The Feminization of Science Fiction (and Fantasy)

by Whiskey on October 19, 2009

The recent article by Pro Male/Anti-Feminist Tech on the “War on Science Fiction” generated a lot of heat and discussion. Among them, are Science Fiction (and Fantasy) being feminized, and secondarily, if so are these bad things? The answer to both is an emphatic yes.

The reason for both of course, is that majority or near-majority female creators in any literary genre “crowd out” male concerns, themes, and characters, which women find tedious to offensive, and produce essentially a “gay-female ghetto” that men flee quickly. Making said genres alien and irrelevant to nearly half of the population.

This is not to say that the feminized science fiction and fantasy genres of today are “bad” but they certainly are different, and mostly irrelevant to most men. Central to this fact are the profound gender differences in what men and women find appealing in literature, particularly science fiction and fantasy. Broadly speaking (there are exceptions), men prefer the traditional, “Big Idea” science fiction in which technology acts to radically change a society, and said changes are explored from a central (usually male) character. In fantasy, various historical events and allegorical tales are retold in altered form to produce a morality tale inter-mixed with entertainment, again usually in the form of a central male character.

Some of the literature of these genres are very good, with notable examples being “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea,” “War of the Worlds,” “the Hobbit,” “the Drawing of the Dark” by Tim Powers, and the stories of “Conan the Barbarian” by H. Rider Haggard. Much of it, like all genres, is very, very bad. Some of the female-oriented science fiction and fantasy novels and stories are very, very good. These would include, the Dragon Riders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey, the Wizard of Earthsea series by Ursula K. LeGuin, and “the Children of Men” by Doris Lessing.

However, with the exception of the Lessing novel “Children of Men” (Lessing herself writes in the manner of a male writer), the female written and oriented science fiction and fantasy is very, very different than that of male written or oriented science fiction and fantasy. Female oriented fiction tends to be very personal, oriented towards personal choices of women (and sometimes men) on the issue of children, families, relationships, and so on. This does not make this bad literature, on the contrary some of it remain classics, enjoyed and loved by women and men alike. Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” for example has no doubt entertained and delighted many men throughout it’s long history of publication. There is no doubt, however, that Austen’s tale is different from that of those written by and for men. Different does not mean better or worse, an apple is not better or worse than an orange. But it is different nevertheless.

Mary Wollstonecroft Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” with its deeply personal concern about morality, science, and the corruption of power that science gives (in a debased mockery of God’s creative act of life-giving) does not touch the notion of “Big Ideas” the way the true first Science Fiction novel does. As classic and beautifully written as it is, “Frankenstein” remains the first horror novel, and a deeply moving and personal one, not a Science Fiction novel. “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea,” on the contrary, has the “Big Ideas” fully developed. Captain Nemo is an Indian Prince, uprooted from his throne by the British Raj. He uses technology, the weapon of the West, to take command of the seas from the Colonial powers, to force them to return his ancestral lands to him. But, his very embrace of technology cuts him off from the traditions, value, and culture of his homeland. His very love of country that led him to embrace technology makes him a man without a country. Eternally at sea, belonging to no one. Clearly Verne invites the reader to compare the West’s embrace of technology with that of Nemos, and understand that the power of technology comes with a cost — the power cuts one off from the traditions, values, and culture of one’s home culture.

This is the “Big Idea” that animates “Twenty Thousand Leagues” and can be seen in Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” series (what if science allowed historians to predict and change the future, save a Napoleon-like anomaly, to prevent another “fall of the Roman Empire?”) Arthur C. Clarke’s prediction of communications satellites, or William Gibson’s “Neuromancer” series also cover large societal changes, instead of personal issues such as romance, love, sexual freedom, and so on. Even Huxley’s “Brave New World,” which focuses on family and sexual behavior, does so from a societal perspective. Rather than an extremely emotionally affective, individual tale.

If female oriented science fiction and fantasy is akin to Opera, with the aim of producing through intensely focused individual tales extremes of emotion, then male oriented science fiction and fantasy is akin to a Symphony, where the complex interplay of instruments is designed to produce a mood of general relaxation and contemplation. An imperfect analogy, perhaps, but one that makes the central point: the two genders want and create vastly different things in literature and tales. And too much “Opera” crowds out the “Symphony.”

Moreover, there is the question of gender stereotypes and roles in female oriented science fiction and fantasy. Generally (there are exceptions), men are either sniveling beta losers (think Pete Campbell in “Mad Men” or most of the male characters in “Dollhouse”) or hunky but violent Alpha males that treat women badly (but the women love them). Women are “beautiful victims” who love the men who abuse them, even if they are capable of kicking their asses. This is of course in direct contrast to the Western literary tradition begun in the Odyssey, where the man is neither a villain nor milquetoast schemer, and the women (Penepole in particular) are strong without being ass-kickers. Indeed, the whole point of the Illiad and the Odyssey is that Penelope is a far better wife and mother than Helen. She is in fact worth fighting for, where Helen is not. From this we get to … hunky undead vampires who are incapable of human life.

How did we get here? Science Fiction and Fantasy were originally very male oriented. Tales of adventure dominated both, from Verne’s Victorian heroes with a can-do attitude, to that of the pulp fiction and serials in the 1920′s and 1930′s. Even the 1950′s had very male attitudes, of “Big Picture” issues such as nuclear fears of giant mutated insects, Godzilla, and so on. A few of it good, much of bad, as with anything else.

What changed was the rising affluence of women, willing to pay extra for often porn-light tales of fantasy (Anita Blake’s vampire series here stands out) and the domination of women in the reader, Agent, and Publisher roles. In my post The New Mass Media Ebooks and the End of the Brandon Tartikoff Strategy I note one of my reader’s comments. His view is that the low pay but high prestige for readers leads to high turnover (but also advancement for the lucky few who stick it out into either Agent or Publishing ranks, eventually) and domination of young women ages 22-24 in the critical gatekeeper role of first reader. Truly, most of the submissions to Agents and Publishers are awful. But they must please the young female readers who are, to put it mildly, far different in preferences to men, young or old. The reader cites Baen Books, which had a submission rejected by a first reader (a young woman) by John Ringo. Fortunately for Ringo, the readers on the Baen Website had read his stuff and pestered Jim Baen to read the submission. Which he did, and loved, even though it had not pleased the young female reader.

The end result is something like this:

The Twilight Panel at Comic-Con had the traditional male attendees arguing that “Twilight ruined Comic-Con” and they may be right. You may find a full account of this at my site here. It is hard to square a genre that is filled with the people like the following:

Twilight Moms at Comic-Con

Twilight Moms at Comic-Con


… with anything that will appeal to men and boys. Novelist Elizabeth Hand (“Waking the Moon”) wrote in the Washington Post about how science fiction has been feminized.

Writers like Ellen Kushner turned the sword-and-sorcery genre on its head — her novel Swordspoint has a swashbuckling bisexual hero. (A sequel, penned by Kushner and fantastist Delia Sherman, will be published later this year.) Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Suzy McKee Charnas, Kate Wilhelm, Lisa Tuttle, Leigh Kennedy are all prolific and established writers who continue to produce invigorating work, along with Pat Murphy, Lynn Flewelling, Pat Cadigan and Robin Hobb.

Men, young and old, find gays and bisexuality (among men at least) about as attractive as a “fabulous” Broadway show followed by a viewing of all three of the “High School the Musical” movies. In fact, the more “gay” Broadway has become, (and the more technically excellent), the more repellent it has become to men and boys. Indeed, metal and rap’s popularity stem from the hostility both have to gays, making male sexuality not “questionable” the way the love for Broadway showtunes would be.Women generally like gays, and find gay sex fascinating the way men do lesbian sex. However, men know well that most young women, if presented a magic button that would make most men (average joes) “gay” they’d break their fingers pushing it. The chief objective of attractive young women being turning off male desire of all but the most Alpha of men.

This feminization of Science Fiction and Fantasy extends to movies and television. As I noted in my column on Disney’s aim to grow with men and boys, the recently appointed Rich Ross, an openly gay man cited by AfterElton.com as one of the most powerful gay men in Hollywood, to run Disney Studios is not likely to work out well. Ross has shown a solid touch in developing princess fantasies aimed at tween girls. He’s quoted as saying the Disney XD channel, explicitly aimed at boys, will be inclusive of girls. However, that’s a proven recipe for failure. the article notes that all the audience growth has come from girls. Boys just are not attracted to “fabulous” bisexual swashbucklers, princess fantasies, or hunky vampires. Disney princess-essing Marvel, with themes of rich, spoiled princesses choosing hunky guys is basically the full-scale rejection of the deeply assimilated, nerdy Jewish guys who created power fantasies of decent guys who through superheroics finally got the girl. Which of these things is not like the other: Captain America, Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, and Edward Cullen?

Commander Data himself, Brent Spiner, denounced the article by PM/AFT. So did Sci-Fi writer John Scalzi. Yet the continual decline of male participation in science fiction and fantasy, crowded out by female themes and characters, threatens their bottom line. The original Star Trek, had a decent dramatic structure of choices offered by the Stoic-philosophy of Spock and the humanist philosophy of Doctor McCoy, which Captain Kirk had to find a solution to. Which was parodied as “Kirk beams down to the planet, blows up the computer, and bangs the green skinned alien babe.” Yet the shows, at their best, did posit a choice between freedom and security, liberty and predictability, with Kirk teaching the natives a lesson, not the other way around.

By the time of Star Trek: The Next Generation, all conflict had been drained out of the series conception. Now, the natives gave the explorers one giant PC/Multiculturalist lecture, complete with “feeling” empaths (who seemed to have stomach aches) and a huge dose of feminism. Most of the conflict that existed was the result of the characters of the Borg, who resembled a replicating virus rather than the obvious Cold War proxies the Klingons and Romulans (the Russians and Chinese respectively) in the original series. This trend only worsened in the succeeding shows, with Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and finally Enterprise devolving to opening teasers ending on the dreaded words “Pass the salt.” The writers of Enterprise could not even tackle the subject of 9/11 adequately, being afraid of violating feminine driven PC sensibilities.

Nothing points out the failure of feminized science fiction, even with it’s many able practitioners and sensitive personal stories, than the inability of Star Trek’s last series to actually tackle perhaps the most important issue of our time when the original tackled racism, communism, computerized societies, and more head on. A female-driven PC/Multicultural consensus rather than a male risk-taking one was ruling. Once, Captain Kirk told audiences that America and its values mattered. Now, Commander Data and the rest were a mushy mess of value-absent globalism, standing for a meaningless “niceness.”

Novelist Scalzi writes “hard” science fiction, aimed at exploring warfare, technology, and anti-aging technology. Yet he cannot exist in a world where science fiction is focused on the adventures of “omni-sexual” character “Captain Jack” from the BBC series “Torchwood,” aimed at titillating the desires of a mostly female and gay audience. The personal may not be the political, but it drives out the political discussions that have historically been the province of science fiction. Both Verne and Wells used the genre to criticize colonialism and imperialism, and others have used it to critique the communist and socialist tyrannies they saw in the making: Huxley, Orwell, and (in the fantasy realm) Kafka.

Borders is dumping its DVD and music to focus on tweens, with an emphasis on Stephanie Meyer and Sarah Dessen. Tween appealing literature means “Reading is Gay” ala the infamous South Park episode. The more “gay” and tween female science fiction and fantasy becomes, the less Scalzi will receive in royalties and advances as the readership turns exclusively female and gay.

One need only look at television, which as late the 1970′s featured shows like “the Rockford Files” which had a male lead that was to put it mildly, a very different conception of a male lead than today’s TV. Older, not very glamorous, living out of a trailer, often beset by money problems, and involved in cases where the main motives were stupidity and greed, Jim Rockford was a far cry from the hunky male vampires, doctors, and lawyers who are the “Alpha Males” of today. Not the “older guy who looks young and can beat anyone up” the character was instead often the target of beatings. He rarely got the girl, even if he did often get the last laugh. Now, television is a gay-female ghetto. Arguably with better writing, acting, directing, and music, but emotionally empty and with stereotypical depictions of men in particular. As either conniving beta schemers or terrible cads women love. The female characters are little better, being mostly “beautiful victims” who suffer at the hands of the bad, mad, cads they love. AMC’s “Mad Men” which relies mostly on the outstanding art direction, is a prime example of this. Complete with a female dominated writing staff (seven of the nine writers are female), that includes both Marti Noxon (former show runner and writer for “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) and Kater Gordon (since fired/resigned) who was promoted to writer from show creator Matthew Weiner’s personal assistant. Don Draper and the rest in “Mad Men” bear not a smidgen of resemblance to the complicated and compelling male and female characters on “the Rockford Files.”

Indeed, much of the female-oriented “science fiction” (it isn’t science fiction, really) and fantasy is comprised of not much more than “you go girl” kick-ass waifs who are the butt kickers and pitied victims, simultaneously, of “the Man.” Men being horrible jerks, which is just the way the women in the shows like them. From “Buffy” to “Xena” to “Tru Calling” to “Firefly” to “Dollhouse” this theme shows up like a bad cough in winter. Indeed, “Buffy” probably hit the nadir, when Marti Noxon had lead character Buffy raped by the hunky vampire Spike. Said rape causing Buffy to only love him more, and have (later) off-screen implied sex. Sadly, only “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” ever dared to even dance around the question of female hypergamy and the dark side of female sexuality. “Buffy” asked the question about what would happen if ordinary girls were given physical superpowers? The answer being, they’d seek out the most physically powerful men around, questions of character, decency, compassion, and everything else being irrelevant to that lust driven feeling that danger and domination creates (and their new-found powers allow them to exploit).

Almost all of culture is female/gay oriented. The the New Girl Order observed by City-Journal.org writer Kay Hymowitz, with enormous amounts of wealth accruing to young women who are single for much (and perhaps most of their lives) and therefore spending far more on consumer goods, has along with contraception, anonymous urban living, and rising female incomes, created a mostly female-driven advertising and retail market. The site claims (though I’ve not seen underlying research) that women account for 85% of all consumer purchases. While I find this suspect (longer times for single women means longer times for single men, implying male purchases at higher rates), there is no doubt that advertisers and retailers focus on women with men as an afterthought at best.

Television is female/gay dominated. It is estimated that about 80% of sitcom audiences are female, and anyone doubting the gender numbers for network television need only watch the ads. Advertisers don’t waste dollars on ads for Pantene shampoo or feminine hygiene on mostly male viewers. Broadway went from being male friendly to a mostly gay ghetto (though a technically excellent one). Movies, outside of action summer blockbusters and comic book movies, are either limited appeal female-gay art movies (Milk, Brokeback Mountain, Margot at the Wedding), chick flicks, or low-grade horror movies.

Fantasy has gone from Edgar Rice Burroughs, JRR Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Tim Powers, to “Lonely Werewolf Girl,” “Twilight,” the Anita Blake novels, and “the Vampire Academy.” Science Fiction has turned from Isaac Asimov, A. E. Van Voght, Robert Heinlein, and “Blade Runner” to “the Left Hand of Darkness” and James Cameron’s “Avatar.”

Now, what is changing things for the better is the rise of the e-book. Already, classics are available for download, for free. As I noted here, people with devices as varied as Palm Pilots and Iphones can download free apps and works (from Project Gutenberg). Jules Verne’s work compares favorably to anything smacking of Lonely Werewolf Girls or hunky vampire bad boys and the stereotypical women in thrall to their own hypergamy who love them. Twain’s “Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” explores the uses and limits of technology compared to a medieval society. As well as the wonders of the modern world. Most importantly, e-books are cheap. This means you won’t find niche stuff, and the relentless focus on the New Girl Order (helped along by the depression) will end. Men now have for entertainment, absent the gender stereotypes, focus on domesticity, and female themes, professional sports and video games.

By allowing authors to self-promote and by-pass traditional publishing houses, like Taylor Swift using social networking media to bypass Nashville’s traditional structure, men-appealing authors have a chance to become the next Jules Verne. Rather than explore issues of personal sexuality or hunky Alpha males, they can address pressing social issues such as nuclear terrorism, selective sex abortion, and more. Fantasy writers can explore the fall of the Roman Empire (still the most historically traumatic event in Western History, and the most grievous loss) within the context of today’s decadent society (where leading cultural creators support freeing Roman Polanski). All without the soft tyranny of feminized PC/Multiculturalism, and crowding out of the “Big Ideas” for domestic issues. There will still be a place for women in science fiction and fantasy. But it will no longer be “theirs” — an exclusive clubhouse where expressions of nerdy male ideas are as welcome as a Star Trek Convention at a Sorority House.

In some ways, it is a brave new world.

{ 266 comments… read them below or add one }

Patrick October 19, 2009 at 04:03

Excellent essay, though I’ve certainly seen parts of it before.

I do take issue with one point:

Indeed, metal and rap’s popularity stem from the hostility both have to gays

I’m not certain of this. And by that, I mean BS. I’ve never heard metal addressing gayness in either direction, neither condemning or praising. Metal’s appeal–at least to me–lies in its simplicity. Love stories are far and few (barring power ballads, but those were written to get chicks anyway), and the singers usually sound as if their balls have dropped. They’re not mopping about lost love but singing of conquest and victory.

Gay’s just ain’t got nothing to do with it, but I’d likely not listen to a really homosexual metal band either…

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Learn Hexadecimal October 19, 2009 at 04:19

Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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Obsidian October 19, 2009 at 04:41

Whiskey,
As wlays your essay is well written, but if I may, it is a bit alarmist. My reason for saying that is, that we guys still have a choice-we can vote w/our feet. If we don’t like something, we simply do not have to watch it, and if enough guys do this, things can and will change.

As I’ve said to Pro Male on his thread, while I wholeheartedly agree w/the point he and you are making, in the end, the Free Market will sort it all out-if what Syfy is doing is a viable model, it’ll last, and if isn’t, it won’t. When their “reimagined” Battlestar Gallactica came out, I stopped watching Syfy, and never looked back. The last flick I actually paid to see in theatres was Forrest Whittaker’s The Last King Of Scotland. And last week, I bouth two DVDs that were at least a year old-Cloverfield, and Terminator 2! If it ain’t a big action flick or something like that, I’m not spending MY money or wasting MY time watching it, and I know for a fact that I’m not alone-just about every Brotha I know feel the exact same way if not moreso.

So, the whole thing will eventually come crashing down under its own weight, as you said Whiskey. I can see it around me as we speak.

As you point out, when the deal goes down, Hollywood depends on its big action movies during the Summer to actually make its money-and those movies are geared toward Men and boys. Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, The Dark Knight, all the Spiderman movies, and more, have been hugely successful, and the big reason for that has been because of who they aimed for target wise. Simply put, when you give us guys a reason to come out to the movies, we do so.

And, as you’ve said yourself, not only will the e-book be the bomb, but so too will the much cheaper and more independent means of producing movies and shows. And already we see this working-District 9 was a big hit, so was Cloverfield, and both were unabashedly Male (JJ Abrams says he got the idea for Cloverfield from being on a trip to Japan with his son and seeing Godzilla toys and the like everywhere). So, I don’t have ay real concerns about Twilight Moms crowding Guy Entertainment out in any serious way. Why? Because, we’ll just vote with our feet and our dollars; and when entertainment comes along that we like, we’ll flock to it.

It’s really as simple as that.

The Obsidian

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Globalman October 19, 2009 at 04:53

Guys,
It’s a bit off topic but I wanted it put near the top of the comment list where most will see it.

If you go here we got a great comment from a woman today! (I’ve been talking to alittlebitofperil over the weekend.)

Any women who would like to back alittlebitofperils opinion with one of your own, please come across and make a statement about what you believe women might to do protect their men from the corrupt men running our courts and ‘just-us system’ right now.

http://www.youtube.com/comment_servlet?all_comments&v=TWEEA8t1VMo

alittlebitofperil

I think all the women out there who no longer want to see our fathers, sons and brothers treated with such disrespect as to let innocent men be wrenched from their children and their wives (who have the power in the courts now, regardless of how criminal they are) take most of their earnings. We are the only ones who can change this and start to truly LOVE and support our men, not continue to behave like repulsive Delilah’s to our Samson’s. Please other women who read this respond (i’m a woman)

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Kevin K October 19, 2009 at 05:16

What the fuck exactly is it that you people find so fucking terrifying about women and femininity?

Its not “terrifying,” its annoying. Women and Gays love drama queen antics and heterosexual men just wish they would calm down and shut up. There is a time and place for that, but not everything in the world needs to be about them.

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Wulf October 19, 2009 at 05:19

@ Learn Hex

LOL! You are so cute!

Here is a clue: Femininity is valued in a woman and is becoming exceedingly rare.

Re-evaluate and change your concept of femininity which you seem to believe is so prevalent.

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Krauser October 19, 2009 at 05:40

Robert E Howard wrote the Conan stories. He wrote some of the most manly short stories possible. He created the Sword & Sandal genre with his Solomon Kane character and also did wonderful boxing and Crusades pieces.

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Kimskinovgorod October 19, 2009 at 05:51

Learn Hexadecimal

No, I have to ask…

What the fuck is it that you people find so fucking interesting about the penis, that you have to return to that particular topic every fucking time, you want to come across with something on the sci-fi discussion ???

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dhurka October 19, 2009 at 05:56

“What the fuck exactly is it that you people find so fucking terrifying about women and femininity? I mean, are you afraid that if you consume stories with personal emotional impact (or any gayness in them anywhere), the Dude Police will revoke your penis license?”

Umm where exactly did you you see any expression of fear in this essay. It is not that “women and feminity” is scary. Its just so effing boring. Why do you find it so hard to understand that men like different literature and veiwing material than women? To me female scyfy seems like pride and predjudice with rayguns. I’d rather stare at the wall.

The point is that there is a massive untapped market for whoever is smart enough to exploit it. I have been to the cinema about 5 times in the past 5 years – I’d go every week if there was something there for me. I only watch sport on TV. I have taken to reading non-fiction books because there are so few fiction books that I don’t find tedius.

I don’t really give a damn if women watch sparkly vampires and kick ass waifs all day long. Whatever floats your boat. I do wish that there was something out there to appeal to me though. Even war movies now seem to be more about a love affairs than anything else.

Why do women insist that everything published or screened be for them? What is it you find so threatening about men enjoying something which is different to what you like?

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Thras October 19, 2009 at 07:02

No, I don’t think it’s a matter of “Big Ideas” versus “Feelings”, it’s a matter of adventure stories versus romance stories.

And a lot of science fiction authors feel that science fiction needs more “diversity” and that targeting the young white boys who’d actually read their adventure stories is “racist.”

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Kimskinovgorod October 19, 2009 at 07:08

dhurka

Good questions !!

Tedius is, however, a great understatement !

You sit down to watch something, that you think might be interesting, or have been looking forward to, and twenty minutes later you´re sound asleep…
I sincerely miss the “old” sci-fi movies, like the first Predator or Alien 2, that had you sitting on the edge of your seat all the way through the film…Nowadays I find it increasingly hard to see the difference between a episode of Love Boat and almost any action or sci-fi movie.

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Deborah October 19, 2009 at 08:12

Aghh, you had to site the ilk that is Stephanie Myer’s crazed wet dream – “Twilight” – as a prime example of Female Fantasy Literature.

The truth of the fantasy and sci-fi genre, is the same truth that applies to any other type of media. The more mainstream something becomes, the lower the quality. Quality is lowered so that said product will sell better to a mainstream American audience that doesn’t want to waste time with a lengthy read and complex themes.

Even popular action novels that deal more with “guy themes” and “guys doing stuff” , i.e. the massively popular James Patterson novels and Dan Brown Books “The Da Vinci Code” are typically low quality, low brow reads because the authors want to sell their product.

When Science Fiction and Fantasy were primarily “niche” genres for a few select members of the population, the writing was simply better.

The series “Dragonlance” was huuugely popular and influential within the close knit community of fantasy novels – and this series was written by two women, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. Despite the fact that these books are female written, I know more males who enjoy the series than females.

Also, take Margaret Atwood novels. She writes Sci-books for a primarily female audience.

My point is that the femininization of the Sci-Fi and fantasy genres might be a symptom of a move into the mainstream, but not the cause.

Female involvement doesn’t directly deteriorate the quality of the works.

Rather, when a genre needs to become more financially lucrative, intellectual integrity is sacrificed to embrace the same American mainstream population that equates “intriguing drama” with reality shows, and not shakespeare – the mainstream that views “divine comedy” as a guy getting kicked in the balls, and not a work of Dante.

If you want quality literature and cinema, you simply need to ignore the mainstream and explore many of the great underground and undiscovered works that are still out there.

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Elais October 19, 2009 at 08:17

I take offense that only ‘men and boys’ like Iron Man and the Dark Knight , etc. Plenty of women enjoyed those movies. I cannot wait to see Iron Man 2 and I will line up for more Batman movies. Those are the kinds of movie I slam my money on the ticket counter for.

