Author Topic: Robert A. Heinlein - Time Enough for Love (1973)  (Read 6134 times)

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Offline musteion

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Re: Robert A. Heinlein - Time Enough for Love (1973)
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2008, 03:17:15 PM »
I suspect his book might seem sexist to some of us, but he did begin writing around the late forties, with many of his books between the late fifties through the 70's.   But I never really noticed any sexism myself. 

That doesn't mean it isn't sexist/misogynistic, however.  It just means he was a product of his time.

Offline pandamonium

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Re: Robert A. Heinlein - Time Enough for Love (1973)
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2008, 03:22:54 PM »
I suspect his book might seem sexist to some of us, but he did begin writing around the late forties, with many of his books between the late fifties through the 70's.   But I never really noticed any sexism myself.

That doesn't mean it isn't sexist/misogynistic, however.  It just means he was a product of his time.

agree - and i still don't get
Quote
The idea is that he is genetically very long lived.
which is really what my puzzlement is about.  sexism is bad, but your comment doesn't seem to follow from the one that you quoted.  thus: ???
I am become destroyer of biology.

Offline Simma

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Re: Robert A. Heinlein - Time Enough for Love (1973)
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2008, 06:09:46 PM »

That doesn't mean it isn't sexist/misogynistic, however.  It just means he was a product of his time.

That's what I meant. Ever read Darwin's descriptions of aboriginal Africans in decent of man?  Pretty damn racist, but not for the time period.


agree - and i still don't get

Quote
The idea is that he is genetically very long lived.
which is really what my puzzlement is about.  sexism is bad, but your comment doesn't seem to follow from the one that you quoted.  thus: ???

I think it means that Lazarus Long has the genes to make babies live forever, so women want their offspring to be long lived.   I guess that is sexist. 
"That's because, they're a bunch of stubborn, root sucking, jackasses ...holding onto traditions, that are a thousand years old!" - Colonel Tigh

Offline DaveTheReader

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Re: Robert A. Heinlein - Time Enough for Love (1973)
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2008, 10:26:37 PM »
I had a serious problem with nearly every female in the book begging to bear Lazarus' child. I thought it was very sexist.

That said, it is good writing, good storytelling and generally enjoyable otherwise.
The idea is that he is genetically very long lived.

???  what does that have to do with sexism?  i love heinlein, but his books generally contain raging sexism.

They want his genes because he is genetically very long lived. The people working on rejuvenation are certainly interested in that. If the males could get pregnant, they would do it.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2008, 10:31:13 PM by David Neises »

Offline eatsbugs

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Re: Robert A. Heinlein - Time Enough for Love (1973)
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2008, 12:20:56 AM »
I understood his premise for the women wanting to have his child, and given the preoccupation the civilization had with genetics and longevity, it make sense. However, as a social commentary, it made it look like all women want to do when they see an attractive and genetically superior male is have his have his babies, which makes them look like slobbering idiots the way it was presented.
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Offline DaveTheReader

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Re: Robert A. Heinlein - Time Enough for Love (1973)
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2008, 04:23:58 PM »
I understood his premise for the women wanting to have his child, and given the preoccupation the civilization had with genetics and longevity, it make sense. However, as a social commentary, it made it look like all women want to do when they see an attractive and genetically superior male is have his have his babies, which makes them look like slobbering idiots the way it was presented.

It was stated that way in the post; it wasn't stated that way in the book. Of course, you had to read this rather lengthy book to get to why his genes were so desirable. I did find the book rather preachy and paternalistic. I believe this has been alluded to in some of the posts.

Offline spiney

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Re: Robert A. Heinlein - Time Enough for Love (1973)
« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2008, 10:28:27 AM »
In fact, GBS did it first - much better - and without the right-wing ideological baggage ..........

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Back_to_Methuselah

http://www.online-literature.com/george_bernard_shaw/back-to-methuselah/2/

This is a play, of course, so meant to be performed not read!


Offline Jim

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Re: Robert A. Heinlein - Time Enough for Love (1973)
« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2008, 11:02:06 AM »
Interesting thought about Heinlien being sexist, I thought the more generally accepted criticism was that his women were basically men. ie they all tended to be doctor's, secret agent's able to kill you with a single blow etc, etc.

