Should we fund a mission to Mars? Sure. Give us a bit of time and we can make that planet uninhabitable too.
That said, I thoroughly enjoyed watching MARS. Why? Because the three astronauts who walk out onto the planet’s surface at the end to discover life on Mars are all women. Not a token one of three. Not even a remarkable two of three. But ALL THREE. All three are women.
AND the bureaucrat back on Earth who makes the announcement? Again, a woman.
AND none of this was presented as in-your-face feminist. Not one line in the entire script made reference to their being women. There was no male resentment, no resistance, no snide comment about quotas or reverse discrimination. There was no undue praise, no celebration for having achieved the status of being the first humans to discover life on Mars.
They just were.
I can’t tell you how gratifying it would be to just be. To be an astronaut if I wanted to be. To be the one to discover life on Mars. To be the head of a Mars mission program. Just because I was qualified to do so and lucky enough to make it through the selection process. And my sex had as little to do with it as my hair.
Furthermore, throughout the expedition, there was as much female presence as male. Sure, okay, one of the women became leader only because one of the men died, but when the second crew arrived, its leader was a woman. And if I’ve got this mistaken, it’s only because regardless of the actual hierarchy, women were as central, as important, as valuable, as active.
They were just living their lives.
And yet, seven of the eight writers are men. The director is a man. All ten executive producers are men. Even so, they had THREE WOMEN discover life on Mars. Three women, all by themselves. They didn’t need a man to go with them to protect them. They didn’t need a man to go with them in case they got lost.
Amazing. Truly amazing.
And so truly … gratifying. To see this. To actually see this.