Gender Stereotypes In Frank Herbert's Dune

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The publication of Frank Herbert’s Dune in 1965 clearly pronounces women as a part of society; however, such roles fall below the superiority of their male counterparts, the possessors of true power in society. Dune was published two decades after the end of World War II when the transitions of the time period were considered a normalized part of society. With World War II, women found themselves leaving the home, joining the blue-collared workforce. Correspondingly, women held more of a voice in society; however, they were still viewed as beneath their male counterparts (Baughman et al. 2001). This historical context was translated into Dune. Women are recognized as a part of society; however, they are not seen as equal to men and are primarily valued for their physical features. When Paul and Lady Jessica are found by the Fremen in the desert, Stilgar suggests that men play a more important role in society when he states, “I can see possibility in this strong boy-man: he is young and can learn. But what of yourself, woman?” (Herbert 1965). The Fremen have…show more content…
An increase in female readers led to the testing of gender ideas, especially in the United States where science fiction was considered “an arena for testing ideas” (Attebery 2002). Feminist science fiction emerged as a way to test these gender ideas, imagining women in positions where they are not represented in society. Feminist science fiction can be defined as “science fiction that articulates an awareness of women’s place in a political system and their connectedness to other women” (Calvin 2012). Within the genre, women are seen in positions of power within the political system, roles women have not typically been associated with in the past. Women are given a more equitable role in society when compared to their male counterparts, sharing authority in a successful
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