The new “Lost in Space” shows us our future!

Summary: The new “Lost in Space” on Netflix deserves your attention. They wrote it to be entertaining and educational. It is both, but in ways they did not intend.

“Humankind evolves. It’s how we survive. Through ice ages, plagues, wars, disasters from above. We adapt our skills, our languages, our very bodies in order to live. ”
— Maureen Robinson, the “fearless and brilliant aerospace engineer who makes the decision to bring her family to space for a chance at a new life on a better world.” From the trailer.

Lost in Space

Netflix has rebooted the 1960’s TV show “Lost in Space” (LIS). The plots are slightly more sophisticated. But more interesting are the characters, which reveal much about a core problem of America today. The show’s premise is a dying Earth. The critics’ descriptions unknowingly describe one of the most serious problems facing America today. Who are the people on 2018’s version of the Jupiter II spacecraft?

“Molly Parker brings her usual verve, skill and charisma to the role of matriarch Maureen Robinson …Don West starts out as a relatively irritating presence and doesn’t progress much from there. …John (Toby Stephens) is a standard issue TV father with nothing unique to recommend him.” — Maureen Ryan at Variety.

“Maureen, a scientific polymath, is the effective head of the family, to which John, a former Navy SEAL often away, is trying to return, even as his wife is filing for divorce. Older daughter Judy (Taylor Russell) …is a medical doctor – and also the product of Maureen’s first marriage, and biracial {she never met her dad}.” — Robert Lloyd at the LAT.

Maureen is “an aerospace engineer with a fearsome intellect. A driven and demanding woman both in and outside her home. (source). …Judy Robinson {is} the athletic 18-year-old medical student, driven and brilliant. …Don West {is a} mercenary mechanic and unrepentant booze smuggler.” — From the Wiki.

“John …is the only dumb one, really, and his military track record has kept him away from his brilliant, science-minded family for far too long.” — Sam Machkovech in Ars Technica. In the opening episode, his eleven year old son has to tell dad about the properties of magnesium.

This show is useful not just as a snapshot of modern American, but allows a comparison showing how we have changed. In the original series (1965-1968), John Robinson was the family patriarch. A brilliant scientists, physically and morally strong, brave, and a good father. His wife was beautiful, intelligent, warm, wise, and compassionate. Netflix has taken almost all of John’s strengths (except courage) and shifted them to Maureen – in addition to her original strengths (which included courage). She is now super-awesome. She even has humility and grace. She apologizes to her husband when she did not take his good advice. She congratulates him when he does something well (e.g., driving backwards very fast).

Of course she is the family matriarch. The rest of the plot’s dynamics follows logically from their characters, and leads to the question which might undermine our future.

Original Robinson family - 1965

While the science in this show about the future often makes little sense, the character dynamics are as real as today. Maureen is a Generation Z woman, born roughly around 2000-2003 (the show takes place in 2046; her oldest child is 18). She marries a not too bright SEAL (a high-class bad boy). She was raised to empower her “inner G.I.R.L. – Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader” (™ of the Girl Scouts). She could squeeze in “mother”, but there was not much extra room for “wife.”

Of course she filed for divorce. Her youngest child was in school. She is much better than her husband in almost every way. She is economically self-sufficient (especially with his child support payments). She no longer needs him; whatever he offers is less valuable than her independence.

Of course he spent most of his time away from his family. He was an alpha man lured into marriage by romance. Quite the shock to find himself dominated by his wife (women breaking alpha men is a common TV trope now). She probably took command slowly in their first five or so years of marriage, during which his two kids were born.

Of course they reunited to flee the dying Earth. With millions or tens of millions of families volunteering, they would want to look perfect to make the cut.

Logically, LIS paints the next generation following in the same pattern as the current one. Don West was a strong, brave, bold, spaceship pilot in the original. Now he is a morally weak low-life roguish smuggler (providing occasional comic relief). Of course Judy (awesome like her mother) is attracted to him.

What does LIS teach children?

“It’s important that the children hear us talking with one voice. And that voice is mine.”
— Maureen Robinson (engineer, scientist, wife, mother, commander of the Jupiter 2, matriarch of her family) to her husband (a former SEAL) in episode 2 of the new “Lost in Space”.

June Lockhart
The original Maureen Robinson.

Raising two children, I was frequently amazed at the lessons they effortlessly extracted from films and TV shows. Watching the original LIS as a young teen, I learned about the benefits of patriarchy. If he become strong and educated, a man could married a wonderful hottie like June Lockhart – with good odds of a long pleasant marriage. He would be head of the household (with its reality varying depending on circumstances), respected by family and community as a husband and father.

What does the John Robinson of the new LIS get out of marriage? He is a (retired) SEAL, one of an elite among men. He gets a wife who commands him, until she dumps him (of course, he continues to pay for his children). He has a step-child, who does not like him. As for reputation – we can only guess about America in 2046, but today in the entertainment media the role of “father” is synonymous with buffoon. When in Family Court it means even less.

His years as a husband probably have brought him one insight. It was a con when Maureen smiled and said “until death do us part.” She said it fully aware that easy divorce with cash and community property was an option that women like her choose when convenient.

Although travel in constant danger across the universe has given him the opportunity for a new marriage (but still as an obedient spouse), that is the equivalent of the Blue Fairy granting wishes. Nice, but not to be counted on.

What do impressionable young teenage men learn from watching Netflix’s latest “family friendly” show? It is friendly for families to watch, but is it friendly to the institution of marriage?

The new Robinson family on Lost in Space – 2018

About women on the big screen and little screen

I occasionally talk to young men about the young women they see in films and TV shows. That is, about the characters portrayed – not the actresses. These women tend to be athletic, beautiful, intelligent, self-reliant (“I can take care of myself”), and kick-ass (the new Lost In Space “is all about the badass ladies“). They are the exemplars of what our parents and schools seek to produce.

I ask them if they would like to hook up with these women, and get predictable answers. I ask if they would like to marry these women. Their response shows that the question was stupid. These are ideal women to have an adventure with. They are great for hookups, as friends-with-benefits, and sometimes even for “relationships”. But not marriage.

I have never had the opportunity to ask young women for their opinion of women on the screens. Or ask if the women on the screens are role models for them.

Lost Space DVD - season 1 of the original
Available at Amazon.

Conclusions

As I have said in previous posts – the rate of marriage is slowly declining. In the next decade or so it might fall quite a bit. Each new generation is the equivalent of pushing the “reset” button on America. That is because, as the adage goes, “more is caught than taught.” So our young men might have learned unintended lessons about marriage from TV and films. If so, how will the young women of their generation respond?

Like monkeys in the control room of a nuclear power plant, during the past 50 years we have spun dials and flipped switches on the controls of American society. Certain of our ideology, we had no need to test or experiment. Time will tell how this works out for America.

Maureen said “Humankind evolves. It’s how we survive.”

But sometimes we take paths that are dead ends.
Like communism. The price for that is often high.

Trivia note: about the matriarch’s leadership

Maureen Robinson has terrible judgement. She might be the best captain for the family expedition, but why can a picked group of elites not do better as a leader? She withholds vital information from the colonists, which ends badly. She does not punish “Dr. Smith” (in the original, keeping him was somewhat logical, as he was their only doctor – unlike the reboot). She does not take advice from her husband in matters about which he is an experienced expert.

This is similar to Justice League, in which Wonder Woman was the destined leader. But she demonstrated an inability to make the required but difficult big decision. Without Batman’s leadership, Earth would have been toast.

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If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about women and gender issuesabout feminismabout marriage, and especially these…

  1. “Mockingjay” shows us a Revolution in Gender Roles. What’s the next revolution?
  2. A new hot trend from Hollywood: women hitting men.
  3. Modern movies show the hidden truth about romance & marriage: they’re dying.
  4. Disturbing next steps in the gender revolution – films showing romance as women breaking men.
  5. Classic films show what marriage was. Facts show its death.
  6. The Last Jedi: girls rule, giving a New Hope to the galaxy!
  7. Before “Wonder Women” there was “G I Jane.”
  8. Hollywood gives men role models for a wrecked America.

Trailers for the Lost in Space TV shows

The original – in 1966.

For the new one – in 2018.

85 thoughts on “The new “Lost in Space” shows us our future!

  1. No Doctor Smith? The Voice of Sanity is missing.. represented the decline in prestige (or desirability) of academe, maybe? Though I was never sure what type of doctor he actually is..

    He and the robot were the only ones with any survival instinct.. They are all doomed…

    1. Christopher,

      In the original LIS, Dr. Smith was an MD. That was a reason to keep him. They had no other trained medic.

      In the Netflix show, the “Dr. Smith” is an imposture. She has no useful skills and appears to be a psychopath. Critics call her a “sociopath.” There is no such thing. It’s just a polite label for a low-level psychopath.

    2. So they have given Dr Smith a sex-change… that figures… The original may have been a sociopath too but he was the only one with his feet on the ground… By the sounds of the new version, she will not be a fixture at Comicon for decades to come as Jonathan Harris was..

    3. Mining Pundits,

      “she will not be a fixture at Comicon for decades to come”

      Probably not for decades, but perhaps for a few years. Also, how is this woman 49 years old? She looks much younger in all her photos.

      Parker Posey

  2. “I have never had the opportunity to ask young women for their opinion of women on the screens. Or ask if the women on the screens are role models for them.”

    My guess would be eye rolling resentment from most, girl crushes from a few. People know when there being pandered to. A good example is the horrible Star trek reboot with its super girl power genius super warrior main character, it sank without a trace.. My own experience of watching shows like 24, or movies like James Bond, with there indestructible Alpha male super heroes was why can’t the bad guys shoot straight for once and grease this f***, this is ridiculous. Its hard to identify with a character that couldn’t exist in the real world.

