The Invisible Woman: Sexual Segregation in Sci-Fi

My guest post on the gender gap in science fiction posted on the LibraryJournal SELF-e blog today, just as Iron Man 3 co-writer Shane Black revealed that Marvel’s corporate interests forced him to change the gender of the movie’s villain to sell more toys. According to Black, the original script featured a female version of antagonist Aldrich Killian, written in a way that initially occluded the character’s sex and later subverted audience expectations by revealing her as female. Marvel executives, however, decided that merchandise based on a woman villain wouldn’t sell and mandated a sex change.

wheresrey

Marketing execs think an anonymous stormtrooper will sell more action figures than the movie’s protagonist, because the latter happens to be female? Also, they don’t know who’s under that helmet…

It’s #WheresRey all over again. Why do franchise owners persist in the erroneous belief that only boys like sci-fi stories? And what are the social consequences of condemning female characters to be The Invisible Woman? My article discusses these issues, along with the surprising history of women in the science fiction genre and the shocking psychological consequences of gender segregation in our storytelling. Check it out, then join in the SELF-e Twitter chat on Thursday to discuss it with me!

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “The Invisible Woman: Sexual Segregation in Sci-Fi

  1. Jan Farber (Eskite) says:

    Great article! Two of my favorite female characters are Star Trek: Voyager’s Captain Kathryn Janeway and most recently, The Hunger Games’ Katniss Everdeen. Congratulations on your well-deserved success! Looking forward to your next book!

    Like

    • j.k.ullrich says:

      Thank you! Planning to release the next book this summer and introduce you to some new sci-fi ladies. Don’t know if I can compete with Katniss and Capt. Janeway, but I aspire to make worthy additions to the character canon!

      Like

Got something to say about this?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s