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Talleyrand October 19, 2009 at 08:40

The issue isn’t excluding women or even advocating that they should be excluded. That is not what these posts have said, but it which seems to be what the feminists read INTO it.

This is projection. I think some of them feel it is BETTER to exclude the male perspective and so they think that the men are saying the mirror of what they in their hearts want and believe.

It is the exclusion of men that’s the problem and male oriented stories. Again though, most literature is dead. The classics will survive the rest is just pulped wood.

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Reinholt October 19, 2009 at 08:43

The only thing I fear about female-oriented science fiction is that it might bore me to death.

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Kimskinovgorod October 19, 2009 at 08:52

It also confuses me , as to WHY it should be changed, -I mean, the females that watched it, must have liked it the way it was, or there would be no reason to watch it, with so many channels on the tee-vee…
That goes for a lot of other things, that have been feminized over the years too.
The next thing we´ll see is probably Batman getting married and start to use harsh language, instead of beating the crap out of the bad guys…(shutters!!
-Brrr!!!)

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Novaseeker October 19, 2009 at 08:58

What the fuck exactly is it that you people find so fucking terrifying about women and femininity?

Not terrifying, just not engaging. One of the many reasons my consumption of fiction is limited to things written before the middle of the 20th century, when I even get around to reading fiction, which is rare. Non-fiction is the genre for me — at least in non-fiction the feminist bullshit is transparent enough that I can easily select one from the other. In the fiction world it takes too much effort to do that, as the contemporary poison has infiltrated in that blank-slate-addled world much more thoroughly.

I say to hell with contemporary fiction, to be honest.

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Welmer October 19, 2009 at 09:06

Aghh, you had to site the ilk that is Stephanie Myer’s crazed wet dream – “Twilight” – as a prime example of Female Fantasy Literature.

The truth of the fantasy and sci-fi genre, is the same truth that applies to any other type of media. The more mainstream something becomes, the lower the quality. Quality is lowered so that said product will sell better to a mainstream American audience that doesn’t want to waste time with a lengthy read and complex themes.

Even popular action novels that deal more with “guy themes” and “guys doing stuff” , i.e. the massively popular James Patterson novels and Dan Brown Books “The Da Vinci Code” are typically low quality, low brow reads because the authors want to sell their product.

-Deborah

Very good point about Dan Brown. As something of a history buff, I can’t stand the guy. Totally trashy stuff. But that’s just my opinion.

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Gx1080 October 19, 2009 at 09:16

People, ignore Hexadecimal. He got banned of a blog for one of the writers of this magazine (can’t remember who) becasue he supported the idea that a guy shold respect that a woman should be able to sleep with a guy in underwear without him touching her. That is still a How to get Raped advice, moron.

Although I don’t believe in that something is bad just because it became mainstream, the total exclusivity of the male part, you know, having leading guys with (gasp) more important stuff to do than relationships and making a focus of the non-relationship stuff (saving the world, survival, self-discovery, among others), has been almost exorcised for the traditional media and substitued with drama that is written like a shitty fan-fiction (Case in point: Twilight).

Women, if you want us to respect you, save your wet dreams for yourselves and stop pretending that they are worthy literature. Because they aren’t.

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Kimskinovgorod October 19, 2009 at 09:21

Gx1080

Thumbs up on all accounts !!!

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Ferdinand Bardamu October 19, 2009 at 09:39

Gx1080:

“People, ignore Hexadecimal. He got banned of a blog for one of the writers of this magazine (can’t remember who) becasue he supported the idea that a guy shold respect that a woman should be able to sleep with a guy in underwear without him touching her. That is still a How to get Raped advice, moron.”

It was Female Masculinist’s blog.

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Wycliffe October 19, 2009 at 09:39

the deeply assimilated, nerdy Jewish guys who created power fantasies of decent guys who through superheroics finally got the girl.

There you go again Whiskey, dissimulating as usual.

Those Jews were far from “deeply assimilated.”

They were alienated, foreign, and insecure, and this is partly why they felt compelled to engage in this kind of cultural production in the first place.

And they still aren’t “deeply assimilated” even today. They haven’t assimilated so much as taken over the reins of cultural production and domination, creating something novel that America has gradually assimilated to.

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Kimskinovgorod October 19, 2009 at 09:45

Wycliffe

Superman was basically a kick in the crotch to Hitler´s racial ramblings,-and it worked..he threw a fit over it !!! :)

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Gx1080 October 19, 2009 at 10:02

@Kimskinovgorod

Thank you *slight bow*

@Ferdinand Bardamu

Oh right. Weird that I forgot, her posts were the first honest approach to how the female mind works that I readed, and that was barely a month ago. Guess that I was too shocked because all my gut feelings about females (those that I earned with experience, instead of feminist propaganda) turned out right.

That and I was worried that I was going mad because urban sluts give me the creeps. I am not mad people :D !!

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Gx1080 October 19, 2009 at 10:04

And even better, I wasn’t turning gay. Thank god for that.

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Kimskinovgorod October 19, 2009 at 10:06

Gx1080

Youre welcome !

And don´t worry-feminist propaganda does that to most guys !!!

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Jabherwochie October 19, 2009 at 10:19

@ Wycliffe-

I think he ment deeply assimilated by the comic book culture, being the foundation of the super hero wave that wiped out mystery, horror, and adventure comic books. Re-read the quote in full and in context. I’m not positive about this however.

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Thursday October 19, 2009 at 10:20

Obsidian has a point that the movies don’t seem to be as afflicted by this. What is it about TV that makes it so female dominated?

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Kimskinovgorod October 19, 2009 at 10:34

Thursday

What is it about the western world that makes it so female dominated ???

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Globalman October 19, 2009 at 10:40

Here we go..the death of the alpha male…

http://blogs.smh.com.au/small-business/workinprogress/2009/10/16/arealphamale.html

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LILGRL October 19, 2009 at 10:49

Congrats on all the response.

Twenty-Thousand Leagues has been my favorite book since I was five. Right up there with Journey to the Centre of the Earth.

Um…sorry.

Thursday –

What is it about TV that makes it so female dominated?

More women watch TV, because more women stay home during the day. That’s really…it. Pretty simple.

Obsidian –

If it ain’t a big action flick or something like that, I’m not spending MY money or wasting MY time watching it, and I know for a fact that I’m not alone-just about every Brotha I know feel the exact same way if not moreso.

You should’ve seen Iron Man. Iron Man was the greatest movie ever created. Transformers! Indiana Jones! District 9!

AWSM.

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Novaseeker October 19, 2009 at 10:49

What is it about TV that makes it so female dominated?

It’s a bit of a chicken and egg question, but the practical reason for TV’s female orientation is that males are much more likely to spend that slice of their time on the internet or playing video games than women are, by and large. That doesn’t apply to the movies — both men and women go to the movies, often together. But the day-in/day-out recreational time spending is very different by sex.

More women watch TV, because more women stay home during the day.

Eh, not really the reason. Daytime TV has always been female oriented for the reason you mention. Night-time TV, however, is also now female oriented, and men are home at night.

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LILGRL October 19, 2009 at 10:54

It’s a bit of a chicken and egg question, but the practical reason for TV’s female orientation is that males are much more likely to spend that slice of their time on the internet or playing video games than women are, by and large.

Whether this is true or not, I don’t know (I watch TV while surfing the internet and playing video games…so hah!). Cold, hard, bottom line: TV’s, and their ads, are directed at consumers, and women are the primary consumers of households.

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LILGRL October 19, 2009 at 10:54

Heh — seriously, with the invention of laptops, who’s not multitasking, these days.

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LILGRL October 19, 2009 at 10:58

But, another “reason” for the feminization is the rise of reality-television shows — which almost only appeal to women/gay men. These did not come to rise because of some feminist agenda, rather because of the agenda of production companies. Which is money. And making it. And saving it. And reality shows cost a hell of a lot less than a primetime drama.

As for sitcom audiences being 80% women, I’d like to see where this statistic came from. Don’t make me pull out my film studies papers.

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Grim October 19, 2009 at 11:02

“Obsidian has a point that the movies don’t seem to be as afflicted by this. What is it about TV that makes it so female dominated?”

Network control + advertisers. For a long time advertisers only wanted female viewers as women use make 80% of the purchase decisions in the US. Movies have to sell themsevles thus they have to appeal to men more.

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Globalman October 19, 2009 at 11:06

“becasue he supported the idea that a guy shold respect that a woman should be able to sleep with a guy in underwear without him touching her”
LOL! That happened to me…only there was a whole lot of heavy kissing, touching and fondling before she said ‘no’. Really? NOW you say ‘No’?…..I didn’t get much sleep that night….I will still a pathetic beta then…sigh…

The next night I asked up front ‘are we having sex or not’…when the answer was ‘not’ I went and took a sleeping pill…..she FLIPPED…HOW DARE I? And I just said “The only way I am getting any sleep tonight is with a sleeping pill because you just said no to sex. I’ll see you in the morning.” I put on my ‘air-plane’ goggles and went to sleep. I assume I was meant to beg for sex only to be denied by ‘princess’ again. Um..we were staying in the country lovely holiday accomodation with ONE double bed. What the hell did she think was likely to happen?

Needless to say, a few incidents like this and I suggested she ‘sort herself out’. She never spoke to me again after that!! LOL!! She went from wonderful to ‘domination and control’ within 10 seconds of me saying ‘committed’…LOL!

It’s amazing how women want to ‘dominate and control’ now and will give up winning the ‘relationship lottery’ for ‘domination and control’.

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Jake October 19, 2009 at 11:35

Regarding the issue of genre, I wrote a long post called Science Fiction, literature, and the haters that discusses why so little science fiction and fantasy rises to the level of literature. At the time, I didn’t realize that Stanislaw Lem had already addressed the issue extensively in Microworlds.

As for your gender assertions, I’m not sure I think they stand up. Even if I do buy them, I’m not convinced that science fiction has been “feminized” in the way you describe: for one thing, all the older, “masculine” science fiction is still out there for those who want to read it. In addition, cyberpunk writers like Neal Stephenson and William Gibson are certainly producing work that plenty of men are happy to read, and Charles Stross seems to be doing the same.

What’s more likely, I suspect, is that publishers are responding to some extent to the fact that women simply buy more books than men. Take a look at this New Yorker profile of Ian McEwan:

Three years ago, McEwan culled the fiction library of his London town house, in Fitzroy Square. He and his younger son, Greg, handed out thirty novels in a nearby park. In an essay for the Guardian, McEwan reported that “every young woman we approached . . . was eager and grateful to take a book,” whereas the men “could not be persuaded. ‘Nah, nah. Not for me. Thanks, mate, but no.’ ” The researcher’s conclusion: “When women stop reading, the novel will be dead.”

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Vladimir October 19, 2009 at 11:55

Thursday:

Obsidian has a point that the movies don’t seem to be as afflicted by this. What is it about TV that makes it so female dominated?

I don’t watch much TV, but I have also noticed that TV shows tend to be significantly more PC than Hollywood. Once I read an article written by a right-leaning libertarian who advocated an interesting theory that this is because broadcasting is under much tighter government control than the film industry. (Unfortunately, I can’t remember the link.) Movies may cost a lot to make, but they’re still made by a largely unregulated private industry, whereas broadcasting is operating under tight and all-encompassing control of the FCC, to the point that major broadcasting companies operate to a large degree as branches of the federal government bureaucracy. Thus, it’s unsurprising that their program is influenced by same PC spirit enforced elsewhere by the federal government, far more so than the film industry.

This is not a recent phenomenon; broadcasting has always pushed the government line, and it’s become more PC in the last 20-30 years because the government did. The article presented some interesting examples that support this thesis, though since I don’t bother to keep up with pop culture, I don’t know how representative they are. For example, when stories of movie and comic book heroes are adapted for TV, they often acquire a pro-government slant. In comics and movies, Batman is a vigilante, but in the TV series, he’s a cop.

I don’t know how much truth there might be in this theory, especially since I don’t watch TV much, so it’s hard for me to judge. I think it does have at least a grain of truth in it, though.

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Obsidian October 19, 2009 at 12:28

LilGrl,
Actually, I saw Iron Man as soon as it came out…via bootleg, LOL. Another big problem movie theaters have is getting guys like me to kickout more than ten bucks a ticket. Not when I can get a crystal clear bootleg for half the price, and can watch it over and over. Guys like good and cheap, entertainment. It ain’t rocket science.

It’s the same deal wrt music-most guys I know don’t even buy CDs. If they do, its the mixtape variety, stuff like that, off the street vendors.

Having worked in sales for many years, I know for a fact that it’s LOTS easier to get money outta females than it is to get it outta males. We tend to be more demanding and we want it at a cheaper price.

Now, when it comes to the difference between tv and film, I think you pretty much nailed it. Advertising rules in the tv world, and much of it is geared toward Women.

But, in the movie world, there’s no advertising as such to deal with-you have to appeal to an audience in order to maximize profits, or you wind up losing money on the project.

Simply put, that means giving guys what they wanna see-big crashes, chases, lots of action sequences, martial arts fights, explosions, CGI-effects and so on…plus guys like seeing idealized versions of themselves onscreen. They like romantic plotlines to the extent that they get the girl at the end of the day, but the kinds of stuff that often factors in wrt chick-lit ain’t gonna get it.

A “new” Battlestar Gallactica would have been a flop at the movies…then again, maybe not given what Twilight and even Harry Potter has done. At any rate, it’s hard to see how guys would’ve flocked to the theaters to see it.

I wouldn’t.

Oh, and for the other commenter doubting that Iron Man and Batman *aren’t* guy films…Ooooookaaay…

The Obsidian

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Grailwolf October 19, 2009 at 12:57

“The series “Dragonlance” was huuugely popular and influential within the close knit community of fantasy novels – and this series was written by two women, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.”

Just had to pop in and point out that, while Margaret Weis is indeed a woman, Tracy Hickman is quite male. Just FYI.

As for the article, I’m just sick and tired of being told that “men like x and women like y”. I’m a heterosexual man and I love a lot of the things that you’re saying men don’t like or care about. The differences between men and women are far more complex and interesting than you seem to believe.

As others have suggested, just chill out and vote with your feet and your money. Support the shows/books/movies/writers/producers/podcasters that you enjoy and everyone will be happy.

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Globalman October 19, 2009 at 13:14

Feminisation of sci fi? It’s nothing compared to the print media.

In the 80s us men were rubbished if we were not ‘sensitive new age guys’ and went through the whole ‘pregnancy process’ with our beloveds.

Now we are being rubbished and told we may actually be injuring our wives and babies by showing up at the birth.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1221248/Having-men-present-childbirth-cause-marriage-break-ups-mental-illness.html

Yep..no matter what a man does, he is rubbished in the MSM…all day…every day…in every way….meh…bring on the swine flu vaccine and get rid of these editors.

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whiskey October 19, 2009 at 13:15

Obsidian — I think the E-book revolution, by lowering barriers to entry to publishing and thus provide (eventually) a much broader spectrum of voices, and with the implicit low prices, make mass-market winners who can appeal to ALL readers, male and female, young and old, the “shapers” of culture over niche writers.

Thursday — TV is deeply affected by sponsors single minded pursuit of women to the exclusion of men. That economic model is not IMHO sustainable particularly when a recession drags on and many men from economics alone will live apart and thus be non-female influenced consumers.

Deborah — good point. Though the question of “why” mass market = female oriented when men are nearly 50% of the population is one that bears examination. The cite in the post to the “marketing to women” website has the assertion that women are responsible for 85% of consumer purchases. I find that questionable, but it seems dogma. More likely, consumer research and marketing seem dominated by women.

Wycliffe — Louis B. Mayer famously picked his “birthday” to be the Fourth of July. Superman and Captain America, the living flags, were created by Jews. Superman brought Stalin and Hitler to trial in one Comic, and Captain America punched out Hitler in another. You don’t get more assimilated than that.

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LILGRL October 19, 2009 at 13:18

Obs –

Yes, movies and TV are different because there is no advertising in movies. Oh wait…except there is. It’s more subtle though. But yes, there are a few reasons that movies are not as “feminized” as TV (and, honestly, to the people who are all up in arms about TV being feminized — can’t say I can really fault the producers for wanting CASH. Sorry.), and a big one is that movies are most often watched by couples/families. Thus, they must appeal to a broader audience. Also, yes, they have to sell themselves.

A “new” Battlestar Gallactica would have been a flop at the movies…then again, maybe not given what Twilight and even Harry Potter has done. At any rate, it’s hard to see how guys would’ve flocked to the theaters to see it.

This is probably not true (that it would have been a flop) — this is only true if you’re arguing that “flop” actually means “flop with male viewers who are fans of the original”. In which case, perhaps it would be true.

1) A “movie-version” of a TV show needs not be a good/successful TV show to make a good/successful movie

2) Twilight did not prevail because of all the boys who were flooding through the gates to catch a glimpse of it. No, it was because of the girls.

People seem to be implying that things, such as the horror that is Twilight, are “taking over” the genre by forcing themselves on boys. Newsflash everybody — it is not the boys who are reading Twilight. Now, I can see how perhaps a male-science-fiction was once the only science fiction…maybe…I’m not really sure as I’ve always been a sci-fi/fantasy fan, and, subsequently, surprised by how many females there actually are in the genre…I guarantee you, I’ve probably read more sci-fi/fantasy stuff than anybody here…I’m a reader. But what people seem to be saying is that women are ripping, from the hands of young boys, their treasured copies of Dune, and replacing them with Twilight and other such nonsense. Oh, the travesty!

Right, except that’s not happening? I mean, correct me if I’m wrong but it seems more that this is less of a “taking sci-fi from boys” so much as it is “giving rise to sci-fi for girls”. Yes, boys and girls are different…the fiction that appeals to them is different…and…that’s cool.

To be fair, Twilight is neither science-fiction nor fantasy. It is crap. Pure crap. Never have I picked up a book and immediately asked, “Did this author pass seventh-grade English?”, until Twilight. Yes, Twilight at whatever-con is a travesty. In fact, that Twilight was allowed to be published and distributed is a travesty. But this has little to do with sci-fi/fantasy/the war on it/them, as it has to do with the fact that Stephanie Meyer has the writing capability of a two-year-old.

There are bad writers out there. It will happen. And they can sort of ruin genres for people, no doubt. And some of them are highly celebrated. And it sucks. Oh well. See: Jack Kerouac

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Puma October 19, 2009 at 13:24

Where are all the angry women talking about small dicks and stuff? Is the magic gone?

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LILGRL October 19, 2009 at 13:26

Whiskey –

I find that questionable, but it seems dogma.

Why do you find this questionable?

Let’s take a typical household. Husband, wife, two children. Husband works, wife stays home with kids.

Wife buys groceries, cleaning supplies, clothes/shoes/toys for children, pet supplies, home decor, education supplies for children, gas, medicine, cooking supplies, etc. during the typical work-week.

Husband buys lunch (maybe), gas.

Yes, most everyday purchases are made by women. And most everyday purchases are where we, the advertisers, want to influence people — don’t buy this bologna, buy Oscar Meyer Bologna. Don’t buy diapers from Wal-Mart, buy diapers from Costco. Etc. Sure, the wife and husband both have lots of input in big, big decisions (like houses and cars), but it’s much easier to influence people on the little things than it is on the big things.

Someone who’s out to buy a BMW, say, is probably not going to walk away with a Chevy, because of some SRS advertising. Someone who’s out to buy generic bologna might spring the extra $1 for Oscar Meyer, though.

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Welmer October 19, 2009 at 13:27

I think it’s one angry teenager. It is stupidly trying to write as many different people under one IP.

Kind of funny to see such retarded trolling techniques.

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Katie October 19, 2009 at 13:48

…Doris Lessing didn’t write Children of Men. P.D. James did.

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Katie October 19, 2009 at 13:53

…Doris Lessing didn’t write Children of Men. P.D. James did. It’s sort of hard to take you seriously when you’re telling me what I want, as a female reader of sci-fi, when you can’t take the time to properly look up an author. There IS a Children of Men written by a Lessing, but it’s from the early 20th century and is by a man.

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Lawyer Mama October 19, 2009 at 14:01

Wow. You write about how men are all about the “big ideas” and women are all about “feelings” and then go on to complain that *women* authors engage in too many sexual stereotypes???? Oh and we are all obsessed with gay men, gay sex and are out to turn all of you. Stereotype much?
You make an effort by saying that women sci fi writers (oh and apparently all female writers with the nod to our Queen, Jane Austen) aren’t *bad* they’re just different, but then do your best to lay out the argument about how inferior we actually are, again, largely relying on stereotypes. Do you really not understand how patently offensive this is to thinking women?

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Christina October 19, 2009 at 14:10

All of the obvious ways you’re dead wrong aside– look dude, keep Elizabeth Hand’s name out of this. She’s too good to for her name to be even tangentially brought up in this misogynistic testosterone poisoning-fueled screed.

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Kimskinovgorod October 19, 2009 at 14:16

Christina

Wauv!!!-Your mon must be proud of you !
You missed out on the small penis, though !!

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Reinholt October 19, 2009 at 14:18

Well, given how patently offensive most of the shit posted here by so-called feminists, or worse, how offensive most of the shit posted across the multitude of feminist blogs on the internet are to men, then at worst I consider it an even trade.

More so, though, if women are offended by general truths about women, then I don’t know what to tell you other than “too fucking bad.”

In closing, too fucking bad.

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Boooo. October 19, 2009 at 14:35

Frankly, I think you need to go back to the drawing board on your article. I’m not sure how you can present this as a cogent argument without discussing what young males are actually doing with their time.

Before we blame this as yet another plank in the vast anti-male conspiracy, keep in mind that study after study shows men (18-34 especially) are putting aside books and TV/DVDs in favor of playing video games.

Essentially, marketers/publishers are freaking the f*** out that they cannot reach the profitable young male market, due to them being glued to the XBOX. Therefore, to continue to make a buck, books/tv/dvds HAVE to target a broader audience.

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Kimskinovgorod October 19, 2009 at 14:36

Puma

Oh, theyre still alive and doing their pathetic little song-and-dance routine…;)
-And demanding respect…Go figure :)

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Kimskinovgorod October 19, 2009 at 14:40

Boooo.

Perhaps the reason they´re sitting XBOX and Playstations are, that those medias haven´t been feminized in the same degree, yet !
-Ever think about that ?

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Kimskinovgorod October 19, 2009 at 14:41

Booo
Glued to, that is…;)

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Eumaios October 19, 2009 at 14:48

LILGRL: “Twenty-Thousand Leagues has been my favorite book since I was five. Right up there with Journey to the Centre of the Earth.”

There’s an excellent wedge to be found here. I am not surprised in the least to hear of women liking Twenty Thousand Leagues. But I would be shocked to find a woman who likes Verne’s The Mysterious Island.

The book concerns a group of Yankees who escape from a Confederate prison camp by hot air balloon. They wreck on an uncharted island with nothing; literally the clothes on their backs. Robinson Crusoe and the Swiss Family Robinson are pikers compared to these fellows. You’re in male territory already; men like thinking about what they would do in such situations. The Swiss Family Robinson is effectively a morality play for raising strong, capable Christian men.

But it gets even better. From the natural resources on the island and two pocket watches, the survivors raise up industrial civilization. Including explosives. The book contains detailed descriptions of how they made guncotton and nitroglycerin. This is the book that made me want to be an engineer.

This is part of what men want in their fiction. Old school SF covered these DIY topics like women’s lit covers their feelings about men from the wrong side of the tracks.

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Boooo. October 19, 2009 at 14:54

Kimskinovgorod-
I don’t buy that at all. Young men were migrating to video games WAY before the likes of Twilight and Torchwood were making vaginas moist around the country. I would argue even before Star Trek Next Generation was on the air.

Ultimately, TV stations need viewership, and publishers want to sell books. There is not a big market in producing creative content that caters to a demographic who doesn’t watch TV or read for pleasure.

I work as an ad executive, and I can tell you that people like me have been asking themselves for ten years how we can get young men to put down the video game and pick up a TV remote. And I don’t think the answer is to “man up” the shows. Young men would really just rather be playing their warcraft, halo, call of duty, etc.

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Eumaios October 19, 2009 at 14:56

“Before we blame this as yet another plank in the vast anti-male conspiracy, keep in mind that study after study shows men (18-34 especially) are putting aside books and TV/DVDs in favor of playing video games.”

Attitude problems aside, the poster has a point worth developing.

From what little I’ve seen lately, MTV appears to have become an all-black entertainment channel. Perhaps this is caused by the limited hours when I might actually flip past MTV on the television I keep hidden upstairs (for MLB games only, I promise). But the racial composition of shows I’m seeing on MTV is something like 20:3:1, black:mestizo:white. My theory is that this is because whites have stopped watching MTV. Follow the demographics.

But whites didn’t leave MTV suddenly and without cause. MTV left whites. It certainly left SWPLs: it stopped showing 120 Minutes in 2000.

