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Alien Woman examines the construction of sex and gender in the four science-fiction films comprising the Alien saga (starring Sigourbaney Weaver). The Alien saga stands alone in presenting an enduring, self-reliant female protagonist, Ripley, who in the first film ends up as the sole survivor of the beleaguered starship Nostromo. Subsequent writers and directors in the 1980s and 1990s, left to grapple with this strong female protagonist, reenvision Ripley for different social, political, and cultural imperatives for women. Alien Woman focuses on how these writers and directors have re-written Ripley and how each revision informs our understanding of women in science fiction. And by examining the films' creation and commodification of the female hero, the books illustrates how changing attitudes toward women and the female body help us understand broader societal beliefs and relationships, and provides a useful lens with which to understand woman's place in the late 20th century and early 21st century.
Introduction: Can't Live with Them, Can't Kill Them
Chapter 1: Men, Women, and Alien Baby
Chapter 2: Ripley Gets her Gun: Aliens and teh Reagan Era Hero
Chapter 3: "The Bitch Is Back": The Iconoclastic Body in Alien
Chapter 4: "Who Are You?": Alien Resurrection and the Posthuman Subject
Afterword: Alien Woman