FemDom in the Final Frontier
Author:Dr Charles Forbin
Space, the final frontier. And in the realm of Science Fiction, the Dominant Female hasn't been neglected. Since the early days of science fiction, writers have used their imaginations to project the what if's of the world.
One of the first novels, that could be considered Science Fiction or Fantasy was SHE, by H. Rider Haggard. This novel written in the late 1800's told the tale of a woman who ruled a group of people in the heart of Africa. SHE was immortal, having discovered a mysterious fire that rejuvinated her tissues.
SHE was a cruel Mistress over her people, condemming them to death for the slightest misdeed. She was destroyed by a second exposure to the fire that gave her eternal life, and turned to dust. There have been three modern film versions of this tale, the second starring Ursula Andress as Ay'esha , She Who Must Be Obeyed.
This was the best adaptation in my opinion, and the closest to the novel. The title is also the source for the title of my series of stories "The Diaries of Ay'esha".
Any resemblance between the Haggard stories and mine, stop there.
Ursula Andress in SHE
A film based on the Sax Rhomer novel "The Nude in Mink" entitled THE MILLION EYES OF SU-MARU is another approach on FemDom.
In this world of international espionage where loving men is against the law, the stunning Su-Muru (Shirley Eaton) is globally known as the most diabolical, bizarre, and sadistic woman who ever lived. Her all-female, man-hating Amazon cult kidnaps a CIA agent (George Nader) and his friend (Frankie Avalon) as part of their plot for the destruction of all mankind.
A sequel film called THE SEVEN SECRETS OF SU-MARU fared no better.
Shirley Eaton (Goldfinger) again plays Su-Maru, a sexy & ruthless dictator of super-women planning to take over the world. Evil crimelord George Sanders is out to destroy her secret female city ("Femina"). In the middle is a special agent called Jeff.
Rhomer is better known for the creation of Dr. Fu Manchu, a paragon of male evil trying to take over the world.
The best comment on the whole Su-Maru series of films is their ultimate sacrifice to the writers of Mystery Science Theatre 3000.
Another amusing side note to the last noted film, was the arrest of
the producer for hiring high class call girls as actresses.
Another major film that featured women taking over the world, or at least attempting to ,was IN LIKE FLINT, starring James Coburn as Derek Flint
In this 1960's film a group of women in positions of control, and with the help of a corrupt General, kidnap the President, replace him with an impostor, and then seize control of an orbiting space platform, and prepare to arm it with nuclear weapons.
This plan is thwarted by the efforts of Flint, super handsome, super spy, who ultimatly rescues the President, saves the women from the corrupt General, who has decided to seize control for himself, and as always saves the world.
Spies in 60's films usually did.
An interesting idea in the film was the idea of brainwashing women into following the ideas of the women trying to take over the world through subliminal messages played through hair dryers in beauty salons around the planet.
As Flint himself remarked "Brain and hairwashing at the same
A somewhat more serious look at the idea of a Female Dominant society can been seen in the world of printed science fiction.
A novel by Robert H. Heinlein, titled SPACE CADET told the story of a race on Venus, amphibian, and female dominant in culture. A highly developed race, they use their talents to assist the cadets to return to the human populated part of the planet.
No one had ever seen the male Venusians, and the prevailing theory is that they were too fragile to be on their own. But the biology of the inhabitants suggested that they were bisexual.
Another of Heinlein's novels "STARSHIP TROOPERS", had women commanding starships because they were better qualified both physically and mentally for the task. While not strictly a female dominant society, the concept advanced in the early '60s that women might be better in command positions shocked many people.
The recent film adaptation of the novel only briefly touches on this. The novel was written as a work for teen agers and was rejected by the publisher.
Another publisher accepted it, and it later went on to win a Hugo award, the highest acclaim a science fiction novel can achieve.
Another novel, written by Mack Reynolds , entitled "AMAZON PLANET", was a society, with women in the positions of control including commanding the military forces of the planet.
The average citizen was portrayed as rather "butch", and the men as rather effeminate. A Men's Liberation movement was active on the planet, and the Earth man sent to study the society soon became involved in a attempt to "liberate" the males.
The female dominance of the planet actually turns out to be a myth though, designed to keep people away.
An early work by Jean Lorrah, an instructor at the University of Kentucky here in the United States, who went on to write a well received fantasy series of her own "SAVAGE EMPIRE" as well as two well received Star Trek novels, described a Female Dominant society in her book "Night of the Twin Moons."
Based on the Star Trek characters of Sarek and Amanda, Spock's parents, it tells the story of the first attempt to establish a relationship with a female dominant society.
The planet's men had the average intellegence of a six year old, and their primary functions were physical labor and sex.
This society was quite stable until contact with the Federation, when the inhabitants discovered the novelty of intellegent male sex partners.
Men were traded as property and at one point Sarek was considered to be a sample of the type of men the Federation had for trade.
Of course, the Federation would never think of selling men.
Green Orion slave girls maybe, but never men.