Similarly, men aren’t leaving popfic SF, it has been leaving them, slowly but inexorably.

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Kimskinovgorod October 19, 2009 at 15:08

Booo

Okay, I´m a Graphic Designer, so were sort of doing the same thing, from different angles. I concur, “manning up” the shows is not the answer. But what we find interesting, (I play Star Wars Universe on-line myself and I´m 46!!), is the ability to intervene in the action, the “do-stuff” part of it, and TV, of course, does not offer the viewer that possibility, so thats going to be one hard nut to crack, from any viewpoint!! Maybe try to get CGI-generated characters that they know from the games, present the product ? Let the characters in the games use easily identifyed products ? I dont know, thats going to take some thinking !!

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Eumaios October 19, 2009 at 15:09

Boooo.: “I work as an ad executive, and I can tell you that people like me have been asking themselves for ten years how we can get young men to put down the video game and pick up a TV remote. And I don’t think the answer is to “man up” the shows.”

Not any more, that true. Ten years ago, yes. Before there were easy alternatives to watching broadcasts, that is what I would watch. For the last two years, any television content I’ve watched has reached me either by download, DVD, or southparkstudios.com.

When every channel is the Lifetime Channel, men go their own way.

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Tarl October 19, 2009 at 15:11

Borders is dumping its DVD and music to focus on tweens, with an emphasis on Stephanie Meyer and Sarah Dessen.

I’m fine with them dumping DVDs and music, but they’d better not touch the military history section!

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Welmer October 19, 2009 at 15:11

I work as an ad executive, and I can tell you that people like me have been asking themselves for ten years how we can get young men to put down the video game and pick up a TV remote. And I don’t think the answer is to “man up” the shows. Young men would really just rather be playing their warcraft, halo, call of duty, etc.

-Boooo

Doing a little market research here, Boooo?
:)

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piercedhead October 19, 2009 at 15:16

All these responses from angered women wouldn’t be happening if they didn’t have an overpowering attraction to what men were saying, and what men find interesting. Why else would they be following what’s published here with such beady-eyed attention? Contrast this to women publicly discussing their perspectives for female audiences – barely a man cares. He’s not sufficiently interested to follow what they’re saying, so stultifying it all is to him.

It seems to be a miniature re-run of the larger pattern. Women are drawn to the intellectual breadth of male discourse, and one of their primary responses is to challenge it. Should men read this challenge as a necessity to accommodate the female point of view, the slippery path develops a slope that is all too familiar – we go the same way as science fiction. ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ becomes ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’.

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Kimskinovgorod October 19, 2009 at 15:18

Welmer

Obviously..;)

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Kimskinovgorod October 19, 2009 at 15:20

piercedhead

I HATE Buffy the vampireslayer !!!

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piercedhead October 19, 2009 at 15:22

“I work as an ad executive, and I can tell you that people like me have been asking themselves for ten years how we can get young men to put down the video game and pick up a TV remote. And I don’t think the answer is to “man up” the shows. Young men would really just rather be playing their warcraft, halo, call of duty, etc.”

I’m delighted to read that men are proving too tough for TV people. The whole TV industry grew as a means of selling advertising, not as a wonderful tool for the dissemination of centrally-planned socialization techniques. The sooner it dies the better.

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Gx1080 October 19, 2009 at 15:23

The magic isn’t gone, just got stored in the “fail troll attempt” folder, and then got deleted. Thanks, Welmer.

I thought of writing a long wall of text abut why Twilight sucks (is not like is difficult, it just write itself), but someone already did it in an extremely detailed way:

http://encyclopediadramatica.com/Twilight

Internet. Where PC-ness is sended down the toilet where it deserves to be (Read it, is funny). In other note, when I start to think that women deserve some sympathy I just Google “womyn”. It goes away so fast.

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Boooo. October 19, 2009 at 15:25

Welmer- Yes. We are coming out with a whole line of MGTOW-themed products. It’s a growth market. ;)

Eumaios-Your thoughts on the impact of digital downloads are well-considered. Young Men were an early adopter of filesharing and online video, which gave them yet another reason to avoid cracking books or watch tv.

Kimskinovgorod-Speaking anecdotally, I quit watching t.v. 4 or 5 years ago in favor of video games. I still read a lot of sci-fi though. (And yes, I avoid the Twilight shit like the plague.) Marketers have been trying to include ads in video games but that has not worked well yet, because audiences (rightfully) consider that a violation considering they bought the damn game. Online gaming has a lot of potential to work with brands IMO, though this discussion is really off-topic.

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Boooo. October 19, 2009 at 15:29

Piercedhead-Actually, I would argue mass media has always been primarily a tool of indoctrination. Hell, even back in the days when we were in the caves sitting around a campfire. The stories we told our cave friends were cultivated to promote the dominant paradigm.

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Kimskinovgorod October 19, 2009 at 15:36

Booo

Men just isnt “consumers” to the same degree most women are. I would rather try fixing a thing, than buying a new. And fashion and latest trend has no impact whatsoever, so that basically leaves selling produce designed to break, so we can fix it, Lol !!!

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Welmer October 19, 2009 at 15:37

Welmer- Yes. We are coming out with a whole line of MGTOW-themed products. It’s a growth market.

-Boooo

I have to admit, you did give me an idea. Now I want to find some guy to review games on The Spearhead. I totally overlooked that because I stopped playing them a year ago.

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Eumaios October 19, 2009 at 15:37

“The stories we told our cave friends were cultivated to promote the dominant paradigm.”

N. T. Wright agrees.

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Kimskinovgorod October 19, 2009 at 15:40

Welmer

That is a GREAT idea !!!

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Kimskinovgorod October 19, 2009 at 15:41

Welmer

Sort of goes with the territory, doesnt it ?

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Welmer October 19, 2009 at 15:43

Sort of goes with the territory, doesnt it ?

-Kimski

Yes, it does. Now I just need to find someone who really has opinions on games.

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Kimskinovgorod October 19, 2009 at 15:44

Welmer

That sort of gave ME an idea..How about a game where you have to make it alive, through a city filled with raving, screaming feminists trying to wipe you off the face of the Earth??
-It´s a sure sell !!!

LMAO !!!

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Kimskinovgorod October 19, 2009 at 15:51

Welmer

Cant help you there, -I´m a Star Wars geek, and I wouldnt want to play a game , where you step out of a car and earn points by shooting an elderly woman !!
-Even though my avatar is a bounty hunter in SW-Galaxies !!

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21Guns October 19, 2009 at 15:54

That sort of gave ME an idea..How about a game where you have to make it alive, through a city filled with raving, screaming feminists trying to wipe you off the face of the Earth??

Kind of like Leisure Suit Larry, only really violent? lol
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leisure_Suit_Larry_(series)

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Kimskinovgorod October 19, 2009 at 16:01

21Guns

The violence is almost impossible to avoid !!!
ROFL !!

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Gx1080 October 19, 2009 at 16:04

Got the perfect one:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation

If you truly want to, there’s plenty of videogame designers that have blogs. But those guys got plenty of work already. And most online reviewers are either the game’s companies bitches (serious online magazines that live on having the companies lifting NDAs for them) or guys that have refined the art of ranting and have developed massive thick-skin and large amounts of cynism (like my suggestion). If you are fine with that, go ahead.

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Kimskinovgorod October 19, 2009 at 16:07

Gx1080

You sound like you´re the guy Welmer is looking for, to do game reviews.
Why dont you try talkin to him about that ??

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Wycliffe October 19, 2009 at 16:26

Superman brought Stalin and Hitler to trial in one Comic, and Captain America punched out Hitler in another. You don’t get more assimilated than that.

I see.

So a bunch of Jews making comics depicting heroes going after Hitler makes them “deeply assimilated.”

I guess Charles Lindbergh should be considered to have been a deeply unassimilated alien then.

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LILGRL October 19, 2009 at 16:48

Hey. I like The Mysterious Island.

I used to have dreams about it, as a kid (yo, not kidding…I’m weird). I like 20,000 better, though, because I’m fascinated with marine bio/deep sea gigantism, particularly the giant squid. This is not a joke.

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Factory October 19, 2009 at 16:54

I’m not sure how well known these guys are, but I’ve been reading a series called “Tales from the Malazan Book of the Fallen” by Steven Erikson. There’s also a co-author of the same world in a previous time, but I can’t remember his name.

At any rate, the world is rich in detail, the characters complex and interesting, the story line is convoluted and full of difficult choices…..people die a lot. It’s a good series…

Might want to check it out.

As for the crowding out of men from cultural…er…anything, actually, I couldn’t agree more. But then, I come from an Art background, and that was one of the first things to become “female”.

I’m not so sure of the e-books thing though. Seems to me it simply trades on master for another.

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Kimskinovgorod October 19, 2009 at 17:01

Factory

If you like detailed worlds and complex characters, you shoud check out Larry Niven´s Ringworld-series. It´ll blow your mind !!

It was co-written with John Byrne from Marvel, (the guy that killed off Superman in the comics !)

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Deborah October 19, 2009 at 17:05

Actually, I agree that most of the stereotypes about what women like and what men like in terms of genres are true. This is why marketing teams can make a profit by studying various demographics of the population.

Just because something is a stereotype doesn’t mean that it applies to everyone, simply the 68% of the population within the inside of the bell curve. Yes there are those few women who like shoot em up movies and those few men who like to curl up with a sentimental romance novel. There is nothing wrong with those outliers who don’t fall within the gender stereotype, to each their own, but these outliers don’t exist as proof that stereotypes don’t exist at all.

In general though, it is obvious that a majority of women enjoy more sentimental/emotional themes while men enjoy action and technicality. Anyone who would argue that there aren’t different predispositions for different genders is arguing that gender doesn’t exist. Extremist feminists would like to see us as “blank Americans,” but that is an assertion that counters reality.

Yet with that general truth aside, I think it is kind of silly to deal two dimensional extremes to men and women.

Isn’t it a disservice to Men’s Rights to say that all men must ONLY like action/violence/technicality and that they are incapable of enjoying characters who are introspective or emotional? Obviously men enjoy emotional themes less than females, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t enjoy them at all. Aren’t the Misanderists the ones saying that men are two dimensional?

While primarily action oriented, wasn’t there still some relationship drama in Star Trek? Didn’t Captain Sisko of Deep Space Nine engage in a lot of self doubt? Didn’t Captain Jean Luke Picard delve into the occasional self-introspection? Even the men of the early Star Trek series poked fun at Spock for being emotionally two-dimensional.

Also, I don’t think that Battle Star Galactica represents a Sci-Fi show that attempted to alienate men. It did make more of an effort to include females and homosexuals into their viewer base, but that doesn’t necessitate that they were intentionally trying to exclude men. I don’t know if this helps, but it seems that BSG still had a predominantly male audience, even if there were more females involved than usual.

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Gx1080 October 19, 2009 at 17:07

With this generation consoles being, well, defective (PS3 got damaged, Xbox 360 are selling cheap on online auction sites for a reason, namely defects on almost all of them and the remote controller of the Wii of my cousin never wants to pick up when I grab it) and my money income very limited that just leaves pirated single-player PC and PS2 Games, World of Warcraft, Free-to-play games, Trial periods and any betas that I can snatch (there’s plenty of them, but almost all are closed ones and those have a Non-disclosure agreement that says that I can’t talk about them).

That said, given the huge available information about it, and being a male of the generation that saw videogames get in their peak (playing since my 6, with the good old PS1), sounds interesting.

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Tarl October 19, 2009 at 17:11

How about a game where you have to make it alive, through a city filled with raving, screaming feminists trying to wipe you off the face of the Earth??

It’s called Left 4 Dead – just think of “the infected” as being infected with liberalism and feminism.

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Kimskinovgorod October 19, 2009 at 17:16

Tarl

Lol !-Of course..or Resident evil and so forth, I just grabbed it out of nowhere !

Gx1080

Worst thing that could happen is, that he says no…:)

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Kimskinovgorod October 19, 2009 at 17:26

Tarl

You forgot I should also imagine being attacked with handbags, purses and umbrellas !
:)

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Harry October 19, 2009 at 17:33

Well, in my view, and since nobody asked: Real science is a zillion times more interesting than science fiction – and even more exciting in many ways.

Same goes for philosophy, history, geology, and all sorts of non-fictional type stuff.

The only real problem for me is finding books about such subjects that are not too complicated, too detailed or too simple and brief.

The trouble with fiction – especially as you get older – is that you keep coming across the same characters and the same plots.

(A bit like Zed’s posts. LOL!)

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Eumaios October 19, 2009 at 17:41

“I like The Mysterious Island.”

LILGRL is officially okay with me.

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Starfarer October 19, 2009 at 17:42

Misogyny, wrapped in pseudo-intellectual rationalizing. Dude, science fiction/fantasy is truly a big tent; if you don’t like some of the residents, then get the fuck out…

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Kimskinovgorod October 19, 2009 at 17:43

Harry

Lol,-goin for the old man`s throat again !

But seriously, you´re right, it has a tendency to be repetitive, and probably survives mostly based on the younger generations that constantly enters the market. To them its all new, where as I, age 46, have seen it going in circles twice now…

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Taylor October 19, 2009 at 17:48

Oh, where to begin.
First of all, anyone who wants to tell me to go to hell can just do it mentally and then pass the fuck over this comment because I’m not going anywhere.
Second, how are you even going to tell me that only women authors write stereotypical characters? Oh no, are the Alpha males ruining your shitty sci-fi novel? How about the first time I picked up a Sci-Fi book, I spent thirty minutes making fun of the heroine (an elven princess with tits that would make her fall over in real life, who was perfect at everything and also SO HOT for the hero) and promptly ignored the genre for a good five years following because of how stupid it all was.
Third, Frankenstein IS about big issues. Just because someone addresses a big issue in a personal manner doesn’t make it less of a big idea, and the fact that Shelley did so says more about the fact that she was reacting to Victorian literature than about her being a woman. I am a lit major, and I call bullshit.
Fourth, I find your choices of examples interesting. For one thing, you didn’t mention Michael Crichton at all. I know that he is sort of the Stephen King of Sci-Fi (prolific and too popular, so to speak) but you can’t deny that he wrote a shit ton of books, and clearly sold a lot of copies. But then, I am female, and I’ve read them all, so maybe he somehow doesn’t fit the “male” mold… oh, wait, I don’t remember any gay men or love stories, so there’s bullshit again. Also, as a woman, and as a writer, and as a reader, I am extremely fucking offended whenever anybody mentions Stephanie Meyer in a way that implies that women like her. I do not like her. Enlightened, intelligent, feminist women, do not like her. She writes bullshit about sparkly stalkers and abstinence. Fuck that. Her drivel is read by the people on that reading level, and that does not speak to girls as a whole.
Fifth, I know more men who watch sitcoms on a regular basis than any of my friends. Off the top of my head, “man-friendly” shows seem to outnumber female ones, including but not limited to the Big Bang Theory (which is hilarious, but I kinda noticed the female is an idiot… weird, since women control everything now), Two and Half Men (look, it’s in the title! Also, it stars a man who hit his ex-wife! Another example of women’s tastes and welfare being top priority among everyone), Arrested Development (though this is a good example of a nonsexist show), The Office (although, yes, the love story gives it pull for women, it’s still a comedy, and even the less-PC British had the love story too), Community (jury’s still out but seems pretty boy-centric)… you get the idea, right? Primetime tries to market itself pretty equally – it’s cable where women get special treatment, and I do think that has to do with advertising dollars, especially because men tend to be more tech-forward (my boyfriend downloads everything, so he doesn’t see the ads). It’s a cyclical thing.
Lastly, just stop. If it came down to you (a man) and two, equally intelligent (or unintelligent) women, in a battle for survival, you would win. You have the power to rape us, the power to hurt our bodies and souls in a way that you cannot understand. You also have the presidency, most of Congress, most of the Supreme Court, most of the jobs, most of the money, and most of the degrees. You have ALREADY WON. We are just trying to even the playing field to the point where it’s not a competition.
Men can be decent people or chauvinist assholes, feminists can be funny and smart or reactionary and shortsighted (ie: “hysterical”), teen girls can be into Atwood or Meyer, teen boys can be into football or video games, entertainment can be good, bad, or in-between… please stop making generalizations about different types of media and let them be judged on their own merits.

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Taylor October 19, 2009 at 17:50

Oh, and one last thing:
Why the fuck would I want to make all men gay? I like both sex, and the human race, and as a mostly-het girl, it goes against both of those instincts to eliminated hetero men.

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Taylor October 19, 2009 at 17:52

*and a correction, I meant to say fantasy novel when referencing Princess Giant-Tits in the second paragraph.

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Eumaios October 19, 2009 at 17:56

Taylor: ” I meant to say fantasy novel when referencing Princess Giant-Tits in the second paragraph.”

Wait. Is there not a Princess Giant-Tits for me in real life?

Furthermore: tl;dr.

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Taylor October 19, 2009 at 18:02

Oh no, you didn’t read it? I guess I better get back in the kitchen.

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Reinholt October 19, 2009 at 18:16

On the flip side, I read it, and wished I didn’t.

To summarize for those who do not want to suffer through such pain, Taylor said:

1 – I AM OFFENDED.

2 – She refers to Crichton as notable sci-fi, which is roughly similar to considering Danielle Fucking Steele notable literature.

3 – She claims to know some men who watch sit coms, so clearly the entire advertising industry’s viewer statistics must be wrong about men not watching much TV.

4 – She engages in the fallacy of trying to justify male privilege by looking at the top of the pyramid, neglecting to look below the top 5% or so of men.

So yes, I read it, and in conclusion, you have said nothing new, are wrong, and should really have not embarrassed yourself in the first place by posting that, Taylor.

Better luck next time.

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Taylor October 19, 2009 at 18:20

Excuse me? Crichton isn’t notable Sci-Fi? That’s a matter of opinion, just like everything else in this fucking post.
Have you even heard of male privilege? Do you know how lucky you are to BE male?
Fuck you.

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Welmer October 19, 2009 at 18:24

Have you even heard of male privilege? Do you know how lucky you are to BE male?
Fuck you.

-Taylor

Chill out, Taylor.

Some of us men aren’t all that lucky, despite being men.

I like your guts, but play your cards close. This is how we’ll learn from each other.

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Taylor October 19, 2009 at 18:25

Also you conveniently skipped the part where I point out the inconsistent examples, the fallacy of calling Twilight legitimate ANYTHING, and Frankenstein being about a Big Idea. But that’s cool, I guess that’s all overshadowed by my tremendous butthurt.

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Patrick October 19, 2009 at 18:30

Does this “male privilege” include the exclusive use of carriage returns?

It’s not that hard, really.

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Taylor October 19, 2009 at 18:38

Look, I recognize that men obviously are dealt advantages and disadvantages too, that ignore sex (obvious examples being poverty, religious persecution) but for white, heterosexual men in America, things are pretty simple. Male Privilege (and White Privilege, and Hetero Privilege, and Cis Privilege) are all pretty fascinating to think about, and that was my main point – think about them!

And another point I forgot about the original post (there were a lot of flaws jumping out at me) was the ridiculous idea of gay men being fetishized by straight women on a huge scale – yes, it does happen (and the ridiculously pandering “Modern Family” on ABC seems to be aiming for that) but it’s not as if (despite the weird “women watch more TV” statistics) there are any commercials with men making out, or getting into pillow fights, or mud wrestling, like there are with countless women in psuedo-lesbian situations while the “bros” watch and enjoy. When it reaches those levels, you can complain.

@Welmer, thanks for not dismissing me outright. I do agree with you there, and that was the main point of my last paragraph in the tl;dr post (which, admittedly, could have used some more line breaks). However, this post sort of ignores that possibility by backhandedly saying “look, differences can be good” but then quickly writing off the possibility of that actually happening “men can’t stand anything with gay men!”

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Eumaios October 19, 2009 at 18:39

Crap, I gave in.

First of all, anyone who wants to tell me to go to hell can just do it mentally and then pass over this comment because I’m not going anywhere.

The best defense is a good offense. You’re off to an excellent start.

Second, how are you even going to tell me that only women authors write stereotypical characters?

Straw man

Oh no, are the Alpha males ruining your shitty sci-fi novel?

So far as I can tell, this is an example of the rare, congenitally irrelevant strawman.

How about the first time I picked up a Sci-Fi book, I spent thirty minutes making fun of the heroine (an elven princess with tits that would make her fall over in real life, who was perfect at everything and also SO HOT for the hero) and promptly ignored the genre for a good five years following because of how stupid it all was.

So. You prejudged the entire corpus of SF writing based on a single, introductory bad experience? This is not the mark of a reasonable person.

Third, Frankenstein IS about big issues.

Argument by assertion

Just because someone addresses a big issue in a personal manner doesn’t make it less of a big idea

Straw woman

and the fact that Shelley did so says more about the fact that she was reacting to Victorian literature than about her being a woman.

I think you mean bisexual man.

I am a lit major, and I call bullshit.

Appeal to authority

Fourth, I find your choices of examples interesting.

We are interesting men.

For one thing, you didn’t mention Michael Crichton at all. I know that he is sort of the Stephen King of Sci-Fi (prolific and too popular, so to speak) but you can’t deny that he wrote a shit ton of books, and clearly sold a lot of copies.

That depends. Are we talking a metric shit ton?

But then, I am female, and I’ve read them all,

Even The Great Train Robbery? I feel for you.

so maybe he somehow doesn’t fit the “male” mold… oh, wait, I don’t remember any gay men or love stories, so there’s bullshit again.

By this point, I’ve lost track of your point about Crichton, and I suspect you have, too.

Also, as a woman, and as a writer, and as a reader, I am extremely offended whenever anybody mentions Stephanie Meyer in a way that implies that women like her.

Is it, then, your position that no women like Stephanie Meyer?

I do not like her. Enlightened, intelligent, feminist women, do not like her.

You exhibit all the character traits I have come to expect from enlightened, intelligent, feminist women.

She writes bullshit about sparkly stalkers and abstinence.

True, that.

Fuck that.

Fuck that abstinence. Fuck it hard.

Her drivel is read by the people on that reading level

You’ve lost me again. People on the reading level of abstinence-fuckers? Perhaps you mean people whose writing is on the level of suggesting we fuck abstinence.

and that does not speak to girls as a whole.

Must not … make … jokes about … holes.

Fifth, I know more men who watch sitcoms on a regular basis than any of my friends.

Pauline Kael didn’t know anyone who voted for Nixon.

Off the top of my head,

A well-known, respected, and peer-reviewed reference.

“man-friendly” shows seem to outnumber female ones, including but not limited to the Big Bang Theory (which is hilarious, but I kinda noticed the female is an idiot… weird, since women control everything now), Two and Half Men (look, it’s in the title! Also, it stars a man who hit his ex-wife! Another example of women’s tastes and welfare being top priority among everyone), Arrested Development (though this is a good example of a nonsexist show), The Office (although, yes, the love story gives it pull for women, it’s still a comedy, and even the less-PC British had the love story too), Community (jury’s still out but seems pretty boy-centric)… you get the idea, right?

I think you dropped your point again. Anacoluthon called, and he wants his money back.

Primetime tries to market itself pretty equally

… she asserts.

it’s cable where women get special treatment, and I do think that has to do with advertising dollars, especially because men tend to be more tech-forward (my boyfriend downloads everything, so he doesn’t see the ads). It’s a cyclical thing.

I know what you mean, having said it more clearly and with examples upthread.

Lastly, just stop.

Do … do I have to?

If it came down to you (a man) and two, equally intelligent (or unintelligent) women

I’ll take one intelligent and one unintelligent woman, please. With two intelligent women, I could never respawn the human race.

in a battle for survival, you would win. You have the power to rape us, the power to hurt our bodies and souls in a way that you cannot understand.

Robert Mugabe has the power to rape me and to hurt my body and soul in a way that you cannot understand.

You also have the presidency, most of Congress, most of the Supreme Court, most of the jobs, most of the money, and most of the degrees. You have ALREADY WON. We are just trying to even the playing field to the point where it’s not a competition.

Men can be decent people or chauvinist assholes

Males can be effeminate losers or satisfied big-chests

feminists can be funny

Argument by assertion

and smart

Undoubtedly, but we don’t find it attractive.

or reactionary and shortsighted

Bingo.

teen girls can be into Atwood or Meyer

I personally like Ryan Atwood. Sandy Cohen, too. Seth was a bit of a whiner.

teen boys can be into football or video games

Your permission was not requested, but the assurance that you will not persecute teen boys for their predilections is appreciated.

entertainment can be good, bad, or in-between…

This is profound. You, ma’am, have blown my mind. Can we meet?

please stop making generalizations about different types of media and let them be judged on their own merits.

Clarify. Must we criticize every episode of every television show individually? Or may we generalize shows by season?

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Taylor October 19, 2009 at 18:45

You’re exactly right. That was a poorly researched and very general piece of writing.

