Whoosh! Issue 42 - March 2000
Letters to the Editor


From: Trish Shields
Subject: Dissecting Gabrielle
Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2000

If I were to sit down and analyze our fair Gabrielle...as a woman who is denying her sexuality, a woman who is somewhat confused by the conflicting emotions her upbringing and what her body desires is having on her, well, I might well decide that the lil ole bardypoo is bathing, once more, in them thar rivers of Egypt. Denial is an easy state for Gabrielle. She'll deny her background, her hopes and dreams, her needs and desires and finally the warrior within herself.

Gab comes from one of those normal, well-adjusted backgrounds where it was expected she'd grow up to be just like Mom and have 2.2 kids, stay at home and raise em almost single handily, not gripe about her hubby off having fun and games, put away her own hopes and dreams and live vicariously through her children.

She'd always been told that some dashing tall, dark stranger would come into her life and sweep her off her feet, no doubt riding a golden steed, too boot.

So, along comes this dashing stranger, with horse, and proceeds to bash up some of the local ruffians, encourage our fair bard that she can do anything she puts her mind to and then takes her leave.

Well! Can you imagine? There she is in this dead end little village with only a dismal future to look forward to and here comes not only adventure, excitement and life lived on the edge...but a rather comely, olive skinned, dark haired, blue eyed, fearless warrior woman who doesn't just dismiss her as so much dross. No, the dear girl is flummoxed. She's determined not to let this chance pass her by. Decisions, decisions...stay and life a life of drudgery or leave and spend hours upon hours, days, weeks, months...in the company of...gulp. Ok, bye Mom!

So off she travels. The two become reluctant friends, at least on the part of the warrior. Who needs the snot nosed babe in the woods traipsing after her all the time? Not her. Who needs someone who's gonna second guess everything you do, make you think about the greater good and develope a conscience? No, not her. Who needs someone who can see past the violence and pain into the special and caring person she is inside, offering unconditional love and friendship? Certainly not her. And who needs someone who can darn and cook and clean and tell her stories and...well, okay...she can stay.

As for the wannabe bard, well, she'd decided after almost falling victim to slavers that she wanted to be just like the big bad warrior. Her skills, however, are along the line of story teller and peace maker. Doesn't quite jibe. At first.

After about two years of travelling together, bathing, sleeping right next to each other, sharing their pasts, their hopes and dreams and the night sky and well, the young bard is starting to have these...feelings. Let's face it, she'd only shared a little kiss with some boy back in her village. That was the extent of the romance in her life. Oh sure, she was betrothed to him but well...she was young and impetuous...not like now. As if leaving hearth and home at the drop of a hat to follow a tall dark dangerous Xe was the run of the mill thing.

At any rate, the two start spending more time together and Xena begins to see past the irritating teeny bopper exterior into the warm and caring person the young woman is. It certainly doesn't hurt that she's blossoming physically, too. No, all that red/gold hair and petite figure is certainly easy on the eye.

Now, for the warrior, there has never been a moment when she was weirded out by her feelings for women. No, she was a hardened warrior, used to taking her pleasure where she could find it, regardless of gender. Back in them early daze of Greece, this kind of thing was, if not encouraged, certainly not frowned upon either.

So, when feelings of the romantic/lustful kind began sprouting up, the warrior was caught between a rock and a hard spot. Sure, she could just take what she wanted, no problem. Like the slip of a girl could refuse her animal magnetism, her sexual presence? But Gab was the first real friend she'd had since M'Lila, and well...she was loathe to end it by adding sex into the equation. That always made things awkward and Xena didn't want that, their easy cammeradrie was hard to find. There really weren't too many people the WP felt she could trust. The girl was showing her there was so much more to life and that she was capable of being more than just some broken down warrior waiting for the next guy to call her down in the middle of the street at high noon.

The two tried like hell to keep their feelings separate from their friendship, but they soon began to share things more intimately...baths, bed rolls, hugs and kisses, vows of friendship, honour and finally...love. Things were going along swimmingly until Gabrielle met up with her old boyfriend and those nasty moral feelings that had been hammered into her from an early age began to sprout up again.

She was a woman and everyone knew women married men, had children and perpetuated the line. That was their duty. Everything else was inconsequential. Fun? What was that? Duty meant everything.

A few visits with her family cemented the fact that they disapproved of her life with Xena and urged her to return home. The boyfriend had gone off to try his hand at being a warrior, no doubt in a misguided effort to win back his sweetie, and ended up becoming disenchanted with his lot in life. Pity him. Give him a shoulder to cry on. And then...marry him and sacrifice your own hopes and dreams. Which is just what the fair Gab did.