    The way Netflix comes up with show concepts is interesting. They look at what viewers watch, the length of time they watch for, age profiles, gender, ect, all the numbers, they feed them into there computer, press enter and it spits out concepts for shows (I’m not joking, this is why they make so many terrible shows with dire viewing figures).

    So you get things like Lost in Space.
    Sci fi – teen boys…for an episode or 2, then they realize they been sold a pup.
    Awesome teen girl – teen girl
    Awesome Mom – bored Mom
    Stupid Dad – Not sure who this is aimed at, feminists? resentful divorcees? I guess there are a lot of fatherless families out there.
    Love interest – bored Mom/Daughter, gay men
    Super competent females – TV reviewers, bloggers ect

    Note, since fathers don’t really watch teen sci fi shows, there is nothing in the show to pander to his imagined tastes. He’s in the other room watching the Nazis on History, or sport or the news, or perhaps is out with his family doing fun things.

    Writers don’t come up with Show concepts on Netflix’s, they are given a list of elements and character types that they have to blend together. I watch a lot of Netflix shows out of curiosity, as I work in TV production for a living. There is something uniquely soulless about there content. They have created nothing interesting as far as I can remember (apart from Fargo and Mindhunter, both concepts they bought in). They have no Sopranos, no Breaking Bad, no Game of Thrones, No Walking Dead, shows that actually resonate with people, shows that create fans, shows that have Souls, complex characters, characters that live, not the cardboard cutouts that the Netflix computer comes up with.
    What Netflix have is a distribution network, will that be enough long term? Maybe. One thing I know is that nobody I know in TV production talks about their content. Nobody I know in the real world talks about it either.

    1. “I’m not joking, this is why they make so many terrible shows with dire viewing figures”
      “A good example is the horrible Star trek reboot with its super girl power genius super warrior main character, it sank without a trace”

      Do we know these things for a fact? Ratings on streaming services (here Netflix and CBS All Access) are not published, one of the things that allow critics to say that things like The Handmaid’s tale (feminist fear porn) is a resounding success without evidence). All I know is that the horrid new Star Trek series was renewed for a second season.

      The current dominant tropes in series are quite clear, and don’t seem to draw that much success for the most part: I don’t see a lot of impressive numbers anymore in terms of ratings, very few “big” series that gather large and diverse audiences around them: balkanization seems more the reality of the day, at a time where there is a LOT of money for TV production in general (but not necessarily that much for any given product, apart from a few “flagship” ones), and an ungodly number of series being produced (5 to 6 times more produced annually than at the beginning of the 2000s).

      What I see is a disproportionate amount of outwardly caricatural pandering on the production side, towards an audience that seems in large part imaginary, aka the “woke” youth and young adults that is supposed to adhere to these tropes whatever the genre of the series, any genre being perverted by this prioritization of a more or less political and societal agenda over the basics (plot, characters, codes of a genre, consistency, etc).

      And that trend seems in line with what is happening in cinema: how politicized/ideological are TV (and cinema) productions nowadays? It seems they are targeting critics far more than actual audiences. Critics being currently unavailable to do anything else than “social analysis” of entertainment products. And enjoying consequently a wide disconnect with the public, that can increasingly be seen in the widening gaps between critics scores and audience scores (or ratings). But a lot of this doesn’t seem to bother the production side in many cases: what is happening currently at Lucasfilm with the Star Wars franchise seems quite representative to that regards. There seems to be a real ideological bend to that behavior that pushes towards continuing on the wrong path despite the feedback from audiences (a trend that has, in recent years, destroyed most of the comics industry).

    2. Tancrède,

      That is what I was thinking, but better expressed.

      Also, I see few films and watch little TV – so am a poor judge of these things. As I said in my reviews, a lot of these productions have a “socialist realism” feel to them. Art designed to inspire the ignorant masses, uplifting their thinking with proper ideology. People hated most of that in the Soviet Union. Perhaps Hollywood does it better?

    3. Gerard,

      That’s an interesting look behind the scenes! Thank you for sharing it.

      I have wondered about Netflix’s content. For example, how successful is their endless stream of teen sci-fi shows? I look through their listings, and it looks like a wasteland — but I’m far from their target audiences. Shows I like tend to be cancelled. But there are some good ones. I enjoyed “Altered Carbon”, which Netflix adapted from a book. They bought “Travelers” from Canada, which I liked and appears to have done well. They bought “Black Mirror” from the Brits, and the two new seasons done by Netflix appear to have done well.

      Re: Star Trek Discovery

      I have not seen it, but my guess is that the Star Wars reboot guarantees that we will see a great many more shows highlighting Mary Sue characters. The success of “Wonder Woman”, ditto. I find them to be perfection on wheels and so boring as dirt. Time will tell what the public thinks.

    4. Re: Star Trek Discovery

      Gerard’s comment pushed me to watch the first episode. Wow. I made it through the first half hour (it seemed longer). The long voice-over set the tone, a sure sign of hack writing. The opening scene was nonsensical. No GPS in the 23rd century? Starships in the atmosphere is still dumb (despite it being in one of the reboot films.

      The dialog was horrific. The Magic School Bus joins Star Fleet. They joked as if in a high school classroom, not the bridge of a major vessel in unknown space. The heroine First Officer flew off in her spacesuit as if on a lark. Most of the acting was high school play grade, probably because the actors could not take this farce seriously (or perhaps it was a failure of the director to make it real).

      The captain’s decision-making was moronic.

      The scenes with the Klingons were boring.

    5. “People hated most of that in the Soviet Union. Perhaps Hollywood does it better?”

      The jury is still out for the moment, and may well be for a little while: it took around 5 years in the rather small comics industry to see a form of “resistance” (that has, over the last months, started to be labeled “comicsgate”) emerge in a vaguely organized fashion, with a few people speaking out on social media and gathering an audience that is now clearly starting to make some deciders in the industry worry (because, apparently, their falling numbers didn’t). So, for industries as massive as films and series productions, it could take a while. On the other end, the stakes being that much bigger (money, visibility), shareholders could prove more reactive if confronted with problematic numbers and inadequate narratives from the deciders.

      Another unknown is the average interpretation in these industries about the balkanized audiences: if the bets are that products have to accept smaller, tribalized ratings, targeted with hyper specific film and series relying on heavy tropes, in a therefore highly segmented market, the current trend could last longer. If not, the aforementioned reaction is bound to happen sooner or later. But since the tropes we criticize seem now dominant, to a greater or lesser degree according to a series or film, all over the spectrum of production, I don’t think that it is for the most part the result of a targeting strategy, and more that of a dominant zeitgeist in the production companies and staffs (most of which comes from the same schools and mentalities).

      And these production people have a strong influence with marketing staffs (close in mentality, quite often) to tell them what works, what trends, and what is cool. On another market, we see the same thing in the news business (which resembles fiction a lot more every day) that, confronted with dramatically reduced audiences, has massively made the choice of pandering, ranting and crybullying in a drive towards “social justice” and “diversity” (neither having that much to do with actual justice or any form of real diversity). That has saturated a shrinking market, and Univision’s recent announcement of big cuts in staff is just one more example of this being a bad calculus everybody still seems to be doubling down on.

      “I have wondered about Netflix’s content. For example, how successful is their endless stream of teen sci-fi shows? ”

      No publication of ratings by streaming services (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, CBS all Access, Disney); we don’t know at all. A few numbers here and there, but nothing sufficient to see trends, appreciate magnitude…. For the time being, most of these services benefit from massive influxes of cash, and the need to conquer market shares in the hope of a bright future continuously promised to investors. Fairly normal in any primary phase of a new scene.A little time has to pass before we can see what works or not. Netflix is still raking up giant numbers of productions to take all the seats it can and occupy the visual space. They borrow massive amounts of cash thanks to their growth in numbers of subscribers and invest everything they have. I don’t think the profitability of individual products is that high on their list or priorities for the time being.

      “I enjoyed “Altered Carbon””

      Blasphemy in my eyes ;). But I have read and enjoyed the books, where Kovaks is actually allowed to be a main character/anti hero (and a man), and not a quasi second fiddle to all the “strong independent female” (required formula of contemporaneous catechism)…. But I agree with most of the critics I have read: the best character in this series is the Hotel.

    6. Tancrède,

      Altered Carbon: ” second fiddle to all the “strong independent females”

      Good point. The men in these shows are all minor figures orbiting the much more powerful women.

      Re: Netflix

      Lots of discussion by investors about their financials. It is a massive bet. Time will tell if it pays off. So far, as with so many firms these days, Wall Street is buying the dream.

      Re: comics

      I am amazed that Disney allowed Marvel to burn their stable of characters, betting that their new diverse ones will pay off. It seems to have paid off with the female Thor, which encouraged them to go all in. My guess is that that they are toast, and can’t go back. Media firms have no assets. They have to build their brands anew with each new generation. My guess (guess!) is that they have failed to do so, and they are flying on momentum until the generations who know their characters die off.

      But the classic age superheroes might find new life as TV and film characters. Or this might be a fad, like westerns. Time will tell

    7. “Stupid Dad – Not sure who this is aimed at”

      I don’t think it’s aimed at anyone, it’s just that the creators of this show literally could not conceive of a different kind of dad.

    8. “I am amazed that Disney allowed Marvel to burn their stable of characters, betting that their new diverse ones will pay off. It seems to have paid off with the female Thor, which encouraged them to go all in. My guess is that that they are toast, and can’t go back. ”

      Marvel Comics and Marvel Studio (aka Disney) are two separate entities, even within Disney, with no “common core” in terms of governance. They could as well be on different planets. Marvel Comics is such a small fry as far as sales are concerned, that I doubt it even registers on Disney’s radar, or that it would warrant even the most basic level of oversight or coordination in the management of the “intellectual capital”.The MCEU can evolve on its own, in the minds of its west coast deciders, profiting of the material it has already taken and used. The comics can stew in their very small east coast pond, and nobody notices.