-See, I could be talking about the original article AND my response. It’s a funny little comment! Like yours!

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Taylor October 19, 2009 at 18:47

(Also, yes, I laughed. Fuck abstinence very hard).
(And if we’re being honest, I didn’t finish The Great Train Robbery. But come on, did anybody?)

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Kimskinovgorod October 19, 2009 at 18:49

Eumaios

-Superior laugh of the day !!!!!!!

Will…not…mention…holes !!!

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Gx1080 October 19, 2009 at 18:51

Ok, every single time that someone says “extremely fucking offended” in a wall of text know that you are in presence of a rant written for someone who is extremely pissed off and decided to unload it on the Internet.

Ok, barely in the early 2000′s Fantasy wasn’t a genre readed by intelligent males or females. It had some of the worst stereotypes that plagued the Fantasy genre as a whole at the time, like Everquest and pen-and-paper games. Non-original Tolkien mythology, unrealistic scantly-clad females that, just like in the pen-and-paper games, not only carried two-handed swords, they concealed them (really, is impossible fighting in a suit that has nipple-issues) and it readed like a bad joke: A slutty elf, a dwarf and a human with a hear of gold enter in a bar…

Fantasy is a completely different genre that science fiction. Science fiction had Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick, Masamune Shirow (creator of the Ghost in the Shell series), William Gibson, among many others that helped to create the modern science fiction. They tacked problems of their time in a futurist context, they did novels of internal exploration and, most imprtantly, they did pieces of art that had sense, that supposed that the reader could actually think.

Don’t compare Science Fiction with Fantasy, they have completely different trayects on what they are today, and Fantasy has always being mostly Female dominated just because the same reason that Sciences are male dominated, Mental Male Aggresivity. We, as males, attack the problems of our lives with out brains on the same way that a caveman tried and failed until he got the mammoth killed and fed his family. Science-fiction cater to that, and, although TV in general is mostly dominated by the feminist/PC/LGBT gheeto, there’s still a large amount of science fiction authors that I recomend.

The reason that Whiskey’s posts are more credible than you is because he post raw data. He doesn’t just say that the trends are like that, he doesn’t rely in the “my circle of friends do this, so all the world must do the same too”(which is mostly your defense), he shows the stadistics that show that his arguments are correct.

Search actual Fantasy that isn’t female/gay oriented and is in the same degree of sold copies that all the aberrations against all the languages (remember, books are translated to sell world copies) that we have shown and then you can say that Fantasy isn’t female oriented.

About Twilight, maybe you don’t like it, but have you seen the photos of the Twilight fans in Gen-con and/or the ones in the Encyclopedia Dramatica article?. Two great sectors of women (in Roissy’s words “bored middle age wives and pre-teens experiencing their first gina tingles” ) do. And the fact that the rest gravitate to either players or abusive alcoholics and leave the rest of the males to rot because they don’t even exist for you says a lot.

The physical superiority of males doesn’t do much when we live in a world when a woman has the power to destroy a guy’s life with a false rape charge and face no consequences, when divorces are basically a way to get an unjust amount of money from males and throw them in jail if they don’t have anymore to pay, when males don’t have the right to see their own children because custody is always entitled to women and they can freely refuse to let a guy see them if they wish.

And you got the full support of the goverment to do all this, and our physical strength doesn’t do much against cops and a legal system designed to screw us over.

Finally, women don’t want to make all men gay. They just want that all the non-atractive guys do become gay because they don’t make their vaginas wet, so they don’t register. And we generalize because women, generally (the big sector of the Bell curve) don’t critizice their own kind when they do all of these things.

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tehpoohngnyun October 19, 2009 at 18:52

No really, take it from a Ph.D. scholar whose field is in race rhetoric, feminist theory and ta-daaaa! sci-fi literature and media studies.

Well said Taylor, well said!

Now here’s a theory. I haven’t quite thought it out but heck, here goes. It seems to me that articles written by what we egalitarian-minded intellectuals would call misogynist-hysterical males, are actually just grossly deprived individuals of spiritual enlightenment and any authentic satisfaction in life. These poor dudes truly believe that women are stupid, silly, hysterical and … well, incapable of sufficiently absorbing “Big Ideas”. How sad.

That means these people are condemned to a farcical heteronormative life that psychologically obligates them to mate with women, but not respect them. They will never be open to the opportunity of recognizing the wisdom and genius in a woman (and if she was his sexual partner and lover as well, how profoundly exciting is that?). Furthermore, homosexual men and all the gender roles that many creative geniuses take in-between are also entirely obliterated asunder from this individual’s exposure to the wonders of this insanely diverse universe.

All in all, I believe the only way these kinds of sociocognitive limitations can be liberated and broken down, is not to get angry but step back and laugh. The world’s changing and nobody’s gonna stop it. Hello cloning, hello cyborgs, hello equality, hello ice age, but goodbye to wee-little provincial-minded jabbering (except on blogsites where even the feeblest of minds can contribute to the universal cognate of rhizomatic knowledge).

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piercedhead October 19, 2009 at 19:03

Taylor:“Oh, where to begin.
First of all, anyone who wants to tell me to go to hell can just do it mentally and then pass the fuck over this comment because I’m not going anywhere.”

Very courteous of you to warn us Taylor. I passed “the fuck” over all of your comments and am well glad for the warning. Counted them as I skipped though, 8 out of 13 are yours. Serious case of lastworditis.

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JD October 19, 2009 at 19:07

I just want to step in and say that while firefly is a character driven show, written by a guy with a fixation for women that kick ass, Malcolm Reynolds is hands down the most badass character in the show and probably one of the most strong male characters in popular science fiction. He’s like Han Solo meets Don Draper.

So while it isn’t “hard sci fi” it gets a pass.

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piercedhead October 19, 2009 at 19:25

Eumaios,

The following excerpt out of your comment:

and the fact that Shelley did so says more about the fact that she was reacting to Victorian literature than about her being a woman.

I think you mean bisexual man.

I am a lit major, and I call bullshit.

Appeal to authority”

I don’t think you can take your correspondent’s claim to authority very seriously. Frankenstein was published in 1818. Queen Victoria ascended to the throne in 1837. How Mary Shelley could be reacting to Victorian literature when it didn’t yet exist is beyond me, but it would inspire an interesting theme for science-fiction.

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Reinholt October 19, 2009 at 19:48

What I like is how she assumes all of us are just as offended as she is over this whole thing; yet more evidence that men are, on average, better at calm, rational discussion than women.

Or, conversely, that women are more fun to fuck with.

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Dat_Truth_Hurts October 19, 2009 at 19:52

The 800lb gorilla in the room is the Video Game. The gaming industry completely smashes the revenue of other forms of media. How many young men (below the age of 35) do you know with a gaming PC, XBOX 360, PS3 or Wii or PSP? Compare that to all the Hanna Montana vampire readers.

Video Games are the bastion of maleness as once demonstrated through classic science fiction, fantasy and comic books. I was completely blown away by games like Mass Effect, Fallout 3, Left 4 Dead and even enjoy a good strategy game like Empire Total War (I havent met a woman that plays it, ever).

Video Gaming is an industry like most other, created by men, for men and enjoyed by everyone. Eventually, it will become feminized – by then smart, brilliant and creative men will already have a devised its replacement.

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LILGRL October 19, 2009 at 20:09

Dat_Truth_Hurts

Empire Total War (I havent met a woman that plays it, ever)

Dude, give ‘em a break — it was only released in March.

I’m more of a Shogun: Total War girl, myself. We’re already infiltrating, anyway. Here’s a secret — if you read one of the major VG mags, chances are I’ve written for it. But I wouldn’t want to give away too much, now would I.

That said, while I see where you’re coming from — I don’t think you can really call it the “feminization” of something unless it so exists that the “male-oriented” part of it is taken over by the “female-oriented” part of it. I can’t fault producers/creators for wanting to appeal to a bigger market and creating products where there is a demand. Sorry, just can’t. I’m a capitalist myself. That said, anyone who argues Twilight is anything, including sci-fi, is clearly delusional. As I said before, sure, there are tons of screaming preteens who are all Twilight-ed out. But there’s still the other stuff. So…yeah.

Hmm, what’s a girly field that has been expanded on to also appeal to men.

What about fashion? Yes, I know, none of you are super-into fashion, but let’s face it — everyone is (unless they really are living in their mother’s basement) a little bit into fashion. Even if your idea of fashion is carrying around the limited-edition Starcraft II Terran gaming messenger bag (this comes to mind only because Blizzard sent me one before BlizzCon…and hah! You can’t buy it!), it’s still “fashion”. Well, there is men’s fashion and women’s fashion. I’m not talking about gay-man-fashion from the runways of New York. No, men’s fashion realizes that it needs to appeal in different ways — sports, for example, and athletes, advertise fashion. As do male models in men’s magazines. And apparently Blizzard. Etc. Does that make female fashion any less female? No, no it really doesn’t.

“Mainstream” really means “appealing to consumers”. If people will buy it, people will sell it.

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Eumaios October 19, 2009 at 20:18

“I didn’t finish The Great Train Robbery. But come on, did anybody?”

I confess.

I even watched the film with Sean Connery.

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Pro-male/Anti-feminist Tech October 19, 2009 at 20:21

Where are all the angry women talking about small dicks and stuff?

I know. I am seriously disappointed with the lack of reaction to Whiskey’s post. I was expecting hundreds of comments telling us how we were morbidly obese with small dicks. All we have is that nutty Taylor chick and the professional bullshiter.

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Eumaios October 19, 2009 at 20:23

I don’t think you can take your correspondent’s claim to authority very seriously. Frankenstein was published in 1818. Queen Victoria ascended to the throne in 1837. How Mary Shelley could be reacting to Victorian literature when it didn’t yet exist is beyond me, but it would inspire an interesting theme for science-fiction.

Good catch. I went leaping straight for the clitoris, er, straight for the Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein canard. As we all should know, it was Percy who wrote Frankenstein.

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Eumaios October 19, 2009 at 20:24

piercedhead: “Victorian” is the proxy term for everything in late Western Civ. that is keeping the woman down.

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LILGRL October 19, 2009 at 20:25

Isn’t The Great Train Robbery one of Crichton’s shortest books? I remember it being not very long. That was something like, twelve years ago, though.

Okay, you guys are cool but I’m going to focus on my female-oriented media aka Monday Night Football. Chargers’ old skool uniforms are always such a trip.

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Eumaios October 19, 2009 at 20:26

PMAFT: “I was expecting hundreds of comments telling us how we were morbidly obese with small dicks.”

I can hear Whiskey now, “Where are they? Where are all the man-hating dykes I was promised?”

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Eumaios October 19, 2009 at 20:28

Taylor: “See, I could be talking about the original article AND my response. It’s a funny little comment!”

Ambiguity is funny. I get ambiguity.

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Eumaios October 19, 2009 at 20:33

Taylor,

In all seriousness, I think I actually understand what you’re about, and it gives me hope that you will understand what we’re about. I say “will”, not “shall”, because it is something you choose, not something that happens.

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Eumaios October 19, 2009 at 20:42

I don’t think you can really call it the “feminization” of something unless it so exists that the “male-oriented” part of it is taken over by the “female-oriented” part of it.
LILGRL

The Internet Review of Science Fiction reviews paper and online short fiction each month. Their archives are here. Any femtale you find described in these reviews is something that would not have been published sixty years ago, when the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction was founded.

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Pro-male/Anti-feminist Tech October 19, 2009 at 21:00

I can hear Whiskey now, “Where are they? Where are all the man-hating dykes I was promised?”

Not only that but where is Brent Spiner denouncing this post and where is John Scalzi cowardly refusing to link to this post? It did take a couple of days before so maybe in a couple of days Whiskey will be denounced by Brent Spiner and John Scalzi.

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Eumaios October 19, 2009 at 21:18

“It did take a couple of days before so maybe in a couple of days Whiskey will be denounced by Brent Spiner and John Scalzi.”

Naw. They’ve spent their loads, and are bored with us. Now they’re out trolling for fresh meat.

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Eumaios October 19, 2009 at 21:37

JD: “I just want to step in and say that while firefly is a character driven show, written by a guy with a fixation for women that kick ass, Malcolm Reynolds is hands down the most badass character in the show and probably one of the most strong male characters in popular science fiction.”

Character-driven doesn’t have to mean relationship-driven. LOST is character-driven, but the primary plot motives are not relationship driven. The actions of Jack, Locke, et al. are influenced and degraded by their poor relationships with their fathers, but the story action rarely involves direct interaction with these fathers. The O.C., on the other hand, was both character and relationship driven. Cuse and Lindelof reportedly drew inspiration from the way The O.C. drove with characters, at least for the early seasons of LOST. It is to their credit that they did not overburden a science fiction show with relationship drama. SFness alone can provide enough plot to drive a story.

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Jon Ezell October 19, 2009 at 21:48

It really seems you’re arguing that “feminism” is killing fantasy, not sci-fi (if, by feminism, you mean soccer moms and teen girls). Who gives a shit about fantasy? Ever since Star Wars jumped up and took a Conradian dump on American culture, the two have gotten all mixed up and sci-fi’s gotten the short-shrift. If you’ve got to have “quantum flux,” space princesses, and L. Moron Hubbard bullshit around every corner, then you should really just be reading lame dragon books. If you can’t sit through a movie without big explosheeons, boomzooms, and other forms of laser-beam magic at all times, you’re not some poor, misunderstood and soon-to-be-archaic masculine archetype, you’re just a fucking idiot.

Don’t get me wrong, I hate Twilight as much as anyone. I also can’t stand wiggywompus Harry Potter books. But those are children’s books, formulaic garbage, and summer-movie fodder. I’m not sure what the problem with gayness and women is, exactly, in sci-fi. I haven’t noticed it. Maybe in fantasy, but then, are you really so surprised? And even if all of those sweaty, loin-cloth’d MENS of low fantasy novels did, on occasion, seek the warmth of each other…WHO GIVES A SHIT? That’s actually more hardcore than doing it with some hoighty-toighty princess in a tower. Or rescuing a shiny space princess from a space dungeon. I also don’t know where you’re getting this shit about heavy metal. Yeah, a lot of the fans might be homophobes, but, err, ummm, joke’s fuckin’ on them! Have you ever heard Judas Priest, King Diamond, or Manowar? Really really really really gay. And really really really awesome.

I also don’t really understand how the argument about manly sci-fi as “books of ideas” applies to the marketshare being taken over by Twilight. “Women are all-touchy-feely! Ick!” Let’s ignore the fact that, for instance, Ursula K. Le Guin’s Hainish Cycle is an incredibly wicked onslaught of ideas and features, um, I don’t know, some remotely realistic, human sounding dialogue. Good God, if only Asimov had actually had a conversation with anyone, his brilliant ideas wouldn’t be sullied by his inability to write a dialogue that doesn’t read like a college debate team meet, a straw-man lynching, or a Platonic dialogue (e.g. “And would you say that something that is true is also just” “Yes, I suppose.” ad infinitum).

One other thing, about the “Free Market.” It can’t even count fucking beans, there’s no way it will ever remotely give us another Golden Age. So, don’t worry about what movies are getting made, they’re all going to be pretty shitty. The best horror / sci-fi / fantasy films of the last few years barely even made a ripple of the last few years barely even played in the states (IMO: Let the Right One In and Moon). It’s not like if Twilight went away, the idiots that run Hollywood would say “oh, now that we’ve freed up that capital, let’s fuck up another Philip K. Dick story!”

Anyway, I’d be more than thrilled to read some good sexuality-themed or feminist sci-fi / speculative fiction. I think you’re blaming radical feminists and gays (oh, really, how brave of you! such a difficult and universally beloved choice of targets!) for shit that shaved-women, capitalists, and Lucasite weenies created.

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Eumaios October 19, 2009 at 21:50

“Have you ever heard Judas Priest, King Diamond, or Manowar? Really really really really gay. And really really really awesome.”

Argument from Fabulous

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Eumaios October 19, 2009 at 22:12

Jon Ezell: “I think you’re blaming radical feminists and gays…”

No.

We’re blaming regular, everyday, normal gals for enabling the feminists in their struggle to revert to female promiscuity and eventual matriarchy. Most men afflicted with same-sex attraction don’t carry water for either side. I won’t pretend to understand lesbians.

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Jon Ezell October 19, 2009 at 22:26

If the “feminists” are able to reinstate the matriarchy riding on the backs of oblivious consumers, who are occupied with products that do nothing but regurgitate patriarchal values for escapism (e.g. Twilight), then we’d better be shakin’ in our boots!

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whiskey October 19, 2009 at 23:39

LilGRL –

I find it questionable with high divorce rates and later marriage rates, that somehow men in their twenties, thirties, forties, and beyond who are not living with women are making female-influenced purchases. These are all trends well reported (later marriages, higher divorce rates) that tend to produce men alone. Yet the myth of 1950′s America in terms of consumer behavior persists.

Lawyer Mama — I don’t care if you like me or not, or I offend you or not. Or if you don’t like stereotypes that are in fact, fairly true. Women writers DO write a lot of (icky to men) gay sex. In fact, I’ve cited about only a fraction of the slash-fic derived fantasy stuff that female authors write.

Fact: Young men will flee Gay stuff like they do Broadway shows and the Tony Awards. Making anything significant in Sci-Fi or Fantasy tuned out automatically by half the population.

The feminization and gay-female ghetto that literature and reading has become is hostile to men. It took a LOT to turn men off reading and Television, where they were dominant, but women were fully up to the task.

Network TV is a lost cause and Twilight Tweens and Moms defining the bookstore and fantasy (see my post at my sight for the screaming video) at Comic-Con threaten that with Comics.

I wrote about this in my site about the LAT. Their peak was in 1988 (over a million copies in daily circulation — now they are less than 700K). They had/have SWPL disease — a feminized, slightly gay, hostile to the core audience of older male readers attitude. Note my cite in this post — feminization of Sci-Fi and Fantasy go back at least to the 1980′s and have been turning men and boys OFF reading.

Deborah — It matters not if BSG intended to alienate men and boys with gay and female “strong” (read: weak, beautiful ass-kicking victims) characters. The effect was the same — straight young men do not like or care for gay stuff.

Taylor — clearly the vast amount of Twilight Tweens and Moms who showed up at Comic-Con to scream for Twilight puts the lie to the assertion that most women don’t like her stuff. Obviously, they do. And yes, women would prefer most non-Alpha men be gay. So they don’t have to deal with inconvenient desire from non-Alpha men.

Yes. I was promised flying cars and man-hating feminists. I was PROMISED!

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abe October 19, 2009 at 23:52
Erik October 20, 2009 at 00:23

Welmer October 19, 2009 at 3:37 pm
I have to admit, you did give me an idea. Now I want to find some guy to review games on The Spearhead. I totally overlooked that because I stopped playing them a year ago.

Welmer,
I know video games are a key thing, but there are other games out there as well. RPGs and board games such as Axis and Allies are largely male dominated and reach out to the younger crowd as well. Video games are great but they aren’t the only gaming option out there.

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Tarl October 20, 2009 at 01:14

Let’s ignore the fact that, for instance, Ursula K. Le Guin’s Hainish Cycle is an incredibly wicked onslaught of ideas and features, um, I don’t know, some remotely realistic, human sounding dialogue.

Better yet, let’s ignore LeGuin entirely, because she is a tedious Leftist hack. I remember reading her stuff as a kid, and even then noting the man-hating hostility seething off the page like a heat wave off an asphalt road. The Hainish Cycle went over the left shoulder in favor of the nearest Robert E. Howard or Fritz Leiber novel.

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kis October 20, 2009 at 01:38

Women, if you want us to respect you, save your wet dreams for yourselves and stop pretending that they are worthy literature. Because they aren’t.

As a writer of dirty fantasy romance, I resent that! Although I do save my wet dreams for women. You guys are hardly my target demographic.

LilGrl,
Actually, I saw Iron Man as soon as it came out…via bootleg, LOL. Another big problem movie theaters have is getting guys like me to kickout more than ten bucks a ticket. Not when I can get a crystal clear bootleg for half the price, and can watch it over and over. Guys like good and cheap, entertainment. It ain’t rocket science….

But, in the movie world, there’s no advertising as such to deal with-you have to appeal to an audience in order to maximize profits, or you wind up losing money on the project.

Oh, Obsidian. Why would you expect publishers, TV networks and movie studios to put out stuff you want to consume if you DON’T remunerate them? You’ve said before that you can vote with your wallet. Well, you may have voted against syfy by turning it off, but you also effectively voted against Iron Man by not voting at all. And so long as women are more likely to effectively vote for what they want, you guys are never gonna get more of what you want, only less and less until it’s gone. Sigh.

As others have suggested, just chill out and vote with your feet and your money. Support the shows/books/movies/writers/producers/podcasters that you enjoy and everyone will be happy.

Yeah, support them. WITH YOUR MONEY! You guys think you’re really cashing in when you download stuff illegally, but you aren’t cashing in in the long run. “OMG, I just got every song such and such ever recorded for free!” And, yeah, that might not be a big deal IF YOU AREN’T THE CORE AUDIENCE FOR IT. But dudes, you’ve got something that caters just to you, you need to support it. If you don’t it’s going to go bye bye, and it will be nothing but Anita Blake and Stephanie Meyer from there on in.

I think the E-book revolution, by lowering barriers to entry to publishing and thus provide (eventually) a much broader spectrum of voices, and with the implicit low prices, make mass-market winners who can appeal to ALL readers, male and female, young and old, the “shapers” of culture over niche writers.

Hah! I write ebooks. I may reach an audience, but it’s largely one that feels justified in taking what I’ve worked hard to produce and not giving me anything back. My books have been illegally downloaded at least as many, probably more, times than they’ve been purchased. That doesn’t put any money in my pocket, or my publisher’s pocket, which means I still have a day job, which means I spend less time writing and have a harder time convincing my publisher to offer contracts, which means those readers have less of those books they beg for on their stupid forums. “OMG, I just read Kis’s first book, I have to have the others! Someone upload them please!”

Oh yeah? Fuck you.

Also, as a woman, and as a writer, and as a reader, I am extremely offended whenever anybody mentions Stephanie Meyer in a way that implies that women like her.

Is it, then, your position that no women like Stephanie Meyer?

Twilight is more about traditional gender roles than feminism by three freaking football fields. There is nothing feminist, or even equalist, about a pedophilic love story between a centuries-old alpha male and a teenaged virgin. Twilight is all about chivalry at its worst, and any woman with a brain in her head knows a guy who breaks into her bedroom to watch her sleep is a fucking STALKER, and any woman who falls in love with him is the traditional, fatuous, helpless, rape-me-and-I’ll-love-you, braindead moron.

Isn’t that kind of return to patriarchy what some of you guys want? If so, you should be lauding Twilight, not scorning it.

In other news, I’ve been thinking. You all seem to be totally disdainful about genre fiction where there’s any amount of relationships or characters falling into bed with each other. Yet men are the biggest consumers of porn. Does this mean that men like to keep their emotions/ideas and their sex in separate boxes? I mean, do men not enjoy the feeling of being in love or whatever, and that’s why they don’t want to read it? Or does the love/sex distract them from what they’re looking to get out of the fiction? And if so, why all the babalicious babes in male-penned genre fiction and male-targeted movies. Megan Fox comes to mind–she’s certainly not there to appeal to the ladies. Well, except for me…

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kis October 20, 2009 at 01:51

And yes, women would prefer most non-Alpha men be gay. So they don’t have to deal with inconvenient desire from non-Alpha men.

Ugh, would that mean I wouldn’t have to go through another hour and a half of repetitive head bashing against my impregnible wall like I did Saturday night, where a guy hounded me while I was working, to just go get a cup of coffee with him, just as friends, so I could vent about my divorce/child/money problems? Dude, if you can’t take no for an answer fifty freaking times over a cup of coffee, I’m not interested in repeating said scenario when if involves getting in my pants. And all while I’m bloody trying to WORK? Oy.

And yet, nope. I don’t wish all betas were gay. I like (most of) them too much. It’s the alphas that squick me out.

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Amateur Strategist October 20, 2009 at 02:43

I’d jump at the chance to be Video Game reviewer of this site, but I honestly only play two games right now, I play them nearly daily, but it’s only two games. I’ve noticed a saddening small-but-growing trend in video games; they’re starting to suck. Only a few “big releases” happen each year that can appeal to the core audience of the industry, and the rest feels like either casual or a nice market.

Also, I tend to be too negative in my reviews, otherwise everything is too wonderful and it gets hyped.

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gokart-mozart October 20, 2009 at 03:35

Deborah: “Isn’t it a disservice to Men’s Rights to say that all men must ONLY like action/violence/technicality and that they are incapable of enjoying characters who are introspective or emotional? ”

Deborah, who said that? Besides you?
Nobody here said, or says, all men must do anything. Or not do anything.

The “all men” trope is a feminist invention. Can it.

