Female Coded Artificial Beings In Selected American Science Fiction Films, 1960s-2000s
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This thesis is an analysis of depictions of “female coded” (being assigned gender traits even in the absence of a biological sex) artificial beings in Norman Taurog’s Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965), Duncan Gibbins’ Eve of Destruction (1991), Bryan Forbes’ The Stepford Wives (1975), Frank Oz’s The Stepford Wives (2004), Alex Garland’s Ex Machina (2014) and Spike Jonze’s Her (2013) and what they represent within the scope of science fiction. This thesis will focus on the concept of the artificial being as a metaphor for the human condition, bodily autonomy, and human progress. It will analyze how the depictions of male-coded artificial beings function as universal commentary about humankind in general while female coded artificial beings represent manifestations of specific ideas about women. Through these examples, this study will argue that the portrayal of female coded artificial beings is a product of the male gaze and the idealized place of women in society according to patriarchal standards. The visual portrayals, which include female signifiers and sexualized visual representations, further promote the concept of “the perfect woman” as understood from the point of view of the male gaze and the gendered objectification of female body in the metaphorical and physical senses. It will further argue that such presentation of artificial characters go against the purpose of transgressing the limitations of the human condition and that this approach hinders their potential to exist outside the boundaries of human structures and standards.