Gender Roles In Science Fiction

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Science fictional writings have been utilized to critique the past through the introduction of experimental ideals. According to Gwyneth Jones, this is done through the portrayal of extraterrestrial societies in a “frozen past of their real world counterparts” (1997). Gender and its associated inequalities between males and females is an idea critiqued through the genre. Historically, women have filled roles of reproduction and beauty while men have been associated with physical and intellectual dominance. The twentieth century, however, was marked by a transition from traditional roles to those of a more equitable nature among the genders. As a result of such events, science fiction authors have incorporated these ideals in their narratives.…show more content…
Traditional gender roles were utilized, if gender was mentioned at all, as there was a “push toward safe predictability and a reinforcement of existing social values” (Attebery 2002). With conservatism, change is viewed as deleterious to society. Traditional roles are held as the ultimate truth while innovations are viewed as evils. In the eye of the conservative, society functions aptly in its current state and any disruption in its workings is thought to bring about its ultimate collapse. As such, a portrayal of traditional gender roles can be seen in these early works. The magazine market of the 1930s and 1940s imposed a severe restriction on “science fiction’s ability to imply sex” with a withdrawal of “male and female identities” (Attebery 2002). Such regulations were the direct result of a male dominated audience (Attebery 2002). When reading a narrative, the audience often associates themselves with its protagonist, searching for their own idiosyncrasies in an effort to connect with the character and the story at a deeper level. Such connections instill a more profound effect in the reader, allowing them to grasp the underlying message in a way that connects to them personally. This allows for a greater change in the world if such meanings are taken to
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