Saturday, December 4, 2010

Repo! And Genterns

So, one of the Repo! The Genetic Opera fangroups I'm following on Facebook(Edit: found the question; the group is called 'REPO! MADNESS) asked an interesting questions. "Where are the male genterns?" And I wanna talk a bit about why I think we don't see any, and how it might be a bit chauvinistic, but its on behalf of the characters in-story, and how the sexism is subverted in some ways.

First: Repo! The Genetic Opera is a gory rock opera about a dystopian future where people are either addicted to surgery or an expensive painkiller called Zydrate, or both. And if they don't keep up on their organ payments, their organs are liable to be reposessed. And it's my favourite movie EVER. I adore the music, the acting, every little bit of it. So anything I ever say about the musical is very biased because I love it so.

Genterns are nurses, though the name suggests 'interns,' that work for GeneCo, the company with a monopoly on organs, surgery, and legal Zydrate. The only ones ever shown are attractive, young, and dressed in a rather revealing fashion. They act as nurses, surgery providers, assassins, and whores. In a literal sense, they...service the younger son of the CEO of the company.

So, to the question, and how I want to answer it.

First, I wanna say that there probably aren't any. The concept of genterns, in story, seem to be very commercialized and part of the brand that GeneCo has built. And as part of the brand, they're just as commercialized as anything in our society. They're all hot women for the same reason that commercials will pick a hot woman to represent something or sell something-sex sells, entices men with sensuality and women with the wish to look (literally!) like them. It's probably an important part of GeneCo's advertising strategy. It's chauvinistic, but it just reflects that their society isn't any better than our own in that sense.

Second, it should be noted that the genterns aren't just sexy symbols. They're the ones that give patients zydrate, perform (probably the more common) surgeries, and even health care advisors. In one scene, we hear a advertisement in the background. "Ask a gentern if Zydrate is right for you." Part of the point is that surgery is being sexualized, partially because of reason one, partially because humans just tend to sexualize things, and partially because it helps highlight just how different Repo! society is from ours, with how important surgery is to their culture. Genterns do real work all the time, things that real-life doctors and nurses do... and that's shown, making it clear that these women have brains and are capable of doing important tasks. Such as surgery, poisoning people, keeping Pavi from breaking out in a rash of crazy in the middle of the fair. ...Putting his creepy flesh-mask on his face.

Third, while one might presume that the rarely-seen Surgens are male, we don't know that. It's altogether likely that they're of mixed gender, since they are not in the public eye, and are probably hired for their expertise and ability. They, assumedly, do the heavy surgery and the research for new surgeries that GeneCo can sell and exploit.

Heh, I think it was a mostly-joking question, but I wanted to reason out properly why that was, and it gave me an excuse to talk about my favourite movie a bit more.

Testify! (has nudity. And pseudo-lesbianism)

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