My friend May posted on her LiveJournal about this atrocious article, and I managed to read it all (despite rage blackouts that threatened to destroy my ability to retain what my eyes were seeing). And even after some pumpkin pie, and some calming tea, I couldn’t get these remarks out of my head. Nobody gets between me and my Science Fiction, nobody. So I read it again, but this time I picked out some of the choice idiotic/homophobic/sexist quotes and tore them apart with my intellect and wit tried my hardest to refute them accurately.
This may also help those of you who couldn’t make it through the article without having severe urges to throw things at your computer!
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“Science fiction is a very male form of fiction.”
- when did we start applying gender labels to forms of fiction? I know there are ‘chick flicks’ and ‘Action Movies’ with lots of explosions that are more traditional seen as ‘guys movies’ but I take offense at the term ‘male form of fiction’. It’s exploring the human condition, and by virtue of that must include women. (Also, I love movies in which stuff gets blown up. Do you know how many times I saw the new Star Trek? Or how much I enjoyed Terminator? Or both Transformers movies??)
“Science fiction traditionally is about men doing things, inventing new technologies, exploring new worlds, making new scientific discoveries, terraforming planets, etc.”
- perhaps historically, but then again, history is about those types of things too, because it was written by men, human history is actually about PEOPLE doing these things, just because women weren’t recorded doing them does not mean they didn’t
- science fiction is about the future, what the possibilities of the future could be, and if that doesn’t include notions of strong women and women in general, I don’t want any part of it.
“The biggest change was in the feminization of the programming shown on the Sci-Fi channel. The re-imagined, re-delusioned Battlestar Galactica is a good example….The new Battlestar Galactica was so feminized that one of the main characters from the original series, Starbuck, (who was a man) was turned into a woman.”
- First of all, I would bet any amount of money that Kara Thrace (the female character in question) could KICK YOUR ASS so hard you would be sent back into when these comments were thought of as remotely legit
- Secondly, BSG is a in depth look at how Humanity would react to a cataclysmic event such as the near annihilation of our race, and so many other things, Humanity, in this regard has to involve women. We are half of the equation here.
- One of the main themes of BSG was centered around the need for humanity to reproduce itself, and become something new. How would any of these storylines work if women were sidelined. Humanity’s struggle (here, as well as in BSG) is about more than just blowing up things, it is about such things as love, relationships, the importance of children, etc, etc)
- There was a huge lack of women in the original run of BSG, in today’s world that would have been just unacceptable. I notice that you didn’t mention that the president of the Twelve Colonies in this re-imagining of BSG was also a woman, no witty comments on that?
- One of the incredible things about BSG was, that for all intents and purposes, it laid aside questions of gender in order to focus on questions of race. While many gendered issues such as reproductive freedoms, etc, were introduced, women generally throughout the series were accepted as an integral part of the society. No one questioned the ability of Starbuck, Boomer, or any of the other women in the military’s ability to fight, they were questioned for other reasons, such as race, etc. Laura Roslin was more criticized for being a teacher than a woman, and her inexperience, not her gender raised questions as to whether she was fit to lead society or not.
“The Sci-Fi channel even changed its name to “Syfy”. While the issue there was trademarks, this name change effectively represents the death of the Sci-Fi channel.”
- This one I agree on, but for entirely different reasons. The change from ‘Sci-Fi’ to ‘SyFy’ offended me as a fan of the Science Fiction genre, and as a proud Nerd.
- It’s definitely not more appealing to me ‘as a woman’ but less appealing to me as a Sci-Fi nerd.
“This season three gay characters will be added to various shows on “Syfy”, one of which will be part of a “communal marriage” with “heterosexual and homosexual couplings”. This will mean less programming where men actually do things and more relationship drama, driving away even more men from the channel.”
- Yeah, because as we all know from reading this article, if women are not legitimate members of your society, neither are LGBTQ persons. And because neither women or the LGBTQ community are relevant to your precious sci-fi boys only club, there’s no reason to include them in progressive shows about what the future of the human race could look like. None. At. All. OH WAIT. Society. Humanity. Women are part of the human community, so is the LGBTQ community. So let us into the science fiction community. Give us representation, show us in different lights, open a few minds!
“Things are worse in Britain. A few years ago Doctor Who was brought back. The man who brought back Doctor Who was Russell T. Davies, a gay man who proceeded to add a recurring character called Captain Jack who comes from the 51st century that was omnisexual…the BBC gave Davies another show called Torchwood which is basically close to being “slash fiction” on television.”
- I almost couldn’t respond to this part. It’s DOCTOR WHO for goodness sakes, it’s a British institutions, and what is wrong about teaching children that no matter who you are, what your background is, or whether you like boys or girls, you can still save the world on a weekly basis!
- And I’m sorry that you find a canonical representation of a gay couple on TV so offensive. Do you have any idea how many gay couples there are in Britain? In the Western World? I guarantee you they are horrendously underrepresented on mainstream television and mass media in general. Plus have you seen Jack and Ianto together? They’re Hot.
“Sure the moronic relationship drama is in space, but…its not science fiction anymore, and men are not interested in moronic relationship drama in space.”
- I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Science Fiction is a representation of the human condition, whether its set in space, the future, or in an alternate world, it’s exploring the ways in which humanity interacts with each other, and reacts to certain external factors. There will always be ‘relationship drama’ whether it’s in space or not.
- If men are so not interested in ‘moronic relationship drama’ how do you explain any of the modern day interactions between men and women. Sex is a very important part of the human condition, and it will continue to cause ‘relationship drama’. Especially when you lock a bunch of super-fit men and women into a space ship and threaten them with death and danger on a daily basis.
“As we know science fiction has inspired boys to pursue careers in science, engineering, and technology as men. With women killing science fiction on television, the current generation of boys won’t have this opportunity to be inspired to work in these fields. There is still a great deal of written science fiction that is real science fiction so all is not lost. However, many boys who would have gone on to make scientific discoveries and invent new technologies will not do so since they will never be inspired by science fiction as boys.”
- No we’ll just inspire female engineers, astronauts, physicists, and technological whiz-kids.
- And we all know that boys and girls cannot possibly be inspired by a shared passion, common interest or influence. Science Fiction has to be either a boys only club, or a girls only club. It’s only exploring the Human condition, that’s all. And we all know that boys & girls don’t have any shared experiences of that.
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And that’s about all I can manage tonight. I’m reminded of this excellent comic by XKCD…