Science Fiction Fandom Has No Sex
By Molly Lambert
“There is no female mind. The brain is not an organ of sex. Might as well speak of a female liver.” – Charlotte Perkins Gilman
If you took my brain, and put it in another body, and then turned that body into a brain in a vat, you would have Annalee Newitz. Seriously, I love this girl woman person. She understands me. She gets IT. And by IT I mean both Information Technology and the big picture, the world riddle, the reasons we blog and exist and blog about existing and blogging (and so on).
Annalee Newitz blogs awesome at io9
Like any great journalist, Newitz questions epistemological falsehoods and debunks them. Especially those about gender, science, and science fiction. Also, the reason the Sci-Fi Channel has no viewers is generally because it sucks.
Annalee Newitz On io9, Breaking I.T. Down:
Women love horror and sci-fi for the same reasons men do. Not because we feel some special emotional connection to the characters or have an interest in space fashion. It’s because we wanna see FREAKY SHIT that will BLOW OUR MINDS. You can ask Tess. Also probably because it’s one of the only genres to consistently feature female characters who resemble human beings, even when they are actually replicants.
“Don’t ask me, I’m just a girl!”
The Final Girl trope is deeply satisfying for young women who want to see ourselves onscreen. I will keep holding my breath for Iron Woman. Meanwhile, I’ll pray on wood for Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse and Diablo’s feminist horror comedy Jennifer’s Body.
Despite the popular stereotypes of sci-fi enthusiasts as fanboys and male hikikomoris, fangirls are equally rampant. Fan fiction is actually dominated by female writers, although Alex has been known to author Archie-centric American Idol fanfics where I am the villain. (He also writes speculative Harry Potter stories). Fangirls are often denigrated as being Mary Sues.
Hermione Granger, before puberty makeover
Leslie Fish is a famous filk singer who wrote Star Trek themed joke songs. Fangirls love writing fanfiction and are not necessarily shippers. Some women write slash fiction, Leslie Fish was a pioneer of Kirk/Spock stories. Nowadays you’re more likely to find LOThR slash, such as Frodo/Aragorn or Samwise/Legolas. Even Gandalf/Gollum. Brokeback Middle-Earth is a popular setting.
Willow Rosenberg: nerdy, Jewish, ginger, Wiccan
Anime has a whole genre called Yaoi (or Boy’s Love) that focuses on male/male manga, which is incredibly popular among women and gay men. The less sexual, more romantic version is called Shōnen-ai. Teen girls love Bishōnen. I would like to read slash about Zodiac or NCFOM, personally. Hook it up.
Daria, see: names I was called in high school
Nerd Girls differ from Fangirls in that their fanship is not presumed to be about lusting for hobbits, although that can happen too. The wiki specifics on nerd girls are so broad as to make almost no sense. Sometimes nerd girls wear glasses, but sometimes they don’t. Okay, you nailed me!
Liz Lemon, Role Model To Nerdesses Everywhere
Often small in stature, prone to rants at clueless male characters. They dress unfashionably, not as a statement but because they don’t care about fashion. Typically her clothes will be comfortable; they may be somewhat “young” for her. They have expertise in a specialized area, and/or a wide general knowledge.
SOME GREAT FEMALE CHARACTERS OF SCI-FI & HORROR
Rosemary Woodhouse: Mean husband, creepy neighbors, doctor who fucks with you, devil baby for you to love.
Alien‘s Ripley center, Navigator Lambert in back right
Ellen Ripley: Blue collar astronaut betrayed by the government, kills aliens dead, then kills them some more.
Laurie Strode: The original final girl, Jamie Lee Curtis is awesome, murks Michael Myers over and over again.
NERDY GIRLS RULE THE WORLD
The Park Bench is glad to have Tina Fey as de facto queen.
Molly Lambert is the skeptical redhead at This Recording
“You’re Just a Country Boy” – Alison Krauss (mp3)
“Where D’You Go” – Jamie Lidell (mp3)
“The French Open (live)” – Foals (mp3)
PREVIOUSLY ON THIS RECORDING
This Recording is Will Elder R.I.P.