Five Ways Denis Villeneuve’s Rendezvous With Rama Could Be Truly Great | Tor.com

February 11, 2022

Five Ways Denis Villeneuve’s Rendezvous With Rama Could Be Truly Great | Tor.com:

Give Women the Spotlight

…sigh. My biggest gripe with Arthur C. Clarke books remains the same with every tome I read. In books already devoid of relatable, meaningful characters, Clarke shunts women into the dark recesses of his stories. Rendezvous With Rama has one incriminating passage that always irks me. Essentially, a crew member of the Rama exploration crew shares an internal monologue about how distracting low gravity can be when a woman is on board. He mentions how the lack of gravitational force makes for excessive jiggling of the breasts. The character goes so far as to question whether women should be astronauts in the first place. I remember reading the passage (which is by far the most egregious, though there are others) with jaw agape.

Beyond the outright sexism, there are precious few women characters in the book at all. It would be an easy (and necessary) win in terms of representation for Villeneuve to gender-swap a few characters and allow women to showcase their scientific talents in the movie. The story only stands to improve by broadening this particular horizon: In a story about humanity’s place in the universe, everyone should be included.

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