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Thread: Women and SF

  1. #16
    Pen, post the link.

  2. #17
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    Dear Corwwyn,
    You can click on my profile and find the list of my articles that way or you can simply go to articles to find the one I mentioned. I've got at least 10, most of which are relevant to topics mentioned in this forum or at least outrageous enough to get comments. I know, I'm a man, but give it a shot.

  3. #18
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    Wow, Penumbra. That's the first word that springs to mind, having read your article.
    Where's your righteous indignation over the amazingly attractive male superheroes? An attractive man can kick some ass, even if it's significantly bigger than he is, but an attractive woman had better stay in the background and scream? Each of the women you bashed for being powerful (with the exception of Xena, but even you must admit she's a pretty big woman) has a supernatural or scientific explanation for her powers. Angelina Jolie was playing a video game character, Buffy's a slayer, Dark Angel is genetically manipulated. That's standard procedure in the superhero department, that's why they get to kick ass. That's why Buffy beats up the bad guys and the other people get to be side-kicks. And, ironically, that's where they get the idea that "beautifully proportioned females can physically
    compete with men" - because they're not just beautifully proportioned females. They're superheroes.
    I don't see where you get the man-hating vibe from these women. Perhaps if you elaborated on where that comes from, your article would make more sense to me. As it is, all I can say is that I found it very offensive.

  4. #19
    Seeker of Stuff Moderator Kamakhya's Avatar
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    Wow is right, Astrianna. I was pretty offended too, until I rationalized that it must be satire. I mean, surely no one really believes that we should go back to the Star Trek beauties in mini-skirts who couldn't fire a phaser if you paid them.

    I did not deliberately avoid your article Penumbra, because I had no idea it existed in the first place. I'm not much interested in talking about movies. I haven't seen half of your references. I'm always annoyed by hollywood's idea of beauty.

    So, Penumbra, what's your opinion on the emergence of not only strong female characters, but a plethora of female authors in written Sci-Fi today?

  5. #20
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    I had a feeling there was some intelligentsia lurking sround. Of course the article is offensive, considering Hollywood's exploitation of people, especially women. As for my personal opinion about women in SF/F, I find some feminine points of view quite valid and entertaining, about the same in proportion to men. I have a hard time with writers such as M.Z.Bradley, but find authors in the mold of Ursula Le Guin extraordinary and underappreciated. No real chauvinism from this fellow, you see, but I do write articles to try and get responses from a sometimes inane and frivolous forum. How am I doing? Perhaps you will favor me with looking at a few others, since you got right to the point with this one.

  6. #21
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    I'm not sure you even need a supernatural or scientific explanation, Astrianna. Knowledge of martial arts, combat techniques, etc. are a great leveler. I have certainly known slightly built men with martial arts or military training who could take out a much stronger but untrained opponent. (And have, in fact, seen it happen.) I see no reason why the same should not apply to women. Moreover, some of the women mentioned, such as Xena, are clearly muscular and very physically fit.

  7. #22
    immer noch dabei Ntschotschi's Avatar
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    Penumbra, I found your article quite funny and you surly have a point there.
    The stereotypes which are used in this films have nothing to do with real women as you correctly pointed out but are a product of male fantasies. It made me think of the old Barbarella films with Jane Fonda, do you remember?
    From a feminist point of view one could say that there's just the old super-hero idea remodelled around a woman but no true concept of strong women.
    But sometimes it's just fun to identify with female superheros - I had to do with Bud Spencer when I was a teenager and that's not really a role model, is it?
    And from time to time you still get a notion of female strength in times of emergency e.g Ripley who didn't rely on physical strength but on cunning and determination.
    Jack London gave some good examples of female bravado imo in his novels albeit mostly tragical if you ever chanced to read them?

  8. #23
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    Absolutely correct Ntchoschiti, it's all meant as satire to point out the obvious. Glad you could see it and that I am not wasting my time. Feel free to read my other articles and make comments. That's what I've been trying to do.

