they are bringing She-Ra back, I am stoked (because I am not an adult so much as my six year old self controlling an adult sized robot body) but I am disappointed that they didn’t pick up He-Man. And, to be less fannish and more sociological, having the shared boy-girl universe allows boys and girls to have stories written for them and share the stories written for the other and find common ground.

    That said, the original art was always kind of weird since Adam and Adora were written as immature and more teen-ager-y but drawn as middle aged body builders. Drawing them as younger-looking figures just fits the story better, although it would disappoint the weird old guy who came up with the original designs.

    (Head-to-shoulder ratio? WTF)

    While the show is not being written for us adults who grew up with the original cartoons, I was a fan, I had the toys, I watched the show(s) religiously (and BLACKSTAR, the much underrated predecessor) with the neighborhood kids (boys and girls) and saved my allowance so I could buy more action figures. Niemeier is some carpet bagging non-fan sticking his nose in on my fandom and he can shove it. I am stoked for the new show.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Ahh, yes, Blackstar. With the crystalline Power Sword and the Star Sword that fused together to make the Power Star. One of those really early Filmation shows that people keep forgetting about.

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  9. ‘In these stories there are practically no decent, attractive, successful women. A typical female character is the Catwoman, who is vicious and uses a whip. The atmosphere is homosexual and anti-feminine.’

    ‘Superwoman (Wonder Woman) is always a horror type. She is physically very powerful, tortures men, has her own female following, is the cruel, “phallic” woman. While she is a frightening figure for boys, she is an undesirable ideal for girls, being the exact opposite of what girls are supposed to want to be.’

    (Seduction of the Innocent by Fredric Wertham, 1954)

    Plus ça change!

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Your cunning plan worked – I am now quite excited by the prospect of watching a reboot of a cartoon I’ve never seen before linked to a property I never particularly liked! In the meantime I also badly need to catch up on Lumberjanes because holy wow that is just about the most sheer outrageous fun I’ve had while reading a comic.

    Read Niemeier’s article, checked out the art and… it codes as pretty female to me. It’s very much Stevenson’s art style but that’s a very feminine-looking character, to me. Not a whole lot of men have flowing blonde hair and wear tiaras and skirts… given that he’s only looking at profile shots with huge effing shoulder pads it’s sorrrrrta difficult to figure out the head-to-shoulder ratio from that.

    Anyway looking forward to Niemeier writing She-Ra: Princess of Kitchenia so all the girls in the world can have a proper coming-of-age story and they don’t get all confused with the idea that they can have power and be feminine (or really just be whatever the hell they want to be).

    Liked by 2 people

      1. So based on that, his real complaint is that she doesn’t have armour-boobs and bizarre multi-jointed ankles? (Impractical as they’d be since a hit in the wrong place would slide, say, a spear directly into the centre of your chest-plate and that’s the exact place you don’t want a spear to be going – there’s very good reasons that armour is shaped the way it is, and that is not only to protect but to deflect away from places sharp things shouldn’t be going)

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  11. Its a sad kind of funny, how the Scrabby Doos are trying to be upset about the new look, while at the same time, be upset about the old look. Of course a heroic character aimed at girls, a female version of He-Man, is something they hate, have always hated. But it also reminds them that a) This was done 30 years ago, and is inconsistent with “When we were young SJW did not make female versions of our stuff!” and b) it was a success story , which is inconsistent with “Its anm SJW plot and is not for the general majority of fans”.

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  12. The designs for the new She-Ra look quite anime-influenced to me, in combination with the more minimalist look of recent US cartoons. Seems quite promising so far.

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  13. Either we didn’t get She-Ra or it clashed with something else I watched, because I never really watched either series though I was curious and kind of wanted to. (I had one of the horses, the black with the pink jewel. No idea why. it became the villainess of the My Little Pony epics that ranged across our house, even though I liked its much closer to real horse proportions better.)

