Women Characters as Spies

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Charlyt
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Women Characters as Spies

Post by Charlyt » 03 Feb 2019, 10:36

In your opinion, how were the women portrayed in the story? The German spies used belly dancers like Yasmina and Fahmy, and our main characters used prostitues like Fifi and Yvette, all to spy for their side's advantage.

Were the women portrayed to be independent and brave to be working as important assets to help win the war? Or were they depicted as easily manipulated and useful for their physical capabilities and characteristics?

Did you find them smart and fearless, or decietful and manipulative?
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Post by Ever_Reading » 03 Feb 2019, 14:15

I am glad you brought this up. I didn't like how women were generally portrayed in the book. In my opinion, most of the female spies were easily disposable. Out of all of them, Yasmina was the most well-developed. I couldn't tell the rest apart from one another. It felt like they were simply included to benefit and help Jamie, Jacko and the other lead male characters.

While they came across as smart, it was clear their looks and bodies did most of the work for them. They were effective in their roles but I wish more work could have been done to make their personalities shine through.
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Post by Itskai88 » 03 Feb 2019, 16:52

From what I have noticed, the female characters in the story were portrayed as strong but the only problem probably stems from the fact that character development wasn't evident.

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Post by BelleReadsNietzsche » 03 Feb 2019, 17:18

This is a theme I notice more and more as I get older, and don't necessarily see improving in many of the newer books released. And my patience with it is a lot thinner than it used to be. Women as "strong" is great but it seems to be a substitute for women as people, especially among male authors. I agree with the comments made here about Yasmina, Fahmy, Fifi, and Yvette.

That being said, I wasn't necessarily expecting much since historical fiction war books written by men tend to be really terrible at this, and I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would. But I think its a weakness in this book and in the genre, and I'm kind of sick of excusing it. (And I'm torn about that because many otherwise good books have that as a flaw, and I'm never sure how harsh its fair to be about it.)

Thank you for this topic, I think it's something we need to talk about more!
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Post by Anna Maria 86 » 03 Feb 2019, 18:00

Ever_Reading wrote:
03 Feb 2019, 14:15
I am glad you brought this up. I didn't like how women were generally portrayed in the book. In my opinion, most of the female spies were easily disposable. Out of all of them, Yasmina was the most well-developed. I couldn't tell the rest apart from one another. It felt like they were simply included to benefit and help Jamie, Jacko and the other lead male characters.

While they came across as smart, it was clear their looks and bodies did most of the work for them. They were effective in their roles but I wish more work could have been done to make their personalities shine through.
On one hand I agree with you to some extent. On the other though, their looks and bodies were what got them the jobs of dances or prostitutes, spying was just a secondary thing using their position. Besides, they weren't really spies, or part of the military, or intelligence. They merely were there to aid the main characters. But look at Sarah who was even better at tracking then Jacko. Or the successful bussinesswoman Madame Badia.

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Post by ma_mon28 » 03 Feb 2019, 18:47

Some girls projected as prostitute, but the positive side is an advantage to deceived and allure their prey. They made it!

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Post by abbiejoice » 03 Feb 2019, 21:49

Though the women may be depicted as smart, there could still be an improvement in regard to their role and their character development. Women deserve more than stereotype roles, even if such roles seem to intend to show their strength or intelligence.

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Post by briellejee » 03 Feb 2019, 23:02

I think they were smart enough and deceiving enough to be used as spies. You can't blame them for having the body and looks - it just shows that men are weak when it comes to women. I think them being portrayed as prostitutes and at the same time spies, shows that men are easily deceived by women. Contrary to what others think or deem it as "weakness", I see it that even in wars, women are still assets and can be the reason that "men" won the war. This is shown in Sarah's character. Though this is not evident in the whole book as these women are not the main characters, I still think the author made it clear that women can be as powerful as any man - and dangerous too.
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Post by briellejee » 03 Feb 2019, 23:10

BelleReadsNietzsche wrote:
03 Feb 2019, 17:18
That being said, I wasn't necessarily expecting much since historical fiction war books written by men tend to be really terrible at this, and I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would. But I think its a weakness in this book and in the genre, and I'm kind of sick of excusing it. (And I'm torn about that because many otherwise good books have that as a flaw, and I'm never sure how harsh its fair to be about it.)

