The over sexualization of women does not stop with the previous examples. Plenty of science fiction media has shown futuristic creatures or video game avatars in an over sexualized way.
Above is the love scene from the movie Avatar, released in 2009 and directed by James Cameron. Interestingly enough, Cameron thought it necessary to include how his futuristic alien creatures reproduce but what stands out is how oddly sexual the scene is. The female Avatar is easily picked out next to the male because of the illusuion to breasts and an overall petite and feminine body. Again it is obvious by watching this scene alone that sex is a highly valued aspect of life to most science fiction writers and producers.
This is Cortona from the video game, Halo. She is a hologram in the game. Her alone is very provocative and has an intense cut out to show her holographic cleavage. Beyond the clothes she’s been dressed in, she has a very shapely figure that most women do not possess. Women are consistently being portrayed with large breasts and wide hips when in reality this is far from what the average woman looks like or should look like.
Over sexualized and over exaggerated female images in science fiction media continue to raise unrealistic expectations fro what women should look like and give the men who design these characters an outlet for their fetishized alien fantasies.
The Handmaids Tale is a television series that follows a woman named Offred through a post civil war in the United States where many men and women are infertile. The society is based off of the Bible and fertile women are forced into a form of slavery in which they are surrogates for the barren wealthy. The women who are used as surrogates are called Handmaids. They live in the homes with married wealthy individuals and once a month are forceablly raped by the man of the household in hopes to get them pregnant. Once they give birth the babies are taken from them and the Handmaid is relocated to bless another family with child.
The above scene is from Season 2, Offred is with child but is going past her due date. The family she lives with forces her to have sex with the Commander in order to help the baby come naturally. They use biblical. references to justify the rape. This is common in this society. Instead of continuing to advance the society was taken over by a group that wishes to repopulate with children of God. Women are constantly being oppressed with religious justification and seemingly there is nothing surrounding nations can do to help the women.
Here, one of Offreds friends named, Ofglen is punished for being a lesbian before the war and continuing to seek romantic relationships with women. As punishment for her being a homosexual the society removes part of her sex organ so she can no longer feel pleasure when having intercourse. The idea of genital mutilation is not new and is still used today on women who do not meet the expectations of the men in their life.
In this scene all of the Handmaids in this city have been brought to be hung because they were unwilling to cast stones at a fellow Handmaid which would have killed her. The society uses fear tactics like this to force the Handmaids into being subservient to the commanders of the society.
The Handmaids Tale shows the rights of women being completely taken away in the future. Today laws are being put in place to determine if women should be allowed to have abortions or if women can legally exchange sex for money. This exaggeration of modern day issues pushes the idea that the control over women’s bodies may continue to be sought after by the government.
Black Mirror is a television series that has run five seasons since it first aired in 2011. Each episode has a different story line that explores crazy possibilities that come with the evolution of technology. Throughout the show and in the episode, Striking Vipers, from season five specifically, it is clear one thing remains in the future: woman are portrayed as sex objects. Not only is the main character in this episode seen as a sex object, she is fetishized for being in a video game.
In Striking Vipers, two old male friends come together for a birthday party and one friend gifts the other a virtual reality version of a game they once played as kids. This advanced virtual reality game mimics all real sensation meaning the fights feel real and so does the sex. In this scene, it is their first fight using this new technology. One of the men goes into the game as a male player while the other goes in as a female player. The female player is dressed provocatively and is certainly not wearing proper combat gear. Since her avatar is so over sexualized and this new pretty face is connected with the personality of his bestfriend, the inevitable occurs and in the game they have sex.
Both of the men enjoy the virtual sex so much it makes them question their sexuality. Neither of them think they are homosexual after this experience though because the players are straight. However, even though they can talk themselves out of thinking what they’re doing is all in good fun, they continue to hide it. It is not the sex that is wrong in any way, but this seemingly silly story line is very realistic. With the continued over sexualization of female characters, more men begin to fetishize the experience of playing using these avatars. The possibility of virtual reality being used for sex is real.
