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Starship Troopers: Interpretation and Analysis

Fabius Maximus

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Heinlein was a fan of the forever war. But I do.not think it would have changed his take on starship troopers.
I recall an interview where he said that had he written Starship troopers later, he would have had female MI.

But the interesting thing is that how forward looking Heinlein was. I mean, this book was written int eh late 1950s and yet it's taken that women can be part of the combat arms--and that they do drop in and rescue marines from hot zones. While for modern readers, that sounds well, "an your point is?" for the time, that was incredibly unusual, especially since Rico and Carmen are being called out specifically as being friends and yes, professional colleagues, but never once having a romantic component. Hell, having major female characters without a romantic tie is a thing that hollywood still struggles with.

When you adapt a work and don't bother to actually know the source material firsthand then you don't have a right to complain about any criticism thrown your way about how you butchered the job.

If you don't like the apple then don't use it to make apple pie.
I'm especially sensitive to it today given the cases of writers being hounded on twitter with people not only stating that they didn't read teh book but proud of it and telling other people that "How dare you read that book!" If you don't read the source material, you have no right to expect other people to believe your take on it.
 

yukamichi

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But the interesting thing is that how forward looking Heinlein was. I mean, this book was written int eh late 1950s and yet it's taken that women can be part of the combat arms
Women have always been soldiers. Hell, they were part of modern militaries at the same time Heinlein was alive. That's not "forward looking," that's just being able to look past what happens in the United States and take it as God's Own Truth about the way the world works.
 

Fabius Maximus

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Women have always been soldiers. Hell, they were part of modern militaries at the same time Heinlein was alive. That's not "forward looking," that's just being able to look past what happens in the United States and take it as God's Own Truth about the way the world works.
Except if you'd asked anyone in the United States? No, women didn't, especially as officers. And Heinlein was writing to a US audience. Hell, it wasn't until the 1970s that the WASP pilots were granted full recognition. So in terms of the audience he was writing for, the idea that women could be commissioned officers and friends with male soldiers with no romantic subtext was probably unique.
 

Cessna

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Except if you'd asked anyone in the United States? No, women didn't, especially as officers. And Heinlein was writing to a US audience. Hell, it wasn't until the 1970s that the WASP pilots were granted full recognition. So in terms of the audience he was writing for, the idea that women could be commissioned officers and friends with male soldiers with no romantic subtext was probably unique.
Fabius, I love you, but you're wrong here.

WASP pilots took a long time to receive recognition as military because they (the WASP service) were civilians. They were Federal Service employees, not part of the military.

(Edit: For comparison, it took longer for male Merchant Marine sailors to gain similar recognition, and it was the WASPs getting the recognition that helped the Merchant Marine to get theirs.)

There were plenty of women who were commissioned officers in WWII in the US military, as Women's Army Corps officers, WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, part of the Naval Reserve), and United States Marine Corps Women's Reserve officers. There were about 10,000 WAC and 10,000 WAVE officers and about 2,000 USMCWR officers commissioned over the course of the war; I can dig up exact numbers later if you like.
 
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Fabius Maximus

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Fabius, I love you, but you're wrong here.

WASP pilots took a long time to receive recognition as military because they (the WASP service) were civilians. They were Federal Service employees, not part of the military.

There were plenty of women who were commissioned officers in WWII in the US military, as Women's Army Corps officers, WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, part of the Naval Reserve), and United States Marine Corps Women's Reserve officers. There were about 10,000 WAC and 10,000 WAVE officers and about 2,000 USMCWR officers commissioned over the course of the war; I can dig up exact numbers later if you like.
Interesting. A quick question--how widely popularized was this, and would it have been widely known to Heinlein's reading audience?

If so, it brings a rather different view to it, going from he's arguing for something nobody really accepts to "we did this in WWII and it'll become the norm in the future."
 

Chucky

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Interesting. A quick question--how widely popularized was this, and would it have been widely known to Heinlein's reading audience?

If so, it brings a rather different view to it, going from he's arguing for something nobody really accepts to "we did this in WWII and it'll become the norm in the future."
Everyone knows about, nobody bats an eye when the head nurse on MASH is a major, the same rank my grandmother held as a nurse in WW2.

The really fun part is less well known was the time Esienhower held a meeting with two of his top nurses, or maybe some sort of logistics, and told them we've had too many reports of lesbianism in your team I want you to kick out all the lesbians. The higher ranking one said, I'll get right on writing my resignation letter for being a lesbian, and then her second in command said, me too. And that was the last time anyone brought that up.
 

Cessna

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Interesting. A quick question--how widely popularized was this, and would it have been widely known to Heinlein's reading audience?
I would be surprised if anyone didn't know about it at the time. People in the military certainly would have known.

If so, it brings a rather different view to it, going from he's arguing for something nobody really accepts to "we did this in WWII and it'll become the norm in the future."
That's plausible.
 
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