Gender Relationships

It is beyond the scope of the paper I wish to write here, but one of the most interesting aspects of the series is the unconventionality of its gender roles. None of the women characters are stereotyped in respect to gender. Devon Adair and Julia Heller are leaders. Bess, while an earth mother figure, is also far stronger than Morgan, and in spite of the vast difference in status, earns Devon's and everyone else's respect for her grit and courage. Even one of the minor women characters, Magus, is a crew member working in a "non-traditional" job.

The men too are often allowed to fulfill human aspects not often afforded them. Uly, Alonzo and Yale are spiritual beings, Danziger sometimes transcends his macho self to become a loving father and friend, and Morgan is weak and dependent. Even when Danziger struggles with Devon over leadership issues it seems to come more from class and status than gender differences. His contempt is that of the experienced line sergeant for the newly graduated lieutenant, or the seasoned foreman for the young MBA. He treats female members of his crew as he does the male crew and his daughter in the same way as he does the boy Uly. When Julia and Alonzo begin a romantic relationship, it is Alonzo who is the nurturing and more emotionally open of the two. Yale, a kind of nanny to Uly and True, is also allowed a more emotionally rich life than his former charge, Devon.

As interesting and satisfying as the gender relationships are, they are not the driving idea for Earth2. But they do follow from its central argument which, I contend, is based on a particular worldview. This philosophy, popular in New Age circles and embraced by ecofeminists,[1] combines spiritual and ecological ideas. It is supported by a scientific theory with a provocative name.

Earth 2: A Gaian Hypothesis homepage