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Heinlein was anti-feminist! 
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Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:53 am
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Post Heinlein was anti-feminist!
LOL! Not really. Just thought I'd stir things up a little.
If one wanted to make that case, though, one would have to look no further than The Star Beast to come to that conclusion.
On the face of it, The Star Beast is the story of John Thomas Stuart, proud descendant of a freedom fighter, who BY GOD is going to stand up for his rights!
But Johnny is not free at all; in fact, all the females in his life manipulate him.
First there's his mother. She is portrayed as a typical 50s hen, conventional to the core and worried about what the neighbors will think. In later chapters, the bureaucrats distract her by sending her out shopping!
Secondly, there is Betty, who pushes Johnny around at will. It is probably her influence that made him decide to stand up for himself to start with.
Thirdly, there is Lummox, whose hobby it is to raise John Thomases. She will go on raising them, too, since her lifetime is many times that of the typical John Thomas'. In effect, Lummox has trapped the John Thomas line to perpetual "pethood" (or enslavement) on her planet. Some fate for the line of a famous freedom fighter!
Are these views of women not those of the typical misogynist?


Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:57 pm
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Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 2:10 pm
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Location: Juneau, AK
Post Re: Heinlein was anti-feminist!
He just appreciated the power of the vjay over most men, most of the time! Including himself in real life. He proposed to two different women after one night of major-league level sex with each. I know you were just playing around, but you have hit a good point about Mom, here and in other stories--RAH was an admirer of P. Wylie's Generation of Vipers as I noted in a different post on the Forum. "Mom" gets svaged by Wylie (see viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1089&p=9857#p9857)

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Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:17 pm
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Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:53 am
Posts: 555
Post Re: Heinlein was anti-feminist!
RobertPearson wrote:
He just appreciated the power of the vjay over most men, most of the time! Including himself in real life. He proposed to two different women after one night of major-league level sex with each. I know you were just playing around, but you have hit a good point about Mom, here and in other stories--RAH was an admirer of P. Wylie's Generation of Vipers as I noted in a different post on the Forum. "Mom" gets svaged by Wylie (see viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1089&p=9857#p9857)


I dunno that he's so hard on Mom. In Harsh Mistress, Mum stands in for all moms, and Manny is totally devoted to her. The deceased mom in Farmer in the Sky is a very strong figure in Bill's memory. Maureen Johnson is no pushover. Nor is Dr. Stone.
Heinlein and women...Heinlein and women.
Hazel Stone: I liked the way he resurrected her character in Harsh Mistress; in The World as Myth, not so much.
And of course one of my favorite strong Heinlein females is Pee Wee.
He used his female characters all kinds of ways.
I would argue that the dancer and the therapist from For Us, The Living probably constitute the ideal woman for Heinlein.
But by the time he wrote Beyond This Horizon, Hamilton Felix felt free to physically lord it over his wife.
Then there are the women such as Wyoh, ostensibly strong, but really playing the supportive role to both Manny (Man) and Prof; and Gillian Boardman, just a little angel, that one. Mary In Puppet Masters is one of the strongest female characters in his whole oeuvre, yet she is submissive to Sam.
Let's just say RAH played with the spectrum of feminine types throughout his long writing career, using them as he thought fit.


Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:35 pm
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