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Rise of the (Sexy) Machines

Glenn Reynolds may have whack views on foreign policy, but I like his taste in offbeat links:

Feminist science-fiction writer Amy Thomson, author of robot-comes-of-age novel Virtual Girl, suggests that the fembot myth is attractive to men because it deals with “a woman you create and control.” But tech journalist Daniel Wilson, author of How to Survive a Robot Uprising, argues that fictional fembots have hardly been portrayed as controllable—in fact, he claims, they’re often presented as the most dangerous robots of all, because feelings of attraction to them could leave their victims vulnerable to attack. “A sexy robot that’s aggressive could be a wolf in rubberized skin,” he says.
In all seriousness, though, while Wilson is correct on the narrow issue at hand here, the theme he points too of the uniquely dangerous nature of the robotic woman is also an antifeminist trope. Women's sexuality needs to be tightly regulated by men or the state because a woman fully in control of herself could, say, trick a man into revealing the secrets that lead to the near-destruction of the human race, as seen in Battlestar Galactica.

August 15, 2006 | Permalink


So as an NFC East aficionado, can you explain why the Eagles are getting so little respect this year? They have the best QB in the division by a wide margin and a defense that has stockpiled lineman. Basically the team is quite similar to the pre-TO team that went to the NFC chanpionship.

Posted by: Roy | Aug 15, 2006 3:11:59 PM

Let me be the first to point out that the replicants in Blade Runner aren't really robots, as they are fully "wetware"/meat/biological creatures.

Posted by: huh | Aug 15, 2006 5:09:04 PM

Let me be the first to point out that the replicants in Blade Runner aren't really robots, as they are fully "wetware"/meat/biological creatures.

This is true. Indeed, I took the point of Blade Runner to be that the replicants aren't actually non-human in any morally relevant sense at all.

Posted by: Matthew Yglesias | Aug 15, 2006 5:23:50 PM

So would male sexbots who easily seduce men count as feminist?

Posted by: dan | Aug 16, 2006 12:35:20 AM

er, 'who easily seduce women'

Posted by: dan | Aug 16, 2006 12:35:58 AM

In every dream home a heartache...as Brian Eno might say.

Then again my favorite femme is "The Major" from the "Ghost in the Shell" franchise.

Posted by: Porco Rosso | Aug 16, 2006 1:42:24 AM

Tricia Helfer (#6) could very possibly convince me to betray my planet...

Posted by: Clint | Aug 16, 2006 4:15:43 AM

I'd sell out quicker to Grace Park.

Posted by: witless chum | Aug 16, 2006 11:25:27 AM

Sharon put two rounds in Adama -- that's unforgivable :)

Posted by: Clint | Aug 16, 2006 3:40:15 PM

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