The first science fiction novel was written by a woman, Mary Shelley when she was 18. She was travelling through Europe with some rather well known men and they decided to have a contest to see who could write the best horror story, she dreamt of Frankenstein and his monster. Jules Verne wasn’t even born when she wrote Frankenstein.
So we come down to Dr Who and all the idiotic men who are wetting their tighty whiteys over a woman Dr Who. They need to grow up. Dr Who has always had some softer moments. 10 declared that books and a library were the ultimate weapon at one point not bombs or guns, sounds pretty nonviolent and feminine to me. And women can commit violence when they feel it necessary, those same white males just don’t approve if you fight back and kick them in the nuts.
Heaven forbid that science fiction is the property of men, well it never has been and it never will be.
I’ve been reading fantasy and science fiction just about my entire life and in 63 years it has never occurred to me that it was a gender based activity that I couldn’t participate in. I got caught reading one of the Wizard of Oz books when I was three. Since Dorothy is a dimensional traveler from the very beginning one can say that is science fiction, I would think not to mention characters such as TikTok or Professor Woggle Bug.
I read all the Danny Dunn books when I was a kid. My favourite kid scientist book was the Mad Scientist’s Club. I reread it awhile ago and it’s still funny. In 8th grade when I took Library Science, I discovered Heinlein’s juvenile books and then had to read his adult stuff.
I’m still reading science fiction, I prefer women science fiction writers like Elizabeth Moon, Mercedes Lackey, Madeline L’Engle, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Anne McCaffrey, and others but I also love men who write strong women characters like David Weber and his Honor Harrington books.
Somehow science fiction got gendered and I have no idea why except that in the early days of science fiction women were not supposed to be reading any novels lest they become “hysterical” and uncontrollable. And reading for oneself and not as an out loud group activity was considered highly immoral for anyone.
Real Science has had women from the beginning even if their accomplishments were claimed or attributed to their husbands or mentors. Marie Curie was the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two different sciences. Hygeia of ancient Alexandria paid the price for being a woman scientist. Now we have had Sally Ride. Peggy Whitson is on the Space Station now, her second trip and now is the NASA astronaut who has been longest in space over 534 days.
So why do men get off thinking science and science fiction is for young white men who hide in their parent’s basements eating Cheetos in their underwear? Even Sheldon Cooper has had to admit women can be scientists even if he doesn’t approve of anyone, male or female that isn’t a physicist.