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Is Heinlein Sexist?
http://www.heinleinsociety.org/thsnexus/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1025
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Author:  JackKelly [ Wed May 11, 2011 8:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Is Heinlein Sexist?

I think one conclusion to draw is that Heinlein knew who his customers were - teenage boys, originally, who grew into lecherous old men who liked spaceships and purty gurls - kinda like himself. I don't think it says anything one way or another about his alleged sexism - certainly not in the context of his era - but I tend to see him as somewhat less sexist than the average male contemporary. He clearly was not intimidated or threatened by strong, intelligent women in real life.

Author:  JamesGifford [ Wed May 11, 2011 9:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Is Heinlein Sexist?

I can wait to get the "why" - but I think you're on the right track.

It's one thing to identify and isolate an issue with Heinlein's work and then seek to explain and understand it... it's quite another to perform entire ballets in an attempt to claim the issue doesn't exist.

Author:  ForumAdmin [ Thu May 12, 2011 11:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Is Heinlein Sexist?

This topic has been split and moved to the Speakeasy

Author:  BillPatterson [ Thu May 12, 2011 4:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is Heinlein Sexist?

ForumAdmin wrote:
This topic has been split and moved to the Speakeasy

There was no point in splitting this; the part of the discussion that might offend the squeamish was over. I want it on record that I object to this *nice* form of censorship.

Author:  DavidWrightSr [ Fri May 13, 2011 8:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Is Heinlein Sexist?

I'm glad that the part which might be considered offensive to some is over. However, I felt that what had already been said needed to be moved.

I don't consider it any form of censorship since that material is still available to all in the 'Speakeasy' and can be continued without any restriction, (that's its purpose), if anyone so desires.

David

Author:  JCarlin [ Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is Heinlein Sexist?

Thank you all for your responses, I wanted to see where this would go for a while.

One of the first things I appreciated about Heinlein was the fact that even in the juveniles where appropriate the women protagonists were complete women, competent in something besides being women, interested and competent in their sexuality, and interested in continuing the race with a similar minded man. One of the main reasons for rejuv for Howard women was to stay reproductive. Sure this keeps them circa 30 as that is a reasonable age to balance profession and babies. Physically combining it all means a healthy fit body. But note the professional life goes on with the babies and the men are expected to take the "pee watch."

Heinlein was prescient as usual since today professional women get pregnant in their mid to late 20's after they are near completion in their professional training. For nearly 20 years the third year of med school has been baby year for women med students. Like Heinlein's women one of the things they look for in men is respect for their professional capabilities as well as their reproductive and sexual accomplishments. In his books where child raising is important TMHM e.g Manny is as proud of his parenting as his computer skills. As a former co-parent with a professional woman I perhaps notice that more than most.

As for sexuality, both men and women are expected to be interested, versatile, and competent, not only in literature but at least in my world IRL. Again Heinlein was ahead of the curve. I found very few of his contemporary authors that used women as anything but sex toys, generally on their backs.

Author:  PeterScott [ Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is Heinlein Sexist?

Um, it's my impression that these days professional women get pregnant in their mid to late thirties. I'm aware of quite a few personally.

Author:  JCarlin [ Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is Heinlein Sexist?

I suspect the age range is broader, these days. But second to last year of professional training is still a popular time for children. Deety was late 20s Sharpie late 30s. Heinlein seems to have had it covered. The trick is finding a compatible partner.

Author:  VeraLenora [ Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is Heinlein Sexist?

Heinlein admired E.E. 'Doc' Smith; he wrote once about the Doc helping him pick out a used car to buy.

In one of Smith's 'Lensman' books he makes a statement that a species has not reached 'civilization' until there is gender equality. (My rephrasing from memory). Of course, then he goes on to describe how all Lensmen are male. Clarissa is the odd 'Red' Lensman, and the only Lens holder until her daughters are born; then, they never attend the school for human lensmen.

Still, I really like the idea of gender equality as a civilization 'marker'.

Author:  PeterScott [ Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is Heinlein Sexist?

I wonder what people thirty years from now will consider markers of civilization. I like to think that respect for animals-more than we have now-will be one of them.

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