The War on Science Fiction and Marvin Minsky

by Pro-male/Anti-feminist Tech on October 9, 2009

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.

The current generation of boys will not have this inspiration from science fiction, at least not from science fiction on television and in movies. That’s because there is an undeclared war on real science fiction on TV and in movies. The former Sci-Fi channel, now “Syfy,” is a good example of what has been happening to science fiction on television. In 1998 Bonnie Hammer took over the Sci-Fi channel and declared that “more female viewers were needed.” Over the next several years, the Sci-Fi channel became increasingly feminized, losing many of its traditional male viewers in an attempt to go after female viewers. This included making the logos “warmer and more human,” because the logos before were “too male and too dark.” 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 (many of you might not be aware but there was an original Battlestar Galactica series shown in the late 70s). While the original series had its problems, it was standard science fiction with men doing and accomplishing things. The new series instead had a lot of relationship drama and whiny men who were generally unable to find their way out of a wet paper bag. The new Battlestar Galactica was so feminized that one of the main characters from the original series, Starbuck (who was originally a man), was turned into a woman. When Bonnie Hammer first heard about this, she clenched her fists in the air and yelled “Yes!” There’s much more that can be said about this, but rather than write pages and pages, everyone should read what Dirk Benedict, the original and only Starbuck had to say about it in a piece called, Lt. Starbuck…Lost in Castration. Run, do not walk to that webpage — it’s that good.

The feminization of the Sci-Fi channel was not limited to Battlestar Galactica. Over time there has been more fantasy and less science fiction because women are more interested in the supernatural and the paranormal. Scripts were rewritten to have “more relationships” (more drama) and fewer “space battles.” The Sci-Fi channel’s remake of Flash Gordon ended up being a flop because it lost many of viewers after the first episode, where not much actual science fiction was on display. 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 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 get things done and more relationship drama, which will inevitably drive even more men away from the channel.

Things are worse in Britain. A few years ago Doctor Who was resurrected. The man who brought back Doctor Who was Russell T. Davies, a gay man who proceeded to add a recurring character named “Captain Jack,” who comes from the 51st century and is bisexual omnisexual. Yes, omnisexual… Not only is this character bisexual, but he has enjoys having sex with non-human species as well. If you read interviews with Davies and the writers they quite openly use the term “omnisexual” to describe Captain Jack. Davies has also admitted in interviews that he believes everyone will be “omnisexual” by the 51st century. Davies had more plans like this for Doctor Who, but they were so outrageously bad and obnoxious that the leftist BBC actually put a stop to them (citing that Doctor Who was traditionally a “family show”). Of course the BBC gave Davies another show called Torchwood, which is basically “slash fiction” on television (Slash fiction is a form of fan fiction written primarily by women where characters in science fiction TV shows are gay and have homosexual relationships completely contrary to the established canon of the show. The first slash fiction was about the original Star Trek series where women wrote stories about Kirk and Spock in a homosexual relationship). Given that this is the BBC, all of this nonsense that alienates men for the benefit of women shouldn’t be surprising.

Marvin Minsky is a leading AI (artificial intelligence) researcher at MIT. He has had a lot to say about science fiction. Minsky has said, “General fiction is pretty much about ways that people get into problems and screw their lives up. Science fiction is about everything else.” and “But aside from the science fiction, I find it tedious to read any ordinary writing at all. It all seems so conventional and repetitive.” While these quotes were in reference to written literature, they can be applied to television and movies as well. 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 and filled with sophomoric relationship drama. Sure the juvenile relationship drama is in space, but as Minsky tells us from his quotes, it isn’t science fiction anymore, and men are not very interested in relationship drama in space.

It’s also important to note that Minsky’s first quote was a response to a question about how science fiction has influenced his AI research. As we know, science fiction has inspired boys to pursue careers in science, engineering, and technology as grown 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.

{ 806 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevin K October 9, 2009 at 06:12

BSG was really good when it put people in impossible situations and then forced them to make a decisions. Whatever feminist elements it had, it also had a great deal of manly men like Colonel Ty and Chief and the Adamas. The real problem with the series is swerved off the path the last set of episodes (probably due to the writer’s strike as much as anything else).

The new Star Trek on the other hand was specifically designed for women and I guess people with low IQs. Whenever they go after Spock (the best character in the whole damn franchise) for not being emotional enough or not behaving like a reckless idiot (like Kirk), you know who they are talking to.

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Jack Donovan October 9, 2009 at 06:57

Interesting angle. Hadn’t thought of this before. Good piece.

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abe October 9, 2009 at 09:45

I really enjoyed Joss Whedon’s “Firefly” despite Whedon being one of the biggest manginas working in tv. Whedon’s short lived show did actually commit a fair amount of the sins the author of this entry complains about: the science fiction in this show amounted to “there are space ships in space.” No actual problems that occurred involved solving problems that the characters had to think about, and the show was somewhat concerned with cutesy relationship dynamics. But, miraculously, in the character of Captain Mal, Whedon managed to create a truly masculine persona who was the heart of the show. The other characters depended on Captain Mal’s toughness and no-nonsense attitude — in other words, on his masculine strengths. It was implied that a female character as tough as Captain Mal’s second in command would never have ability to control Jayne Cobb. Everyone basically needs Mal — to provide for them, to guide them, and to keep them in check. The show is available on Hulu.

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Puma October 9, 2009 at 09:49

I love FireFly as well. In that show the former browncoats, such as Captain Mal, who reject the tyrant authority of the central planets exemplify the MGTOW spirit.

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Steezer October 9, 2009 at 09:52

Science fiction has always been about the written word for me. (OK, and Star Trek.) And video entertainment is headed for a fall anyway.

I should also point out that “communal marriage” and “heterosexual and homosexual couplings” were all over Heinlein, no leftist he, at least not after World War II. But perhaps you prefer his “juveniles” (not here meant pejoratively) to his work of the ’60s and later..?

Interesting this should come up, though. I read The Mammoth Book of Mindblowing SF on my honeymoon cruise, and liked it, but didn’t particularly notice all the writers were white men. This guy did, though: http://www.amazon.com/Mammoth-Book-Mind-Blowing-SF/product-reviews/0762437235/

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Peanut Gallery October 9, 2009 at 10:03

I cannot speak to the British shows mentioned, but I find it rather ridiculous to say that the new BSG promoted some kind of liberal feminist agenda.

The new BSG should be lauded by the MGTOW movement for portraying incredibly capable (though imperfect) men and women who rise to positions of power in difficult circumstances through being smart, courageous, and exceptional. Those are the kind of role models we need to see in popular culture. Makes a counterweight to the Sex and the City/sitcom/Oprah drivel, that claims women deserve more respect and rewards than men because they have a hole between their legs.

I really doubt that the author even watched the new BSG, as the claim the men are whiney, clueless, and incapable is a blatant mischaracterization. The male and the female characters in BSG are BOTH, at times, whiney and imperfect but are BOTH exceptional. There are courageous men and women. There are promiscuous men and women. There are smart men and women. There are emotional men and women. You get the idea…

There is a wrongheaded trend in the MGTOW movement that i’ve picked up, that seems to maintain the only “true” portrayal of womanhood is barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen. This is immature and the most pathetic form of reactionary male whining.

If we want to rebuild society to a better place, we need to promote working hard, being smart, being adaptable, and striving towards excellence, no matter what the gender.

As an aside, the Dune novels by Frank Herbert also offer exceptional role models for men and women….

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Alkibiades October 9, 2009 at 10:23

Unfortunately, The literary genre of science fiction has also been taken over and feminized. The ‘urban fantasy’ novel seems to have taken over most of the publishing.

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GeorgeAnderson October 9, 2009 at 10:44

An interesting alternative take on the wrong turn Battlestar Galactica took from a conservative magazine https://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/how-politics-destroyed-a-great-tv-show-15245?page=all

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piercedhead October 9, 2009 at 16:47

Good literature is more than just entertainment and inspiration – it also imparts truth about the world, and most importantly the role of people in it and their natures. I think Minsky’s distinction between science fiction and other literature is flippant – in my view sci-fi has to obey all the same rules as any other fiction to be good, but it has the liberty of speculating about how people would behave in an environment less constrained by current technological limits. Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four is a sci-fi masterpiece, in that it conjectures how societies might become should the technology exist to monitor every individual and deprive everyone of personal privacy. The important part isn’t the technology itself – it’s what the introduction of technology unmasks about the essential human being.

It’s interesting that Nineteen Eighty Four isn’t often thought of as science fiction, nor for that matter are the two related works ‘Brave New World’ by Aldous Huxley and Bradbury’s ‘Fahrenheit 451′. But all rely heavily on as yet undeveloped technology to go where conventional fiction can’t. The fact these 3 novels tend not to be grouped in with the rest of the bunch is because they are so good that they have transcended the sci-fi label. Much of the rest is little more than the Lone Ranger in a rocket ship, or Robinson Crusoe on a planet or War and Peace in another galaxy far, far away. That is, it’s not so much science fiction as it is old, already told stories borrowed from fiction or history, and simply recast in an imaginary setting. Take Heinlein’s ‘Moon is a Harsh Mistress’ for example. It reads like the retelling of the American Revolution set in space. Bor-ring. The whole ‘mechanics of a revolution’ genre is already well oversupplied. The essential and worthwhile element of science fiction isn’t being utilized at all – at least not from a literary perspective. The same is true for nearly all science fiction on television, and from the little I’ve seen of Battlestar Galactica, it is precious more than social messaging. Star Trek has had some interesting ideas relating to technological advancement and evolutionary change, the ‘Borg’ being amongst the most riveting viewing they’ve ever produced.

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Vladimir October 9, 2009 at 20:41

[Marvin] Minsky has said, “General fiction is pretty much about ways that people get into problems and screw their lives up. Science fiction is about everything else.” and “But aside from the science fiction, I find it tedious to read any ordinary writing at all. It all seems so conventional and repetitive.”

Good Lord. I respect Minsky’s strictly scientific contributions, but saying things like this indicates either incredible stupidity or a near-autistic level of nerdiness. Since it’s obviously not the former, the conclusion seems clear.

This is of course not the only such thing I ever read from him. The loony (and incredibly creepy) views of transhumanists like Minsky (e.g. Kurzweil, Moravec, Bostrom, Yudkowsky…) serves as just another reductio ad absurdum of the idea that reason alone can lead people to a sensible worldview.

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Cinco Jotas October 9, 2009 at 23:22

I recently spent a few days visiting with my mother, who is in her sixties and a big reader of fantasy, chick lit sci-fi, romance and detective novels. She also doesn’t have cable, or an internet connection, so I was forced to watch major network shows, something I hadn’t done in a decade or more.

By the second night, I realized that every show on network television, except sports. was programmed right at my mother: The Closer, Medium, Merlin, NCIS, all of them had strong female leads or second leads, and the men were blandly hunky and super sensitive. (By the way, to Mark Harmon I say, dude, what happened? You used to play QB for UCLA?)

Remember how every cop show of the 70s and 80s featured one good car chase, a couple of fistfights, and some righteous gunplay? Not any more. Violence is almost completely forbidden.

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Pro-male/Anti-feminist Tech October 9, 2009 at 23:51

it also had a great deal of manly men like Colonel Ty and Chief and the Adamas.

Col. Tigh spent a few seasons being manipulated by his wife until he killed her so he’s not a manly man. Lee Adama could never be described as a manly man. Even Cmdr./Adm. Adama and Chief Tyrol could at best only be described as manly men sometimes.

I really enjoyed Joss Whedon’s “Firefly” despite Whedon being one of the biggest manginas working in tv.

Firefly certainly had its good points despite Joss Whedon.

You may have a point about TV and movies, but I don’t know if there’s that much to be worried about overall. Video entertainment is headed for a fall anyway.

I think there’s truth to what you’re saying. The question is how much written science fiction will be sought out. The complete body of written science fiction can never be feminized because there’s too much of it.

I should also point out that “communal marriage” and “heterosexual and homosexual couplings” were all over Heinlein

It’s not the same thing. Heinlein wasn’t trying to write Lifetime movies of the week in space. Heinlein wasn’t using “communal marriage” to take relationship drama to the nth power. Heinlein wasn’t alienating his readers to get more female readers. Heinlein didn’t care about what GLAAD thought.

portraying incredibly capable (though imperfect) men and women who rise to positions of power in difficult circumstances through being smart, courageous, and exceptional.

Obviously, you were watching something else. These are morons who couldn’t figure out how to network their computers without the cylons hacking in. I could give them that answer. In fact, they should have been able to do better than that since they should have quantum computers if they have FTL technology.

What kind of morons decide to give up all their technology? If I was there I would have shot Lee Adama once I realized he wasn’t joking. What the ending didn’t show you was how most of them were probably dead after a year and a half. Of course that isn’t as bad as how the meaning of BSG ended up being that your roomba is plotting against you and there’s nothing you can do about it because you can’t do anything different than the last gazillion cycles of time. Whether its that or evo psych (and I believe in evo psych to a point), I’m tired of idiots telling me what I am unable to do.

I think Minsky’s distinction between science fiction and other literature is flippant

It is a little. Decades ago westerns filled a lot of the niche that science fiction does now (for the most part because they both involve frontiers) so not every piece of general fiction is diarrhea. It doesn’t change the fact that there is a lot of truth there.

If you’re looking for some science fiction that will really blow you away (at least in terms of the setting) go to Orion’s Arm.

The loony (and incredibly creepy) views of transhumanists like Minsky (e.g. Kurzweil, Moravec, Bostrom, Yudkowsky…)

Pointing out that the mass of written literature, television and movies made for women that are nothing but useless diarrhea has nothing to do with transhumanism.

Vladimir October 10, 2009 at 00:55

Pro-male/Anti-feminist Tech:

Pointing out that the mass of written literature, television and movies made for women that are nothing but useless diarrhea has nothing to do with transhumanism.

I was commenting on Minsky’s statement that he’s incapable of finding anything interesting in non-SF literature, which you quoted in the above article with apparent approval. My point is that Minsky’s love of SF is an expression of pathological and autistic techno-utopianism, and certainly not of any masculine traits unless you count nerdiness, so I don’ see how his statements contribute to the general point you wish to make. This is not an indictment of SF in general, but merely of people like him.

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Sean_MacCloud October 10, 2009 at 11:02

>There is a wrongheaded trend in the MGTOW movement that i’ve picked up, that seems to maintain the only “true” portrayal of womanhood is barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen. This is immature and the most pathetic form of reactionary male whining.
>>

Too bad. What are you gonna do about it, Luko.. er I meant Peanut Gallery? (giggle)

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Sean_MacCloud October 10, 2009 at 11:06

Vladimir October 9, 2009 at 8:41 pm

This is of course not the only such thing I ever read from him. The loony (and incredibly creepy) views of transhumanists like Minsky (e.g. Kurzweil, Moravec, Bostrom, Yudkowsky…) serves as just another reductio ad absurdum of the idea that reason alone can lead people to a sensible worldview.
>>>>>>>

The reason you don’t like “transhumanism” is because it is going to be used to breed your ilk into extinction.

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maurice October 10, 2009 at 11:36

the general point about the gradual feminization of Sci-Fi on TV is true, because TV is always going for the largest audience, whereas and sci-fi writers can and do always play to their niche. but the specific criticisms of the new BSG are really off-base. first of all, it was *WAY* better than the original BSG from the 70s, which was a cheesy kid show with a look totally ripped off from “Star Wars” the previous year. (Lucas actually sued Larson over that – lost, though.) Remember the robot dog? Groan. More like “Lost in Space”, a cheesy 60s western set in space. (Lorne Greene kinda reinforced that.) The new version salvaged the most interesting aspects of BSG – the human-cylon relationship and the “chariots of fire” mythology – and updated everything around them for the ’00s, with a fairly serious set of themes relating to war, terrorism, occupation, etc. the fact that starbuck and boomer became women is irrelevant to this: it mistakenly assumes that good sci-fi is about male archetypes and not ideas. (Also: the new Baltar sucked – “reimagined” the least successfully even though the sex was the same.)

also, Minsky is wrong, because even the best classic Sci-Fi writers were aware of other literature and often used literary/historical analogies to make a point about contemporary society, usually wrt some failure to understand science or technology. In other words, the boundaries between sci-fi and all other literature/fiction have always been porous. There are always common themes or narratives that enter into great writing of any kind. Foundation – the fall of the Roman empire, more or less. Childhood’s End: life after death, or rather the collective afterlife of a sentient species. even Firefly above – they’re basically outlaw former Confederates, who, having lost their war, live a bandit-like existence. the otherwise incoherent mashup of western and sci-fi elements are held together somewhat by this theme. And yeah, Captain Mal was awesome. (The writing was actually above average on that show as well – so it wasn’t just the great ensemble cast that made it work.)

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Vladimir October 10, 2009 at 11:48

Sean_MacCloud:

The reason you don’t like “transhumanism” is because it is going to be used to breed your ilk into extinction.

I rest my case.

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Russell October 10, 2009 at 15:44

” Considerably more men than women are interested in reading and watching science fiction than women. ”

I’ve reread this sentence five times and cannot understand what it means.

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Gabriel Mckee October 10, 2009 at 19:15

“The new series instead had lots of… men whining”

Not unlike this post.

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Prometheus October 11, 2009 at 01:04

I agree with many of the points made in the article, but I feel that such a claim about the feminization of modern sci-fi, while relevant and pertinent, is an argument both oversimplified and overextended. Taken as a whole, sci-fi has long been a minority attraction, separated from the mainstream and relegated to an alternative, cult-like status followed largely by a stereotyped group of fans (chief among these being the male “geek”). Until recently, most sci-fi fell on the deaf (and uninterested) ears of any who weren’t already scientifically-inclined. As sci-fi has become more relevant and relatable to the mainstream in recent years, we’ve seen a number of organizations mobilize to capture the emerging markets and capitalize on the newfound interest in the genre by putting out a diluted, less-traditional form of sci-fi – sci-fi “lite”, you could say – marketed toward everybody who wouldn’t have originally been a fan or given “authentic”, truly science-oriented sci-fi a chance. Women comprise just one of these demographics, and cannot alone be blamed for the modifications to the genre as we once knew it. This typical dumb-down effect occurs when any subject is processed by the giant pop-culture machine, and, additionally, like most entertainment of our time, sci-fi, too, has simply become an unfortunate victim of the Stewards of the Politically Correct, be they feminists, multiculturalists, omnisexuals, or whomever.

Also, traditional sci-fi has long and often been plagued by the problematic “gadget fetish”, where works are fixated on displaying or describing fantastical, out-of-this-world technology to the detriment and exclusion of plot or narrative, thus alienating a large portion of a potential fan base. Imagining a perfectly-detailed futuristic world is cool, but it loses purpose and perspective if it doesn’t find a way to relate to society and the human condition in general, such as what piercedhead said. I think part of the reason sci-fi has become more popular in recent years is because, as we move forward as a complex technological society, it is the medium most relevant to and descriptive of the modern and future social condition, and anticipates some of the deeper philosophical quandaries to come. Regardless, as much as I love classic sci-fi with all its tech-worship, I also have a love for the art of storytelling, and I feel that the truly great works of sci-fi are generally a synthesis of speculative science and the traditional narrative, of which Minsky appears to detest, simply because, perhaps, he cannot relate.

FWIW, I’m a big fan of the re-imagined BSG. While I did feel that it went a bit “liberal” on me once or twice (these occasions were very rare, however), I felt the overall tone of the show was relatively politically mild, as it preferred instead to cultivate a story that was more weighted philosophically than mired in ideology. The gritty realism of the show, one of the elements that made it great, kept it on an even keel and left little room for the feminist agenda. Of course, there were features that were a bit conspicuous – the President of the Colonies is a woman, after all – but in the end, there was little, if anything, preachy about it. The idea was simply to create a hypothetical study of the human condition, in all its imperfection, when placed in an extremely trying situation. The interpersonal relationships, while certainly playing a key role, were not the single centerpiece to the series; plenty of adrenalized action and political intrigue were concentrated on, as well. Certainly, much of the narrative drama and exploration of social issues could not have been had without the web of relationships the show spun. The show also had several strong male leads, the prime example being Cmdr. Adama (excellently portrayed by Edward James Olmos), who represented the most distilled of strong, stoic, traditionally masculine values. Even the female president was an excellently developed character; her role had less to do with espousing sentiments of “girl power” than with analyzing the transformation of a person, after being burdened with great responsibility, from unlikely politician to steel-hearted, iron-fisted, sure-footed leader. Heck, I’d even vote for a woman who had the balls to run a government like she was portrayed doing on the show.

FWIW, I’m a big fan of the re-imagined BSG. While I did feel that it went a bit “liberal” on me once or twice (these occasions were very rare, however), I felt the overall tone of the show was relatively politically mild, as it preferred instead to cultivate a story that was more weighted philosophically than mired in ideology. The gritty realism of the show, one of the elements that made it great, kept it on an even keel and left little room for the feminist agenda. Of course, there were features that were a bit conspicuous – the President of the Colonies is a woman, after all – but in the end, there was little, if anything, preachy about it. The idea was simply to create a hypothetical study of the human condition, in all its imperfection, when placed in an extremely trying situation. The interpersonal relationships, while certainly playing a key role, were not the single centerpiece to the series; plenty of adrenalized action and political intrigue were concentrated on, as well. Certainly, much of the narrative drama and exploration of social issues could not have been had without the web of relationships the show spun. The show also had several strong male leads, the prime example being Cmdr. Adama (excellently portrayed by Edward James Olmos), who represented the most distilled of strong, stoic, traditionally masculine values. Even the female president was an excellently developed character; her role had less to do with espousing sentiments of “girl power” than with analyzing the transformation of a person, after being burdened with great responsibility, from unlikely politician to steel-hearted, iron-fisted, sure-footed leader. Heck, I’d even vote for a woman who had the balls to run a government like it was portrayed on the show.

Still, I agree: while it is nice to see an expanded interest in the genre at large, it is sad to see the fading and “out-phasing” of some of the more traditional components that made great sci-fi what it is.

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Prometheus October 11, 2009 at 01:09

Oops, sorry for redundant portion of my above post.

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Mike Hodder October 12, 2009 at 14:30

An interesting, well written and argued article.

Pity its all total bollocks, but we can’t have everything can we?

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Mark October 12, 2009 at 15:58

When we were kids, we all nailed a sign to our tree fort that said “No Girls Allowed.”

Haven’t we grown up by now?

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Welmer October 12, 2009 at 16:22

Girls haven’t Mark. They’ve got plenty of exclusive clubs – and even laws – for their own benefit.

Anyway, sometimes men ought to be able to enjoy the company of other men without women being involved from time to time.

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Bitch, PLEASE. October 12, 2009 at 16:52

Damn, if only we could do something to get rid of all those twats and fags, they ruin everything!

In the words of Patton Oswalt:
You are going to miss everything cool, and die angry.

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Puma October 12, 2009 at 16:55

The poster above seems to be a troll.

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Holly Kim Wilson October 12, 2009 at 17:18

News to me that science fiction is a “male form of fiction”. Specially as I’m female and have been a fan of science fiction almost as soon as I could read. And that was a loooong time ago. Hate to tell you, while it took a while for women and girls to be public about their love of sci fi in books, movies, and on TV, they have always been there. Some have even written it.
I watched The Outer Limits and Twilight Zone, the b&w originals. I loved Day The Earth Stood Still, again, the original and more sci fi movies than anything else. When I finally got around to going to conventions, I found an equal amount of female and male fans. But then I didn’t start going to cons until the ’70′s. Now, comic book cons were a bit different. It was still predominately male when I starting going to them. But now cons like the NYCC are more balanced.
You would probably be surprised to learn I watched the original Battlestar Galatica, but not the remake. Don’t know why. Just didn’t seem to appeal to me that much. But I do watch shows like Fringe, Warehouse 13, FlashForward, etc.

So, you should really take another look at science fiction fandom. We women have always been there and fans of science fiction. Even my mom was a fan.

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Dee October 12, 2009 at 17:20

“Anyway, sometimes men ought to be able to enjoy the company of other men without women being involved from time to time.”

Congratulations, you have that! It’s called “most of the world.” But thanks for letting me, a woman, know that I’m not welcome in the world of sci-fi.

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Travis October 12, 2009 at 18:13

Considering that these tv-stations are businesses and want to gain viewers and make money through advertising, it sounds moronic that they would sacrifice a large portion of their viewers for another chunk of viewers unless they are just as large or larger.

If this isn’t the case, then the problem (if it even exists) will be self correcting and short lived.

I think we should all be concerned with good quality, not feminine-masculine dividing lines. Sure, some CEO can change the direction of a station, but hey – hasn’t that always been the case?

I think this is a call to arms for pretty much no reason, or at least for reasons that have been around all along.

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Amber October 12, 2009 at 18:51

I am genuinely confused how you can say in your first paragraph that old school Sci-Fi, such as Star Trek, was the province of men and boys and then in your second paragraph admit that there was an entire subculture of female fans who wrote stories about the characters back in those days. It seems to me like female (and queer) viewers have always been around, now they’re just being acknowledged.

I also don’t understand your reasoning that adapting shows for a female audience has to lesson them; in saying so you’re as good as implying that the things women enjoy are lesser than those men do. I enjoy LEXX, Farscape and ST:TOS, and my favourite book is 1984. I also enjoy Joss Whedon’s sci-fi, the new BSG and the Star Trek “reboot” film. As do many of my female friends. Why do these things have to be exclusionary? All genres have changed as society has changed, and there are more and more women who are inspired to go into the fields of science and technology by these fields and are capable of holding their own there.

It’s time to let go of the Boys Own club idea that themes of dystopia, technology and action are somehow the providence of the straight white male. To assume anyone else is going to ruin it for the rest of you is bigoted and demeaning.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 7
Pro-male/Anti-feminist Tech October 12, 2009 at 18:53

Girls haven’t Mark. They’ve got plenty of exclusive clubs – and even laws – for their own benefit.

Not only do women have plenty of exclusive clubs for their own benefit, but they actively attack and destroy male exclusive clubs. This is done for one of the same reasons that female supremacists destroy marriages, to break the link of older men educating younger men about effective masculinity.

Over on the MGTOW forum there was a thread about a new form of shaming language developing, “You spend to much time on the internet”. The internet has allowed men to talk directly to each other, bypassing women, communicating the truth about women. What this shaming language attempts to do is put a stop to the dissemination of truth about women on the internet. This is why we have angry women when it comes to this sort of thing.

AEchinoderm October 12, 2009 at 19:45

I personally don’t mind having sci-fi books suddenly populated by women as real characters. I like sci-fi. I like having people doing more than sitting at a coffee house, brooding about in my books. I like people working to build futures. When SyFy and others try to make sci-fi more ‘interesting’, by giving if more ‘human interaction’, what they are doing is turning sci-fi into mainstream. Science ceases to be important. It becomes fiction. I will not go get my sci-fi in the Fy channel.

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SFG October 12, 2009 at 19:51

Actually, nerdiness *is* a masculine trait…one the feminists and women in general despise.

And I can’t think of a better example of ‘men going their own way’ than the standard computer geeks. Heck, Isaac Newton never dated, and laid the foundation for physics up until Einstein…

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Lee October 12, 2009 at 19:52

Awww, poor baby. Sorry to hear about your dick falling off because women are reading (and writing!) good science fiction. But that’s okay — there’s plenty of Perry Rhodan left out there for you.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 14
novaseeker October 12, 2009 at 20:06

Lots of hatred in this thread.

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Gerard October 12, 2009 at 20:10

“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.”

Speaking as an engineer, I would be thrilled out of my mind if science fiction inspired more women and less men to enter technical fields. There is one woman in the fifteen-person group working on my current project and she was already married before she finished undergrad. Please don’t worry about encouraging any more men to become engineers.

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Dee October 12, 2009 at 20:18

Science fiction, including shows like Star Trek and characters like Uhura and Janeway, has inspired women to become scientists, engineers, and astronauts. When I was at DragonCon this year (yes! women go to sci-fi cons!), woman after woman told Kate Mulgrew that she’d inspired them to get advanced degrees in scientific fields.

Even if you weren’t at DragonCon, the internet ought to allow you to communicate with other men and hear those stories.

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Amber October 12, 2009 at 20:26

Not only do women have plenty of exclusive clubs for their own benefit, but they actively attack and destroy male exclusive clubs.

Don’t men do the same? If “moronic romantic drama in space” is a club just for women, then isn’t degrading it hypocritical of you?

Also, I personally find the idea that being told “you spend too much time on the internet” is gender-exclusive really hilarious; in my experience women get socially rejected for spending time online too.

Nerdiness is despised by the ignorant masses because it’s seen as elitist and exclusionary, and rants like this don’t do much to help matters.

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Thursday October 12, 2009 at 21:00

Women are bigger readers of all genres, including science fiction. Women just read more of everything.

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Pro-male/Anti-feminist Tech October 12, 2009 at 21:11

Awww, poor baby. Sorry to hear about your dick falling off because women are reading (and writing!) good science fiction.

Looks like Lee is another Lorena Bobbitt.

Speaking as an engineer, I would be thrilled out of my mind if science fiction inspired more women and less men to enter technical fields. There is one woman in the fifteen-person group working on my current project and she was already married before she finished undergrad. Please don’t worry about encouraging any more men to become engineers.

