|raisedbymoogles (raisedbymoogles) wrote,|
@ 2012-08-03 23:56:00
Notes for a fic.
....that popped into my head around bedtime and wouldn't let me sleep 'til I wrote them out, thanks ever so much brain.
'Femme' is an odd category in Transformer society. Officially it's a subgroup like cars, Minibots, or fliers, but unlike the other categories, it rarely stands on its own. You can be a femme car, a femme flier, a femme Minibot, but you're hardly ever going to meet someone who describes her subgroup as simply 'femme.' In appearance femmes tend to be sleeker and less angular than other subgroups, with little in the way of visible kibble, but there are bulky angular femmes and sleek small non-femmes so you can't really define femme-ness by that. It's a programming thing - like the difference between operating systems. They can all pretty much do the same things, and the differences only become really apparent when you get down to the nuts and bolts of how they work.
Prejudice against femmes goes right back to their origins, and the Quintessons. The Quints were making robots to sell to (among others) organic races with binary gender, and the first 'female robots' were designed to appeal to those races. Female robots became a symbol of Quintesson mistreatment and oppression, and were instrumental in the revolution that ousted the Quints from Cybertron (hi Beta hi I love you!). After that conflict (the 'first Great War' Rodimus saw in the Matrix), the free bots of Cybertron were understandably suspicious of all the things the Quintessons had designed into them to appeal to organic buyers, and strove to become very, very mechanical. There was a movement to phase out females, but thanks in part to the popularity of female warriors like Beta, it never gained enough traction to actually accomplish anything.
Since then public opinion of femmes has waxed and waned, even as the memory of the Quintessons themselves faded. Every so often, especially after armed conflicts, there is a 'femmes are obsolete, let's phase them out' movement, which is obviously unappreciated by the femmes themselves. Over time they've become more and more insular, almost creating their own subculture on Cybertron much like Seekers. The third Great War has not been kind to them, Megatron being all to willing to excise anything from 'his' society that a) pings 'organic' or b) doesn't bow to him, and their numbers have dwindled. Most femmes who joined the Autobots formed segregated strike teams, like Elita-One's band. Arcee is a 'girl in the boy's club' oddity, but she gets along better with the mechs of Autobot City Earth than she did with her old all-femme squad, and fortunately Transformers never developed any of the misguided notions of chivalry that Earth did. So she was accepted as an equal with exactly the same speed and with as little fanfare as she would have been if she were a 'he.'
Unfortunately, there are still pockets of thought on Cybertron that think femmes are a throwback at best and freaks at worst; especially troublesome on those rare occasions when Vector Sigma or other randomizing-programming methods produce a new femme where her creators had been expecting a new homme.