In many books the female character is the superior in the relationship, eg have spacesuit will travel, the young girl is a Genius. in starship troopers the men are all grunts whilst the women are the spaceship pilot's because of their superior reaction times and intellect.



Jim

Offline Joe Shmoe

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Re: Robert A. Heinlein - Time Enough for Love (1973)
« Reply #23 on: July 29, 2008, 07:53:19 PM »
I had a serious problem with nearly every female in the book begging to bear Lazarus' child. I thought it was very sexist.

That said, it is good writing, good storytelling and generally enjoyable otherwise.

I think Heinlein is the most difficult writer to try to pin any specific ideology too. What he seems to praise in one book he will turn around and bash or praise the opposite in another.

This probably has more to do with the fact that Heinlein's own beliefs changed dramatically throughout his lifetime.

He started out as communist and gradually shifted to libertarianism, the key turning point was when he went to visit Soviet Russia and saw the shit that was there.

Offline musteion

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Re: Robert A. Heinlein - Time Enough for Love (1973)
« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2008, 08:32:27 PM »
Interesting thought about Heinlien being sexist, I thought the more generally accepted criticism was that his women were basically men. ie they all tended to be doctor's, secret agent's able to kill you with a single blow etc, etc.

I think his women conformed to various sexist archetypes, many of them misogynistic. When they weren't utterly ruled by their emotions, they were downright free love sex fiends or other various male fantasies, including dominatrix.

Offline seanahan

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Re: Robert A. Heinlein - Time Enough for Love (1973)
« Reply #25 on: July 29, 2008, 09:10:27 PM »
I had a serious problem with nearly every female in the book begging to bear Lazarus' child. I thought it was very sexist.

You've likely had that same serious problem with most of his books. I did, even though I tried to overlook it.

For example, in Stranger in a Strange Land, where he says something like "9 out of 10 times a woman is raped, she was asking for it".
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Offline Jim

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Re: Robert A. Heinlein - Time Enough for Love (1973)
« Reply #26 on: July 31, 2008, 08:17:38 AM »
I had a serious problem with nearly every female in the book begging to bear Lazarus' child. I thought it was very sexist.

You've likely had that same serious problem with most of his books. I did, even though I tried to overlook it.

For example, in Stranger in a Strange Land, where he says something like "9 out of 10 times a woman is raped, she was asking for it".
I don't recall that, but I assume you mean a character said those things. I find it hard to pin down exactly what heinlien thought about anything based on all the different characters in his books, I think this thread has made me aware that you will probably see what you are looking for in particular books, and ignore things that disprove those initial thoughts, a bit like the bible really :-(. Will make me a more thoughtful reader in future I'm sure.
Jim

Offline DaveTheReader

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Re: Robert A. Heinlein - Time Enough for Love (1973)
« Reply #27 on: July 31, 2008, 11:09:39 PM »
Interesting thought about Heinlien being sexist, I thought the more generally accepted criticism was that his women were basically men. ie they all tended to be doctor's, secret agent's able to kill you with a single blow etc, etc.

In many books the female character is the superior in the relationship, eg have spacesuit will travel, the young girl is a Genius. in starship troopers the men are all grunts whilst the women are the spaceship pilot's because of their superior reaction times and intellect.


In one of his books, I think that it is 'I Will Fear No Evil', a man is turned into a woman. I always find it interesting that a man would think that he can understand what it is to be a woman, or for that matter that a woman would think that she knows what it is to be a man.

In 'Friday', the lead character was a female agent.

There are cases where this has actually happened - gender change - such as James/Jennifer Boylan who went from male to female. I did find his/her book quite interesting, though I don't remember the title.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jennifer_Finney_Boylan

Also, I have a friend who has gone from female to male. I went to his coming out party.

There is another case where a circumcision went awry and removed the penis. The boy, was then raised as a girl without any hormone supplements. As an adult. she finally went back to dressing and behaving as a boy, got married to a female. He eventually committed suicide. There is a book called 'As Nature Made Him' by ColaPinto. His name was David Reimer. He died in 2004.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Reimer

I don't think Heinlein had any real experience with transgenders, though I could be mistaken. As stated above, the women are just men with different plumbing.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2008, 11:15:44 PM by David Neises »