OH NOES!!!!!!!!!! Men are employed at good jobs doing useful work. Wasn’t the mancession supposed to put a stop to men being gainfully employed? We need a manpression (man + depression) where men lose all gainful employement and only women have good jobs. We need engineering to go overseas completely. Anything less is hating women.

woman after woman told Kate Mulgrew that she’d inspired them to get advanced degrees in scientific fields

It would be more accurate to say affirmative action did that, not Kate Mulgrew.

Don’t men do the same?

No, of course not. Where is this massive male conspiracy to destroy the Lifetime network or burn all trashy romance novels?

We spend a lot of time on this site talking about why there isn’t a mens’ movement like feminism, and women believe that men are getting together to conspire against Lifetime and Oprah.

in my experience women get socially rejected for spending time online too.

No, women get praised for spending time on the internet. It’s part of the silliness of “female empowerment”.

Nerdiness is despised by the ignorant masses because it’s seen as elitist and exclusionary, and rants like this don’t do much to help matters.

Sorry you can’t deal with the reality of HBD.

Puma October 12, 2009 at 21:27

It’s a good thing Lee likes SciFi because she just got nuked from orbit by a PM/AF-Tech Battle Droid. A good way to go for any fan of the genre.

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Pro-male/Anti-feminist Tech October 12, 2009 at 21:34

It’s a good thing Lee likes SciFi because she just got nuked from orbit by a PM/AF-Tech Battle Droid. A good way to go for any fan of the genre.

What can I say? I’m a giving kind of guy.

Thursday October 12, 2009 at 21:44

I agree with the general point of this post that any area of culture that doesn’t go out of its way to be female friendly is automatically deemed to be defective.

However, some of the specifics lost me. For example, I’ll second those above in saying that the new BSG is far superior to the old, the various Star Treks (TOS, TNG, and DS9) were excellent, and Joss Whedon, king of manginas that he is, is still an excellent TV writer and producer.

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Benjamin Solah October 12, 2009 at 21:54

This is a bunch of sexist, masochistic filth designed written and supported by people who are so insecure about their sexuality and identity.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 14
Welmer October 12, 2009 at 21:59

This is a bunch of sexist, masochistic filth designed written and supported by people who are so insecure about their sexuality and identity.

So writes the “Marxist Horror Writer.”

lol

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Mike Griffiths October 12, 2009 at 22:29

Let’s keep this simple.

Why limit what anyone can enjoy.

You want a certain kind of story write it the way you want it.

Other people have the write to produce things anyway they want. If you don’t like it, read old books, there are always the reruns. If we are in a culture where people besides the macho guy, get the stage, oh darn I hate it when writers try to be more open to new ideas.

Mike Griffiths

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mtrose October 12, 2009 at 23:32

I am a woman and a rocket scientist, and I enjoy sci-fi just fine (written by Lois McMaster Bujold and Anne McCafferey as well as Orson Scott Card and Issac Asimov). I also think that this post was written along incredibly sexist lines. However, I do agree that some of the points about using popular mediums for the transmission of PC values are accurate and sad. It represents a loss to both boys AND girls who might otherwise have been inspired to pursue technical careers had their source of inspiration not been watered down to accommodate the PC crowd.

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Sean_MacCloud October 12, 2009 at 23:45

Dee October 12, 2009 at 5:20 pm

“Anyway, sometimes men ought to be able to enjoy the company of other men without women being involved from time to time.”

Congratulations, you have that! It’s called “most of the world.” But thanks for letting me, a woman, know that I’m not welcome in the world of sci-fi.
>>>>>>

Is there anything in your world, dee and amber et al, that is just for boys?

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Welmer October 12, 2009 at 23:50

Let’s keep this simple.

Why limit what anyone can enjoy.

Ummm, Mike,

this post is “criticism” — not “limiting.” There’s a pretty big difference.

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Sean_MacCloud October 12, 2009 at 23:50

Mike Griffiths October 12, 2009 at 10:29 pm

Let’s keep this simple.

Why limit what anyone can enjoy.

You want a certain kind of story write it the way you want it.

Other people have the write to produce things anyway they want. If you don’t like it, read old books, there are always the reruns. If we are in a culture where people besides the macho guy, get the stage, oh darn I hate it when writers try to be more open to new ideas.

Mike Griffiths
>>>>>>>>

Not the salient feature of the article mike.

But liberals have always been bad at finding the point and that’s why they all –like mike– do so badly at the color in the circle with the number two pencil tests (hence they attack those tests as “arbitrary constructs” of some dark force called patriarchy).

The point was the TV and movie SCIFI stories have been taken over by a distorted delusional PC vibe. Further the groups doing this PC take over are jerks.

This salient feature –which you missed mike–wasn’t that hard to see.

———-
Tests before voting.

Sterilize the dumb.

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Tracy October 13, 2009 at 00:02

Sorry that Mary Shelly went and ruined your science fiction by inventing it while in posession of girl parts.

Also sorry that James Tiptree Jr., Vernon Lee, Paul Ash(well), CJ Cherryh, L. Taylor Hansen, Tarpé Mills, Andre Norton, Murray Constantine, C.S. Friedman, Patrick Murphy, ruined Scifi for you.

Sorry that classic trek script writer DC Fontana ruined classic trek for you.

Also sorry that Leigh Brackett Hamilton messed up A new Hope and The Empire Strikes Back before she died. George Lucas has done so much better writing his own scripts now that she’s not around to get in his way.

Women writing under masculine pen names so that they could get published were writing in the pulps in the 30′s and 40′s (C.L. Moore, Wilmar Shiras) , and the letters to the editors show that women also read them.

So sorry that they spoiled Science Fiction for you.

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Sean_MacCloud October 13, 2009 at 02:28

Tracey demonstrates a female’s ability to discern point (and make strawmen) once again.

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Mel October 13, 2009 at 04:57

All this seems a tad masturbatory no?
Who exactly are you trying to convince here, the other chauvinist ass-holes that come here to write and comment?

This is sloppy and uninformed writing. I hope you enjoy the pissing contest and the communal wanking in your tree club house.

No icky female cooties will bother you there, I’m sure.

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Gerard October 13, 2009 at 05:20

From Pro-male/Anti-feminist Tech: “Men are employed at good jobs doing useful work. Wasn’t the mancession supposed to put a stop to men being gainfully employed? We need a manpression (man + depression) where men lose all gainful employement and only women have good jobs. We need engineering to go overseas completely. Anything less is hating women.”

Er, I wasn’t implying anything like that. I am a little confused why you conclude any of that. I was bringing up the point that my field is quite overwhelmingly male and not likely to be threatened by a mild parity of women, let alone a vast majority. You may not be very familiar with engineering. We certainly do not have the problem of hordes of women wanting to take away our “good jobs”.

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Learn Hexadecimal October 13, 2009 at 05:45

This post is just incredible.

So I’m to understand that science fiction needs

a) more balls, as long as
b) those balls are not touching, unless
c) Heinlein wrote them, in which case that’s okay, because Heinlein didn’t give a fuck about the gays.

Is this really what the sci-fi community has come to? Well, Pro-male/Anti-feminist Tech and supporters, you are all welcome to take your insecure testicles and go home. Me, I’m sticking around to say hello to the new wave of mainstream female-friendly sci-fi. Maybe it will raise a generation of boys who understand that “No Girls Allowed” is never a good idea.

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Tarc October 13, 2009 at 05:59

I think this is one of the most stupid, ill-founded, and nonsensical commentaries I’ve read this year. From your inisial assumptions (sci-fi is about men, for instance, when, in fact, sci-fi has always been one of the most egalitarian genres of fiction) to ridiculous positions like being a man cause you to run in terror (pointedly like a little *girl*) in terror of anything that has to do with women. Eeeek! Run! Seriously, this is stupid lazy writing. You should see if Rush Limbaugh needs another fiction writer for his show.

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Chris/ M-Brane SF October 13, 2009 at 06:24

“It represents a loss to both boys AND girls who might otherwise have been inspired to pursue technical careers had their source of inspiration not been watered down to accommodate the PC crowd”

Seriously? What!? Are you people freaking kidding? This is some kind of joke, right? Indeed, there seem to be plenty of “technical careers” going on in this so-called “PC” “sci-fi.” Also, what BOOKS has the author of this piece of or any of the commenters who agree with him ever actually READ? If you all had read some written sf going back a few decades all the way up to present instead of just watching moronic TV shows and trying to apply a ridiculous talk-radio ideology to them, you would know that women and the other kinds of people that threaten you have been there from the beginning. If you want retreat into an imaginary past, then maybe sf is not the genre for you at all since what it does best, when it’s at its best, is push boundaries and expand possibilities.

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UberWench October 13, 2009 at 06:39

Sorry to break this to you, but women have been in the scifi fanbase/community all along — it’s one of the reason that so many Aspies have been able to breed successfully since the 1970s (thank you, Star Trek conventions!) Science fiction has always been the most egalitarian of genres, be it visual or print. Perhaps socially impaired (Aspies, PDD-NOS, or others) folks have been a more significant part of the fanbase than in other genres (mystery, for example), but that doesn’t mean they represent the whole of fandom. Women have always been there (being inspired to pursue *gasp* scientific fields of study, too). Maybe you just didn’t recognize them as such because they looked different than on scifi book covers?
I’ve never read a romance novel (and I was frustrated by the boring ‘romance’ bits of many scifi movies, like, say, Starship Troopers — Less Kissing, More Bugs!), but scifi has been a part of my life since before I could read. Most of my girlfriends are the same. So your argument that women are getting their cooties on your genre doesn’t at all fit my experience. SciFi’s had the cooties for a good forty years.

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SM October 13, 2009 at 06:58

As a male science fiction fan, I was quite saddened by this article. To try to argue that we should cut off the science fiction genre to half the population is so incredibly pompous, I can’t even begin.

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N October 13, 2009 at 07:06

This post is amazing. I didn’t realize that patriarchy was the same as “SF is written by men for men.” SF isn’t male-centric because, as a genre, that’s how it was intended, it’s male-centric because EVERYTHING was geared towards men in the past. The majority of SF writers aren’t sitting hunched over their work thinking “This is for men, it’s all for men! Screw you women!” People write what they know and I don’t think there were a lot of female sensitive/equal rights supporting men writing in ’78 (for example). I’m glad that it is changing. I LOVE SF and I like that there is more to it then “Fly around-blow that up.”

Perhaps this evolution of SF will encourage woman to go in to science based employment, but you wouldn’t want that would you?

I am going to point out that your fear of SF having gay relationships in SF probably has less to do with what you indicate is the “demasculinization” of SF and more do do with homophobia.

“Scripts were rewritten to have ‘more relationships’ (more relationship drama) and less ‘space battles.’” Oh my goodness, this is hilarious. You’ve basically said that man only like when stuff blows up! I’m sorry men I didn’t know that your intelligence was so low that you can only get entertainment for explosions.

I’m not saying anything else because when someone is, for example sexist as this person clearly is, it’s almost impossible to get them to see another perspective. It’s a waist of everyone’s energy.

Much love to SF, progress and those who support it.

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HardAbz October 13, 2009 at 07:06

You are completely right. Not only have women just ruined RL with their jobs (did you know more women now work then men!) and they don’t do a better job taking care of their families at home. Women are just snapping up all the opportunities left and right in school and world, but at least they still aren’t being paid as much as men. Which is only fair, do they have penises to help them work as hard and as brilliantly?

What is worse is all those non-Americans showing up in Sci Fi (or SyFy, how gay). The need for networks/producers to show “diversity” is just ruining the entire genre; they’re just kowtow to NOW, GLAAD, and the NAACP. That’s probably women’s fault too. They are always about the touchy-feely and embracing everyone. Women shouldn’t be allowed in positions of authority. They just ruin everything.

Obviously, in the future, only white-heterosexual men will be smart and brave enough to fly around space-ships. And green alien women or holograms/androids with DDD boobs and better-than-the-real-thing-vaginas will be available for every sexual and domestic needs. Those clean corridors and giant windows don’t happen by themselves.

And women would of course exist, but obviously back on earth. Someone has to have the babies and raise them to be smart and brave. Women will just have naked slumber parties while waiting for their man-folk to come home and give it to them good.

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Jocelyn October 13, 2009 at 07:08

If you’re looking for the real culprit in the so-called “feminization” of science fiction, don’t blame us women. The real culprit here is the market. Men have been turning away from television and books en masse to embrace a newer more exciting media format–VIDEO GAMES.

All the hard male-oriented science fiction out there is now in the form of adult-oriented video games, and men are eating them up. If you forced a group of men and a group of women to choose between TV and video games if they could only have one or the other I would be surprised if even 10% of the women would choose video games. While with the men I suspect 50% or more would give up TV in favor of video games.

What does all this mean in terms of the market? Writers and developers of male-oriented scifi are now working in the game-development industry instead of TV or books. And women are now the dominant consumers of TV and books. Ergo, tv shows and novels are being written and marketed with women in mind.

It’s all market economics, and it all started with the advent of adult-oriented video games.

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jec October 13, 2009 at 07:09

As a mature woman, who has been reading sf since the 1950s, I have to say master Minsky needs to get out more.
It is the sort of stereotypical cant that gives rise to the ‘Comic Store Man’ image. Its one of the reasons why SF is not taken seriously by the rest of the literary community.
One has to wonder if Mr Mkisky’s mother has read that particular diatribe? And does one also assume Mr Minsky is not married?
As mother to an autistic adult – yes. That diagnosis is not without merit. The inability to empathise, coupled with a complete lack of ‘other’ (the ability to see anything from any view but ones own)
are classic.

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Jane October 13, 2009 at 07:19

LMAO.

Funny. Get back into the 1950s, man.

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Ashley October 13, 2009 at 07:22

Quite simply, this is the most offensive article I have ever read. So much so, that it has galvanized me to respond to your blatant disregard of women, women’s tastes, and coyly masked misogyny.

Sci-fi is about SCIENCE FICTION. Not “men doing things”, or men making things, or men creating things. No, it’s about people doing things with science, in a scientifically enhanced area. And sci-fi can just as easily engage young women towards a scientific career as opposed to young men. There’s no rule that says science is for men, women can do whatever the hell they want. Even if shows now have more balanced, rounded characters in the form of competent women or people in gay or bi-relationships, that doesn’t detract from the science portion of the sci-fi or take away the inspiration it provides to young children to be scientists.

In conclusion, you’re an idiot. The end.

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Chris October 13, 2009 at 07:47

I don’t have much more to say than what has been highlighted by others above, but allow me to add my voice to those who believe that women have as much a right to and as much of a history in science fiction as men. Sure, many early science fiction stories were male-focused, but they were also being targeted to thirteen-year-old boys who were into pulp magazines. Is it so shocking that, as the audience for science fiction grew more diverse, more diverse writing was incorporated into the genre to appeal to the new, wider fan-base? This article reeks of sexism (as do many of the comments) , to such an extent that it frankly saddens me that there are still people out there with such out-dated views of male-female interaction. Even in the eighteenth century Edward Gibbon was smart enough to know that “all that is human must retrograde if it does not advance.” The history of ideas rarely makes note of those individuals stolidly clinging to the past and reminiscing about how good things used to be, which is exactly what this article is doing.

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Calista October 13, 2009 at 07:52

It’s clearly very scary for you, having your man space invaded by women. I’d feel crankier about the almost lunatic level of misogyny and paranoia in this piece, except it’s hard to feel too angry at someone who has convinced himself that he is so powerless and vulnerable that the rebranding of a crappy television station represents a terrifying attack on his way of life. Try to relax a bit, maybe make friends with some women. The world isn’t as scary as you think it is, and, whether or not you acknowledge it, you have many more privileges than you’re apparently aware of.

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Alex S. October 13, 2009 at 07:55

The current generation of boys will not have this inspiration from science fiction, at least from science fiction on television and in movies.

If that means we have fewer men with your attitudes in the future, so much the better.

There’s a point to be made about there being less scientific content in science fiction (though, lets be honest, most Science Fiction was a little light on the actual science, I’ve watched Star Trek, TOS), or that it’s less optimistic and more fearful. But that’s not your argument. Your argument is that Science Fiction is no longer about men doing and accomplishing things. Well, newer science fiction is more realistic regarding human beings and human relationships. If we ever do have intergalactic spaceflight, it’s not going to make people any different. Watch a little less Battlestar Gallactica (the 70s version) and a little more of The Day the Earth Stood Still. The latter is better anyway.

In reality, there are human relationships, women “doing and accomplishing things”, and people with different sexualities. The fact that there’s more of that in science fiction now is not a “feminization” of science fiction, that’s just a reflection of reality. I’m sorry you’re having difficulty processing that.

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Puma October 13, 2009 at 07:56

I am personally enjoying the fireworks here. I think the female SF contingent had a strong showing and for that I give them credit. Dialogue is a great thing, and we all come out stronger for it in the end.

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Gement October 13, 2009 at 08:07

Cutting out the bits about gender entirely, I see the following complaint, with which I can agree:

In an attempt to capture a perceived demographic, the artist formerly known as SyFy has been dumbing itself down horribly, and the other networks are not much better. (The fact that the members of the imaginary demographic are insulted and turned off by being stereotyped is a separate issue.)

It’s very difficult to find hard SF that makes any attempt to come up with a coherent and believable technology setup, which is one of the appeals that gets young people into science. I like hard SF, I feel like there used to be more of it, and I’d like it to come back, because the soap operas are winning.

The above complaint can be expressed just fine without discussing the fact that casting has been diversified. As a queer woman who started watching Classic Trek and vintage Dr. Who at the age of three, yes, I cheer when I see characters that represent more of the world. That has nothing to do with the fact that the soap operas are winning and writers can’t be bothered to check their science once in a while. (The latter is just as annoying to female fans as to male ones.)

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Shine October 13, 2009 at 08:11

[laughing hysterically at you]

You know, I’m not even that offended because this entire post is simply too ridiculous to be real. Seriously. This is just making me giggle. If this was done as some sort of elaborate mysogynistic performance art piece, brava!

Although, I suppose if you seriously, honestly, truly believe this? I recommend therapy. Because, wow, that’s some impressive woman-hate you’ve got going there. (And gay-hate, and–what about characters of color? Do you object to those too? Please oh please write a column where you trash sci fi for depicting too many minorities. I dare you.)

And–you really honestly think that there’s ANY CHANCE that men aren’t going to have the chance to excel in science and tech? Seriously? You really think sci fi is a “male” genre?

[laughing more]

Thanks for brightening my day. This is precious. WILL NO ONE THINK OF THE MEN!

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Mijan October 13, 2009 at 08:12

Aaah, so women are NOT scientists. Women are NOT military leaders. Women have NOT been inspired by science fiction to pursue their dreams of scientific discovery. Women have not been influenced by role models in science fiction to fight (literally) for causes.

You’re pathetic.

Clearly, your mommy issues have prevented you from accepting the fact that women are part of society, women are intelligent, women do more than just flirt and breed, and that women have been following science fiction since the genre began. They’ve also been inspired by it. Sadly, many of them hid under masculine fandom names, but at least they don’t have to do that anymore.

Also, the BEST science fiction ALWAYS had a human element. The original Star Wars and Star Trek are classic examples of this. Hard-hitting space battles, hand-to-hand combat, dangerous alien races – the good, the bad, and the ugly. But there was ALWAYS the human element, and that’s why those genres have stuck around. You clearly don’t know much about the genre you claim to love. You also don’t know much about reality, so that’s not surprising.

I had the privilege of listening to a young women who is about to start working on the Mars Mission with NASA. She was inspired by Star Trek to get her advanced degrees in aeronautical engineering. Oh yeah, that’s squishy, touchy-feely, girly shit. I believe her words were, “We’re going to Mars, and I’m going to take us there.” Oh yeah, group hug.

A female friend of mine is an ER doctor. She was inspired by Dr. McCoy. Somehow, I don’t think being up to your elbows in blood is such a weak thing, is it?

I was an Army Officer in a combat arms branch. I was inspired by Captain Kirk. I’ve had artillery shells explode just outside my window. I’ve led troops. I know what it’s like to look down the barrel of a loaded automatic weapon being aimed at my head, and I didn’t blink. But part of what made me a good officer wasn’t just the bravado and physical strength (which I had in spades), but the compassion I had for my men, which I also learned from Kirk and other science-fiction military leaders.

I’m so sorry for you that you can’t comprehend that. You must lead a very limited existence.

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Hiya October 13, 2009 at 08:22

Sharing a clip from old school Star Trek:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNZt-9Afdi4

Your Welcome.

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Bonnie Norman October 13, 2009 at 08:24

Mijan, will you marry me?

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Zander Nyrond October 13, 2009 at 08:27

Piffle.

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zakur October 13, 2009 at 08:35

The only redeeming quality of this article is the superb pwnage it elicited from John Scalzi. Well done.

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Hiya October 13, 2009 at 08:37

” the BEST science fiction ALWAYS had a human element. The original Star Wars and Star Trek are classic examples of this. e bonus material for Star Wars”… Mijan said…

WELL HERE IS WHY:

“Lucas’ wife Marcia, herself an Oscar-winning editor, also kept Lucas in check by reminding him of the fundamental emotional resonance needed for a screenplay, in contrast to Lucas’ more technical interests: “I was the more emotional person who came from the heart, and George was the more intellectual and visual, and I thought that provided a nice balance,” Marcia once remarked.[22] Mark Hamill remembers, “She was really the warmth and the heart of those films, a good person he could talk to, bounce ideas off of, who would tell him when he was wrong.”[23] Finally, following Lucas’ last draft, the Huycks rewrote the script to improve the dialogue and give it better snap, but Lucas swore them to secrecy because he didn’t want Fox to panic if they found out other writers were involved…”

Huycks= Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz-Huyck

Another link if you need it:

http://www.secrethistoryofstarwars.com/natureofthebeast1.html

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Ferdinand Bardamu October 13, 2009 at 08:37

Dammit PM/AFT, you’re the first one of us to be targeted by a fem-troll invasion? I’m jealous.

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Jay October 13, 2009 at 08:40

ROFLMAO!!!!

This is hi-larious. Truly.

Little boys having tantrums.

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Sabrina October 13, 2009 at 08:41

Wow. Yeah, so, I looked around and checked my calendar, and guess what? It’s 2009. Why don’t you grow up a little and get out of the 1950′s?

Mijan said just about everything else I could say.

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Genesis October 13, 2009 at 08:43

Just because no woman wants to get within fifty feet of you, dear author, doesn’t mean that you should go around blaming the entire gender for your own pathetic shortcomings.

But you’re absolutely right. Women and gays weren’t around when sci-fi first took off, and they damn right shouldn’t be around now. Hey, you know who also rarely starred in the old-school sci-fi shows back in the 60′s and 70′s? Black people. Hell, why not just return to the good old days and refuse to create any characters that aren’t heterosexual white men? Now that was a quality cast! Who needs strong, capable women on TV? Men don’t want to deal with that shit – they’re already terrified enough in real life that they might have to share their engineering and computer science toys!

PS: Princess Leia, Susan Foreman and Ripley totally do not approve of this shit – but then again, you probably have no idea who they are since you probably close your eyes every time a pair of boobs contaminates your precious TV screen, don’t you? (Which, by the way, says miles about your own sexuality.)

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Mijan October 13, 2009 at 08:45

“WELL HERE IS WHY:…”

Fascinating. It took a woman’s writing skill to make Lucas’s screenplay dialogue palatable.

And Ferdinand, just be glad that you and your friends can hide behind your computers like the little pansy-ass crybabies that you are. Men who need to come to sites like this and beat their chests and bleat and moan are men who don’t have much to back up their words. I’ve probably done more and seen more “manly” shit than you ever will.

I believe the appropriate statement would be: “I’m more of a woman than you’ll ever get, and more of a man than you’ll ever be.”

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Lazlo Toth October 13, 2009 at 08:45

You and Dave Sim should do a collaboration.

And then Donna Kossy can write about it.

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Jorg October 13, 2009 at 08:49

LOL. Hysterical. The only valid point you make is that most of the TV science-fiction (not “sci-fi”! I hate that term!) shows are crap. Of course, they are, but not for the idiotic reasons you propound (hint: it’s commercialization and attmept to serve the lowest common denominator, not “feminization”). But your type of arguments are precisely the reason so many of the early female science-fiction authors felt that they had to use male pseudonyms. Luckily, those days are over, and attitudes like yours are going to go the way all garbage goes. Also, luckily, it was last year I believe that female graduates have finally outnumbered men in my field (astrophysics). Many (most?) of them read (and write) science-fiction (something you show no indication of having ever done). And I am quite glad they did…:)

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M. Goldberg October 13, 2009 at 08:54

While I have agreed with many of the comments made in this thread, no one has explicitly pointed out that both the writer of this post and Minsky are both thoroughly ignorant as the depth and breadth of science fiction as a genre. Alterity (“otherness,” the exploration of “us” and “them”) always has been and always will be a major theme of science fiction. Exploring alterity requires relating to each other in complex ways. I need not list chapter and verse of such; both the writer and Minsky are welcome to take an undergraduate science fiction course, which should adequately provide them solid science fiction content that they will be asked to evaluate for such themes.

Obviously, both are also quite ignorant regarding the level of competent schooling in both mathematics and the sciences currently available in the US. Children of BOTH sexes are coming out of K-12 appallingly inept at basic skills, and certainly, science fiction, which is at its best fully alive between the covers of a book, has been simply just another backdrop for the plethora of violent interactive games which are now the pablum of today’s youth. Inspiration? Where? Yes, there is quite a lot of doing, thank you very much, shooting every damn thing that they see on a game console…very, very interactive, and oh, so full of testosterone.

Let’s review one thing about today’s visual media, shall we? It revolves around consumerism. Women are a powerful consumer demographic, and will be catered to as such. Encouraging people to buy isn’t about stimulating intelligence; it’s about emotionally connecting to product/service. Invoking emotion and instilling want is good business, no matter what demographic is addressed.

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MQ October 13, 2009 at 08:55

This is just asking to be reposted:

“I’m more of a woman than you’ll ever get, and more of a man than you’ll ever be.”

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Hiya October 13, 2009 at 08:56

PS trolls are people who hide and have no facts to back up their arguments. These are real people telling you they do not agree with you and that you are really not up to date or informed about past, present, and future forms of Science Fiction.

Sincerely,

@LaAST (you can find me on twitter) I am a real person, not a troll.

I was almost wondering if this article itself was a “troll”??

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Yileen October 13, 2009 at 08:56

Cut out any reference to your retarded and wrong definitions of what men and woman tend to prefer, and you’d have an article that touches on how the Sy Fy channel has been dumbing down for the general masses.

Of course, then you get into the whole is it really dumbing down? Or is it just employing good storytelling elements. And how much of this is due to personal taste.

I mean, yes, I did not like always like the new BSG because of all the relationship drama, but it was still a good show about men and women preserving through hardship. I also loved Stargate SG-1, which is full of random bad science techno-babble and little relationship drama, however the biggest appeal of SG-1 is its cast of characters. The characters are appealing because of their faults and strengths.

Also, what’s up with your random homophobia in the article? You obviously don’t know what women like, how the hell would you know what gays like? Your only complaint is that they appear at all. What the fuck is wrong with gay people appearing on a Sci-Fi show? It’s not like they don’t exist, and have always existed. Sort of like how skin colors other than white exist and have always existed, so they now appear on Sci-Fi shows once people got over their racism.

Oh right. It’s homophobia. It’s not LOGICAL.

Actually, your entire article is full of false assumptive statements. I’m not sure there’s a point to listening to someone who cannot look at a trend in a logical and detached matter, especially about a subject that depends on those two traits.

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Welmer October 13, 2009 at 09:01

I believe the appropriate statement would be: “I’m more of a woman than you’ll ever get, and more of a man than you’ll ever be.”

Caster Semenya, is that you?

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Julie October 13, 2009 at 09:04

Let me get this straight: You’re complaining about women ruining a genre that was invented by a woman. Somehow, the fact that women have a tiny slice of a genre still dominated by men offends your sensibilities. Because clearly there’s not enough for you to read and watch that hasn’t been contaminated by Girl Cooties. Or something.

For the record, most women (this one included) think that the whole “SyFy” thing is monumentally stupid and condescending.

I’ve been enjoying SF for over thirty years. Too bad if this offends you. I will continue to enjoy reading what I like reading and write what I like writing. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to read it. However, dismissing what I write out of hand simply because I’m a woman is monstrously unfair.

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MQ October 13, 2009 at 09:04

You’re so clever! Hermaphroditism is SO. FUNNY!

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polymer chain October 13, 2009 at 09:06

I don’t get it. I like hard Sci-Fi as much as all you boys do, I have a degree in theoretical astrophysics, I like talking geek and I’m cute and single.
Why wouldn’t you want me in your club?

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Julie October 13, 2009 at 09:19

You know what my favorite episode of the original Battlestar Galactica was? The one where all the male viper pilots were sick, and it was up to the female pilot trainees to save the fleet. That was the first show I saw that actually featured women warriors. And it was love at first sight.

I also love that when Luke and Han go to save poor defenseless Princess Leia, she is the one who grabs the blaster and makes a hole in the floor so they can escape into the garbage compactor.

And did you know that Gene Roddenberry wanted the first officer on the original Enterprise to be a woman (the part was played by Magel Roddenberry)? But NBC wasn’t enlightened enough to allow a woman into a position of power.

Women. We’re here. We’ve been here for millions of years. Get over it. Get used to it. Stop whining about the fact that you have to share the planet with us. We’re not ruining your science fiction. Some of the most kick ass science fiction I’ve read lately was written by women. And one or two of them are even rocket scientists.