      For a side note, the “success” of the female Thor isn’t that much of a success: an average of 40 000 copies expedited (not actual sales… Comic shops have loads of unsold material in the SJW era, and many are disappearing) is only considered a success by the current deciders. 15 years ago, less than 60 000 sales a month for a series was a case for cancellation. Today, there are many months when no title even approach 100 000, which was a low average for half the production not so long ago.

      I’m not a comics fan, but the economics of it are interesting, and the last decade should be studied in management school to underline everything that can go wrong and how NOT to adapt and change (and, more interestingly to this topic, why…. Spoiler: it’s not business, it’s ideology).

  3. Netflix paid what? $180 million for rights to Tolkein’s work, under a 5 year development plan… They are so ideologically driven, it seems they will destroy any meaning or truth in it in their adaptations. Which, given how much I and so many others love it, would be just criminal.

    1. PAT,

      “The person who did that to her child is supposed to be a hero?”

      Judy’s dad, Maureen’s previous husband, is not in the show.

  4. “He was an alpha man lured into marriage by romance. Quite the shock to find himself dominated by his wife. ”

    He probably thought “game”–the practice of spending all your free time trying to figure out what your woman wants, and doing whatever necessary to give it to her–would give him an advantage. Instead, it made him a servant, as predictably as the sun rises.

    1. Game,

      “‘game’ – the practice of spending all your free time trying to figure out what your woman wants, and doing whatever necessary to give it to her”

      That’s pretty much the exact opposite of Game. I suggest not getting your ideas about these things from reading feminists.

  5. Interesting also is the low probability of man-woman pairings in series and movies: the high earning/high achieving woman with the lower status man. Kind of not happening that much in reality, especially with high/higher status women. The pattern is, as I have read almost everywhere, a woman seeking equal of higher status men and not compromising on that topic (until it’s too late for anything else). The higher the status, the higher the level of hypergamy. It is particularly true on the criteria of education (also important for men), job and income (men are less regarding in those domains).

    So, a hyper-high-achieving-doctor-with-“TV PHDs”-in-everything (science seems to be a big lump on TV: you’re the science guy/gal means you’re good at all sciences) who gets married with a soldier (even one from special forces)? Yeaaaaah, highly likely. Just like a senior editor at Huffpo falling for her plumber.

    1. Tancrède,

      Re: John and Maureen Robinson

      We can only guess at the lives of fictional characters – but it’s fun to do so! My guess is that John got her because he was a SEAL. Not just a bad boy alpha, but a high-status one.

      He must have been shocked to find himself dominated by his wife. Being a genius, she probably broke him in slowly. That is the pattern in modern romances on TV. For examples see Disturbing next steps in the gender revolution – films showing romance as women breaking men.

    2. “Being a genius, she probably broke him in slowly”

      Many scientists working in a secret rebel lab call that “the power of nagging”, or “death by a thousand cuts” (but never “domestic harassment”, because that would be sexist). Highly complex concepts. Terrifying stuff.

    3. Tancrède,

      ““the power of nagging”, or “death by a thousand cuts” ”

      I don’t believe any of that was necessary. Maureen is just much better at almost everything than John. Dominating him is a natural result. That’s quite clear in the show, as it is in so many TV shows (e.g., “Castle”, “NCIS LA”). Female characters are increasingly often becoming awesome women. Super competent if not omnicompetent. The women in Netflix LIS are shown with weaknesses. Maureen with anxiety; Judy with some PTSD from her near-death in Episode One. But they are much better than the guys.

      Nobody in this thread has even mentioned the question that is the core of the post: how do these shows affect young teen men? Does this make them want to follow our society’s path for them: work hard, learn much, marry a strong women, have ~40% odds of getting divorced and paying community property and child support? Plus the ongoing struggle with your wife for control, since everyone is raised to consider being a leader the only legitimate role.

    4. “Nobody in this thread has even mentioned the question that is the core of the post: how do these shows affect young teen men?”

      Yeah, THIS. Please, get interested in this. A whole generation is being lost and thrown away. And nobody seems to give. a. damn.

      I’m 59 and have hung out in the Jordan Peterson reddit and a meetup group with the young guys for a couple years…. And, as much as I like Jordan, his leadership here is just horrible although he certainly has his plate full too.

      I’d say it’s a host of problems, depression, escapism, hookup culture, etc. because no one’s showing them anything else.

    5. “Female characters are increasingly often becoming awesome women. Super competent if not omnicompetent. The women in Netflix LIS are shown with weaknesses. Maureen with anxiety; Judy with some PTSD from her near-death in Episode One. But they are much better than the guys.”

      Quite true: the trope varies in degrees from series to series, film to film, but remains fundamentally an absolute: “girls rule, boys drool”. At best, a few alphas are allowed to be proficient at ONE thing (sometimes even the most proficient on the show), and at times a bit non obedient, but that’s about it. They have to be goofy, slow, weak…. Behind the girls for the most part. That’s the convention, just like a mixed gender fight in wrestling HAS to be won by the woman 90% of the time (and if the man wins, it’s a hard win, whatever the difference in size or strength). Anything else is taboo.

      One of the unseen issue in that trope and its absolute dominance in fiction production today is seldom debated, but in my opinion should be: it’s about the absolute mediocrity of storytelling and competence this all thing underlines. Never has production been so technically proficient in all specialties…. But one. Writing. This has gone downhill over the last decades, partly because of persistent low salaries (except for a micro minority of winners who take all), partly because of the perpetual pressure from the top to cut that budget (and the over-supply of writers, despite the pay -it’s a passion job), partly because of the profession itself, the college disciplines it comes from (ideology, sameness, no diversity of backgrounds or alternative cursi) and the professional milieu as it functions (incestuous, cooptation, ideological gatekeepers).

      The quality of storytelling isn’t great, and seems to lower for the most part, even if everything else is everyday more impressive. Even the dialogues of mediocre series has progressed, because it is mostly technical, once the “meat” of the script has been defined: witticisms and sharp retorts are not hard to come by. But the “story-making”? Yikes! With the current ultra-ideological bend that can be found at every level (how Disney can for example justify giving any project to Ava Duvernay after a major bomb and a string of financial failures?), the result is not what it should be. At a time where China is quickly becoming a major production center for fiction, some executives should ask themselves a few questions.

      Series and films rely on, I find, an increasing proportion of tropes and codes that are as caricatural as they are not questioned in any way, to any degree. That’s what happened to the chivalric romance in its time, culminating with things like Amadis de Gaula (best seller of the XIVth-XVth centuries), an extreme point of hyper-stylized (to the point of absurdity) fiction in this genre….. And from a revolt against this nonsense, from La Mancha came a certain would be knight. Let’s hope new Don Quixotes are there, somewhere, on not so blank pages, ready to storm the stage.

      “Nobody in this thread has even mentioned the question that is the core of the post: how do these shows affect young teen men? Does this make them want to follow our society’s path for them:”

      That’s the whole question: how powerful is the desire to reproduce in young men (especially in these times of falling levels of testosterone and sperm counts)? How strong will it be/remain? Will it be enough, on a large scale, to overcome the maligning and stifling of everything masculine in school (even kindergarten) or entertainment? Will enough of them find incentives to persist in the “traditional” way? What are the metrics to watch to really get an idea of that?
      As far as entertainment is concerned, as I said, the audiences for most shows are less than impressive, and the life span of most of them has drastically shortened, compensated by a bombardment of new products and a saturation of the market (on an enormous number of medias and channels/networks) that can only lessen the emotional attachment of most people to any individual products (the core audiences of which remain motivated and vocal… But small). That should be one of the aforementioned metrics to watch, along with marriage rates and others.
      And the trope of the hyper competent superpowered (or nearly so) lethal woman doesn’t seem to be much more, if I look at cinema audiences: Atomic Blonde didn’t really work, and Tomb Raider (still on screen) ha largely underperformed. The main appeal of such heroines isn’t towards females, but horny teenagers.

      In this overall debate about gender roles, I try to always take a cue from a historical precedent; the first generations of sabras in Israel. Unisex education, with actively de-feminizing of the girls, to make a “new jew”, and soldiers…. And it didn’t work. Girls did girly thing despite that, boys did boyish things, and biology still spoke loudest. And despite active propaganda, gender roles remained in the military during the independence war. Figures….

  6. Larry,

    Regarding the picture you posted of Parker Posey, I don’t know what pictures you’ve seen of her, but I don’t think the one you posted is anything like recent. . I remember her from one of the Blade movies and a failed pilot on USA. I got the DVD out of a $5 bin and remember liking it, but the pilot never sold. It was called Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein.

    My impression is that gender flipping characters might please some critics and SJWs, but the fans not so much. The BSG reboot got away with it to some extent, but they ended up in a situation where the only real man on the show was Edward James Olmos, and the quality of the show slipped pretty badly the last two years (I thought). And how many people actually watch SciFi channel anyway? To a large extent the people who produce and write these things value each other’s opinions more than the opinions of the audience.

    You pointed out once, in your piece on the Last Jedi, that at some level it didn’t really show a lot of confidence in the power of the kick-ass girls to rule, remain in charge and save the day. I think maybe they could have made John Robinson an ex Navy SEAL taking his family to what he hoped would be a better life on a new frontier. They could have given him all of the original John Robonson’s good qualities, and I suspect the character might have found quite a few fans of both sexes. Maybe you had it right when you wrote about The Last Jedi and the reason they keep beating on the super empowered girl thing is that they’re not really all that confident of it themselves.