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Globalman October 20, 2009 at 04:21

I thought this was worth a read:

http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=43852

I particularly like the quote:

“Women are not to blame for the demasculization of the American man. It is men who have allowed this to happen, it is the fathers who shirk their responsibility to their sons and the young men who choose the soft and easy way of leisure over the less comfortable path of discipline who are to blame.

So, young man, if you harbor any doubts in your head about your manhood, let me assure you they are correct. The question is, what are you going to do about it?”

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Globalman October 20, 2009 at 05:12

Boooo. October 19, 2009 at 2:54 pm
“I work as an ad executive, and I can tell you that people like me have been asking themselves for ten years how we can get young men to put down the video game and pick up a TV remote.”

Boo, answer is…..forget it. One of my specialties is ‘sell more stuff’. I’ve been doing that as part of my job for 18 years now. The answer for younger men is to engage them in coversation about what they think is important. And I can tell you this, it’s NONE of the crap on TV, not even the sport to a large degree any more. One reason TV is ‘all women’ now is that they are the only ones left in front of it so the bad guys are programming the women to go deeper into fantasy land. Proof? Sex in the City…..4 women in fantasyland. Desperate Housewives. More women in fantasyland. Pretty much all programming now is ‘women in fantasyland’.

Now I am divorced I am a good example of a ‘grown up kid’. (Though I don’t play video games.) In my apartment in London I have no TV, no radio, I have internet. If I want to watch a game I’ll go to the pub. In germany I have a TV that has 2 english channels that I only put on as ‘background’ noise to see if the world ended while I was not looking. I only bought the TV to watch porn and there’s no adds in porn.

If someone wants to sell me something they better email me and make it damn good. They better know who I am, why they are emailing me, why I might want what they offer, what benefits it offers, how much it is, when it can be delivered and they better be polite about it. When I want something, I go look for it. Above the line advertising for men is dead. Only women are brain dead enough to believe any of that crap any more.

Us men are so sick of the blaze of adds we just screen it out, like the nagging of our ex-wives, like we scroll past all the posts from wimmim here…it’s all irrelevat to a real man. Tom Peters first wrote about this in 1991 in case you missed it.

Kimskinovgorod October 19, 2009 at 3:08 pm
“I play Star Wars Universe on-line myself and I´m 46″
Ever thought of reading a book?….like Michael Tsarions Atlantis book, or Lloyd Pyes book ‘everything you know is wrong’ or anything else that will teach you something you don’t know rather than ‘play games’? There is so much knowledge that has been hidden because it was not ‘mainstream’ but it is available for pennies. I bought Thomas Andersons book ‘Classified’ and learned how to refuse to pay income tax and clear mortgages. It cost me $A80. Bargain. Some of the little manginas on a forum said words to the effect ‘ooohhh, I can’t afford $A80, can someone please fill out the paperwork to avoid my taxes and clear my mortgage for me for free….’ These children NEED their nanny state and they deserve to be slaves to it if they won’t read a book.

Taylor October 19, 2009 at 6:02 pm
“I guess I better get back in the kitchen.” And make a man a sammich!! And, oh yeah, shut up, you are boring and I don’t want to read what you write. Go post on feministing.com where you will fit right in to the echo chamber over there. Here? Men are talking. Women should speak when spoken to like the children they are. Be polite, you are in a mans place now. If you won’t be polite, you just give is more evidence of how intellectually handicapped you are and what children you are….as if we needed any more to add to the entire history of civilisation where women have done pretty much nothing other than their biological function of pump out babies.

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nilk October 20, 2009 at 05:37

How Mary Shelley could be reacting to Victorian literature when it didn’t yet exist is beyond me, but it would inspire an interesting theme for science-fiction.

One word: TARDIS

Back to Taylor, now. Eumainos gave a very nice fisking, and I’d just like to add a bit.

Also, as a woman, and as a writer, and as a reader, I am extremely fucking offended whenever anybody mentions Stephanie Meyer in a way that implies that women like her. I do not like her. Enlightened, intelligent, feminist women, do not like her. She writes bullshit about sparkly stalkers and abstinence. Fuck that. Her drivel is read by the people on that reading level, and that does not speak to girls as a whole.

As a woman, I agree that Stephanie Meyer writes 100% pure crapola, but my housemate would disagree. She couldn’t put down the books.

She’s also a smart, intelligent and amazingly capable single mother. With a degree. Who designs and makes formal wear and can also knock up a book case or do a spot of panel beating if necessary. She’s just not a feminist.

You have the power to rape us, the power to hurt our bodies and souls in a way that you cannot understand. You also have the presidency, most of Congress, most of the Supreme Court, most of the jobs, most of the money, and most of the degrees. You have ALREADY WON. We are just trying to even the playing field to the point where it’s not a competition.

Yawn.

Actually, Taylor, you and your side have won. As already mentioned, the divorce laws and custody issues have turned men into slaves, and there is a culture that is openly hostile to men.

Do a spot of reading. Check out Dr. Stephen Baskerville’s book “Taken Into Custody.” If that seems a bit much, then start with Alec Baldwin’s A Promise To Ourselves. It’s a basic primer on the minefield that men have to negotiate in relationships and parenting.

Use that intellect and open up your mind a bit more. Men are not the enemy.

Of course, that’s a bit off topic, so to take it back, I will confess to having Jurassic Park as one of my favourite books, but that’s because I’ve been a dinosaur freak for nearly 40 years.

Also, I don’t buy a lot of fiction these days of any stripe, because most of it’s crap. Non-fiction, the real world is far more interesting.

Speaking of male-oriented writers, my dad was a big fan of Brian Callison, among others, and I used to read his library books when mine ran out.

Callison’s book A Ship Is Dying is one of the best tales I’ve ever read.

Even if it’s not sci-fi or fantasy.

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Kimskinovgorod October 20, 2009 at 05:42

Globalman

The fact that I pick up SW-galaxies for an hour or two, every two weeks, hardly makes me a non-reader, okay ?? I have an extensive bookcollection that I value more than any game, I have ever played ! -Besides that, I´m a rabid user of the library, and are right now reading Esther Vilar´s The Manipulated Man AND Michelle Langley´s Women´s Infidelity part 2 !!!
That should answer your question, right ???

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tehag October 20, 2009 at 06:22

These would include, the Dragon Riders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey, the Wizard of Earthsea series by Ursula K. LeGuin, and “the Children of Men” by Doris Lessing.

“The Children of Men” is by P.D. James, and is grossly inferior to her detective stories, as well as hundreds of thousands of SF novels by people not titled “Dame.” Lessig’s series is “Canopus in Argo.” It’s dreadful. The Urantia Book is better SF. Wizard of Earthsea… well, not my vote for best LeGuin or even top 100 fantasy novels.

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tehag October 20, 2009 at 06:28

Can anyone here play this game?

” and this series was written by two women, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman”

Hickman, alas for your argument, is a man.

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Kimskinovgorod October 20, 2009 at 06:32

Globalman

Btw,-have YOU ever tried NOT to put people into little boxes, and comdemn them, based on a single line, -taken out of contects? Besides having absolutely no knowledge about that person, whatsoever ??? The fact that I´m writing these lines from Denmark, Europe -in a language that is not my own, -should be more than sufficient proof to the fact, that I am not the illiterate, game-playing moron, that you insinuate in your post.
-Have a nice day !

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lex October 20, 2009 at 08:49

regarding the article: i like science fiction with emotion and i like big ideas. i love fantasy. i am a woman. delany and asimov bore me to tears. ursula le guin, octavia butler, orson scott card, and greg bear are more my speed. and i truly enjoy robert jordan, even if his plots and characters sometime frustrate me.

re the discussion: i empathize with some of these men. it’s rough to feel persecuted. stereotyping and exclusion are painful experiences.

back to the books: i like what i like and i buy it. i’m glad to know that more of the fiction i enjoy is being produced!

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Thursday October 20, 2009 at 09:10

There better not be any more Ursula LeGuin bashing here. Like most artists her politics are all over the place and she seems to feel the need to write books with trendy left-wing politics from time to time (often to make up for the sometimes rather reactionary stance in some of her other, better books), but her The Left Hand of Darkness was a masterpiece, clearly the best written piece of science fiction ever produced.

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21Guns October 20, 2009 at 09:19

You’ve said before that you can vote with your wallet. Well, you may have voted against syfy by turning it off, but you also effectively voted against Iron Man by not voting at all.

Kis makes a good point here, regarding the fact that what is beneficial to the individual is not neccessarily beneficial to the group. So you save a few bucks buying a bootleg DVD, good for you. That’s money that doens NOT end up in the pocket of the creative people who put that movie together for your enjoyment.

Speaking as someone who makes a living in the entertainment industry, please STOP DOING THAT.

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kis October 20, 2009 at 10:08

regarding the article: i like science fiction with emotion and i like big ideas. i love fantasy. i am a woman. delany and asimov bore me to tears. ursula le guin, octavia butler, orson scott card, and greg bear are more my speed. and i truly enjoy robert jordan, even if his plots and characters sometime frustrate me.

As far as SFF goes, most of what I read is written by men–George RR Martin, Tolkien, Brent Weeks, David Gemmell, Guy Gavriel Kay and Stephen Donaldson (but more for his sci fi than his fantasy). Most of the fantasy by women embraces themes and tropes I don’t enjoy–and those tropes aren’t the sex and relationships.

I’d rather read about people. Recognizable, imperfect people with recognizable struggles. Centaurs and faeries and vampires and shape-shifters—blurgh. And please, something other than just “OMG, he’s my fated mate and I can’t resist him because he smells so good, why am I ripping my clothes off? Mate mate mate mate mate!!!!”

I adore a kick-ass female protagonist, but find they’re often too unrealistic when written by women. I mean, I can believe a woman can best a man in a fight–but realistically, he’s gonna land a lot of blows that leave her in terrible shape, and chances are she’s going to win by taking advantage of some mistake he makes, not because she’s better or stronger than he is. I can believe she’s lucky enough that the guy leaves an opening for her to grab a tire iron and bash him on the head, but I can’t believe she’s going to come out without a scratch every time because she’s just so fantastically good at fighting.

I like to see my kick-ass female protags go through hell, physically and emotionally, and come out on the other side of it damaged in some ways but stronger in others. Like Ellen Ripley. Like Sarah Conner. Those are the goddesses at whose altar I’d worship.

Anita Blake is garbage. It’s as stupid in one direction as Twilight is in the other.

Here? Men are talking. Women should speak when spoken to like the children they are. Be polite, you are in a mans place now. If you won’t be polite, you just give is more evidence of how intellectually handicapped you are and what children you are….as if we needed any more to add to the entire history of civilisation where women have done pretty much nothing other than their biological function of pump out babies.

Bwahaha! “Be polite”, huh? As my dad once told me, “lead by example”.

Seriously, on the ebook issue, I don’t know that it will be successful for you guys. As far as early adopters of the technology go, they’re mostly women. The market for ebooks (as for all books, though to an even greater extent with digital) is dominated by romance, because women buy books. I don’t know that more men illegally download stuff than women, but I do know fewer men put out money for books than women.

Ebooks are cheap to produce, but they’re not free. The financial benefits only really make themselves felt as more copies are sold–the unit cost of production approaches zero with every copy legally purchased. But there is an outlay of cash, and work that has monetary value even if it doesn’t cost a dime–every moment an author spends writing is a moment he’s not earning money some other way. Some authors are passionate enough about their writing that they’re willing to keep putting out books that only earn them a few hundred bucks, but when they realize that more people (sometimes an order of magnitude more) have stolen their work than paid for it, that’s a huge disincentive to continuing.

If you guys are going to make ebooks (or any media aimed at you) work for you, you’re going to have to vote with your wallets. Downloading illegally is like taking your ballot, marking your choice, and then throwing it in the trash. A few books may achieve widespread popularity through torrent sites–and that’s great in the short term. In the long term, it’s going to mean fewer of the books you like being published, because no one likes to work for nothing.

And believe me, when the profit potential is gone and all books are free, and only those with the time, energy, financial stability and hubris to think their work is fit for publication without any input from editors, well, I’m not interested in wading through a giant slushpile of drivel looking for that one shining pearl I don’t even know is there. If you think most of the books published today are crap, you should have a look at the shit they DON’T publish. I spend a lot of time on writers’ forums, and frankly, for every writer who can actually write, there are a dozen or more who can’t even craft a coherent sentence, and a hundred who will put you to sleep in less than a minute because they don’t know their craft.

Just sayin’.

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Foxfier October 20, 2009 at 11:35

Eumaios October 19, 2009 at 2:48 pm

I fear I’ll have to shock you, Eumaios– I’m an 8 month pregnant woman who likes The Mysterious Island. It’s pure geek-fuel.

If I had the cash, I’d probably be playing the newer Total War games, too.

No idea where The War God series comes into the equation, honestly, but it’s an enjoyable read that’s pretty recent.

Thought it might be nice for y’all to have another female voice saying “yep, it’s getting feminized; nope, we don’t like it.”

Biggest thing I’d quibble with so far would be the characterization of the recent Anita Blake books as “porn-light”– exactly how much detail is needed before something counts as bloody (literally) porn?!

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Madison Woods October 20, 2009 at 11:49

“The point is that there is a massive untapped market for whoever is smart enough to exploit it. I have been to the cinema about 5 times in the past 5 years – I’d go every week if there was something there for me. I only watch sport on TV. I have taken to reading non-fiction books because there are so few fiction books that I don’t find tedius.”

So many comments w/bashing one sex or the other. I’m not interested in any of that. What I am interested in is what kind of plot and action would both men and women enjoy reading or watching on the big screen? This whole conversation was interesting, but to get any of the info I really need from it, I would have had to take a lot more time to weed out the angry responses to get to the heart of the matter. I’m very interested in ‘tapping into the market’ that awaits a good writer able to capture the essence of the kind of writing that satisfies both sexes! Please visit my blog and email with suggestions! Although I am a woman, I do tend to like the more male-oriented things like Conan and Terminator stuff. I work in a male dominated field, so perhaps I have a little insight. But I sure don’t want my books mentioned in comment strings like this one unless it’s one of the admired books, lol.

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Eumaios October 20, 2009 at 12:16

Foxfier, my horizons have been expanded.

Thursday, you might like this assessment of LeGuin by John C. Wright.

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LILGRL October 20, 2009 at 14:01

Whiskey –

I find it questionable with high divorce rates and later marriage rates, that somehow men in their twenties, thirties, forties, and beyond who are not living with women are making female-influenced purchases. These are all trends well reported (later marriages, higher divorce rates) that tend to produce men alone. Yet the myth of 1950’s America in terms of consumer behavior persists.

Divorce rates are high, but they’re not at like 90%. Marrying age is later, but it’s not that much later. Yes, the 18-35 y/o male market is something everybody wants a piece of. I won’t deny that.

The reason females make up a large percentage of consumers is because…they make up a large percentage of consumers. Women buy more than men do. Even when they are both single — single gals buy more than single guys, especially when it comes to little purchases. And when they’re in relationships (but not married) or dating, guys will pay attention to what women want/like, and act accordingly. It’s kind of like how bars have “ladies’ night” and/or a lower/free cover charge for women. It’s not because women are so super-privileged. It’s because where women are, men will come, and spend money. Men rarely spend money frivolously or ostentatiously, except in the presence/under the influence of women — not just one single special women, sometimes it’s women in general. Anyway, yeah.

The 18-35 y/o male market is a big one — trust me, I know that market.

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Mil-Tech Bard October 20, 2009 at 14:15

Taylor,

The short story of media profitability today is that if you can tell a story straight men and boys really like, without mortally offending women the way gay-friendly material does straight men, you will make a profit.

If you don’t, you won’t.

The way video, audio and electronic publishing production costs are collapsing means, basically, all the old top-down controlled-branded media are doomed — “Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon ….”

Whiskey is simply making the argument — which I agree with — that there will again be boy programming, and men programming (and those are two different things, too), and pretty much everything else. The universe of entertainment is going to nichefy like nothing ever seen before.

E-books is where Whiskey thinks it will start first because of the success of Baen books.

Baen books was founded in the 1970′s by Jim Baen with the specific goal of providing heroic style sci-fi material aimed at the 15-55 year old male market. His vision has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.

Baen books has a tiny staff and no bureaucracy to protect value-subtracted idiots. This is why Baen is successful.

The problem with main stream, gay-feminist, dominated major mass media is that large organizations provide niches for value-subtracted idiots to hide in, and bureaucracies to protect them.

People — feminist professional women and gays in the main — in these niches can’t do boy and adult male friendly entertainment or advertising.

It is against their self-identities.

Due to American civil rights laws, these male-hostile idiots cannot be fired in favor of white, straight, men who can successfully market to the 40% of the American consumer market made up of white, straight, male consumers.

This means that major media brands, advertising agencies and major corporate marketing departments will have to die and be replaced in the market place with new start ups that cater to the straight-male consumer demographic.

This will take some time and much pain for major media firms.

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Mil-Tech Bard October 20, 2009 at 14:31

>Men rarely spend money frivolously or ostentatiously, except in the
>presence/under the influence of women — not just one single special women,
>sometimes it’s women in general. Anyway, yeah.

I have my doubts. You purport to know based on young men who go to clubs.

They are not the universe of young men.

Two words to refute that contention, Star Wars (The original).

It was not a “Chick Flick.”

The prime consumer of it’s theater runs were young men in the 14-25 range who say the movie multiple times. They were also the primary purchasers and collectors of Star Wars related toys.

They were such a large consumer of those action figures that Lucus very nearly funded Empire Strikes Back out of his own pocket.

And pretty much since then the baneful influence of big media on primarily male Sci-Fi has been bad and turning it into pure drek.

Ja-Ja Binks is a perfect example of the failed Tween marketing influence on Star Wars in theater release.

You will carefully note that the Star Wars franchise went very dark and male for it’s Clone Wars cartoons.

>The 18-35 y/o male market is a big one — trust me, I know that market.

This does not appear to be the case. You know it exists. You don’t seem to know how to market to it.

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Nina Gazire October 20, 2009 at 14:33

Whiskey,

you should read this before writing that only science-fiction male authors write from the point of view of great ideas? What is “great idea” anyway?

Read the interview with Margaret Atwood:

http://www.wired.com/underwire/2009/10/margaret-atwood-speculative-fictions-apocalyptic-optimist/

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Welmer October 20, 2009 at 14:35

You will carefully note that the Star Wars franchise went very dark and male for it’s Clone Wars cartoons.

Mil-Tech bard

My son is fascinated by that show. He now wants “robot pets.”

BTW, I’m looking for someone who wants to contribute some posts on military stuff. Interested?

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Stratomunchkin October 20, 2009 at 14:41

Little look from the micro-perspective here.

Not so long ago, I read Bryan Ward-Perkins’ excellent “The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization” (I heartily recommend it to everyone interested in history – any kind of history!) and, because Ward-Perkins had actually mentioned it as a good approximation of an early post-Roman Europe, bought “The Winter King” by Bernhard Cornwell (I also recommend that one). Then I made a mistake. Instead of buying the sequel to “The Winter King”, I decided to give Zimmer-Bradley’s the “Mists of Avalon” a try.

After all, it’s placed in a similar setting and is counted as part of the foundation of fantasy literature of the past forty years by quite a many people. It’s around a thousand pages in German. I put it aside after 30. It is well-written, but it is not a work that appeals to men.

And that’s not because its central characters are women. There is enough fiction where that is the case, too – but in the overwhelming number of cases, they have been written by men. Honor Harrington as the titular heroine of David Weber’s series comes to mind. Bernhard Cornwell also presents us with believable female characters. So does George R.R. Martin, so does Steven Erikson, so do many other male authors, like Noah Gordon and Ken Follet.

I wish I could say the same about female authors writing male characters, but I can’t (even though I am willing to admit that there certainly are exceptions). Right now I am reading Sara Douglass’ “The Nameless Day”, a birthday present from my mother, and its male protagonist is unbearable and unbelievable.

And a quick stroll through the local book store reveals that the number of female authors in almost every field – crime, scifi, fantasy, historic novels – has become enormous, yes, dominating.

And yet my casual observations showed me that, despite the overwhelming supply of female authors’ works for their beloved genres, male readers – adult or teen – largely stick with male authors. Five girls might buy books by Diana Gabaldon, Stephenie Meyer, Rebecca Gable and Sara Douglass; but the five guys at the same section will most likely overwhelmingly buy “The Winter King” instead, not touching the others with a ten foot pole.

My question, Whiskey, however is, whether we are looking at a demographic shift here or rather at an interlinked problem of the marketing and publishing sectors? Both are highly influenced by feminist and gay ideas and staff, that much we know. I believe we are looking at a dearth in supply, not demand here, and those male genre fans simply concentrate stronger on what little supply there is. The “Malazan” series’ success is proof of that, as is the continued success of Bernhard Cornwell’s works (which, despite featuring strong female characters, center on strong male leads, like Sharpe, or Arthur, or Derfel Cadarn).

As an afterthought, I’d also somewhat doubt the conclusion that video games destroy or replace male reading habits. The demographic we are looking at – the ones who have been reading scifi and fantasy before – are still doing so in no small amounts. For one, we cannot substitute the categories “gamer” for “scifi and fantasy reader”, and secondly it is the latter group who has merely supplemented its habits with MMORPGs.

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kis October 20, 2009 at 14:52

People — feminist professional women and gays in the main — in these niches can’t do boy and adult male friendly entertainment or advertising.

I think any reasonable straight man is not going to mind a gay character in a book or movie or TV show. They just don’t want to know anything about gay mens’ sex lives. Like my ex, who is completely unthreatened by LGBT people, hangs with them and works with them. The only thing they do that bugs him is when they start talking about their sex lives.

Because even if a straight guy is comfortable with the idea of male homosexuality, gay sex is not going to appeal to him and will be actively off-putting.

Straight women don’t have these issues with f/f material. Most straight women–whether they admit it or not–will get physically (maybe not emotionally) aroused by any image presented in a sexual context, whether it’s m/m, m/f, f/f, or chimpanzees mating. Because back when we all lived in caves, women didn’t always have a choice about who they had sex with and when, so a woman’s genitals preparing for sex at the first sign of anything that says “sex” is a good thing from an injury avoidance standpoint.

Women’s issues with f/f more often have to do with being unaware of their physical arousal because they aren’t emotionally aroused (in which case they say “meh”), or issues about exploitation (a’la girls gone wild), or internalized homophobia (OMG, I like watching this, I must be a lesbian!) or misogyny (girl parts are gross, I know this because Summer’s Eve products tell me so).

But because of this f/f images in mainstream media will always always be more commonly tolerated than m/m ones.

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Kimskinovgorod October 20, 2009 at 15:23

Welmer

Why don´t you buy your son one of those Robo-dogs…I even think you can get him a voiceactivated R2D2…
;)

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Kimskinovgorod October 20, 2009 at 15:29

Mil-Tech Bard

The largest playergroup in SW-Galaxies on-line,
is reportedly 25-50 years old…
Thought you´d like to know..:)

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whiskey October 20, 2009 at 15:54

Kis — Ebooks and cheap printed books are the wave of the future. You cannot stop it. TARGET according the WSJ is matching Amazon and Wal-Mart with best-sellers at $8.99 (printed books).

Publishing is JUST LIKE MUSIC. High margins built on limited distribution channels and affluent markets (say women only) are not working. Luxury goods makers are down, music is half it’s 1999 peak (see my blog for details and the NYT link), the same with movies. Yeah people will illegally download your works. So the only way to combat that is to make your stuff cheap, easily available, and desirable by all.

Eli Roth found out that his awful Hostel movies were available in Mexico City for about twenty-five cents. This is reality. The only way to “win” is to be so widely popular that people will pay $1.50 for your copy (with bonus “extras”) rather than $0.25 for a pirated copy.

TV Networks, movie studios, newspapers, and the music industry ignored men along with publishers in good times because affluent “New Girl Order” women kept them rolling in cash. Until the economy crashed. Now it has to be men and women both, or really, really cheap stuff for niche markets (think Jay Leno at 10 pm or cheap reality shows or cheap porn-romance fiction).

Twilight is very feminist. Since the essence of feminism is women casting off the traditional nuclear family for a full expression of female hypergamy. The “hot” and violent/brutal Alpha tamed by the young woman is indeed quite feminist. Traditional female romantic literature like Austen took into account companionate aspects of romance and choice of man. But the essence of feminism is “rule by lust” in women’s choices, casting off social mores and particularly advice/censoring of older women of flighty young women (such as Lizzie Bennet’s stupid young sister). There’s a reason so many young women (and older ones) love the series.

Men face different issues of emotions than women. Men don’t like romance/”falling in love” stuff because the mostly get hurt, it is much harder for men to have sex or attract a woman than the other way around, and men not keeping emotions in check leads to violence. Men generally like stories of male cooperation/friendship/trust, to defeat a common-threatening enemy, and all get rewarded. With “flat” social hierarchies, rough equality (as opposed to female hypergamous aristocracy/princess fantasies).

