Friday, July 13, 2007

Cobra: A Ruthless Terrorist Organization Determined to... Outfit Women in Stupid Uniforms?

I was a huge G.I. Joe fan when I was a kid. The show was... well... stupid, but when you're all of 7, I think that your viewing standards are perhaps a little more lax. The toys were the real treat, anyway. The Joe forces were mostly a wash, except for Snake Eyes (who doesn't love a ninja?), but Cobra? Cobra had the best troops. They were all wearing crazy hightech uniforms with cool looking helmets and had futuristic tanks and jets to fight the boring looking Joe forces.

From a feminist perspective, G.I. Joe was far from perfect. There was, for the most part, a distinct lack of women on either team. You had Scarlett and Lady Jaye on the Joe side, until the later introduction of Jinx, and you had the Baroness hanging out with Cobra Commander and Destro, and that was pretty much it. I have to at least give the show credit for trying to make the women powerful in their own right, though. The Baroness is the second in command of the entire Cobra organization, and the leader of their elite Crimson Guard unit (essentially, Cobra special forces). Scarlett was third in command of the Joe forces, and was their primary counter-intelligence officer. Lady Jaye was a master of covert operations. All three of the women were depicted as every bit as capable as- and, in most cases, superior to- the men in hand to hand combat.

They were tough

And their uniforms were actually pretty okay. Baroness, who was the femme fatale of the show, wore a "sexy" outfit, but it was clearly black leather and body armor that actually, you know... provided protection. No weird cleavage windows or underwear outfits. Scarlett's outfit was ugly, sure, but at least it was covered her whole body.

So... why, in gods' names, did Hasbro decide that Cobra would outfit women in corsets to go into battle?

Bullshit, Hasbro.


Nique said...

WTF? That's so random! The rest of the outfit is so normal (well, in the sense of being fit for combat) and then weirdly her back is exposed and laced up... the hell? It makes no sense. It's not sexy or alluring in any way, it's just weird.

P.S. I loved that show when I was a kid.

Jaclyn said...

Yeah, I gotta say: I have been known, on occasion, to wear a corset. I can imagine few articles of clothing in which I'd less like to do physical battle. Forget revealing and sexualizing -- how about restriction of movement!

Maybe there's a secret patriotic plot here: convince the Terrorists to wear corsets! Then we can easily defeat them!

Mighty Ponygirl said...

I always liked Lady Jaye, myself.

As for the corsets, I suppose that if the bad guys are wearing clothing that not only inhibits their ability to breathe, but also creates a very good "target area" for the GIs to aim for should they happen to catch a COBRA commando off from the back... then it just makes it easier for the good guys to win?

Speaking of underwear, I wonder if the male COBRA commandos go... you know... commando.

Roy said...

Didn't Lady Jaye drive a tank and use some kind of weird spears that had, like, force fields and stuff in them?

And, really, how much easier do the Joes need things? Their main enemy regularly outfits his troops in bright blue or red uniforms with giant shiny snake symbols like a bullseye in the middle of the chest, supplies them with tanks that have glass windshields for the driver and open air turrets for the gunners, and uses completely armorless jetbpacks and open cockpit helicopters for his air commandos. Cobra Commander might be rich and well dressed, but a great military tactician, he is not. If the Joe forces can't beat Cobra without outfitting the women in corsets... well... we're in serious trouble.