    We’ve talked before about TV abandoning the male audience. Your reviews of Lost In Space is probably spot on, and it doesn’t fill me with a desire to watch it.

    Note: I did like Passengers a lot when I finally watched it. Thanks for the recommendation on that one.

    1. The Man,

      (1) Parker Posey: “I don’t think the one you posted is anything like recent.”

      I too wondered about that photo. But she looks great even in the cast photos of LIS.

      (2) “My impression is that gender flipping characters might please some critics and SJWs”

      I don’t see the Dr. Smith character as gender-based. So while “gender-flipping” is technically correct, it’s trivial. Not like doing so in Pride and Prejudice or James Bond.

      (3) “at some level it didn’t really show a lot of confidence in the power of the kick-ass girls to rule, remain in charge and save the day.”

      This review was already far too long, but I wanted to make the same point. Maureen Robinson seems consumed by anxiety. Judy has PTSD after her brief excitement in episode one. That is good character development, but undercuts the usual super-girl characterization.

      (4) “it doesn’t fill me with a desire to watch it.”

      Time will tell what size audience this finds in the (guessing) 12-25 age audience they’re targeting. I’ve no feel for this.

    2. George,

      One of the elements in what you say, about the overcompensation of females characters (more hyper masculinized that “empowered” – a word that supposes somebody is giving them power rather than it is about them having or taking it) that, in essence, sends a message of fundamental insecurity rather than power or confidence, strikes me as going along with my own remarks about bad writing in Hollywood, especially in characterization.

      In all these films and series, I see overcompensating females with improbable superpowers (within the apparent limits of reality, or science-fiction/fantasy like according to the genre) and voluntarily diminished males, because apparently, nobody in Hollywood is talented enough to create real plausibly strong and good female characters: they need to make lousy and visibly inferior, incompetent, stupid, weak and ridiculous males to make their female characters look good.

      This is the sign of bad writers (and/or especially biased ones), if they do a balanced job in creating good characters able to stand up by themselves and radiating their qualities without having to male everyone around them lousy.

    3. Tancrede,

      “they need to make lousy and visibly inferior, incompetent, stupid, weak and ridiculous males to make their female characters look good.”

      It’s a commonplace trope in story-telling. “Elementary” does it with Dr. Watson, to make its weird Sherlock Holmes look better. “NCIS LA” and “Castle” did it with the male half of their rom-con couples to make the female half look better.

      “nobody in Hollywood is talented enough to create real plausibly strong and good female characters”

      That’s an exaggeration. A counterexamples in TV was “Forever” and “Blue Bloods.” In film are Passengers, Great Wall, and Gods of Egypt, and Leap Year. There are probably more, but I don’t watch enough to see them.

  7. “Watching the original LIS as a young teen, I learned about the benefits of patriarchy. If he become strong and educated, a man could married a wonderful hottie like June Lockhart – with good odds of a long pleasant marriage. He would be head of the household (with its reality varying depending on circumstances), respected by family and community as a husband and father.”

    I’ve been thinking about the patriarchy because of this series, and coincidentally this week being in the UK and observing Theresa May defending her decision on Syria in the Commons. And reflecting that in the days of the patriarchy, when John Wayne or someone administered the spanking, neither May nor Margaret Thatcher would have had a chance at becoming Prime Minister.

    They both had, have, true grit. May in front of the Police Federation Union, in the face of a theatre filled with jeering and booing, explaining to the Police Union that they could reform themselves or she would do it for them. May indeed any week at Prime Minister’s questions. Thatcher of course at the Brighton bombing, continuing with the conference the morning after the IRA terrorists had tried and almost succeeded at assassinating the entire British Cabinet, including her. And many other decisions. You may not like them or agree with them, but they had, have, the ability, the character, and the grit.

    May is childless, not by her choice. Thatcher had two children. What was a woman of May’s abilities and character supposed to do in the days of the patriarchy? Sit at home and cook dinner for her husband? Play golf? Was Thatcher supposed to be a stay at home mother deferring to Dennis? The whole country would have been the loser if Thatcher and May had not been permitted to express their abilities, and the damage done them would have been intolerable.

    Neither one of them were wonderful hotties. But they are real women, and the problem with the patriarchy and life in the fifties of the last century was that it did not recognise that there were other ways of being a real including sexual woman than being a wonderful ‘hottie’.

    1. George,

      “neither May nor Margaret Thatcher would have had a chance at becoming Prime Minister.”

      True. But Britain has long been ruled by queens. Many have said that the queens have on the whole dones better than the kings.

      (2) Patriarchy

      It would help if you would respond to a quote. I have no idea about the point of your essays, most of which are irrelevant to the post. You’re shadow-boxing. I see climate activists do that a lot in the comments. I guess they’re having fun, and always declare themselves the winner.

    2. George said:
      What was a woman of May’s abilities and character supposed to do in the days of the patriarchy?

      Why is it so all-fired important? I don’t see why society has to bend over backwards to accommodate the needs of people who are about as common as hen’s teeth.

    3. Ray,

      “Why is it so all-fired important? I don’t see why society has to bend over backwards to accommodate the needs of people who are about as common as hen’s teeth.”

      They are rare because their abilities are rare in both men and women, and to deny half of those who have these abilities positions just because of their gender is a loss we cannot afford.

      It is not bending over backwards to give half of society the same opportunities as the other half. Half of us, a bit more, are women. This is why denial of opportunity on grounds of gender matters so much. It is about half of us.

      There seem to be two Georges posting now. I shall take the name of George First from now on.

    4. Larry, I don’t understand. My first para in the comment was a quote from your post and was what I was responding to. As to the rest, maybe I am not clear. I was trying to say that your quote regarding partriarchy was missing a hugely important part of it, the impact on women, and consequently on the society of which they are half. I am sorry if that was not clear.

    5. George,

      “I was trying to say that your quote regarding partriarchy was missing a hugely important part of it…”

      That’s hilarious! You must be kidding! This is a review of a television show. A long review. I briefly mention some large issues relevant to it. You say that those brief mentions are not big essays with full analysis of those complex issues. Well, duh.

      However, I did provide an answer to questions such as yours. It’s the “For More Information Section”, which says “See all posts about women and gender issues, about feminism, about marriage …”

    6. George First said:
      They are rare because their abilities are rare in both men and women

      They’re uncommon in men, incredibly rare in women. Let’s not get carried away by Margaret Thatcher. She was certainly competent, but hardly a pivotal figure in the sense Churchill was.

      and to deny half of those who have these abilities positions

      If you believe women are 50% of effective leaders, you’re dreaming.

      just because of their gender is a loss we cannot afford.

      The historical record supplies no evidence for your position. Arts, sciences, technology, engineering, statesmanship, exploration have worked just fine as all-male or nearly all-male domains.

      It is not bending over backwards to give half of society the same opportunities as the other half.

      In modern society, women receive far more privileges than men, but contribute far less. In fact, on average they cost more than they contribute.

      This is why denial of opportunity on grounds of gender matters so much. It is about half of us

      I say it doesn’t matter at all. In Charles Murray’s book Human Accomplishment, he noted that the liberation of Jews led to great achievements on their part, while the liberation of women accomplished no such thing. That tells me that women weren’t underperforming due to being “oppressed”. So obsessing about it is simply absurd.

    7. Ray,

      Are effective women leaders rare?

      That’s a fascinating question. Looking at politics, I believe the answer is “we don’t know.” The EU is moving to parity. After a decade or so we’ll have some results. Merkel is effective, although imo her policies are horrifically bad (which is a separate issue).

      Look at nations allowing the crown to pass to the next in line, irrespective of gender. England’s queens have done as well as the men. Better, in the sense that so many of the great male kings used their skills for wars — which even if successful did little for England.

    8. Larry Kummer said: Are effective women leaders rare? That’s a fascinating question. Looking at politics, I believe the answer is “we don’t know.”

      I believe something different.

      The EU is moving to parity.

      The EU is an uninspiring example, to put it mildly. How many of those “leaders” are even well-known to the general public?

      After a decade or so we’ll have some results.

      I don’t see why we can’t look at history and note the lackluster overall record of performance of women compared to men in just about every field.

      Merkel is effective, although imo her policies are horrifically bad (which is a separate issue)

      That makes her incompetent in my book. Churchill, Patton, Washington, etc. were examples of real leaders. Merkel is nothing.

      Look at nations allowing the crown to pass to the next in line, irrespective of gender.

      England’s queens have done as well as the men.

      I counted 48 kings and 5 or 6 queens (Matilda is disputed) from 871 to 1707, about 62 years in total. One queen was overthrown after 9 days. Queen Elizabeth 1 is the only real standout, and her reign lasted about 44 of those 62 years. So on what basis are you making that statement?
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_monarchs

      Better, in the sense that so many of the great male kings used their skills for wars — which even if successful did little for England.

      On average, female European rulers got into 27% more wars than their male counterparts.
      https://www.economist.com/news/europe/21722877-european-history-answer-queens-especially-married-ones-who-gets-more-wars-kings

    9. Ray,

      LNK: “Merkel is effective, although imo her policies are horrifically bad (which is a separate issue)”
      Ray: “That makes her incompetent in my book.”

      Only a megalomaniac would say that disagreement with my political views makes a leader “incompetent.” Odd for you to say so, since I doubt you know my views about many German political issues.

      “I counted 48 kings and 5 or 6 queens (Matilda is disputed) from 871 to 1707,”

      That’s going back too far and stopping too soon, imo. British monarchs wielded significant influence thru WWII. My preference would be 1066 to 1945 (after Labor took over, the UK regime changed substantially).

      “So on what basis are you making that statement?”

      Elizabeth I, Anne, Victoria, and Elizabeth II. Although the last two wielded less power than the first two, they maintained stability and kept the royal house alive when many other monarchs failed. Victoria’s political influence is widely underrated, and played a substantial role during the large reform programs during that tumultuous period.

