Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen
mrissa

Gender-swapping characters

So timprov and I were having a bit of a sigh and a bit of an eye-roll about Ursula LeGuin's post on The Tempest, and we got to talking about gender-swapping characters. I firmly believe that any particular character can have that done, but not always without altering the story immensely--sometimes the entire setting has to be redone in order to make it work. And timprov brought up Jean Valjean as an example of this: you can write a woman Valjean, but Jeanne Valjean needs a different setting completely to be able to do the things Jean did.

This brought him to suggest that Katee Sackhoff would make a truly awesome Javert, and I loved the idea: the girl born to prison life instead of the boy, the tough-as-nails young woman for whom the law is not mocked. (For those of you not keeping score, Katee Sackhoff was Starbuck on the new Battlestar Galactica.) I don't even know if she can sing. I don't even care. I just really like this idea. "Men like you can never change, a man...such as you...."

(I had a conversation that made me aware of some of my conversational assumptions this morning, and I'm now noticing that I feel the need to flag a popular actress but not the characters from Les Miserables. Oh, assumptions.)

Also: Dr. Spencer Reid of Criminal Minds is a very different person if she is Dr. Stephanie Reid, the team's little sister figure and the daughter of a mentally ill medievalist, and yet a lot of the Reid-peril stuff in early seasons plays out exactly the same.

Anyway. Anybody else have some ideas for what stories would shift interestingly if a character's sex was swapped, and which ones would actually look substantially similar?
Tags: bookses precious, pure silliness, small screen
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  • The end of an era

    I just made my blog cross-post to dreamwidth rather than to livejournal. That's how it's going to go from here on out, so if you want to read my…

  • So here is what

    It looks like people who cut their teeth on lj are pretty attached to this style of aggregator for their reading. So I'm going to look into getting…

  • Sooooo the livejournal thing

    Like many of you, I do not intend to follow Russian law regarding what minors can and cannot read about, nor do I feel that having an "adult content"…