Imagine the emotions rushing through our warrior babe? She of the impetuous nature, she who all but conquered half of the known world because it was there, ripe for the picking and because she could. She who had skewered enough men just for looking askance at her let alone enemies who, at one time or another, either tried to beat her to death, make her run the gauntlet, crucify her, or burn her at the stake and not even feel a twinge of remorse at their passing. What she wanted, she got. By hook or by crook...she just won it with her magnificent prowess or took what she wanted. Her feelings for the blonde had risen to a point where she knew it was more than friendship and more than lust, although both were equally entwined with this foreign feeling that was poking its head up...love. Oh, not the 'love' that two women can feel for each other as soul mates, or bestest friends, or even sisters. No, this love was the 'l wanna take you every night, hold your heart in my hand, give mine up freely to you, bond with you body and soul' kinda love. Was she just going to give that up to some naive boy who couldn't even make it as a warrior?

As for Gabrielle...well, her upbringing was making her feel quite confused. She knew her duty but loved the deep friendship she was feeling for Xena. Yes, there might have been a little more to those feelings she was having...hickeys aside...but well...if she didn't dwell on them too hard, she could write them off as being the result of loneliness. It was getting harder, however, and so she thought if she just married the guy and lived up to her parent's expectations...well, these feelings would go away for good without further examination.

Our Gabrielle took the easy way out, turning her back on everything that meant anything to her. In that one moment, she put away the courageous outspoken individual she'd become and put on the guise of Suzy Homemaker.

Fate has a way of righting wrongs, however, and Gab became a widow overnight. Lucky Xena. She didn't even have to pay an old enemy to do it...this enemy took great glee at seeing the little bard holding her skewered husband as the man took his last shuddering breath. See, she has her own axe to grind. Yes, Callisto was only hunting the warrior princess down to right the wrongs of Ciera. Sure she was. The fact that she takes every opportunity to caress, tie up and taunt the WP is really besides the point, isn't it? No, the psycho Barbie wants what Gab has...she's seen that twinkle in Xena's eyes...by killing the woman's husband, old Iron Sides will put away her decent thoughts of the greater good and become the beserker Callisto knows and loves and they can continue their dance of love/hate...for eternity.

But alas, love conquers all...even Lord Xena. What a faux pas by the Goddess of Destruction and Chaos! By killing the husband she didn't turn Xena but helped the metamorphosis of the dainty goody-two-shoes blonde. You see, Gabrielle had put away thoughts of being a warrior herself when the ideology didn't quite mesh with her own moral code. Love could and would conquer all and violence was wrong. Well, not now. Now, she wanted to put her little stick away and pick up the sword. She was done with seeing her friend carry all the troubles on her broad and oh so capable shoulders. She was sick and tired of seeing the evil of the world just get a slap on the wrist. No, it was payback time.

It didn't last, however, and the dear woman finally came to her senses when she saw her bestest friend praying in the woods to gods she detested, despised and mistrusted. All for the bard's well being. But these feelings were there. Once sown, the seeds began to grow, ever so slowly. But the reluctant warrior within the bard was pushed back down...for a later time. Although not as strong as her amorous feelings for Xena, these fierce emotions would have to be faced sooner or later. And in some ways, they were easier to face. At least for the properly raised bard.

The strong warrior Xena was began morphing herself...into something much more than she was but also much less. This vulnerability called to the bard on many levels. Now, our blonde was really in a pickle. All those feelings she had been suppressing for Xena came bubbling up to the surface. She wanted to be a good girl and do what was expected of her but...well, there was this woman offering her safety inside those nice strong tanned well muscled arms, telling her she loved her (it *was* only as friends, right) and they'd be together, 'even in death Gabrielle, I will never leave you', through all eternity and well, it was hard.

So the war began in earnest within the blonde and she found herself filled with feelings of passion, denial, self doubt, self hatred and anger. She chose to vent most of these on her best friend, pushing the warrior farther away until Xena herself began to doubt their love, their bond and just how important her own place in the scheme of things was.

Gabrielle has never known a love as pure as the one she shared with the woman from Amphipolis. Has she acted on it? I don't believe so, no. If only because of the constant doubt and fear that she'll have to actually turn her back on her past and all the hopes her family has for her. Duty is strong in Gabrielle.

All the furtive touches, the heated glances we see exchanged between the two, that easy relationship we see when they are in each other's company, it all adds up to something right. Love is never wrong when it is between two people who feel the same way.

Gabrielle is going to have to decide that at some point she deserves to be happy. By chasing a dream someone else has for her, she does not only herself a great disservice but the other person who holds her heart and soul. Having found each other in a very troubled world filled with death and destruction, it would do them both well to reach out and grab their relationship with both hands and hold on for dear love.

Maybe then she can take the towel held out to her and leave those oh so alluring waters of Egypt.

Practice random acts of intelligence and senseless acts of self-control


From: Andjam
Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2000 22:54:40 +1100
Subject: Homophobia (letter to the editor)

I've been disappointed by what I've heard about "Lyre Lyre Hearts On Fire". Jace isn't explicitly homosexual, instead just a collection of homosexual (homophobic?) stereotypes.