      “On average, female European rulers got into 27% more wars than their male counterparts.”

      That’s interesting. I know little of non-UK monarchs. Which is why I limited my statement.

    10. Larry Kummer said:
      Only a megalomaniac would say that disagreement with my political views makes a leader
      “incompetent.”

      My conclusion was that poor decision making that put her country in turmoil (inviting in Muslim invaders) was a sign of incompetence as a leader. How megalomaniacal of me.

      “I counted 48 kings and 5 or 6 queens (Matilda is disputed) from 871 to 1707,”

      That’s going back too far and stopping too soon, imo.

      It was one Wikipedia article. Since it spanned well over 800 years, I figured it was a reasonable enough slice of English/British history. Queen Elizabeth was the sole standout – the other female rulers ranged from inconsequential to terrible (possibly excepting Anne, who crosses over to the British ruler article).

      British monarchs wielded significant influence thru WWII. My preference would be 1066 to 1945 (after Labor took over, the UK regime changed substantially).

      Your preferred time window reduces the number of men to about 40 and increases the number of women to 8. But I think my overall analysis of male vs female rulers stands. Unless you can provide some compelling evidence otherwise, it correlates fairly well with the male track record of achievement of just about everything else. It’s one of overwhelming male contribution. Pointing to a few Hail Mary exceptions (who are often greatly exaggerated) doesn’t invalidate the rule.

      “So on what basis are you making that statement?”

      Elizabeth I, Anne, Victoria, and Elizabeth II.

      Kind of an underwhelming sample, I must say. Queen Victoria definitely had a long and prosperous reign. But it’s not entirely clear to me how much was due to her own abilities, her male subordinates, or the fact that her rule coincided with the Industrial Revolution when the British empire was ascendant. I know that during her reign direct political power was moving away from the crown. Anne seemed to be ok but opinions vary about her. And the length of her reign wasn’t very long – about 12 years.

      Although the last two wielded less power than the first two, they maintained stability and kept the royal house alive when many other monarchs failed. Victoria’s political influence is widely underrated, and played a substantial role during the large reform programs during that tumultuous period.

      I’d collapse the above into “They didn’t really accomplish that much”. Not compared to other rulers whose historical footprint is undeniable.

    11. Ray,

      I said it was megalomaniacal of me to consider someone incompetent if they don’t implement my preferred policies. Other people can do so. After all, it’s just good sense for others to consider my preferred policies to be the only correct policies).

  8. Larry Kummer said:
    I don’t see the Dr. Smith character as gender-based. So while “gender-flipping” is technically correct, it’s trivial. Not like doing so in Pride and Prejudice or James Bond.

    In the original series, he started out as a regular bad guy, then morphed into this goofy, dim-witted character. I can see the first being changed to a woman, but not the second. It goes against the film industry’s current M.O. of portraying women as hyper-competent Mary Sues.

    1. Ray,

      “a regular bad guy, then morphed into this goofy, dim-witted character. I can see the first being changed to a woman, but not the second.”

      True. That’s a good thing. We don’t need a repeat of the late 1960s campy TV!

      “industry’s current M.O. of portraying women as hyper-competent Mary Sues.”

      I don’t believe the women in LIS 2018 are Mary Sues (unlike Rey, who defines the role). Maureen is super-competent, but makes mistakes (and apologizes for them) and is consumed with anxiety. Judy is likewise awesome, but gets mild PTSD from being trapped in episode one.

      My guess is that Judy will fall for the bad boy smuggler Don West. That would be a touch of realism in LIS.

  9. Look at the new netflix movie Titans. A fighter pilot signs up to be genetically modified to colonze titan to leave a dying earth; exist in -50c, breathe methane, etc. Good premise right?

    It spends 90 minutes of escalating freakout of his doctor wife freaking out that they are turning her husband into an inhuman monster. Duh thats the point! To become not an earthling but a Titan. Finally to save dreck she has an ephifany of the betterment of mankind blah blah. Movie ends with him on Titan; strong, adveturous, literally flying off into the credits.

    Now contrast this with Poul Anderson’s brilliant novella Call Me Joe. Same premise except with telepresence instead of genetics. This instead is a rousing adventure of how every man, even a cripple opersting a drone, wants to be Neitche’s Superman.

    How far we have fallen in fifty years.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_Me_Joe

    1. MGOTW,

      Thanks for the review. I looked at the description on Netflix and was wondering if it was worth watching. Now I know!

  10. Loved the book in high school, saw the premise in the description of the movie.
    Boy was I disappointed!

  11. Well, I watched the first episode and have to say I liked it. Not unconditionally but certainly I watched Maureen in the context of this posting (and the comments) and frankly came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t want her in control in a crisis. Luckily she was immobilised.

    As for the rest, Dr Smith looks crazy and not witty and (spoiler alert) is not even a doctor.. In fact there wasn’t a joke in the whole show… The robot had less personality than my Alexa and seemed to be channeling Sigourney’s Alien more than the toybox of yore.

    I thought the father did a good job all things considered..

    After all these decades I had hoped a question would be answered that has been bugging my sense of the logical. The original spaceship always appeared one storey when seen from the outside but actually had at least three stories inside. This one seems to have the same problem of optics… call me picky..

    1. Mining,

      (1) Note that this review did not attempt to say if this was a “good” show or not. That’s too subjective, imo. Personally, I found it boring. But I like lots of films that bombed and TV shows that were cancelled after season 1! This review discussed some of its character dynamics.

      (2) “I wouldn’t want her in control in a crisis”

      The relevant question is if anyone else in the family would be better? More broadly, the colonists needed much better leaders! History shows that their survival will depend on the quality of their leaders.

      (3) “The original spaceship always appeared one storey when seen from the outside”

      Irwin Allen didn’t think much about his sets or plots. But he spent a lot of money on it. The set for the original LIS was one of the most expensive (or the most expensive) for a TV show at that time. But the inside was much smaller than the outside. But that’s true of many vessels in films and TV. LIS is just the most extreme version of this I’ve seen.

      Also note that they carried an almost unlimited amount of gear, plus the space pod and chariot.

      (4) “Luckily she was immobilised.”

      I didn’t watch the full season. And am not going to do so. How was she immobilized? Did the radiation from the balloon incident get her?

    2. I’ve always interpreted that the series was a nod to Swiss Family Robinson, which was a nod to Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (what a pedigree!).

      Anyway Maureen (Mrs Robinson? Ms Robinson or something else, surely not she of The Graduate) had her foot (leg?) broken in the first crashlanding when a box slid against it. Thus she spent 70% of the first episode prone on the ground. While hubby went to find some magnesium she sat in the tent (googling recipes, doing facebook?) while the other daughter tried to comfort the one who was encased in ice.

      Not sure if its revealed later but she was seemingly doing a bit of shady biz trading some intel (?) to some mysterious figure that got the son onto the last stagecoach out of town.

      I seem to recall that the original Dr Smith was only accidentally on the spaceship (which always was a long-running bone of contention) whereas this new one proactively inserted herself on board via a fraud, which changes the whole dynamic of that role.

      As for Don West, he was one of the most sanctimonious prigs in all 1960s television whereas the new one looks like a scruffy badass from the get-go. Can’t be all bad..

      As for Irwin Allen, I have spent way too long (decades indeed) trying to work out what was not right about the upside down stairs around which Shelley Winters does her aquatic thing in the Poseidon Adventure. I clearly have too little to occupy myself…

    3. Christopher,

      (1) Good pt about Maureen’s foot. But that did not (and should not) have inhibited her exercising leadership. Lt Colonel Benjamin H. Vandervoort led 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regimate, in a key battle at D-Day, despite having broken his ankle when landing.

      (2) “which changes the whole dynamic of {Dr. Smith’s} role.”

      Yes, the character is quite different. In the original, he was a traitor and saboteur accidentally trapped aboard – later becoming a buffoon in a comedy show. In the new one, she is a psychopath who schemes her way aboard one of the few buses leaving a doomed Earth. In the original show, they kept him alive because he was their only MD. In the new one, Maureen is too soft to punish him. It’s one of the many bad decisions she makes. But we don’t know if John would do any better. He’s certainly dumber.

      (3) “As for Don West, he was one of the most sanctimonious prigs in all 1960s television”

      Got to love modern Americans love of bad boys, and inability to conceive of life on the edge. True, he wouldn’t be great company at a tea party. But he is exactly what a sensible person would want in such a situation.

      (4) “Can’t be all bad.”

      Our romanticization and affection for crooks is a sign of our comfortable secure lives. Girls love of bad boys is one example of this (extreme example: the love letters to serial killers on death row). But the higher one goes in rarefied circles (socially or in academia, away from life on the street), the more often this is seen. I first noticed this in the late 1960s when pimps and drug dealers were sought-after guests at Park Avenue cocktail parties.

      A upstate NY sherrif told me that he wished he was invited to some of these. Mirroring the apocraphal conversation of a British colonel in colonial India.

      “Hello! I’m a pimp. I get girls addicted to heroin and put them on the street as whores.”
      “Nice to meet you. I’m a back country sheriff. We shoot guys like you and quietly bury them.”

  12. “Nobody in this thread has even mentioned the question that is the core of the post: how do these shows affect young teen men?”

    Sorry I’m late to the party on this one. I just quit a job in construction and I’m about to start a new one in oilfield services. Before I quit, I was in charge of quite a few young men coming through as temporary hands.

