Chiana from Farscape: No Apologies Whatsoever

A bit late, I know, but I just finished watching Farscape. One of the things that jumped out at me from the series as a breath of fresh air was the character of Chiana, who might appear on the surface to be your standard obligatory Sexy Female Alien that the suits believe all sci-fi shows need in order to thrive.

Chiana’s something more than that to me, though: she is an unapologetically sexually aggressive female character. And really, how often does that happen?

When male characters are constantly on the make, looking to hump any leg in their path, no one looks for an explanation. Look at Sam Malone from Cheers, a certifiable sex addict. Does anyone ever wonder if he was molested as a child? Or has mommy or daddy issues? Is he ever seen as a victim of his obsession with getting laid?

No. It’s almost always accepted as normal behavior for men, even when it’s probably not. And it’s almost never accepted as normal behavior for women, even when it probably is.

In my experience, some people are more sexually aggressive than others – women as often as men. Women tend to hide it more, because unlike men, bosses don’t slap them on the back and promote them for scoring a lot. And men tend to “talk the talk” about how much sex they’re pursuing and getting, even if it’s really not the most important thing to them. But when I look past the faces we show to the world, I think sexual pursuit is a natural trait in women as often as it is in men. That is to say, some are more gung-ho about it than others, in both genders.

There’s nothing in Farscape to make you wonder why Chiana likes sex and goes after it most any chance she gets. There’s no indication that the writers perceive her as a tragic fallen woman. The other characters just accept her as she is and never criticize her sexuality. Once or twice, her pursuits cause trouble for the group, and they let her know it: but there’s a lot more criticism of Crichton’s obsession with wormholes, which actually causes the group a good bit more trouble than Chiana’s sexual interests ever do.


  1. E says

    Hello. I saw this link on a FS site. Great analysis. Usually Chiana’s sexual interests buy them a little time. I don’t think anyone on FS succumbs to a stereotypical role, which is what makes it so great.

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