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26 February 2005 @ 06:58 am
Idle Observation  
For years I have been in fandoms where female characters only have to be looked at a certain way by the males and before you know it, they're in a family way. Hell, in the past I've done more than my share of contributing to the reproduction of canon characters. Which brings me to my observation about the Hellsing fandom: what is it about Integra that she has to jump through hoops just to get pregnant, and even then there's a 50/50 likelihood that she'll never be able to conceive?

I guess I can see certain things: artificial insemination/in vitro fertilization means that, theoretically, she can retain her status as a virgin and many people are happy with that. Her marrying some guy she probably doesn't really care about eliminates the whole "no sex before marriage" problem. The overwhelming number of fics I have seen where these things happen are good, so I am not complaining at all. In fact, it's the fics where Integra conceives the old fashioned way by getting really drunk and waking up regretful by actually picking Alucard, who she supposedly loves, that usually end up in Mary Sues, so I am really not complaining.

Where I am confused are the sheer number of fics where Integra has various reproductive problems that prevent her from conceiving easily, if at all. This makes it hard because my Integra also has reproductive issues, but if I were to act on that in the realm of fanfiction I would look like I am jumping on the bandwagon, and I really can't explain it. I am sure for a lot of people it's just they look at Integra and decide she's not mommy material, or need a way to introduce their Sue as the Hellsing heir, but for me it's just the way I see it.

Are "Integra's reproductive problems" going to end up becoming fanon? Or is there actually a carefully encoded subliminal message in the canon that says "this woman will never be able to conceive unless she performs all the labors of Hercules, and both hands on the keyboard you horny loser!"? Why am I so confused not that I have finally found a fandom that speculates on the reproductive habits of the female characters as much as I do? Maybe all of this boils down to that I've always thought my thought processes are weird, and it turns out they were perfectly commonplace, just not in the fandoms I belonged in. Maybe this always struck me as a degree of realism that doesn't belong in many anime.

This isn't a rant, per se, or I'd put it on fanficrants. But I am not really complaining about anything, and I really don't want anyone to stop doing what they're doing. If there were a comm called "Idle Fandom Observations" it would probably end up on fandom_wank a lot less often.

But I can't help but wonder, do these people get the same giddy sense of glee that I do whenever they read about Integra going through catalogues of sperm donors, or is that just me? Maybe I don't want to know the answer to that question. It's like finding a letter by your math teacher in the sexual fetish magazine you subscribe to only without the whole thing where you wonder how you can tell everyone without revealing you're a sexual deviant, too. Or something.

Did I ever mention I write 90% of my journal entries on little to no sleep? And to think, somebody (whose name rhymes with Lami) asked me to post more stuff like this.
 
 
Current Mood: curiouscurious
Current Music: "Wild Angels" by Missing Heart
 
 
 
Anna Belmont: where's your messiahangelari on February 26th, 2005 04:51 am (UTC)
I think one of the problems with Integra conceiving is that she isn't exactly a take-it-easy kind of girl. She's put her body through untold stresses, even this early in her life, and by the time she's actually going to be looking through catalogs of sperm donors (which to me suggests that she's gone a long time without being able to find a suitable husband), who knows what kind of damage she's going to have done to her whole body, including her reproductive system? In vitro fertilization itself is not an easy thing, and often ends in failure, even with women who are perfectly fertile.

In my own "reproduction" fic, "Courting Integra," Integra suffers a miscarriage because she works herself to exhaustion, passes out, and falls down the stairs. Her problems in conceiving a second child are more emotional and psychological than physical, and I put both issues in because I doubt Integra is going to quite understand the physical toll being pregnant takes on her and be willing to stop working when an emergency presents itself right before she was originally going to go to bed, and then she's naturally going to feel an incredible amount of guilt because her negligence caused a death.

Personally, I don't quite understand the overwhelming desire to keep Integra a *virgin* - and I think if any part of writing about Integra's sexuality speaks of the author's issues, it's that one. Why would she *want* to be able to be turned into a vampire? She *stabbed herself in the neck* (see your PERFECTLY HORRIBLE icon) to prevent the possibility. The distaste is almost enough to lend itself to casual sex, except then you'd have to touch people.