TPTB [the powers that be] needed to put this episode on the backburner? Considering the let-down it was, it may as well have stayed censored.

Previously I was hoping that there'd be some sort of dynamic between a bisexual Sappho and Joxer. Now I'll just be impressed if they have explicit Sappho-Gabrielle stuff.

And some people merely set their sights on Joxer with regards to homophobia. Get your priorities straight!



Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2000
From: Michal Salat
Subject: Whoosh

I would simply like a plain, public answer as to whether you are the International Association for Xena Studies, or the International Association for RenPics Studies. If the latter, fine, but I think an official name change would then be in order. Cleo/Jack has nothing to do with Xena, so why waste the bandwith? Would a separate site on the domain be too much to ask?



From: Duanne Walton
Subject: Letter to the Editor
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000

Say what you will about Joxer, at least he never dragged Gabrielle across the countryside trying to kill her.

And at least, he never influenced her to throw away her integrity and embrace the cycle of violence she once sought to end through love and forgiveness.

Explain to me again WHY a Joxer/Gabrielle would be so bad.

Duanne walton

Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2000
From: Rob Lent
Subject: Letter to the Editor

The notion that Joxer is not a good match for Gabrielle, because of Gabrielle's superior skills, is rather sexist, isn't it? It is a deeply ingrained notion that is hard to shake. It is the notion a man is unacceptable for a woman unless he is superior to her in all ways.

We've all seen this bit of societal programming. The tall girl in school who has a small selection of boys to choose from, because to date a shorter boy would be choosing someone that she was in some ways, superior to. Or the smart girl who decides to hide her intelligence, so that she will seem inferior, and therefore more desireable.

This was dealt with on Hercules, where Atalanta his her abilities in order to find someone who would accept her. Salmoneous was not at all threatened by her strength, in fact, he found her strength to be quite attractive. You would think they would make an obvious match, wouldn't you?

I am not saying that a Gabrielle/Joxer romantic relationship would work on XWP. I think it would upset the dynamic of the show. My point is just that a strong woman shouldn't have to fit into the model of the only acceptable male romantic figure must be one who is superior to her.

From: Andjam
Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2000
Subject: Joxerphobia (letter to the editor)

Rivier seems confused by someone saying "I want to premise my response by saying first that I am not a Joxerphobe.". Don't fear. Once you come across "I'm not racist but ..." a few times, dealing with Joxerphobes' protestation of innocence isn't too hard.

There is an upside though: since people are as reluctant to own up to being a Joxerphobe as to being a racist, you can criticise Joxerphobia all you like without someone saying "Hey, I'm a Joxerphobe and I feel offended".



From: Elad Avron
Subject: Letter to the Editor
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000

I just wanted to report, that Israeli Channel 3 has announced that it will NOT buy the fifth season of Xena. We (The Israeli Xenites Community) tried hard to convince them to do so, we protested, fought, phoned, mailed, emailed, everything. But nothing. They don't care, and in their exact official words "Give it up, Xena's fifth season will not be broadcasted in Israel and there's nothing anyone can do about it".

So everyone out there in the world - Enjoy Xena as much as possible. We can't - And besides, you'd never know when will your Tv broacasting company'll go Phashtinken....

Israel - Signing off.


Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000
From: Diane
Subject: just a note

Re: Eric's comment on 10/10/99 on the Fallen Angel more things to lookfor:

"My guess is this Eternity isn't entirely Christian, since Michael also says Xena's originally supposed to be reborn in a new body (presumably Arminestra's, hence the Hindu addition)."
Actually reincarnation was a part of both early Christianity and Judaism the powers that be in both have modified these beliefs over the centuries. So where the first part of the statement is still true it is not necessarily true for the reason in the second half. Just thought you might find it interesting.

Diane L


Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2000
From: MacavityCat
Subject: Letter to the Editor

I am conducting an auction of Herc/Xena character autographs to raise money for animal charities.

The auction is going to start the week-end of February 19 2000 and is tentatively scheduled to end on April 15, 2000. However, it may end at the end of March. The auction is being called "Autographs for Animals"

The URL for the site is: http://members.tripod.com/~MacavityCat/afa.html



From: Susan Solomon
Subject: Letter to the Editor
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2000

I went to the Pasadena Convention and had a great time, as did most, but we had to wait a long, long time for the Saturday night cabaret. It was cold and we were all tired. A really great woman kept us entertained by giving everyone in the line trivia questions and "What's your favorite episodes, quote a line from it" quizzes. She said she was in the Trivia Contest and a lawyer. So I have a question for her if she's reading this (and I figure she reads Whoosh). In which episode, right at the end when they walk away, does Gabrielle make a comment and Xena answers with a complete non-sequitor? The editor just left it in, though it's obviously a mistake. I can't find it anywhere and it's driving me to drink.

Susan Solomon

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