Following up on my previous post about Battlestar Galactica, I’ve been thinking more about this show and what they’re trying to do with it.
With regards to gender, I think the writers have been trying to portray a society as more equal sex-wise, while still being a reflection of our own culture – they are racists (against Sagittarons) and classist (Capricans are the ruling class – hell even their first new settlement is called New Caprica) but I don’t think the writers realize how sexist they still are. I suspect that by showing women serving in the military alongside men, and in combat roles even, the writers were trying to show a society with more gender equality.
You all know by now how it goes: we’re so liberated, us here in the west. We vote, work outside the home, run for office. Not like those women in [insert foreign group here]. What are we complaining about?? So watching gender being played out on BSG really reminds me of the culture I live in, but with lots of female combat soldiers (oh hang on, Canada has female combat soldiers). But I can also see the same sexist gender role in play: high heels, skirts, and long flowing hair (Starbuck only has long hair when she’s married! then cuts it when she sort of ends the relationship, or, ditches the wife part but stays married, or.. I don’t know what the hell she’s doing). It’s not equality if the standard clothing for women is high heels and slinky dresses. Also: there’s prostitution.
Of course, in light of my previous post and Sady’s post and comments that I read after starting this, perhaps the writers really aren’t trying to create a more feminist world. They’re certainly echoing the world we live in, with the racism and classism and religious fanaticism. Perhaps having the BSG world so close to ours is the point? And yet, I can’t quite believe that they are aware enough of sexism for that. I really think they just echoed our world’s gender constructs unconsciously. Something about the comments in the specials on the DVD about how different Starbuck is because now she’s a guuuurl zomg. Even though both characters drink, smoke, win at poker, sleep around, are disobedient, are awesome pilots and are loved by everybody even when they drive everybody crazy, this version:
is ZOMG so much different than this version:
Anyways, I’m beginning to think that the main problem, gender-wise, with this show is all the evil blond women (ok, there was one evil brunette). The most obvious Evil Blond™ is of course Caprica 6 (well, all the Sixes). Apart from the Sexay Evil Blond, there’s also the obnoxious (evil) blond Ellen Tigh, and Starbuck’s Really Evil Blonde mother. You know, I would really like, just for fucking once, watch a show where it’s the fucking DAD that’s the abusive monster. Almost always it’s the mom! Yes, of course, mothers can and have been nasty abusive assholes, but really, they’re in the minority, are they not? Of all of the abusive parents I have come across in real life, the abusive fathers outnumber the abusive mothers easily 10 to 1. But in tv/movie land it’s all about the Evil Mother.
Uh, where was I? Evil Mother, Evil Blond? Evil Sexay Blond? Ah, it all starts to run together, doesn’t it? The young mothers aren’t evil – the characters that become mothers, but the mothers of adult characters are.
And that whole Starbuck/Leoben thing? Ew. That needs a post all of its own.
(tune in next week where I finally finish watching the whole thing and change my mind utterly :-p But for now, this is how it’s looking to me, kids)