More On Battlestar Galactica and Sexism

There’s some more discussion of Battlestar Galactica and sexism in this thread on Feminist SF – The Blog!, including me quoting Maia extensively.

Also, The Hathor Legacy discusses how BSG has presented a female president.

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11 Responses to More On Battlestar Galactica and Sexism

  1. 1
    Silenced is Foo says:

    Honestly, while I get where they’re coming from, I tend to think of this as a “take what you can get” thing. I mean, it’s not quite like a Women In Refrigerators situation where the female characters are being bumped off just to further the drama for the male characters.

    Meanwhile, the show is intelligent sci-fi with a diverse cast (well, they’re all skinny and sexy, but ethnically end gender-wise, they’re diverse). I have trouble getting worked up about it.

  2. 2
    Sebastian says:

    The show may be sexist, but the fact that 11 out of 19 deaths were women is a really poor use of statistics to show it.

  3. 3
    fourthwave says:

    Hey, just wanted to drop by and say thanks for The Hathor Legacy link love. We always appreciate it!

  4. 4
    LS says:

    It’s 11 out of 20 deaths. Another man died in the last episode “The Oath.”

  5. 5
    Maze says:


    Ariel Wetzel writes in a comment:

    “Maybe because I’m in the humanities, but I usually don’t pay much attention to statistics to support arguments because I think they’re too often detached from the complexities of the lives and situations that produces such statistics.”

    Which makes me wonder, on what grounds (if not statistical ones) she came to the conclusion that there is gynocide going on at BSG.

  6. 6
    Sebastian says:

    “Which makes me wonder, on what grounds (if not statistical ones) she came to the conclusion that there is gynocide going on at BSG.”

    She suggests that a lack of good woman to woman relationships is an evidence of sexism, but as many other watchers suggest the show isn’t very relationship friendly at all.

  7. 7
    Charles S says:

    The show is weak on women-women relationships, period, not just positive ones. It doesn’t have any strong, complicated, positive relationships between women to undermine and destroy. None that last season, anyway.

    Also, there are several consistently positive relationships in the show, both het and male homo-social: Tigh-Adama went through a rough spot, but is back to being a strong positive relationship; Helo-Athena is a strong positive relationship and always has been; and Roslin-Adama is a strong positive relationship that has had a few short blips of strain, but always recovers and is always important.

  8. 8
    Quick Kat says:

    I don’t think counting heterosexual romances is fair. You would have to compare the number and kind of relationships men have with men to the relationships women have with women.

  9. 9
    Charles S says:

    Quick Kat,

    2 Major positive male-male relationships (Tigh-Bill, Bill-Lee) spanning the series versus 0 major positive female-female relationships spanning the series. 3 more significant male-male relationships (Baltar-Gaeta, Lee-Zarek, Adama-Zarek) spanning the series versus 0 significant female-female relationships spanning the series. Once we get into short lived significant relationships, we get a large enough number that I haven’t tried to count them all, so I can’t compare numbers.

    For significant series spanning heterosocial relationships, there is Bill-Kara, Lee-Roslin, Loeban-Kara and Tigh-Kara. For series spanning heterosexual relationships, there is Lee-Kara, Bill-Roslin, Baltar-Six and Helo-Athena.

    The show seems comparably interested in heterosexual romantic relationships, heterosocial friendships, and male homosocial relationships, and doesn’t seem very interested in female homosocial relationships.

    Are there any female-female relationships that you would argue rise to the level of the relationships I have listed above in sustained importance to the show? The only one I can think of that I can see being arguable as a significant series spanning relationship is Six-Eight. So far, we haven’t seen that relationship play a roll in the final episodes, but we still have 7 more where it could return to significance.

  10. 10
    Schala says:

    The show may be sexist, but the fact that 11 out of 19 deaths were women is a really poor use of statistics to show it.

    Well, if watching the anime Noir, one could see it as sexist for that very reason amongst others. Almost all the faceless mooks are male, and they last roughly two seconds before being killed. Only one male character important-to-the-plot actually shows himself and survives. The others remain shrouded in darkness. The non-male mooks are at the very end of the show, and are supporters of the main female antagonist. The four most important characters are female. As are three of the side antagonists. There are no recurring male support characters.

    It emphasizes the “female deaths are more important” trope, although female deaths occur roughly on a 1-2% ratio to male deaths.

    From what I read though, I don’t think BSG is that one-sided. And Noir is still a decent anime to watch.

  11. 11
    kira_dancing says:

    The lack of female-female friendships is the one thing that’s consistently driven me crazy. It’s just stupid. And I think a lot of the female characters would like each other, if they just got to know each other!

    I think the one that bugged me most was Kara-Kat, where they were so much alike that they should have driven each other nuts for two episodes, then bonded by getting into a barfight together against some dudes, or tried to drink each other under the table and woken up bestest friends or something. When Kat died I felt like it was a serious missed opportunity.