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Gender War . . . In Space!

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Okay, so we've already decided that the idea that women don't like science fiction is, well, kind of retarded. But that doesn't stop people continuing to offer advice about how to introduce the "fairer" sex to a world of speculative fiction, alien planets and metaphorical explorations into the human condition. The latest culprit? The Atlantic's economics blogger Megan McArdle.


After explaining her own geek cred ("I love me some Doctor Who, some Firefly, just caught up on BSG, own two copies of the Oxford Book of Science Fiction Short Stories, have four first edition Sandmans, and really haven't emotionally come to grips with the fact that I am never going to have superpowers"), McArdle offers up tips on how to get Jane Doe to come around to geek culture:

Those of you who pitch science fiction to wives and girlfriends who do not enjoy it are probably saying something along the following lines: "Space ships! Alien monsters! Men in tights!" Instead, for women who find that sort of thing distasteful, talk about it as a fairy tale—only a fairy tale with science instead of magic. The basic emotional space it taps is the same.


That's right - Women like fairy tales, not science fiction. So make it sound like a story with princesses in it. Don't worry, she also hits the old familiar note, as well:

You might also try to ease her into something with a little more human emotion and a little less space opera.

I can't work out - is this some kind of self-loathing gender warfare thing, or just randomly patronizing? Maybe she only knows some crazy fairy-tale-obsessed fangirls and doesn't get out much? Don't get me wrong, I'm not going as far as some people and suggesting that Megan should be fired or anything, but still. Perhaps you should stick to the economics for awhile, Megan.

Explaining Science Fiction To Women [The Atlantic]