I was watching a few YouTube videos about the recent, largely ignored female Dr. Who, Batwoman, and other woke disasters.
I would like to unpack why these movies and TV shows failed, for anyone who does not live and breathe science fiction.
First, any good story requires truth. Not truth as in the actual Batman lives next door and went to school at P.S. 11, but emotional truth, preferably universal truth.
Woke writing lacks truth.
It is based on the notion that human nature can be altered by pretending it is something it is not. A man pretending to be a superhero makes sense, because we have all known people, even men, who have done amazing things, worthy of universal admiration. Central to these, of course is Jesus Christ.
A woman pretending to be a man lacks truth, unless it is done in a way that exposes who she really is under the act. A man pretending to be a woman has the most truth when done as it was in The Silence Of The Lambs: “it puts the lotion on its skin…” Even then, the monster was humanized by crying while he continued his atrocious plan. Not humanized enough for us to want him to live, just enough to keep him from being cardboard.
It says something that Jame Gumb is more human than Rey!
In order for a man to be a hero worthy of universal admiration, he has to have qualities we would recognize as worthy, including honor, self-sacrifice, loyalty, valor and strength in the face of unimaginable adversity.
Any woman who is a superhero, or even a decent female lead, will also have these characteristics, but with more of a focus on love and nurturing. Why? Because women are women, no matter what modern medicine and propaganda tries to claim.
Truth in movies or fiction requires men who are recognizable as men, and women who are recognizable as women, with flaws which make sense in context of our maleness and femaleness.
We have long been sold the bill of goods that men and women are interchangeable and identical, except for a few bits of plumbing, and women have adopted progressively more mannish, if ill-fitting mannerisms and attitudes, not to mention outfits.
As we have been trained, and trained, and trained to accept the notion that men and women are identical, here comes a new fad, insisting that men and women are so interchangeable, they can alter their physical sex with some drugs and surgery. Worse, we are being encouraged to do this to CHILDREN!!
Now wait one cotton picking minute, didn’t we just get trained for THIRTY YEARS to believe that men and women are identical? If we are identical, does that mean that a trans goes from wearing jeans and a t-shirt to wearing…jeans and a t-shirt? NO! When men “become” women, they put on all this Fifties pinup stuff that women have not worn for decades! Why is this? Is it that deep down, we know that men and women are completely different, down to the bones, and in no way are they interchangeable?
So the upshot there is that when we see a character in a movie, a successful character is truthful, like Captain Picard, both heroic AND uncomfortable with children, or like Captain Janeway, both brave and self-sacrificing AND rash, sometimes foolish.
An unsuccessful character will be a woman who does not seem like a woman, like Rey. She magically knows all this Force stuff, but where Luke had some training, and stumbled with the incompleteness of it, Rey has no training, and unrealistically prevails in fighting against men twice her size. She is not appealing to women, because she is invulnerable, has no love interest, and has no flaws, beyond being made of cardboard.
We have seen recently, with the rise of transgender athletes in sports, that women cannot beat men, even if the men have been taking hormones to reduce their strength. The strongest woman cannot even beat a weakened man, so expecting a character like Rey to beat anyone is just silly.
We want to see unreality, like spaceships. We do not want to see unreality, like people with no flaws, no relationships, and nothing to identify with. Even a Playboy centerfold will be more interesting to women than a nothing like Rey, because she will be beautiful, and that is something all women want to be, and Playboy models have families, even if they are on the outs.
I tried very hard to watch Star Trek Discovery, and I gutted my way through four or five dismal episodes. They made Michael flawed, certainly, but unrealistically. If she was raised by Vulcans, why has she never been able to get a handle on her temper? Also, why is her temper a male temper, erupting in murderous violence, rather than in words first, second and third? If you want a male character, make it a male character! Don’t just rob a female character of family, relationships, kindness, words and everything else discernibly female and expect to sell it as a female character!
Michael just seemed like a blank, angry nothing, with no way for anyone to identify with her. Nor was she “male,” because masculinity requires positive attributes, not just the absence of feminine attributes. The closest approximation of her character was Tuvok, a flawed Vulcan, who still managed to come across as noble and kind. Trouble is, when you rob a female character of female characteristics, you end up with a nothing, not a man.
Michael has no relationships, no visible family, no friends, no children, and no visible qualifications for her post. It seems that all her amazing starship captain stuff is not the result of training and discipline, but just bestowed on her by the scriptwriter like Rey’s Force stuff.
History is full of strong female characters. In fact, it would be difficult to imagine a women who is not strong. The question is this: can woke culture see a woman as strong if she is strong in ways that do not include physically beating the hell out of a man—which is unrealistic as hell to begin with!
If we are ever to care about movies again, they must include characters we care about. You want to make STEM appealing for women? Great. Cast a likeable Marilyn Monroe type as a scientist, and partner her with a likeable man, perhaps another scientist. Put her in beautiful clothes and let them get married, even maybe have children.
Because we all KNOW women who are likeable scientists. Do we know women who can beat the hell out of men? You’d better believe that if we did, we would not want to have them over, because we would not trust them.
Why has Lady Doctor Who failed? Easy. Because they made the moderately pretty actress androgynous in dress, unsympathetic in character, and not flawed in a way anyone can relate to. If you want her to not flop, give her a male costar who is equally powerful, kind, and make him hot, please. If you give her a lady romance, we will turn off the TV. Why? Because women don’t want to see that. Making us watch it does not make it appealing, it simply makes it more likely that the rest of the series will be ignored.
Of course, these days, we are not supposed to admit that, just like we are not supposed to admit we voted for Trump, or that we want to grow up to be a wife and mother.
We are not supposed to admit the truth, because people who love lies feel free to harass people who hold fast to tradition, to Christianity, to non-wokeness. It means that instead of talking about why we despise the new movies and no longer go to the theater, we just refuse to go. Nobody needs to tell us that the next 47 Star Wars movies will be money-losing woke garbage. We know that. Instead of a bratty, fun, gorgeous Princess Leia, we have a purple-haired nightmare ordering men to their deaths. We are expected, in the woke universe, to love Dolores Umbridge, not Hermione Granger!
So yeah, we’ll stay home. Star Trek TNG may not be perfect, but at least Troi is beautiful and Riker is heroic, and they eventually get married!
Moira Greyland is the author of The Last Closet.