I would venture the magic formula is some limited romance of ancillary characters for women, and male cooperation for men. It is HARD for men to cooperate, which is why men enjoy that aspects (pro sports particularly football) so much.

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whiskey October 20, 2009 at 16:17

Mil-Tech — You’ve summarized my views nicely. Thanks.

Nina — I don’t think “no women” cover big ideas, just far fewer when their voices dominate. For example, fantasy USED to have lots of male voices, and the works of Tim Powers specifically covered a lot of allegorical issues: Muslim cultural power against the Myths of the West (Drawing of the Dark), the power and corruption of the Romantics (Stress of Her Regard), and the supplanting of magic by science which is more “egalitarian” and “brighter” in nearly all his works.

Fantasy now gives us “Lonely Werewolf Girl,” the Tru Blood junk, and Vampire Diaries, Vampire Academy and the Twilight twee and various other stuff. All based on relationships, feelings, sexual freedom, and so on. Some are actually good, but none cover cultural issues of decadence vs. cultural reformation, collision with other cultures (women dislike generally Western culture and worship other cultures, Multiculturalism being feminist ground zero and consisting of the proposition that all about Western culture is garbage, the product of oppressive White males, and all about other cultures is great).

Particularly given the inability of mainstream voices to articulate anything coherent about collision of cultures, we need exploration of this. In Science Fiction, the gender gap in selective sex abortion creating male-dominated societies with the implicit violence over women they create.

A FEW women are outliers and cover this, but most do not. In fact, drowning any explorations out with a chorus of PC-Multiculturalism.

Kis — Yes most men MIND gay characters in literature or movies or fiction. Because they just don’t like them, the way that men abandoned Broadway as it became “gay” despite the increasing technical excellence. And as a practical matter there is no way to have gay characters and not have “envelope pushing” gay sex. J. K. Rowling announcing “Dumbledore was gay” may have generated rounds of applause from her female audience at the event but made her books repellent to future generations of boys.

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kis October 20, 2009 at 16:32

Publishing is JUST LIKE MUSIC. High margins built on limited distribution channels and affluent markets (say women only) are not working.

That’s why traditional publishers hardly sell any ebooks. They price them higher than anyone wants to pay ($8.99 is still way too much for digital) and wrap them in so much DRM that the illegal option is always the easiest one. And they don’t even pay a higher author royalty on them than print because they want authors to believe they cost the same to produce–WTF? Print, paper, binding, shipping, storage and returns cost the same as copying a computer file? I don’t fucking think so.

Also why I went with an epublisher. My novels are available for about 5 bucks–as little as $3.50 from some retailers–and there’s no DRM. The legal option is the easiest, and it’s priced low enough not to turn people to pirating (unless they’re just jerks), and they pay me a higher royalty.

Any niche lit is going to have to be priced a little higher than non-niche stuff, because the people writing it have to compensate for a smaller market. I’d assume that prices (and royalties) will be driven down further, but only when sales numbers can be counted on to go up to offset the loss. And my publisher uses POD to print any book of a certain length, so readers have that more expensive, but often more desirable, option as well. And yet somehow they manage to turn a nice profit! It must be that they have a magical ability to shit money, because traditional publishers say it can’t work, and they’re sooooo smart!

As for piracy, there are simply some people out there who will never want to pay for something if they can get it for free, no matter how cheap you make it. The notion that they’re not removing the original product from the shelves–that the copy is still available for someone to buy–makes them feel like it’s not stealing. Those people, well, you never had them as potential consumers anyway.

But, publishing is not just like music. No one’s going to pay 5 bucks a head to go down to the bar and listen to me read my book. Musicians have their recordings, but they also have preformance revenue and merchandising to make up for losses on recordings. In that case, the recording is the advertisement for the truly lucrative products. Unless you’re Al Gore or Deepak Chopra or another non-fic author with a platform, and can claim 1000s of dollars for speaking engagements and stuff, all an author really has is the book. Words on the page.

cheap porn-romance fiction).

Dudes, as a writer of dirty romance, I’m offended. Just because it’s porn romance, doesn’t mean it’s cheap. I mean, just because you all would like to keep sex from your plotlines and plotlines from your porn doesn’t mean women want to…

(as opposed to female hypergamous aristocracy/princess fantasies).

Ugh. I hate those. I do read a fair bit of romance, but does every bloody hero have to be a handsome rake of a duke? Can’t one of them be a typesetter or a pharmacist with a bit of a paunch? I’ve read some blammo erotica by a woman who writes from Asia–Thailand, I think–and she can have me so hot for a middle-aged guy with glasses and a bald spot, one who isn’t even alpha personality-wise. Don’t know why more authors don’t embrace that.

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Stratomunchkin October 20, 2009 at 16:32

Well, I don’t MIND gays in a story – as long as they make sense as a part of the story. Which they seldomly do, which all the slashfics are ample proof of.

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kis October 20, 2009 at 17:02

Yes most men MIND gay characters in literature or movies or fiction.

I said any reasonable straight man. My definition of reasonable in this context being mostly an attitude of “who cares what consenting adults do in the bedroom? It’s none of my fucking business”.

I think most straight, younger Canadian men wouldn’t much care about whether a character or person is gay, as long as that person doesn’t push their gay in everyone’s faces. Although, to be honest, you don’t have to do much to be considered to be doing that.

Maybe I’m focusing on a different demographic than you, though, but it’s what I’ve seen at my kids’ highschool. There are lots of “out” kids there, and they don’t get crapped on for it because nobody cares as long as they’re not holding hands or necking in the hallway. Unless they’re femme dykes or bi-females–in which case, “booyah! Take off her top!” You’re more likely to get shit on for being a dork than a gay kid. It’s…totally bizarre compared to how I grew up, and maybe it’s not like that in the US.

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Foxfier October 20, 2009 at 17:20

My definition of reasonable in this context being mostly an attitude of agreeing with me.

Fixed that for ya…..

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kis October 20, 2009 at 18:25

My definition of reasonable in this context being mostly an attitude of agreeing with me.

Fixed that for ya…..

LOL Fair enough.

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piercedhead October 20, 2009 at 18:26

“women dislike generally Western culture and worship other cultures, Multiculturalism being feminist ground zero and consisting of the proposition that all about Western culture is garbage, the product of oppressive White males, and all about other cultures is great”

Excellent point Whiskey. Why women seem so violently hostile to Western culture is a subject of particular interest to me, and I believe they appear to side with other cultures solely as a means of expressing their contempt against the West, rather than any genuine admiration for another culture. The promotion of ‘multi-culturalism’ is in itself intrinsically damaging to all cultures, leading as it does towards the loss of traditional values and the morphing of all people into one large homogeneous non-culture.

The simplest argument is that women distrust reason, and know viscerally that it is from reason that men gain their power. The cultures that prosper most are those that employ reason to its fullest, and have traditions and institutions that recognize its value. Obviously, if reason is the enabler of your perceived enemy, the most prosperous cultures would earn your greatest wrath. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard women of a particularly nasty feminist leaning decry men’s ‘simple logical minds’ and our penchant for dispassionate analysis. The very statement that all hetero-sexual sex is rape, uttered by so many women of supposed academic standing, in spite of the fact that hetero-sexual sex occurs naturally across the entire animal world, seems testimony to a concerted attempt to convince us that 2 and 2 do not make 5. Other initiatives in law also cast doubt upon certainties upon which reason relies, and the more one listens to what feminists say, the more doubt is cast upon the validity of reason itself. That is why they do it. Men without reason are men easily beaten and subjugated.

A women’s strength is drawn from emotionalism, and the use of it to control others through edicts of propriety. Superstition is another tool in the bag, and women’s love of psychics, intuition and special powers (all staples in current female-oriented entertainment) are exposed as fraudulent if reason can be brought to bear on them.

It’s this same dichotomy between reason and emotionalism (ie conscious thought versus animal instinct) that underpins the perception of science-fiction being degraded by increasing female participation.

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Marie October 20, 2009 at 18:44

What I want to know is, why do so many women have this visceral hatred for ‘Twilight’? There are a lot of women out there – ones who will probably call themselves ‘feminist’ – who have what I feel is a strange and irrational hatred for the series, calling it ‘crap’ and saying that it shouldn’t be published at all. Which may be true, but what I find funny is that often these women will be fans of the ‘ass-kicking waif’ like the equally crap show ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ which has the same amount of redeeming qualities at ‘Twilight’ – which is absolutely none.

I’m sure there’s a certain woman here that can answer this question. ;-)

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Marie October 20, 2009 at 19:04

Oh, I get it. I should have read further down. So the reason why a great deal of women hate Twilight is because of the so-called pro-abstinence message it allegedly preaches. Now there are plenty of good reasons to dislike ‘Twilight’ but I think that’s the dumbest by far. I mean, why not dislike it because it’s crap writing? Or cliched? Or ridiculous? Oh no, the author is a Mormon – abstinence is SO AWFUL! Never mind that most of the teen novels out today ‘preach’ the exact opposite of abstinence. Is it really so horrible that one book series/saga/whatever you want to call it out of the thousands of other series in this world has characters that don’t randomly sleep around with total strangers?

This is one of many reasons why I, as a woman, cannot stand feminists. It’s stupid crap like that. I find it utterly hilarious that someone like Taylor or whoever is so threatened and offended by a book series in which the characters practice abstinence.

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kis October 20, 2009 at 19:07

I would venture the magic formula is some limited romance of ancillary characters for women, and male cooperation for men. It is HARD for men to cooperate, which is why men enjoy that aspects (pro sports particularly football) so much.

How about this:

It’s the final big smash ‘em up scene where Megatron is fighting Optimus Prime. Shit’s flying everywhere, freeways and buildings are toppling. Off, under an overturned car propped on a magazine stand, Shia Lebeouf is serving up multiple orgasms up to Megan Fox. Satisfied with his work, he leaves her sweaty and spent, zips up his pants, grabs that “spark” thingie from OP and lobs it at the baddie (or whatever he did, my kids were talking through the whole thing), and the movie ends in one spectacular, mind-blowing, earth-shattering orgasm of fiery violence.

Good? To much?

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kis October 20, 2009 at 19:21

Which may be true, but what I find funny is that often these women will be fans of the ‘ass-kicking waif’ like the equally crap show ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ which has the same amount of redeeming qualities at ‘Twilight’ – which is absolutely none.

The reason women like Buffy and hate Twilight is because Buffy does shit, while Bella gets done. That is, Buffy is at least superficially a hero, she kicks ass, angsts, ponders good and evil, saves the day, stuff like that. Not saying she does it well, just that she does it. Whereas, Bella just is. She reacts to the world around her. She doesn’t do anything except fall in love with a man old enough to be her great great great grandfather. The book kind of preaches that instead of pondering good and evil, getting things done, angsting and kicking ass, all a girl has to do is fall in love with a dude who isolates you from your family and stalks you and breaks into your house–but he *sparkles*, so that’s okay– and she’s cool. Oh, and that the only way to save the world is to have babies or something. I didn’t get that far.

That’s why feminists don’t like Twilight, and it’s largely why I don’t like it. As for Buffy, the feminists can like it all they want, but they still can’t make me watch it.

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kis October 20, 2009 at 19:22

The reason *some* women. My bad.

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Kimskinovgorod October 20, 2009 at 19:26

kis

Im curios..Where can I get hold of one of your books ??

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Kimskinovgorod October 20, 2009 at 19:42

curious..sorry

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kis October 20, 2009 at 20:23

You liked my alternate ending to Transformers that much? :D

Um, to tell you the truth, I have certain vested interest in remaining anonymous here. You guys aren’t the only ones with trolls, but mine is very…personal in her trolling. So I don’t know if I’m comfortable giving you my pen name. At least not in public.

I’ll try to think of a way of getting them to you that doesn’t involve painting a target on my head.

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Kimskinovgorod October 20, 2009 at 20:39

kis

That would be greatly appreciated…
That goes for my girl too..

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Kimskinovgorod October 20, 2009 at 20:40

kis

She´s all fired up…LOL!!! ;)

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kis October 20, 2009 at 20:56

Okay, google [admin: people are worried about you being stalked, so I deleted it -- but let me know if you really want to promote your stuff and I'll be all too happy to help]. Yes, I’m serious. Don’t let the wonky search term fool you, it’ll take you right to it, but it won’t bring *her* right here like my name will.

They’re available in ebook and in print–and I know a bunch of Amazon sites in Europe carry them.

But remember, they are romance. Sure, they’re dirty, but they’re still romance.

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Kimskinovgorod October 20, 2009 at 21:02

kis

Thanks!!
It´s mostly for my girl, but perhaps I can benefit from that “dirtyness”, you mention.Will most likely check them out !! ;)

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zed October 20, 2009 at 21:10

@Kis –

Careful what breadcrumbs you lay out. Serious Googlenoids could have your home address and a pic with no more than a few clicks.

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Kimskinovgorod October 20, 2009 at 21:11

zed

Any way of erasing it ??

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zed October 20, 2009 at 21:16

Ask Welmer to do it.

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Kimskinovgorod October 20, 2009 at 21:23

zed & kis

Done !!

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kis October 20, 2009 at 21:36

I’m not that worried about her stumbling on me here by googling that particular term–which is why I used it. There’s no reason for her to. And if she does come here, she’ll certainly recognize me no matter what I call myself, lol. She’s just that evil. But no sense leaving my name all over the place when she goes googling it looking for stuff to pester me with.

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Kimskinovgorod October 20, 2009 at 21:39

kis

Got it !-I mailed welmer and asked him to remove it anyway..No need to leave it, since it was between you and me…
Thanks again..

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kis October 20, 2009 at 21:43

No prob. I hope your lady enjoys it. Just warn her, there’s a lot of violence (some of it sexual) and it’s mostly women getting the crap beaten out of them by the bad guys. Of course, she fixes him but good. Fucker.

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Kimskinovgorod October 20, 2009 at 21:45

kis

There´s someone here laughing her pants off…She says Hi and thanks!!

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kis October 20, 2009 at 21:47

What? Is it the veal? Because it was really sub-par, and that’s no laughing matter. Srsly.

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Kimskinovgorod October 20, 2009 at 21:48

Says she likes beating the crap out of bad guys, while looking at me…;)

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kis October 20, 2009 at 21:50

If that’s the case, after she reads it you may never want a blowjob again… LOL

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Kimskinovgorod October 20, 2009 at 21:50

Nope..was the Fucker remark, she´s watching Stargate and knitting…I love watching her doing that !!

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Kimskinovgorod October 20, 2009 at 21:51

kis

What have I done…:(

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kis October 20, 2009 at 21:54

No no no, nothing you did. :D You’d get the joke if you knew how the heroine takes out the bad guy. I’d hope no one would put something like that into practice, but you never know. Best be extra nice to your lady…

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Kimskinovgorod October 20, 2009 at 21:59

kis

Yeah, I got it first time,-that was the reason for the concerned remark!! :(

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Kimskinovgorod October 20, 2009 at 22:01

kis

A vision of serious bodily harm just crossed my mind..LOL!!!

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Tarl October 20, 2009 at 22:04

Thursday
October 20, 2009 at 9:10 am

There better not be any more Ursula LeGuin bashing here. Like most artists her politics are all over the place and she seems to feel the need to write books with trendy left-wing politics from time to time (often to make up for the sometimes rather reactionary stance in some of her other, better books), but her The Left Hand of Darkness was a masterpiece, clearly the best written piece of science fiction ever produced.

Her politics are not “all over the place” unless “the place” is the portion of the political spectrum from extreme Leftism to outright communism.

I found Left Hand boring and unreadable myself. I’ll have to take another look at it and see if my opinion has changed. (Lately I have been looking at some of the “classics” to see how they hold up in the all-too-long a period between now and the time when I last read them as a teenager.)

Of the other Nebula winners, I would put Dune, Ringworld, Rendezvous with Rama, Forever War, Neuromancer, Ender’s Game, and Speaker for the Dead far above Left Hand. Of the Hugos, Starship Troopers, Canticle for Leibowitz, Stranger in a Strange Land, Man in the High Castle, Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, Lord of Light, and Stand on Zanzibar are much better than Left Hand in my opinion.

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kis October 20, 2009 at 22:07

Um, really, it’s not a bad way to go. Much nicer than what she did to those other guys.

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Kimskinovgorod October 20, 2009 at 22:08

Tarl

Ringworld and Dune are favorits !

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Kimskinovgorod October 20, 2009 at 22:09

kis

Ok, will check them out..:)

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kis October 20, 2009 at 22:13

Oh, hey, Kimski, I should let you know I have a fair amount of free stuff–a couple stories and some excerpts–up on my website, which you can get to with google. Including the short story that gave my 67 year-old mother “inspiration” one fine afternoon because my parent’s “aren’t dead, you know.”

Now if there was only some way I could gouge out my mind’s eye…

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Kimskinovgorod October 20, 2009 at 22:19

kis

But still hoping to maintain that stamina, right ??
I know I do–It´s all muscles and should be kept in shape like all muscle tissue…;)

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Kimskinovgorod October 20, 2009 at 22:25

kis

I´m loggin off…
Time to sleep..
Cya..

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Quent October 20, 2009 at 22:50

Another good and timely essay, Whiskey. It’s too bad, however, that you didn’t mention the unsurpassed master of 20th Century fantastic fiction — Jack Vance.

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Repio October 21, 2009 at 03:08

Boo:

“I work as an ad executive, and I can tell you that people like me have been asking themselves for ten years how we can get young men to put down the video game and pick up a TV remote. And I don’t think the answer is to “man up” the shows. Young men would really just rather be playing their warcraft, halo, call of duty, etc.”

There’s your problem. Anti-male filth, ipso facto…

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Repio October 21, 2009 at 03:10

Boo being an ad executive, that is.

“Welmer- Yes. We are coming out with a whole line of MGTOW-themed products. It’s a growth market.”

Mass Consumerism and Mass Male will never be pro-male. It cannot be transformed into such.

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Repio October 21, 2009 at 03:11

Correction:

Boo being an ad executive, that is.

“Welmer- Yes. We are coming out with a whole line of MGTOW-themed products. It’s a growth market.”

Mass Consumerism and Mass Marketing will never be pro-male. It cannot be transformed into such.

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Repio October 21, 2009 at 03:26

“Yeah, support them. WITH YOUR MONEY!”

Everything isn’t about money, you stupid asshole.

Capitalism and women have much in common.

Insert money to make them happy. They’ve no values beyond that.

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Repio October 21, 2009 at 03:28

Capitalism is a lost cause just as Feminism/The Women’s Movement is.

Capitalism is a worthless system that produces and promotes trash.

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Repio October 21, 2009 at 03:33

“Twilight is more about traditional gender roles than feminism by three freaking football fields. There is nothing feminist, or even equalist, about a pedophilic love story between a centuries-old alpha male and a teenaged virgin. Twilight is all about chivalry at its worst, and any woman with a brain in her head knows a guy who breaks into her bedroom to watch her sleep is a fucking STALKER, and any woman who falls in love with him is the traditional, fatuous, helpless, rape-me-and-I’ll-love-you, braindead moron.”

Patriarchy isn’t about “chivalry”, it’s about telling women to shut the fuck up and the Precedence of Male Authority.

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Repio October 21, 2009 at 03:49

“collision with other cultures (women dislike generally Western culture and worship other cultures”

Not so sure about this.

Western society is the peg Western Women use when talking about “the plight of women throughout the world”.

It’s a typical feminist way of dealing with it. Hold Western Society which was built by White Males as the one which affords women the best life; but at the same time hate White Males because they contributed largely to this Female-Friendly Civilisation.

Feminists know Western Civilisation (i.e. Feminist Civilisation, they have usurped Western Civilisation) is indispensible.

But they’ll still rage against the achievements of White Men in any period of time.

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kis October 21, 2009 at 09:10

Everything isn’t about money, you stupid asshole.

Capitalism and women have much in common.

Insert money to make them happy. They’ve no values beyond that.

Haha! That’s a good one. No, everything isn’t about money. I currently support myself and my three kids on about $25000 CD a year. I could work more, but it would take me away from my kids and it isn’t worth it. So don’t preach to me that money isn’t everything. I live my whole life by that philosophy.

But you can’t expect a movie studio to shell out a hundred million dollars to produce the effects-heavy summer blockbuster you want if you don’t remunerate them for it. You can’t expect an author to write the books you want to read for nothing but personal satisfaction.

The adoration of fans is enough for some people–most of them are on free sites, giving it away, and that’s cool. But the rest of us need to make a living. Any activity that takes my time away from my family had better put something back in.

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kimmer October 21, 2009 at 14:32

So I think I understand. Men like real writers like Kafka, Orwell, Huxley, Tolkien etc., because they read “Big Ideas” (being generally big thinkers) whereas women only care for trashy novels like Anita Blake and Twilight (because we girls can’t appreciate Kafka).

You give your sex a lot of credit and ignore a basic fact about our culture. Male is considered neutral and the neutral is considered male. So things that have a wide appeal to both sexes (like Kafka or Orwell) are considered “masculine” whereas female-specific things (Twilight) are considered “feminine”. I am a woman and I would never consider comparing the two things, but you insist that this is what I and other women prefer over “Big Ideas”, and that is very narcissistic of you.

Also, perhaps women go to movies like Twilight (with the knowledge that the movie is crappy, as I did) with the intention of being in female-central space for a couple hours. Men have your Transformers and others like it–equally crappy movies but acceptable to men the way Twilight is acceptable to women. And because “male is neutral,” women will go to those movies too, because they’re not concerned they’ll compromise their masculinity by doing so.

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Barba October 21, 2009 at 19:14

Man, this article is creepy and comments are even creepier! Except for yours Kimmer, nice going. People should think on stereotypes e categories before they right a lot of common sense ridden shit.

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Renee October 21, 2009 at 19:17

I have to say Whiskey that this post explains this topic MUCH better than the other one :)

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Renee October 21, 2009 at 19:19

Oh and don’t get me started on Twilight………..

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rf.interference October 21, 2009 at 22:17

Indeed, metal and rap’s popularity stem from the hostility both have to gays, making male sexuality not “questionable” the way the love for Broadway showtunes would be.

That’s a stretch and at a minimum puts the horse before the cart. For fuck’s sake Rob Halford has generations of metal fans wearing the types of studded belts and bracelets he was buying in gay S&M shops in 1980s England.

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Deansdale October 22, 2009 at 03:53

A quote from unhappy Stargate Universe fans:
“There should have been or should be a strong female character in every single episode and virtually all scenes”
1. Why is that exactly? Does the quality of the story depend on having strong females on the screen at all times? Without strong women it cannot be any good? What about being realistic? I certainly find it necessary for a good story to be believable, which practically means there must not be strong women in every scene since most women are not strong. The typical women nowadays is just a whiner who keeps on yammering on the net that other people should make everything appealing to them, and that men should shut up and kiss ass. There’s nothing ‘strong’ about it.
2. MUST everything appeal to you? If you don’t like something it must be ‘fixed’?
It’s not to your liking? Get over it. Watch something else. The universe does NOT revolve around you. Be strong and empowered for once and reach for the remote and switch to BSG. It’s the feminized bullshit you adore, with a dozen strong women in every scene.
3. Does it not occur to you that half of the population is already sick and tired of unrealistic stronger-then-men, smarter-then-men, better-then-men grrlpower characters in ALREADY every scene of 80% of contemporary media?
I think it DOES occur to you, only you don’t give a damn, because they are just men. Lesser creatures. You whine about being ‘patriarchally oppressed’ but in reality you are ENCOURAGED from all sides to actively shit in men’s faces. If you find something men enjoy, you feel an urge to take it away from them.

I had the misfortune to watch some new TV series about Robin Hood. All the guys are weak idiots, while the 2 lead grrls are strong, smart and always better then men at everything. The original story has no grrlpower characters at all, but hey now, who gives a damn. To add insult to injury, both of these grrls were so weak in reality my eyes almost bled watching them acting soooo strong. They were so fake I can’t find words adequate to describe them. This is so symptomatic of our age: everyone knows that men are stronger, faster and tougher then women, but we have to pretend we are blind to reality. It’s not PC to notice biological facts. It’s mysoginy if you state the obvious.
Speaking of mysoginy, it reminds me how apparent the misandry is in most of the feminist writers’ work. Take for example the already-mentioned-above Mists of Avalon. The problem is not that some retarded manhater ‘rewrote some story from a woman’s perspective’. The problems are she chose one of the most – if not THE most – sacred epic tale of men, and that she mocked it viciously with seething hatred and venom. That in itself describes what radical feminsts are all about.

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Mil-Tech Bard October 22, 2009 at 10:12

>The largest playergroup in SW-Galaxies on-line,
>is reportedly 25-50 years old…
>Thought you´d like to know..:)

Color me unsurprised.

The high end of the gaming range you published were multiple first run viewing young men when the original Star War movie came out.

