Look, here’s the deal. Whenever this subject comes up, this inevitable “oh no Transformers aren’t humans why should they have gender” comes up. And it’s a weird fucking argument to me. Why? Because Transformers are in overwhelming amounts already human. 99.9% of them have two eyes, a mouth, a nose, four fingers and a thumb on each hand, a torso, two arms, two legs, feet, heels, and generally look like metal people. And this is all necessary and obviously we want Transformers to continue looking like that, right? So then why is having a gender a bridge too damn far? Why is it that having them be male and female makes them suddenly unrealistic aliens? They are already cartoon metal people! They are metal homo sapiens, down to the appearance of wearing helmets and having lips and speaking through their mouths like humans do, with their mouths forming phonemes as air passes through them and everything. They have noses. They have NOSES, like, built into their faces, for no damn reason, because those noses rarely have nostrils.
They are just dang metal humans. And so, for no damn reason that I can see as logical, having gender is not included as something these metal humans from space can have. Gender is the weird thing.
Frankly, if gender is out, so is most of Transformers-as-we-know-it. They should be incomprehensible bug creatures or maybe weird barely-sentient clouds that somehow form into Trans-Ams and F-15s. They should never be able to speak English or interact with us in any meaningful fashion, if this is going to be Super Real Sci-Fi.
And who the fuck wants that? This is something that kids need to buy. They need to walk into a store, see a dude who can turn into a car, and want to buy that dude who turns into a car. All I’m saying is, a girl should be able to buy a version of herself that can turn into a car as well.
(And, of course, they don’t all have to be gendered. Like in humans, there can be Transformers who identify outside of that binary.)
But having gender something that is already hardcoded into Transformers, no matter how much the property tries to fight it when it gets all condescending and “Good” Sci-Fi-panderingy about how Transformers are totally genderless aliens. The fuck they are. They’re barely aliens. They have noses.
They have NOSES.”
David “Walky” Willis (as seen here)
well i’m glad somebody liked it
Also would like to point out that they present as male, too, in all the ways we define male in our western society. And male is the default gender, the one that makes it obvious that presenting female traits means it’s the exception to the rule.
I adored Transformers as a kid. I’d made up my own fan character who was a female Autobot. I wish I still had that art. She could transform into a car and a plane (before such characters existed in the show) and I’d figured out everything about her design and how that all worked, and even attempted to build her in Lego. I made my own because it wasn’t already there.
Her design changed a lot when female Transformers first appeared on the show, and you have no idea how pumped I felt when I saw that episode. Like, completely stoked, excited, I ran to my parents and pointed at the TV and ran back to it, riveted. This is my personal experience with “why representation matters” and I’m convinced it’s not just me.
I’m still convinced objections to female Transformers come from a place of “No girls in my clubhouse!”
And of course, whenever one proposes that if people REALLY wanted TFs to be “no gender” that maybe “he” should not be used as the default pronoun like it is ALWAYS and one can use the perfectly viable “they”, NO WE CANT DO THAT THATS NOT PROPER GRAMMAR and I want to grate cheese.