"Criticisms about representations of gender (or race and other diversity) are often countered in fandom by sociological or scientific analyses attempting to explain why the inequality happens according to the internal logic of the fictional world. As though there is any real reason that anything happens in a story except that someone chose to write it that way.
Fiction is not Darwinian: It contains no impartial process of evolution that dispassionately produces the events of a fictional universe. Fiction is miraculously, fundamentally Creationist. When we make worlds, we become gods. And gods are responsible for the things they create, particularly when they create them in their own image.
Reblogged from allyhatingheterophobe
Laura Hudson writes about the shotage of women characters in Star Wars fore Wired.com in her article “Leia is not enough: Star Wars and the woman problem in Hollywood.”
“Science fiction in particular has always offered a vision of the world not myopically limited by the world as it exists, but liberated by the power of imagination. Perhaps more than any genre of storytelling, it has no excuse to exclude women for so-called practical reasons — especially when it has every reason to imagine a world where they are just as heroic, exceptional, and well-represented as men.”
While not necessarily an indicator of quality, the Bechdel Test recognizes another uncomfortable truth: that women are most often portrayed in media primarily in terms of how they relate to men. I doubt the people who made these movies believe they don’t value women as discrete human beings. But it’s still the story the media shows, if not tells – the narrative we’re all exposed to, over and over, whether we realize it or not.
Yes, many franchises are locked into demographic and historical legacies that make it difficult to introduce new characters that develop the iconic power or fan following of characters like Superman or Spider-Man. This makes women unlikely to play big roles in the important stories, and more likely to be killed, de-powered, or demoted. But the good news for Star Wars is that while these grandfathered gender dynamics may weigh heavy on stories that are still trapped in the past, they need not hinder the future.