try pie, try.

03Jul08

Any geek who reads Feministe knows that Megan McArdle’s sorta full of shit this week, but this really takes the cake, and apparently I’m the only person out in the blogosphere who thinks so.  Way to go, y’all.

How do the menfolk convince the little woman to fancy some science fiction?

On the surface, the whole thing sounds really pretty sound.  Some women like techie things, some don’t, go for the human interaction bit, etc.  But I think my problem with it is that it has to be written at all; that some guy can’t cope with his wife not wanting him to watch SF around him, and that McArdle responded with condescending crap.  Which is not to say that someone new to SF should start out by reading David bloody Weber or something, but still, Sliders and Doctor Who are not difficult for women to relate to.  The latter’s still marketed as a children’s programme.  My own mother will sit through a Star Trek film.

The air of the whole thing implies that:
– SF is inherently a male domain.
– Women will like it but have to be cajoled and tricked into doing so.
– Any woman who likes SF doesn’t like it inherently, but because a guy (dad, boyfriend, husband) instilled the interest.

It also implies that BSG is the be-all-end-all of sci-fi on television, which is something I am not so keen on, but that’s personal taste.  Oh, and did we mention that before any of this, McArdle needs to remind us she’s not really a geek, not her, she’s too normal.  Gag.

I understand it’s important for a couple to know about the other person’s interests and to respect them. But enjoyment is not necessary–I think the letter writer’s wife should get off her high horse and let her husband watch Doctor Who around her without any disparaging remarks, but don’t shove YOU MUST ENJOY THIS into her face as part of a goddamn campaign.  That defies the whole point.  And women need to stop keeping this sort of ‘oh, that’s lame guy stuff’ behavior going, because it does nothing for gender equity.

Which brings me to my last point: how many straight male bloggers admit regular fanboy love for Sex and the City or Shopaholic, and how many women are writing to them to ask how they can convince their snarky husbands to really appreciate chicklit?

That’s what I thought.

By the way, the DW piece is in note form but will get done in the next few days.  I promise.  Maybe even before the end of the season.



5 Responses to “try pie, try.”

  1. 1 Elizabeth S. (hv on lj)

    I often quite like Megan McArdle, but yeah, I winced at that post on women liking SF when I read it. (I’ve only skimmed her recent stuff on feminism, so I can’t speak to that.)

  2. 2 Iko

    As a woman who likes science fiction who is attached to a partner who also loves science fiction… it was just one of those things that was important to me in finding a partner. It probably sounds a little silly, but if I cared enough about it, it should be part of the desired set of requirements, you know? It was important that my partner also like gaming/roleplaying/etc, because it’s hard for me to be in that “lifestyle” with a partner that doesn’t indulge.

    Now, there are aspects of science fiction that I love that he doesn’t (see: Doctor Who) but because I know him, I know he’ll never really love the program like I do. However, he will like individual episodes and I expose him to those… and he almost always responds positively.

    This is what it means to be his partner. I understand what he likes and doesn’t like and although I think it’s important for him to be exposed to certain things (just as a part of his general cultural literacy, in the same way that he exposes me to things I’m not aware of), I understand where the line is. Because we’re partners.

  3. 3 m. daisy

    Word.

    I once read a review of The Fellowship of the Ring that said “They had to expand Arwen’s role to give your girlfriend something to keep her interested” and I proceeded to completely flip out over this at anyone who would listen. It culminated in me bitching out a (male) panelist at a con who believed that “They had to put more Arwen in it for the fourteen year-old girls.” (No, if they weren’t there because it was THE FRIGGIN’ LORD OF THE RINGS, then I think a lot of the 14 year-old girls were there for Orlando Bloom, actually.)

    It’s bad enough that there’s a stereotype that women need a certain feminine angle to get hooked on scifi/fantasy (with narrow, sometimes silly views on what this angle can be) but the way a lot of male critics and fans will make the female half of the audience the scapegoat for certain things they don’t like is just infuriating.

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