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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"His penis got diseases From a Chumash tribe."
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March 31 2011

The strength of Inara Serra. It's an exploration of the Companion and her love for Mal. If you want more Inara goodness, head over to the Drawbridge to see a Simon Fraser sketch of her.

What a wonderful essay. Inara is one of the most layered and interesting characters (to me) in the Whedonverse. Also one of the most mysterious. There is still so much we don't know about her. She was so good at keeping secrets and holding her true thoughts in. At some point later in the show, she probably would have cracked. As inspiring as her strength is, there's no way she could have kept that up for long. Of course, that's why she decided to leave the ship in Heart of Gold, but she ended up back aboard during Serenity. Who knows what happened after that.

It would have been so tragic and so beautiful to see her finally break down and be disowned by the companions (similar to Nandi) and try to make a relationship with Mal work. Of course, it would not work, and it would tear them apart. That could have been such a beautiful storyline. Like the Buffy-season-6 of Firefly. Sigh...
I'm not sure I agree with the author here, regarding her definition of "strength". Take this for example: "For this is Inara’s choice, her career, her life. To give it up would be to give up who she is, and a strong woman does not give up who she is for a man,.... Inara’s refusal to sacrifice her life, and thereby herself, for love is a testament to her strength.."
Take Simon, by contrast - I think being a doctor was every bit as much "who he is" as being a Companion is "who Inara is" - but he gave that up...his career, his life (as we see in Safe, even literally), his opportunities, freedoms, safety, comfort, etc for a girl, and for (familial) love. I always thought that made Simon, in his way, the strongest character in the series - while the circumstances were different, the underlying point is: self-sacrifice does not make us weak. And I'm not of those people who assign different values/standards based on gender. I suspect however, that this author is - she thinks self-sacrifice is a weakness if a woman does it for a man, probably because women have (unjustly) been simply expected to do it for so long.
I don't think Inara is a weak person by any stretch of the imagination, nor do I think she's under any obligation to give up her career to mollify any of Mal's potential hang-ups, I just find the author's take on the concept of strength a little odd...

[ edited by F_TB on 2011-03-31 13:37 ]
Because I don't know where else to put this (there was a press release, but nothing yet to link to): Morena Baccarin is supposed to be on "The Mentalist" on Thurs. Apr. 7 on CBS (in the U.S.).

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