February 26th, 2013

Snarky Candiru2

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

In today's strip, Elly reminds us of a problem a certain percentage of women have by being very reluctant to use the shower at the gym despite Connie's attempt to reassure her that since they're all women, she will not be judged. This, I think, is owing to Elly's belief that since she's spending her time harshly judging the other women, she too will be judged.

(Strip Number 560, Original Publication Date, 29 February 1984)

Panel 1: Now that the class has ended, Connie tells Elly that she intends having a shower before heading home and asks if El is coming with.

Panel 2: Since it seems to me that Elly is somewhat likely to be flashing back to the horrors of gym class back in the sixties, she comments on the lack of privacy when trying to refuse.

Panel 3: Connie tells Elly to come off it because they're all women.

Panel 4: As Elly looks at the varied physical types she's sharing the shower with, Connie's comment about how they're all the same baffles her.

Summary: We can probably expect a Lynnsight about how 'we women' can't help but feel awkward when confronted with judging eyes no matter how much progress has been allegedly made. (The real message is, of course, that Lynn is a nasty idiot who can't suppress her childish need to leer and snicker at other people.)

On Marian...

I've been thinking about something and I wonder if you guys can shed some light on it.

In many posts here, and in many fan "continuations" that are also posted here (the monthly letters storyline, the new Liographies) certain posters seem to have a rather negative opinion of Marian Richards. (Not Ursula Ridgway, Marian Richards.) That she was a tough, unloving, unforgiving, even emotionally abusive parent to Elly.

But much of that (to the best of my memory) doesn't really seem to be supported in the strips themselves. Marian seems to be shown as a loving mother and grandmother whom Elly looked up to. There are the usual jokes entailing an adult child rolling her eyes at her mother's occasional criticisms, but that really doesn't seem to be any more than the usual sort of conflicts a mother often has with an adult child, nothing abusive or nasty about it.

The biography of Marian (posted shortly after the reboot) did reveal that Marian took on most of the discipline with the children at first because Jim was too busy being the "fun dad", but again, that seems to be a dynamic that occurs often, it didn't seem to be anything more than the usual discipline of a misbehaving kid, and she and Jim eventually worked things out and developed a fairer way of doing things.

Perhaps opinions of Marian may be tainted by what we later came to know about Ursula (if, indeed, it was true, or at least non-exaggerated). But Marian Richards is a very different character from Ursula Ridgway--by Lynn's own admission.

So where does the negativity towards Marian come from?