A Guy Named Goo: Integra Ode to Cynthiaaguynamedgoo on February 26th, 2005 05:03 am (UTC)
I think part of it is the desire to keep her a virgin so it's possible to turn her into a vampire, and I've seen once or twice people doing it so Alucard is still just as interested in her (which is a pretty un-Integra-like reason all things considered). Another reason listed that I've seen is she doesn't want to deal with a man who will possibly try to gain too much position in the organisation (which is a reason not to get married, but not to stay a virgin). And then there's the people who just want to assert that she's just a lesbian, like some asshole who got my Integra all full of piss and vinegar last night by saying that the only reason anyone likes her is a masculine lesbian is the next best thing to a bishounen in a series so lacking in them. ~_~
Anna Belmont: Whateverangelari on February 26th, 2005 07:37 am (UTC)
Except that everybody likes making bishounen gay, so there goes that argument right out the window. Why can't people understand that a strong-willed, intelligent, beautiful woman is just cool?
Lorenasir_hellsing on February 26th, 2005 03:25 pm (UTC)
She *stabbed herself in the neck*

I used to think like you in this one. Until I realized she stabbed to avoid become a *ghoul* not a vampire. And that the virgin rule is manga only (and there Integral has no problems with all vampires, she's quite cordial with Seras and Alucard, only with monsters. She didn't consider Alucard one in volume 3). Anime wise, she never replies Alucard's question, ever, she avoids it. Someone as certain wouldn't avoid if the answer is no.

My two cents.
Anna Belmont: amarant understandingangelari on February 27th, 2005 05:34 am (UTC)
Ghoul or vampire, she'd rather *kill herself* than face the possibility. And the fact that the virgin rule is manga only only makes the writers who are dead set on keeping her a virgin no matter what a little more twisted, since that particular trope was extant in Hellsing fanfic before manga scans/translations were commonly available to English-speakers. Why this obsession with Integra's sexual purity?

Anime wise, she never replies Alucard's question, ever, she avoids it.

That's because the series ended. If there ever is a second season, I suppose we shall see which way she decided.

Also, she's in a position where she's lost everything. Her Organisation is destroyed, her general dead, Walter possibly dead (we don't know if she's been told that he survived the helicopter crash)... what does she have to lose? I can't look at that and postulate that there might be other, less desperate situations in which she would accept his blood, or she might have chosen to do so *rather* than stabbing herself, or while she was recovering from the surgery. It was most inconvenient for her to be disabled at that time, and if she were inclined to permit Alucard to turn her, she would likely have done so then.
Anna Belmont: Whateverangelari on February 27th, 2005 05:53 am (UTC)
Oh, and when he offers in Order 11? I think it's more of a "I'm not even going to deign to acknowledge that question, so ridiculous is it," than a, "Well, maybe, I'll think about it." She walks away from him, after all.
(no subject) - sir_hellsing on February 27th, 2005 02:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - angelari on February 27th, 2005 04:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sir_hellsing on February 27th, 2005 04:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sir_hellsing on February 27th, 2005 02:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shadow_dancing on February 27th, 2005 04:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sir_hellsing on February 27th, 2005 04:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shadow_dancing on February 27th, 2005 04:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sir_hellsing on February 27th, 2005 04:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Lorenasir_hellsing on February 26th, 2005 03:35 pm (UTC)
Mother issues. Manga wise, I think she would make an excellent mother, in my opinion, not the most approachable one but she practically 'baby sits' both Alucard and Seras, who are worse than children. She has a saintly patience and is fiercely protective with her own family/co workers.

But I think she stays virgin to have another means of control, to add to her appeal. She isn't reluctant to closeness even sexual hints (like with Seras), it's not some uncomfortable action.

Anime wise, I don't think she's be interested in sex, period. Or children.

Vampire virgin rule is Manga only, anyway. And, let me say, I used to think Anime Integral wouldn't turn on her own will but re-watching the series, it makes sense she would turn in the end. Her Anime self mirrors Vlad Dracula's life (Manga Integral is more Mina), and Vlad was betrayed by relative/peers/King/lost his city/his most beloved person (his wife/Walter, she thinks he's dead)/put in a cell. His way out was to marry Ilona and become Catholic. A 'turning.'
A Guy Named Goo: Integra Ode to Cynthiaaguynamedgoo on February 26th, 2005 08:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks for that. Although I wrote that thinking too much when I was tired, I actually had a reason for it (I am planning a new fic, one that is anime-centered, and one of the details is that Integra is pregnant. Oddly enough, it's not a terribly important detail in the long run). Basically I was realizing that I needed a motive for her to be pregnant without a husband around, and compiling every reason that people have used in the past. It's harder for anime Integra, and I was hoping to come up with something a bit more original in terms of reasoning, but my choices are either be vague (and risk detracting from the piece by leaving out a possibly important detail) or use something that's been done before and ignore that it's been done before and wasn't 100% plausible in the first place. Maybe I need to think a bit harder on the why, or something will strike me when I get to a place where a why is necessary.
Lorenasir_hellsing on February 27th, 2005 03:04 pm (UTC)
Ah well, there's only few reasons she may be pregnant for. Natural act or artificial?
(no subject) - aguynamedgoo on February 27th, 2005 03:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Anna Belmont: amarant understandingangelari on February 27th, 2005 05:44 am (UTC)
Anime wise, I don't think she's be interested in sex, period. Or children.

