Why Is Pregnancy In The SciFi World So Awful?
Ladies who find themselves with child in an alternative galaxy unfortunately will fall victim to Hollywood exaggerations and exploitations of pregnancy. Anita Sarkeesian points out on BITCH media that whenever a woman conceives in a scifi series, the result is nearly always to heighten the drama by seeing her in some sort of horrific birth — usually at the hands of some alien conception.
Sarkeesian comments on the “mystical pregnancy” storyline in scifi:
The Mystical Pregnancy is a trope writers use to create drama and terror by invading, violating and exploiting women’s reproductive capabilities. Often these female characters have their ovaries harvested by aliens or serve as human incubators for demon spawn. Sometimes they are carrying the Messiah and other times Satan himself.
Laura Shapiro is quoted in the segment as observing:
The problem from my point of view is that pregnancy and birth are natural processes that are being distorted into torture porn, ways of punishing women and exploiting their terror to up the dramatic stakes.
The ladies do have a point that pregnancy and birth are nearly always used as a way to incite pain in our on-screen heroines. Made to birth the alien hybrids of other cosmic forces or subject to being impregnated by another species, scifi female characters don’t seem to exhibit much agency when it comes to their bodies.