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The Other Side of the Issue

All issues have at least two sides.  Now that people are reading, I think it is time to present the other side of the argument (found here) in a fair and un-biased light.

The article I linked to discusses the shift from TV sf several decades ago, and TV sf today.  One of its main points is that there is now a lot more focus on human relationships in tv sf–as opposed to action, adventure and fancy technobabble.  This is somewhat true.  However, there has never been a strong focus on hard sf in television.  Instead of good ol’ boy space westerns, we have now shifted to “gritty, realistic, human-centered” space opera.  It really puts the “opera” into “space opera” folks. 

BSG has often been criticized as beng just a soap opera in space.  But then, old guard TV sf was just westerns in space, so the idea that female influence on the genre has lead to the end of hard sf on television is a bit misguided.  There has been a decrease in the space western, but the hard sf was barely there in the first place.  And truthfully, BSG had a very large male audience, so one cannot argue that men (and boys) don’t watch tv sf anymore.

The other cotention was that young men will not have the inspiration to go into the scientific fields that they once got from TV sf.  I’d like to propose that sci-fi readers are in fact more likely to enter the hard sciences, and so this point doesn’t hold much water.  Following my proposition also invalidates the Minsky quote, which–to be fair–the author  of the article never claimed was in response to television sf.  But he very quickly went on to apply it thusly, and so he gets very few points for his “honesty”.

Overall, I agree there has been a shift in tv sf.  No denying that.  But I don’t agree that tv sf was ever really a quality influence on young men, as the Spearhead article claims.  Just read the angsty rant by Benedict that they endorsed so bluntly.  No offense to you Trekkies (or Trekkers, whatever) out there.  I loved Star Trek, and Star Wars, and the original Battlestar Galactica as much as anyone.  But I’m not going to stand here and claim it is in any way equivalent to high-brow literature–or television.

I am not interested in addressing the claims and/or evidence of sexism or differences between men and women.  It is an interesting subject, yes.  But I do not believe such a conversation will be productive right now, nor is it in line with the focus of my blog.  I picked up on this because it dealt with a shift in a genre I care very much about, and because it’s always good to have a reasoned discussion on themes in literature.  I am not interested in enabling the exchange of tirades and trolling between two sides I find unlikely to reach an agreement or compromise at the current time.

 

The earlier post may be found here.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on October 14, 2009 in atsiko, Fantasy/Sci-fi, Gender Issues, Ideas, Themes

 

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Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

Well, at least according to this article over at the Spearhead, some blog about guys and how society’s makin’ ‘em all into gays.  I guess.

Now, this isn’t really news, as there have already been at least eight wonderful rebuttals across the blogosphere, and some good ole sarcasm.  And, normally, I don’t rant; and I don’t rave; and I don’t discuss sex, sexism, and the American Way.  But this article just ticked me off so much–as did another article it linked to on Big Hollywood.  So, I’m ignoring my usual policy of posting once every two or three days, so that I can indulge in my completely objective, righteous indignation.

Women are ruining science fiction?  Like that old  hag Ursula K. Leguin, right?  Right…  If you say so.

That’s the biggest load of bull I’ve ever heard.  As if men could only enjoy hard sf, and women are only interested in soap operas in space.  Because women have never contributed to science.  And real men don’t watch soap operas.  Or read paranormal romance… or fantasy…or write space opera.  Gotcha Mr. Pro-male/Anti-feminist Tech.  Maybe at least attempt to conceal your bias.  Well, I guess you get points for honesty.

Now, I’m not getting into the BSG debate.  I don’t need that.  I’ve watched both shows, and enjoyed both shows, though I like the new one a little better, or at least, I liked it better for the first few seasons.  I suppose this makes me a Fem-nazi from Venus.  Oh well.  Better than being a Misogynist from Mars.

ETA:  A response to this article has inadvertantly revealed the true feminist agenda.  Click here to find out!

Also, thanks to Whatever and Smart Bitches for pointing this article out to me. 

ETA:  More great responses:

Geek Feminism Blog

http://eumelia.livejournal.com/441106.html

SF Signal

http://mostcuriousthing.com/blog/2009/10/14/geek-rage-a-short-note-on-the-war-on-science-fiction-and-marvin-minsky/

And here, we have how not to respond to an article that is half rant/half hate: http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2009/10/12/women-gays-apparently-ruining-sci-fi-for-the-rest-of-us

Note:  Please read this follow-up post where I attempt to see the other side of the issue… though I still do not entirely agree.

 

On that note, the next sub-genre of the week post will be up sometime this weekend.  I was going to do Cyberpunk, but I suppose now I should tackle another of my favorite genres:  Space Opera.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on October 13, 2009 in Fantasy/Sci-fi, Gender Issues

 

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