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Clarence October 13, 2009 at 09:29

Julie:

That was so cute and cliched I could have written it myself.

No, “you” (meaning women who like sci-fi) are not ruining scifi, because you appreciate both the geeky male, manly, and other wordly aspects of it. That and perhaps its thought provoking.

Women can write good sci- fi? Sure, there are some who write well. There are also quite a few who write boring political or romantic dramas disguised as sci-fi.

The female /feminist cultural warriors who have invaded science fiction aren’t really interested in the science part OR the fiction part. What they really care about is that there is a genre of literature that males find pretty much uniquely their own due to female disinterest/disdain and rather than join the clubhouse as an equal because they are “tomboys” and really enjoy the boys game, they want to come in and change things. The clubhouse needs redecorated to fit female tastes in other words.

It won’t work, and it is unwanted. If you like science fiction write your own, join a club, whatever. But don’t claim to enjoy something mostly done by boys and then claim the boys clubhouse doesn’t suit you.

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Clarence October 13, 2009 at 09:32

pc:

Join the club. But don’t whine if you, as one of the few women there get hit on a bit more than you like or if all those nasty boys like is Grand Space Operas or some such.

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Clarence October 13, 2009 at 09:34

GOOD female science fiction? Check out the webcomic or graphic novels “Girl Genius”. Created by a guy and girl husband and wife. I can’t recommend it enough even though it is over the top quite often :)

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Clarence October 13, 2009 at 09:37

Wow. Some science fiction fansite must have been linked to this post. Of course I think the post oversimplifies, but still..sooooooo many comments.

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DianneW October 13, 2009 at 09:42

Aw, I’m sorry you’re so threatened by strong female figures in your science fiction. I guess I’ll go get knocked up, take my shoes off, and return to the kitchen now before your masculine pride does a complete wash out.

Or maybe you can find a time machine and go back to the 50′s where your sexist views were more the norm. Then we’d all be happy.

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Charlotte October 13, 2009 at 09:43

I think maybe some of the problems with modern sci-fi is the IDEA that women don’t want to see space battles. They do! I love space battles. I love laser guns and big fights with aliens. Like many women I know, I’m not into the endless relationship drama; the women who are into that watch Desperate Housewives, and women like me — of whom there are many — watch science fiction.

But I also don’t think sci-fi is “traditionally” male. I think it might look traditionally male, but I know a huge number of female sci-fi fans who are simply less demonstrative than male fans. Female fans (generally) tend not to go to conventions, dress up, or collect memorabilia. If they contribute to fandom at all, they write or discuss with other fans, but many female sci-fi fans limit their fan-ness to their enjoyment of the material.

I don’t think that adding gay and female characters to sci-fi is “feminization.” I think it’s making the material equally accessible. What about the girls who want to go into science? Many female scientists talk about Lt. Uhura as a major influence — where are the other Uhuras for other girls? Straight white boys aren’t the only ones who need inspiration.

But most of all — Jesus Christ, people. Criticize his ideas all you want, but STOP suggesting that people with whom you don’t agree (1) never get laid, (2) are physically unattractive, or (3) are bigger nerds than you. This has absolutely no bearing on the discussion, EVER, and it makes you look like a royal jackass. I’m a staunch feminist and I disagree with just about everything this article says, but I think the comments denigrating the author’s sexual prowess, appearance and hobbies are arguably more sexist than anything in the original piece. You’re shoring up your rants with your ability to better conform to gendered notions of comportment. Really, people?

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Teeny Gozer October 13, 2009 at 09:44

When I was directed to this site by a friend, with no explanation, for a moment I thought it was a spoof, like something the people at The Onion might put together. “The Spearhead” header particularly cracked me up. Sadly, I quickly figured out that the whole she-bang (pardon me, “he”-bang) was in earnest.

I’ve been reading Science Fiction since the mid-60s. I read “Planet of the Apes” when I was nine because there was a movie coming out and I wanted to read the book before I saw it (my mom took me to see it.) By the time I hit high school, I had this thing going where I’d read every single story and novel I could get my hands on that an author had written up to that point — Asimov, Ellison, Tiptree, Vonnegut, Clarke, Heinlein, Schmitz, Bradbury, and more. True, sometimes there were stories that seemed to be rather corny and childish — those were the stories that were aimed at boys. I’d usually give them a nod and a patronizing smile and read on, but I remember being terribly offended by something in A Pebble In The Sky, and never picking up another book by Asimov again after that. His loss, not mine; there were plenty of other writers in the genre. Luckily for me, by the time I was born, there were plenty of stories to inspire everyone, stories for every taste and hope and dream of the future. I suggest you take a look at the tales of the Hub written by of James H. Schmitz, a writer of the 40s, 50s, and 60s.

Very early Sci-fi was aimed almost specifically at boys… not men, boys. It was written by men who were afraid of women; either they wrote stories with no women in them — much in the way that young boys prefer the company of other boys, no girls allowed — or they wrote adolescent fantasy, with girls (not women, girls) as their fantasy object. I heard Asimov joke once that he didn’t even look a real, live girl in the eye until he was 19; I smiled and thought to myself, “Sweetie, it shows in your fic.” Then I realized he was staring at my breasts and I wondered if he’d ever really looked a real, live girl in the face at all.

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Julie October 13, 2009 at 09:45

Clarence:

Well, then, I suggest that you don’t read those books, if they don’t appeal to you–are you telling me that you’ve run out of things to read? Until you do, stop whining. Clearly, they appeal to someone, else they wouldn’t get published. The clubhouse is getting bigger. This doesn’t mean it’s being “contaminated.” Stay in your corner and make warding signs if you like, and let the feminists have their corner. Occasionally, you can lob smoke grenades at each other.

Meanwhile, the rest of us will sit back and laugh at both of you.

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Mijan October 13, 2009 at 09:46

Clarence, the links have hit LiveJournal. There are enough sci-fi fandom communities there to sink a battlecruiser. If anything, I’m surprised that there aren’t more comments already.

That’s the thing about the internet – when someone creates an article dripping with this level of stupidity, it’s only a matter of time before it gets shredded by a more educated crowd. I’m sure he’s also having a hard time stomaching the fact that so many women are educated professionals. I’ve got to wonder what he does for a living, if he’s ever been in a healthy relationship with a woman, or if he’s some pathetic teenager spouting rhetoric to make himself feel better about his sad station in life.

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Clarence October 13, 2009 at 10:06

Mijan

I gotta agree that the original post is a bit simplistic on the history side of things and not explicit enough as to it’s main argument. It’s also obvious he’s talking about modern sci-fi, not the sci-fi of the fifties or even the eighties when I grew up. And I think he makes a good point. Modern sci-fi at least on the big screen is being dumbed down and that is mostly for two reasons:
A. PC ideologues want to make the scifi reflect modern sensibilities.
B. Many networks want to lure in the Twilight fans. Thus hard science, big ideas all the things that have separated the genre from the general lit and fantasy side of things have evaporated.

As for scifi’s popularity among the frauds known as “literary critics” and “cultural studies”? Color me in the Don’t Give a Shit category. I’ve no problems with gays in science fiction, women in science fiction, strange dogs that talk in science fiction. What science fiction has always been to me is a useful escape from reality in ways that have enabled me to stretch my mind and one of the side benefits of that is that the genre has often taken on things (racism, sexism *even occasionally female supremacism) and technologies (cloning as an example) that mainstream literature and movies wouldn’t touch with a 30 foot pole. If those kind of tihngs end up getting removed (because all science and cultures in the plot have to fit some political sensibilities) then to me it is no longer science fiction and I have no reason to read it or watch it.

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Nicole Pellegrini October 13, 2009 at 10:09

For the record:

I grew up reading science fiction. Classic science fiction: Asimov, Heinlein, Poul Anderson, Philip K. Dick, et al. Books from my MOTHER’S collection, to be specific.

Women have always been interested in science fiction, be it hard SF, space opera, juvenile, or whatever other sub-genre has come along through the years. Don’t blame US for television networks pandering to the lowest common denominator, which is all they do no matter what the genre and why I don’t even watch television any more, thanks very much.

Oh, and so sorry I took away a place at M.I.T. for my undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from some man who was OBVIOUSLY so much more qualified for the slot simply for his gender. And graduate school for my doctorate in the field at U. Penn. Clearly actual merit and intelligence had nothing to do with it!

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Welmer October 13, 2009 at 10:15

It is interesting to see such an emotional, defensive reaction to this post amongst the sci-fi community, and it seems to explain a few things to me.

For one thing, the hysteria and rhetoric is already familiar to me (I have had plenty of girlfriends). Grandiose claims about exploding shells, being “more of a man” and such pervade the comments, and perhaps that is to be expected from people who live their lives fantasizing about sci-fi movies and shows.

Personally, I am not a big fan of sci-fi, and that may be because when I grew up the worm had already turned. I rather prefer the old dystopic novels by Aldous Huxley and the like, but the next generation Star Trek and the rest were so heavily larded with PC messages that it seemed more farce to me. In fact, it reminded me only of the kind of sheltered society that one finds in cloistered university research centers, where timid men and women are free to imagine themselves as klingons, vulcans, ferengi, etc., while sheltered from the jeering mob outside.

So perhaps it makes sense that the new “sci-fi” is geared toward these denizens of a heavily bureaucratized sub-world, whose idea of freedom is daydreaming about commanding an interstellar battle cruiser (surrounded, of course, by uniformed versions of their peers — including the fleet psychic, counselor and a bevy of castrati). And as for the written stuff, my ex was something of a fan, but I found little besides humor in her books, including one that featured a psychic race of cats that formed helper-bonds with humans.

Whatever the case, I wouldn’t have expected so many people to have such a deep, emotional investment in this stuff, but that was obviously because I gave it so little thought.

So, friends, foes, ferengi — thank you all for the comments on PMAFT’s article. This has been an instructive lesson in American culture and society (if not civilization).

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Clarence October 13, 2009 at 10:17

Julie:

The clubhouse isn’t getting bigger.
If it was, then there’d be shows of all types to watch that appealed to all types of science fiction fans from those who love military science fiction to those that love political dramas among multiple species.

There’s a minority of women who like the themes that men who tend like “old style” science fiction like. The new stuff is trying to appeal to more normal women, and it’s not succeeding very well as the ratings of most of the shows on “syfy” should tell you. Also, I’ve just noted that I don’t mind gays on screen or in literature, hell, one of my personal fascinations is with Alexander the Great and he was bi, at minimum. However does EVERY new show on ‘syfy’ this year have to have gay characters in it , when they make up perhaps five percent of the population at most? I don’t really care: if the shows were otherwise excellent I’d watch them, but it does make one wonder if this isn’t some sort of political “flavor of the month” type of thing.

So long as women and men can make rules for their clubs and interactions that satisfy the needs of both I’ve no problem with that. It’s when one comes in with accusations of this and that and wants to change all the cultural fixtures that make the genre what it is that I say “ENOUGH”.

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Clarence October 13, 2009 at 10:22

Nicole:

Trying the old “Doctor” puzzle on us here?
My mom’s books (with the exception of her love of history, particularily the civil war) were almost all “romance” novels as one would expect is that is very popular brand of literature that is almost exclusively female dominated in terms of writers and readers. She had about two hundred of those and maybe 60 other books. My mom is not your mom. One example doesn’t disprove a generality. Hard science fiction is likely to remain a mostly male domain as are most science and technological careers because the simple fact is (despite 30 years of propoganda to the contrary) women -as a group- Just Aren’t All that Into It.

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SoundWave October 13, 2009 at 10:24

Wow. This article definitely provided some entertainment. However, there is something I wanted to clarify:

Boys have always been the cootie carriers, c’mon now! “Circle, circle, dot, dot, now I got my cooties shot?” You know a boy did not invent the cootie vaccine. We know what you did with your hands in those treehouses!

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Mijan October 13, 2009 at 10:26

Clarence,

I can wholeheartedly agree that the “Twilight crowd” influx is a bit annoying. That’s a teeni-bopper demographic that really shouldn’t be part of science fiction, but because there are “OMG VAMPIRES!”, some knuckleheads decided to lump it into the sci-fi genre. The teeni-bopper demographic has existed for years, but they just hadn’t infiltrated science fiction. I think this is more of an issue of non-sci-fi tainting real sci-fi. Or, if not “tainting,” it’s certainly influencing some of it.

I was at Dragon*Con this year and spent my time almost exclusively in Trek Trak. I’d intended to go to some of the other tracks at some point, but when I tried to peek into fantasy, young adult literature, or any of the Joss Whedon stuff, I felt like I was drowning in a sea of screaming teenage girls.

However, even in the Trek Trak programming, amongst fans young and old, male and female, there was a lot of discussion about characters. Character development, human emotion, character chemistry (which isn’t always a romantic issue), and so on. In fact, regarding the new movie, one of the biggest fears amongst old sci-fi fans had been that the human element of Star Trek would be brushed over in favor of flashing action sequences and overblown space battles. People wanted both.

So, yes, I agree about the Twilight crowd. I wish people would stop lumping that garbage into my sci-fi genre.

However, as a person who has been a sci-fi fan ever since I was old enough to pick up a stick and pretend it was a lightsaber, who has been strongly influenced both academically and professionally by sci-fi, and who was raised by a mother who has been watching and reading sci-fi since before I was born, I just have a hard time stomaching this ridiculous notion that women don’t belong in science fiction.

As for the “influx” of gay characters… well, gay people exist. They’ve existed in the past, they exist in the present, and they’ll continue to exist in the future. I see no reason to pretend otherwise.

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frankie October 13, 2009 at 10:31

Two words : Mary Shelley.

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Clarence October 13, 2009 at 10:35

frankie:

Yes, I loved Frankenstein the original book, esp when the creature confronts the Doctor over his responsibility to his creations. Heartrending, who could not help but sympathize with both the Doctor and the poor “monster” he had created?

Mary Shelley could write and she could do characterizations and she could do Big Ideas. Anyone who can do the same is welcome into the clubhouse. However, you’ve got to be willing to do science fiction and let the science fiction dominate your politics rather than your politics dominate the science fiction parts.

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Julie October 13, 2009 at 10:36

Clarence:

I think the mistake that “SyFy” *throws up a little in my mouth* is making is that they’re trying (badly) to appeal to ALL women, rather than the Geek Woman (of whom I am a proud denizen) demographic. Thus they end up appealing to NO ONE. EveryWoman doesn’t care for the genre no matter how much you LifeTime-Channel it, and GeekWoman doesn’t care for the LifeTime-Channeling of her chosen genre. GeekWoman likes it because of the explosions, not in spite of them.

But surely you’re not pretending that SyFy is the only outlet out there? I can think of four network TV shows I’m currently watching with an SF twist to them (Flash Forward, Dollhouse, Heroes, Fringe), and none of them strike me as being particularly “girly.” Although, being a girl, I guess I come to the table wearing my own Special Goggles–but my husband also watches and enjoys the shows too, if that signifies, and he’s a CCW-holding, race-car driving, jeeping, airplane-flying guy, so…not girly.

SyFy is going to fail, and fail hard, because it’s abandoned its base. And that’s a problem. But it’s not because a bunch of PC girly girls have invaded our genre–it’s because a bunch of marketing dweebs who don’t understand us have.

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Lupo October 13, 2009 at 10:38

I agree with Vladimir. Minsky’s comment is pig ignorant, and Minsky himself is one of the more overrated “important” thinkers of our time. I personally witnessed Roger Penrose (also overrated, as are most pop science guys) eviscerate Minsky’s clownish nerd religion in front of almost 1000 people. It was great.

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Alevai October 13, 2009 at 10:39

Clarence:

I’ve worked in a bookstore for almost a decade. Let me tell you about about what women typically read: EVERYTHING. Maybe your mother read primarily romance, but that does not prove the generality.

30 years of propaganda insisting that women are interested in hard sciences. Really? Propaganda? Like what? Like Marie Curie winning 2 Nobel Prizes in the sciences (being the first person ever to possess two)? Or Bessie Coleman being the first person to hold an international pilot’s license?

Why are you so insistent on this “us vs them” approach? Why is it so hard to reconcile the fact that women have diverse interests, just as men do? Why are our interests and perspectives less valuable? Because you think we all only like romance novels and are trying to change science fiction to reflect these fluffy ideals which, because, as we’re just wimmen durr, are the only ideals we could possibly possess?

How about this. WOMEN LIKE SCIENCE FICTION BECAUSE IT’S SCIENCE FICTION.

Here are some other fields men used to insist women “just weren’t that into”: Everything but home making, secretary work, teaching or nursing.

Funny how that’s changed. Funny how it’s still changing. Why do you think that is? Oh right, propaganda. Sure.

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Clarence October 13, 2009 at 10:42

Ironically , some of the best science fiction to be found on TV or at the movies or in graphic form is anime. And alot of the animes/mangas find ways to switch between tech talk and wonder to characterization, something most of our poor writers haven’t figured out yet. And better yet: They tell stories without worrying about “Offending” anyone.

One of Mike Resniaks earliest novels is Redbeard. The main protoganist is hardly a hero: He’s a rapist, a murderer, a bigot, and not particularily cultured either. But in my opinion it’s still a good rip-roaring story that makes one think. Even though I first read the book as a child in the early 80′s, to this day I still wonder what Gareth Cole’s (mutant leader) plot is. I am reasonably certain that book wouldn’t get published today.

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filkertom October 13, 2009 at 10:46

… You’re scared of women, aren’t you?

Not to mention talking about emotions, personal interrelationships, and other aspects of being human.

I apologize if I’m reading you wrong, but that’s certainly the way it sounds. Quoting Minsky (an AI programmer who has problems with fiction about real peoples’ emotions, gee, that’s not a slightly loaded POV) to back up your thesis only seems to show that you have some problems socializing. I recommend hitting a few SF/F conventions and not going to the computer room or gaming areas.

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dejla October 13, 2009 at 10:53

Your abysmal lack of understanding about science fiction, media, and what women read, write, and are interested in is unfortunately, not even shocking–it’s simply typical of the average male reader and viewer.

Science fiction is about the universe. It’s about what if. It’s about ideas, not simply technology. It’s a field and a genre so gigantic that it includes not only Jules Verne, Asimov, Heinlein, and Neil Gaiman, but Mary Shelley, Ursula K. LeGuin, Connie Willis, C.J. Cherryh, and Margaret Atwood. It’s a universe in and of itself, containing multitudes.

And it even has room for you and your complaints of ‘girls are ruining my sandbox’.

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kate October 13, 2009 at 10:53

Ha hah ha ha ha – oh god I can’t stop laughing – this is so funny.

*Points at the website and laughs again*

This guy is serious? Does he know what a laughing stock he has become? I would put in effort to respond if I thought there was a point but since there isn’t, and this is just such unbelievable rubbish all I can do is laugh.

Thanks for that. I needed to be cheered up.

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Goober October 13, 2009 at 10:59

I have a question for the author: Have you ever been allowed to touch an actual woman without a credit card being involved? And was it your mother’s credit card? What a loser.

(As for whoever made the comment about TV shows with strong female characters being aimed at women, what planet do you live on? I – man, in my 40s – don’t watch shows where all the women are nothing more than mannikens for lingerie. I prefer shows with realistic characters, not cardboard cutouts. Grow up, and stop being so insecure.)

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Dev October 13, 2009 at 10:59

*cough* Your misogyny’s showing, dude. May want to fix that.

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Clarence October 13, 2009 at 11:00

Alevai:

Do you really want to try a game of science “Nobel Prize Winners” with me? Because then I’m going to have start asking you uncomfortable questions. How many in physics? How many in chemistry? At least I know of a few in life sciences. But overall, how many in 100 years? And lets not bring up the Fields medal, that’s just not something you want to go into.

Here’s a bet:

Those that purchased general lit and romance books in your bookstore were mostly women. Those that purchased science fiction books /popular science books were mostly men. Manga/Anime tended to cross over then most over types of genres. Textbooks, mostly men in the sciences , with the exception of the first year type of general survey texts.

Now despite all your capital letters here is how things are, and much more politely too: SOME women like science fiction because its science fiction. Most women could take it or leave it, just as most women (the vast majority, more so than men) could care less about advanced mathematics, or quantum physics.

This asymetrical distribution of interests among the sexes is probably both biological and cultural, what is undeniable is that it exists, and its also indefensible to me to assert that the sole reason more women don’t take up science careers or read more science fiction is because of the ooy gooey evil sexist geekboys who won’t let a girl into the club, when, for the most part it’s the “popular girls and guys” who have appointed them possessor of the cooties for daring to have such strange interests.

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Clarence October 13, 2009 at 11:01

Hey Goober:

Do you eat your boogers? Ha, ha ha ha, your name is funnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnie.

There, now my post is as intelligent as yours. Shaming language to a guy you don’t know? Tsk.

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Clarence October 13, 2009 at 11:03

Kate:

Your panties are showing. I think it’s because you are having such a hissy fit. What I recommend is for you to pull your pants farther up, and please – polka dot panties with winnie the pooh on them are so over the top. You need a sense of style, “girlfriend”.

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Charlotte October 13, 2009 at 11:06

This is a point I forgot to make — most women don’t like sci-fi, okay. NEITHER DO MOST MEN. The die-hard Trekkie fanboy we all think of when we think “geek” is representative of a minority of men.

Maybe we think more men like science fiction because modern sci-fi has become more violent, and real men are supposed to like real violence. A lot of it could be the shaping effect of expectation instead of some kind of in-born need for lasers in your entertainment. After all, female viewership of the Bond series (including purchase rates for the older films) is increasing at a prodigious rate, and women turned out in huge numbers to see 300 and the new Star Trek movie — as violence is becoming decodified, so is the fanbase for violent movies. Maybe the same is in store for science.

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kate October 13, 2009 at 11:07

Try again- but actually try this time.

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Clarence October 13, 2009 at 11:12

Charlotte:

That’s true, but there’s still a greater percentage of male “geeks and nerds” than female geeks and nerds. Which is partly why many geeks and nerds don’t get lots of experience with women when they are younger. Also while most men aren’t really interested in hard science fiction, they usually aren’t overtly disdainful about it.

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Clarence October 13, 2009 at 11:13

kate dear:

You aren’t worth a real effort.

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kate October 13, 2009 at 11:14

Clarence dear – that was my point.

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Clarence October 13, 2009 at 11:19

Well, since we are calling each other “dear” I now feel a spark. Let’s get married. I’ve always wanted a girl who wore polka dot panties with good ol Winnie the Pooh on them, and if you are of the girl-loving persuasion I’d be happy to share you with your girlfriend.
Well, that is assuming you are over 16 and under 50. Seems like alot of those replying to this thread are ages 50 plus and all there experiences came from a time when women readers of science fiction were patronized terribly.

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Katy October 13, 2009 at 11:26

” Considerably more men than women are interested in reading and watching science fiction than women. ”

CRAP! I’d better go tell my husband this. Apparently he married a guy.

*checks self* Well I have boobies … now I’m all confused, darn it.

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kate October 13, 2009 at 11:27

Sorry Clarence, while I like men very much, I am over 16 and under 50, I like my men to be strong, funny and intelligent. I especially like it if they are interested in science and science fiction.

So clearly you hold no possible attraction for me. While I will admit you made me laugh, it isn’t supposed to be at you.

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Julie October 13, 2009 at 11:29

…apparently, women who read science fiction are STILL subject to being patronized terribly. I never knew that my possession of ovaries meant that I wasn’t supposed to enjoy SF. Nor did I know that said ovaries meant I shouldn’t be writing stories filled with blood, pain, and death. Seriously, every single thing I’ve ever written, someone or something ends up bleeding or dying. Even the “funny” stuff.

I’d better fix that, STAT. I guess.

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Learn Hexadecimal October 13, 2009 at 11:30

Seems like alot of those replying to this thread are ages 50 plus and all there experiences came from a time when women readers of science fiction were patronized terribly.

I hope that someday you realize how deeply, deeply ironic that sentence was, coming as it did after the history of your comments to this post.

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Gina October 13, 2009 at 11:31

This post has been endlessly entertaining. Thanks for flying your ignorant flag for all the world to see, oh-so-manly and yet strangely Anonymous Author.

Besides all the name-calling and back and forth, I do think there is one valid point made here – fantasy and science fiction (not *gag* SyFy) are, in fact, two different genres of fictional writing. Piers Anthony, J.R.R. Tolkein, Neil Gaiman, etc. are fantasy authors. Isaac Asimov, Jules Verne, Robert Heinlein, etc. are science fiction authors. Of course, there is some intermeshing between the two genres, but generally I’ve found books fall into one of the two categories, rather than both. Vampire novels, such as (*gag* again) Twilight, are fantasy, not sci-fi. So what I see happening is more of a proliferation of the fantasy genre, rather than the disappearance or dumbing-down of the science fiction genre.

And I also see the “SyFy” network going all to hell by pandering to the wrong audience, but that really has nothing to do with the science fiction genre as a whole and everything to do with (misguided) marketing and (unnecessary) trademark protection.

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Clarence October 13, 2009 at 11:54

kate:
Predictable :)
Julie:

Can you point to anyone that said that women can’t write science fiction? It certainly wasn’t me. And if you want me to be even MORE patronizing: well to get a sense of true patronization you should read some of the old letters to Astounding Science Fiction and similar pubs in the 40′s and 50′s. So there, now you’ve been properly patronized and you can now go preen.

LearnHexadecimal: Your name is just SOOOOOOOOOo cute.
Sorry, that was rather lame. My patronization pill is starting to wear off.

Gina: A woman who gets it and Has a Sense of Humor. Thanks for making my fantasies tonight..

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Mijan October 13, 2009 at 12:01

“Seems like alot of those replying to this thread are ages 50 plus and all there experiences came from a time when women readers of science fiction were patronized terribly.”

Well, I’m 29. Happily married, for what it’s worth. Got the house, the yard, the career (civilian now), the two pets and a yard with a fence. I run and weight-lift regularly. Still fit my high school prom gown. And still a sci-fi geek who would gladly kill a few hours debating the merit of new!Kirk’s field promotion to Captain, discussing the subsections of the Stargate universe, or arguing for the need to pretend that the Star Wars prequels were never made. Warp theory, time-travel nuances, and teleportation devices are also great discussion topics.

Anyway, Gina is correct – this is a proliferation of fantasy, not a weakening of science fiction. The PROBLEM is that this new variety of fantasy gets barrel-rolled together with sci-fi, and it’s annoying as all hell. No sparkly vampires for me, k thx bai.

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Julie October 13, 2009 at 12:09

Clarence, no, but I’m seeing a lot of hand-wringing re: the chick-i-fication of SF, and I can’t help but lift an eyebrow in the OP’s direction and wonder if he thinks I’m part of the problem because of the mere fact that I’m a chick. Am I only allowed in the clubhouse if I read and write “hard” SF, or is it okay that I read and write urban fantasy and space opera too? Where’s the line? How many guts do I need to spill? Is the fact that my Romance Bone is broken a factor?

Of course, he’s also looking at the “problem” (if such it is) through the very narrow goggles of the SyFy channel, and ignoring the plethora of pretty good SF available on network TV. For such a marginal genre, we certainly have a lot to choose from. Ghettoizing ourselves on one channel isn’t doing us any favors.

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Charlotte October 13, 2009 at 12:11

I’m 20 and pursuing two degrees in writing and gender studies. Yes, I am still called a tomboy when I start talking about science fiction. And yes, right now, right here, by you, I and women like me are being patronized for trying to put our own faces and voices into science fiction.

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J Spencer October 13, 2009 at 12:14

Heh. We Wimmin are in your genre, takin’ them over, one at a time.

Or perhaps they’d like us to stick to cookbooks. or romance. Or not bother to read or watch anything at all.

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Charlotte October 13, 2009 at 12:17

Oh, also, for the feminists in the audience, there’s a great book called How To Suppress Women’s Writing by Joanna Russ that everyone should read — it’s less than a hundred pages and hits a lot of the points that have been under discussion here.

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frankie October 13, 2009 at 12:23

Clarence – you’re letting Mary Shelley into the clubhouse!? How generous….when she laid the foundation stone for the place…

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Clarence October 13, 2009 at 12:26

frankie:

Do you even know what you are babbling about?
There was a story written about a voyage to the moon back in the time of the ancient greeks. If I really wanted to I could go dig it up.
Shelley was hardly the first writer of science fiction. It may also surprise you that I know she was also one of the early pioneers of the women’s movement. Like the first wavers, she was part of the movement when it was still sane.

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k October 13, 2009 at 12:28

So all women only want to watch “relationship drama,” and all men are only interested in “explosions” and space battles.

Sounds like someone needs a lesson in stereotypes on both sides of his argument.

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Alevai October 13, 2009 at 12:31

Clarence:

My point about the Nobel Prize winners was not a pissing contest on which gender has won more. You said the only reason women are thought to be interested in the hard sciences is because of “propaganda”. I was saying they are thought to be interested in the hard sciences because they actually are interested.

Also I should think that the vast majority of people, not just women, could care less about Quantum Physics and the like. I’m not sure the point you’re trying to make. Could we agree that both genders have some interest in these fields? Is the point we’re arguing here that more men than women like a certain brand of science, so that means only men’s opinions on that subject should be valued? Majority = entitlement to ownership? Because I find that indefensible.

Also, please answer my question why women are now present in so many fields in which they were thought (by men) not to have any interest in?

