The Feminism of Old Man’s War
LiveJournaler Mosca has nice things to say about Old Man’s War, and also makes an argument for it being a feminist novel:
This is one of the few military SF novels I’ve read that has women in it — not just love interests or characters established as female, but women who act like women. It doesn’t feel like Scalzi is trying for politically correct inclusiveness, because the women are too numerous and too diverse for that. There’s also a major gay character, and he’s treated with the same multidimensionality. But it’s a feminist novel in a broader and more lit-crit sense, in the ways that Russ and Le Guin call for.
I have friends with a deeper knowledge of Russ’ and LeGuin’s positions than I do, who could vet this argument better than I could, though I don’t see anything wrong about it in a general sense. I will say that Mosca is correct that I didn’t go out of my way to be politically correct or inclusive. There was never a point in the writing of OMW where I said “hey, I need to put some women in there.” They were always in there, because why wouldn’t they be. Other than that I just tried to write all the characters as something more than cardboard.
One other comment is that I think the most interesting character in the whole Old Man’s universe (for me, anyway) is Jane Sagan. I think of all the characters, she has the most complete character arc; you see a lot of that arc in The Ghost Brigades and it’s coming to be a major part of The Last Colony as well. I don’t think any of this qualifies me for a Tiptree Award, mind you. I’m just glad she’s been such an interesting person to write about.