Feminized fiction

Is Science Fiction Feminized Or Is It Sexist? Both.

Is Science Fiction Feminized Or Is It Sexist? Both.Is science fiction "feminized"? Do women exist to destroy all that is cool and inspiring about space opera? That's what one blogger argues in a post that's stirred up controversy this week. But is his opinion really the problem?

What has happened is that science fiction on television has for the most part become indistinguishable from most other television shows which are written for women filled with moronic relationship drama. 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 . . . 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.

The author singles out the new Battlestar Galactica as a prime example of feminized SF, and adds that this trend has led to the glut of paranormal romances filling science fiction aisles in bookstores.

What? An insecure male nerd threatened by the idea that women exist for reasons other than the dispensing of sandwiches and topical applications of boobilies, mewling on the Internet about how girls are icky? That's unpossible!

Indeed there is nothing surprising about the fact that you can find hardcore sexist commentary on a site devoted to "men's rights." Give me a break. Unearthing this post and then pointing fingers at it is just as silly as when conservatives find a radical leftist site, link to an essay on it, and crow about how there are people who actually believe America should be destroyed. Congratulations: You found extremist ideas on the internet.

The thing about this guy writing on The Spearhead is that he's not the problem. He's not a science fiction editor or producer; he's just a guy writing his extreme opinions on a tiny blog. He has no ability to influence the course of science fiction publishing and broadcasting, and in fact that is precisely what he's complaining about in his commentary.

People are piling onto this guy in a giant hatefest not just because he's an easy target. He's also a safe target. And that's what worries me. Because sexism still exists in the world of science fiction, but it is just more politely masked than this guy's overt outlier opinions. Anthologies of "great" SF are still routinely published without a single woman's contribution included. Publishers often push women in a subtle way to focus on fantasy and paranormal writing. Even among so-called enlightened SF literati it is not uncommon to hear people say that women can't write hard SF.


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