I’ll do you one better regarding romance novels. Women are the only ones (in my experience) who buy them. Men are the only ones who buy crap like Maxim though. Why? Because they are fantasies specifically created to cater to each respective gender, and so are purchased almost exclusively by those people. Both fantasy styles are fluffy crap (imo) and do not adequately represent the interests of either gender.

Science, on the other hand, was not specifically created to cater to men and neither was science fiction. Men are not genetically designed to be superior at them or women would not be able to compete at all.
I do not believe women have less of an interest because they are women. I think it is much, much more complicated than that, and I think you are ignorant to suggest otherwise.

And no, I don’t sell the easy textbooks to women and the hard textbooks to men. They each buy both. Obviously.

Interestingly enough, the vast majority of young adults buying science fiction/fantasy for their age (and I’m talking Orson Scott Card and Ursula K. Leguin, not that Twilight nonsense) are girls.

There is an asymetrical distribution of interest among genders, but I don’t believe it’s quite as deep or static as you think. In any case, we are obviously going to disagree on this, we have both made our points and I need to study for my midterm, so ciao dude. Good luck with stuff.

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Lukobe October 13, 2009 at 12:40

Charlotte wrote I’m 20 and pursuing two degrees in writing and gender studies.

Serious question here: what do you plan to do with that? I ask as a holder of two degrees in English myself, one in lit, one in lang.

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Clarence October 13, 2009 at 12:49

Alevai:

I’ll answer your questions even though asking and running is rude. After all, there’s always a use in injecting information to threads like these.

The propoganda I am referring to is the absolute bullcrap that career interests are exactly evenly distributed among the sexes and the only reason why there are not more women engineers, for example, is sexism.

It is my contention that these days women are present in science and engineering fields very close to the full extent that such interest exists among the population of women. Obviously, when they were barred from entry or not allowed to be educated this wasn’t the case.

I’m also of the opinion that there are indeed differences between male and female brains that manifest in averages in interests and abilities between the population of males and females. There are always of course, exceptions and it is morally right that such people should be free to pursue their interests, but it most be noted that the voice of what I regard “real” science fiction to be..hard science, dealing with ideas more so than characterizations – is going to be overwhelmingly male no matter what the “syfy” channel does. More males equals more editors, authors, etc, and there is no conspiracy in this anymore than the fact that the vast majority of quilting mags are run and stafffed by women.

Insofar as you sale graduate level textbooks in the sciences to people you probably sell them overwhelmingly to males because those fields, such as Physics at the MA level and above tend to be 95 plus percent male.

Lastly, women read more than men. A whole generation of young males has practically given up casual reading and fiction of any type, particularily in the inner cities. So in that case, it’s not surprising that the majority of readers of fiction of all types among the younger (30 and under set) would be women.

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frankie October 13, 2009 at 12:51

Clarence, older stories about visiting the moon, non-human beings, monsters etc are mythology or fantasy, no science component…

Mary Shelley is specifically exploring the ‘science’ bit, what with the amazing (frightening) pace of scientific progress at the time, I think she is usually seen as the first to look at the scientist’s role as a creator…

Not that I’m downgrading the importance of myth and fantasy in influencing sci-fi. Which is a newborn child compared to them. Surely Shelley is indebted to the golem myth for a start.

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SunKrux October 13, 2009 at 13:08

I love that women are ruining Scifi for you because you sir are the moron. Do you talk to your mother like you talk to folks here? I bet you don’t. I bet you suck up to her because you never wanted to leave the womb. You have uterus envy.

My 10 year-old niece is gonna kick your ass with her knowledge and LOVE of Science. Just saying. I encourage her and will continue to encourage her in that since it so obviously distresses such a manly, man as yourself. Get the hell over yourself.

*points, laughs and walks away*

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Charlotte October 13, 2009 at 13:36

@Lukobe: Academia. I’m heading up the PhD track (hopefully) with a bit of activism on the side. The degree in writing is actually a degree in rhetoric — I’m hoping to study pretty much exactly what’s happening here, i.e. the interaction of gender and art/literature/film and the way people talk about it.

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waaahhhmbulance October 13, 2009 at 13:38

I’ve never seen a bigger collection of losers who got beat up one too many times back in high school by the jocks. Were you jealous of those hot cheerleaders that hung off their shoulders and laughed at you when their man wailed on you? Don’t hate on the ladies that none of you will ever be able to get in your entire lives lol.

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Welmer October 13, 2009 at 13:40

Were you jealous of those hot cheerleaders that hung off their shoulders and laughed at you when their man wailed on you? Don’t hate on the ladies that none of you will ever be able to get in your entire lives lol.

That’s a good one. I married a cheerleader, and that was the dumbest thing I ever did in my life. Far be it from me to envy men who end up with cheerleaders.

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dejla October 13, 2009 at 13:45

Clarence, it wasn’t Mary Shelley who wrote on feminism. It was her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, who wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Women. She died at 38, giving birth to her daughter, Mary Shelley. Before she wrote The Rights of Women, she wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Man, in which she argued the merits of the French Revolution.

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Welmer October 13, 2009 at 13:51

Mary Wollstonecraft was a mentally disturbed, suicidal adulteress who had illegitimate children with various men. She epitomizes the immoral, deranged and destructive aspects of feminists, and it is no wonder that she is their hero.

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Puma October 13, 2009 at 14:06

165 comments. – wow!

Talk about baiting traffic. Evil but Genius.

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Troll duh October 13, 2009 at 14:17

If anyone has a daughter here, what do you think of her? In your eyes, is she just destined to be nothing but an empty-brained fuck toy for a guy later in her life? I’m guessing you wouldn’t want her to become interested in a lot of things or else she may grow up into one of those scary feminists or whatever. I kinda want to know…

Then again, you probably made your wife abort it when you found out it was a filthy female, amirite?

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Welmer October 13, 2009 at 14:21

I have a daughter. I’m scared to death she’ll be turned into a little tramp by her mother. When she’s with me, I hold her to the same level of accountability that I hold my son. That’s all I think women need — to be held just as responsible for their behavior as men are. Unfortunately, our society excuses women for the worst excesses, allowing them to ruin the people around them, and then eventually ruin themselves without any restraint.

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Troll duh October 13, 2009 at 14:24

Uuuuh why did you bother screwing any woman to create her if you hate women so much? I am baffled as fuck. I’m guessing you’re divorced? Maybe not? What?

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Welmer October 13, 2009 at 14:27

Yep, divorced.

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Amy Mayr October 13, 2009 at 14:29

This article has truly opened my eyes to how hard it must be to be a straight, white male who watches TV.

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Troll duh October 13, 2009 at 14:30

Why keep your daughter around, also?

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Wah wah wah wah... October 13, 2009 at 14:30

I love how this blog post is full of baseless generalizations, sweeping statements and (cis)gender-based stereotypes. And by “love” I mean “love” in that, “rip off your face and dance on it” sorta way. Congrats and being a whiny douche-hound.

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Wut October 13, 2009 at 14:35

The “Spearhead”?

… So this’s like a newsletter for closet fags? You mention queers and feminism a lot for dudes who claim to be “straight”….

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Welmer October 13, 2009 at 14:37

Actually, neither of the “fags” that post here are closeted.

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Poor Welmer October 13, 2009 at 14:38

So your daughter gets to pay for the sins of her mother?! Awesome! And all other women get to be generalised as feminazi man-haters as well, just because you had a relationship go wrong.

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Welmer October 13, 2009 at 14:40

Why keep your daughter around, also?

Because I’m her father. I’ll assume you are not a parent.

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Kathi October 13, 2009 at 14:40

This has been an interesting read. I think the “assumption” that more men buy/read hard-core science fiction than women might hold up better if there were actual figures to show for it. As it is, it seems more of a rant than a logical argument. Spock and Sarek would both ask for figures.

Another point someone made was about K-12 in the US not well-versed in the sciences. It’s true and a shame because the US is out sourcing or bringing in talent from other countries because its own student population isn’t moving up the education ladder to be leaders in the sciences. I’m fortunate that my 12-year-old has wanted to be an engineer since she first watched ST-DS9 (the more gritty, realistic look at political, religious and social cultures – IMHO). Ok, ok, Xena Warrior Princess has always been a fav of mine as well. What can I say I collect swords, much to the DH’s financial dismay.

Do I think reading science-fiction would improve the state of interest in the sciences? Absolutely, but first kids have to know HOW to read, then they have to be required to read instead of parents planting them in front of a TV or computer screen.

Clarence:
<>

An interesting quote, and forgive me if I misunderstand it. I’m not a rocket scientist, but most of the hard-core science fiction I’ve read has always had a strong political component to it. Heinlein, Bradbury, etc. F54 was a pretty strong statement against censorship, unless I’m remembering the wrong book. There are other examples, but I tend to get authors/titles and storylines mixed up regularly, so I won’t humiliate myself. However, I would suggest that good science fiction has to balance the technology with the politics and tell one hell of a story to boot. I don’t think one or the other (tech/pol) should weigh heavier if it’s going to stand the test of time.

Personally, I don’t give a rip what genre or fictional book I read, I read to be entertained. If the book doesn’t entertain, I move on. But there’s a lot of science fiction I’ve read over the years that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. But I have to say that I’m thoroughly sick of hearing, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” And the original post seems rather misogynistic, but that’s the poster’s right to free speech. I don’t agree, but I’ll support his right to rant.

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Welmer October 13, 2009 at 14:43

So your daughter gets to pay for the sins of her mother?! Awesome! And all other women get to be generalised as feminazi man-haters as well, just because you had a relationship go wrong.

What makes you think that raising a responsible daughter is making her “pay” for anything? In fact, girls who grow up with their fathers involved in their lives are better adjusted and less promiscuous.

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Kathi October 13, 2009 at 14:44

Rats – Clarence I screwed up quoting you.
This is your quote I was referring too
However, you’ve got to be willing to do science fiction and let the science fiction dominate your politics rather than your politics dominate the science fiction parts.

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The Fifth Horseman October 13, 2009 at 14:46

What makes you think that raising a responsible daughter is making her “pay” for anything? In fact, girls who grow up with their fathers involved in their lives are better adjusted and less promiscuous.

The golden rule of feminism : Always, always blame the man for anything that has happened or ever could happen in the future.

Women are experts at avoiding responsibility that adults would normally have to bear. Reasoning with them is futile, as we can see here.

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Welmer October 13, 2009 at 14:46

Just killing time here.

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Kathi October 13, 2009 at 14:46

|In fact, girls who grow up with their fathers involved in their lives are better adjusted and less promiscuous. |

I’m not going to argue for or against this statement, but it would support your argument better if you provided statistics that favor your position.

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B October 13, 2009 at 14:48

Your homophobia and misogyny is showing, basement dweller.

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Puma October 13, 2009 at 14:49

Here you go Kathi:

http://www.childrensjustice.org/fatherlessness2.htm

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Welmer October 13, 2009 at 14:49

I’m not going to argue for or against this statement, but it would support your argument better if you provided statistics that favor your position.

Here’s one. There are plenty of others out there.

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Mr.M October 13, 2009 at 14:55

Heh, haven’t read the comments on this site (read all the articles though) until today.

Whats with all the trollery? I don’t think roissy even gets this many unique (i think) trolls.

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Die October 13, 2009 at 14:56

Die.

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Welmer October 13, 2009 at 14:57

AFPMT hit a nerve with the scifi post. As we know, people who like scifi tend to be online a whole lot, hence the wave of trollery.

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Poor Welmer October 13, 2009 at 15:00

The golden rule of “man”inism : Always, always blame the woman for anything that has happened or ever could happen in the future.

Men are experts at avoiding responsibility that adults would normally have to bear. Reasoning with them is futile, as we can see here.

See what I did there? You’re doing precisely what you’re accusing me of. I see a lot of blaming women, feminists, around here & some of the blogs linked to, with a smattering of homophobia.

And while it’s quite sad that Welmer is now divorced (and maybe his ex is a horrible person) it appears that a negative experience with her is a basis for his judgement of “most” women. I question the extent to which it affects the relationship he has with his own daughter.

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The Fifth Horseman October 13, 2009 at 15:03

Whats with all the trollery? I don’t think roissy even gets this many unique (i think) trolls.

That is why I am optimistic about The Spearhead : It bugs all the right types of people.

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Mr.M October 13, 2009 at 15:04

Welmer,

Kind of sad reading the dissenting “arguments.” Lot of personal attacks and shaming going on in this post. Kind of why I stopped reading comments in general…just was surprised at the sheer volume being left these past couple days.

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Welmer October 13, 2009 at 15:06

Don’t worry, M., it can be helpful to get a reminder every now and then.

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Novaseeker October 13, 2009 at 15:07

This thread is invaluable as an exhibit of the breathless, shaming, shrieking way that feminists and their enablers viscerally react to dissent from their ideological hegemony. In that sense, it’s rather useful as an artifact.

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The Fifth Horseman October 13, 2009 at 15:12

This thread is invaluable as an exhibit of the breathless, shaming, shrieking way that feminists and their enablers viscerally react to dissent from their ideological hegemony. In that sense, it’s rather useful as an artifact.

YES. This is why step #1 is to teach men how to identify and be unperturbed by shaming language (which is so powerful that feminists have managed to turn socialcons into willing pawns). Step #2 is to identify and seamlessly deflect ‘Beta tests’ and turn them back (which women never expect, and are taken aback by). This has to be the bedrock of any real progress we hope to make. Take away their main weapon.

This is why Game has useful teachings even for non-sexual interactions. The MOST valuable learning of Game is to avoid traps that women set, avoid being used, avoid being deterred by shaming language, etc.

Getting laid is merely the second most valuable use of Game.

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The Fifth Horseman October 13, 2009 at 15:14

Joel = Feminist sock puppet. Check the IP address.

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Novaseeker October 13, 2009 at 15:19

IP looks legit although do not post under different names, Joel, or you will get pinged.

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Countess Baltar October 13, 2009 at 15:20

For what it’s worth:

Cyrano de Bergerac (the real person) wrote The Other World: The Comical History of the States and Empires of the Moon (1657) which described a method of space travel based on known scientific principles.

Much of the “relationship drama” I’ve seen on TV sci-fi IS “moronic”. Not because it’s “chick” stuff, but because it’s simply AWFUL writing. (The “re-delusioned” Battlestar Galactica’s “Quadrangle of Doom” anyone?)

A key element in the state of today’s science fiction is Marxist Critical Theory applied to it which pushed it into the “social commentary is paramount over science-based stories” territory. (“But what I want to maintain here is that critical theory itself – especially in its most central, Marxian version – does implicitly privilege a certain genre, and that this genre is SF. ” Carl Freedman, “Science Fiction and Critical Theory” Science Fiction Studies, Volume 14 (1987), page 185.)

In addition to the critical theory, the serious literature crowd encouraged the belief that science fiction was “trash” if it didn’t aspire to the higher ideas of social commentary on contemporary issues. “Magical realism” (a literary genre that originated in South America) was so much more acceptable than U.S. “science fiction” written in the mid-20th century. Anything that reflected the traditional U.S. ideals of “rugged individualism” or self-determination was disparaged. “Happy endings” were also deemed “unrealistic”.

This all resulted in loads of science fiction that is endlessly tedious as characters sit around and deliver long politically correct speeches, only pausing to bicker and engage in rather meaningless sex.

And since Moore and Eick’s “re-delusion” (I like that. It’s appropriate.) was mentioned, I prefer the original. The men were men, the women were women, and Baltar was eee-vil.

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B. Ross Ashley October 13, 2009 at 15:34

I have been reading science fiction since i was knee-high to a Heinlein Martian, back in the 50s. At that point some of the best was being written by Andre Norton. Pen name of Alice Mary Norton.

You, sir, are an ignorant wannabee fan whose opinion is worthless on the face of it. Go play with your John Norman Tarnsman of Gor action figure, and leave the sf to the people who actually read and write it.

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Mr.M October 13, 2009 at 15:34

This thread is invaluable as an exhibit of the breathless, shaming, shrieking way that feminists and their enablers viscerally react to dissent from their ideological hegemony. In that sense, it’s rather useful as an artifact.

I agree, to a certain extent.

I’ve actually been meaning to peruse feminist sites like feministing and make some “opposing” (yet tasteful) comments there, to get a more authentic reaction from the crowd. Also, I’ve read solely MRA stuff in the past year, so I’m curious if my opinions/thoughts/mindset will change some, or be further strengthened, should I read feminist written articles.

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The Fifth Horseman October 13, 2009 at 15:55

I’ve actually been meaning to peruse feminist sites like feministing and make some “opposing” (yet tasteful) comments there, to get a more authentic reaction from the crowd.

It appears you have yet to experience how horridly anti-male these people are.

No matter how polite and reasonable you are, you will get banned in very short order. Try it, and see. Their intolerance is really lightyears worse than any supposed bias on our part.

After you fully understand feminists, then we will progress to the next step, which is to see how social conservatives are unwitting (but sometimes willing) allies of feminists.

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Sean_MacCloud October 13, 2009 at 16:02

Obviously, this particular article has been linked to from some weirdo b-board.

————
Testing before voting…

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Kate October 13, 2009 at 16:07

Sci Fi is about “men doing things”? And this is why the original Trek was composed almost exclusively of 45-minute morality plays? Why Asimov put the “science” in science fiction? Why the Dune series was nothing but a 5,000,000-word soap opera? Why Jules Verne, father of modern science fiction, spent more time on technical details and the human condition than he did on fighting?

I apologize for polluting the purity of your genre of choice with my extra X chromosome.

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Matt Abbott October 13, 2009 at 16:32

What a bunch of sexist, homophobic garbage. You no more have a perspective about science fiction than you do about women and men.

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Cyntia King October 13, 2009 at 16:48

REBUTTAL:

This article makes so many unsubstantiated assertions as to render this entire piece nothing but a meaningless rant. (E.g. “Over time there has been more fantasy and less science fiction because women are more interested in the supernatural and the paranormal than men are.” Really? Because men aren’t interested in Stephen King, Bram Stoker, Anne Rice, Edgar Allan Poe, etc.?)

Both of Marvin Minsky’s comments have been taken out of context and you’ve drawn conclusions which cannot be reasonably be inferred from the statements, either alone or when taken as part the book passages in which they appear. Your conclusion that, “Sure the moronic relationship drama is in space, but as Minsky tells us from his quotes, its not science fiction anymore, and men are not interested in moronic relationship drama in space.” can in no way be derived from Minsky’s statements. He also states in the preceding paragraph, “I read all sorts of books, but the ones I loved most were about mathematics, chemistry, physics, and biology. I was never tempted to waste much time at sports, politics, fiction, or gossip, and most of my friends had similar interests.” Do we assume he also feels sports and politics to be unmanly? Of course not.

I’m a woman and a fan of Sci-Fi that incorporates scientific elements with action & adventure (for example: original Star Trek, Robinson Crusoe on Mars, Soldier, Westworld, Stargate, Fantastic Voyage, Robocop, Star Wars 1-3, etc.). I prefer my Sci-Fi without much “relationship drama” but also without the oft-included gratuitous nudity/sex in your male-driven movies. I work in the Intellectual Property/Technology sector. Although not hard science, my work supports new technologies, innovators and inventors. Your inept generalizations and baseless conclusions appear to me as nothing more than the obvious bias of a man who cannot view a relationship depicted in movies or on TV without somehow feeling emasculated by it. Have more faith I your penis and get over it. Just like I intend to get over your ridiculous assertion that

Entertainment is a profit-driven industry. The ‘feminization’ of Sci-Fi (should that be true and verifiable) would indicate an increased interest in the genre – and the field – by women. If women are increasing the amount of media that cater to their tastes by writing, producing and, ultimately, spending their hard-earned money on it, then your task is clear.

Write a Sci-Fi novel, produce a sci-fi movie, and/or put your money where your mouth is and STOP whining because little girls are now getting the opportunity to dream of themselves as inventors, explorers, terraformers and innovators as you did when you were a little boy.

Clarence – Your assumptions about women in advanced science/mathematics, and those pursuing careers in science are unsubstantiated and incorrect. Furthermore, I contend that your brand of misogynistic vitriol is the reason women have not been successful in these fields.

It, therefore, follows that you and your likeminded fellows (should they exist) are ruining Science Fiction for more than half the population – women – thereby preventing the scientific developments you seem to hold in such high regard.

WRONG: “The propoganda I am referring to is the absolute bullcrap that career interests are exactly evenly distributed among the sexes and the only reason why there are not more women engineers, for example, is sexism.”

Studies show that although more & more women are pursuing careers in these fields, they are still not receiving the same level of opportunity afforded to men. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/19/science/19women.html?_r=2&8dpc&oref=slogin

WRONG: “It is my contention that these days women are present in science and engineering fields very close to the full extent that such interest exists among the population of women.”

The study, by University of California-Davis economists Scott Carrell and Marianne Page and their colleague James West at the Air Force Academy, finds that replacing a male instructor with a female one has such a strong effect on female achievement as to erase the gender gap entirely. http://www.slate.com/id/2219701

ON A MORE PERSONAL NOTE: I don’t know even one heterosexual male who isn’t interested in seeing a woman, whether in the literal future or a Sci Fi movie. If your ego can only take a female as a piece of eye candy, not a lead character/partner, then the problem is clearly your own insecurity. After all, contempt or hatred of the female gender has been linked since the times of the ancient Greeks to a fear of the fairer sex. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misogyny
Just something to think about.

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Mr.M October 13, 2009 at 16:58

Fifth -

It appears you have yet to experience how horridly anti-male these people are.

No matter how polite and reasonable you are, you will get banned in very short order. Try it, and see. Their intolerance is really lightyears worse than any supposed bias on our part.

Yeah, I don’t really know how the REAL feminist writers/bloggers operate.

My closest was in speaking to an old college acquaintance about feminism and MRA (note: she admitted being a “former feminist”). After about 10-15 minutes of talking she said I “had not studied as long as she had in these matters” and thus don’t really deserve an opinion. Sort of a, “go research more and then come talk to me” attitude. Needless to say I was pretty shocked, she’s actually one of the most level headed (so I thought) and intelligent girl I’ve met at college. Of course, I never bothered talking about gender issues with her prior.

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Thursday October 13, 2009 at 17:02

There were legitimate bones to pick with the article (see my comments above), but holy crap these feminist commenters are retarded. Seems they don’t understand what statistical differences between groups are. Jeez, nobody said that no women could write or appreciate science fiction.

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Asher October 13, 2009 at 17:24

No kidding, Thursday. I’m quite skeptical of the whole MRA thing, as men operate best in scaling hierarchies where application of direct force is involved.

An untapped genre of sci-fi might be one that incorporates insights of ev-bio/ev-psy, exposing the sexual natures of men and women. Of course, the good guys would need to be the enemies of democracy ….

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Asher October 13, 2009 at 17:26

Look, the way to get the feminists to shut up is to craft and implement a movement involving scaling hierarchies and application of direct and overwhelming force. Fascism without all that goofy mystical, racialist crap.

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Female Who Has Loved SciFi Since She Was A Child October 13, 2009 at 17:41

Wow this post is full of the most misogynistic crap I have ever read. You know, most men aren’t so insecure that they have to pull this kind of crap to get attention. Luckily there are many more girls and guys who think scifi shouldn’t be limited to gender.

I think I’ll continue to watch the scifi that has both strong female and strong female characters thanks. I’ll also stay the hell away from this blog in the future.

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Ellid October 13, 2009 at 18:11

Clearly the OP doesn’t know much about fannish history, because the same whiny rant could have been written in the late 1960s when the first female Trek fen started showing up at cons and refused to marginalized as “femme fans.” Or in the 1970s, when Vonda McIntyre and Joan Vinge started winning awards, or the 1980s when the cyberpunks and the first openly gay fen showed up.

Honestly. The He-Man Woman Haters Club was by and for *children*. Seeing it in allegedly grown man is ridiculous. Has it ever occurred to any of these misogynists that writing garbage like this is a major reason why the average woman won’t have anything to do with them?

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Lemongrass October 13, 2009 at 18:18

My man Denis has something to say to you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gl2NKZtl07c

“Asshole” – Denis Leary

Check out his wisdom…DUDE.

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Asher October 13, 2009 at 18:28

I’m not so sure that we’re encountering feminists, so much as people with an average third-grade reading comprehension. Seriously, the original article was about how much of the history of sci-fi has been of “men doing things” or achieving objectives. BTW, many women, certainly a minority actually like that sort of stuff, too. Personally, I prefer the relationally-oriented stories, such as the recent BSG, but, then, I’m rather a minority of straight men who derive pleasure from a lot of “girly” things.

For the ladies out there, this post, and the website, in general, is about the legitimate concerns of men who live in an environment that is systematically stripping them of any ability to engage in a strong, vibrant masculinity. Most men don’t resent female oriented spheres, they just want their own, too. The problem is with the blatant double-standards.

Feminism is about power, purely and simply, and it objectively affects the lives of every man in the US, some for the better, many for the worse. The concerns expressed on this site are not some subjective mind-set taht just needs to be “worked out”. We are talking about objective reality.

Consider the following scenario: Jimmy, Johnny and Mary go to the same school. Both boys like Mary, but Mary has a thing for Jimmy and Jimmy gets her pregnant. She decides to keep the baby, but Jimmy is no father material, he is a born anti-social. Jimmy goes off to prison, having committed some crime, and Mary raises the child with the generous support of tax-payers like Johnny.

This is a real power-dynamic, it is not in the head, and coming here and mocking legitimate concerns will no longer keep this stuff quiet. The cat’s out of the bag. The shaming language no longer works. But, again, as long as men aren’t organizing themselves into scaling hierarchies that employ direct violence, think Augusto Pinochet, they are just engaging in a circle jerk.

Your shaming language just demonstrates your fear of a possible future where the “middling” man straps on the jackboots and asserts his interests in the world.

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TMW October 13, 2009 at 18:36

I dunno, I kind of got over the whole “girls have cooties, ewww!” thing right around the time the first pubes spouted. Before that, in fact. I guess some people love their developmental ruts.

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Robert October 13, 2009 at 18:38

Cyber Sisters:

http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/cybersisters.htm

;-D

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Puma October 13, 2009 at 18:42

The cat’s out of the bag.

Yeah! And I am never going back in!

;-)

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Puma October 13, 2009 at 18:44

… sorry I just c0uldn’t resist it.

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Puma October 13, 2009 at 18:48

Re: Robert / The Cyber Sisters:

Holy Shit! They know everything!

http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/bigcat.htm

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Robert October 13, 2009 at 18:51

Re: Puma — the Big Cat is one to watch out for……. ;-)

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Jack Donovan October 13, 2009 at 18:58

Asher -

Look, the way to get the feminists to shut up is to craft and implement a movement involving scaling hierarchies and application of direct and overwhelming force.

It certainly would be the most efficient way.

I’m not a fan of engaging them, arguing with them or recognizing their claims to intellectual authority on men. (Which is always based in a study of feminist material, which is like reading the Bible and calling yourself an authority on Ancient Rome or Egypt.) Feminists will argue until they tire themselves out and cry themselves to sleep. Reminds me of what Sean Connery was struggling to articulate in that famous interview…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FgMLROTqJ0

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Excelsior October 13, 2009 at 19:02

Y’all can let go of your dicks now, boys.

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Remadi October 13, 2009 at 19:03

[Interviewer]: “There’s a great deal of writing in the Star Trek movement which compares the relationship between Alexander and Hephaistion to the relationship between Kirk and Spock – focusing on the closeness of the friendship, the feeling that they would die for one another…”

[Roddenberry]: “Yes, there’s certainly some of that – certainly with love overtones. Deep love. The only difference being, the Greek ideal – we never suggested in the series – physical love between the two. But it’s the – we certainly had the feeling that the affection was sufficient for that, if that were the particular style of the 23rd century.”

[From: Shatner: Where No Man...: The Authorized Biography of William Shatner (Chapter 7 - Page 145, 147-8)]

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Excelsior October 13, 2009 at 19:04

@Ellid:

“Has it ever occurred to any of these misogynists that writing garbage like this is a major reason why the average woman won’t have anything to do with them?”

One does have to wonder why more whiny fanboys never seem to make that connection.

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Puma October 13, 2009 at 19:05

Excelsior: Y’all can let go of your dicks now, boys.

I don’t have an opposable thumb to hold mine. Can you help?

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Novaseeker October 13, 2009 at 19:11

I’m not a fan of engaging them, arguing with them or recognizing their claims to intellectual authority on men. (Which is always based in a study of feminist material, which is like reading the Bible and calling yourself an authority on Ancient Rome or Egypt.) Feminists will argue until they tire themselves out and cry themselves to sleep. Reminds me of what Sean Connery was struggling to articulate in that famous interview…

Exactly, Jack. That’s why I see this entire thread as a great exhibit for future use and perusal by men in our movement of the uselessness of debate with such persons. As well as a fantastic example of the various tactics deployed.

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Hawaiian Libertarian October 13, 2009 at 19:12

“Has it ever occurred to any of these misogynists that writing garbage like this is a major reason why the average woman won’t have anything to do with them?”

Who wants anything to do with average women?

They’re AVERAGE.

We’ll leave those to all you mangina suck-ups that believe that acting like a white knight and Captain Save-A-Ho will actually get you laid. Useful idiots.

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Asher October 13, 2009 at 19:16

Excelsior, unlike you fembots, some of us actually attempt to grapple with reality, and the difficult problem of human society. I get laid. The problem is that I’m not doing so in a manner that lends itself to a healthy, functioning society. MGTOW combined with the Game, aka casual sex, scene is the destruction of society.

