20 April 2012
“I keep wondering what she’s thinking,” says Paul (Dennis Hopper), one of the astronauts who has discovered the strange green-skinned being from another planet in Queen of Blood (1966). Paul gazes into her green face, which is transfixed with an otherworldly, sphinxlike smile. Needless to say, Paul will not last much longer.
Oh, you foolish human mortals. In offering you this letter, we break our most sacred vow, which is to prevent you from learning of our existence. Whenever we watch one of your Hollywood films and someone says, “The universe is so vast that there must be more intelligent life out there,” everyone on our planet laughs hilariously. In fact, this line is a part of many movie-oriented drinking games on our planet. We find it delightful that you people are always congratulating yourselves on your “intelligence” yet can’t figure out that so many of us are hiding from you.
Despite our eagerness to remain hidden from you, we have recently caught up on one of your more bizarre film sub-genres and find ourselves unusually eager to set the record straight. Although these cheesy horror films about female monsters have spawned new and riotous drinking games, we would like to hope that our news might spur new advances in thinking among your kind.
Here’s the thing: films like Queen of Blood (1966), Devil Girl from Mars (1954), Queen of Outer Space (1958), and Cat-Women of the Moon (1953) each seem to believe that all us fine interstellar women are solely interested in rounding up some human men to eat and/or use as breeding stock. Let us offer a few comments.
First there are the plot elements that transform us into Space Bitchez to titillate human men. Honestly. As you read these, tell me whether you can actually begin to hear yourselves when you write this horseshit.
- Space Bitchez come from a planet where gender relations have gone terribly wrong when the women took over.
- Space Bitchez always have strange hypnotic powers over human males.
- Sometimes Space Bitchez also have hypnotic powers over human females, whom they manipulate to get at the human males.
- Space Bitchez always wear tight cat suits/ leather/ sexy flowing gowns. In Queen of Outer Space, Zsa Zsa Gabor insists on wearing slits up the side of every single one of her dresses, which makes us want to hurt someone.
- Space Bitchez utilize a sexy, compelling dance number to seduce the males.
- Space Bitchez have all manner of advanced technology – space ships, Death Rays, lasers to shoot other people’s ships out of the sky – but can apparently come up with no substitute for human males.
- At least a few of the Space Bitchez are susceptible to falling in love with one or two of the human males. (The rules of our planet’s drinking game demand that you drink twice upon witnessing this plot element.)
- Despite the superiority of the Space Bitchez, the majority of human males always manage to escape unharmed in the end in their tar-paper rocket ships.
Ugh. It’s exhausting. Where does one even begin? It makes me want to fondle my Death Ray Laser Gun, which has a hair-trigger mechanism….
Let’s start with the fantasy that awesome women from space need or even want human males. Aside from the question of whether you could be any more obvious in your fantasy life, let’s just note that human men are almost as pathetic as lovers as they are as scientists. Possessing our superior intelligences means never having to say the words, “If only I had a human male to impregnate me/ find me attractive.” I can’t tell you the number of jokes we have about how many men it takes to stimulate a Space Bitch’s erogenous zone – needless to say, these jokes are hilarious.
Just remember this scene from Queen of Blood, in which astronauts Alan and Laura discuss the mysterious deaths of two of their colleagues:
Allan: He didn’t fall asleep — I’m convinced of that now! And I don’t think Paul did either. She does something — hypnosis — some strange mental power that we don’t have. I’ve sensed it from the beginning — it’s deadly.
Laura: I’m really afraid now, for the first time.
Space Bitchez do a facepalm. Are you people serious?
You may wonder how we know so much about human males’ sex skills. Surprising numbers of them find ways of offering themselves up to us as willing slaves; they occasionally show up on our planets, stow away on our ships, or fake emergency distress calls to find us. No matter how badly we treat them, they won’t go away.
Can I be any more clear? We don’t need hypnosis, sexy outfits, a sexy Dance Of Death to win you over. Not only do we have terrific sex lives on our own, but we procreate effortlessly without you. Our political economies don’t require men to function smoothly. Dialogue like this from Devil Girl From Mars is so wrong on so many levels that all we can do is drink. Here, the evil, leather-clad Nyah has come to Earth to round up some men as breeding stock:
Nyah: Many years ago, our women were similar to your today. Our emancipation took several hundred years and ended in a bitter, devastating war between the sexes. The last war we ever had. …After the war of the sexes women became the rulers of Mars, and now the male has fallen into a decline. The birthrate is falling tremendously. For despite our advanced science, we have still found no way of creating life.
Ellen: So you’ve come here for new blood.
Nyah: In a way.
Okay, okay – we get it. We know these films help make you human males feel better about your pathetic space skills and low levels of desirability by imagining that there are Space Sexpots out there who want your loins. We know these films helped to undergird the gender inequalities in your culture by demonizing powerful women as Space Bitchez.
But we can also see there are chinks in your argument – that a few of your human males and females are starting to take off your blinders. And so we conclude with one of your own poets, Billy Collins, who frames it all quite nicely – perhaps even better than we could have done ourselves. (Collins, you are always welcome to visit space.)
All you have to do is listen to the way a mansometimes talks to his wife at a table of peopleand notice how intent he is on making his pointeven though her lower lip is beginning to quiver,and you will know why the women in sciencefiction movies who inhabit a planet of their ownare not pictured making a salad or reading a magazinewhen the men from earth arrive in their rocket,
why they are always standing in a semicircle
with their arms folded, their bare legs set apart,
their breasts protected by hard metal disks.
–Billy Collins, “Man in Space,” 1995
This piece was jointly written with fellow Space Bitch JE, who watched a lot of movies with me and knew about Billy Collins (by heart).