immiZINE

Issue 01: Battlestar Galactica
This was originally created for a 'zine assignment in WST 3930/Third Wave Feminisms. It has been modified slightly since then.

Please be warned that this page contains SPOILERS for season 2 of Battlestar Galactica, including the season finale!

Rationale

As a third wave feminist production, this addresses sexist gender constructions, namely of women being passive baby-carrying damsels and men being macho cigar-chomping warriors. I incorporated quotes from Dirk Benedict where he expressed those sentiments, as well as pictures of the character he talked about— Starbuck as played by Katee Sackhoff— in three different stages of the series. His words also reflect the "postfeminist" reactions to feminism that claim feminism is making things worse for women, and in his mind, all human beings by breaking down traditional gender constructions. I feel that his statements represent the sort of attitude we're trying to resist.

Benedict thinks that it's horrible to "reimagine" the character he used to play as a woman because a woman can't possibly be the sort of person his Starbuck was, and he basically says that if Starbuck was a real woman she'd be "handing out babies." And yet, the female Starbuck is slowly becoming more like what he'd see as a woman's place.

I'm mainly aiming this page at Battlestar Galactica fans familiar with the character's progression; I want it to "click" for them that Starbuck used to be confident and somewhat masculine, but has been progressively made more "acceptable" by softening her looks and making her less than the best damn Viper pilot ever that she used to be. Where she used to cockily smoke a cigar, she now tilts back a bottle and has to miss shifts because she's hungover. Where she used to fly with the good ol' boys, she's now grounded on a miserable planet with a husband and few assets. And in one of the early episodes of season two, the Cylons captured her and did tests on her ovaries, apparently planning to remove one for study, and to hook her up to a baby machine like they'd done to dozens of other women.

Starbuck used to be a very strong female character, but she's become much less sure of herself and her abilities, and she gets even less respect than she used to. Yeah, she's always "bucked authority" but her talents used to be respected— and now they aren't so much. So while Dirk Benedict criticized the strong female Starbuck first presented in the miniseries, at the end of the latest season she was more and more like the kind of woman he called for back then.

Source of Dirk Benedict's quotes is his article "Starbuck: Lost in Castration" as archived at Dirk Benedict Central, the official Dirk Benedict website.

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This e-zine copyright © 2006 Immora. All other properties are copyright to their respective holders. E-zine originally created as a service learning project for WST 3930/Third Wave Feminisms. Project started on March 18 2006.