I see this. You’re just a nihilist, offering nothing but petty insults.

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Kip October 13, 2009 at 19:22

Puma you do realize that’s a Cheetah on your user icon?

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Kevin K October 13, 2009 at 19:24

I have an odd bone to pick. I see a lot of comments here mention that sci-fi inspired them to become scientists or engineers (or someone they know). As a scientist (a physicist to be exact), let me say, most people who are scientists got into science because they are good at it. There might be people who go into science (or engineering) because of Spock or whatever, but they won’t make it very far if they don’t have the right sort of hardware between the ears. In fact, most people who are engineering/science are in it because their parents were in it and its a good way to make a living.

Therefore, to a certain extent it doesn’t matter how gender/race/species are portrayed in shows, movies, books. It will have almost no effect on who goes on to become a engineer or scientist or what have you.

Also, I find scientists (i.e. physicists and other natural scientists) tend not to be interested in sci-fi. Engineers I think are much more likely to be into it though.

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Lane October 13, 2009 at 19:25

Well, this article was pretty fucking ridiculous. And here I thought women bawwed more over this kind of thing than men did.

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Puma October 13, 2009 at 19:27

Don’t be silly Kip, our milk-man was the Cheetah.

But wait …. oh no …. this can’t be …. Mommy! … Mommy why did you lie to us all those years?!

:-(

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piercedhead October 13, 2009 at 19:30

On the off chance that some of the army of the offended that has landed aren’t all high-school girls doing what they are most famous for, a few points of interest:

As for Mary Shelley inventing science-fiction, that’s more a claim of desire than a substantive fact. Frankenstein was published in 1818. Cyrano de Bergerac published “Comical History of the States and Empires of the Moon” in 1656. Voltaire wrote “Micromégas” in 1752, a short story in which an alien from another planet visits Earth. There are numerous other claims to the ‘first work of science-fiction’ that predate Mary Shelley by centuries, right back into antiquity. If you’re sticking with Mary Shelley regardless, it’s probably more because you want to than anything else.

While we’re with Mary Shelley, she distinguishes herself from the thousands of other female writers of the 19th century by writing about something that is more of a ‘what-if’ than ‘here’s-how-life-is’, and then considering the moral questions that arise from that conjecture. The ‘what-if’ may have been outside of human experience, but it wasn’t implausible – and that makes her quite unlike even the best of the other women writers of her time. I believe that she was able to distinguish herself in this way because she was only 20-21 when she wrote it, she grew up without a mother and she had the benefit of an upbringing under an educated and liberal father (liberal in the older sense, as in free-thinking). As she got older and the cloud of feminine cynicism descended that usually becomes the guiding influence in an older woman’s outlook, her writing took on more directly that very typical feminine theme – the moral supremacism of the female and the necessity for more feminism. Yawn.

The fact that a woman could write an enduring work of science-fiction is less remarkable than the fact that so few other women did.

As for their ‘positive’ influence of women in modern science-fiction, a brief recount of a recent episode of Battlestar Galactica:

The female Starbuck tortures one of the enemy, in the form of a normal human man. She has him beaten (she uses another man for this), repeatedly head-dunked for long spells in water and thrown to the floor, where he is too weak to rise under his own strength. She eats in front of him, knowing that he’s starving. After hours of this, the female president makes an entrance and feigns horror at his treatment. She apologizes to the man, orders his manacles removed, for which he thanks her. She then asks him quietly and civilly for the answer to the same question he was being tortured for, and this time he offers it up freely. Having got what she came for, the female president then orders the man executed (which is done immediately).

Now how many of you seriously think the writers of this show would have allowed a woman to be cast in this same role as the tortured man? Imagine the howls of outrage if a male torturer and a male president had done exactly this to a female prisoner, and the moral messaging was that no outrage had been committed – this was just the harsh reality of war?

We all know that in the current cultural climate, such a scene is verboten. Females are not being presented in science-fiction in a way that is equal to the way men once were. They are being show-cased as the officer class, and are monopolizing the hero roles. No male viewer can watch this and take it seriously. It would be like asking black people to watch shows in which all the villains were black, and all pardonable outrages were committed solely against blacks.

This rubbish is impacting on men’s lives and causing huge harm to their welfare, and you women who refuse to even acknowledge this, and go out of your way to bury it under a storm of emotionalism identify yourselves as unbelievably vapid, supremely self-serving or downright malicious. This rubbish has got to stop.

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Vina October 13, 2009 at 19:42

Battlestar Galactica and Doctor Who are your big examples of “femminized science fiction”? Really? I don’t know if you actually remember either of the originals, but they were half-a-step up from Flash Gordon serials with about as much intellectual depth. Not to say they weren’t fun, but the rebooted versions are far superior on just about every level and lose nothing by being aimed a wider audience.

Also, somebody needs to thwap you soundly over the head with the collected works of Ursula K LeGuin, Andre Norton, and Alice Sheldon (aka James Tiptree Jr). You can’t seriously want a metaphorical “No Girls Allowed” sign on the door in this day in age.

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 19:46

A) Who’s sending the flash mobs here?

B) Mary Shelley didn’t write Frankenstein.

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Puma October 13, 2009 at 19:47

A) Who’s sending the flash mobs here?

More importantly, why hasn’t anyone brought cat-food?

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 19:48

Vina: “Doctor Who are your big examples of “femminized science fiction”? Really? I don’t know if you actually remember either of the originals, but they were half-a-step up from Flash Gordon serials with about as much intellectual depth”

May the ghost of Jon Pertwee haunt you unto repentance.

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 19:49

Puma,

I have acorns.

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The Fifth Horseman October 13, 2009 at 19:50

I’m not so sure that we’re encountering feminists, so much as people with an average third-grade reading comprehension.

Have you met a feminist with higher reading comprehension than that?

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 19:51

T5thH: “Have you met a feminist with higher reading comprehension than that?”

I’ve met feminists who can pronounce big words.

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The Fifth Horseman October 13, 2009 at 19:52

Who wants anything to do with average women?

They’re AVERAGE.

Seconded. Men with GAME need only concern ourselves with 8s, 9s, and 10s. And we get them.

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Atsiko October 13, 2009 at 19:52

I think one major point where the article falters is in declaring that all women’s fiction is full of moronic relationship drama. I think it is possible and even desirable to have _intelligently_ depicted relationships in fiction (all forms of fiction), and I believe there is a large body of literature in all genres which has accomplished this. There is also a large body of literature and television which does not.

Even the strictest, most rigorous SF has relationships at one level or another, because they have characters. And realistic characters have relationships.

Now, I think I should distinguish between hard SF and the Space Opera genre, which includes things like both Battlestar Galacticas. This type of show may have been about men doing things, but it was certainly not about technology or science. So you can’t argue that “feminizing” it is a blow to boys who may be inspired to pursue a career in science.

On the subject of the “Syfy” channel: I understand they wanted to protect trademark, but really, “syfy” just looks stupid. On topic, the sci-fi channel was never about hard SF. It has always included large elements of horror, fantasy, and space opera.

These genres are vastly different from the original hard scifi literary genre. Which, to be honest, was about men doing things because at the time it was written, only men were doing the things it dealt with. Now that women are doing these things, I feel it is only natural that sci-fi include more female characters. The inclusion of women in some sci-fi books is in no way mutually exclusive with a body of male-oriented works, if that is what you are after.

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 19:55

Kevin K: “There might be people who go into science (or engineering) because of Spock or whatever…”

No. Star Trek doesn’t send people into science, actual hard SF sends people into science. Obviously not too many, though, or we’d have an anarcho-libertarian rebellion of ass-kicking physicists by now. And we’d all be saying “kool beans” as we navigated Janatpour space.

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Hawaiian Libertarian October 13, 2009 at 19:59

I feel it is only natural that sci-fi include more female characters.

There is a substantial difference between “feminizing” a genre versus simply including female characters.

Come now, it’s not as if PMAFT’s original article was calling for the exclusion of female characters…just the shift in focus from a masculine point of view, focusing on creating and using technology to achieve action-oriented goals, rather than the recent shift towards a more feminine dynamic focused on interpersonal relationship drama.

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 20:00

“The inclusion of women in some sci-fi books is in no way mutually exclusive with a body of male-oriented works, if that is what you are after.”

A) The OP is about television.
B) Where are the male-oriented SF shows?

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Hawaiian Libertarian October 13, 2009 at 20:03

I think one major point where the article falters is in declaring that all women’s fiction is full of moronic relationship drama.

Where did the original article actually declare this?

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 20:05

Case in point regarding written SF: I have gotten to the point where I automatically skip any story in F&SF that is written by a woman. Almost every one has teh ghey in more or less overt form. If they don’t have teh ghey, they have teh emotional drama. I DO NOT READ SF TO GET MY FEELINGS TWINGED.

You also have to watch out for writers who use only initials for their first names, because they are almost always women. I’m looking at you, M. Rickert.

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Atsiko October 13, 2009 at 20:05

There’s still a fairly lively hard sf movement in the genre. Not everything is suddenly capital-D Drama.

Besides, it’s silly to say that not writing from a so-called “masculine” perspective is wrong. If you don’t like focus on character interaction, don’t read stories that focus on it.

I think another issue here is that PMAFT has a rather strict definition of “masculine.” Now, if he had merely talked about a “focus on creating and using technology to achieve action-oriented goals” there wouldn’t be all this backlash. Instead, he made it about gender. Why?

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Atsiko October 13, 2009 at 20:09

As a note, you folks respond really fast. So some of my comments may appearto ignore your points, when really you just happened to post before I hit “submit” on my last response.

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Ellid October 13, 2009 at 20:09

Asher –

Not only am I not a third-grader, I’m very likely old enough to be your *mother.* I’ve also been in fandom since the early 1970s, when people like you would have been forced to wear propeller beanies until the BNFs decided that you’d been a good little gopher long enough and let you read the cream of their Doc Savage collection.

The straight white male ghetto is long gone. Perhaps it’s time you admitted it?

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 20:10

Counterpoint, at least in fantasy. Robin Hobb/Megan Lindholm is totally worth reading. Even her worst stuff is better than any other woman in F/SF. She seems to grok the honor thing.

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 20:13

“The straight white male ghetto is long gone. Perhaps it’s time you admitted it?”

This is, in fact, the complaint. Straight white males write the best fiction. Delaney and Disch can … um, I guess I won’t go there, because those chaps might.

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Atsiko October 13, 2009 at 20:15

Eumaois’ post represents another assumption here.

There is more than one way to be “masculine”. The one supported here seems to consist of “honor and boom!” I’m all for supporting young men from childhood through adolescence and into adult-hood, but to present the proper man as following only one very strict set of principles is not the best way to go about this.

Hobb is better than other women because she address honor? What? Plenty of male writers don’t address and stress honor. Does that mean they are bad writers, too?

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 20:15

I’ll go even farther: straight, white, Roman Catholic males write the best science fiction.

* Gene Wolfe
* R. A. Lafferty
* Michael Flynn
* John C. Wright
* Neal Stephenson (he’s just got to be a crypto-Catholic)

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Hawaiian Libertarian October 13, 2009 at 20:17

I think another issue here is that PMAFT has a rather strict definition of “masculine.” Now, if he had merely talked about a “focus on creating and using technology to achieve action-oriented goals” there wouldn’t be all this backlash. Instead, he made it about gender. Why?

Because this entire online magazine is dedicated to exposing the truth about gender roles in today’s society. Mainly, we are concerned with how everyone in society is indoctrinated by mass media, public education and other cultural means to believe that ours is a society made for the benefit of men at the expense of women…when in fact, as we can demonstrate quite easily, it is in fact quite the opposite.

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Atsiko October 13, 2009 at 20:17

“Straight white males write the best fiction”? Wow, and you wonder why people argue and call you names. There is brilliant fiction out there by people f all races and genders. Maybe it doesn’t fit you pescriptive definition of extolling “proper” values, but to dismiss it entirely is crazy.

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Atsiko October 13, 2009 at 20:20

“Everyone” but you, huh?

I think feminism goes too far in some places, too; but to argue that our entire society is being “indoctrinated” is a bit much.

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Hawaiian Libertarian October 13, 2009 at 20:22

but to argue that our entire society is being “indoctrinated” is a bit much.

You have no idea.

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Welmer October 13, 2009 at 20:22

Well, Atsiko, you do have a bit of a point, but when it comes to the English language he isn’t far off.

I am a big fan of male Chinese authors (in Chinese), and some gay white writers are at the top of the list in English as well. However, there are a lot more straight white guys, so the best stuff is generally written by them.

As for women, perhaps some people have different tastes, but I’m not often that deeply moved by their works. Even less so when it comes to music and visual art.

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Kevin K October 13, 2009 at 20:23

“Star Trek doesn’t send people into science, actual hard SF sends people into science. ”

The top two reasons for going into science these days :
1) To get a US Visa
2) People who want to become medical doctors, but find that getting into grad school is easier than getting into medical school.

I wish more people were interested in a “anarcho-libertarian rebellion of ass-kicking physicists.”

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 20:23

There is more than one way to be “masculine”.

I am totally prepared to believe there’s more than one way to be “masculine”, but there’s only one way to be masculine.

The one supported here seems to consist of “honor and boom!”

No, you’ve failed to understand. The model supported here finds the progressive absence of honor and boom a menacing development.

I’m all for supporting young men from childhood through adolescence and into adult-hood,

What the hell does this even mean?

but to present the proper man as following only one very strict set of principles is not the best way to go about this.

This way you speak of, it is called transmission of civilization.

Hobb is better than other women because she address honor? What?

I used the word “grok”. Not “address”. Do you grok it?

Plenty of male writers don’t address and stress honor. Does that mean they are bad writers, too?

If they don’t understand it, then yes. They are not only bad writers, but poor men.

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Atsiko October 13, 2009 at 20:25

The vast majority of english speakers are not straight white guys.

But what your argument amounts to is that men create more good fiction because there are more men who write, so a greater absolute number of works by white males are going to be to meet some arbitrary standard of “good.” But to discount _all_ fiction written by women doesn’t match up with that theory.

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The Cookie Jar October 13, 2009 at 20:25

I don’t really care what any guy here agreeing with him says… I like SciFi. I like the aliens, the technology and the experimentation or theories that writers explore when they come up with these shows. The one thing that I really love SciFi for was how it symbolized to me hope for the future–that somewhere in the future–women, homosexuals, non-Whites would have a respectable place (read: NOT stereotypes like comedic relief or romantic subplots (blegh!)) in these fictionalized worlds and the same for real life. It was a symbol that discrimination would kindly die and people would free to pursue what they liked regardless of their gender, race, sexuality or hell, age.

I guess there’s no hope or future in SciFi…

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Reinholt October 13, 2009 at 20:27

A couple of thoughts after reading this clusterfuck of a comment section:

On the origin of sci-fi:

I believe the original credit for sci-fi goes to the Bhagavad Gita?

Can anyone find anything that predates that?

On syfy:

I know some of the people involved in running that channel. They are a bunch of sub-human retard clueless pigmen.

Then again, claiming they are clueless and/or mentally deficient would, quite honestly, be an insult to the clueless and mentally deficient.

My apologies to all genuinely retarded people for implying you might have had something to do with the syfy channel.

On education, age, and so on:

Just because you are old does not mean you are smart. It might just mean you are suffering from dementia.

I say this as a middle-aged person, so fuck both sides of this argument.

On the pro-feminist sci-fi arguments:

Fuck off. If I wanted to read sci-fi by women, I’d just use Microsoft Word to find/replace William Gibson with Wendy Gibson.

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Vina October 13, 2009 at 20:27

I expect some of this attitude may be coming from a perceived lack of hard sci-fi media in general. While we occasionally still get a “Primer” or “Sunshine” or “Moon” in theaters, I’m hard pressed to think of any on television.

I’d be curious as to how the OP would categorize the like of “Lost,” “Fringe,” and the endless iterations of “Stargate.” Probably the hardest sci-fi show currently running is Joss Whedon’s “Dollhouse,” which despite the female lead is fairly light on the relationships so far.

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 20:28

Kevin K: “The top two reasons for going into science these days : 1) To get a US Visa”

No kidding. I’m working in R & D for a company whose core business is searching English text, and I think there are two native English speakers in the research part.

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Atsiko October 13, 2009 at 20:29

And your one way is basically borrowed from a few thousand years ago. “Cultural transmission” sounds great before you remember that you are picking and choosing elements that suit your agenda. The cultural climate in which “honor” developed is very different from the one we live in today, ad in many ways it was much more negative.

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Harvest October 13, 2009 at 20:29

I actually sorta liked Sci-Fi interested chicks,
til I read those attacks above. Man oh man. It seems the attacks I saw in between Elmers glue, construction paper and naps on Kindergarden, women rarely evolve from.

I thought black women were bad. Dayumn!!!

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Welmer October 13, 2009 at 20:30

That’s a recent development, Atsiko. As for women, nobody is stopping them from writing. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that a majority of words written these days are written by women.

Are they good at fiction? Maybe, but my take on it is that they are more concerned with ephemeral rather than eternal questions. This is probably why their work has never withstood the test of time.

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Heh October 13, 2009 at 20:32

Hahaha this article is so pathetic. Waaaah other people who aren’t like me like science fiction! Write your own books if your feelings are so damn hurt about it. And why exactly will boys suddenly stop wanting to be scientists now? The logic is invalid. If boys like science, they will go into the field.

Women in science fiction does not somehow negate the men in science fiction. They’re still there, discovering things and doing stuff. You gentlemen are just terrified of having to be on an even playing field ’cause you know you won’t cut it.

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Welmer October 13, 2009 at 20:33

No kidding. I’m working in R & D for a company whose core business is searching English text, and I think there are two native English speakers in the research part.

You should commiserate with Lukobe about that.

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Atsiko October 13, 2009 at 20:33

I’d need to see a list of “eternal” concepts and “ephemeral” concepts to respond to that. Not saying it is wrong, just that I don’t have enough information to form an opinion.

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Reinholt October 13, 2009 at 20:33

To Heh:

Science and Science Fiction are two different things. Your comment is fucking stupid, and you should have your posting privileges revoked for your juvenile attacks and either deliberate misunderstanding or immense lack of anything even vaguely resembling literacy.

Shut the fuck up.

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The Fifth Horseman October 13, 2009 at 20:34

The vast majority of english speakers are not straight white guys

They ARE straight AND guys. The not being ‘white’ part is the only part you got right.

In India, a lot more men speak English than women do, particularly above the age of 50.

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Shadow October 13, 2009 at 20:35

Hey, neat!

I never knew neanderthals read science fiction!

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Heh October 13, 2009 at 20:35

@Reinholt

Aww! You’re so cute when you’re angry. The article makes a clear correlation between science fiction and boys being inspired to pursue science. Work on your reading skills honey.

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Al October 13, 2009 at 20:35

Hmmm… I don’t agree with the OP on everything, but I do agree that SyFy has gone down the wrong path. But, let’s be fair. They’ve ALWAYS been going down the wrong path.

They canceled Farscape for Black Scorpion, which in my mind was supposed to be eye candy for the dudes but was so badly written and acted that no one watched. Same thing with The Invisible Man getting canceled for Tremors: The Series.

My guess for both of those choices was that the second show was cheaper to make and TPTB felt that the pretty on the screen or the violence would be enough to draw people in. They were, obviously, wrong.

What science fiction fans want, no matter the gender, is a good story. In my mind, this means an intriguing plot, action that sucks you in, characterization that makes you want to follow these people on their journey and an ending that really pops. This can include such a wide variety of stories that it amazes me that people and networks are so limiting in what they will watch and what they will create.

When I worked at a video rental store, there was a huge debate about the show Lost, the first season of which had just come out on DVD at the time. There were people who would readily admit that they hated science fiction but were totally in to Lost. They refused to admit that the show was, in fact, science fiction. No aliens, they said. No space ship. It can’t possibly be sci-fi because I like it (someone actually said this to me- it wasn’t sci-fi because they thought it was good *eyeroll*).

I saw this as a general dislike and lack of understanding of sci-fi in general, by most of the population. Look at the number of people who will rent or go see a horror movie like Nightmare on Elm Street and enjoy it but will still talk total smack about sci-fi and fantasy. Horror can be a part of either genre and most of the time *is* a part of those genres (the recent wave of torture porn doesn’t fit here, I readily admit).

So, I think that the real killer of good sci-fi is not that the marketing peeps are going after women (and gays) and watering it down- no, it’s that they’re going after the “main stream” TV viewer who watches, lets say, CSI or 24. They want to get the viewers that help bring in numbers like “20 million” for something like NCIS. What do we have to do, they seem to say, to get those people to come over here and watch OUR network?

It’s the general population that needs it dumbed down (men and women both). People who don’t want to think to hard about the TV they watch. And that’s cool- I get it. TV and books for some people are about escape from the real world and from the hard facts of that world. After a long day, some people don’t want to have to think about their entertainmaint. And that’s fine. That’s what Grey’s Anatomy and CSI: Miami are for. But CSI: Miami is no Farscape. It’s not even Fringe. If you have to think about it even a little bit to understand your show, it will never get the kind of numbers that a network wants to see. Even the X-Files in it’s heyday didn’t get CSI-type numbers. Just isn’t going to happen.

There are certainly devoted fans of both genders that are already watching & reading, as well as devoted gay viewers and readers who are just as troubled by the poor storytelling and cheap pandering that’s happening currently but the networks already have that money. Those people are already THERE, butts in the seat or standing in line to buy the book. It’s like they no longer really count because they’re the sure deal. And there aren’t enough of them to make the suits happy. It’s **everyone else** they’re trying to court.

“You know,” they seem to be saying, “there are a lot of women out there. If we have a woman like Carrie from Sex and the City on the spaceship, we’ll get those viewers. (NO, you won’t, just FYI). And if we make her GAY, then we’ll get the gay viewers too. (Again, NO, you won’t). And maybe, if we throw in some lesbian sex action, we’ll get men to come back and watch, too (maybe, but not a strong enough maybe to bet a network on, you giant bunch of toolboxes).”

*sigh* As a woman and a sci-fi fan, I would like to state for the record that sparkly vampires are the dumbest things EVER. EVER. Also, not sci-fi, actually fantasy but no one bothers to actually make the distinction anymore outside of those genres, which makes it even worse. Please go away, ok? You are ruining vampires FOREVER and you suck (hah- but only animals, as you’re “vegetarian”- excuse me while I PUKE). DIE IN A FIRE. *ahem*

So, yeah, OP? I’m sorry that you’re so angry. I don’t know what I can do to help. I think you’re coming at this from a slightly off center position and I don’t think I can say or do anything to change that. I hope that perhaps my above points could open up your view a bit but whatever, it is what it is. I just love sci-fi and have always hoped that there was room for everyone here. It’s a big universe, you know? Lots of room for all types, if they want to come along.

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Harvest October 13, 2009 at 20:35

“I think one major point where the article falters is in declaring that all women’s fiction is full of moronic relationship drama.”

More often than not,

It is. Thus men avoid it. Like MOST women do the Hard Sciences. But, I saw that in school too so.

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Welmer October 13, 2009 at 20:35

You gentlemen are just terrified of having to be on an even playing field ’cause you know you won’t cut it.

Fair enough. How about we get rid of the EEOC, Title IX and AA?

Walk the walk, bitch.

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Reinholt October 13, 2009 at 20:35

Shadow,

Yes, women do read science fiction occasionally.

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Anti-You October 13, 2009 at 20:37

Awwwww, is someone mad because he hasn’t had a date in twenty years?

Seriously, its people like you who are ruining it for those of us who a) not only enjoy the company of women, but would like to see more women join sf fandom in a greater role than just wearing a steel bikini and b) are not pathetic losers who spend all their time complaining that affirmative action ruins everything for men when, in fact, this could not be further from the truth. You have not made a single valid point; in fact, all you have done is whine about how what you view to be an exclusive boys club is being “ruined” by women, when, in fact, those of us who have fully functioning brains and have also had a relationship with a woman that has lasted for more than five minutes and didn’t cost $3.99 a minute realize that including women in SF can only make the genre better. Perhaps all you want is a re-tread of the same old crap like the ’70s BSG, which, let us be honest, was pretty horrible and derivative, but the rest of us realize that SF is not about EXPLOSIONS!!!!!!!!! it is about the progress (or lack thereof, in your case) of the human race. So please do us all a favor and save your misogynist rants for when you are in the basement with your other overweight friends with Cheeto-stained fingers, and then right afterward you can all complain about how you are all middle-aged men who can count your sexual encounters on one hand.

Also, just for the record, the female Starbuck could whup the living shit out of the male Starbuck any day of the week, just like most female SF fans could whup the shit out of your sorry ass with very little effort. Now that’s something I’d pay to see.

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The Fifth Horseman October 13, 2009 at 20:37

Wow. 15 trackbacks.

I am going to invent a new word. Momentum in the fight against misandry shall henceforth be called…..

Bromentum!

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Reinholt October 13, 2009 at 20:39

Of course it does; your comment, however, does not.

Let’s be clear about something that you seem to be deliberately misunderstanding:

1 – Men do write science fiction.
2 – The article primarily deals with television, where I think the point is that men who do not read more science fiction personally will be less inclined to go into the sciences (in particular, I’d suspect computer science); likewise, it will be encouraging women to go into a field where their contributions thus far have been pretty minimal.
3 – Given that we are essentially fishing for outliers in fields like science, and that men produce more outliers, I think this is actually a pretty salient concern if we like the march of technology.

Or are you a Luddite along with an internet troll?

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Atsiko October 13, 2009 at 20:39

@Horseman

It was an inclusive list… they aren’t straight AND white AND English speaking.

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Reinholt October 13, 2009 at 20:39

… Bromentum.

I am torn between crying and laughter. Sounds like a keeper.

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 20:39

“Probably the hardest sci-fi show currently running is Joss Whedon’s “Dollhouse,” which despite the female lead is fairly light on the relationships so far.”

NO. No, no, no. Holy crap, are you blind, no! What? How?

I watch Dollhouse. I sort of even like Dollhouse. But it is not even remotely close to having a whiff of the afterscent of the furtive passing of gas of hard science fiction. And if Dollhouse seems light on the relationship front to you, perhaps it is because the show is COMPLETELY ABOUT SEXUAL VIOLENCE.

Relationship crap in Dollhouse:

* Alpha – Echo
* Langton – Saunders
* Topher – Saunders
* BalLARD – Echo
* BalLARD – Mellie
* DeWitt – Victor
* Langton – Echo (paternal, but still)
* Victor – Sierra

From the fount of all knowledge:

Episode 1-1: “Echo’s new personality incorporates memories from another woman who was molested as a child”

Episode 1-8: “Sierra discovers that she was forced to become a Doll after turning down sexual advances from a well-connected man”

Episode 1-11: “Echo helps a young girl deal with her traumatic past, using the fairy tale of Briar Rose as a vehicle”

Episode 2-2: “Echo is imprinted with the personality of a mother with a newborn baby”

There’s the ridiculous reincarnated cougar episode, where her young stud turns out to be the only one loyal to her. Shenanigans.

In summation: You are completely full of crap, and it makes me sorry for you.

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Atsiko October 13, 2009 at 20:41

@Reinholt

Er… I wonder why female conributions have been minimal… Oh, because there haven’t been a lot of women involved in science.

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Reinholt October 13, 2009 at 20:46

That argument doesn’t really hold water, to be blunt.

There haven’t exactly been a lot of men involved in science for long periods of history (especially when it was actively vilified), but they produced significant achievements anyways. Or are you telling me that somehow, in every single culture on the planet, men conspired to keep women out of science AND achieve for themselves AND then persecute themselves for this achievement?

That makes no fucking sense.

More to the point, even with the growing numbers of women in scientific fields, you don’t see them making large moves. There’s just not as many female outliers in the genius range as their are men; the numbers are stacked against them. Which is not to say there aren’t good female scientists (there are), but that there are less of them than men because of how probabilistic distribution works, in the same way that there are more male low-end criminals than women (or do you disagree with that as well?).

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Atsiko October 13, 2009 at 20:48

So, basically, it’s looking at statistics. Men are more likely to produce geniuses, so it’s a waste of resources to bother with women?

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 20:49

Atsiko: “Cultural transmission” sounds great before you remember that you are picking and choosing elements that suit your agenda.

It is true that I assume men wish to transmit their culture to their sons.

Why would I choose elements that work against my agenda? I’m patently against other agendas.

The cultural climate in which “honor” developed is very different from the one we live in today, ad in many ways it was much more negative.

Shame/honor cultures are not pleasant; in that we can agree. There is something intrinsic to men that we usually call honor, though, which is not identical to the morbid honor of Achilles.

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Reinholt October 13, 2009 at 20:51

I don’t recall saying that anywhere.

It is, however, a waste of resources to induce women into the field with incentives. The good ones will do it anyways (I don’t believe Curie was an affirmative action hire), and the ones who shouldn’t be doing it won’t.

I am for a completely level playing field judged on one thing alone: ability.

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Atsiko October 13, 2009 at 20:51

If honor is so intrinsic to men (but not women?), how do you explain the statistically low number of men who conform to this ideal?

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 20:51

“So, basically, it’s looking at statistics. Men are more likely to produce geniuses, so it’s a waste of resources to bother with women?”

That sounds like it might be a good economic study. Under what conditions is it a waste of resources to allow women to enter the sciences?

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 20:53

Reinholt: “I am for a completely level playing field judged on one thing alone: ability.”

