by Dayle A. Dermatis and Teresa Noelle Roberts (aka Sophie Mouette)
Dayle: Last week we talked about how in the future, it seems, all men will be hotter—at least, according to science fiction movies and TV. But it’s not just the men…check out all those hot women in formfitting futuristic outfits, carrying ray guns they know damn well how to use! They often get to be the captains, the leaders, the rebels, the ones in charge of not only themselves and their own destinies, but of spaceships, armies, and even planets.
Science fiction has always been a place for women to shine—it’s long been a venue for writers to explore strong women, women’s equality, etc. Future women were often in jobs far beyond what a current woman could reasonably expect. Uhura in the original Star Trek series may have not had a lot to do other than say “They’re hailing us,” but she was on the bridge, and that was a big step back then (not to mention she was black—but that’s another topic of discussion entirely).
I remember being impressed by—and kind of wanting to be—Princess Leia when I saw the first Star Wars as a wee lass. She was beautiful, powerful, strong, got to wield a gun (quite capably, I might add), and she had the most wonderful ability for wit and sarcasm even in the direst of moments.
To me, that was a lot sexier than the stupid bronze bikini and being chained to a giant slug. Chains, yes. Giant slugs…ew!
Teresa: It’s not that other genres don’t have strong women who can handle themselves in a dangerous situation. But often, these characters face conflicts that grow of out being a woman in a male-dominated field. The tough women of science fiction have their own set of clichés (among other things, that they’re unusually beautiful!) but our heroines aren’t the only female officers/commanders/space pirates/rebels/whatever in their worlds—just the ones the story focuses on. It’s refreshing, and it can, in the hands of good script writers, allow them to become more complex characters.
Take one of my major SF female crushes, Commander Susan Ivanova from Babylon 5. She’s one of many female Earthforce officers, and no one on the series makes a big deal of her gender. She’s a sexual being (a bisexual being, even, although alas there aren’t any girl-kisses), and she looks good in her uniform, but that’s only part of what she is. She’s a loyal military officer who ends up rebelling against a corrupt government, a daughter with a complicated relationship with her parents, a Russian Jew with a strong ethnic identity in a future when ethnic identity is often downplayed, and a warrior capable of not just kicking butt, but delivering almost Biblical rants while she does.
Gotta give props to Babylon 5 as well for a character who breaks a lot of the science-fiction-woman cliches. Delenn, the Mimbari diplomat whose romance with a human shakes both cultures, isn’t stereotypically hot. Her bony head ridges, loose-fitting clothes, and serious, scholarly demeanor are about as far from Captain Kirk’s alien’s babes or even butt-kicking-but-conventionally-beautiful Ivanova as you can get. The viewer falls for her as gradually as her human partner does, drawn in by her character instead of her beauty…and much as I like beautiful women, that’s pretty cool.
But this was supposed to be about crushes, and I have so many of them! Firefly offers a rich field to choose from. Perky, curvy Kaylee and sultry philosopher/courtesan Inara are each appealing in their own way, and River, despite being underage, underweight, and spooky, moves like a goddess (especially in the fight scenes in Serenity).
But I harbor a weakness for Zoë. The combination of gun-blazing heroics, snarky common sense, and well-drawn relationships with her husband and her PTSD-ridden captain win me over. Okay, the bitchin’ body and tight leather clothes don’t hurt. And seductive criminal Saffron (or whatever her name really is) can dazzle me with her breasts and drug me with her lipstick anytime, thanks!
Claudia Black as Farscape’s renegade Peacekeeper Aeryn Sun is smoking. But I also liked Farscape’s roguish, gray-skinned Chiana.
Apparently I have a thing for heroic women with big guns and leather pants (or well-tailored uniforms) and an almost equal yen for bad girls, good heart optional. Which makes me wonder why I’ve been neither robbed blind nor dragged into the wrong kind of undercover operation by any of my past girlfriends.
And then there are a few crushes that my partner-in-future-lust shares with me and will cover below: Janeway and Starbuck!
Dayle: Definite agreement on Zoë; Gina Torres was gorgeous and scary on Angel, fabulous in her smaller role on Alias, and I’ve got Cleopatra 2525 in my Netflix queue even though I’m sure it will be appallingly bad. (I’ll watch appallingly bad for the right actors!)
More of my official SF women crushes:
Star Trek gave me some goods ones: Dax on Deep Space 9 (gimme that lesbian kiss, baybee!) and Janeway on Voyager (finally, a female captain! plus I’ve had a crush on Kate Mulgrew since I was a kid.) I even have a certain fondness for Counselor Troi, even if she had the worst lines on the show.
In hindsight, Maya on Space: 1999 was a crush of mine long before I understood about crushes on women.
Who doesn’t love the new Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica (not to mention President Roslin, Boomer, Number Six, Dualla, Admiral Cain, D’anna…I think I have to lie down now)? Tortured and possibly brought back from the dead, she may be the first crush I’ve ever had on a blonde woman. It must be her triceps.
::Teresa nods in agreement about President Roslin. Let’s hear it for smart, attractive, mature women!::
But speaking of both Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica, let’s talk actress Michelle Forbes. First she was the sexiest Bajoran ev-ar, then she was the sexiest dark and conflicted commander of the Pegasus. Yay!
Gwen on Torchwood. I think I love her especially much because if this were a US show, they never would have cast someone with a gap between her front teeth and thighs bigger than toothpicks—and those are two of the things that make Gwen gorgeous, along with that incredible thick, dark hair and her fantastic smile. Over on the Doctor Who side of things, I’m sorry, but Rose was just too goofy and annoying for me. But Miss Martha Jones! Smart, dedicated, loyal, quick-thinking, and a classy dresser to boot—and she helps save the world.
Any role played by Claudia Black. ::Teresa, her eyes glassy, is nodding in agreement and rummaging for her ray-gun-shaped vibrator.:: I mean, it just wasn’t worth watching Pitch Black after…oops, wait, that’s a spoiler. Ya’ll will spank me if I give away spoilers. ::pauses to consider that again::
You know, when it comes to women, I do have a type, but it’s not like my bad-boy crushes on men. No, I seem to like my womenfolk with dark hair and pale eyes and fierce intelligence and wit. I admit it: It’s more physical than anything else. I like girls, and I like hot sexy girls in leather.
What about you, faithful readers? What makes the women of the future hotter?
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
by Dayle A. Dermatis and Teresa Noelle Roberts (aka Sophie Mouette)