Feminist Philosophy and Science Fiction: Utopias and Dystopias / Edition 1

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This accessible and provocative collection of science fiction acquaints readers with cutting-edge gender controversies in moral and political philosophy. By imagining future worlds that defy our most basic assumptions about sex and gender, freedom and equality, and ethical values, the anthology’s authors not only challenge traditional standards of morality and justice, but create bold experiments for testing feminist hypotheses.
Selections are grouped under four main themes. Part 1, "Human Nature and Reality," concentrates on whether there is an intrinsic difference between males and females. Here the authors inspect opposing views on five related questions: What does it mean to be human? What are women and men really like? How significant is the reproductive difference? How do we define the concepts of "woman" and "nature"? Why is language important?
Part 2, "Dystopias: The Worst of All Possible Worlds," first portrays misogynistic societies uncomfortably familiar to the early 21st-century reader. Chilling stories of future possibilities follow, including worlds where women and men separate into armies to fight a literal war of the sexes.
Part 3, "Separatist Utopias: Worlds of Difference," assembles stories that scrutinize both the virtues and vices of separatism, in order to address the questions Why should women want to separate from men? and What would and should these all-female worlds be like?
In Part 4, "Androgynous Utopias: Worlds of Equality," the authors create intriguing worlds that anticipate the consequences, good and bad, of perfect sexual equality in education, intelligence, capability, and reproduction.
With selections from such noted writers as Octavia Butler, Marion Zimmer Bradley, James Tiptree Jr., and many others, plus chapter introductions, discussion questions, and recommended reading list, this stimulating collection offers fresh insights on troubling issues by weaving controversial utopian and dystopian designs from the separate threads of opposing positions.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This gem of an anthology compiles the history of utopian and dystopian - and, not coincidentally, feminist and antifeminist - Western philosophy rooted in Plato and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, John Stuart Mill, and Nel Noddings, then provides a body of diverse work to illustrate the realization of philosophy through literature....Casual readers, feminist scholars, and teachers...will welcome this book; recommended."

"Little's anthology offers an array of classic and recent feminist science fiction short stories by both women and men that explores...the tragedies and comedies of gendered experience....I've already ordered this anthology for...'Literature by Women - Science Fiction.'"
JANE DONAWERTH, Professor of English
University of Maryland, Author of
Frankenstein's Daughters: Women Writing Science Fiction

"This compelling anthology belongs in every Science Fiction collection."
BILL CLEMENTE, Professor of English
Peru State College

Publishers Weekly
Arranged in four thematic sections with discussion questions, Feminist Philosophy and Science Fiction: Utopias and Dystopias, edited by Judith A. Little, offers an intriguing range of feminist SF. Selections include tales by Margaret Atwood, Carol Emshwiller, Octavia E. Butler, Joanna Russ and James Tiptree Jr. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591024149
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 370
  • Sales rank: 1,297,751
  • Product dimensions: 5.99 (w) x 8.99 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Judith A. Little (Potsdam, NY) is chair and associate professor of philosophy at the State University of New York at Potsdam.

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Table of Contents

Preface     9
Acknowledgments     11
Introduction     13
Human Nature and Reality
Introduction     35
What Does It Mean to Be Human?
No Woman Born   C. L. Moore     47
What Are Women and Men Really Like?
Survival Ship   Judith Merril     95
Abominable   Carol Emshwiller     105
Adam Marko's Journal; Male Compensation Theory from The Y Chromosome   Leona Gom     113
The Elizabeth Complex   Karen Joy Fowler     123
How Significant Is the Reproductive Difference?
Bloodchild   Octavia E. Butler     133
The Concepts of "Woman" and "Nature"
Of Mist, and Grass, and Sand   Vonda N. McIntyre     155
His Vegetable Wife   Pat Murphy     177
Why Is Language Important?
Speech Sounds   Octavia E. Butler     185
Dystopias and Utopias
Introduction     203
Dystopias: The Worst of All Possible Worlds
The Possible Present
For the Sake of Grace   Suzette Haden Elgin     215
Pairpuppets   Manuel van Loggem     237
Your Faces, O My Sisters! Your Faces Filled of Light!   Alice B. Sheldon     247
Far in the Future
Wives   Lisa Tuttle     267
Fears   Pamela Sargent     277
"Jael's World" from the Female Man   Joanna Russ     289
Separatist Utopias: Worlds of Difference
Why Separate?
"Daya Tells a Tale" from the furies   Suzy McKee Charnas     307
"The Worlds of Jeannine and Joanna" from the Female Man   Joanna Russ     315
All-Female Societies and Planets
"Oath of the Free Amazons" from the Shattered Chain   Marion Zimmer Bradley     323
Janet's World from the Female Man   Joanna Russ     325
When It Changed   Joanna Russ     333
Androgynous Utopias: Worlds of Equality
X: A Fabulous Child's Story   Lois Gould     345
Interlocking Pieces   Molly Gloss     355
Options   John Varley     363
Recommended Readings     395
Index     407
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2014

    For anyone just breaking the surface of feminism, this book play

    For anyone just breaking the surface of feminism, this book plays with all ideas of oppression with a tongue and cheek wit, using a playful sequence of science fiction in the utmost reality.

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