With all the great news about a larger presence for female Transformers that’s hit recently, let’s talk a bit about one of the bots who’s already here, Strongarm… and how she’s busting up some stereotypes that female TFs have typically fallen into. (I may get into light spoilers here and there, so a bit of a heads-up.)
First of all… I mean, look at her. Female TFs in the mass media* have pretty much fallen under a single body type: thin & curvy, and probably in heels. There’s a whopping one exception, the villain Strika from Beast Machines, a bulkmonster with a gas-mask face. Leave that and it’s a parade of wasp waists and thin limbs and generally sleek alt modes. Strongarm’s an off-road truck with massive shoulders and big stompy boots. It’s a refreshing change of bodyform for a central heroine… and nobody ever treats her physical form as being unusual or something to be mocked for not fitting some “ideal”.
Plus she can do THIS:
She’s every bit as physical a fighter as anyone else in ther series. She throws punches, kicks faces, rams stuff in vehicle mode, she even friggin’ suplexes Sideswipe once.
And her gender pretty much doesn’t play into… anything. Nobody treats her being “her” as anything different. No human questions why there are female robots. No Decepticon mocks her or treats her as weak. No Autobot feels she needs special treatment or kid gloves… well, not because of “her”, at least, we’ll get to that in a little bit.
Personality? She’s the rookie cop who knows all the rules. All of them. This is a personality type easily dropped into a file called “humorless, obnoxious stick in the mud”. But no. She knows all the rules because she’s bright-eyed, energetic and really excited to be a officer of the law. It’s her dream… and that’s her backstory. No tragic loss, no revenge plot, no world-weary just-hold-it-together hole in the soul… she’s just an idealistic young bot who wants to be a great cop, righting wrongs and stopping bad guys. It’s simple and great. (In all fairness, we’re only 14 episodes into a long season, but we really haven’t been given any indication there’s anything darker going on, and this show ain’t exactly subtle in those regards.)
And that urge to prove she can be a great cop is what pushes her to… maybe kinda sorta… creatively interpret (aka bend) the rules a little here and there. She’s eager not just to get into the action, but as soon as she hits the fabled Earth, she takes every excuse possible to explore and see this alien world that played such a huge role in Transformer history, despite Bumblebee’s repeated insistence that she stay out of danger.
It doesn’t help that Bumblebee’s own lack of self-confidence often ends up manifesting in him being overprotective of Strongarm and Sideswipe, telling them to stay put while trying to tackle things himself, or acting like a helicopter parent. And with Strongarm being something in awe of Bee, the hero of the last great war… that hurts, and it pushes her to do some things that would be normally unthinkable for her in order to prove that yes, she can handle this if he’d just give her the chance.
And let’s talk her constant headbutting with Sideswipe. Again, absolutely none of it is based around her being a her. It’s entirely about Sideswipe being a rulebreaking jerk who resents authority figures, and Strongarm being an authority figure. And for all he grinds her gears… as often as she snarks at him and puts him into submission holds for his latest pranks… we’ve seen that she’s the one willing to be the bigger bot and show that he can trust her to do what’s right and protect him from harm, even though he is a huge jerk.
There are some more straight-up spoiler-y moments I could talk about, but I won’t since RID’s US airings are a bit behind, and some stuff is best witnessed live first. But… Strongarm’s just great. The episodes focusing on her are all about her coping with this strange situation she’s in, and she shines. Her VA, Constance Zimmer, just nails it. If this is the kind of care Hasbro’s gonna be putting into its female characters going forward, we can really look forward to some great stuff.
I mean, a lot of this isn’t surprising given mscottwrites is one of the main folks behind the show, who gave us the fantastic Windblade comics. But it’s still something impressive to see it on the TV after… well, let’s just “politely” call it a less than stellar 30ish years prior on the representation front.
Man, I want a G1-universe iteration of her.
* - There are some more female TFs who are also bulky, but mostly those are Mini-Cons who were declared female by after-the-fact bios created well after the toys had been released, taking advantage of the lack of gender declaration… and if they appeared in fiction at all, it was basically as background fodder.
I had a really hard appointment with my psychiatrist yesterday. It’s only like the 5th time going to her and I cried so much and said so much. I’ve kinda been putting self harm on the back burner in therapy because it hasn’t been a thing. But yesterday I talked about it a lot. How I don’t care what I do to myself, that if people wouldn’t be disappointed in me then I wouldn’t hold back, etc. At the end she asked if I needed the hospital and I said no.
Got to my car, went to Starbucks and got iced tea for me and my little brother, who I was picking up from a bowling alley five minutes away. I pulled out of the parking spot. Big street with three lanes. I needed to get to the left lane and I was all the way on the right.
I saw a massive truck next to me and thought I had enough room to change lanes so I did. Next second he crashes into the back of my car. Pretty much had a panic attack, police came, my mom came, I ruined my dads fancy car and probably won’t be allowed to drive for a while bc of it.
