Tingly Tribadism And Other Twisted Tales

*I meant to publish this last night, but being slap-happy completely forgot it.*

I figure I've lived a blameless life these last few weeks. The death threats and exclamations about my moral depravity and lack of social caring (read ability to toe the line) have slowed down to an almost imperceptible trickle. In other words - I iz doing it wrong.

The start of this post was something Dave put up. It's not that far away, it's not that inconceivable, and it's not at all unlikely one way or another that at some point humans will find a way to do the reproduction thing without one of the genders. I grant you this is more likely to occur with women first since babies need a leasehold in a human body while growing. However, that too might not be insurmountable with a bit more biological research. Bio-wombs of some sort might do the trick.

So, we come to... Planets where the entire population is one gender. Yes, Bujold did it, and she did it, arguably, in the difficult way. But she was published by Baen.

Unless I missed something, the flood of these stories is mostly one way - mostly we're in some idyllic future where men have been disposed of. All is peace, love and harmony. And that figure retching while reading is me.

Why? Because it's stupid. And while a lot of science fiction is stupid - really? In the world of Star Trek no one gets paid? People just work because they want to? Behold homus novis! - this particular trope is something that drives me up the wall until I cling to the ceiling by my frayed nails.

So, why does it have this effect on me? Two reasons.

One is that it's the suck-up's route. (I don't like suck ups. I used to wait for them behind the metaphorical bike sheds and beat seven kinds of... never mind. Like Pratchett's character, I only ever managed to get six anyway.) These stories are easy to publish, they make you feel good and "progressive" with an added side of "speaking truth to power" WHILE at the same time the power - which for these purposes is the person publishing you - is cooing and billing over how wonderful you are for doing this. You want to impress me with an all-woman-peaceful world? Make it good enough that it will sell to Baen despite the publisher not being enamored of the idea. Then I'll take my hat off to you.

Two is that it is such a gross violation of reality we know - with no explanation. And it gives people who have never experienced the unique female form of war and evil the mistaken impression that we born without a penis are some sort of angels. (It used to be most of the people who believed this were men, and that didn't disturb me much, since deceiving them is just the nature of our game. However these days there seem to be a lot of young women raised on the fictions and neurosis of older women, who actually believe this. Unfortunately thinking they're like onto angels, means they feel empowered to do ANYTHING: abuse, attack and attempt to destroy any victims of their collective wrath, for instance. The "mean girl" thing. Having seen this pulled on my son, I can neither endure nor countenance it.)

And if you're wondering why I say it's a gross violation of reality with no explanation, you've spent too much time in these books. And you might even believe in the original, primeval, matriarchal, all peaceful civilization...

Oh, boy. Get a chair. This is going to be a long one. I'm not going to pronounce on the original matriarchal civilization. It might or might not have existed. I suspect in some places it existed to an extent, in the dim future when the men traveled to "hunting camps" and women kept the fixed home-base. To the extent that women kept the place with its "memory" and ways of doing things, and raised the next generation of both males and females it's quite possible they had the power in the society. But-

Peaceful?

I bring a tale of woe, my friends. Long ago and far away, I attended an all girl school. A terrible place, where I got to see the behavior of an all-girl society. One on one and woman on woman, women are less likely to pound and pummel. Too bad. Bruises heal and the friend you pounded last week becomes your friend again.

Women... sneak and betray. They tell tales. They build networks. They strive, continuously for dominance.

Pardon me if I sound mysogenistic. I'm not. This is the result of evolution too. Women gathered while men hunted. Our survival depended on manipulating the other women in the band so our children got priority and were watched very closely while we were busy with the berry bush. Bitch queens - bless their hearts - had a LOT of descendants. And their daughters did equally well if they bred true. Men, on the other hand, hunted. Yeah, they were more violent. On the other hand, a man who was unswervingly loyal to his mates knew a spear would rescue him form the mammoth's tusk. Because he'd saved someone else last week.

(Yes, the patriarchal societies MIGHT have whooped the behind of the matriarchal ones, but my guess is the patriarchal ones were nomads, moving their whole tribe, and they waited till just the women were in the camp. It's also possible the women didn't have horses or the wheel. There are other explanations than women-good, men-evil. Not ALL losers were the good guys. In fact, in history... oh, never mind.)

So, are all males loyal, etc. ? Oh, please. There's a spectrum. Just as there is for women. They are just differently VILLAINOUS. And differently violent. We know for a fact that most mass murderers who kill strangers are men. Most of the mass murderers who kill their nearest and dearest - particularly children in their care - are women. And it might be oppression making them do it, but I doubt it. The behaviors seem to hold true in every society.

So if we did away with me, what would we have? As it happens I have a novel plotted called Starsong, in which women are the dominant gender (there are reasons. It's alternate history.) What would happen would be the Borgias writ large. At least that's my opinion. Perhaps no armies in the fields - maybe - but a lot of inexplicable mass poisonings.

Given that, you see why the peaceful all-fem planet makes me ill. But, as announcers say, there's more: to a vast segment of the male public (most of them in positions of power in publishing) this meme is even more of a win-win. Because not only do they get to don a feminist mantle and completely betray truth, but - even better - they get to have scenes of girl on girl sex. (Which at least one male editor [who, surprisingly, went on to buy me afterwards, for which he has me respect, considering the response I gave to this,] assured me "even girls like". My response had to do with "only a small percentage.")

And that ANNOYS the living daylights out of me. I have nothing against lesbians. Some of my best friends are lesbian. I wouldn't mind if my sister married one. BUT I do mind this sort of thing being used to scratch an itch and not even acting like honest porn but instead disguising itself behind high-minded nonsense.

If you don't find this glorification of women at the expense of males, if you don't think it infects society to a ridiculous degree, do me a favor. Next time you're watching TV, take one of the commercials featuring a family. Change the roles of husband and wife. Now, are you offended? Should women be portrayed like that, as total dunces and men as all knowing?

If you tell me current commercials are more realistic, then you're too far gone...

*crossposted at According To Hoyt and Mad Genius Club*

posted by Sarah on 02.09.11 at 12:45 AM










Comments

Well, those commercials are half-realistic. Both sexes are dunces in their own way.

And, quite honestly, the other way is just as annoying. Do you remember "Ring-around-the collar?" It was always the woman's fault that the man never washed his neck.Not sure if Wisk is still around, never bought it.

As for womyn-only planets, I always found the ones written by women totally ridiculous. (see Joanna Russ- I'd join you in retching). And the ones written by men - from way back when - where one MAN rescues them all from the feminist hell, just as silly (though they made me want to go kick butt rather than retch).

The result is that I long ago quit reading that sub-genre at all, so I don't know about more recent attempts at portraying the ancient war of the sexes. (I may have to look at Bujold's attempt.)

However, I heartily agree with you that "Women... sneak and betray. They tell tales. They build networks. They strive, continuously for dominance." Indeed.

And just to forestall the inevitable "sexist" remarks, I've known men who do the same. And I've known women (being myself one of this type) who are more likely to throw a left hook. But we are talking general tendencies here.

Kathy Kinsley   ·  February 9, 2011 7:14 PM

Kathy,

I totally agree with you here. And I have a message from Sarah who says she's not ignoring you, she's having trouble connecting to the site to answer you.

Kate   ·  February 9, 2011 8:36 PM

Bertram Chandler did one, with a male only planet. Of course, being a John Grimes story it was not a heavy handed sociological tract. It was, however, a somewhat amusing examination of social standards and what happens if they suddenly stop making sense (in this case, a Survey ship with a mixed crew makes contact).

Steve Skubinna   ·  February 11, 2011 6:14 PM

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