Compare and contrast how dystopian science-fiction and fantasy is used as a tool to explore sexual politics and gender equality

Ryan, Elizabeth (2013) Compare and contrast how dystopian science-fiction and fantasy is used as a tool to explore sexual politics and gender equality. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    To write my creative artefact Epicene, I used dystopian science fiction (sf) tropes to conjure a vision of the future within the realm of existing fiction, which explores sexual politics and gender equality. I discuss sexual politics in terms of the manipulation of humanity in reference to their biological sex, sex as a physical act and the reproductive consequences that arise from it. The theme of gender equality explores how authors have used sf and fantasy as a platform to deliberate ideas of masculine/feminine fairness and power, often “writing in reaction” (Larbalestier, 2002, p. 162), “as a prophetic vehicle…for writers with an ethical and political concern” (Baccolini & Moylan, 2003, p. 1). Epicene, meaning to have the characteristics of either sexes or no sex, I chose as the title of my piece because my characters live in a superficially androgynous society. I purposefully chose not to explain the definition of epicene, or use it in my piece, because I wanted it to serve as a subtle plot clue. On reflection, I could have worked it into my story in order to enhance the theme, perhaps as the name of a government scheme, which could then have been explained to the protagonist, so that the reader learns alongside him the truth of epicene. My artefact explores the use of androgyny to eliminate the power of sexual politics and the force of gender inequality, but ultimately reveals itself to be an all-powerful matriarchal society that exploits the male species for labour and sex. Through my creative voice I have subverted the patriarchal sf texts that explore the battle of the sexes, and incorporated my own beliefs about gender equality in contemporary society.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2014 11:18
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:33
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/14249

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