Ide Cyan sent me an interesting note about recent events on Battlestar Galactica, which, unfortunatley, I haven’t been able to keep up on, as Jenn’s the one who tapes things and we’ve both been out of town a lot (I plan to catch up when it’s out on DVD).
Ide noted that the two main female characters in the series who are actually women (as opposed to robots) are both currently suffering from debilitating illness or injury. Adama, the President, has been dying of cancer since episode one, and now, hot fighter-pilot extraordinaire Starbuck has a knee injury that apparently has taken her out of fighting commission.
What the hell is up with these SF shows and their fear of women who actually kick ass? Andromeda wasn’t bad: it had a woman captain, though she ultimately got booted to second by the new captain, who’s a guy, and… well, I have some other problems with her now too: as the series has progressed she’s gotten increasingly thinner and less butch. Firefly probably wins as far as diverse portrayals of women as actual strong, smart, people, but Firefly was cancelled.
What’s so scary about putting a woman on screen who’s not a stereotype? Who can take care of herself? Who’s actually saving her husband and not necc. being saved by him (As Zoe saves Wash in Firefly)? Relationships between and among people are complicated, complicated things, and we don’t all revert to gender stereotype. Think outside the box, people.
I think what continues to irritate me about BG is that they toted the gender-swapping of some of the main characters as being a huge deal, like giving 1/4 of your screen time to female characters was a big deal (well, 1/4 time of women characters not engaged in sex, 1/3 of the time if you include the sex). Yea. Real revolutionary.