important stuff, and a rant fueled by my x-chromosomes

October 13, 2009 at 4:57 pm (this and that, writing) ()

Taking a break from all the MoFo-ing, I’d like to announce that I’ve joined The Outer Alliance. The Outer Alliance is, in their own words, “a group of SF/F writers who have come together as allies for the advocacy of LGBT issues in literature. Made up of individuals of all walks of life, our goal is to educate, support, and celebrate LGBT contributions in the science-fiction and fantasy genres.” This is important stuff, especially these days, what with all the conservative backlash to Obama’s election and the fact that Obama himself is dragging is feet on making good on the promises to the gay community that helped him get elected in the first place.

SPEAKING OF CONSERVATIVE BACKLASH, I was inspired to join The Outer Alliance for two big reasons. One, Jesse joined, and was saying good things about the group, so I took an interest. Two, someone on the PPK posted an article entitled, of all things, “The War on Science Fiction,” about how people with vaginas and non-straight sexual orientations are destroying science fiction (Maybe through talking about human relationships instead of, like, robots and stuff? And making Starbuck a woman on the new Battlestar Galactica? Maybe?). Though I’m sure linking it here will only make the author wipe away a tear of pure, unbridled, righteous joy with the corner of her “Official Ursula K. LeGuin Book Burning ’06” t-shirt it’s worth noting that these sorts of frightening, anti-woman, anti-LGBT attitudes still exist, somehow, incredibly, in 2009. So no, Virginia, feminism is not obsolete, nor is fighting for human rights for all humans.

This quote from the article pretty much encapsulates both the terrible prose style and the upsetting sentiments voiced therein:

“Slash fiction is a form of fan fiction written primarily by women where characters in science fiction TV shows are gay and have homosexual relationships completely contrary to the established canon of the show.  The first slash fiction was about the original Star Trek series where women wrote stories about Kirk and Spock in a homosexual relationship.” (Emphasis mine.)

Come the fuck on. Seriously. I dare anyone, ANYONE, even Heinlein enthusiasts, even people older than 15 who think Ayn Rand’s Anthem is a really good, original piece of science fiction, even, I dare say, whackjob bloggers with an axe to grind about the new Doctor Who, to go watch some original series Star Trek, most notably, off the top of my head without even thinking about it for a second, “The Paradise Syndrome” (ep. 58) or “Turnabout Intruder” (ep. 79) and tell me that a Kirk/Spock makeout is “completely contrary to the established canon of the show.” Bull. Shit.

Joking aside, the amount of self-hatred contained in this vitriolic rant about how women and women’s issues (and teh gayz, too) are destroying science fiction (the author is female) is incredibly sad and depressing. Though slash/fic is not really my bag per se, I think it is a cool venue for anyone to express themselves, especially women eager to write something “for them by them,” or, alternatively, an opening market for people nervous about the wall of Western, masculine names in the SF/F section of Borders to get into speculative fiction writing. Is that really such a travesty? Of course it isn’t, but why be reasonable when you can nail sixty years of progressive feminism and LGBT activism square in the uppity jaw with your violently jerking knee? Why view non-white, non-straight, non-male folks as valuable when you could spend your time writing this inspiring sentiment:

“As we know science fiction has inspired boys to pursue careers in science, engineering, and technology as men.  With women killing science fiction on television, the current generation of boys won’t have this opportunity to be inspired to work in these fields.  There is still a great deal of written science fiction that is real science fiction so all is not lost.  However, many boys who would have gone on to make scientific discoveries and invent new technologies will not do so since they will never be inspired by science fiction as boys.”

Holy freaking crap.

At this point, I really do wish some dude (you know, the kind with balls and a penis, those genetic prerequisites to understanding science fiction and also technology and math and stuff) would please just invent a time machine (because he read some H.G. Wells) so this blogger, and all of the people who wrote comments in support of her, could go back to 1948 or whatever time period they genuinely believe to be “the good old days.” Please. For the good of humankind, some man, any man, please do this. Save us all!

So the long and short of it is that women, LGBT folks, straight allies, and other such types are ruining not only science fiction, but science itself. Really! We lefties are just basically banging rocks together, calling for us all to return to the caves.

It’s funny, you know, this kind of ignorance. The author implies that it’s women who insert women’s issues into science fiction, but really, that’s just total lunacy and self-delusion. Five minutes of research would have told her that Gene Roddenberry– the very same man who put absolutely no gayness into Star Trek, really– actually wanted the character of Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation, to be a girl. Leslie Crusher. I’m not making this up, it’s in the official ST:TNG Companion which yes, I have read. Anyways the network said no way, because it would limit the number of storylines for the character, since lady issues would have to be addressed. Geez, Gene! Why would you want to ruin ST:TNG like that? It’s almost as crazy as having a woman of color on the bridge of the original Enterprise! Or a lady doctor! Roddenberry was obviously an Obammunist before his time, excise Star Trek from the Sci Fi Canon immediately! Also, five more minutes of research would have told her that Jonathan Frakes– you know, the dude who plays super-macho Commander Riker– complained that his asexual love interest in the 5th season episode of TNG, “The Outcast,” was played by a female actor and therefore made less of a point about love transcending gender.

And that’s just Star Trek, yo.

Is it just that these men were pressured by screeching harpies and swishing predatory homosexuals? Of course not. They were intelligent men who realized that their own sexual orientation and gender made them uniquely able to advocate for the representation of “others” in science fiction, which is always what science fiction has been great at doing— taking us away from our immediate selves and allowing us to consider the problems within our own society with more objectivity. Or maybe that’s just my x-chromosomes having some girl talk about how The Foundation Series should be more like Bridgit Jones’s Diary. Probably.

It is sad, but it is also inspiring, because while there will always be allies who are willing to speak up for the inclusion of women and LGBT folks in science fiction and fantasy, more and more we are just having to get in there and write the stories about ourselves and our friends and our world that we want to hear. So it’s time for me to stop blogging and get back to my fantasy novel, which has, right there on the page, some lesbians.

There I go again, destroying genre like it’s no big deal.

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2 Comments

  1. Shadow said,

    *Applauds*

  2. Jha said,

    Word to this. I wish these folks would be more honest and just say they want the same old storylines (which were complete with -isms but didn’t threaten their privileged little butts) with bigger and shinier robots. They`re not there for the actual story or for the elements which make a good story (which, surprise surprise, involve interesting characters breaking boundaries); they just want flashy, but familiar. How utterly boring. So much for inspirational!

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