Depending on how you judge ability (e.g. test scores), Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

Reinholt October 13, 2009 at 20:53

The problem is not the allowance, it is the subsidy, Eumaios.

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 20:55

“The problem is not the allowance, it is the subsidy, Eumaios.”

How can we know that unless we examine the problem? Men are often distracted in the presence of women. How many experiments have been ruined by boners?

Calculation of rough estimates, unfortunately, would require photographs of all female scientists.

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Kevin K October 13, 2009 at 20:57

There are lots of women in chemistry, bio-anything and medicine. There aren’t many in physics, computer science and electrical engineering. I’ve met some amazing women physicists there just aren’t very many of them.

The physics community works very hard to recruit women into physics and gives them massive support the whole way. Of the grad students who had “outside” money to supplement their grad student stipend (a big deal if you are making $15k/yr), 2 were women and the other a minority, specifically because of their gender/race. But they can’t get the numbers up above 20% of total PhDs.

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 20:58

Atskio: “If honor is so intrinsic to men (but not women?), how do you explain the statistically low number of men who conform to this ideal?”

In what locale, in what era?

I’ll assume you mean the present age, somewhere European. I can also assume that you are an urbanite. There’s little anomaly to explain in Texas.

Other than Austin. I heartily apologize to you all for the existence of Austin.

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Atsiko October 13, 2009 at 21:01

Of any era.

And I’d hardy categorize exas as maority honorable.

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Atsiko October 13, 2009 at 21:01

*Texas

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Puma October 13, 2009 at 21:02

I can’t believe we just had a 300-post thread about Who is the Bigger Nerd: Boys or Girls?

… that and some guy calls my mom a Cheetah-fucker.

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Tarl October 13, 2009 at 21:05

Sorry that Mary Shelly went and ruined your science fiction by inventing it while in posession of girl parts.

She didn’t.

Also sorry that James Tiptree Jr., Vernon Lee, Paul Ash(well), CJ Cherryh, L. Taylor Hansen, Tarpé Mills, Andre Norton, Murray Constantine, C.S. Friedman, Patrick Murphy, ruined Scifi for you.

What do these writers have in common?

They suck. Totally unreadable.

The majority of SF writers aren’t sitting hunched over their work thinking “This is for men, it’s all for men! Screw you women!”

Jack Vance, at least, explicitly stated at one point that his fantasy and science fiction was directed at highly intelligent adolescent males.

Your argument is that Science Fiction is no longer about men doing and accomplishing things. Well, newer science fiction is more realistic regarding human beings and human relationships.

That’s why it’s lame, unreadable, and unwatchable.

And–you really honestly think that there’s ANY CHANCE that men aren’t going to have the chance to excel in science and tech? Seriously?

The answer is YES. A great many men are not going to have that chance, for a wide variety of reasons.

The only redeeming quality of this article is the superb pwnage it elicited from John Scalzi. Well done.

Is that where all the idiotic trolls come from? Scalzi is a Leftist numbskull, as no doubt are many of the toadies who frequent his site.

your type of arguments are precisely the reason so many of the early female science-fiction authors felt that they had to use male pseudonyms. Luckily, those days are over, and attitudes like yours are going to go the way all garbage goes.

Which is why the genre is going down the toilet.

Oh, and so sorry I took away a place at M.I.T. for my undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from some man who was OBVIOUSLY so much more qualified for the slot simply for his gender.

You should be sorry. You did shut out a male applicant who had better grades and test scores than you.

This article has truly opened my eyes to how hard it must be to be a straight, white male who watches TV.

It is hard. That’s why I don’t watch TV. Why should I subject myself to a stream of Leftist filth?

I think one major point where the article falters is in declaring that all women’s fiction is full of moronic relationship drama.

Uh, can you name some compelling counterexamples of female-authored science fiction that is NOT moronic relationship drama? Nothing leaps to mind immediately.

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Vina October 13, 2009 at 21:06

@Eumaios

Good grief. Yes, there are relationships in Dollhouse. But the fun stuff is all about the Build-a-Bear workshop : defining the boundaries of the ego, artificially generated “imprint” personalities built from pieces of other people, commodification of traits and memories, spontaneous generation of personalities in the absence of the original, the psychosomatic effect of a different personality on the physical body, a dozen different variations of mind control, and the whole dystopian can of worms that “Epitaph One” opened.

Well, that’s what I’M watching it for.

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 21:07

“The physics community works very hard to recruit women into physics and gives them massive support the whole way. Of the grad students who had “outside” money to supplement their grad student stipend (a big deal if you are making $15k/yr), 2 were women and the other a minority, specifically because of their gender/race.”

In my freshman engineering classes at UT Austin, there was one particularly unhappy (in the Solonic sense) young black woman. That she was the recipient of affirmative action largess could not have been more obvious. Her questions were copious, argumentative, usually irrelevant, and painful to hear. I would guess that she exceeded the mean white IQ, but not by much. What native intelligence she did possess was offset by her palpable sense of entitlement.

I have no idea what happened to her, because I dropped out, having failed to maintain the GPA that would ensure my scholarship. I sincerely, compassionately hope that she dropped out as well, at least out of the engineering program.

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 21:15

“Good grief. Yes, there are relationships in Dollhouse. But the fun stuff is all about the Build-a-Bear workshop … Well, that’s what I’M watching it for.”

Those are the parts that make hard-SF fans cringe and look away. It’s just awful. Like at the end of Being John Malkovich: “Look away. Look away!”

I don’t particularly mind that you like the parts that make me cringe. Every second of every episode of Seinfeld makes me cringe. The problem is that you are so unaware of the history and body of SF that you could call Dollhouse hard SF. The concept of mind-transfer has been used in great hard SF. See John C. Wright’s The Golden Age. But mind-transfer is, to Joss Whedon, just a McGuffin that allows him to drag us through more of his obsession with sexual violence. I blame Marti Noxon.

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Atsiko October 13, 2009 at 21:15

@Tarl:

One that youre sexist attitude will allow you to accept, probably not.

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kis October 13, 2009 at 21:16

That Ellen Ripley was such a presumptuous bitch. She really ought to have waited for a man to save her ass. A spanking is what she needs, and I’m just the girl to do it. Stupid uppity cow taking a good job in deep space cargo transport away from a deserving man, when deep down we all know she’d rather be back on earth birthing babies and taking care of her hubby.

As for the girlypantsifying of the genre, I have one thing to say.

All your book are belong to us. You have no chance to survive make your time.

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Anti-You October 13, 2009 at 21:17

Hey Reinholt: Why don’t you take some of your own advice and shut the fuck up? Some pathetic middle-aged asshole on a comments section for a web page for other pathetic middle-aged assholes to complain about how women are ruining everything doesn’t want to read SF written by women? HOLY FUCK! CALL THE MAJOR NEWS OUTLETS, WHAT A FUCKING STORY!

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 21:17

Atsikos: “And I’d hardy categorize Texas as majority honorable.”

You’re equivocating here. I would not categorize the inhabitants of any state as majority honorable. An intrinsic motivation is not the same as a habit of behavior.

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Reinholt October 13, 2009 at 21:19

Please, as if news outlets would publish anything other than insane, factless gibberish. As unimportant as this exchange is, the evidence is factual. No way it makes the news.

But more so, why so bothered by it? The comments here for me are an amusing sandbox, not a pissing contest. Why are you taking things so personally? Hit a little close to home?

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Atsiko October 13, 2009 at 21:24

@E:

What is your evidence for this intrinsic motivation?

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Puma October 13, 2009 at 21:25

Yeah those fucking middle-aged assholes!

Wait … how many is that in cat-years?

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Vina October 13, 2009 at 21:26

@Eumaios cont.

[i]Episode 1-1: “Echo’s new personality incorporates memories from another woman who was molested as a child”[/i]

Pilot episode introducing the concept of “imprinted personalities.”

[i]Episode 1-8: “Sierra discovers that she was forced to become a Doll after turning down sexual advances from a well-connected man”[/i]

Spoiler: The discovery is part of a larger experiment run by the resident doctor that temporarily frees the minds of several Dollhouse denizens so they can resolve some of the psychological issues that are making them difficult to control. In the end, they all go back in the box.

[i]Episode 1-11: “Echo helps a young girl deal with her traumatic past, using the fairy tale of Briar Rose as a vehicle”[/i]

Spoiler: Only peripherally. This is the one where we’re introduced to Alpha, the prodigal psychopath of the Dollhouse family who is plagued with a massive number of personalities active in his head at once.

[i]Episode 2-2: “Echo is imprinted with the personality of a mother with a newborn baby”[/i]

And more importantly, the techies give her the physical state to match, which can’t be shut off even after the imprint is removed.

As for the cougar episode, the entire premise of that one was the dead woman extending her life by renting out Echo’s body to take care of unfinished business.

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Welmer October 13, 2009 at 21:26

Hey Reinholt: Why don’t you take some of your own advice and shut the fuck up? Some pathetic middle-aged asshole on a comments section for a web page for other pathetic middle-aged assholes to complain about how women are ruining everything doesn’t want to read SF written by women? HOLY FUCK! CALL THE MAJOR NEWS OUTLETS, WHAT A FUCKING STORY!

Out of the dozen or so guys posting here, I think only two are over 40, and they are clued in a lot better than raggedy anns like you.

It is actually you whining, haggard bags who are looking old and shabby here.

You may have been hip back in 1982, but you’ve come a long, long way since then, baby!

Have fun with your cats.

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 21:28

Tarl: “Can you name some compelling counterexamples of female-authored science fiction that is NOT moronic relationship drama?”

Atsiko: “One that youre sexist attitude will allow you to accept, probably not.”

That’s a cop-out. If you think you have an answer, offer the answer or go away. Or try this: name a science fiction short story by a woman that does not hinge on relationship drama, published in a major magazine in the last year. You can find short fiction reviews at IROSF. I haven’t looked yet with this in mind, and I would be happily surprised to learn of a good writer.

Tarl, I very much liked Megan Lindholm’s Alien Earth. It is her only science fiction novel and has flaws, but no more than, say, anything by James Blish.

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Anti-You October 13, 2009 at 21:35

Reinhold: Perhaps I need to remind you that you’re the one who started off on the personal bent with the “shut the fuck up”s, so perhaps I should pose the same question to you.

And the reason it pisses me off so much is this: why does is matter whether a man or a women writes a piece of sci-fi, be it prose, movies, tv or any other media as long as that work is GOOD? Perhaps it’s just me, but I base my entertainment decisions on the quality of the work, not on whether or not the author has a cock. You don’t want to read SF written by women? Fine. Great. You know who actually gives a fuck? Nobody but you. The point is, if you want people to consider your opinions, perhaps you shouldn’t tell others to “shut the fuck up” for expressing theirs.

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 21:37

[i]Episode 1-1: “Echo’s new personality incorporates memories from another woman who was molested as a child”[/i]

Pilot episode introducing the concept of “imprinted personalities.”

Any show can throw around poorly understood old SF tropes. The point I make here is that the very first episode goes straight for the molested child trauma-drama. This is girl-bait. Men. Don’t. Care.

[i]Episode 1-8: “Sierra discovers that she was forced to become a Doll after turning down sexual advances from a well-connected man”[/i]

Spoiler: The discovery is part of a larger experiment run by the resident doctor that temporarily frees the minds of several Dollhouse denizens so they can resolve some of the psychological issues that are making them difficult to control. In the end, they all go back in the box.

Right. Yes. This is what I’m talking about: “so they can resolve some of the psychological issues”. Psychological issues do not exist in this dojo.

[i]Episode 1-11: “Echo helps a young girl deal with her traumatic past, using the fairy tale of Briar Rose as a vehicle”[/i]

Spoiler: Only peripherally. This is the one where we’re introduced to Alpha, the prodigal psychopath of the Dollhouse family who is plagued with a massive number of personalities active in his head at once.

A) It was Echo’s major plotline. That it happened at all is a fail for your theory that Dollhouse is hard sf.

B) Alan Tudyk is awesome.

[i]Episode 2-2: “Echo is imprinted with the personality of a mother with a newborn baby”[/i]

And more importantly, the techies give her the physical state to match, which can’t be shut off even after the imprint is removed.

As for the cougar episode, the entire premise of that one was the dead woman extending her life by renting out Echo’s body to take care of unfinished business.

That you don’t see how you are strengthening MY case shows how incorrigibly corrupted and weakened are the minds of modern women. I do not blame you, personally.

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Atsiko October 13, 2009 at 21:37

Hm…

I nominate nancy kress.

What male author would you like to suggest for comparison, tarl?

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 21:38

Anti-You: “why does is matter whether a man or a women writes a piece of sci-fi, be it prose, movies, tv or any other media as long as that work is GOOD?”

It wouldn’t matter, if women wrote good SF. The contention is that they don’t. Try addressing that.

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Peapods October 13, 2009 at 21:38

DIAF, asshole.

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Reinholt October 13, 2009 at 21:39

Anti:

Because I like fucking with people, to answer your first question.

As to the others: no, what is on is NOT good sci-fi. It might be a good soap opera (I confess I am unqualified to judge those). And, since I rather like science and all it has given to us (else we’d not be having this conversation), I’d like to continue to encourage it to those that have an aptitude for it.

Consider it enlightened self-interest.

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Clarence October 13, 2009 at 21:39

Ms King:

Your unsupported and baseless character attack- calling me a misogynist- would probably surprise most of the women on this thread with whom I have interacted. I don’t appreciate it, and would normally not stoop to your misandric (there you go, a new word for you) level, but you did , alas, put some links in your posts that I have to respond to, lest people be mislead into think you are linking to scientific studies or something.

Your first link is to a NY Times article that is from 2006. A bunch of anecdotal evidence from women faculty at elite colleges. Nothing proven, no papers presented or evidence claimed. There is, in the article, however, an amusing comment that I wish to fisk:

“The organizers point to ample evidence that any performance gap between men and women is changeable and is shrinking to the vanishing point.”

The same way that studies (turned out to be junk science of course) in the seventies and eighties claimed that the time gap between elite male and female marathon runners was closing and would soon disappear. If someone pointed out that the sexes had different biophysical and hormonal makeups and that this was unlikely , that what was more likely happening was that as more women were running more of the most atheletically gifted women were likely to be competing than before and that techniques for improving run times being widely disseminated among women likely accounted for most if not all the of the rest of the “gain” they were immediately accused of being sexist and their manhood (or in rare cases womanhood) questioned. Well, tra le da, here it is almost 20 years since the last “gain” by women in terms of male/female marathon times.

Your second link is to a study done by 3 economists that basically claims that the “grade gap” at the US Air Force Academy seems to be erased when the women were taught by female rather than male instructors. This has nothing to do with what careers women choose to pursue but even worse for you and your attempt to address my argument is that the number of women is not equal to the number of men in these classes. What we have here is most likely a confounding selection effect, whereby the relatively few women with high math SATS and interest in scientific technical fields are all gathered together in one place and thus all included in skewing the results of the study. What problems a small proportion of female geeks have with grades in technical classes is of limited use to understanding why most women shun technical careers entirely.

Here. Unlike you, I take human biodiversity seriously. Understand that group differences effect statistical variations in the numbers and proportions of the sexes entering various fields, and that there is no reason to assume this only applies to matters concerning careers and employment.

http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/003491.html
http://www.lagriffedulion.f2s.com/math.htm
I suggest some education and an understanding of what “statistical outlier” means.

Lastly, the “syfy” women’s shows seem to mostly be “bombing” in the ratings. I, and many females on this thread , don’t seem to have a problem with that.

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 21:40

“DIAF, asshole.”

You make a well-reasoned case. I concede and withdraw.

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Atsiko October 13, 2009 at 21:40

@E:

Your definition of “good”, and other people’s definition are not necessarily the same. Defend the “goodness” of your definition.

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Puma October 13, 2009 at 21:40

Gentlemen,
On a serious note, the girls that are duking it out with the boys on this thread … they are not the problem. I bet that an overwhelming majority of the science fiction book reading ladies (I am not talking about the vampire teenie-pop crowd) are really are the educated, economically productive, financially self sufficient ones.

These are neither the entitlement princess bridezillas in the making, nor the family-law legal-reform cockblocking pantsuit mafia. I bet a lot of these chicks work in science, engineering, software type jobs and wear jeans/khakis/polo-shirts to work. The operative word here being *work*.

So I say we call a truce with these ladies. Do give credit where credit is due with their participation-in and production-of real science fiction, and then focus on more imporant matters. Shall we?

Cheers,
Puma

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Puma October 13, 2009 at 21:42

(and anti-you, stop it with the beginner-level shaming language, you have much to learn)

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Reinholt October 13, 2009 at 21:43

Puma, you are ruining my fun with your reasoned discourse! Knock it the fuck off.

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Al October 13, 2009 at 21:45

Thank you, Puma.

Seriously, thank you.

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Vina October 13, 2009 at 21:48

@Eumaios

“That you don’t see how you are strengthening MY case shows how incorrigibly corrupted and weakened are the minds of modern women. I do not blame you, personally.”

Devalue empathy and compassion at your own peril. You might miss them one day.

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Grim October 13, 2009 at 21:49

John Scalzi did a post trashing this post and didn’t have the decency to link to it. He also banned his commenters from linking to it. I loved the guy’s first 2 books, but this is really duchie behavior on his part.

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 21:51

Atsiko: “Your definition of “good”, and other people’s definition are not necessarily the same. Defend the “goodness” of your definition.”

Again, a cop-out. This is an attempt to weasel out of an answer with sophomoric relativism. If you tell me the name of an SF novel by a female that in your opinion is good and is not founded on relationship drama, one of a few, finite things will happen:

* If I have already read the novel, and I think it is poor, I will explain why. Discussion will progress.
* If I have not read the novel, I will look for a description of its subject matter to see if it is founded on relationship drama. If not, then I will find a copy and read it.
* If I have read the novel, think it is good, and it is not a relationship drama, I will cop to forgetting about it. Then I will say, now you’ve only got dozens to go before you catch up with the boys.

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 21:56

Vina: “Devalue empathy and compassion at your own peril. You might miss them one day.”

What does this have to do with hard SF? I watch Dollhouse, and I watched Firefly, because I like the human stories that Whedon tells. He occasionally, at his pinnacle, hits them out of the park. LOST is one of the best shows ever to grace television because it combines the stupendous awesome with human drama. Usually not classic girl-bait relationship drama, though they have so stumbled on occasion.

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Anneke October 13, 2009 at 21:56

My sisters and I were raised by parents a Male & Female who were BOTH sci-fi fans, and both met in college where they both got their degrees in Chemistry. I was raised to see that men and women are equal, and to not believe in sterotypes. It’s the sterotyping and closed minded views that told my mother she should have been a secretary instead of a scientist. It’s the same closed mindedness that told my sisters and I not to go into the sciences. (Which didn’t stop us). And it’s sad that 50+ years later and it’s the same BS that is trying to keep the next generation of girls out of the sciences. Well guess what, there are plenty of jobs in the secretarial field for the boys who can’t hack it as a scientist and feel threatened by the reversing of the sterotyping. I’ll also be sure to let my sister know that she should stop her cancer research because it requires a penis to actually be able to have a scientific discovery.

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 21:58

Atsiko, this is just for you. Mansfield Park is my favorite Austen novel. The film versions have been travesties, one and all.

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 21:59

“I’ll also be sure to let my sister know that she should stop her cancer research because it requires a penis to actually be able to have a scientific discovery.”

It’s not the penis, it’s the lack of ovaries. Oh crap, I shouldn’t have said that. Now Opus Dei will have me killed.

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Puma October 13, 2009 at 22:01

It’s not the penis, it’s the lack of ovaries. Oh crap, I shouldn’t have said that. Now Opus Dei will have me killed.

LOL! Sounds like we are going ahead with the truce?

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 22:01

Is it more gauche to forget to close the I tag, or to comment about it later?

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 22:03

“Sounds like we are going ahead with the truce?”

If by truce, you mean complete thread-jack? Sure.

Frank Tipler says he can prove that Jesus was an XX male.

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Vina October 13, 2009 at 22:03

@Eumaios

So what was that dig about “incorrigibly corrupted” modern women about? You don’t think the story would have worked if the character in that scenario was male? Or was this about female audience members being sympathetic to the cougar?

And yes, we all love Alan Tudyk. And that episode was Ballard-centric.

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Puma October 13, 2009 at 22:07

Anyways I am sure we will have more crazed-ultras of either gender flinging granades here tomorrow, and the fun and fireworks will begin all over again.

Good night all!

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Atsiko October 13, 2009 at 22:08

@E:

You are arguing that a sci-fi novel that addresses relationships is “bad” sci-fi. I disagree. This is, however, a discussion unrelated to the one we were having before.

Back to the issue of women who have written “hard sci-fi” (which honestly, does not apply at all to the contents of the article we are supposed to be discussing):

I’ve already nominated CJ Cherryh as my example.

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 22:09

“So what was that dig about “incorrigibly corrupted” modern women about?”

Not about the characters on the show, Vina, but about you, terribile dictu. The corruption and weakness manifests as provincialism. Your responses to me have been sincere; I think no one could doubt that. But they show an intractable inability to see beyond your own limited horizons. We argue past each other, because the evil against which I rail is the water in which you swim.

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Atsiko October 13, 2009 at 22:09

@E:

Honestly, I am not a big fan of Austen. Not that she is a bad writer. I liked Pride and Prejudice well enough. That’s just not my genre of choice… whether written by a man or a woman.

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 22:25

You are arguing that a sci-fi novel that addresses relationships is “bad” sci-fi. I disagree. This is, however, a discussion unrelated to the one we were having before.

No.

Some SF works that are fundamentally concerned with relationships may be good, and may be acknowledged to be good by men such as the original poster and me. LeGuin might fit into this category. So might Scott Card. The original article contends that modern SF has expanded the relationship SF at the expense of the other kind of SF. This is why I (and Tarl) asked for citations of good works by females that were not relationship-oriented.

Back to the issue of women who have written “hard sci-fi” (which honestly, does not apply at all to the contents of the article we are supposed to be discussing):

It does insofar as hard SF is a proxy for manly SF. But now we’re into “Star Wars isn’t SF” territory, which is a REAL, and intolerable, thread-jack.

I’ve already nominated CJ Cherryh as my example.

My only experience with her is Kesrith: Faded Sun, which I found remaindered. As such, perhaps that is not the best place to start. At any rate, I found her prose far superior to the efforts of Kerr, Kurtz, Friedman, and Lackey, to name a few egregious offenders. But the book profoundly bored me. I’m not sure I finished it. The whole time I kept wondering why Barlowe had picked an alien from THIS author to illustrate.

So, Atsiko, you have nominated one female author. I, artificially limited to devout, conservative Roman Catholics, have nominated four.

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Vina October 13, 2009 at 22:27

@Eumaios

Great, now with the patronizing. Yes, I’m fully aware Dollhouse is commercial television based on cannibalized bits of work from far more austere and elevated minds than Joss Whedon. And yes, he’s fairly transparent about having a social agenda. Nonetheless I’m giving him credit where it’s due on the sci-fi elements in the show. I don’t see anyone else doing anything like it, and we bloody well have to start somewhere.

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 22:27

Atsiko: “That’s just not my genre of choice… whether written by a man or a woman.”

I was making the famous, “Some of my best friends are Jews” argument.

But I really do value Mansfield Park.

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Excelsior October 13, 2009 at 22:27

Ahaha! This is getting better all the time.

I’ve got popcorn. Anybody want some?

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 22:30

Vina, this blog is dedicated to exposing the slow suffocation of manhood by feminism and matriarchy. This is the context of the discussion. Also, you keep changing the subject and avoiding the argument. This is a comment complaint, and a reason why arguing with women is poor policy.

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ray October 13, 2009 at 22:30

looks like the Spearhead opened a breach in the Femfortress

. . . a comment thread so typical of the arrogant, presumptive misandry of american/western P. C. sheeple

what you hear are the squeals of bullies just realizing they’re in for a fight

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 22:31

And yet I keep at it. Must be the gin.

And rye. And whiskey.

No more. I swear off it … for tonight at least.

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Claire October 13, 2009 at 22:33

I cannot stop giggling. Oh man, I hope you’re having as good a time as I am.

I see where you are coming from. Sometimes society grants more rights to women (“spoiling” them) because they didn’t have rights for so long. So yes, truly, I understand why you would object. It’s not exactly fair when a woman is accidentally bumped into and she calls sexual harassment in the work place. I’m not here to point fingers and call names, just — observing.

I’m a girl. Not even a woman. I’m eighteen years old and tentatively studying everything I can at college. I’ve loved science fiction for a long, long time, but I’ve also loved fantasy and magic too. I like to wear make-up and do my hair. I also like to watch action movies and play lazer tag. (Or laser tag, if you will.) I fast forward through romantic speeches and roll my eyes at unnecessarily dramatic kissing scenes.

I just think that the author (I’m afraid I didn’t check who actually wrote the article) is being a little narrow-minded in his view of ‘what women like.’ I like big space action. Alien viruses, Klingon war vessels, epic shoot-em-ups with lots of explosions and action and quick thinking. I really don’t like episodes that linger on ‘does she like me, doesn’t she, can I kiss him, should I?’ I understand (and therein lies my maturity and patience) and accept that these ‘interludes’ are vital to creating a realistic and ever-changing dynamic. I don’t have to like them, but maybe someone else does.

I don’t want to stifle men like women were once stifled. And it’s a very fine line to walk between protesting your own masculine rights (and I recognize these, you have them, I swear) and being a misogynistic pig.

In case you were wondering, I am more of a Stargate fan. There is a fun and humorous dynamic, with plenty of strong male characters as well as female. There is some dubious science involved, plenty of ass-kicking, and lots of stuff exploding. I expect you will now dismantle and decimate the show(s) I adore so much, but that’s why I told you.

So yeah, I don’t even know if any of that made sense. My main point? Don’t judge every woman (or girl, because the age of science fiction fans is getting younger, and that’s nothing to be bitter about) by one simple stereotype. I hope you’ll find that it isn’t an ‘us verses you’ argument. Um. Chew on that, I suppose. :) And have a nice day! (By the way, sorry about the influx of livejournal users; most of us belong to a lovely community about Star Trek, and your article happened to pop up. Naturally, we can’t keep our mouths shut. Another woman-stereotype. ;D )

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Atsiko October 13, 2009 at 22:40

@E:

1. Nominate a man who writes “hard sf” If he is harder than Cherryh, I will concede the point. Honourably, like a man. jk

2. Anyway, the sf _on TV_ which I was so nicely reminded is the focus of the article, is mostly space westerns, not hard sf, which was where my earlier comment came from.

3..If that was the main point of the article, the execution leaves something to be desired.

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Remki October 13, 2009 at 22:43

From your misogynistic language and your blatant fear of women in power (or is it fear of rejection by women obviously too smart for you, I wonder), I can’t imagine you’ve ever spent much time around women who devote their lives to the sciences, nor around any of the women who happen to love this genre, like I and many others. Or really read a history book that was written after the 1950′s, for that matter!

The internet has allowed men to talk directly to each other, bypassing women, communicating the truth about women. What this shaming language attempts to do is put a stop to the dissemination of truth about women on the internet. This is why we have angry women when it comes to this sort of thing.

The most ironic part of your diatribe is that without the fundamental contribution of Ada Lovelace, you probably wouldn’t be able to share your misguided thoughts with other like minded “men” in this manner.

I for one am highly glad that the majority of people in science and scifi entertainment are moving away from your short-sighted, fearful, and reactionary ways, which was never true to the spirit of scifi in the first place. One day you’ll look around and realize your Boys Club is empty of anyone worth note.

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 22:44

Claire, the OP was really about what men like, not what women like. It’s okay for women to like both The Book of the New Sun and A Walk to Remember. We dig that, especially if you dig us dressing up as Dying Earth Torturers.

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Vina October 13, 2009 at 22:46

@Eumaios

I’m trying to figure out why you don’t think Dollhouse should be considered “hard science fiction.” Apparently by your definition emphasis on interpersonal relationships of any kind are verboten – I’m not sure whether this includes socio-political interaction (which is essentially interpersonal dynamics on a larger scale) or non-sexual male/male relationships (Save the parent/child one, all the Dollhouse relationships you list are male/female).

Frankly, I’m not sure if there’s ever been any televised sci-fi show that would meet your criteria, and certainly not any version of Doctor Who or Battlestar Galactica that I’ve ever encountered.

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 22:48

Remki is awesome:

misogynistic language
fear of women in power
fear of rejection by women
too smart for you
can’t imagine you’ve ever spent much time around women
after the 1950′s
fundamental contribution of Ada Lovelace
“men”
short-sighted, fearful, and reactionary
Boys Club

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Rashaka October 13, 2009 at 22:48

Oooooh, we’re in your sci-fi, putting doilies on your primary buffer panel.

a. HAHAHAHAAHA, yes.

b. We were already there, and have been, for years. Mary Shelly to Shirley Jackson to tv & film writers, directors, and editors.

c. On a side note, how do you like the new James Bond series? Is the reverse-exploitation camera work and emotionally toxic storyline making you uncomfortable? Well, the good news is that it made repulsive heaps of money so we’ll soon be doing the same to the rest of genre entertainment too.

Are you going to eat that popcorn, or can I keep it for my Buffy mobile?

