Recently, National Geographic researched and constructed the face of the average human: male, late 20s, ethnic Han Chinese.
While not as well researched (okay fine, not researched at all) and without fancy composite images, I have determined the average woman of the future: pale white, short black hair, leather fetish, probably practices tai chi and feng shui.
I know you’ve seen her before. She’s Trinity from the Matrix trilogy, Motoko from Ghost in the Shell, Quorra from Tron Legacy, the titular Aeon Flux, and Molly Millions from Neuromancer. There are others, of course, but these are the women that I am familiar with, and who came to mind without strenuous thought. It has become a conventional look, a symbol for techo-futurist female power wrapped up in the omnipresent male gaze.
Sorry, let me break this down.
Women of the future will be able to kick your sorry male ass.
I’m not sure I even need to say anything more on this topic, the ladies speak for themselves. Molly Millions is a street samurai, Aeon Flux is an acrobatic terrorist, Motoko is a cyborg government agent, Trinity doesn’t know the meaning of overkill, and Quorra’s day job is saving Sam’s hide.
We see these women and are drawn to their power. They have confidence, advanced fighting skill, and don’t require male companionship. In a word, these women are fierce (but not in the Tyra Banks way).
The future is sexy.
What fun is an unsexy future, anyway? Utopic or dystopic, the world will always have good looking, available women according to science fiction. Observe.
Molly Millions was a prostitute, but it’s a secret she doesn’t like sharing. If we were to do psychoanalysis, I’m sure that we could trace her current profession, being badass, to unresolved issues in her past. Maybe even daddy issues, if we got Freud involved.
Aeon Flux seems to run her entire rebellion as a gross exaggeration of primary school flirting, at least in the original televised cartoon. Her nemesis is a man by the name of Trevor Goodchild, who she never kills despite having countless chances to do so. He also never lays a finger on her, even though she spends her time wreaking havoc on his government. Why? Because Aeon Flux is a sexy, sexy lady who really just wants Trevor all to herself. I’m over simplifying, yes, but that’s not the point. Besides, when one of your methods of passing on secret information is through intense make-out sessions, I don’t really have to step in and explain things.
Motoko has nude scenes and girl-on-girl orgies. I’ll leave it at that.
Trinity is the all important love interest for our hacker hero. She has that ideal lithe body shape, a fanatic loyalty to Neo, and has back-seated her feminine side. Bonus!
And Quorra? How many “first Disney sex scene” rumours did you hear after Olivia Wilde became attached to the project? And that’s completely ignoring the fact that the Grid seems to be inhabited by runway models in skin tight attire.
Make way for Asia.
I think it has been more or less agreed upon that the next major world power will come out of Pacific Asia. With last week’s events in Japan, that Asian power looks like China. And you see this imagined future everywhere, including the archetypical women of the future.
Martial arts take a large role in the fighting style of many of these characters, and is usually linked to a variant of mysticism associated with the Orient. These skills are then bolstered by integrated technology, and again there are associations between advanced tech and nations such as Japan. The tools used are aesthetically crafted, not strictly utilitarian or limited by convention.
So what does all this mean?
Don’t ask me. I’m just a university student wading through the fields of media studies and social geography. Give me a podium and I’ll blab, as just about any person will. I was given my podium, I blabbered on for quite a long time, and now I’m done. Take from it what you will, but remember that, when preparing for the techno-future, prepare to get your ass kicked by a sexy woman with an Asian persuasion. Cocoa Puffs may or may not rain down from the sky into your moon milk at this point. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the future.
Today’s guest post is by Jackerbie, a UBC student and Star Wars fanboy. His favourite colour is green, and he keeps his own blog here.