Sunday, August 16, 2015

Are Science Fiction and Fantasy Shockingly Offensive?



I actually agree with Lutgendorff that there's a lot of sexism in the science fiction and fantasy genres. But is not aesthetically sound to judge an entire genre using a single moral or political principle. I also agree with Lutgendorff's implicit assumption that morality is relevant to aesthetic evaluation, but her article seems to imply that it is the only or the most important principle of aesthetic evaluation, which is false. 

Perhaps Lutgendorff is not making an aesthetic argument at all, but rather a moral or political argument about the badness of the science fiction and fantasy genres. In that case, her argument still seems rather tone-deaf to the aesthetic merit of some of the works she discusses (Terry Brooks' Shannara novels excluded, inter alia). This seems to be an example of a larger social trend to reduce all of moral, aesthetic, and spiritual evaluation to gender politics or to some other narrow (if nonetheless important) political principle.
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