Official Pix held their annual Sci-Fi Expo last weekend in Dallas, Texas. This year’s convention focused on the women of sci-fi, with guests such as Morena Baccarin, Katee Sackoff, Nichelle Nichols, and Yvonne Craig to name just a few. The Sci-Fi Expo helped give these women some much needed recognition for all the hard work they have done and gave the fans a chance to meet many of their favorite sci-fi ladies.
To start things off Saturday, Daryl Frazetti had a panel titled, “Cultural and Genre Contributions of Women Working in Science Fiction.”
He discussed the stereotypes of women writers in science fiction that he found in some research. One of those stereotypes Frazetti found was that women tend to write “soft sci-fi” in which they focus more on the story rather than the technology, thus leading people to classify those writings as something other than science fiction, such as fantasy. However, when he researched the history of sci-fi, it was found that one of the very first sci-fi pieces, Frankenstein, was written by a woman by the name of Mary Shelley. It has been discovered that scientists such as Robert Hook worked with a lab full of women, and Watson & Crick actually had a third member who was female. So how did science fiction become stereotyped as a “man’s world?” Frazetti concluded that gender roles and society’s perception of gender plays a major part in that; however, today’s views have greatly evolved since then and can be reflected in today’s science fiction.
Frazetti found that one of the greatest debates today is about the new Wonder Woman costume, the change to pants specifically. The more modern outfit Wonder Woman is wearing these days is reflective on society’s changing view of gender roles. More and more women are in the work force today, and finding identities other than mother and housewife. Of course, there was some debate between audience members about whether they liked the new outfit with some saying that it isn’t about society’s changing views, it’s all a marketing ploy to bring in more attention. Whether the change in outfits was a marketing plan, or just keeping up with the world’s views and values, it happened and might not be changing anytime soon.
Over time women have helped discover, create, and invent without getting much credit. Thanks to today’s society where there are conventions like the Sci-Fi Expo dedicated to women’s contributions, women are getting recognized for their greatness more and more. Thank you Daryl Frazetti for the interesting and lively discussion!
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