10/19/09

Sexism on SGU


I just wanted to respond to an article on io9 saying that SGU has a problem with sexism. First of all, it's been clear from the start that this is not an episodic series, rather it's a continuous storyline. So complaining about character development after only the third episode (second, technically) is like complaining that your 2-year-old doesn't have a job. Secondly, in the build-up to the premeire, all I ever heard about was the female characters. The only interesting characters for me were the female ones and Eli, and this continues to be the case with the exception if Rush also catching my attention.

One of the complaints mentioned in the io9 article was that TJ, the paramedic (NOT a doctor) was the only one who seems to be unqualified for their position. She had quit Stargate Command before the Icarus incident. So, in the words of Clerks, "[she's] not even supposed to be here!" And this is somehow sexist because it's the woman who's unqualified. Well, Eli is a slacker who no more belongs on a spaceship than he belongs running a fortune 500 company. He gets by on his math skills as much as TJ gets by on her Air Force training. Scott is straight out of Stargate Command training. He may be qualified to work on base, but nothing has prepared him for what he might face on the Destiny. Greer is a criminal for some reason, so that pretty much disqualifies him for any sort of mission.

In fact, why are we going after how they downplay women when the men's characters are just as steriotyped. The angry black guy, the slacker genius, the arrogant scientist, the jock... This is mentioned in the io9 article, but glossed over as though it's invalid. The fact is, this is a character drama and the characters need to be cliched at first so that we think we understand them before we dig any deeper.

In it's third episode, Stargate Universe is going strongly into new territory. It has a huge story to tell and we can't assume we know all of it yet. The first episode was broken up into THREE parts! That is some indication that complaints must be put on hold until we know more about these characters. That includes any percieved sexism, any percieved steriotyping, racism, bigotry or anything. Enjoy the ride before reaching any conclusions, because getting there is half the fun.

ONE MORE THING:
Assuming that sexism will be the norm from a franchise that has Samantha Carter touting the fact that her genitals were on the inside in SG-1 and a strong female base commander in Atlantis is hilarious.