Her 'interest' in children is irrelevant - she needs to provide an heir of the Blood, or Alucard will be loosed upon her death. Of course, if you're convinced that she's going to let Alucard turn her, I suppose it doesn't matter one way or the other, but working from strict canon, she's going to have to be concerned with having children at some point.

And from a manga perspective, I think it's a bit of a stretch to say 'she's good at handing Seras and Alucard, so she'd be good with kids.' I'm also good at dealing with adults, even when they're being immature, but I can't stand little kids. As for a 'saintly patience' - are we talking about the same Integra?
Lorenasir_hellsing on February 27th, 2005 02:59 pm (UTC)
'Canon' you say, but there's no mention of this in the Anime nor Manga, so I can't consider having children part of the issues addressed in strict 'canon.' Vampirism, however, is more 'canon' than that. Keep in mind: "Canon = what appears in the anime/manga." Integral having asked to breed isn't there, so sorry, is not canon, it's *fanon*. Good, well thought one but without a base on canon.

Manga wise, yes, we are talking about the same Integral. Alucard is rather childish, we have an Integral who is able to deal with his urges without becoming too tensed around him. Now, she has more 'suitable' virtues to become a good mother/raise: she's more patient and she is more open to display feelings around her 'family' while is hardly the only ones. But I think, in my opinion</i> she's more mother material than Anime Integral.
(no subject) - angelari on February 27th, 2005 04:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sir_hellsing on February 27th, 2005 04:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aguynamedgoo on February 27th, 2005 07:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - angelari on February 28th, 2005 06:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sir_hellsing on February 28th, 2005 03:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sir_hellsing on February 28th, 2005 03:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
the Anything Muppetxerne on February 27th, 2005 06:08 am (UTC)
And, let me say, I used to think Anime Integral wouldn't turn on her own will but re-watching the series, it makes sense she would turn in the end. Her Anime self mirrors Vlad Dracula's life (Manga Integral is more Mina), and Vlad was betrayed by relative/peers/King/lost his city/his most beloved person (his wife/Walter, she thinks he's dead)/put in a cell. His way out was to marry Ilona and become Catholic. A 'turning.'

If you're following that argument, Integra could also sell out to Iscariot. =P
Lorenasir_hellsing on February 27th, 2005 03:02 pm (UTC)
No really, it's not a *exact* re write but the allegories are here and there (there's no boyards, just knights, no conutry, just city/honor, she was not married but her closest person (Walter) was 'lost' in a suicide mission, she was also betrayed by a ruler, not a King but a Queen. The role Alucard plays is Ilona's: the forced 'marriage' and 'converting'). Considering Anime Vlad looked like Historical Vlad (Manga one looks like Alan Rickman), it's safe to assume these people read something about his background.

(no subject) - xerne on February 27th, 2005 04:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sir_hellsing on February 27th, 2005 04:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - xerne on February 27th, 2005 04:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sir_hellsing on February 28th, 2005 03:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aguynamedgoo on February 28th, 2005 03:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aguynamedgoo on February 28th, 2005 04:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sir_hellsing on February 28th, 2005 04:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aguynamedgoo on March 1st, 2005 03:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
...and my axe!!!shahrizai on March 10th, 2005 12:59 pm (UTC)
Just a random passerby remarking on the good arguments and wondering where the hell you people archive your fics, because all I've found are random Alucard/Integra PWPs.
A Guy Named Goo: Cute Ritsu by selphiesaguynamedgoo on March 10th, 2005 01:20 pm (UTC)
I find most of my fics on AFF.N, MediaMiner, and in the R section of FF.N. Plus some people on my flist post their fics only in their LJs as locked posts.