The episode clearly shows that this sexual interaction causes a huge mental catastrophe for the men involved even though they both did it by choice. It isn’t far from possible though that games like this could be used to take advantage of people everywhere. If a person can enter a game and become a very attractive woman, could their opponent take advantage of them in a way that feels very real. Women are not to used as sex objects or as an outlet for exploring sexual orientation yet that is exactly how this character is being portrayed in this episode of Black Mirror.
Wall-E is a fantastic love story that shows how love can drive someone to do anything for who they love. Wall-E is a robot that is cleaning up the Earth that has been destroyed by pollution, while humans fly around space and wait for it to be habitable again. Eve is sent to Earth to look for signs of life and she bumps into Wall-E. Both are clearly robots however we see them portrayed with genders. Wall-E is shown as being male by his rigid build and rustic appearance. Eve is shown as a woman because she is rounded, clean, and brand new.
This movie only continues to show viewers, whom in this case are mostly children, that there is a specific look to achieve to come across as feminine. In the majority of the science fiction media being discussed, female robots or entities are shown to fit a certain mold. This idea has been consistently pushed on teens and older women but even this movie gives young girls the impression that the way they are born may not be enough.
To conclude, while Wall-E is the perfect movie to show case the very real possibilities of what pollution can do to the Earth, the film still perpetuates unrealistic standards for women that should definitely not be placed on children.
Bladerunner 2049 follows up on the post war world created by Phillip K. Dick in Do Andriods Dream of Electric Sheep? K is an android that works for the government to track down older models of androids and retire them. While working to retire an android he discovers something that could potentially prove he is human rather than an android. Throughout the movie he has a female companion named Joi that is a hologram. Joi acts as a personal assistant and virtual girlfriend to K. She cooks, cleans, and most importantly has a pretty face.
In the scene above, K sees an advertisement for Joi on the street. She comes out of the advertisement and is completely naked. This advertisement shows that sex will be marketed in even more extreme ways. The ad also flips between saying, “Everything you want to hear,” and “Everything you want to see.” Joi is being marketed as a sex toy that will also be a companion. Much like in Her the opperator has control over how his “perfect” lover acts.
Here, Joi has found a human woman to morph with so that her and K can have sex. It is clear that Joi has been programmed to believe sex or the ability to give a physical aspect of yourself to your lover is an important part of connection. This is the belief of many modern day women as well. Media like Bladerunner 2049, Her, and more make the viewer believe that sex is held in such high regard by men, even the robotic men, that they have to find a way to give it to them by any means possible.
The continued over sexualization of women in modern media and the showcasing of that continuing to happen in the future show that women won’t be looking forward to be ing viewed as much more than sex objects any time soon.
Her, is about a heartbroken man who turns to an operating system for love. This movie follows Theodore through his interesting love affair with an OS named Samantha.
Here, Theodore first meets his OS system. This specific operating system was marketed as a piece of software that would act as a personal assistant. Theodore does not have a job quite worthy of needing a personal assistant though. This OS will act as more for Theodore, whom is recently heartbroken. While setting up his OS, he purposely chooses his OS to be female. While Samantha, the OS, is obviously very advanced it is clear she has been programmed to be sweet on her operator. Theodore is shocked to find out she fancies hundreds of other people operating the OS under different names and genders. Samantha represents more than just a love interest though. There are many power dynamics being clearly displayed in this scene alone. A man is creating his perfect love, whom will do everything for him, and can never leave, and never age.
In the above scene, Samantha or the OS is being recalled. Theodore is clearly infatuated with his OS at this point and is very sad to be loosing “Samantha.” It is very possible that our future could bring opperating systems that work the same way as Samantha in Her. Without a doubt sex will always be marketed to men and plenty of people will want access to a “perfect” companion. The countless years of progress made by womens activist to try to even the scales for women lost instantly when men can create and fall so deeply in love with a piece of software. Women were once forced into dressing exactly how their husband would want them to look and with this glimpse into the future I can see men determining the personality and every move of their software lover.