I honestly thought I had enough room. Innocent enough. But I can’t help but think maybe I was so messed up from the appointment that I just did it without thinking? I don’t need the hospital, I’m not at that point AT ALL. Don’t think I am. But was I just acting impulsively and recklessly? I have no idea.
So every time I go to this street junction online. There is a massive pile of trucks and cars. Then a few seconds later they explode into a shower of metal. I recorded it 17 times but this is by far my favorite. I might be making some pretty cool GTAV vids soon once they smooth out the launch issues. The tool has potential but I’m going to need to play with it some more.
Just saw an amazing post about the history of the word Queer and how it has definitely been reclaimed from its origin as a slur. And I loved it, but it still doesn’t change my own personal discomfort with the term. Like, I get the history and everything but when you call me queer I still hear the bullies that tormented me in school. I hear people shouting it at me from the window of their massive pick up trucks. Like, I get it, Queer is reclaimed, but friends, its still a slur in places. Go to the Midwest(Outside of Chicago and surrounding areas) and see how many people openly call themselves queer. Go to a Midwestern high school and hear how many people are called queer. Please use Queer as an identifier, but please don’t use it to label other people. You don’t know their history.
Tim Molzen’s 1962 Dodge ¾ ton crew cab pickup truck
Unique doesn’t even begin to describe Molzen’s crew cab! After being retired as an Air Force truck in Texas, Molzen acquired it then sent it to Iowa’s hot rod kingpin Roger Burman for its full transformation. It started with a custom made Roadster Shop frame with tubular A-arms, a 4-bar rear suspension setup and a 9-inch Ford rear end. Rack and pinion style steering with Wilwood disc brakes all around give it new millennium performance. Custom painted Hot Rods by Boyd wheels roll on Continental tires.
Under the hood is all Mopar. A 360 c.i. Dodge V8 with an Edelbrock four barrel carburetor, Edelbrock aluminum cylinder heads and custom fabricated aluminum valve covers warm up the engine bay. MSD ignition and stock coated headers with Flowmaster exhaust work together to power the massive truck down the highway. A 727 transmission with Gear Vendors overdrive provides smooth shift points.
The old ¾-ton 4×4 Dodge truck’s body was in rough shape upon arrival. Burman spent countless hours reworking the bed, cab and front end. All the edges were sharpened as well as body gaps reset. Once all the work was finished it was painted in a brilliant PPG Western Brown at Burman’s Lakeside Rods & Rides.
Weber’s Custom Interiors in Alexandria, Minnesota had a lot of work to do inside the 4-door truck. Dodge Intrepid power front seats were used while the stock back seat was salvageable. The seats were trimmed in a brown leather with white stitching. The custom made door panels were upholstered to match. The Dash was smoothed and painted to match the exterior of the truck then fitted with custom made one-of-a-kind Dakota Digital gauges which sit behind the Billet Specialties steering wheel.
What Burman did to transform Molzen’s 4-door pickup into a stunning award winner is basically on par with Alezandros of Antioch’s Venus de Milo. Unique, different and masterfully built, it’s truly one of a kind ride.
Since playing Pokemon Go (I’m only level 6, but still) we have:
Ended up at a carnival randomly.
Had a really old man pull up in a massive truck, and when he asked if we were playing Pokemon and we expected another lecture about kids these days, he shouted; “There’s a Rapidash right over there hurry!”
Found real snakes, bunnies, birds, and deer while searching.
Hopped a fence into a derelict schoolyard for an Onix.
Screamed with joy when someone in our group hatched two Eggs and both with Magikarps. We were in public. Hordes of people were at the church. They all nodded understandingly.
I’m rewatching Person of Interest and I knew before that Root does so much stuff by herself, but in 3-21 she moves seven massive servers onto a truck by herself. Like I just want a scene where Root is operating a cargo crane whistling to herself or driving an eight foot tall server on one of those pallet truck things while she’s singing under her breath with no one else around, maybe occasionally having to shoot a security guard while she’s driving.
Lynn barely even looked when she began to cross the street, and the sudden sound of a horn blaring had her head snapping up in its direction. She jumped back out of the way as a massive truck came barreling down the road, missing her by inches. “Fucking hell,” she grumbled after a moment, hoping nobody had witnessed her stupidity as her pulse began to slow again.
Aiden didn’t know what the hell he was doing walking the halls of a institute he didn’t even go to. His heart was beating out of his chest when reaching the dance studio — one of many, actually. Not daring to go inside, he took another breath, then he got cold feet. Suddenly, a ballerina showed up in the hall. Far from familiar, but enough for him to become a shadow, storming out the building, faster than light. Clenching his jaw, his hand tapped the inner pocket of his jacket; simply needing to remind himself his flask was still there. Too stressed out to focus, he was about to cross the street. Lucky for him, someone held him back. It only took a second before a massive truck passed right in front of him.