The Guardian Tackles The Important Issue Of Martian Rape

Alex Griswold Media Reporter
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No longer content with endless thought pieces and treatises on the problem of Earthly rape culture, left-wing UK paper The Guardian tackled the pressing issue of sexism and racism on Mars.

“How can our future Mars colonies be free of sexism and racism?” is the headline of science writer Martin Robbins’ piece. “The white, male European conquerors of the New World and 19th-century American pioneers of Manifest Destiny still colour the space age,” the sub-headline reads, “so is it a myth that we’ll turn nice on Mars?”

Robbins compares the ethos driving Mars colonization to the Manifest Destiny that pushed American setters out west. But, he says, “destiny is rarely great for the people already at the destination. When Africans moved north to colonise Europe they obliterated the Neanderthals. When Europeans seized the New World, its cultures were virtually extinguished.”

He’s forced to admit the fairly crucial detail that they are no Martian locals we can oppress… except for robots. “Luckily the only population on Mars that we know of is a handful of rovers, but no doubt we’ll start a war anyway, before dragging them into some form of slavery or oppression. It’s just what we do.”

Besides his traditional social justice concern for Martian robot slavery, Robbins believes space exploration could be plagued by:

  • Racism: “Whose destiny is it anyway? Who gets to go? D. N. Lee wrote a fascinating deconstruction of this in Scientific American where she makes a number of interesting points. Not least, how little attention this question has been given in the rather white and male race to conquer Mars… To paraphrase Douglas Adams: ‘Space is white. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly white it is.’”
  • Sexism: “Women in space-colony fiction have generally been presented as sexy walking vaginas, whose main purpose is to provide the male astronauts with a place to dock their penis at night. This being necessary in order to ‘ensure the survival of the species.'”
  • Classism: “There’s no room for discussion about social justice or equality when it comes to planning our future Mars colonies because we all just assume that decent educated scientists and engineers – the ‘right kind’ of people – won’t have any problem with that sort of thing.”

And yes, Robbins turns his attention to space rape. “The first woman to be raped in space has probably already been born,” he writes. “And if that last sentence makes you howl with protest or insist that such a thing just wouldn’t happen, then I’d stop a second and ask yourself why.” (RELATED: The Guardian Employs C-word In Misogyny Story)

“It’s early days, but if we really want to create a progressive new world then issues like these should be at the hearts of our efforts from the very start,” Robbins concludes. “…The last thing we need is to wake up in 50 years and find that a bunch of #gamergate nobheads are running Mars.”

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