A custom of this planet, by the way, was the castration of the males when they could no longer perform sexually.
A poorly done example of a Female Dominant society in the Star Trek series was a short reference to a civilization in the episode "Tommorrow is Yesterday". A computer has a female voice, and tends to giggle. This would tend to suggest that the planet had been colonized by Valley Girls.
Later in the series, the computer had a female voice provided by Majel Barrett, Gene Roddenberry's wife. It did not giggle.
The worst example is the episode "Spock's Brain", which describes the female inhabitants of the planet as "The givers of pain and delight".
This civilization had collapsed enough where both the men and the women were of somewhat less than impressive intellegence, although the women have access to a device that would increase their intellegence for a short period.
The men were controlled by devices attached to their waists that gave pain at the touch of a button. The methods used to provide delight were not shown.
Although looking at the women, some inferences could be drawn.
A later episode of Star Trek:The Next Generation entitled "Angel One" has men from a disabled spaceship disrupting the culture of a female dominant planet.
The rulers of the planet want the men removed, but some of the women want them to stay, setting up a schism in the culture.
As an aside, why does it seem like Female Dominant cultures are so easily collapsed by one man, or a group of men?
The British haven't been innocent of that kind of thinking either, as demonstrated in a short series entitled STAR MAIDENS.
This rather unknown series concerned a planet that entered our solar system, inhabited by females who ruled their planet with an iron fist, keeping all of the males in positions of servitude.
Two escapees from this planet crash land on Earth and their recapture by the women of their planet results in the taking of three scientists from Earth, two men and one woman back to their planet.
The young good looking male Earth scientist saves the planet from an ecological disaster of course, and proves that men are good for something other than humping or thumping.
Even SPACE:1999 featured an episode of whip wielding women dressed in tight fitting jumpsuits, trying to control the inhabitants or at least the male ones of Moonbase Alpha.
A series that frequently strayed into the realm of science fiction was the well loved and well remembered AVENGERS, starring Diana Rigg as Mrs. Emma Peel.
One episode (HOW TO SUCCEED ... AT MURDER) , again, not strictly science fiction, revolved around a group of women that were busily engaged in killing their bosses, on the grounds that they did the real work anyway.
Surprise: The group was actually being controlled by a man.
She has also been portrayed as The Queen of Sin in an episode censored in the United States on it's first broadcast called A Touch of Brimstone dealing with a recreation of the Hellfire Club circa 1746.
It is a matter of historic record that Ben Franklin attended the club on a semi-regular basis.
Rigg As Mrs. Emma Peel
Returning to the United States, we once again visit a world created by Gene Roddenberry.
A pilot for a new series about a post Apocolypse Earth, entitled Genesis II hinted at a culture that was Female Dominant.
The pilot featured Mariette Hartely as a mutant human known as a Tyrannian.
Human in appearence, they possessed two belly buttons for a double circulatory system. Roddenberry admitted later that he put in two belly buttons to twit the television censors.
And for some reason all of the Tyrannian men and women were good looking.
Now that's REALLY science fiction.
Humans were held as slaves, both male and female, and were trained in "schools" to serve their quasi human Mistresses and Masters.
One of the devices used to train the slaves was called a "stim". Through ultrasonics it stimulated the brain causing extreme pain or pleasure depending on the setting. One of it's advantages according to the plot was it didn't cause any tissue damage.
An interesting feature of the series was that the concept of sex
roles had been done away with , and indeed was blaimed for causing the
war . The group of humans known as PAX were unisex in their beliefs.
Although some were returning to the old ways of man , woman, sex.
Alex Cord and Mariette Hartley
The pilot didn't sell, but returned again in a second attempt known as PLANET EARTH.
This time the mutants were regular science fiction, ugly mutants rather than the earlier portrayal of the mutants as aerobics instructors.
The Woman's Country , known as the Country of Ruth, was shown to be restrictive, with women fighting to control men and own men.
This of course gave the writers a chance to show two women fighting.
The men in the series were kept under control by a drug in their food supply. The hero, played by John Saxon discovers an antidote with the help of another member of PAX who had been captured by the women earlier, and feeds it to the rest of men, just in time to save the women from an attack by the mutants.
And they all lived together happily ever after.
The leader of the Country of Ruth was played by Diana Muldar, later known as Dr. Kate Pulaski on STAR TREK:THE NEXT GENERATION.
So the concept of the Female Dominant has turned up in science fiction more than a few times, but each time it has been treated somewhat shabbily.
Why? Why is the portrayal of a Female Dominant society in Science Fiction mostly portrayed as brutal, or decadent.
Perhaps the writing caters to the fantasies of men, with women performing the acts of sexual dominance that many male submissives desire. The reality of course is that those acts of sexual dominance are very rare indeed in the real world.
Why hasn't anybody ever written a story about a Female Dominant society that doesn't involve whips and chains and leather, but instead involves love, and devotion, and caring on the part of the Mistress and the slave.
Perhaps that is truly the most fantastic concept of all.
Love and mutual respect.
Dr. Charles Forbin