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Remki October 13, 2009 at 22:51

Thanks Eumaios, I know, I totally am :)

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Anonymous, Androgynous and Gobsmacked October 13, 2009 at 22:56

Reading this post, I am reminded of the sort of horror movie that fails in a spectacular and unfortunate way. It has all the bells and whistles. It tries so earnestly to put fear into the hearts of its viewers. And the seriousness just flops, and at the moments that are supposed to somehow be blood-pumping, heart-pounding thrills, the audience giggles, because the monster is so clearly made of cardboard and operated by a drunk fellow they hired out of the community college drama club.

I am also reminded very much of the way in which directors and actors who have made such movies will try to defend their creations by saying, “The public just doesn’t understand my art!”

Enjoy your indulgence in this defense, poor misunderstood blog-author. You may build up your ego enough that someday you will actually be courageous enough to come out and join the world, instead of selectively digesting only those parts which please you – or so one can hope.

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 22:57

Vina: “I’m trying to figure out why you don’t think Dollhouse should be considered ‘hard science fiction.’”

Yes, I can tell. This is the source of my initial and continuing frustration.

Larry Niven writes something approximating hard SF. Ben Bova. Kim Stanley Robinson. Paul McAuley. Arthur C. Clarke. David Brin. Dollhouse simply does not belong in the same category. One of the necessary factors of hard SF is that the writer not simply make shit up. To the best of his ability, and occasionally with an intentional exception, he extrapolates knowledge from the hard sciences. We’re talking orbital mechanics. Relativistic effects. If the writer is a materialist, then he might include a well thought out mind-transfer technology. The technology would be the point of the story, not a vehicle for ruminations on sexual violence.

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 22:59

“On a side note, how do you like the new James Bond series?”

Daniel Craig’s Bond is an excellent example of alpha. Except when he gets all schmaltzy over a woman. But then he learns his lesson.

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Claire October 13, 2009 at 23:00

@Eumaios. I understand now. What I don’t understand is why women and men can’t like the same things, I suppose. It just felt very … definite to me. And I couldn’t help but protest. Perhaps I’ll read more carefully next time.

Sorry for invading your mancave. :/ It’s just — there’s nothing the smell of blood in the water, hm? It always gathers the hungriest sharks.

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Vina October 13, 2009 at 23:01

Great.

But comparatively, do you see anything on television that’s approaches this definition? Or anything that comes closer than “Dollhouse”?

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 23:04

“What I don’t understand is why women and men can’t like the same things, I suppose”

Some things we can. The skirmish you’ve seen here this evening is not fomented by differences in what men and women like. The men this blog represents believe that the disappearance of manly fare on the small screen is one small battle in the Long War for Civilization, a.k.a. the War Against Matriarchy.

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Eumaios October 13, 2009 at 23:10

Vina: But comparatively, do you see anything on television that’s approaches this definition? Or anything that comes closer than “Dollhouse”?

Sadly, the closest thing I can think of on TV is Firefly, and that only because I’ve never seen another SF show where space is silent. The deceleration turnover in the pilot episode is also unprecedented, to my knowledge.

But this isn’t surprising. Hard SF isn’t for most people. I only like it on Tuesdays when the moon is right, myself.

Case in (sort of on-topic) point: Lem’s Solaris. It’s not precisely hard SF, but Lem was uncontrovertibly a hard SF writer. Look at what Soderberg turned it into.

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Clarence October 13, 2009 at 23:11

Be well, Claire. Those of open minds but alternate views are welcome here if they can be civil about it. I hope you drop by from time to time. You came in, at least in part, to try to understand the “why” behind the post. If more the newcomers were like you, this thread might be much more pleasant.

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Vina October 13, 2009 at 23:25

I love Tarkovsky’s version, which Soderbergh remade. It’s closer to Lem, but you’ll probably still have some issues with it.

For my part, the only sci-fi shows I can think of that meet your criteria are anime like “Planetes,” (space travel) “Ghost in the Shell,” (cyborgs) and “Denno Coil,” (augmented reality) and those all emphasize an awful lot of character interaction.

As for “Dollhouse,” I reiterate my initial claim that the show is hardest sci-fi currently running. Thank you for the debate and good night.

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Andacus October 13, 2009 at 23:29

I don’t think this “article” is even worth commenting on beyond simply saying, “Do you not have anything better to do? Like, perhaps, leave your mom’s basement and brave the harsh light of day to talk to other actual people. Oh, and that you really shouldn’t be so threatened by vaginae, they don’t want to hurt you.”

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Dave October 13, 2009 at 23:39

What’s with all the man-hating dykes spouting off around here? Did somebody bust out a “feminists welcome” mat or something?

Real original gals (and manginas,too), small penis jokes, gay jokes, can’t get laid jokes, and whiny bullshit. Yeah, we’ve never heard THAT crap before. Get the fuck back to Dyketown,you carpet-licking cunts.

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Dave October 13, 2009 at 23:43

Also, to the manginas, grow some fucking balls. “Ooooh look at me, I’m such a good little lapdog, sticking up for the wimminz, maybe they’ll reward me with some pussy!”

Don’t bet on it, you fucking eunuchs. You don’t even make these bitches wet. Ladies, when you get tired of whining about how you’re sooooooo oppressed and how one article on an obscure website is doing you so much harm, give me a call. I’ll give you what you really need to relax.

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Anisette Stirling October 13, 2009 at 23:47

O. M. G.
I had (what I thought) was the perfect reply to this, but then I read what this guy said and all I can say is – he said ever so much better. I kow-tow

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Anisette Stirling October 13, 2009 at 23:48

here’s the link
http://whatever.scalzi.com/2009/10/13/a-boys-own-genre-or-not/

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Dave October 13, 2009 at 23:58

“Ladies, when you get tired of whining about how you’re sooooooo oppressed and how one article on an obscure website is doing you so much harm, give me a call. I’ll give you what you really need to relax.”

I take that back. I wouldn’t let one of these dog-faced cumbuckets lick my sweaty balls. Just get the fuck out,bitches.

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Dan October 13, 2009 at 23:59

Hey Dave,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZLJq_YCiKU

;)

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Dave October 14, 2009 at 00:13
Welmer October 14, 2009 at 00:15

Ladies, when you get tired of whining about how you’re sooooooo oppressed and how one article on an obscure website is doing you so much harm, give me a call. I’ll give you what you really need to relax.

Not so obscure anymore.
;)

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Dave October 14, 2009 at 00:23

“Not so obscure anymore.”

Haha,good point. Thanks,feminists!

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Good for a laugh October 14, 2009 at 00:38

Oh do tell, Dave. What are you going to give us?

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Dave October 14, 2009 at 00:41

Probably a razor to shave that fucking underarm air, you filthy troglodyte.

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Amanda G October 14, 2009 at 00:45

<>

I do understand the “why” behind the post/site. Apparently, the “feminazis,” “bridezillas,” and leech-like “princesses” have distorted your world-view until the mere thought of “woman” coexisting in what clearly ought to be your purely “manly” universe offends you.

I am a “women.” I have science degrees, thousands of books of SF, fantasy, romance, horror, mysteries, classics, modern literature, what you’ve been calling “hard” textbooks in my own field, and overview and advanced books in lots of other areas on my shelves. I have a decades-long, sex-filled, and happy marriage to a man who prefers an equal partner and is not afraid of my gender, and daughters who are also independent and well-educated. I like the SF in my reading hard and soft, the world-building detailed, the characters rounded, the relationships realistic. I read Asimov (met him at two SF conventions) and Clarke (shared a taxi with him at the World Con in Brighton) and Heinlein (met him several times – his wife Ginny was a very strong woman whom the owners of this site probably would have disliked. She certainly never deferred to his opinions that I ever saw.) before ST:TOS was ever aired. I also like Tolkien, Heyer, Peters, Robb, Crusie, McCrumb, Lescroart, Cherryh, and too many others to list. I watch tv shows with intelligent writing, and don’t really care if it is NCIS or Lost or House or Torchwood.

I rather pity this site’s limited views of what constitutes suitable and entertaining reading and viewing material. The argument here about “can a woman write good, hard SF” parses out to, “I do not like books written by woman, therefore it cannot be good, hard science fiction.” I recommend ignoring Asimov’s magazine, whose editor is a woman, and skipping F&SF, whose authors push the boundaries of ‘soft’ all the time. Just stick with Analog, whose editor caters to the readers who like their SF hard and often simplistic – one more repentant-bad-guy-sentenced-to-undo-his-harm story and I may gag. They probably have women authors as well, but feel free to skip those stories.

The Smart Bitches are just outraged and giggling at your site. Scalzi says we ought to just point and laugh. I think you’re too sad for that.

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Good for a laugh October 14, 2009 at 00:50

Dave, I already shaved my underarm hair this afternoon, so you’re too late. Better luck next time!

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Welmer October 14, 2009 at 01:04

Scalzi says we ought to just point and laugh.

Oh does he? Then why won’t he link it?

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anon October 14, 2009 at 01:24

This whole thing really is that you feel your manhood threatened by strong female characters. If a female Starbuck can save the world, then why are men needed? You don’t know where you belong in the world if women are capable of doing everything a man can.

The problem is that you don’t know what a real man is, so let me set you straight.

A real man goes downstairs at 3:00 am with a baseball bat because he heard something in the living room.

A real man works hard for his family whether that is at home with the kids, building skyscrappers, or flipping burgers at burger king.

A real man comes home from work exhausted but still wrestles with the kids for an hour because they are so delighted to see him.

A real man does the dishes for his wife every so often just because he loves her.

A real man takes care of those he loves in anyway he can.

Manhood cannot be threatened by shifts in the culture. Real men have always existed, and they will always exist. Because nothing can keep a real man down.

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Dave October 14, 2009 at 01:26

“Oh does he? Then why won’t he link it?”

Might have something to do with the fact that he’s a little pussy,maybe the women at his site haven’t ok’ed that decision for him yet.

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Dave October 14, 2009 at 01:44

“The problem is that you don’t know what a real man is, so let me set you straight.”

*giggle*

Oh, happy day! Anon’s gonna set us straight,you guys!

“A real man goes downstairs at 3:00 am with a baseball bat because he heard something in the living room.”

Ok, a “real man” gets shot to death so the woman in his life can spend his life insurance check on her new boyfriend while taking her SO’s sacrifices for granted. Gotcha.

“A real man works hard for his family whether that is at home with the kids, building skyscrappers, or flipping burgers at burger king.”

Uh huh, this real man busts his ass to feed a woman so she can complain to her female friends that he’s never home and fuck around while he’s at work,wasting the best years of his life on an ingrate who will hate him for it. Wow, thanks for enlightening me.

“A real man does the dishes for his wife every so often just because he loves her.” So the “real man” does his job and HERS too!? Wow.
If he’s already doing everything, what use is a woman?

“Manhood cannot be threatened by shifts in the culture. Real men have always existed, and they will always exist. Because nothing can keep a real man down.”

So glad you were here to set the record straight,anon. Yeah, pussies like the “real man” you describe probably will always exist, just like those dudes who like to get spanked by women or have sex wearing a diaper and call their wife “mommy”. Fortunately, these people are a very small, very fringe minority among men.

The rest of us have realized that we’re the ones getting fucked and have found a better arrangement.

Go be a real man and kill yourself for an ungrateful bitch who’ll laugh at what a pussy you were after you’re dead.

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piercedhead October 14, 2009 at 02:12

Strewth Welmer, you’re a bloody star! Haven’t seen so many feminists in one place frothing at the mouth in ages. A thoughtful, online magazine dedicated to men’s perspectives seems to be driving them insane – pardon – drawing out the insanity.

Nice start!

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Pissed Off Scientist October 14, 2009 at 02:33

OI! Do not generalise. Women have just as much, if not more, to contribute to science. It was a woman who invented Kevlar, for a start. If a male has a problem with watching “fluffy” sci-fi, that’s his problem. Sci-fi isn’t changing just because a woman runs the Sci-fi channel, it’s changing because the world at large is changing, and sci-fi has always been a reflection of the larger world. If you can’t handle this, build a time machine and go back in time, otherwise, learn to deal with the world.

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Dave October 14, 2009 at 03:04

“I’m not sure whether to think you’re a closet case or a virgin who’s only ever touched his mommy’s boobs. ”

Gay/can’t get laid combo. Boy,you are really using all 3 brain cells today, aren’t you?

“Have a fail-tastic day, honey!”

Hey, you too, sugartits. Have fun stroking your cats and dying alone,kay?

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Erik October 14, 2009 at 03:14

It was a woman who invented Kevlar, for a start.

Wow, I must say that that statement alone proved your point! Cuz like, you know, that’s some hardcore stuff right there! Its too bad men have never invented anything really cool like that!

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Erik October 14, 2009 at 03:16

But that’s okay, I have you perfectly placed within a stereotype myself. Fat, balding and with a micropenis. KISSES!

Versy, you just clued the world into the fact that you have no argument and are now just hoping to get people to shut up so that they don’t realize it. Of all the blogs on the net this is assuredly the worst one to try that on.

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Dave October 14, 2009 at 03:20

“BB, now you only prove you’ve never actually met a real woman when you use stereotypes like that.”

By “real woman” I assume you mean “fat woman”?

“Fat, balding and with a micropenis. KISSES!”

Oh, and she graces us with the ever-popular “small penis” shaming tactic.

Hey, this is a new one! Oh no, wait, the 200 women who commented before you said that to various other people. Oh well, you’ll just have to try again.

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Dave October 14, 2009 at 03:24

“And also I did have a point, in my first comment, you might have noticed. ”

Good for YOU,now if you’ll kindly waddle your size 18 ass over here I’ll give you a cookie. :)

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Dave October 14, 2009 at 03:31

“I rather like the word micopenis. ”

You’d probably like any kind of penis you can get,wouldn’t you Porky?

“Because I’m not sure I feel morally in the right to try to tease someone with a handicap.”

Oh come now, a woman with morals? Surely you jest.

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Dave October 14, 2009 at 03:33

“I hope you realize that this article has made sure that you will never get laid again.”

:0

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Oh no, you guys! It’s Lysistrata!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

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Sean_MacCloud October 14, 2009 at 03:34

piercedhead October 13, 2009 at 7:30 pm

said:

“As for their ‘positive’ influence of women in modern science-fiction, a brief recount of a recent episode of Battlestar Galactica:

The female Starbuck tortures one of the enemy, in the form of a normal human man. She has him beaten (she uses another man for this), repeatedly head-dunked for long spells in water and thrown to the floor, where he is too weak to rise under his own strength. She eats in front of him, knowing that he’s starving. After hours of this, the female president makes an entrance and feigns horror at his treatment. She apologizes to the man, orders his manacles removed, for which he thanks her. She then asks him quietly and civilly for the answer to the same question he was being tortured for, and this time he offers it up freely. Having got what she came for, the female president then orders the man executed (which is done immediately).

Now how many of you seriously think the writers of this show would have allowed a woman to be cast in this same role as the tortured man? Imagine the howls of outrage if a male torturer and a male president had done exactly this to a female prisoner, and the moral messaging was that no outrage had been committed – this was just the harsh reality of war?

We all know that in the current cultural climate, such a scene is verboten. Females are not being presented in science-fiction in a way that is equal to the way men once were. They are being show-cased as the officer class, and are monopolizing the hero roles. No male viewer can watch this and take it seriously. It would be like asking black people to watch shows in which all the villains were black, and all pardonable outrages were committed solely against blacks.

This rubbish is impacting on men’s lives and causing huge harm to their welfare, and you women who refuse to even acknowledge this, and go out of your way to bury it under a storm of emotionalism identify yourselves as unbelievably vapid, supremely self-serving or downright malicious. This rubbish has got to stop.”

———
Yap yap yap in this thread (idocy actually) but people have nothing to say about the very good above, by PiercedHead.

I think Puma’s approach is best: point and laugh.

……….
Oh and testing before voting!!

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Versy October 14, 2009 at 03:42

Well I rather like a good, wet tongue I’ll have you know. ;)

I kid, I kid. I have upstanding morals offline. I even *gasp* volunteer at the local women’s shelter. But I shall not preach about what devastation I see there, much of it the result of a man/husband/father, as I rather hope you would not beat, rape and install ideas of worthlessness in the head of a partner or wife or even god forbid a daughter.

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biz October 14, 2009 at 03:51

TL;DR

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Dave October 14, 2009 at 03:52

“I even *gasp* volunteer at the local women’s shelter.”

I can’t even imagine the kind of moral uprightness it must take to indoctrinate hatred and fear of males into women all day. Do you also have a degree in WymynZ’z Studeez?

“But I shall not preach about what devastation I see there, much of it the result of a man/husband/father, as I rather hope you would not beat, rape and install ideas of worthlessness in the head of a partner or wife or even god forbid a daughter.”

Oh yeah, absolutely. I don’t quite feel like I’ve accomplished anything until I’ve beaten or raped at least one woman a day.

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Versy October 14, 2009 at 04:01

Aww, that’s not what we do bb and you know it ;) We’d never try to spread or install a sense of hatred for all men, we DO NOT generalise. Besides many of the women have sons with them, and how would that seem? Making them hate the very gender their own child belongs too. Not very humane.

And actually no, I am a translator. I have never taken any gender studies in my life.

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Dave October 14, 2009 at 04:03

“Poor little fanboys, stuck in their parents’ basements with their Star Wars action figures, terrified of slash and GIRLS and shows that are actually character-driven and not about Quadgop the Mercotan and mile long spaceships that make up for their lack of manliness because the GIRLZ won’t look twice at their geeky, unwashed selves….”

There’s that “superior female empathy” we keep hearing about.

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Dave October 14, 2009 at 04:16

“We’d never try to spread or install a sense of hatred for all men, we DO NOT generalise.”

A pig’s ass,you don’t.

I’ve been inside women’s shelters before. Don’t bullshit me.

“Making them hate the very gender their own child belongs too. Not very humane. ”

Since when has that stopped you?

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Versy October 14, 2009 at 04:30

Well, then I do feel some more warmth towards you if you have in fact visited a shelter. :D But, how the shelters are run in your country I cannot attest to, here it’s not so. And how could one hate 50% of humanity? Really now. Just as a woman gave birth to you, a man fertilised the egg that came to be me. I hate based on personality, not whether you have a penis or a vagina. ;)

And bb, lunch break is over. I know you won’t change your mind, and I will not change mine, so let’s part on semi-good terms.

LL&P!

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Dave October 14, 2009 at 04:47

“I hate based on personality, not whether you have a penis or a vagina.”

*cough* BULLSHIT *cough*

“I know you won’t change your mind, and I will not change mine, so let’s part on semi-good terms. ”

Whatever you say. I’m not an unreasonable man. I’d like you to apologize to the OP,but then we can part on semi-good terms if you want.

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SMD October 14, 2009 at 04:53

So, the argument seems to be this: feminists and homos are ruining science fiction because they are making it more realistic. I don’t see a problem with that.

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Sean_MacCloud October 14, 2009 at 06:30

“As for their ‘positive’ influence of women in modern science-fiction, a brief recount of a recent episode of Battlestar Galactica:

The female Starbuck tortures one of the enemy, in the form of a normal human man. She has him beaten (she uses another man for this), repeatedly head-dunked for long spells in water and thrown to the floor, where he is too weak to rise under his own strength. She eats in front of him, knowing that he’s starving. After hours of this, the female president makes an entrance and feigns horror at his treatment. She apologizes to the man, orders his manacles removed, for which he thanks her. She then asks him quietly and civilly for the answer to the same question he was being tortured for, and this time he offers it up freely. Having got what she came for, the female president then orders the man executed (which is done immediately).

Now how many of you seriously think the writers of this show would have allowed a woman to be cast in this same role as the tortured man? Imagine the howls of outrage if a male torturer and a male president had done exactly this to a female prisoner, and the moral messaging was that no outrage had been committed – this was just the harsh reality of war?

We all know that in the current cultural climate, such a scene is verboten. Females are not being presented in science-fiction in a way that is equal to the way men once were. They are being show-cased as the officer class, and are monopolizing the hero roles. No male viewer can watch this and take it seriously. It would be like asking black people to watch shows in which all the villains were black, and all pardonable outrages were committed solely against blacks.

This rubbish is impacting on men’s lives and causing huge harm to their welfare, and you women who refuse to even acknowledge this, and go out of your way to bury it under a storm of emotionalism identify yourselves as unbelievably vapid, supremely self-serving or downright malicious. This rubbish has got to stop.”

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Mr. Deeer October 14, 2009 at 07:11

Just what we need, someone who wants more homogenous stereotypical science fiction. Oh no, they’re diversifying! Look out! They’re ruining my white male against the universe! Grow up. Science fiction changing is nothing surprising, it’s your opinion that’s counterintuitive to the genre. I’m surprised you don’t just switch over to westerns since they fit the criteria you so desperatly wish to preserve.

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NongenderedRobot October 14, 2009 at 07:25

Guys, just to set the record straight you are ALL real men and real women.

Feminine men, stupid men, skinny men, men who are in the NRA, men who work at florists, men who are misogynists, men who read sci-fi, men who are firefighters, any type of man you can think of. They’re all real men.

Masculine women, fat women, skinny women, women who are nurses, women who play video games, women who have no children, women who are escape artists, any type of woman you can think of. They’re all real women.

So cut out this “real man” and “real woman” bullshit. You’re all people.

This applies to sci-fi too. Sci-fi is about the possibilities of the future and it definitely isn’t caught in the battle of the sexes. Why? Because the battle of the sexes is fucking stupid.

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TB October 14, 2009 at 07:29

It’s the capitalism, stupid.

Women spend money, buy products, buy movie tickets. Marketing products to women makes money.

Too bad for you if seeing others make money makes you feel bad. Go move to Saudi Arabia where the state censors the TV and you won’t have to look at women.

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Reinholt October 14, 2009 at 07:45

Man, it’s like someone handed all of the feminist commentators here a quick flyer on what to say before they showed up. Political talking points and then some.

I have an official suggestion for this site:

We should start games of Feminist Bullshit Bingo for our comment threads. I think that might be a constructive way to use their idiotic, constantly repeating commentary.

( As an aside, it’s pretty amazing to see person after person march in with the exact same objection, having clearly not read the initial subject matter, and prove many of the points people make on this site; irony, thy name is feminism. )

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Jay October 14, 2009 at 08:17

“So the “real man” does his job and HERS too!? Wow.
If he’s already doing everything, what use is a woman?”

Wow. I think that pretty much says it all.

brb, afk to weep for humanity

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Oekedulleke October 14, 2009 at 08:22

TB,

Yea, the latest business numbers from the MSM and movie industry have been great this year. declining DVD sales, plunging profit margins and companies changing their CEO more often than a woman changes her mind. Ofcourse I’m sure that’s all to blame on piracy, and not on the quality of the product. You keep telling yourself that.

Also, nobody here is asking for censorship or oppression, you only show your ignorance with that statement.
The critique is that, in order to attract a female audience, sci fi writers have turned most science fiction into a “relationship disaster 101 in space” show. And most men don’t like that kind of TV.

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Oekedulleke October 14, 2009 at 08:31

@ wtf

The writer of the article is not suggesting that, learn to read.

He argues that most sci fi today has its focus on relationships, instead of the science fiction and because of that, it fails to inspire both men and women to go into hard sciences.

He, and I, and most men, prefer science fiction that is about science, and fiction. Not about date-rape, breakups and partner violence. We think it would be better if those topics where kept for ‘sex and the city’ type garbage.

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wtf October 14, 2009 at 08:54

” Science fiction traditionally is about men doing things, inventing new technologies, exploring new worlds, making new scientific discoveries, terraforming planets, etc.”

the WORLD traditionally is about men doing things and inventing and exploring, and that was because women are traditionally inferior to men.

lots of traditions are/were uncivil and wrong and so the free world is trying to do away with unequal civil liberties, and women can vote now, did you know?

so you’re going to have to get used to women doing things outside of making babies and cooking and cleaning, because unlike the nineteenth century, women have equal rights now, so if a woman wanted to be an engineer, SHE COULD, and if a man decided to be a stay-at-home-dad, guess what? he could do that! it’s completely acceptable now! oh, and get used to women being allowed to write television shows and books and starring in films, because, unlike Elizabethan times, women are allowed to be actors now. doesn’t that just blow your mind? it’s really too bad, because the oh-so-manly traditional all-man-on-man manly science man-fiction is being ruined by cooties.

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Reinholt October 14, 2009 at 08:58

wtf,

I won’t bother with reasoned discourse; you are clearly below that. Instead, I will say this:

You should be ashamed of yourself. Go read the initial article, and then read all of the predictable responses above that are nearly identical to yours. You are not unique. You are not insightful. You are not even (apparently) literate.

Please stop embarrassing yourself. It was funny to a point. Now it’s just sad.

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Oekedulleke October 14, 2009 at 09:00

@ wtf

How about you reply to my argument rather than repeat your previous post which is so far off the mark it makes you look like an ignorant idiot.

this post is NOT about keeping women down, its about bringing sci fi back up to a higher standard.

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wtf October 14, 2009 at 09:07

@ Oekedulleke

actually, it’s funny you say that, because even though I’m a woman, I did go to school and I learned how to read! isn’t that fantastic?! women can do that now! apparently not everyone is quite so privileged, because it seems so difficult for you to differentiate between ‘where’ and ‘were’.

I do see what you’re saying, though, and although that argument makes total sense, he didn’t put it as eloquently as you did. He said that sci-fi is supposed to be manly and women are ruining it with their relationship drama. And the thing is, these shows aren’t all written by women, in case no one noticed. Women aren’t the only ones writing in the drama and the rape and the stupid shallow bullshit that makes these shows so addictive to those who can’t stop watching. Men do it too, because it gets more views. I don’t know why, but good television is rarely noticed and the awful crap is always drooled over. It is not the fault of women that television in general has gone downhill, people are just a lot more easily entertained, and so the talent doesn’t really rise to the top anymore. But that goes for every source of media. Most famous artists aren’t particularly talented anymore. You should have written the article, not someone who has a very blatant alpha-male, anti-woman agenda. I’ll concede that sci-fi has been sucking lately but I will not let someone aggressively blame the female gender for the deterioration of a genre that isn’t primarily written by women.

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Atsiko October 14, 2009 at 09:08

@O: I’m sure all my male friends who loved BSG and read “soft sci-fi” (which is incidentally, _not_ what the article was about, since hard sci-fi has basically _never_ been present on tv) will be happy to know that you know them better than they know themselves.

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wtf October 14, 2009 at 09:17

@ Reinholt

I appreciate you making your comment simple enough to read, because my frail female mind really isn’t quite big enough to understand, what did you call it? “reasoned discourse”?

I don’t appreciate being talked down to, and I’m absolutely positive that if I keep chatting with you, I will be treated like an inferiority, so I’ll just leave you with the satisfaction that you’re better than everyone else and I’ll say that you’re the smartest, most intellectual individual on the whole, wide internets!

P.S. You said that comment many times before you directed it toward me, so who’s being unoriginal and repetitive? The woman who had something worthwhile to say, or the man who told her how stupid she is and that she obviously can’t read? The man is right, obviously. Down with women! They’re ruining our manly science fiction!

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wtf October 14, 2009 at 09:20

@ Oekedulleke

Actually, this post IS about keeping women down. did you read the author’s nom de plume? or the bibliography? You may have pulled a different argument from between the lines, but the words are very clear.

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Jay October 14, 2009 at 09:26

@Oekedulleke
“this post is NOT about keeping women down, its about bringing sci fi back up to a higher standard.”

That may be what you’re getting out of it and it might even be what the OP meant to write about. You want to argue that current sci-fi isn’t what it used to be and it’s not inspiring boys? Fine. But when you blame women for it – and he is blaming women for it, Bonnie Hammer specifically, but all women in general by using phrases like “with women killing science fiction on television” – your argument DOES turn into keeping women down.

Women didn’t come here in droves to comment because they’re against old skool sci-fi or sci-fi that inspires boys. They’re here because they’re tired of the same old cliches being spewed out over and over again and the notion that sci-fi is about/for men is a cliche that needs to go the way of the dinosaur.

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wtf October 14, 2009 at 09:31

@Sean_MacCloud

“Tests before voting. Sterilize the dumb.”

I’ve been pushing this for a few years and honestly, if I didn’t value freedom so much, I’d be heading that campaign already.

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k October 14, 2009 at 09:37

Your premise (that science fiction television wasn’t driven by interpersonal relationships in the past, and now is, to its detriment) is flawed. Prove (or at least argue convincingly) that
a) Sci-Fi of yesteryear was “all hard sci-fi, all the time” and not character/relationship-focused, and
b) that this hypothetical shift really is a bad thing (marked loss of viewers, decreasing applications to engineering/technical colleges, even anecdotal data)

and THEN conversation can progress to discussion of social ramifications. I’m still not convinced that “hard” science fiction has ever really had a place on TV–one certainly couldn’t accuse Star Trek: TOS or The Twilight Zone of not focusing on relationships.

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MikeeUSA October 14, 2009 at 09:39

My maps and programs have been deleted from sourceforge at the behest of a woman named Beth Lynn Eicher.

http://whatwillweuse.com/2009/10/13/not-in-my-neighborhood-mikeeusa-removed-from-sourceforge/
Apparently my free/opensource code and media contributions have been removed from sourceforge.com (note: I never remeber claiming that I was an “open source rock star” or that my “contributions” were of any great value (or, really, much value at all))

All my maps, and programs are gone from there. Only crossfire-extended remains.

The women’s rights activists do this in every industry they decide to conqure: they gain administrative positions and then kick out the men who’s ideas/beliefs are opposed to them.

