Nothing said in this article over at Tor surprises me and probably won’t surprise you, but it’s a bit of warm-squishy for me to read up yet again on the good things done with regards to gender in Battlestar Galactica.
The gender politics of Battlestar Galactica are fascinating in that… there are none. At least, not in the way that today’s society discusses them. While you can make arguments based on the positions of certain characters or how they conduct themselves according to gender stereotypes, that has to do with how the characters are written. I am talking about the way that Colonial society views men and women and their positions within culture. And it seems as though those labels that we are constantly applying to men and women are not in use within the BSG universe.
We never saw people question President Roslin for making emotional decisions that “no man would ever make.” Dualla wasn’t kept away from combat situations because she was “fragile” or “delicate.” No one ever told Starbuck that she was unfit for command because she was “hysterical.” The men in the Colonial military didn’t edge around female officers, nor did they harass them any differently than they did each other. Their hotshot pilot was a woman, but nothing about Starbuck’s character (or defects) was ever considered to be the product of her chromosomes. In fact, when Colonel Tigh confronted Starbuck in an attempt to reconcile their hostility toward each other, he boiled it down to a completely gender-neutral problem: he felt that his flaws were purely personal and hers had to do with acting professionally.
::dreamy sigh:: I’m probably going to re-watch the series now. Well, seasons 1 and 2 for sure. Of course the show isn’t perfect — nothing ever is — but still I can point at the parts that were done right and be happy.