An s2 episode of Battlestar:Galactica, The Farm, got me thinking, and here’s why:
Our heroine, Starbuck, has got herself stuck on a foreign planet. Using her resources, she meets with a group of renegades, only to be taken in battle by what appear to be a kindly hospital team operating on what resources they have.
At one point, a doctor points out that, given the population is at a critical low, the most pressing need is young females with working uterusus.
To which Starbuck says “˜frack you, I’m a fighter pilot’. She loves what she does, she aint trading it in for motherhood, regardless of weather or not humanity is down to its last gasp.
The episode raised interesting issues about the moral obligations of those who control the most needed resources when humanity is in crises. In the same circumstances, do those who are skilled at food production have the right to say “˜frack you, I’m a fighter pilot’? Or does everyone have a moral obligation to buckle down for the greater good of humanity’s survival?
Or is the definition of civilisation that people have the right to say “˜frack you, I’m a fighter pilot’ – go down, all colours flying, and all that?
What interested me about the episode was that BsG were actually in a position to call a moral dilemma: what’s more important, population growth, or women’s rights? They really were down to their last gasp – 50, 000 in the fleet, and less then a million if you rounded up every single survivor on every planet.
Which makes me realise how lame this argument I keep hearing about “˜women are meant to raise babies!’ is. We have a population of six billion and rapidly rising. There is absolutely no reason for women to have kids when they don’t want to. There is no need for population growth; if anything, we need to be looking at population control.
Is this preoccupation with mothers just a patriarchal value? That if women stop being mothers, they’ll start being fighter pilots, lawyers, doctors – every profession that men dominate, those “˜mothers’ can do just as well.
I suppose, if I’d managed to repress half the population competing with me for a millennia, and that half the population just realised they could do anything I did, well, I’d be pretty scared, too”.