After Samantha leaves, Theodore, like many others who have lost their loved operating systems is depressed but realizes his obvious deep need for affection. This makes him send an email to a previous lover of his. However, this makes the viewer question if his love to his past human companion is real. If Samantha had never left Theodore, would he been so keen to find physical love?
Her, unfortunately shows that physical connection can be easily replaced by a voice in a computer and that the future holds pieces of equipment that could allow men to create their “perfect” woman in place of the real thing.
More often that not the average person will consider the term “science fiction” and conjure up images of a distant reality in which flying cars, hologram advertisements, and a city full of modern, aerodynamic buildings that allow for people to park their flying car right in the window next to their cubicle in the office. While this isn’t far from the truth about most science fiction media, the future seems to hold darker things in store for women. Typically, the reader or viewer is thrown decades or centuries into the future and after society has continued to evolve one thing remains: women are shown as sex symbols, are used as sex objects, and are shown half naked time and time again in the media. This reoccurring theme brings up the question, should women feel doomed to a lifetime of suppression and expect that the future will still have sexism or outlets for pedophilia and rape? Is that the future men in sci/fi have in mind?
Multiple pieces of science fiction film will show how women are oversexualized in this genre.
Her, produced by Spike Jonze and released in 2013 follows Theodore, is about a man who falls in love with an OS system named Samantha.
(Click picture to be taken to an in depth look at Her.)
Bladerunner 2049, released in 2017, directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, follows K, an android through his daily operations and missions.
(Click picture to be taken to an in depth look at Bladerunner 2049.)
Wall-E, released in 2008, produced by Pixar Animation Studios for Walt Disney Pictures, showcases the odd love story of one robot left to clean up the Earth and the robot who’s sent to explore it.
(Click picture to be taken to an in depth look at Wall-E.)
Black Mirror, a British television show created by, Charlie Brooker, and aired in 2011, showcases many different situations that could be made realities in the future.
(Click picture for an in depth look into one of Black Mirror’s episodes: Striking Vipers.)
The Handmaid’s Tale, created by Bruce Miller, first aired in 2017. Handmaid’s Tale is based of the novel with the same name, written by Maragret Atwood in 1985, and follows a woman through a dystopian world in which women have no rights.
(Click picture for an in depth look at The Handmaid’s Tale)
Click the picture for a look at a few other pieces of science fiction media that portray female characters in an over sexualized manner.
Through the analysis of multiple pieces of science fiction media it is clear that women or female intensities are portrayed in an over sexualized manner and are viewed as sex objects. All of the pieces discussed happened to be written or produced by males and show women being created for the purposes of serving a mans every need, including sexual. This portrayal of women negatively impacts todays viewers as well as future viewers. As media continues to show women in this way, more women will continue to hold onto the false belief that to be attractive or wanted by men means they must be provakotively dressed or give a man his every desire.
Click the picture to be taken to Works Cited Page.
To finish up our collaborative project I created two events for Send it to Space.
The first event flyer is showcases SendittoSpace’s Trash Party event where there will classes on how to correctly recycle materials and the option to bring all of your trash to be sorted and recycled properly by Send it to Space! Food and drinks will be provided!
The second event is a special for the kiddos! At Send it to Space we value education and that starts with the youth. We will be holding this event in partnership with the local planetarium where kids can come and enjoy an evening learning about space! All proceeds will go to Send it to Space.
This project was really fun and interesting! My project partners were awesome and I felt like all of us worked very hard to create the best website possible for Send it to Space.
To close out our collaborative assignment, I worked on fixing some of the things brought up in Mondays class, 12/2/2019. I found outside resources that we attached to our lists of current solutions. If you go on that page and click each of the tips a hyperlink will take you to an article I read that helped me to come up with that tip and would also show the reader how to implement those tips into their daily life.
I also added information under all of the pictures on our about page under our core beliefs. I wrote what our organizations believes is the correct way to go about cheaper space travel and how we will achieve it, smarter waste management, and what we consider to be a “cleaner Earth.”
I also began organizing our google doc so it was clear to navigate and showed each task we completed on the site.
We also added in links to all of our pictures.
Joanna began a final blog post for our research page that will detail where we plan on sending the trash once in space.