Dead-Beef: Get Some Action

As promised, it’s Dead-Beef Friday everyone!

Last night Erin and I were trying to figure out why science fiction is a tough sell on women. I don’t think it’s any secret that there are more male Star Trek and Star Wars fans than female. Not to say their girls aren’t interested in space adventures, there just seems to be a cut off point where sci-fi becomes unpalatable for most women.

Heavily character driven sci-fi like Doctor Who or Battlestar Galactica seem to earn a larger female audience than a Next Generation or Deep Space Nine. Doctor Who is primarily about the Doctor and his relationship with the companions, the “science” part of it is essentially an after thought. How does the TARDIS work? Why can a sonic screwdriver do everything from opening a door to making waffles? In the context of the show, it doesn’t matters. We’re just interested in this kookie Timelord and how he interacts with humans.

Contrast that with a show like Star Trek where a great deal of time is spent exploring how the transporter and warp engines work, or examining the complexities of discovering new worlds and new forms of life to have sex with. It’s all very erotic mechanical.

What it comes down to is relationships versus logistics. On a very basic level, stories driven by relationships appeal to our nurturing instincts, while stories heavy in cool gadgets and photon torpedoes appeal to our survival instincts. Erin and I concluded that may well be the divide. Women have stronger nurturing instincts, while men instinctively want to kill shit with lasers.

I do believe, however, the gap between men and women on science fiction is closing. Good shows like Firefly marry science with rich characters, giving both men and women what they want.

What say you, our three female readers?