    Stevenson puts this on my “Definitely waiting for it” list, though we’ll see if my husband can put up with my interest…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Though thinking a moment I feel like I should say I *also* never watched My Little Pony despite collecting a bunch of em.

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  14. IDGAF about She-Ra (I was too old by the time it came on) and IDGLessThanAF about Scrappies and Pups, but I do love “Lumberjanes” so I’m going to check it out.

    So thanks for letting me know, man-boys!

    I can see a legit complaint if someone said “hey I miss the old Filmation style and I don’t like the anime look”, but nothing else is valid.

    @Doris: brava!

    Also, you can’t gatekeep a fandom you aren’t in, even if you are a RWNJ SWM. It doesn’t work that way. And saying “I never watched/read this and now I’m going to continue not watching/reading this” makes you look stupid. But I guess they’re used to that by now.

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    1. “I can see a legit complaint if someone said “hey I miss the old Filmation style and I don’t like the anime look”, but nothing else is valid.”

      I generally dislike the anime look. This is my biggest complaint when it comes to a lot of cartoons/animated works that I’m recommended. Maybe I should take to Twitter and wail about my childhood and its ruination by Things Other People Enjoy. Maybe the fact that we aren’t compelled to do so makes us all Marxist snowflake libcucks.

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  15. She-Ra, like He-Man, was created first and foremost to sell toys. The He-Man toys were basically the sort of thing which must have warped people like Rob Liefeld for life (seriously, they look like some of his drawings made plastic!), being, as they were, muscles on muscles with extra muscles on top. Pure male power fantasy stuff, and as unrealistic as all hell. The She-Ra toys were heading in the same direction – they were both an anatomist’s dream of a toy line, with every muscle group lovingly depicted. The cartoons were actually much more restrained about how much of the anatomy they included – there’s only so many muscles animators are willing to animate, after all.

    (My younger brother had a Castle Greyskull playset. I refrained from complaining that my parents didn’t buy me the Barbie/Sindy dream house playset when I was his age).

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  16. Men wore skirts, dresses, lace and tights until well into the 1800’s — those items aren’t feminine. Long hair is not feminine — men wore it till the Victorians made them shear it off for more rigid “gender” appearances. Women have regularly worn trousers throughout history of various kinds. Pink was a man’s color and blue a woman’s until the 20th century, etc.

    The notions that things are “feminine” or “masculine” are arbitrary and cultural, continually shifting. These folks proclaim something isn’t macho or girlie enough, making up arbitrary rules of what those are supposed to be to make their ideas of a power hierarchy sacred. It’s a new show, more geared for kids, without a metal-head 1980’s cartoon art sensibility of the olden times. So it’s a threat. It might teach girls lessons that they are powerful, equal people (which actually was also the point of the original She-Ra cartoon.) It might teach them to not rigidly dress as a cis man’s hetero sexual fantasy property from the olden days. It might teach them that differences are fine, rather than that some people are chosen superior and “different” people are inferior. It means that a woman artist/creator is making art with buzz instead of white guys, which nibbles at the claim that white guys are the superior art makers, etc.

    And that means the corrupt cult is losing tight control of the culture and the hierarchy their entire identities apparently depend on to give their lives meaning. Which is the same fear of those books/past writings Doris brought up. It’s always the same fear — the hierarchy is going if this exist and does well, so let’s declare it threat.

    But the problem they have when they go after a kid’s show, reboot or no, and proclaim it a lesbian PSA because the heroine doesn’t look like their imaginings of a porn star is that it looks creepy and pederasty-ish. So this hasn’t exactly been a win for them and their arguments that patriarchy is great.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. When you think about it, a skirt is a much more sensible item of clothing for men than trousers for just casual use. I’ll stick with shorts or trousers though, because I don’t want anyone looking up my skirt while I’m climbing 🙂

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  17. JMS sets the threatened pervy man-boys straight.

    Liked by 1 person

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