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Mil-Tech Bard October 22, 2009 at 10:22

Whiskey said:

>>I find it questionable with high divorce rates and later marriage
>>rates, that somehow men in their twenties, thirties, forties, and
>>beyond who are not living with women are making female-
>>influenced purchases. These are all trends well reported (later
>>marriages, higher divorce rates) that tend to produce men alone.
>>Yet the myth of 1950’s America in terms of consumer behavior
>>persists.

The myth persists because current major corporate marketing departments and advertising firms are filled with people who don’t know how to market to white straight men, who know it, and cannot admit to the fact for career reasons.

Only the military services have a good idea of where young men are and how to market to them.

The USMC does this the best of the US military services because it is the roughest toughest tribe/street gang/military service going, just ask their recruiters.

See this article over at strategypage.com:

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htamph/articles/20091022.aspx

Why The USMC Does It Better
October 22, 2009: The U.S. Marines have a macho reputation. And they like it that way. One member of the Clinton administration described the marines as “extremists.” Privately, many marines took that as an unintended compliment. Potential recruits see the marines the same way, a bunch of tough, lethal, disciplined troops with impressive uniforms. And since most of the potential recruits for any branch of the military are teenagers, the marines have a natural appeal. If you need any convincing, just take note of the kinds of music and movies teenagers like, and the fact that the marines have the least trouble meeting their recruiting goals. Further proof can be found by attending the recruiting presentations regularly held in many high schools. Each of the services gets up and makes their pitch. The army, air force and navy rattle off all the goodies they offer, like travel to foreign countries, money for college, career training. Many of the students nod off. Then the marine sergeant gets up and shows a short video of tough looking teenage marines storming beaches, jumping out of armored vehicles and helicopters and generally behaving like natural born killers. The sergeant then tells the kids that the marines can only promise them challenges. Not everyone can be a marine and he only wants to recruit those who are up to it. The students are fully awake through all this, and the marines generally end up with more recruits than anyone else. Recruiters from the other services mutter about how they would do better if they had a more impressive looking uniform.

The marines have another advantage. Just about all marines have combat jobs. The navy provides most of the support troops. Put another way, it’s as if the army rangers or paratroopers had their own recruiters. Their pitch would be very similar to the marines, and would get similar results. That idea has been tossed around in the other services, but no one has taken the plunge yet. Yet it’s an old idea. For thousands of years, individual military units went out looking for recruits. The idea of one recruiting organization for everyone is relatively new. In the past, each regiment or ship had its own small recruiting staff, and the new guys were generally taken from the same area. This was a big help for unit cohesion, which is today called “team building.” Commanders have known for thousands of years that, in the thick of combat, the principle motivation is men fighting for each other, for their friends and “team mates.” Military, and civilian organizations, strive to build this unit cohesion. Few military organizations, or companies, pull it off. Except for the marines.

What the marines have done is part show biz and part common sense. Everyone notices the snappy dress uniforms and military bearing of marines. There’s also that cocky attitude. And career marines are expected scowl at the camera when official photos are taken. All that is the show biz. The common sense angle is the marine’s emphasis, in their training and indoctrination, on their main job; ground combat. Get ready for that and you get fewer marines killed when you get into a fight. Even though the navy supplies many of the support functions, many marines are not in combat jobs. Yet it’s a tradition that “every marine is a rifleman.” Non-combat marines spend part of each year refreshing their infantry skills. The older NCOs repeat the stories of how, in the past, marine cooks and clerks were thrown into the line when the situation got desperate. And the marines relish a desperate situation. They have favorite maxims like, “there’s no such thing as being surrounded, but there are times when you can attack in any direction.”

But soldiering has changed for most of the other troops in the world. It’s fashionable to play down grim and costly ground combat in favor of precision weapons and push button warfare. For this reason, the marines are seen as a bunch of roughneck throwbacks. Yet, even today, in any of the two dozen wars being fought around the world, the troops who are the most successful are the ones that operate most like the marines. What the marines are may not be fashionable, but when you have to get close to the enemy, what they do works.

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kimmer October 22, 2009 at 11:22

Thanks Barba.

And Deansdale, check the hypocrisy. When you say,

“MUST everything appeal to you? If you don’t like something it must be ‘fixed’?
It’s not to your liking? Get over it. Watch something else. The universe does NOT revolve around you. ”

this applies to you too. If you don’t like a story because it includes strong female characters, you too can watch or read something else. It seems that this entire article and most of the comments revolve around how women shouldn’t change the genre just because they don’t like it. But they’re part of this too. The writers are artists just like male authors, and as long as people buy their books (and of course, no one is forcing you to), they will continue to be published.

Also, Whiskey, I must object to your statement that”Lessing herself writes in the manner of a male writer.” Lessing doesn’t write “like a male writer”. She writes like herself, a woman, and just because you finally approve of ONE female writer does not mean you have the right to commandeer her work, as though all positive qualities belong to men alone and women who exhibit them are acting “like men”. They are, as always, acting like women, just not in ways that men have defined as “feminine.” These definitions, as always, are not based on “nature” but on culture, and maybe you should examine them further before blaming women for the fall of science fiction.

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clarence October 22, 2009 at 11:41

kimmer:

Thats one hell of a simplification of the biology/socialization debate you’ve got going on there. I’d say it’s probably accurate to say that men tend to write one way, women another -when group aggregates are carried out, there always being exceptions – and that it’s mostly due to a difference in how language is processed in the brain from male to female, and that THIS difference is mostly based on levels of hormones which vary among the population of men and women. So , no, I’m afraid it’s not all or even mostly socialization, and my opinion on this is just as valid as yours.

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Deansdale October 22, 2009 at 13:13

“And Deansdale, check the hypocrisy.”
In theory you are right. Problem is, feminized sci-fi and fantasy take over, leaving no space for masculinity. Perfect examples are Star Trek and BSG. They were masculine and now are feminine. If the PC crowd succeeds the Stargate franchise will sink as well.
So, it’s nice of you to tell me that I can watch other things, but feminists took away what I was watching and now there’s almost nothing left for me.
Name just one sci-fi show (running now or in the last 5 years) which is not feminised, not PC and does not push LGBT bullshit in my face. For every one you name – though I doubt there is any – I can name 5 which are feminist wet dreams.
If there was some kind of equilibrium, if men had their shows like women HAVE theirs, there would be no problem whatsoever.
But this means that feminists and PC fascists must leave some masculine shows alone. For example take their hands (and eyes) off of Stargate. Leave something for the men to enjoy too.

To summarize all this: masculinity nowadays is considered to be not PC so it is taken off the screen and it is replaced by femininity. The PC crowd forces their bullshit down our throats and try to shame anyone who says “no, thank you”. We men want nothing more then traditional masculinity in our entertainment.

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Stratomunchkin October 22, 2009 at 15:19

Considering what we know about James Cameron’s recent brainchild I’d say it’s safe to claim that we are talking about an ongoing trend here, Deansdale.

Take that summary, for example.

“…the Na’vi represent something that is our higher selves, or our aspirational selves, what we would like to think we are,” and “the humans in the film, even though there are some good ones salted in, represent what we know to be the parts of ourselves that are trashing our world and maybe condemning ourselves to a grim future.”

Or this one.

Humans have turned Earth into a wasteland and, in their pursuit of a precious superconductor called Unobtanium, are beginning to do the same to Pandora. Jake, through his avatar, falls in love with a Na’vi princess, who teaches him to live in harmony with nature, and then he leads her people in an insurrection against the colonists. “Of course, the whole movie ends up being about women, how guys relate to their lovers, mothers—there’s a large female presence,” Cameron said.

Preachy environmentalism? Check. Cultural relativism? Check. Hardly hidden anti-western socio-political commentary? You betcha. Feminism-laced new age crap? Aye.

Jake finds himself caught between the military-industrial forces of Earth, and the Na’vi. The Na’vi live in harmony with their unspoiled world. As humans encroach deeper into Pandora’s forests in search of valuable minerals, the Na’vi unleash their formidable warrior abilities to defend their threatened existence.

Military-industrial complex? Check. Noble savage? Check.

So we are actually supposed to believe that, for those who have seen the trailer, we can travel to Alpha Centauri, but can’t get a guy out of a wheelchair. And that a 22nd century’s military MO will look almost like that of the US in Vietnam, with open-side gunships (in a toxic atmosphere!). And that stone age tribes can pose a credible threat to them.

And that from a guy who gave us Terminator and Aliens. What a shame, and waste of 230 millions.

I guess my main subjective objection to the movie boils down to that I find the idea of identifying with ten foot tall furry aliens who are in the way of vital ressources that mankind needs to survive preposterous and disturbing. I find that unreasonable, and un(hu)manly.

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Foxfier October 22, 2009 at 19:22

Thats one hell of a simplification of the biology/socialization debate you’ve got going on there. I’d say it’s probably accurate to say that men tend to write one way, women another -when group aggregates are carried out, there always being exceptions – and that it’s mostly due to a difference in how language is processed in the brain from male to female, and that THIS difference is mostly based on levels of hormones which vary among the population of men and women. So , no, I’m afraid it’s not all or even mostly socialization, and my opinion on this is just as valid as yours.

Given the disastrous results of boys (best know example: David Reimer) who, by various mistakes, were maimed and then raised “as girls”– I’d say your view actually has more backing. (related, very long, post here)

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Red Comet October 22, 2009 at 21:05

I’ve noticed the annoying trend in sci-fi and fantasy literature aimed at women lately to not only be solely about the romance, but not even about well-written romance or characters. This is a far cry from older female-written sci-fi like LeGuin or Atwood.

But I’d like your opinion on this: I noticed you mentioned in your article that you bemoan that (for the most part) the only thing being targeted at men lately is mindless summer action flicks. And yet, so many men in this thread seem to think that’s the highest form of film. So I’d like to ask the following question. Is mindless romance garbage any worse than mindless action garbage? Both focus on the lowest-common denominator. Both portray members of the opposite sex of the viewers as nothing but personality-less eye candy blow-up dolls for the viewer to project onto.

Now there is good characterization/inter-personal relationships, and there is good action. But it sometimes seems as if both genres are sorely lacking something and that it is potentially harmful to segregate them both fully.

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Red Comet October 22, 2009 at 21:06

I’d also like to point out that if it alienates some male viewers to see things solely targeted at women it certainly alienates some female viewers to see things solely targeted at men. It seems a middle ground approach would be the best here.

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afewpoints October 23, 2009 at 00:51

As a woman who is neither a femi-nazi nor a pushover, I’m frustrated by both the tone of this article and the tone of many of the comments.

For the record, most women with any brains at all think Twilight is quite possibly the worst writing to have ever occurred on this planet. A huge Mormon idealist wet-dream for all of those pathetic females out there who have the idiotic desire to pretend to be kick ass and really be a great big wuss at the same time. (My hatred of Twilight knows no bounds.)
While I don’t agree that women are specifically to blame for the changes in science fiction, I do believe that now most of it isn’t much good. I no longer read or watch new science fiction. I like the old stuff because it’s not a bunch of badly written crap that some ad exec thinks will make a shitload of money. I’m a die-hard Isaac Asimov fan and I know plenty of other women who are. I’d take the Foundation series over any other books, ever. Not because I think only male writing takes on the “big ideas”, but because the Foundation books are more well-written than most other things.
I do believe that men’s concerns are often pushed to the side in this time period, but so are women’s. It simply depends on what genre or field you are looking at.
In the future, if you want to write an article about this topic, you should try to be more careful not to sound so “Oh poor pitiful men, we don’t get anything we want anymore!” It comes off less like the point of view of an intelligent person and more like that person wishing that women would “go back to the kitchen and/or only speak when spoken to”. I get that always being PC doesn’t really get you where you want to go, but stereotyping women in the same ways you are accusing them of stereotyping you is really an exercise in futility. There isn’t a single man or woman who is exactly the same as any other man or woman. Falling into that belief makes both your arguments and your conclusions fall below the level of intelligence I am certain you are capable of.

@ Goldman – Saying that women are brain-dead just isn’t necessary to the discussion.

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Deansdale October 23, 2009 at 02:55

Red Comet October 22, 2009 at 9:06 pm
“if it alienates some male viewers to see things solely targeted at women it certainly alienates some female viewers to see things solely targeted at men. It seems a middle ground approach would be the best here.”
I think it’s a horrible idea :) The main problem with this is that it’s extremely hard to pull it off. 99% of tries go horribly wrong for a number of reasons:
1. If you cut off the rough edges, the movie will be boring. If people think of this as a compromise where we decrease masculine features to please women and decrease feminized features to please men it won’t work.
2. In today’s climate the “middle” means feminized. For people who can’t understand what is wrong with turning Starbuck from a man into a woman, the “middle” is even farther to feminized territory then what we are at now.
3. Actually there is no “middle ground”. An analogous example from Bill Maher: There are no “mutual sexual fantasies”. Your’s bore us, our’s offend you.
The only way it would work is to put strong masculinity and strong femininity together. Firefly actually did this and was mostly brilliant. (Apart from some feminist drivel in one or two episodes.)

As an eastern-european “outsider” I must say that a lot of you people in the anglosphere simply do not understand the difference between a theoretical debate and a personal argument. Anyone who is “offended” by some emotionless theory about what is happening in hollywood has some serious self-absorption issues. Well, actually this is no news.
By adopting Mao’s communist words (the personal is the political) feminists destroyed the possibility of civil, constructive conversations almost completely. Nowadays EVERY topic devolves into a heated argument full of personal attacks and shaming language.
Another interesting mental defect of most of the feminized side of this argument is that they cannot see the differnce between “more femininity” and “less masculinity”. Of course you can say that 40 years ago feminine entertainment was scarce. You might be right. Our problem is NOT that now there’s more feminine entertainment. Nobody wants to take that away from women. Our problem is that masculine entertainment is disappearing.
You see the difference is that we don’t want to “masculinize” female shows. We just want ours to stay the way we like them. But feminists/PC idiots on the other hand find tooth and nail to feminize EVERYTHING.
Since we talk about entertainment here, let’s clear one more thing: We’re not “afraid” of today’s feminist/PC/LGBT kind of femininity, we just don’t find it ENTERTAINING. I don’t know if everyone can understand that since the very purpose of entertainment is being entertaining you cannot force us to enjoy what we don’t. And saying that I don’t find the new Starbuck entertaining because I’m [insert any shaming language] would be downright retarded.

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Deansdale October 23, 2009 at 03:02

“find tooth and nail”
it’s fight ofcourse

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Foxfier October 23, 2009 at 12:32

For the record, most women with any brains at all think Twilight is quite possibly the worst writing to have ever occurred on this planet.

Two points:
1) I know quite a few women who will point out that Twilight is poorly written and, they’ll inform you, “utter drek”– but they like it. If you measure the quality of writing by how well it fulfills its purpose, then Twilight– which was written to entertain, and aimed at a female audience hungry for something hard to define– it’s very, very good writing.

2) I’m greatly amused that you feel the need to insult folks who don’t agree with you, then close out by telling someone else their insult “isn’t necessary.”

(And this is from someone whose only enjoyment of “Twilight” comes in this or this form.)

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HumanVariant October 28, 2009 at 13:35

I really think Red Comet is right.

It’s not about pandering to one gender or the other, it’s about pandering to the lowest common denominator. It’s the watering-down force of advertising money rather than the shrill screams of the fem-nazis that have done the most damage IMO.

I can just imagine the team assigned to Star Trek TNG discussing how to make it more appealing to a “larger demographic”, and that is the problem. Make the show what it is, and you’ll build a more loyal fanbase. The problem is that the excecs don’t seem to think like that. They want a “bigger” audience, not a more satisfied one. If you can make something “sorta” satisfying to a bunch of people, it’s better in their minds than making something that’s freaking amazing to a more limited demographic.

After all, the feminists hate Twilight too. I’ve read at least one scathing review by a feminist, but sadly cannot find the link… The folks in charge of merchandising on the other hand love it, because they can sell it to a large group of people.

As for the “reading is gay” issue, to me that seems to have come about before the great influx of tween-female-oriented books. Be honest now, reading has never really been considered a “macho” activity. Yes, some of the young men have been led away from books by video games, but I don’t think that’s the central cause.

I don’t really think publishing more “masculine” books will help either. Even if there were *nothing* new coming out for young males (which is not the case), there are still tons of books already published which are of a “masculine” bent that they could enjoy. But they don’t, for whatever reason. So they don’t buy books, and the publishing machine turns more towards demographics that do buy books. “Reading is gay” seems to me to be more of a cause than a symptom.

Despite being female, I’m not as offended by your article as I could have been, because you’re not talking about *me*. You’re talking about those women’s-magazine-reading, sparkly-vampire-loving ditzy, dull girly-girls, and I am none of that. There are many other women who also don’t fit the stereotype.

While I understand stereotypes are there for a reason, I’m still slightly annoyed at the implication that *all* women are like this or that. I’m sure some of the men posting here would be offended if I implied that all men were macho muscleheads who didn’t read and instead would rather play video games or sports…

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Amber October 31, 2009 at 06:44

I hate Twilight and the softcore porn that passes for women’s lit and even young adult women’s sci fi nowadays. But all kinds of sci-fi appeals to me, not only the “traditional male” stuff like Asimov and Bradbury and Gibson, but also stuff with females who kick ass.

I think “feminazation” was a poor choice of words; it implies that sci-fi is being taken over by man-hating harridans, when really the author complains about it being “pussified” (my word, not his) into dreamy domestic fantasy.

Really, though, there’s a place for all of it, and if some is getting crowded out, it will have a resurgence I’m sure. Honestly, I don’t go to Borders for DVDs or music anyway, and I love YA so I’m glad it’s getting an expanded section.

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PaulDeReno October 31, 2009 at 18:13

TV is female oriented because it depends on advertising for revenue and advertising is only effective on women and really stupid men who think drinking piss-flavored beer will get them laid. Movies depend on direct cash outlays. Also, TV is often a solitary affair while movies are social. Ergo, a movie that alienates half its audience will lose AT LEAST half its sales because a male and female will compromise and see something they can both enjoy RATHER than girl-porn (similar to how couples do not go out to see Jenna Jameson movies). A TV show that alienates males, however, will only gross about 12% less (say) than a movie with universal appeal, because the guys wouldn’t have bought all that crap anyway and the ad-space would still be expensive. Combine this with the fact that the female response to girl-porn is much more predictable (and thus much less risk-intensive) than the response of the general population to legitimate “pop-art” and its only natural for networks to turn to Twilight et. al. (This is similar to the way a Jenna Jameson film will gross less than most legit television, but do so more predictably, so that a competent producer can count on not losing money, which in the mind of an intensely risk-averse corporate media climate, is paramount.

Whiskey, work on your grammar. Your media-crit is good–though getting kind of johnny one-note, but you’ll never get anywhere with your tortured constructions. I say this because since your impeccably Neo-Conservative foreign-policy views might get you scooped up by the conspiracy just yet!

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not fooled November 3, 2009 at 15:43

interesting article. did you bother fact-checking beforehand? for the record, in the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, after Spike ALMOST RAPED Buffy (you were wrong), the rape (which didn’t happen because Buffy stopped him) did not cause “Buffy to only love him more, and have (later) off-screen implied sex.” after this event in the show, Spike disappears for half a season (without Buffy, to be clear, because they don’t have sex after this point in the plot, though you probably aren’t interested, because you were using the lie to assert a sick point.)

is this the “dark side of female sexuality” you were talking about? that women, in fact, love rape and the men that do it to them? and you are using false citations to make this thinly veiled point? because when they say no, they probably mean yes, and if they fight back (as in this case) they don’t mean it, and if you do it to your girlfriend or that woman you’ve been harassing at work, she’ll only love you for it, because that’s how women work.

your sexism is showing.

interestingly, you use buffy as an example of what can go wrong when girls have physical strength matching that of men, citing as a con of this situation being that “they’d seek out the most physically powerful men around, questions of character, decency, compassion, and everything else being irrelevant to that lust driven feeling that danger and domination creates (and their new-found powers allow them to exploit).” yeah, that’s obviously the case. because that’s how women choose mates, by how much the guy can bench-press. it’s only because we’re physically weaker that we are attracted to intelligence, compassion, or humor. (i won’t address how wrong your synopsis of the men buffy dated was, because by now i realize you haven’t seen the show) you: “if women were physically stronger, they might choose really strong men! oh no!” when interestingly, the reality is that women are physically weaker than men, which means that between 1 in 4 and 2 in 5 women will be raped in their lifetimes by Average men. also interestingly, because (fictional) buffy is stronger than an ordinary woman, she is able to fight off her attacker, unlike most rape victims. so i guess i’m not seeing the awful scariness of your “hypergamy.” at least women would be safer from sexists who think women like rape and don’t listen to no.

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Kimmer November 3, 2009 at 16:34

Taylor, I agree with you, and your points. I’m glad you’re here, and glad that you are willing to argue against false images of women in spite of the shrill and often violent arguments.

Reinholt, disagreeing with a girl does not give you the right to shame and silence her, on the internet or in real life (maybe you never learned this?). Also, perhaps our definitions of rationality are different, but at least Taylor offers intelligently thought-out points instead of shutting up other views.

Globalman, you are really articulate when it comes to trying to shame women. Good for you. I’m sure that’s really useful in your life as a lonely, bitter women-hater. “If you won’t be polite, you just give is more evidence of how intellectually handicapped you are and what children you are.” Because obviously, in your view, the sign of good manners is that you allow the people that openly hate you say whatever they like without any pesky objections. I, however, disagree. I think that a rational, well-articulated argument against your blatant misogyny does not show a woman to be “intellectually handicapped” at all, but an autonomous individual who is unwilling to be intimidated by your violent language and irrational hatred. You seem to have an average level of intelligence. Maybe you could consider reading some history. You could learn about the institutions (religious, social, legal) that have been in place for thousands of years barring women from any pursuits outside of their “biological function of pump out babies.” You know, for the sake of accuracy.

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Kimmer November 3, 2009 at 17:02

Also, clarence (because i didn’t notice this earlier):

“I’d say it’s probably accurate to say that men tend to write one way, women another -when group aggregates are carried out, there always being exceptions – and that it’s mostly due to a difference in how language is processed in the brain from male to female, and that THIS difference is mostly based on levels of hormones which vary among the population of men and women. So , no, I’m afraid it’s not all or even mostly socialization, and my opinion on this is just as valid as yours.”

Yeah, but are you considering socialization at all? Are you considering how much people learn during their formative years, and how FORMATIVE that learning is, about gender and expectations and abilities? Are you considering that little girls are encouraged to play with dolls and behave quietly and discouraged from more physical activities, that they are expected to behave more “delicately” and “femininely”? How do you think this guides their future learning, when they already have a framework of what is acceptable? Do you think perhaps they pay more attention to things like language because they are expected to be social, friendly, cooperative, and nurturing? And that the little boys are expected to play violent sports and engage in competitive play? Note that it is impossible to know how much of male and female character is socialization and how much is natural, because all children are socialized.

Also, if you discount female writers who write “like men” of course you will only have those others left, the ones that write “like [your definition of] women”. The fact that those “outliers” exist at all indicates that there is no biological reason behind the lines, because that would indicate Ayn Rand had a secret nobody suspected.

Also, males and females differ in how language is processed in the brain, but that is not due to the vague catch-all “hormones”, but due to the differing sizes of the language portions of the male and female brains, which could in part be due to the different emphasis placed on what is important for male and female children. http://www.empowher.com/news/herarticle/2009/08/17/language-processing-female-brain?page=0,1

Also, while your “opinion” may be as acceptable in this forum as mine, using pseudoscience to justify the different treatment of men and women is a little transparent and has been going on for hundreds of years (before that, there was religious justification). If we keep listening to The Reasons Men are Superior from those people who have the most to benefit from that falsehood, we’ll have to listen to this sexist garbage forever.

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Arbitrary November 3, 2009 at 22:31

not fooled,

As mentioned elsewhere on this site, (see http://www.the-spearhead.com/2009/11/01/womens-rape-fantasies-the-deepest-taboo/ ), the desire to be physically dominated is rated among the top four most common sexual fantasies among females. Obviously, this does not imply that it is universal. Nor does it suggest that “no” typically means anything other than “no” (or that “stop” ever means anything other than “stop”, absent an agreement upon a different safety word), or that it is ever appropriate to force another person to do anything. But it does suggest that physically strong women with such fantasies are liable to seek out physically stronger men with whom to live out those fantasies, in much the same way that most women’s preference for taller men causes them to select partners almost solely from that pool (before selecting for other characteristics), except in a handful of cases where that pool is much too vastly over-restricted.

As a side note, you should know that that “rape statistic” is vastly over-inflated; more accurate estimates are between a factor of three and a factor of 20 less than that.

Kimmer:
Violent arguments? Really? Did something we typed make your computer hit you?

