This morning via twitter, Dear Author’s Jane posted a link to a SLOG piece in The Seattle Weekly about this mindbogglingly horrible blog entry accusing girls and gays of ruining pretty much everything, but specifically science fiction with their evil, awful girl cooties (and gay cooties – lesbians are probably just beyond fucked in this situation as they have extra of both)
Mr Never touched a girl in real life starts out thusly:
Science fiction is a very male form of fiction. Considerably more men than women are interested in reading and watching science fiction. This is no surprise. Science fiction traditionally is about men doing things, inventing new technologies, exploring new worlds, making new scientific discoveries, terraforming planets, etc. Many men working in the fields of science, engineering, and technology have cited science fiction (such as the original Star Trek) for inspiring them when they were boys to establish careers in these fields.
What this paragraph lacks, says my girly brain, is complexity. Now, as a girl who is interested in science fiction, reading it, watching it and writing it – I’d say yes, more men than women seek out sci fi as a genre. Not because “it’s about men inventing” things. But because until recently, the vision of women via sci fi is often the ridiculously woman hating objectification like the Gor novels or, more simple and not as threatening, an overwhelmingly male way of writing and viewing things.
I hate to break it to mr. spearhead and all – but women have been inventing things since the dawn of time too. Men don’t have the exclusive right to invention, technology or exploration. Nor do men have the exclusive right to enjoy books or movies that involve exploration, invention or technology because only people with penises can possibly understand them.
In this pathetic, hand wringing, whiny rant about girls and cooties – mr spearhead brings up the new Battlestar Galactica as an example of the vulvanization of science fiction. Because Starbuck is a girl! OHNOES!
Certainly, flying around with no purpose with a robot dog, a cardboard villian with no actual motivation and discos in the sky is way better at dealing with human relations and exploration than dark, character driven story lines dealing with the epic fail of humanity to get along with the machines they’ve created! BSG the present has better writing, more three dimensional characters and it’s far darker and more interesting than a cigar chomping dude who a bunch of dudes living in mom’s basement (or the carriage house at grandma’s) can live through.
Not because Starbuck is a woman. But because this Gaius Balthar is one of the most deliciously twisted, f’ed up characters ever on television. Sure, he doesn’t lord around dressed in Egyptian 70’s gear and metaphorically twist his mustache, but he’s three dimensional. Because this Adama and his son have a far more realistic, twisted, messed up but loving relationship than Lorne Greene did as Adama. The first BSG was shallow and silly, entertaining yes, but Dukes of Hazard in space. That didn’t much inspire space exploration.
This story is not less authentic science fiction at all. This story is pretty darned close to how Asimov wrote about human/machine relations in his robot books. And you can’t get much more authentic, old school science fiction than Asimov. If you want to talk old school canon – why not Herbert? Frank Herbert’s Dune universe is one of the best written. And it’s about all the complications of human interpersonal relations, power, love, hate, religion – and yes, human/machine relations. Much like the Matrix, by the way (filled with violence, tech, anti-tech, sex and angst – building blocks of science fiction)
Mr spearhead goes on:
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.
Sigh. So write it, loser! Invent it, you whiny moron. If you think women are so pathetic, why give us the power to stop your precious inventions? Seriously, what a whiny, self loathing mess this man and his compatriots are. No wonder they feel dis-empowered, they’re the whiniest, limpest, most hand-wringing group of people I’ve seen in a long time.
I never quite understand this perspective. If women, who by mr spearhead’s account um, didn’t really exist until they rose up with feminism to end science fiction forever with our vulvas of death, are so weak why be threatened by us?
Now, maybe it’s because I am a woman, but I’ve never let other things stop me from being the most successful person I can be. Why can’t you, mr spearhead? Do you need my permission? Stop being a cliche. Stop being that guy who complains about how he never gets the girl because women only want men with money, or power. Invent it. Write it. Read it. Stop obsessing about vagina and be a man, for god’s sake.
Oh! Scalzi speaks about this one. Read it.