    I read your question and something hit me: these guys, whatever their background is, are for the most part choosing temp work (especially considering we live in West Texas oil country, where we are in a new oil boom) because they are choosing just to get by. I was talking to one of them a few years ago and he was happy being a temp. Considering “minimum wage” here can get you a $10-$12 job at McDonald’s, why try hard? He told me he can pay off his bills, including his child support and have enough left over to go party. And thanks to the temp agency, he doesn’t have to stick around the same job. Provided he doesn’t get kicked off a jobsite, he can just ask the agency if there’s more work to be had. Which, considering every other industry here competes with the oilfield, there’s plenty to go around.

    Of course he can go try making thousands a month as a roughneck, but because of the long hours, stress, and dangers of the oilfield, why bother? Especially if the women here are your empowered variety not fit to be mothers. He’s better off letting them live their fantasy, fall off the carousel, them bang them dry. Let another sucker who’s making $10,000 a month pay for child support. And consider this: West Texas is by and large Trump country, and yet the “traditional” women here have grasped the you go grrl mentality the media puts out there.

    So in conclusion, what modern culture is doing to young men is an attitude of “meh, what me worry? Fuck it.”

    1. Rocko,

      Thank you for that report from the streets, from the front lines in the gender wars.

      I’m in pretty much the opposite world – the San Francisco Bay Area. I also see guys similar to the ones you do.

      The question is — there have always been such guys. History is not the appearance of new things so much as changes in frequencies (also combinations). Are such men more common now than in, for example, the 1950s? The labor stats say yes. That is the extreme version: falling work force participation. Some of this is guys dropping into the grey economy, off the grid.

      From memory, I think the dropping out is across the age range — what’s called the “missing men.” This is important and needs more study.

    2. “Now we get what James Bowman calls “slacker heros.” The are derelects or regular guys who become great thru plot mechanics.”

      Indeed. That’s more or less what I was trying to say sooner in the comments, when referring to bad Hollywood writing: of course making some characters a bit slow (or slower) or less smart to make your preferred ones look good in comparison is a very ancient technique that nobody would have a problem with. Nowadays, I see and read an excessive use of it, though, often beyond the point of caricature, with contrasts that seem to be pushed to proportions detrimental to the overall appeal of a cast, or a story. Moreover, the main characters that are pushed forward (and thus reflect the narrator’s preference…. Often meaning girls and minorities of various sorts, even if they are not the main character or among the main cast) don’t, for the most part, seem to be particularly bright, make smart choices, or devise intelligent solutions (or even face real difficulties). Things are more often made FOR them: adversity is lowered, opponents are dumber/weaker, luck happens to allow them to get their way without paying a high cost or compromising their values (or if that happens, it has no consequence on their “soul” or how others see them), always in the most “deus ex machinesque” fashion possible.

      In short, “plot mechanics” is there to have their back, and, most important of all in this era: everything has to be a validating experience for the precious ego and feelings of said characters. They can, hand have to, have it all, in every way, without paying any price for it, be it effort, risk, compromise or disapproval. The contrasts between characters are thus not only abused as a technique, but even worse, there is an absolute laziness or incompetence in showing strength or intelligence on the supposed heroes/preferred characters: their opponents have to be dumb for their solutions (rarely something inventive, smart or hard) to work and seem cool. Which, therefore, need long scenes of rather pointless conversation to emotionally validate the uniqueness, heroics and awesomeness of the characters afterwards….. Which is a crime against good writing where the prevailing rule is supposed to be “show, don’t tell”. I’ve heard of awesomeness far more than I’ve seen it in most series (and, quite often, movies) of at least the last decade.

      The current Star Wars Trilogy is somewhat quintessential in these trends; who better than JJ Abrams to start that? In my opinion, the man seems to take stakes, sense of reality/time/distance/cost/pain out of everything he directs. And Johnson has pushed that several degrees further, notably with general Gender Studies Holdo and her interaction with Poe Dameron, that sums up pretty much all the narrative trends I painfully try to describe.

  13. I saw the number of “missing men” evaluated at around 7 millions in the USA: 7 millions of working aged men without any particular handicap (except for insufficient education and losing market value as time goes by, plus a growing proportion addicted to one drug or the other) out of the workforce and not contributing anything significant. Is that number accurate? And considering the multiple ways to define unemployment and underemployment (what is the number? I have read that two hours of work a week qualified you as employed in the US), how many are counted as being in the workforce, and yet are just getting by on purpose?

    I don’t know if popular culture plays a significant role in the mindset of young and not so young men nowadays, especially if it has to be correlated to the all but impressive audiences almost all TV series get, though; is it powerful enough to really create a mindset able to overcome basic programming and testosterone? It surely doesn’t help, but when compared to the impact of boy-hostile schools (often as soon as kindergarten), economical realities and the overall stifling of male behavior in everyday habits, it seems trivial, anecdotal. There is certainly a powerful message that “Hollywood” (aka show business in general) wants to send, but I don’t think it is as powerful as one may think however important and influential media people think they are. The atomization of audiences seem to me a lessening factor in any influence/power each series/film, each network/channel, each media, may have, compared to what other times may have boasted, with less various medias, less networks/channels, less productions, that where therefore more unifying, with massive audiences and far more impact and influence via this status as cultural “common core”.

    Today, popular culture products seem to obey a reversed logic when compared to past fiction: rather than being a product both proposed and imposed (partially) by “the top” (with a compromise being found in audience results in a landscape with limited supply), we now have products aimed at far more targeted and specific (and smaller) audiences whose tastes, codes and requirements have to be catered to in every way possible. Tribal consumption, with absolutely no imperative or inventive to be even a little bit consensual, to find something that gathers most of the population around a common campfire tale. Instead of uniting, or attempting to do so, this model of production segments, divides, to pander to smaller groups that have to have all their biases confirmed, their little world not bothered in any way (safe spaces and all that).

    1. Tancrède,

      I agree on all points. Here’s another aspect of the situation, as we show it to young men.

      Strong men used to be shown becoming so after training. Education, exercise, work. Captain Kirk became the youngest starship captain ever because he trained himself to be one from a young age. A friend described him at the academy as “a pile of books with legs”, who read high-brow stuff (like Spinoza). It’s even clearer in the books. In the one about the Kobayashi Maru training exercise, Kirk mentally reviews all the major naval and space battles of history. He has studied each, determine how each side could have done better.

      Now we get what James Bowman calls “slacker heros.” The are derelects or regular guys who become great thru plot mechanics.

      There was an element of this kind of wish fulfillment in older myths, but with the assumption that the subject had greatness of character before receiving the gift of power. Spiderman is bitten by a radioactive spider, but becomes a hero due to his spirit and character. So his powers are as much burden as gift. In an issue I read as a teenager, in a dark moment he met God (“Eternity”) and asks “why did you have that spider bite me?” Eternity answers “Because you are Spiderman.” The hero comes before the gift.

      All that superstructure to western civ has been torn down. We sit amidst its wreckage, wondering what to do next. IMO much depends on the leaders that arise from our spirit — we create our leaders.

  14. Hi,

    You watched an episode of Star Trek discovery, may I suggest you to watch an episode of The Orville? The difference of treatment between these two series may interest you .

    Two similar series but completely different tone and character development. Even with lack of seriousness this serie brings interesting point

    Continue you good works. Regards

  15. Apropos to the entire series on gender, there are some churches getting it right. I recommend these Sunday school lectures here and here.

    From a Christian perspective, much more emphasis needs to be placed on Adam being created first and Eve out of a rib from Adam and on wives submitting to their husbands and husbands expecting submission. Men should be trained in basic home finance, frugality, and told to learn a trade. All tradesmen at our church are much more manly than the other men and seem to have a good command of their households and love and submission of their wives.

    1. PRCD,

      That’s a good first step. But as someone who taught Sunday School for many years, it is a tiny part of a church’s social machinery.

    2. PRCD, those days are gone. And no bad thing either in many ways. There was no social reason or justice for the restrictions on women in terms of entry to the trades, the professions and other issues. There was no reason why a woman doing the same work as a man should be paid less. Tax allowances for people with dependents, maybe. But not just paid less because of gender. Or, and I am old enough to know women to whom this applied, being told that if they married they could no longer work in a profession. That was simply grotesque. As was the denial of votes to women going even further back.

      The task is not to somehow persuade half of society that it is their duty to be submissive to the other half, which you are never going to do anyway. The issue is to keep the sensible emancipations while taking steps, and I am not sure exactly what will do it, to prevent the destruction of stable families. And to curb the wilder excesses of the feminist agenda: women of course must have free entry into the professions and trades, and the vote, and there is no reason why a woman cannot both work and raise children successfully.

      But that does not mean pretending that individuals with too low upper body strength can qualify to be firemen, if they are of the female persuasion. It does not mean endorsing the current absurd and unscientific orthodoxy on gender reassignment.

      It seems to me what these discussions suffer from is the lack of input from women. Any time we are talking about what has gone wrong with a society which is half women, an institution, the family, which is also half female, and how women and men should relate to one another, and you approach it exclusively from the point of view of a man, me and what I need and want, you are shouting in the wind.

      That way you wander off down these blind alleys about the patriarchy giving men wonderful hotties, or wives knowing their submitted place, or the wonders of disciplinary spankings. As nutty as it is deplorable. It totally misses the point, society is us, its both genders, and its mutual.

      I think marriage both can and should should be a relationship of equals, and that nowadays men looking for submission are going to have very lean pickings. But whatever you think of this view, I think action to change is clearly necessary, and am certain that to succeed it must be collective action of both men and women.

    3. George,

      (1) “The issue is to keep the sensible emancipations while taking steps, and I am not sure exactly what will do it, to prevent the destruction of stable families.”

      You do not appear to have read any of the posts about the gender wars, although you comment on them. The high divorce rate does not appear to be destabilizing society. Nor is it increasing.

