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.