John on August 15, 2006 at 12:11 pm
Glenn Reynolds has a link to a story in Popular Science magazine about the allure and meaning of fembots.
[W]hat is it about curvaceous cyborgs that stirs the imagination? To some, fembots represent the perfect male fantasy: They’re sexy and submissive and have more techie features than the Xbox 360. But they also have a dangerous side that can reduce walls to rubble and make an army retreat. Perhaps the fembot’s allure resides in her ability to walk the line between total obedience and unfathomable power.
Why do I care? Because I love old science fiction movies. Here’s the gallery that goes with the article (PG-13). [HT: The Jawa Report]
The article mentions most of the obvious fembots including the ones in Metropolis, Terminator 3, Weird Science, Austin Powers and the Stepford Wives. It even includes some from TV, such as the fembot showgirls from The Bionic Man. Still, I can’t help but notice — really I can’t — that several important fembots have been left out. For instance, Westword was chock full of fembots. They also don’t mention Galaxina or Winona Ryder’s role as Call in Aliens 4.
Only a bit more seriously, I would argue that fembots fit perfectly with what I’ve written before about the nature of horror. They represent the allure of “sex without emotion” which is the human male’s total debasement of God-given marital sex. At the same time, it must be noted that “fembots” are almost always villains. They are monsters, in other words. Their very nature is an acknowledgement that “sex without emotion” (and I would add, without lifelong commitment in marriage) is sin. Their prescence as villains in the world of “free love” advocate Austin Powers is more integral than it appears. Fembots are a warning. Don’t give in to lust. If you do, it will kill you.
And yet, the Japanese are already working on making them a reality. We never learn, I guess.