Michael Tedder is a pathetic Joss Whedon fanboy.
For example, there are vast differences in technology between the rich planets and the Dust Bowl planets, and the characters tend to use Manadarian curse words to signify that, in the continuity of the “Firefly” universe, West and East cultures have fully integrated.
Joss Whedon is the great male feminist of pop culture, and as such “Firefly” had well-rounded characters like Gina Torres’ Zoe Washburne, the ship’s second in command, and the ship’s engineer Kaylee Fyre, played by Jewel Staite. (There was a fair amount of saving damaged-genius River Tam, played by Summer Glau, throughout the series and movie, but this story line eventually paid off in a thematically satisfying way that found the character embracing her inner strength in a way that there’s not really room to explain here but which involved a lot of awesome kung-fu moves.) These characters were more than just obligatory love interests and rescue Macguffins, and they weren’t perfect Mary Sues, either. They had fleshed-out character needs and personality flaws (Kaylee was insecure, Morena Baccarin’s Inara was emotionally closed off), they often drove the episode’s plots and, as is usually the case in Whedon productions, they got the best one-liners.
Stomp this man in the head. Twice. Then put a red-hot poker in his ear–that’s a common male wish-fulfillment fantasy (see: Terry Goodkind) so we’ll be doing Tedder a favor, honest. Notice how he makes sure to tell you that the ladies are no Mary Sues, but he doesn’t feel the need to apply the same qualifier to male characters. One of his favorite moments in Firefly includes “Inara struggling not to cry after she learns that Mal had sex with her best friend,” for an extra bit of telling. Tedder, I suspect, self-identifies as a Nice Guy (lit. a creep). The rest of the article consists of him proudly proclaiming that no matter how much cheetos, sweat and assorted filth might be found in Whedon’s beard, Tedder will still kiss it.
Hayley Campbell is… I’ve no idea who she is. Anyway, she wants you to know that she’s one of the boys and that the world we live in is totally post-feminist.
These shrill cries of Won’t somebody think of the [women]! and labelling things as sexist (until they are mathematically (!) proven otherwise) thoroughly undermine and dilute the stuff that is actually sexist. [Sub-Beef: Why, when women are challenged on the internet by something they said do so many run away and hide? I'm not talking about the cases of scary harassment or stalky dudes. I've seen people flee not because of threat but discussion and disagreement. If you stick your arse out, someone's going to kick it. Always. Don’t hide. Come back, get angry.]
My problem with the whole Women In Comics thing is, and let me state this bluntly, not women in comics. Women do great comics. Men do great comics. Women do some absolutely terrible comics, and so do men. End of disclaimer. My problem is the ghettos women build for themselves. A badly-designed women-only anthology is nothing but a childish reaction to the No Girls Allowed sign hanging on the tree-house door. Need an example? Pick any you like. They are uniformly awful because of the very thing that they are saying: they aim for some sort of equality (“don’t treat us differently, we are cartoonists too”) and miss the target by fencing themselves off (“we are different”). It’s self-defeating. Put everything together in a big heap and we will decide what’s good or not based on words and pictures, not gender. A women-only anthology is in no way empowering. It is not helping. It’s actually kind of embarrassing and completely old-fashioned. In the 1970s/1980s there was a need for Wimmin’s Comix and Diane Noomin and Aline Kominsky’s Twisted Sisters, but there isn’t now. The latter, while still being a women-only anthology, outgrew the particular brand of feminist bullshit I have problems with.
What amazes me about Fahrenheit 451 isn’t that it’s so universally acclaimed, but that it’s so beloved by geeks and nerds. Go onto any internet community in which average beard length stretches below the chin and you’ll find “list your favourite book” threads routinely ranking Fahrenheit 451 in the top three. These are the same people who usually fancy themselves progressive and forward thinking and who certainly love the shit out of their new media, so why they find this pile of lukewarm tripe so appealing is beyond me. Or maybe it isn’t, given what most internet nerds are like.
I hated this book. Dear god did I hate it. Probably more than is strictly fair if I’m being honest, but it pushed several of my personal nuclear-meltdown buttons (in case that wasn’t obvious enough).
Oh, and if you’re ever in doubt that SFF continues to be a regressive shitpool that needs to lined up before a firing squad, take a look at these poll results for best SFF novels of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. To the best of my knowledge pretty much every single author named is a pasty Aryan, and the overwhelming majority of them–90% if not more–are men. SFF, that great bastion of progressiveness!