  9. #24
    C.J. Cherryh has host of great series: The Chanur Series, The Foreigner Series, her Union-Alliance Universe (Downbelow Station, Cyteen, 40,000 in Gehenna, Tripoint, etc. etc.), Rider at the Gate, Morgaine, Cuckoo's Egg, Paladin, The Goblin's Mirror, etc. etc. Probably close to 100 works.

  10. #25
    Ahhh, finally I found that clicking on Articles on that inconspicuous yellow bar near the top of the page hidden beneath the advertising enables me to find Pen's articles.

    Silly me, I originally just looked at the large sidebar under the title Articles which didn't have the one in question listed, and no "archive" or "next" link.

    Oh well, I know how to do it now at least. :P

    Ok, down to business.

    Firstly, at least in my case, I didn't avoid the article, I simply was unaware it existed or related to this topic.

    As for the article:

    What travesties? Supergirl, and Wonder Woman were actually both screen adaptations of comic books.

    Xena is essentially a comic book character (or quasi-mythological heroine) with occasional depth and humour depending on script, who is portrayed as a warrior-ideal, certainly superior in combat to most people of both sexes, on a par (or at least same ballpark) with Hercules (as played by Kevin Sorbo) and even Ares (played by the late Kevin Smith).

    The point as I see it in the above examples is that these women are heroic figures and as such, bear little resemblance to ordinary people in ordinary circumstances. Nor are they intended to.

    The examples of Sarah Connor and Ellen Ripley on the other hand are examples of strong female roles, yet believable in the sense of otherwise ordinary people showing strength in extraordinary circumstances.





  11. #26
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    Dear Corwwyn,
    I believe you've got it!

  12. #27
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    There is a great debate raging about women in sf over on the discussion boards at sfreader. Seems there may be a few die-hard "men are superior" types left.

    I really think women should get in on BOTH this discussion and the one atsfr. We have to stick together!

    I write YA sci-fi and notice a preponderence of women in this industry .

  13. #28
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    Connie Willis and Vonda N. McIntyre are two of my favourite writers. I think female writers are often more consientious in the standard of their writing and the sublety of their themes.

    Having said that I've been disappointed by what I've read by Joanna Russ and Kate Wilheim so far, but that's a purely personnal viewpoint. I thought 'Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang' was inferior to 'Man Plus' and I'm surprised it won a Hugo in 1976.

    I don't buy books on the basis of the author's gender, but in what looks like an interesting read at the time. I often buy a book that is 180 degrees different from the previous one.

    Certainly, the increasing numbers of women wirters being published can only be healthy for SF.

  14. #29
    Aspiring Smart Arse asimovian's Avatar
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    Kamakhya Devi,
    I just wrote a reply which took me about twenty minutes, and when sending it off I got a renewed invitation to login - which I shouldn't as I did login not many minutes before writing my reply. After I did so, however, I got a message saying that 'no thread was specified', so my reply did not get sent, and I would have to contact the webmaster.
    This has happened several times now (maybe about 5 or 6 times now) and it's really frustrating.
    I am sorry Kamakhya, but I am not going to rewrite this right now.

  15. #30
    Hello, this is my first post here.

    For whatever reason, I tend to prefer SF by women authors, but it's not like I'm consciously avoiding reading books by men. I think it's just that when I first started reading SF, there weren't many women authors to choose from, so now I'm making up for lost time, I guess.

    Some of my favorite authors are Catherine Asaro, Lois McMaster Bujold, Joan D. Vinge, Ursula K. Le Guin, Julie E. Czerneda, Sheri S. Tepper, and Octavia E. Butler.

    I recommed reading The Gate to Women's Country because it makes one think, but I didn't particularly like it. Tepper is very hit or miss for me.

    I've read some of the really hard-core feminist SF, and I didn't like it as much as the less strident, but still feminist stuff that Bujold, Asaro, and Vinge write.

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