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.