…disagreeing with a girl does not give you the right to shame and silence her, on the internet or in real life…

…I’m sure that’s really useful in your life as a lonely, bitter women-hater…

I’d like to say I’m impressed by your degree of consistency, but I’ve seen worse…there were a whole 39 words in between this time.

You could learn about the institutions (religious, social, legal) that have been in place for thousands of years barring women from any pursuits outside of their “biological function of pump out babies.”

Can you tell me why these institutions of the past have more of an effect on you than they do on me? They presumably affected your mother much as they did my mother. And they affected your grandmothers just as they affected my grandmothers. And they affected your great-grandmothers just as they affected my great-grandmothers. And so on. So I should think that the institutions of the past that you refer to would have to have had roughly similar net effects on the two of us…

Finally, your insistence on the effects of formative experience ignore the fact that there are a number of studies showing that sex differences exist even at birth (amount of time spent looking at faces being statistically different, and so on), as well as the evidence that attempting to suppress those differences can be incredibly psychologically damaging (the case of David Reimer is particularly tragic, as mentioned by Foxfier above). I am not about to back an explicit claim that either gender is better than the other (knowing, as you do, that the two genders devote different amounts of space to different things, you should understand that any difference comes with advantages and disadvantages; a claim of superiority is thus a value judgment regarding which aspects are more important), but differences certainly exist, and the evidence points to them existing independent of society.

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clarence November 4, 2009 at 04:56

kimmer:

You owe me an apology. I justified nothing, except maybe in your mind, nor do I have any problem reading good science fiction by females. Not only did I praise Frankenstein in the Minsky thread, but I’ve always liked the Dragon Riders of Pern series, and I’ve noted that too.

Your misunderstandings of genetics are noted, as is your failure at basic logic: exceptions to the rule do not rule out generalities. You seem unaware of Dr. Money and his famous patient or of how many “progressive” parents have tried replacing girls toys with boys toys or vice-versa only to find that the kids started playing with them in ways stereotypical of their given sex. I wonder if you knew of either of these things? If not, I suggest some research. Obviously there’s a mixture of genes/nurture involved in how females and males on average see themselves and what interests they hold in this world.

Pretending nurture can change it to the extent that you want : perfect equality of outcomes and interests is not only stupid but probably counterproductive. I could believe that once every 1000 to ten thousand years, for instance, that the greatest all around fighter in the world could be female. I don’t believe that once in the entire lifetime of homosapiens will the strongest person in the world be biologically female. My views are nuanced. Are yours?

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not fooled November 4, 2009 at 10:14

Arbitrary,

i find it interesting that instead of commenting on Spearhead’s original offensive and incorrect idea (that buffy–a representation of Strong Women–actually grew to love her would-be-rapist after the attack and because of it, even though in the show, which Spearhead didn’t watch, she fought back, said no, cried, and was afterwards traumatized) you want to argue with me about how these statistics (which i have seen everywhere and which i find reflected among the women in my own life) are incorrect. also, nice use of quotes to imply that these aren’t “real statistics”. if you would be willing to cite your source, i would appreciate that, because i would like an opportunity to read it myself. is it possible that yours is the statistic for rape convictions rather than rapes perpetrated?

also, while i appreciate the link to spearhead’s other column (i do), i don’t think i’ll be putting a lot of faith in his study of women’s sexual fantasies, since he’s already clearly stated his opinion of women and what he thinks they enjoy. as for the idea that women intentionally select men who are strong enough to rape them because it’s a hott female fetish, if it’s Pretend, and voluntary, then even a physically weaker man would do, because they are Pretending.

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clarence November 4, 2009 at 10:35

not fooled:

Whisky is a commenter on The Spearhead who has his own blog. I suggest you take any inaccuracies up with him on this thread or on his blog, and not seek to tar all commenters on the SpearHead with the same Brush.

And no, those aren’t real statistics. To get real statistics I’d suggest you go to one of two places:

http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com/
Check the links along the right side under “Primer”.

Or better yet, go to a link on this site:
http://www.feministcritics.org/blog/2008/03/06/a-thought-experiment-on-campus-rape/

Feminist critics .org is run by people who identify as feminists (of the egalitarian variety as opposed to the dominant gynocentric variety) but are very critical of the way the movement as current run simplifies sexism in the world. A blogger there, Daran, is probably the most anal yet thorough investigator of feminist mainstream sexual victimization claims I have ever seen. Understand now that the 2 percent false accusation rate, for instance, has long been debunked. This is one site that I think the writers of the SpearHead would do well to check out as while they are critical of MRA’s, they are very good at parsing statistics and beliefs and keeping both sides of the “gender” debate honest.

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Arbitrary November 4, 2009 at 11:00

I didn’t argue with you regarding the accuracy of the original Buffy reference because I haven’t watched Buffy; I have no reasonable knowledge to determine whether the author of this post is correct or not.

Wikipedia (on its article on rape statistics) indicates that about 1 in 6 women in the US are raped, referencing specifically a study performed by Colorado State University. This figure was arrived at by looking at the number of rapes reported, then padding the number based on the statistic from the well-known 1999 study indicating that only 39% of rapes are reported. Lower statistics I have seen tend to either ignore the imputed under-reporting (usually because of problems claimed with the estimation methodology), or try to add a correction for false rape claims (not unwarranted, given that a number of studies indicate that a sizable fraction of rape claims are fraudulent–a fact that damages both the men accused, and the women who are actually raped, but no longer considered credible). Rape convictions, in turn, are vastly lower than any of the statistics mentioned here, since the usual standard for false reporting (that the imputed victim recants and no longer claims that she was raped) are so much higher than the standards for acquittal (proving that either the interaction never took place, or that there was a reasonable expectation of consent–such as video evidence showing no attempt to escape, protest, or fight back). Note that the standards for conviction for rape are already lower than they are for essentially any other violent crime.

The Spearhead is not a single person’s blog, it’s an internet publication written by several different people. The article I linked was written by a different author than the article above. The claim that being raped is among the top four fantasies reported by women was reported by another commenter as being listed in a psych textbook; I don’t know the validity of that as a source, but it does not disagree with other statistics I have seen (for example, according to “The Safest Sex” published in a 1995 issue of Psychology Today–I only have the citation in front of me–some 13% of women have fantasies involving being forced to have sex, other statistics I have seen suggest this fraction might be even higher).

Finally, pretend works a lot better when it’s believable, or else there wouldn’t be a market for fetish costumes. That’s most of why it’s a concern.

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Daran November 6, 2009 at 09:12

Clarence,

Thank you for your kind words about my blog, and about me personally*. I would correct you on one point, though. Only one of the currently active bloggers identifies as “feminist”. I do not.

*I’m not sure what to make of “anal”. :-)

And no, those aren’t real statistics. To get real statistics I’d suggest you go to one of two places:

http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com/
Check the links along the right side under “Primer”.

FRS is a fine blog, but certainly not impartial, and its list of “primers” material is a mixed bunch indeed. Generally I find the discourse around false rape accusations to be deeply problematic on both sides of the ideological divide. It is also a red herring. As far as I can see** the issue here is statistics for “rape”, not “false rape accusations”. What little we know, statistically, about the latter does not impeach “genuine” statistics about the former, which are, by and large, not derived from reported rape., but through surveys.

**I’ve only read the comments by “not fooled” and responses.

Or better yet, go to a link on this site:
http://www.feministcritics.org/blog/2008/03/06/a-thought-experiment-on-campus-rape/

A worthy post by a worthy (and regrettably a former) co-blogger. But I’d be a bit concerned about the impression it would leave if that where the only post on the subject from us a visitor saw. This post, read together with the one you linked to, will I hope indicate that our view on the subject is considerably more nuanced than perhaps either post, read in isolation, would indicated.

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Daran November 6, 2009 at 09:33

Arbitrary:

Wikipedia (on its article on rape statistics) indicates that about 1 in 6 women in the US are raped, referencing specifically a study performed by Colorado State University. This figure was arrived at by looking at the number of rapes reported, then padding the number based on the statistic from the well-known 1999 study indicating that only 39% of rapes are reported. Lower statistics I have seen tend to either ignore the imputed under-reporting (usually because of problems claimed with the estimation methodology), or try to add a correction for false rape claims (not unwarranted, given that a number of studies indicate that a sizable fraction of rape claims are fraudulent–a fact that damages both the men accused, and the women who are actually raped, but no longer considered credible).

I’m not familiar with the Colerado University Study you mention*. Your characterisation of rape surveys generally as being based upon reported rape possibly with some “correction factor” applied doesn’t match the surveys to which widely quoted statistics mostly can be traced. More commonly a sample of the population is obtained through some means or other, and the subjects are simply asked a number of questions about the specific types of assaults the researchers are interested in.

*This admission somewhat undermines Clarence’s characterisation of me as a thorough investigator of such matters.

The 1998 National Violence Against Women Survey found that one in sex women and one in 33 men had suffered a completed or attempted rape at some point in their lives. The sample was representative of adults in households in the US with telephones. A good case can be made that this survey undercounts female rape somewhat, and male rape considerably.

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Daran November 6, 2009 at 10:06

…you want to argue with me about how these statistics (which i have seen everywhere and which i find reflected among the women in my own life) are incorrect. also, nice use of quotes to imply that these aren’t “real statistics”. if you would be willing to cite your source, i would appreciate that, because i would like an opportunity to read it myself.

It’s certainly not my intent here to defend Arbirary. I would point out, though, that people have a tendency across the board to cite ‘facts’ that suit their personal agenda. Very often these facts are just taken from something they’ve read somewhere, usually without any attempt to verify them against there original sources (if, indeed, the latter can be traced at all.). These are then cited by others, stripped of context and mutating with each iteration like in the game of Telephone. The ‘fact’ (or particular version of a ‘fact’) which get the most airing are often the most sensational, which are also the ones likely to be the least reliable. (It’s very common, for example, for Mary Koss’ original “one in four” statistic to be cited as a current figure for the proportion of women who are raped, even though it was rapes + attempted rapes, applied only to college students, and is now twenty-five years old, during which time the incidence of rape has fallen dramatically.)

That you see these statistics “everywhere” tells me only that people with similar agendas are .everywhere. Also no individual’s personal circle of friends and acquaintances, (and no blog’s community of commenters) will ever be representative of the entire population.

Rather than asking Arbitrary for his source, you should cite your own.

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Daran November 6, 2009 at 10:07

…one in sex women…

Freudian slip? I meant “one in six” of course.

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Arbitrary November 6, 2009 at 10:41

It is probable that your surveys of the statistics available are more accurate than mine. I wrote the above sentence based on a citation I left for myself, based in turn on a retrieval of a wikipedia article several years ago. It is more than possible that I incorrectly recorded the origin of the associated study, that the data was presented to me in a way that I incorrectly determined the origin of the study, or that the original citation was itself inaccurate.

With regards to your final note that “A good case can be made that this survey undercounts female rape somewhat, and male rape considerably.” I am familiar with the claim that women may wish to deny actual incidents of rape out of shame. Is this the only argument you are familiar with in favor of these statistics being seen as “too low”? I ask only because such a claim fundamentally assumes that the only time women lie about being raped is when they claim that they weren’t raped; that there can be no over-reporting by people claiming to have been raped when they were not.

I am by no means an expert on these statistics, but a cursory examination of the 90,000 rapes per year reported by the FBI UCR program makes a claim such as “1/4 to 2/5 of women are raped” seem ridiculous. Given that there are around 160 million women in the US, this would indicate that around 9 out of every 16000 women are raped each year. Ignoring the incidence of women raped more than once, and taking a mean lifespan of around 80 years (both of these will cause us to overestimate the number of women raped), we would expect around 9 in 200 women to have reported being raped in their lifetimes. In order for the claim that 2/5 of women are raped to be correct, the report rate would need to be around 11%; I have never seen any statistics that might support such a claim.

That said, I understand that there are those who criticize the UCR definition of rape; I do not know to what extent such criticisms are valid.

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Daran November 6, 2009 at 12:30

It is more than possible that I incorrectly recorded the origin of the associated study, that the data was presented to me in a way that I incorrectly determined the origin of the study, or that the original citation was itself inaccurate.

That, without being a point against you specifically, is a good summary of how the internet has come to be the echo chamber of rubbish that it is.

<blockquote?With regards to your final note that “A good case can be made that this survey undercounts female rape somewhat, and male rape considerably.” I am familiar with the claim that women may wish to deny actual incidents of rape out of shame. Is this the only argument you are familiar with in favor of these statistics being seen as “too low”?

By no means. The NVAW survey was a survey of households. About 8% of the US population live in institutions of various kinds including prisons, hospitals, schools and barracks. Prisons in particular are often very violent places, so violence within these settings is likely to have been undermeasured. (Obviously some of it will have been measured because people will have moved from institutional residence to households). It was a telephone survey, but violent victimisation is known to be directly correlated with poverty, while telephone penetration exhibits an inverse correlation. The questions were framed as pertaining to “personal safety”, which generally results in a lower response rate than an incident based focus, but a higher rate than if the framing is “crime”. (The argument here is that subjects who do not conceptualise what happened to them as a crime, or do not feel personally unsafe, may be insufficiently cued to recall the incident at all, even though it meets the definition of acts that the researchers want to measure.) Finally the operative definition of rape is problematic in that it excludes a great many acts in which the victim is male or the perpetrator is female, where analogous acts perpetrated by men against women are counted.

I ask only because such a claim fundamentally assumes that the only time women lie about being raped is when they claim that they weren’t raped; that there can be no over-reporting by people claiming to have been raped when they were not.

It is not clear what you mean by the “assum[ption] that … women like about being raped … when they claim that they weren’t”. The surveys make no such assumption.

The question of whether survey subjects who answer affirmatively are lying is quite a difficult one, and also one that I’ve never seen adequately addressed in the scholarly literature. The problem, though is isn’t limited to surveys of rape against women, which is why it’s so strange that the question it’s only ever asked about women in rape surveys. Those who ask it never seem to have the same worry about surveys which show high levels of domestic violence against men, for example.

I am by no means an expert on these statistics, but a cursory examination of the 90,000 rapes per year reported by the FBI UCR program makes a claim such as “1/4 to 2/5 of women are raped” seem ridiculous. Given that there are around 160 million women in the US, this would indicate that around 9 out of every 16000 women are raped each year. Ignoring the incidence of women raped more than once, and taking a mean lifespan of around 80 years (both of these will cause us to overestimate the number of women raped), we would expect around 9 in 200 women to have reported being raped in their lifetimes. In order for the claim that 2/5 of women are raped to be correct, the report rate would need to be around 11%; I have never seen any statistics that might support such a claim.

This appears to be an argument from personal incredulity. If measures of rape on the one hand, and reported rape on the othr indicate that only 11% of rapes are reported, then the fact that you might think this implausibly low is not an argument against the measure of rape.

That said, I understand that there are those who criticize the UCR definition of rape; I do not know to what extent such criticisms are valid.

Well, for a start the UCR defines rape as the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Which antiquated wording as far as I can tell means penis-in-vagina only. Surveys, including the NVAW include other acts such as forced oral and anal intercourse and oral and anal penetration with finger or object.

It is also a questionable assumption that the FBI UCR accurately records reported forceable PiV rape. Police departments might not follow the FBI’s guidelines when submitting their reports, and there are any number of incidents of Police Departments massaging their figures internally subject to various political pressures.

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Daran November 6, 2009 at 12:34

Me:

telephone penetration exhibits an inverse correlation.

Should have said “Telephone penetration exhibited an inverse correlation back in 1998 when the survey was undertaken. Today, mobile phones have replaced landlines in many households and it is not clear whether this correlation still applies.

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Arbitrary November 6, 2009 at 13:37

It is not clear what you mean by the “assum[ption] that … women like about being raped … when they claim that they weren’t”. The surveys make no such assumption.

I wasn’t trying to say that the surveys made that assumption. I was saying that the claim that under-reporting occurs due to a desire to cover the truth out of shame makes that assumption. The other reasons you have supplied to suggest under-reporting are much more reasonable.

This appears to be an argument from personal incredulity. If measures of rape on the one hand, and reported rape on the othr indicate that only 11% of rapes are reported, then the fact that you might think this implausibly low is not an argument against the measure of rape.

I am not merely personally incredulous. This result is actively inconsistent with other estimates of the reporting rate, that I have seen (usually suggesting that the reporting rate is around 35 to 40%). My effort in couching my language in the way that I did was to allow for the possibility that studies backing this estimate of rate of under-reporting exist, and I merely haven’t seen them.

Well, for a start the UCR defines rape as the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Which antiquated wording as far as I can tell means penis-in-vagina only. Surveys, including the NVAW include other acts such as forced oral and anal intercourse and oral and anal penetration with finger or object.

It is also a questionable assumption that the FBI UCR accurately records reported forceable PiV rape. Police departments might not follow the FBI’s guidelines when submitting their reports, and there are any number of incidents of Police Departments massaging their figures internally subject to various political pressures.

I was aware of the wording provided by the FBI definition (it comes from the original common law meaning of rape), but I have no sense of the practical matter of what events are actually included or excluded in this reporting. It seems likely that standards are applied unevenly, given the apparent lack of a more specific explanation (certainly I found none) along with your suggestion of political pressures within police departments. Similar state definitions (such as the one used by Missouri) tend to agree with your assessment, which could account for the discrepancy I noted; but that would require that more than half of reported rapes not involve coitus or attempted coitus (arrived at by crunching the numbers in the opposite direction, and assuming the approximate 40% report rate I have seen attributed to the Bureau of Justice Statistics; for 2/5 of women to be raped in their lifetime, this would suggest 320,000 reported incidents of female victim rape per year, for 1/4 this suggests only 200,000 such incidents). This, if it is true, would be an interesting and notable trend in and of itself; I have no statistics that would directly contradict it, as I know of no study of the relative frequency of different sex acts in cases of rape.

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Daran November 7, 2009 at 20:36

I was saying that the claim that under-reporting occurs due to a desire to cover the truth out of shame makes that assumption.

Surveys which may be undertaken in the presence of other family members risk both under- and overcounting. The National Crime Victimisation Survey suffers from this flaw IIRC.

The other reasons you have supplied to suggest under-reporting are much more reasonable.

One other: The survey chose residential telephone numbers at random, then selected a adult subject from the household called. This results in a sample biased toward small household. Clearly there is less scope for domestic violence including rape in small households, particularly households in which there is only a single adult.

I am not merely personally incredulous. This result is actively inconsistent with other estimates of the reporting rate, that I have seen (usually suggesting that the reporting rate is around 35 to 40%). My effort in couching my language in the way that I did was to allow for the possibility that studies backing this estimate of rate of under-reporting exist, and I merely haven’t seen them.

Obviously I can’t account for every study which finds a reporting rate in this range. One that comes close is the NCVS which, in 2007 (for example) recorded 248,300 rapes/sexual assaults of which 42% were reported, which comes to an estimated 104,300 reports. This compares with 90,427 forcible rapes (including attempts) recorded in the UCR for the same year. That’s certainly a discrepancy, but it’s not many times over. One would need to dig into the NCVS a bit more to be certain of precisely what that 248,300 refers to, but at least we know that the survey was administered uniformly, a criterion unlikely to apply to the many different police departments which submit returns to the UCR. Given this, and the general opaqueness that characterises the latter, I would be more inclined to suspect that the UCR was undercounting actual reports to the police than that the NCVS was overcounting.

The NCVS is framed as a “crime” survey, which, as I said above tends to result in lower figures than survey which frame the subject in terms of (for example) “personal safety”. In a “crime” survey, subjects are likely to be cued to recall or report only those incidents that they personally conceptualised as a crime. This subset is likely to include most incidents which were reported to the police, but may not include many other incidents not so conceptualised. Also the act of reporting may serve to make reported incidents more memorable. For these reasons I would argue that the NCVS tends to undermeasure the number of incidents, while more or less accurately measure the number of police reports, leading to a overstated figure for the reporting rate.

Generally, to use reporting rate figures obtained using one methodology to question overall rates obtained by a different methodogy begs the question of which methodology gives the most accurate findings.

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Arbitrary November 8, 2009 at 20:05

I do not agree with your characterization of my argument as begging the question; there is no circularity of argument. Three statistics were presented:
1) Between 1/4 and 2/5 of women are raped in their lifetimes.
2) Approximately 90,000 forcible rapes or attempted forcible rapes are reported each year.
3) Approximately 35-40% of instances of rape are reported.

These, together with the life expectancy among women of about 80 years (and the female population of the US of approximately 160 million), are mutually inconsistent; at least one must be wrong, or at least refer to a different phenomenon. We have discussed the possibility of forcible rape referring to a different phenomenon then the other two statistics. You are correct to note that differing methodology for determining the fraction of rape cases reported could equally result in this mismatch–which is why I initially phrased my argument as a search for any study to support the reporting rate implied by the other two statistics.

The entire point is moot, however, as you have supplied me with precisely what I lacked in order to make this argument in a more coherent manner–a single statistic containing both a number of incidents reported and a reporting rate. Using the NCVS data you have provided, assuming that 2007 was a typical year, one would expect about 1 in 8 women to be raped or sexually assaulted in their lifetimes (using calculations similar to before). This answer is statistically significantly different from the claim that 1 in 4 women are raped or sexually assaulted (let alone 2 in 5)–a conclusion arrived at by propagating the uncertainty in the original number to the final fraction of 0.12415 of women experiencing a rape or sexual assault. Either these two statistics are referring to events that are different in kind, or else one of them is wrong (with essentially absolute certainty; they differ by more than 10 sigma).

Full disclosure: one interpretation that would maintain the validity of both statistics would be if 2007 (and 2006, and 2005, as I looked at the data for those years as well) had an atypically low number of rapes occur in it. Another such interpretation would be if the number of rapes per year per person had drastically decreased over the past few decades (I don’t have the time right now to go looking for archival statistics that would, I expect, contradict this). Further, the possibility of under-reporting due to any or all of the reasons you have described allows for some questioning into the validity of the preceding analysis. In order to support the claim that 1 in 4 women are raped, however, these data would need to represent under-reporting (that is, under-reporting to this survey, not to the police) by a factor of two (or slightly less). Absent any further data, I have no means of determining if this degree of under-reporting is correct, too high, or too low.

By contrast, the claim that 1 in 6 women is raped is about 3.66 sigma too high, but this gap is easily bridged by a small further degree of under-reporting, together with roundoff error (the value of 1 in 6.5 women is too high by about 2.55 sigma).

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KissWithAFist November 23, 2009 at 05:57

“Some of the literature of these genres are very good” good god you can’t even grammatise properly.

Did I mention you’re a closed-minded homophobe and sexist? No?

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Heaven November 23, 2009 at 17:07

I’m writing a sci-fi for NaNoWriMo. My main character is a man, and nearly the entire damn book is focused on action. I’ve had to make myself go back and elaborate a little on the inner workings of my character’s minds and relationships because I was so caught up in writing about the good stuff.

There are plenty of men and women out there who will read and write the kind of sci-fi you like. Some people are changing the genre to suit them. I don’t think there’s too much to worry about, even if ‘good sci-fi’ becomes more rare than the ‘crap’. Sci-fi isn’t going to die.

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Nadine December 1, 2009 at 15:09

Thank you for this. It’s so refreshing to hear a different point of view other than mainstream feminism.

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The Fifth Horseman December 1, 2009 at 15:26

PMAFT :

This will be of interest to you :

http://www.popsci.com/technology/gallery/2009-11/gallery-robots-can-do-everything-you

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Crash Drive December 28, 2009 at 18:41

What I think everyone is missing is what is really going on. And that is that the publishers want all books to sell like romances. Because that’s what these books really are. I’m sure you will find all the women buying these books in the scifi section are first checking the romances first. The romance genre is the ideal sales model and I’m sure that the masters are demanding of the sales slaves that the other genres also have the same sale figures as the romances have. The easiest way to do this is to add these romances to a genre like scifi and then when the numbers come in they start asking for more just like it because it sells. This starts the process of romances pushing out the real scifi and fantasy.

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Lovekraft August 28, 2010 at 11:20

Confused. Conan stories by Haggard?

You mean by Robert E. Howard.

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Frank September 14, 2011 at 01:31

What really makes me laugh is the teleologic view of history held by people like “tehpoohngnyun”. He really thinks that there is some inevitable wave of progress toward his utopian society where the evils of “heteronormativity” (i.e recognizing that when 95% of the population can be defined as “x”, “x” can be rightfully labeled a state of normality) have been obliterated.

Yer way wrong, buddy. The shit-pendulum is swinging hard back in the other direction. Castrated faggots such as “tehpoohngnyun” will surely get the worst of it, when reality comes along and smashes their idols (dunno why they need fiction when they are living it).

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GKChesterton April 25, 2012 at 16:49

First time I’ve read this. Wonderful stuff. Though I am concerned that self-publishing will result in a temporary “ghettoizing” of male writing. Women benefit greatly from reading men.

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