Thank you for this topic, I think it's something we need to talk about more!
I somehow do agree with you that you can't just expect too much from a male author to create a woman's character as efficient and superb as when it is written by a female author. They write what they see about women sometimes and failed to understand them - thus, failing also to portray them as "women" and not just as a side dish character. Also, you seldom see war-themed books where women are the main characters. Furthermore, the author clearly focuses on the male characters so the women here are clearly just for support. However, this is just the first book. Maybe in the next one, we get to see more of these women in the war. :tiphat:
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Post by briellejee » 03 Feb 2019, 23:13

Anna Maria 86 wrote:
03 Feb 2019, 18:00
On one hand I agree with you to some extent. On the other though, their looks and bodies were what got them the jobs of dances or prostitutes, spying was just a secondary thing using their position. Besides, they weren't really spies, or part of the military, or intelligence. They merely were there to aid the main characters. But look at Sarah who was even better at tracking then Jacko. Or the successful bussinesswoman Madame Badia.
Yes! I agree with you on this! despite the fact that the portrayal of women here seems to be off-putting at one point, the author however clearly made some heroines in the story. Also, I can't stress this enough, that the author obviously focuses more on his male characters.
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Post by Anna Maria 86 » 03 Feb 2019, 23:42

briellejee wrote:
03 Feb 2019, 23:02
I think they were smart enough and deceiving enough to be used as spies. You can't blame them for having the body and looks - it just shows that men are weak when it comes to women. I think them being portrayed as prostitutes and at the same time spies, shows that men are easily deceived by women. Contrary to what others think or deem it as "weakness", I see it that even in wars, women are still assets and can be the reason that "men" won the war. This is shown in Sarah's character. Though this is not evident in the whole book as these women are not the main characters, I still think the author made it clear that women can be as powerful as any man - and dangerous too.
It's like you're reading my mind! Only I couldn't express it so nicely ;)

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Post by ma_mon28 » 03 Feb 2019, 23:53

You right guys, the Aussies army made a great job in choosing those ladies. The ladies were not just using their looks, but also their brains helping to win the war.

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Post by briellejee » 04 Feb 2019, 00:20

ma_mon28 wrote:
03 Feb 2019, 23:53
You right guys, the Aussies army made a great job in choosing those ladies. The ladies were not just using their looks, but also their brains helping to win the war.
It takes a great deal of intelligence to be a spy. You have to learn your enemy, you have to plan how to deceive him, and not to mention, you also have to be prepared on how to get out if they knew you were one. :tiphat:
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Post by ma_mon28 » 04 Feb 2019, 00:39

briellejee wrote:
04 Feb 2019, 00:20
ma_mon28 wrote:
03 Feb 2019, 23:53
You right guys, the Aussies army made a great job in choosing those ladies. The ladies were not just using their looks, but also their brains helping to win the war.
It takes a great deal of intelligence to be a spy. You have to learn your enemy, you have to plan how to deceive him, and not to mention, you also have to be prepared on how to get out if they knew you were one. :tiphat:
Exactly! I just think so that some defense technique will developed under circumstances. Some are acquired and self-guts.

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Post by Charlyt » 04 Feb 2019, 01:39

Anna Maria 86 wrote:
03 Feb 2019, 18:00
Ever_Reading wrote:
03 Feb 2019, 14:15
I am glad you brought this up. I didn't like how women were generally portrayed in the book. In my opinion, most of the female spies were easily disposable. Out of all of them, Yasmina was the most well-developed. I couldn't tell the rest apart from one another. It felt like they were simply included to benefit and help Jamie, Jacko and the other lead male characters.

While they came across as smart, it was clear their looks and bodies did most of the work for them. They were effective in their roles but I wish more work could have been done to make their personalities shine through.
On one hand I agree with you to some extent. On the other though, their looks and bodies were what got them the jobs of dances or prostitutes, spying was just a secondary thing using their position. Besides, they weren't really spies, or part of the military, or intelligence. They merely were there to aid the main characters. But look at Sarah who was even better at tracking then Jacko. Or the successful bussinesswoman Madame Badia.
I'm glad you brought up Madame Badia because I think it's overlooked on how she cared and protected her girls. She doesn't appear a lot but she's a motherly figure who can set her girls on the right path.
"It is neither fair nor unfair, Nobody Owens. It simply is." -NG

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