      The problem is that increasing numbers of men realize that the reformed version of marriage has more disadvantages than advantages. Since marriage and the family are core institutions, that might be destabilizing. For example, with increasing numbers of young men “dropping out” of the “rat race.” These things are already appearing in the data. Let’s start thinking about them now, rather than waiting until they grow to become serious problems.

      (2) “The task is not to somehow persuade half of society that it is their duty to be submissive to the other half”

      Charming. Who is proposing that?

      (3) “It seems to me what these discussions suffer from is the lack of input from women.”

      That’s hilarious. Most of the discussion about these matters is by women, as seen in the articles and papers cited in these posts.

      (4) It would be polite of you to respond to at least a few of the comments I and others make in response to your comments. You just repeat the same points again and again, post to post.

  16. George,

    I disagree with everything you’ve written. The science science disagrees with the idea that men and women are equally suited to the same jobs. Persuading women to join the workforce has lowered the birthrates, wages, and destabilized marriages. Ditto for giving women the vote. God and creation both declare that women should submit to their husbands.

    I am opposed to legal barriers to women working since obviously single women have to earn a living. I am similarly opposed to legal requirements for employment “equality” since God and nature have ordained that “equality” will never be. Just as I can never give birth since I don’t have a womb, women are not as strong or as inventive as men.

    Your assertion about female firemen suggests you don’t do much that’s physical nor are you strong. I’ve actually worked as a first responder and you’re so wrong you don’t even know. My wife is a “strong” woman: she can deadlift about 225 lbs and do about 15 pullups. Guess what? She still weighs 135 and a strong man will deadlift about twice as much and weigh 70% more. Strength is both relative and absolute, so a 200 lb guy is going to have a MUCH easier time carrying somebody out of a burning building than a 135 lb woman.

    Your entire post suggests you’re a stranger to the manly arts. I’m not saying this to be insulting.

    1. PRCD,

      Nicely said. Thank you for replying to George. I no longer have the will to deal with those kind of comments, and I appreciate others doing so.

    2. PRDC

      I said “But that does not mean pretending that individuals with too low upper body strength can qualify to be firemen, if they are of the female persuasion. It does not mean endorsing the current absurd and unscientific orthodoxy on gender reassignment.”.

      I was saying the same thing as you. Of course you are right about physical strength differences, and I was saying that it is a mad excess of current feminism to pretend they are negligible. Of course women should not be firemen unless they can meet the physical strength test, and almost none will.

      Without getting personal about it, in considerable experience, I have known only one woman who could do as much as 135 lbs on the bench, for a couple of reps. She was quite exceptional. At the time, in gyms I went to, the enthusiasts aimed for and mostly made 315. I myself was doing 200+ on the bench without seriously aiming for heavy weight, and have never known a woman do even that much.

      I do not think men and women are equally suited to the same jobs. But I do think that there are plenty of excellent women teachers, programmers, lawyers, administrators, bank tellers, managers, stock and bond traders, accountants, doctors….

      In abilities and intelligence there is a huge overlap in the middle, but there are more men at both extremes. I doubt we will see a woman Nobel mathematician, but we see lots below that level. And while there are excellent women programmers, it is (mostly) men who have written new programming languages. Not all however. Consider Grace Hopper.

      So I do not think equally suited for all jobs. But I do think equally suited for many, and many important ones.

      I value your reply however because it brings things out into the open and makes them explicit, and has led to what for me is a clarification from our host. You say:

      “Persuading women to join the workforce has lowered the birthrates, wages, and destabilized marriages. Ditto for giving women the vote. God and creation both declare that women should submit to their husbands.”

      Well, we know where we stand. I do not think either God or Science declare anything of the sort about submission, and I think giving women the vote was right, proper, and improved our societies no end. Denying half the population the vote in what purported to be democracies was absurd. It was a civil rights issue. This is the reason why women have the vote in all democracies all over the world. Denial was indefensible.

  17. PRCD said:
    The science science disagrees with the idea that men and women are equally suited to the same jobs.

    So does real world observation. There are trades that have essentially 0% women in them and they aren’t exactly uncommon either. Fields such as programming used to have about half women and now it’s down (some estimates have it at less than 10%).

    https://splinternews.com/survey-says-92-percent-of-software-developers-are-men-1793846921

    This is despite a huge amount of resources directed at getting them interested in it. I’d guess their losing ground in that field is a combination of changes in both the physical and mental demands of the job.

    https://splinternews.com/survey-says-92-percent-of-software-developers-are-men-1793846921

    My wife is a “strong” woman: she can deadlift about 225 lbs and do about 15 pullups.

    Your wife is an extreme outlier. I know exactly one woman personally who could knock out a few. She weighed all of 97 lbs. I could do many times more than her even though I was much heavier.

    Strength is both relative and absolute,

    That’s true. The average size difference between men and women is fairly modest. But the absolute size and relative strength differences multiply on each other. Upper body differentials of 2, 3, or even more times are common in my experience.

    Your entire post suggests you’re a stranger to the manly arts

    It’s common for armchair theorists to minimize the physical differences between men and women. Not so long ago families were bigger and men weren’t forced to act as obsequiously to women. A teenage girl who tried wrestling her brothers or playing football would quickly learn it was a losing proposition.

    .

    1. About women doing pull-ups.

      Here is a typical go-girl article that says women can do pull-ups. The only actual fact in the article: is Crystal West (age 44) can do 30. It links to a similar go-girl article about crossfit training women to do pull-ups. Neither does the usual benchmarking in training courses: this is a reasonable goal for week 1, week 12, etc.

      It’s all smoke. But women can achieve high levels of strength with sufficient effort. For most exercices it just takes much more than for men to achieve the same level. It’s not binary – can or can’t.

    2. “Your entire post suggests you’re a stranger to the manly arts

      “It’s common for armchair theorists to minimize the physical differences between men and women. Not so long ago families were bigger and men weren’t forced to act as obsequiously to women. A teenage girl who tried wrestling her brothers or playing football would quickly learn it was a losing proposition.”

      I’m not an armchair theorist. I have played team sports, including contact sports, with men, spent time in gyms with both men and women. I do not minimize physical strength differences.

      My anecdotal observations suggest that at the same bodyweight, women are about half the strength of men in the upper body, arms and shoulders, and about equally strong in the legs and lower back. Given the difference in weight and size, that usually means the average woman being one third the strength of the average man in the upper body arms and shoulders, and about two thirds, maybe a bit less, on squat and deadlift. In which the disparity is still real, but less pronounced.

      I have only ever known one woman do bodyweight on the bench, whereas in my experience the average fit youngish man can expect to work up to more than bodyweight without too much trouble.

    3. George First said: I’m not an armchair theorist.

      Fine, I’ll withdraw my statement with respect to you then. I think it stands as a general rule though. A number of people dismiss physical differences between men and women as inconsequential. You can put it down to a variety of reasons ranging from TV shows that feature ass-kicking women to lack of direct experience.

      My anecdotal observations suggest that at the same bodyweight, women are about half the strength of men in the upper body, arms and shoulders, and about equally strong in the legs and lower back.

      The article I referenced clearly shows they’re weaker in the lower body too, although the difference is less pronounced. Your evaluation of their upper body strength meshes fairly well with my own.

  18. Larry Kummer said:
    Here is a typical go-girl article that says women can do pull-ups. The only actual fact in the article: is Crystal West (age 44) can do 30.

    Interesting. I managed to knock out 23 in my late teens, although I didn’t do a whole lot of specific training for it. I knew of one young man who could do over 30, but that was about it. There seemed to be more interest in having a big bench press than training for pullups in my high school.

    Curd Edmonds did 117 chins in his mid-60s about 40 years ago. And I saw a video of a man in his 50s who could do one-arm chinups. So her performance is certainly impressive, but left in the dust by her male counterparts.

    It links to a similar go-girl article about crossfit training women to do pull-ups.

    It’s my belief that crossfit is a horrible training methodology. There are people who pursue it as a sport and I have a (somewhat) more favorable opinion of them.

    Neither does the usual benchmarking in training courses: this is a reasonable goal for week 1, week 12, etc.

    Of course. Then it would have to be honest about the much more modest abilities that a woman with average capabilities could expect to achieve.

    It’s all smoke.

    I’d say so. I have found the huge amounts of propaganda on the incredible capabilities of women to be downright annoying.

    But women can achieve high levels of strength with sufficient effort.

    If they’re genetic outliers, train exceptionally hard, and are willing to take performance-enhancing drugs (artificially narrows the gap between the sexes) that’s certainly true.

    In one of his blog posts, Julian O’Dea referenced this article.
    http://www.anth.ucsb.edu/sites/secure.lsit.ucsb.edu.anth.d7/files/sitefiles/people/gaulin/Lassek%20%26%20Gaulin_muscle%20mass.pdf.

    It puts upper body strength of men at about 90% greater than women, which rivals the difference between male and female gorillas (considered by experts to be the most dimorphic primate). The difference in lower body strength was less, but not that much less (about 65%).

  19. George,

    My apologies for not reading your post more carefully.

    “In abilities and intelligence there is a huge overlap in the middle, but there are more men at both extremes. I doubt we will see a woman Nobel mathematician, but we see lots below that level. And while there are excellent women programmers, it is (mostly) men who have written new programming languages. Not all however. Consider Grace Hopper.”

    As Ray pointed out, there is almost no overlap between men and women in the professions like trades and engineering and computer science or other skilled labor. Not even close. I work in engineering where 95% of my engineering colleagues are men. Women tend to become managers or marketing people because their scientific or engineering contribution does not match a man’s. They also tend to spend a lot of time socializing, organizing (Society of Women Engineers) and adding useless process. Women tend to occupy a lot of make-work desk jobs and also pursue nursing and now many are in medicine. To the extent that they become doctors, they tend to work far fewer hours than men yet they took a spot in medical school from a man contributing to our doctor shortage. I hope you like Indian doctors because that’s who you’re going to be seeing in the future. Your claim that there is huge overlap between the genders in vocational aptitude is totally anti-scientific. Also, when women enter a profession en masse, men head for the exits. We’re seeing this now in the military.