The woman who got my contributions to the free software movement deleted is
Beth Lynn Eicher. She is presumably from ohio as she is involved in the ohio Linux convention. An email address of hers is [email protected]

The other geek feminists that are after me have their weblog at geekfeminism.org
Another one has hers at ubuntulinuxtipstricks.blogspot.com

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Oekedulleke October 14, 2009 at 10:09

@ wtf

thanks for pointing out a grammatical error to a dutch speaking person, I try to make my senteces as correct as possible, but I do miss every so often. Sorry for not having the “privilege” of speaking perfect english.

As I read the article (with my limited knowledge of english, so perhaps thats why I’m wrong), the writer blames feminist influences in society, which, as many people here demonstrate, focusses too much on peoples feelings, and not enough on facts.

The writer also points to specific peoples who in his opinion (and mine) do a poor job. And also notes that these people are mostly women and gay men. I don’t think its unreasonable for him to assume that their feminist background heavely influences their writings, and that it shows.

Blaming certain people for this is hardly an attack on all women though, like you and Jay would like to believe. The fact that you claim this mearly shows that you are not capable of accepting critique towards any woman (or gay men) at all, and will pull the victim and oppression cards whenever you read something you don’t agree with.

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Obsidian October 14, 2009 at 10:10

Pro Male,

Excellent post, and I read the hundreds of comments with great interest (whew!). I actually agree with you, and read Bendict’s article when it firt came out dealing with the new defunct “new” BSG.

I grew up on BSG, Star Wars, Star Trek, etc et al, and loved them ALL, and without question they were undeniably Male. And, we can include The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man and Iron Man as “science fiction” as well, since all of them employ high tech in one form or another as an important element of the story, and of course, all of these stories are unabashedly Male as well.

My own take on the whole thing is very simple – in a free market society, people vote with their dollars and their feet. the new BSG didn’t appeal to me in the least, and as a result, I simply found something else to do with my time. Same deal with the new roster of “Syfy” shows and the like. I don’t watch Heroes, Fringe, etc either, because I don’t see them in the same mold as the afore-mentioned shows/stories/movies I spoke of above. At the heart of each of the aforementioned, a young Man has to come to grips with an asweome ability or power, and how he will use it. This is hugely important, and something the vast majority of Women simply cannot relate to – for Men and boys, powers are not “on board” in the same way that it is for Women, but rather, they are SKILLS THAT ARE EARNED. Eevn Kal-El, aka Superman, which also would qualify as science fiction, has to learn how to use his powers correctly. All of these stories rest on the role and prime importance of an older, wiser Male in these Men’s lives: Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben, Tony Stark’s Yensen, Kal-El’s father Jor-El, Luke (and Anakin) Skywalker’s Obiwan Kenobi, Bruce Wayne’s Alfred. A big part of storytelling for young boys and Men, is the mentor-student dynamic.

By all that I’ve been able to tell of the new BSG, Twilight and the like, that isn’t the case with the ladies. As you’ve mentioned among others, they seem more interested with interpersonal relationships and the drama that results. This makes perfect sense, since Women are inherently more socially and group oriented than are Men, by and large.

Also, if there is a “power” element at work in these shows/films, its that the main protagonist female somehow learns to control much more powerful forces than herself, usually in the form of a Male, like a vampire, etc. It is her feminine wiles that somehow keeps these larger and utterly destructive forces in check.

You also make a grand point about more female oriented media to focus on the paranormal, whereas straightahead sci-fi focuses on high tech. Again, Evo-Pysch informs our understanding as to why this is; for Women, their menses is something that just “happens”, and is an event loaded with all kinds of implications, including those approaching the metaphysical.

For us guys though, Life doesn’t work that way. We actually have to figure things out. By and large, Women ain’t too interested in seeing how the sausage is made.

Again, I’m not knocking these more female oriented shows/films per se, because again I say, let the Market sort it all out. Just making the point that Pro Male, you’re right, and there IS a difference at work here.

So, while they don’t appeal to me, I don’t really have any interest in knocking em either, for the reasons already indicated; if they can stand the test of time like Star Wars, Star Trek, Spider-Man or the Dark Knight (Batman) can, all well and good. Thus far, the early returns don’t look encouraging.

As for “Guy Media”, don’t be troubled; it and we, will do just fine. You have to keep in mind that, when it comes to Hollywood’s bread and butter – the Summer Blockbuster – it was, is, and will be for the foreseeable future, a Guy Thing. Last year’s Iron Man was a huge hit, as was The Dark Knight; Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen (definitely Sci-Fi) made what, four times its money back? District 9, made on a shoestring budget and shot in I think, SAFR, was a huge commerical success, as was the sci fi hit Cloverfield; and handsdown, the sleeper hit of 2009 was a little film out of France called “Taken” starring a middle aged Liam Neeson, doing the Jason Bourne-thing in Paris trying to save his daughter from the European Sex Trade (they’re making a sequel). In fact, just about every Marvel comic-turned flick has been hugely successful, and they all are sci-fi based.

So, again and in closing: you make some very good points. But I think we already have a mechanism in place to deal with that. It’s called the Free Market. If we guys don’t like the new Syfy, we don’t have to watch it, I certainly don’t. And haven’t lost any sleep over it.

On the other hand, Guy Media will do just fine, and as I’ve shown above, we continue to do the heavy lifting when it comes to actually paying everyone’s salaries and keeping their lights on. The numbers don’t lie.

So let the gals have their ray guns. No big whup. We all know the Real Deal.

;)

Holla back

The Obsidian

PS: In case Welmer’s reading this: I wanna be down. Got some things I have to say, will be ready to roll next month. How about it?

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Oekedulleke October 14, 2009 at 10:22

@ k

a) Perhaps you should watch the premier of star trek TNG (my first sci fi show) and compare it to the recent premiers of caprica and stargate universe. Or to the latest star trek movie.

‘old’ scifi was not devoid of inter-personal relationships, they were not (did I get that right?) math lessons. But the main subject was science, and fiction. Not the relationships.

b) You don’t have to google a lot to find articles about the new “gender gap in higher education” and the alarming numbers of boys who drop out.

And before anyone gets their panties in a bunch about b), I’m NOT saying its a bad thing that women are now earning more degrees than men. I’m saying that we have to look at why boys are struggling so much now, and what we can do to improve their situation. Part of that, I am convinced, is a lack of good role models on TV, and that includes scifi.

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kis October 14, 2009 at 10:47

I just love the attitudes of the guys on this site. Any criticism of a man by a woman is just “shaming language” designed to castrate them en masse, never actual, um, criticism that might be justified. And any woman who doesn’t accept this assertion is a feminazi.

Look, dudes, I was choked when the fire department in my area lowered physical fitness standards so more women would qualify. Because frankly, I don’t give a shit if all the firefighters are men–all I care about is whether they can carry my ass out of a burning building. I was choked when the last bastion of “no girls allowed” in my city was ordered to start admitting women–because I think if men want a lounge where they can drink and fart and belch and scratch themselves without women around, that’s cool. I’ve never taken a “good job” away from a deserving man. I work in the service industry, in a job no sane man wants to do (and make 30 bucks an hour doing it, ha!).

But according to you guys, the very act of me fixing a doorknob or building a fence or laying a new floor was done solely to emasculate my ex husband? Because despite the fact that he would rather play WoW for 14 hours a day than actually, you know, take care of shit–including the kids he wanted us to have–I’m the one who made him irrelevant in his own family. Because asking him to log off his fucking game and, I don’t know, cut the fucking grass or, hmmm, maybe get a full time job, would be shaming him.

I see it all so clearly now! His assertion weeks before I kicked his ass out that I was “becoming too independent”, and we “had to get back to the way things were” (i.e., me carrying the whole load, but feeling worthless and dependent on him for…um…something, I’m sure I’ll think of it at some point), was all TRUE! Because me picking up a screwdriver and fixing the damn dryer when he couldn’t be bothered, so I could keep him and the kids in clean socks, SHAMED and EMASCULATED him! And it was totally my fault, getting that part time job that let us save a little money. Because you see, I was enabling him to quit job after job after job until he was working barely 20 hours a week, and the fact that I never just let us, you know, lose our house to the bank, well…that was totally selfish of me because it made him feel like less of a man.

I see the light. Hallelujah! He can barely take care of himself, despite the fact that I haven’t asked him for one thin dime of child support, because I’m an eeeebil woman with a row of amputated, mummified testicles on my nightstand. And the fact that I pay the travel expenses to send his kids to see him? That’s not my own sense that kids need a dad in their life. Nope. It’s all part of my plot to make him feel even more inadequate as a man! Bwahahahaha!!!

The really sad thing is, he’d agree with every single article on this site. In fact, he might even be a regular here. *waving*

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Thursday October 14, 2009 at 10:54

Any criticism of a man by a woman is just “shaming language” designed to castrate them en masse, never actual, um, criticism that might be justified.

Stop with the handwaiving. There were all sorts of personal attacks here of the “you can’t get laid” or “you’re just bitter” kind.

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k October 14, 2009 at 10:55

@Oekedulleke

a) The first episode of TNG was about Picard & crew liberating an energy creature from the humans holding it in slavery and then reuniting it with its mate. So…some silly pseudo-science and a possible analogy to civil rights issues.
TNG, as a series, also had a decent balance of strong male to female characters, and, if I remember, its fair share of interpersonal/romantic drama/tension.

And funny that you reference the new Star Trek movie, seeing as it parallels Star Wars: A New Hope pretty closely. Two different eras of sci-fi (one “male,” one “female,” if you believe the premise of the above article), and the archetypes and themes are the same.

b) I was asking for evidence to support OP’s assertion that men were no longer being inspired to pursue the sciences. Google that, and you’ll see that there’s still an overwhelming gender gap in EECS (which I can personally attest to, if you’re looking for anecdotal evidence, as the only female CS major among 31 male colleagues). Most articles you’ll see on the first page of hits claim that the gender gap is not only still tipped in men’s favor, but it’s widening. More men than women are still being inspired to go into these fields, apparently, so either science fiction plays less of a role than OP thinks, or today’s “feminized” programming still strikes an inspirational chord.

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Welmer October 14, 2009 at 11:04

Stop with the handwaiving. There were all sorts of personal attacks here of the “you can’t get laid” or “you’re just bitter” kind.

Don’t forget the ever-present “small penis” attacks.

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CJHill October 14, 2009 at 11:04

I’m late to this conversation and I apologize if what I’m about to say has already been addressed but I’m not wading through the responses.

I’m a 50 year-old woman who has loved science fiction since grade school. As such, I find the statement that science fiction is written for men and only for men a bit ridiculous.

Do you really want to return to the days when a brilliant woman author had to write under a male name in order to get published? That’s truly sad.

Publishers are in the business of making money. They publish what sells. Tastes change. Styles change. Get use to it.

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Oekedulleke October 14, 2009 at 11:07

@ kis

You’re too funny. First you write that, yes, there are legitimate concerns (which is what this site is all about). And then follow it up with ME ME ME ME, and my loser-husband.

What’s your freaking point ? Aren’t we allowed to deconstruct our opponent’s arguments ? at least, the arguments of the few who are capable of actually sticking to the subject and not start a rant about their personal life, as if it makes for a point in a general discussion.

You won’t see the light. Your massive, narcissistic ego stands in the way.

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Maury Povich October 14, 2009 at 11:10

In the case of 5 month old Cantrell…. James, you are NOT the father,

“See, bitch. I told you. I told you I wasn’t the father! What? What now.”

***cue to chubby woman running backstage in tears and Maury comforting her before commercial break***

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Grim October 14, 2009 at 11:27

CJHill wrote:
“Do you really want to return to the days when a brilliant woman author had to write under a male name in order to get published? That’s truly sad.”

Funny, men who write romance novels use female pseudonyms or no one buys their work. So I guess it’s fair where men have to change their name to get published but women don’t? This new equality feels so, I don’t know … unequal.

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Grim October 14, 2009 at 11:32

WTF wrote:
“oh, and get used to women being allowed to write television shows and books and starring in films, because, unlike Elizabethan times, women are allowed to be actors now. doesn’t that just blow your mind? it’s really too bad, because the oh-so-manly traditional all-man-on-man manly science man-fiction is being ruined by cooties.”

I don’t think anyone would mind if not fact that stuff these chicks write is f-ing terrible. It’s the samething with anything else women jump into, they generally don’t live up to the same standard as guys so they spend most of their time trying change the standard.

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Oekedulleke October 14, 2009 at 11:35

@ k

a) “some silly pseudo-science and a possible analogy to civil rights issues.” right, together with an introduction to the ship, starfleet and the star trek universe.

Thats in sharp contrast to ‘caprica’ wich is about one disfunctional family and relationship after another. What is supposed to be the main plot: the creation of the cylons, is mearly an afterthought. Same goes for SGU: the male lead is already banging some girl in the locker rooms, and hooking up with another one at the end of the day. Most other women already hate anything and anyone else. And the black woman-beater-bad-alfa is also established within the first half hour.

I never said TNG didn’t have episodes centering about relationships. But for most of the series, they where never the main point. And you never saw Uhura passionately kissing Spock right after he lost his mother and his freakin planet got blown up. You call that good writing ?

b) Ofcourse, I can grant that the effects we imagine this kind of bad scifi to have on young men may not be as strong as we think.
We still think it sucks rather badly, and for those who did get inspired by the series of old, its only normal that we lament these aspects of modern scifi.

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Jay October 14, 2009 at 11:37

@Oekedulleke

“Blaming certain people for this is hardly an attack on all women though, like you and Jay would like to believe.”

As I quoted in my previous comment, the OP says, “With women killing science fiction on television…”. It’s not what I would like to believe. It’s what was written in the article.

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Renee October 14, 2009 at 11:38

Dave October 14, 2009 at 1:44 am,
The fact that you equate “pussy” with weakness is telling.
————————–

Well I have you know that not only do I love science fiction but that I HATE how the SciFi slogan has been turned into “SyFy”.

With that being said, all this seems to go back to how masculinity is positive and femininity is negative, or how ONLY a male viewpoint matters. Who said that SciFi HAD to only be about “men doing things, inventing new technologies, etc., etc.”? It seems to me that this is nothing but men trying to uphold a rigid and tunnel-visioned definition of SciFi. You’re equating SciFi masculinity when it’s more than that. It’s beyond it.

Charlotte, your posts rock. You’re able to put into words EXACTLY what I’m thinking (as you can see, I really don’t have a way with words lol).

Cyntia King, you win at life!

I think another issue here is that PMAFT has a rather strict definition of “masculine.” Now, if he had merely talked about a “focus on creating and using technology to achieve action-oriented goals” there wouldn’t be all this backlash.

THANK YOU.

Seriously there are soo many comments that I agree with.

Thursday,

Jeez, nobody said that no women could write or appreciate science fiction.

True, but we do have a problem in you guy’s “definition” of SciFi and that women are somehow ruining it because it doesn’t fit into some guy’s definition of it.

Clarence October 13, 2009 at 10:06 am,

I understand your concerns, but I really don’t see that happening just because SciFi, according to PMAFT, isn’t as “masculine” as it used to be.

By the way, why such an issue with gay characters and why would that do harm to the SciFi genre?

Of course the BBC gave Davies another show called Torchwood which is basically close to being “slash fiction” on television. (Slash fiction is a form of fan fiction written primarily by women where characters in science fiction TV shows are gay and have homosexual relationships completely contrary to the established canon of the show….Given that this is the BBC, all of this nonsense that alienates men for the benefit of women shouldn’t be surprising.

Yet not only do men not have a problem or make a big deal with seeing two women make out on television, but women are alienated as well (maybe even for the benefit of men) from things like videogames.

Why is it that just because a woman disagrees with you all, that automatically makes her a feminist? Can’t she not be just a woman who disagrees with you?

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DWJ October 14, 2009 at 11:44

I see a few problems here. First of all, if Bonnie Hunt was really so intent on attracting female viewers, why did she bring in wrestling, a form of entertainment that skews much more male than television science fiction? Why her association with “Who Wants to Be A Superhero” when superhero comics skew similarly male? Lip service aside, looks to me like she was less concerned with gender appeal than she was with cutting costs.

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Clarence October 14, 2009 at 11:47

Renee:

Do you want to take a look at some of the shaming language that posters (mostly women, but a few guys) have hurled my way or the way of this website simply because they don’t agree with the original post by PMAFT? You ask me a question after complimenting that misandric bitch Cyntia King, who launched an unprovoked personal attack on me?

I really think most of the women on this thread (whether good geek girls, feminists, or geek girl feminists) aren’t used to having to deal with real disagreement or world views they find unpleasant. So it’s much easier to attack the man rather than the idea.

Anyway, when you understand that perhaps men have feelings too, I might decide to answer your question.

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Clarence October 14, 2009 at 11:50

Marisa B:

Have you read any of the other comments before you decided to lower yourself to third grade level and make yours?

Attacking the person and not the idea, being a grammer nazi, and utilizing MOAR (originated in 4chan I believe) does make you look like nothing so much as a bored tenth grader and doesn’t help your argument whatsoever. If it’s that “time of the month” dear, please go back to bed.

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Clarence October 14, 2009 at 11:52

Oopsie. I think I mispelled “grammar”.

I’m sure that discredits my whole argument. Carry on, carry on.

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Obsidian October 14, 2009 at 12:00

Marisa B,
Please see my comments upthread, and then feel free to respond. I’d very much like to hear what you have to say. Thanks.

The Obsidian

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Lucy October 14, 2009 at 12:02

My mother is 57 years old. Her favorite author is Andre Norton, with Isaac Asimov coming in a close second. She’s watched and loved every Star Trek series that has aired to date, the original and remake of BSG, all the Star Wars movies, Doctor Who, etc. Her library consists mainly of Sci-Fi novels, and has for my entire life. While the shifting climate of science fiction may not be to your liking, that doesn’t make it bad, or because women are invading. Women have always been there, they’re just more vocal about it now.

Andre Norton is a perfect example of that, as she wrote under a pen name so that people would think she was a man, since it was less acceptable for a woman to be writing science fiction.

If you hate the way things are changing, I suggest you invest in DVD’s and books and keep yourself limited to what was produced 40 years ago. Even the original Star Trek is on DVD now. You can pretend times aren’t evolving. How nice for you.

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Jay October 14, 2009 at 12:07

@Obsidian
“You have to keep in mind that, when it comes to Hollywood’s bread and butter – the Summer Blockbuster – it was, is, and will be for the foreseeable future, a Guy Thing.”

If you really do have legitimate numbers on the male/female ratio of attendees to summer blockbusters, I’d love to see them. I’ve seen all the movies you mentioned in theatres, some of them multiple times, and I haven’t noticed attendance being skewed toward males.

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kis October 14, 2009 at 12:27

Stop with the handwaiving. There were all sorts of personal attacks here of the “you can’t get laid” or “you’re just bitter” kind.

There was plenty of “this is why you can’t argue with women,” and “the truth about women” bullshit. Well, you want to know the truth about women? We need to own our shit. And so do men. For every Ward Cleaver in the glorious, manly ’50s, there was an Andy Capp lying on a couch all day waiting for the wife to get home from the factory so she could cook him dinner and he could run out to his lads at the pub. But according to you guys, Andy’s wife was just an emasculating bitch who shamed her husband and took a “good job” away from a man–not a woman who just had to do what’s necessary to get by.

I hate the idea of any qualifying applicant for any job or university degree being bumped so that someone less qualified but female or POC or whatever can have a chance. I understand why people think it’s necessary to subsidize women in these areas, but I still hate it. I also hate that men who go into nursing or interior design (or lets his wife earn while he does the Mr. Mom thing) are scorned as sissies–the idea being “women’s work” or “women’s interests” or “women’s efforts” are all somehow, by virtue of gender, less than those of men. Anyone who thinks that can bite my ass. Because, here’s a news flash–women on average have almost always worked longer hours than men. The fact that in most cases that labor was unremunerated doesn’t make it disappear. And it doesn’t make it worthless.

But the idea that a woman’s criticism of a man for being on the internet too much is simple “shaming” and could never be, um…valid criticism in some (many?) cases, is ludicrous, and you do a disservice to men to let them think it. As is the notion that women can’t possibly be reasonable or think about things from any POV other than a narrow, self-serving one. Truth is, some men are useless sacks of crap. And so are some women. Many many men are completely unable to embrace any POV but their own–and I see a great deal of that on this site.

You know what? When a guy who makes incredible money asks me out, I get a little twinkle in my eye. Not because I want his money. Because I’m pretty sure I’m not going to be stuck with another fucking useless sack of crap leeching off me when he isn’t trying to talk me into having more kids he’s uninclined to take care of. Does my shithole of a marriage make me hate all men? Um, no. Does it make me appreciate a good one even more than I might have otherwise? Yup.

After 15 years of that bullshit, I think I deserve a medal for not wanting to raise my boys to be self-hating castrati. I want them to grow up responsible and proud to be men. But there was simply no way I could do it when the father they lived with acted like a stunted adolescent with zero sense of responsibility and a gargantuan sense of entitlement.

You don’t get it. We aren’t mad about women working or getting by — we are angry because there are millions of real injustices inflicted on men every year. If you can’t see that, you’ve got a huge blind spot, or else you are willfully ignorant.

I do get it. Your ex is a heinous bitch who doesn’t deserve to have custody of your kids. Still, I wonder how much empathy men felt way back when, when a woman who divorced her abusive shitsmear of a husband was left with no means of support, and custody of the children automatically went to him? Pendulum’s swung the other way–too far, IMO–but it will swing back. In fact, it is swinging back.

But the subtle and not so subtle that assumption here that “all women” arethis way or that way or anything but in possession of vaginas is kind of pathetic.

You’re too funny. First you write that, yes, there are legitimate concerns (which is what this site is all about). And then follow it up with ME ME ME ME, and my loser-husband.

I’m just following up on the whole “shaming language” argument that you guys seem to embrace, that any criticism of male by female is groundless and shaming. Dudes, sometimes it’s not shaming. Sometimes it’s the truth…

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Obsidian October 14, 2009 at 12:29

Jay,
There’s a very well written blog called Whiskey’s Place. He focuses on Hollywood issues almost exclusively, and has devoted considerable time to these issues. A quick Google should suffice.

But let me just ask you right now-do you agree or disagree that the following big Summer blockbuster films were targetted primarily at the Male demographic:

The Dark Knight
Iron Man
Transformers 1 & 2
All three Spider-Mans
The Incredible Hulk

These were big movies aimed at guys and boys.

Agree or disagree?

The Obsidian

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Lisa October 14, 2009 at 13:01

“Women killing science fiction…” whatever you woman oppressor! There are a lot of women Sci-Fi fans for your information. I don’t think women are ruining Sci-Fi, maybe its just the crappy writers.

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Jay October 14, 2009 at 13:04

@Obsidian

Thanks for the blog rec – I’ll check it out.

As for your question, I would maybe agree that the Transformers movies were primarily targeted at boys/men, but as for the others? I really don’t think so. I think Dark Knight in particular is targeted at sci-fi & comic geeks of either gender and it happened to pull in a crapload of “normals” because it a) was a summer blockbuster and b) had an outstanding cast of mainstream and character actors and lots of explosions and c) was Ledger’s last big performance. But I really don’t recall seeing any advertising that made me think, “Oh, it’s about a guy superhero. Must be a guy’s movie.”

What is it about those movies that makes you think they’re primarily for guys?

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kis October 14, 2009 at 13:22

I don’t think anyone would mind if not fact that stuff these chicks write is f-ing terrible. It’s the samething with anything else women jump into, they generally don’t live up to the same standard as guys so they spend most of their time trying change the standard.

There ya go. And that’s not a shaming generalization on par with some of the crap spouted by women here? Women choose not to write sci fi exactly the way you want it, so it’s automatically crap. Not only that, but a woman would be incapable of writing sci fi the way you like because anything feminine is always less than, or substandard, compared to anything masculine, and whenever women enter something, they drag standards down.

I mean, it couldn’t possibly just be that women often write from a different perspective than men, because that would mean that women sometimes ARE as good as a man, and we all know that’s not true. Huh. Very open-minded of you all.

You know, at least comments like “you guys probably never get laid” come off as what they are, and are easily dismissed. Comments like the above are worse, IMO, because so many dimwits believe they’re always true, when in reality, it’s probably more the exception than the rule nowadays.

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s.m. caughey October 14, 2009 at 13:38

Dude, I think you have a bit of a logical fallacy here… if your menfolk are going to be out doing manly things on other planets, you’re either going to need women, or the gay is going to happen.

Or do you imagine that men will have evolved beyond sex drives in the future?

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Renee October 14, 2009 at 13:39

Clarence,

Do you want to take a look at some of the shaming language that posters (mostly women, but a few guys) have hurled my way or the way of this website simply because they don’t agree with the original post by PMAFT? You ask me a question after complimenting that misandric bitch Cyntia King, who launched an unprovoked personal attack on me?

I admit I skimmed a little since there were so many comments, so I missed that part.

Honestly, I don’t see how Cyntia’s comment towards you are any different than what you or others who share you views on here have posted. Are you talking about her use of “misogynistic vitriol” towards you? Other than that, I don’t see it has THAT bad. In most of her post, she simply stated why she disagreed with you. I see namecalling from both sides.

I really think most of the women on this thread (whether good geek girls, feminists, or geek girl feminists) aren’t used to having to deal with real disagreement or world views they find unpleasant. So it’s much easier to attack the man rather than the idea.

That’s a pretty big assumption to make. And guys haven’t done the same on here? Seriously I’m asking. I need to set aside time to read 458 freakin’ comments in their entirety lol.

Anyway, when you understand that perhaps men have feelings too, I might decide to answer your question.

Uhhh yeah I do. It’s funny you should say that considering on here, guys constantly point out how ~sensitive~ women are, their ~sensibilities~, and how their “feelings get hurt”.

The female /feminist cultural warriors who have invaded science fiction aren’t really interested in the science part OR the fiction part. What they really care about is that there is a genre of literature that males find pretty much uniquely their own due to female disinterest/disdain and rather than join the clubhouse as an equal because they are “tomboys” and really enjoy the boys game, they want to come in and change things. The clubhouse needs redecorated to fit female tastes in other words.

Seriously now??? Does it always go back to the men? It can’t be possible that *gasp*, women just like the “boys game” and want to join in, and like science fiction/fantasy? And of course things will change once other point of views, opinions are considered. If something is male-centric and females become interested in it, of course things will change to include their ideas. But I don’t see women trying to take over the entire genre of SciFi just because they’re interested in it.

What….should SciFi continue to be fit only male tastes? Should SciFi ONLY be equated to masculinity. Is it not more than that?

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Clarence October 14, 2009 at 13:43

kis:

It could just perhaps..maybe..possibly..be that men and women TEND as a GROUP to like different things. Our lovely geek chicks excepted in this particular case, of course.

So yeah it might be harder for your average male writer to push out a good romance novel, and it might be tough for your average “chic lit” writer to push out a good hard science fiction one. So? There’s always outliers and when the population of the world is in the billions and the population of the US is 300 million, those “outliers” will be great in number. What is NOT acceptable of your argument above is that if women tend to produce a form of lit that most male science fiction readers/viewers whatever don’t like they are sexist pigs for not having the same tastes as your average woman.

Very open minded of you “all”. Really? I didn’t know all the men on this site had the same beliefs nor did I know that all the men on this thread had the same beliefs. For the record:
A. Most of the nasty posts on here have been written by the visitors not the occupants and most of the visitors have been female. And lets not forget chickenshits who spout off from afar and don’t allow any linking or “talk back”.
B. The poster “Grim” does not speak for me, nor all men here, though I will say that yes, some nasty women will find any excuse to cover the fact that they don’t “measure up”. It must be stated that PLENTY of women do “measure up”.

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Renee October 14, 2009 at 13:46

Piercedhead,

Females are not being presented in science-fiction in a way that is equal to the way men once were. They are being show-cased as the officer class, and are monopolizing the hero roles. No male viewer can watch this and take it seriously. It would be like asking black people to watch shows in which all the villains were black, and all pardonable outrages were committed solely against blacks.

But it was ok when men were show-cased as the officer class and monopolizing the hero roles? Why would it have been ok for female viewers to accept that? And to compare that to hypothetical shows in which all the villians were black and outrages were committed against them is a stretch, especially since I don’t think that woman are necessarily being showcased and monopolized to that exent (nor would I want them to be). Not enough to make that comparison at least.

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J October 14, 2009 at 13:48

It is interesting that;

This blog was written anonymously. What is the matter, afraid that you’ll be hunted down by the women in your life and castrated?

There isn’t a shred of EVIDENCE to prove the writer’s point. Only chest beating platitudes and finger pointing.

If SyFy is soooooo estrogen driven then why are they still showing ECW? There doesn’t exist an intelligent, science fiction reading woman on earth that would watch this lame, fake and drivel.

The “feminization” of Science Fiction is really tied to GREED! Want more people to watch your Science Fiction movie or TV show? Take all the hard out of it.

On a side note I think it interesting that the “author” didn’t like Battlestar Galactica. All that sex. I thought men liked sex. Isn’t that a manly thing to do?

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Fearsclave October 14, 2009 at 13:49

Real men don’t take science fiction seriously.

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Welmer October 14, 2009 at 13:51

This blog was written anonymously. What is the matter, afraid that you’ll be hunted down by the women in your life and castrated?

Watch it with the trolling, J.

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