Spoiler warning: post and comments thread may contain spoilers for BSG through Season Three and the Razor movie.
I’ve been pondering the feministicity or otherwise of Battlestar Galactica (the new version). I started making a list. Of course, it’s not as simple as the “feminist or not?” in the post title. (Is anything, ever?) It’s an extraordinarily complex show, and I think it tackles difficult issues more competently, or at least more enthusiastically and confrontingly, than most other television fiction.
My initial thoughts:
* Society with powerful women all the way to the top: fighter pilots, military commanders, President. Women depicted as physically competent, robust, rational, mentally tough, flawed in interesting ways.
* Women not portrayed as “naturally” nurturing nor men as “naturally” violent: character types (mostly? arguably?) gender-blind.
* Brief touching on reproductive issues – presidential abortion ban, actual children present (in science fiction!), ship daycare discussed.
* No exploration of the abortion ban fallout – how about an episode on back-deck abortion? Though there was the “The Farm” episode.
* Male-female violence problematic with an early-21st-century audience, no matter how much “But they’re equal!” justification is attempted.
* Sexual degradation as torture technique. But does portrayal without clear endorsement qualify as cred or anti-cred? This gets into the whole issue of fiction depiction as critique, which again is massively problematic.
* The whole Starbuck-falls-for-cute-kid scenario. Bleagh.
* Partially heteronormative: no (overt) gay male sexuality.
* Porny-hawt sex-as-weapon lesbian Cylons.
What do you think?
[Oh. And don’t get me started on Heroes. BG wins hands-down in the feminist stakes there.]