Is a superhero dressed in a burka sending the wrong message?

Meet Pakistan's first caped crusader, The Burka Avenger — a new superhero who's promoting girl power in that country. But the new animated character is dressed in a burka, and that's causing no small amount of controversy in Pakistan and abroad. » 7/31/13 7:20am 7/31/13 7:20am

How to Build an Artificial Womb

Artificial wombs are a staple of science fiction, but could we really build one? As time passes, we’re inching closer and closer to the day when it will finally become possible to grow a baby entirely outside the human body. Here’s what we’ll need to do to pull it off. » 4/19/13 11:01am 4/19/13 11:01am

Seanan McGuire explains why you shouldn't expect every fantasy heroine…

The other day, someone asked Seanan McGuire when the characters in her popular October Daye urban fantasy novels were going to get raped — because respect for the integrity of your own work, and pure realism demand it. McGuire's response to this idea is worth reading in full, but especially the part where she explains: » 10/03/12 3:44pm 10/03/12 3:44pm

RIP futurist Shulamith Firestone, who hailed artificial wombs and…

Shulamith Firestone, author of the highly influential The Dialectic of Sex, has died at the age of 67. A major figure in the development of cyberfeminism, Firestone will be remembered for her promotion of artificial wombs and other reproductive technologies as a means for women to liberate themselves from biological… » 9/03/12 1:00pm 9/03/12 1:00pm

The Ladies' Deposit: Created by Women for Ripping Off Women

Although the 2008 exposure of the financial misdeeds of Bernie Madoff allowed Ponzi scheme to enter the day to day vernacular, these schemes are not at all a new creation. Ponzi schemes pay off initial investors using money from new investors, relying on a constant cycle of recruitment in order to prevent the ruse from … » 6/09/12 8:00am 6/09/12 8:00am

Scientists created a pain measurement scale by burning the hands of…

In the 1940s, a group of doctors at the University of Cornell set out to create a unit of pain intensity. Using the "dol" as a unit, the physicians created a 21-point quantitative scale, but through unusual means — testing pain reactions on medical students and women in labor between contractions. They did this by… » 4/11/12 11:00am 4/11/12 11:00am

Why is everybody obsessed with Snow White right now?

Everybody wants a piece of Snow White this year. We've got two movies that retell the iconic fairy tale this season — Mirror, Mirror (released last week) and Snow White and the Huntsman (coming in June). Hit TV series Once Upon a Time centers on an updated version of the Snow White story. Another TV series, based on a … » 4/06/12 8:25am 4/06/12 8:25am

Women of Thrones answers fans' hatred for Cersei, Sansa, and Catelyn

The new season of Game of Thrones has us all excited for the return of sword-wielding Arya and dragon lady Daenerys, as well as the introduction of warrior woman Brienne. Some fans, however, aren't so keen on more of Cersei Lannister, Sansa Stark, and mother fish-wolf Catelyn. But why do these more "conventional" female … » 3/24/12 11:00am 3/24/12 11:00am

What do reproductive rights have to do with careers in science?

Over at American Scientist, Wendy M. Williams and Stephen J. Ceci describe the extreme gender imbalance in scientific careers in America, where women hold, on average, only 4.4 to 12.4 percent of full professorships in scientific fields. This imbalance is not nearly as marked in Europe and Asia. What's keeping American … » 3/06/12 4:30pm 3/06/12 4:30pm

What does science fiction tell us about the future of reproductive…

If everything from technology to politics will be different in the future, then so will human reproduction. That's why so much science fiction deals with the question of how humans make babies — or don't make them — in alternate worlds that are often quite close to our own. It's also why reproduction is a political… » 2/22/12 3:05pm 2/22/12 3:05pm

There's nothing less romantic than two people who are destined to be…

A major trope in paranormal romance — and plenty of other types of sagas — lately is the idea that two people are destined to be together, or are "bond-mates." Over at Genreville, Rose Fox does a great job of examining why this idea strays into disturbing territory, by removing free choice and turning romantic… » 8/31/11 8:30am 8/31/11 8:30am

Joan Vinge’s The Snow Queen: The girl-power counterpart to Star Wars

Do you enjoy space opera, fantastic technologies, millennia-old mysteries, and terrifically wicked villains who want their offspring to embrace their dark side? Do you like women too? Then you'll love 1981's Hugo winner, The Snow Queen, by Joan D. Vinge. » 11/28/10 5:56pm 11/28/10 5:56pm

Feminism, astronauts, and riding sidesaddle: Talking to Dreamsnake's…

It's Dreamsnake weekend for Blogging the Hugos! Today, an interview with author Vonda McIntyre about writing 1979's Hugo-winning novel, how much things have changed for women in SF, and how she hopes you don't notice the trick she pulled. » 10/24/10 9:00am 10/24/10 9:00am