The fundamental reason I love fantasy and science fiction as much as I do is that it’s an opportunity to imagine a world different from the one we know. It should be no surprise that feminist and queer themes in science fiction abound, because imagined worlds allow us to look at all the assumptions of our everyday existence from a new angle.
But imagining new worlds isn’t easy. After all, some of the givens of our world are so deeply ingrained that we can’t even dream of a world that’s any other way. There are a few different approaches I’ve seen to communicating feminist messages through fantasy and sci fi worlds, which I’ll do my best to summarize here. Then I’ll offer some advice on how to come up with a feminist fantasy or sci fi world of your own.
1) Imagine a world more patriarchal than our own.
This may seem counterintuitive. How would a world even more sexist than the one we know help communicate a feminist message?