Video: “He For She in Science Fiction”

The video above was put together by Open Road Media, and I thought it was interesting.

The past year has been a crucial one for female writers of science fiction. Discussions in the world of science fiction authors, editors, and fans about women writing in the genre, winning awards, and being recognized in fandom often carried a certain defiant tone, followed by a frustration that women in science fiction still have to prove themselves at all.

In light of the He for She movement, a UN project aimed at encouraging men to speak up for women in a bid of solidarity and support, Open Road Media asked male science fiction authors to discuss how women have been portrayed in science fiction, and their own favorite female science fiction authors.

The video features a great selection of authors (published in eBook by Open Road). Here’s the description from the YouTube page:

“The purpose of a woman” in ’50s science fiction “was to make the man look good,” laments Todd McCaffrey, son, co-author, and biographer to his mother, revered science fiction and fantasy author Anne McCaffrey. He goes on: “And scream when the bug-eyed monsters came in. My mother hated that trope; and she said, you know, ‘If a bug-eyed monster was invading my home, I’d find the nearest frying pan and beat the crap out of him!’”

Along with McCaffrey, Science Fiction Grand Master Samuel R. Delany, Joe Haldeman, Simon R. Green, Ian R. MacLeod, and Ian McDonald discuss how women have been portrayed in science fiction, in light of the He for She movement. These men also share their thoughts about their female role models in the genre; groundbreaking female science fiction authors like Ursula K. Le Guin, Octavia E. Butler, and Andre Norton.

“The most important political problem in the modern world is the position of women…” says Samuel R. Delany. “Something has got to be done about it.”

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