Showing posts from October, 2012

What Women Want Too

Gender is just a mask

In my last post, What Women Want, I discussed the long running trend of literary science fiction offering more egalitarian novels, giving equal billing to female characters alongside male characters. These are deliberate attempts to break the mould of stereotypes by featuring female adventurers, female soldiers, kick-ass heroines, etc. I've recently noticed discussions on the need to attract more women readers and writers to science fiction, though the subject may be older than I think. But the implication, I think, is that older, 'Golden Age' sci-fi was still too male dominated and misogynist, and that feministic principles were needed to remove that taint from the genre.

I can remember back in the late Eighties (I think it was 1988) when Interzone ran a special feminist edition, claiming that, while mainstream feminism led the main assault on male dominance in society, Interzone's featured stories for that edition would act like 'guerilla wa…

What Women Want

The new Bond movie, Skyfall, is out, and Bond's boss is still a woman. There was a bit of a stir when, several movies back, 'M' was slated to be played by a woman, but it's all part of the fashion of portraying women in fiction in the way that feminism would like them to be in fact.

It might have been a big deal in a Bond movie, but science fiction can take the credit for leading the way on this one, breaking down gender stereotypes and portraying women in just the same way as they would men, even when placed in an adventure setting. Ripley, from Alien, was a trend setter, but even there Hollywood was somewhat behind literary SF. The fictional future is presented as a place where social changes can really happen, so SF has long been replete with female scientists, female presidents, female soldiers, assassins, dynastic matriarchs, etc. Indeed, any male SF author who fails to present an impressive list of 'strong' female characters in their work is swiftly accu…