The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...' --Isaac Asimov
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I feel like a Stranger in a Strange Land… the sexist world of the 1960s

November 8th, 2012 by eric

I’m not sure I’m going to be able to finish ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ by Robert Heinlein (1961). so much history and influence, but so much sexist condescension… i need a dead tree regexp like ‘s/(little|young|pretty)? (girl|lady|child)+//g’. over the course of a 10 page dialogue, the following actions take place. the book is 500 pages long. this is not the exception.

THE MAN… sighed, blinked, said shortly, scowled, interrupted, sighed, repressed a groan, went on, blinked his eyes thoughtfully, agreed pettishly, frowned, interrupted, answered wearily, said gruffly, agreed cheerfully, agreed, looked pained, waited, shrugged, added grimly, scowled and went on, went on gently, shook his head, interrupted again, frowned, denied, simply listened, seemed surprised, held still, opened his eyes and said, was interrupted (!) but carried on talking anyway (?!), blinked thoughtfully.

THE WOMAN… bit her lip and looked about twelve years old, didn’t meet his eye, frowned, looked down, admitted, looked unhappy, gulped, looked puzzled, needed to “use her head”, was interrupted, was “not thinking straight”, was “breast-beating”, repeated, was interrupted again, was told to “keep quiet”, glanced fearfully, covered her face with her hands, was told to “snap out of it”, was told “don’t bawl… in my presence”, agreed in a small voice, answered dully, was interrupted yet again, gaped, said explosively, was told to “take it easy”, answered slowly, added, was interrupted… again, slumped, agreed dully, looked woeful, did not answer, was told to “talk, girl”, stumbled, stuttered, stammered, concluded sadly, was told to “keep quite” (again), kept quiet, was called “girl” (again).

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