    I can tell you’re not a Christian because the Bible is very clear about gender roles in the marriage and about natural differences between the genders.

    Specifically, in what ways has women voting bettered us?

    1. PRCD,

      “I can tell you’re not a Christian because the Bible is very clear about gender roles in the marriage and about natural differences between the genders.”

      That’s correct. Though I am not hostile to it, or at least not to many versions of it.

      The Old Testament’s guidance on how to structure society however was probably, like the similar guidance in the Koran, appropriate and useful in its day for the society and conditions of the day, but I don’t regard it as a valid guide to how to structure modern societies. I certainly don’t think it has divine authority.

      “Specifically, in what ways has women voting bettered us?”

      It has made us a more fair and just society. That is enough.

  20. PRCD SAID:
    Women tend to become managers or marketing people because their scientific or engineering contribution does not match a man’s.

    They’re put in positions where it’s a lot harder to measure productivity. One of the unpleasant side effects of doing that is the lowering of workplace morale. When subordinates hold their manager in contempt, there’s a problem.

    Your claim that there is huge overlap between the genders in vocational aptitude is totally anti-scientific.

    The practical effect of that belief system is to lower standards across the board. Sure, not everyone can become a superstar. But there’s no compelling reason to encourage mediocrity either.

    To the extent that they become doctors, they tend to work far fewer hours than men yet they took a spot in medical school from a man contributing to our doctor shortage

    That means that even for technically competent women, each dollar spent on training a female doctor has a much lower ROI than the same amount of money spent on a male doctor. Which is yet another gaping flaw in the “overlap of genders” argument.

    Also, when women enter a profession en masse, men head for the exits.

    There are various reasons for this, which I can get into, but I’d like to keep the post below essay length. Fred Reed has some useful insights.

    https://fredoneverything.org/done-been-girled-the-price-of-matriarchy/

    We’re seeing this now in the military.

    It will not end well at all.

    http://nation.time.com/2013/07/25/the-cowardly-push-to-get-women-into-combat/

  21. One of the best things about modern age of tv for sf fans if the abundance of sf shows makes it possible to very picky AND still watch a few sf shows regularly.

    For my money, The Expanse beats all other space-based shows by a wide margin. Realistic spaceflight (by sf standards) when they break the laws of physics egregiously, at least characters remark on it. Sure, its got its share of “alpha females” but its got plenty of strong men too. My wife and my favorite among the men is Amos, who is built like an ox, hyper-capable in combat, ruthless when necessary, but he prizes loyalty above all else AND he is hyper-empathic and thoughtful. And when Naomi, the woman he is fiercely loyal to, betrays his trust, he cuts off his loyalty to her and says “she’s not the person I thought she was.”

    Also, he’s no beta with the ladies. Totally scarred from an upbringing where he was savagely exploited, yes, and his affect is bit bizarre, but he still comes off as 100% masculine.

    1. Christopher,

      Thank you for the referral to “The Expanse.” I have seen it listed on Netflix, but never clicked on it. I’ll take a look!

  22. Larry, thanks for your reply.

    (1) “The issue is to keep the sensible emancipations while taking steps, and I am not sure exactly what will do it, to prevent the destruction of stable families.”

    You do not appear to have read any of the posts about the gender wars, although you comment on them. The high divorce rate does not appear to be destabilizing society. Nor is it increasing.

    I have read them actually – and I may be one of the few readers who not only reads the posts and the comments but also pretty much right away gets the books referred to and reads them!

    The problem is that increasing numbers of men realize that the reformed version of marriage has more disadvantages than advantages. Since marriage and the family are core institutions, that might be destabilizing. For example, with increasing numbers of young men “dropping out” of the “rat race.” These things are already appearing in the data. Let’s start thinking about them now, rather than waiting until they grow to become serious problems.

    Yes, I agree with that. I am not completely sure about the reasons for the decline and the drop outs, but agree about its importance and the need to start thinking about it now.

    (2) “The task is not to somehow persuade half of society that it is their duty to be submissive to the other half”

    Charming. Who is proposing that?

    I think PRCD is, if I understand him correctly. He is quite explicit about submission.

    (3) “It seems to me what these discussions suffer from is the lack of input from women.”

    That’s hilarious. Most of the discussion about these matters is by women, as seen in the articles and papers cited in these posts.

    Yes, you and others have cited discussions by women in links, and I have followed up on most of them, and very interesting they are too. But I meant something a little different, that what I would like to see is women in the comments section here participating in the discussion, and reacting to the arguments and positions taken. Participating in the debate here. Probably not going to happen.

    (4) It would be polite of you to respond to at least a few of the comments I and others make in response to your comments. You just repeat the same points again and again, post to post.

    Noted.

    Its a pity there is no preview, so I am posting without knowing whether my italics tabs will work…. Oh well.

    1. George,

      “I have read them”

      Your comments suggest that is not true. You repeatedly say that I should address matters that I have discussed at length. You say that I have not provided evidence about matters that I have provided quite a bit of evidence for. You give rebuttals to thing I’ve not said.

      When I point all of these things out to you, you ignore my comments.

      “Most of the discussion about these matters is by women, as seen in the articles and papers cited in these posts.”

      Most of the assertions you make about these posts are false. I’ll add that to list.

  23. I think PRCD is, if I understand him correctly. He is quite explicit about submission.’

    I said wives must submit to their husbands, not that all women have to submit to men. I also said that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote. That’s not the same thing as saying all women should submit to all men in all contexts. Read more carefully.

    1. PRCD,

      “Read more carefully.”

      This is a major and long-time problem in the 55 thousand comments posted here: people posting comments disconnected from the text they reply to. I’ve wondered how this happens. My guess (emphasis on guess) is that this often results from indoctrination. People read this and see “crimethink!” That shuts down their ability to comprehend what they see. That’s the point of teaching people NewSpeak.

      So they give sophomore-level confident replies to questions and concerns about mind-bendingly complex matters. They deny that any evidence has been given. They give rebuttals to assertions that exist only in their own heads — assuming, I suspect, that if someone says “X” they must also believe “Y” and “Z” (each step becoming more delusional).

      The distinguishing characteristic of these people: they ignore my replies. After all, they read my replies as just more CrimeThink.

      In days long past I would attempt to reason with such people. With an almost total failure rate. Now I make an attempt or two and give up.

  24. I should probably stop commenting on gender issues.

    To Larry: I do not think what you post is ‘crimethink’, I just do not agree with all of it and don’t always evaluate the evidence you cite as unquestionably pointing to the conclusions you draw. I find much of what you post and link to very interesting and thought provoking, and much, though not all, strikes me as correct. I question it before concurring, as I question most journalism.

    You say above:

    “Most of the discussion about these matters is by women, as seen in the articles and papers cited in these posts.”

    Most of the assertions you make about these posts are false. I’ll add that to list.

    The quoted line is in fact something you said in reply to me. It was your own ‘point (3). So I don’t understand why you object to it or appear to attribute it to me.

    One last effort to clarify, the thing I am missing here is the participation by women in the give and take of discussion on these pages, including explicit reaction to the concepts of ‘game’, ‘red pill’ ‘Men going it alone’, and so on.

    To PRCD:

    I think that how I phrased it was very careless and over generalising, when I said:

    The task is not to somehow persuade half of society that it is their duty to be submissive to the other half

    But I did not mean to accuse you of thinking that “all women should submit to all men in all contexts” and the phrase is yours, not mine.

    I do think, trying once again to be clear, that denying women the vote and making them submit to their husbands, if married (what about the unmarried by the way?) would be to treat them as second class citizens as compared to men. That is the concept I was trying (and obviously failing) succinctly to express. I think that would be morally unjustifiable in itself, in absolute terms. I also think it would in utilitarian terms deliver no consequential net benefits to society.

    To both: Misreadings and misunderstandings seem to be rife. I have been accused of saying the exact opposite of what I was actually saying, in regards to women’s strength. And accused of unfamiliarity with the ‘manly arts’, without the writer having the slightest information about my past life. And accused of not reading, when I really do read carefully and widely, and have, as I said previously, profited from the references this site has provided and followed up on them. I would never have come on Regnerus or some of the other books and articles myself. I try to be clear, but have to accept that some of the source of these misunderstandings must be down to me.

    But I do not always agree, particularly with conclusions, and I am always cautiously critical of what I read.

    With this I will probably give up commenting on gender issues, fearing I have overstayed my welcome.

  25. Due to a WordPress system problem, a batch of comments were lost in the trash, including this one.

    I am now all of two episodes in and I must say I am not seeing Mrs Robinson in charge. Mr Robinson gets to drive the Chariot back to base and there is not even any discussion of that.

    An amusing moment is when they are pumping out the frozen water from the spaceship and the mother demands that the air filters be changed due to stuffiness while the father asks the daughter to unclog the water pumping hose which had filled with ice. So Mom wants Glade and father doesn’t want them all to drown…

    I segued over to Reddit to see the commentary over there which is always interesting even if intense with regard to SciFi. The wife is universally termed a nagger in the postings I saw.

    The most telling comment though was that the series should have been more aptly called “Lost….In Space” with posters pining for the Smoke Monster to provide some light entertainment.

    1. miningpundits,

      “I must say I am not seeing Mrs Robinson in charge”

      The studio’s description of the show says that she is in charge. Most of the critics say that she is in charge. She says she is in charge, several times. Such as this in episode 2:

      “It’s important that the children hear us talking with one voice. And that voice is mine.”

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