Stephen's Reviews > Friday

Friday by Robert A. Heinlein
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Robert Anson Heinlein…shame on you, sir. W…T…everwomanhating…F were you thinking when you wrote this drivel?

Friday is, in my irritated opinion, the most offensive and childishly ridiculous female protagonist since Russ Meyer and Roger Corman teamed up to co-direct Planet of the Nympho Bimbos Part II: Attack of the Soapy Breast Monsters.**

** Not a real film, so don’t bother searching Amazon for it.

Pardon my soap boxing, but this is a despicable pile of misogynistic shit that should have been dropped, wiped away and flushed from the literary world before it ever plopped on the printing press. Sorry for the dysphemism, but “I really didn’t like it” just doesn’t adequately express my loathe-on for this book.

Previously, I’d read and enjoyed a handful of Robert Heinlein’s novels and many of his short stories and considered myself a fan of his work. I have also read some reviews where people took issue with his attitudes on sex and women, but hadn’t personally come across anything I found excessively off-putting…UNTIL NOW. This noxious crap pissed me off the roof of the RAH Fan club and had me losing respect for the man all the way down.

Before I get to my major problems with the book, let me pause, slow my heart rate and give you a quick run down of the plot:

PLOT SUMMARY

Set in the future on a balkanized Earth that has splintered into a collection of rival city-states, corporate fiefdoms and criminal enclaves, Friday Baldwin is an artificial person (AP) who works as a combat courier for a mysterious employer. Her job is making deliveries and pick ups to sensitive to be entrusted to normal channels. As an AP, she is stronger, faster and supposedly more intelligent than normal humans though she hides her true nature because APs are held in contempt by society (similar to Robots in Asimov’s much better Robot novels).

Early on in the book Friday finds herself out of a job and then travels from situation to situation acting as the reader’s eyes and ears for Heinlein to share with us his vision of a dystopic future and expound on his political views.

Of the almost 400 pages in the book, there’s about 100 or so that are decent, Heinlein world building.

MY PROBLEMS WITH THIS BOOK

For all of her strength, speed and deadly fighting ability, Friday is nothing more than an insecure, bubble-headed skank who thinks that SEX is the only valuable commodity she has to offer in this world. Countless times in the book, she either sleeps with, or tells the reader she would be willing to sleep with, someone as nothing more than a courteous “thank you” for being nice.

Don’t get me wrong, sexual independence and equality…fine by me. But I got no inkling in Heinlein’s prose of sex being an uninhibited display of physicality between equals free to express themselves. Nope, didn’t see it. I saw tawdry, lowbrow objectification grounded in atavistic chauvinism rather than new age “free loveism.”

Granted, most of the sex Friday has in the book is consensual and she’s a willing participant. I say “most” because there’s an instance at the beginning of the book when Friday is kidnapped and gang-raped by 4 guys (I’m not kidding folks). Of course, Friday, for the most part, doesn’t hold a grudge against the rapists as she believes they are just “softening” her up for interrogation which she completely understands. Whoa…full stop…major HUH? Moment ahead.

Excuse me while I bang my head against the wall in frustration.

As a proud:

1. Father of two brilliant, happy and outgoing little girls,
2. Husband of a smart, confident, self-motivated woman,
3. Younger brother of two well-educated, independent sisters, and
4. Youngest son of an intelligent, successful businesswoman (and mom of 5)…

…I just wanted to bitch-slap Heinlein until I knocked the skeevy right out of him. Please don’t interpret this as some indulgent display of gender enlightenment by the PC police as I am about as opposed to militant PCness as I am about this book. Hell, the women I know can more than take care of themselves without my blundering around getting in the way. However, this book is horrible. It’s crap and I don’t want to avoid calling it what it is simply at the risk of appearing to pander.

There were dozens of instances in the book where I wanted to throw the book (with Heinlein attached) against the wall, but I’m going to mention just three of them to give you an idea of our protagonist.

1. A young man offers Friday his seat on a crowded passenger train. She accepts and then proceeds to lean forward as he stands next to her so as to allow him to look down her shirt. She does this as a gesture of thanks.

2. Friday explains her belief that it is inappropriate for her to allow someone to buy her a meal unless she is willing to give them a legitimate shot at sleeping with her. Now that’s class.

3. I don’t want to give away a spoiler so let me just tease you by saying that one of the 4 rapists from the beginning of the book reappears later in the novel and Friday’s interaction with him will cause you to fume, spit blood and hack up bile….TRUST ME ON THIS.

This is not some strong, independent woman who isn’t afraid of her sexuality and explores it with confidence and on her own terms. This is a timid, naïve woman with a massive inferiority complex who feels she “owes” a guy the opportunity of getting her into her pants because he offered her his seat on a passenger train. Are you F@#KING kidding me?

This book was a big, hairy Neanderthal of a novel with its knuckles dragging along the floor and had more in common with the soft-core porn of John Norman’s Gor novels than the previous work I’ve read by Mr. Heinlein.

A horrible, massive disappointment and it will be a while before I give one of his books my time. For now, Mr. Heinlein, let me just say:
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message 51: by Bradley (new)

Bradley Thank you.


message 52: by Marta (new)

Marta Thank you! you saved me from what appears to be a horrifyingly painful read!


Stephen Marta wrote: "Thank you! you saved me from what appears to be a horrifyingly painful read!"

My pleasure, Marta.


Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell 1. Father of two brilliant, happy and outgoing little girls,
2. Husband of a smart, confident, self-motivated woman,
3. Younger brother of two well-educated, independent sisters, and
4. Youngest son of an intelligent, successful businesswoman (and mom of 5)


This is what won me over, but you pretty much said everything I complained about in my own review. Coincidence that he started projecting his fantasies into his books in the 1960s-70s? I think not.

Methinks Robert Heinlein didn't get enough loving in the "summer of love."


message 55: by MrsJoseph (new)

MrsJoseph Wow. Wow, wow, wow!!

Thank you, sir, from saving me from committing a brain bleaching moment.

I was just watching the Prophets of Science Fiction episode that focused on Heinlein. They mentioned this book as predicting the internet and I thought to myself, "Self, you should check that out."

Thank goodness I found your review. Rape. *shudder* I wouldn't make it past the beginning of the book.


Stephen Kat-

That's an interesting take. Personally, I did not see any of that in Heinlein's depiction and spent most of the book seething. As for the ending, Friday's interaction with one of the rapists at the end of the book was just too much for me. I'm not sure what was in Heinlein's head on that one, but it didn't sit well with me at all.


Stephen MrsJoseph wrote: "Wow. Wow, wow, wow!!

Thank you, sir, from saving me from committing a brain bleaching moment."


Happy to take one for the team, MrsJ, but this one was really rough. I have liked a lot of Heinlein's stories but this one really hurt our relationship.


message 58: by The Pirate Ghost (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) Just for discussion purposes, of course, let's say there was a woman, in combat, a soldier, captured. And, to soften her up for intarogation they did things like...make her stand naked on a chair in a rain poncho with a black bag over her head, or took pictures of her naked with a guy holding a leash and pointing at her in uniform, frighten her with trained attack dogs...or even rape her...

How do would you like for her to respond? She could curl up in a ball and hope tomorrow brings death and comes swiftly. She could give in to hate and live with anger burning her up from the inside out... or... she could find a way to survive without killing herself, adopt some "self-talk" and a mindset that helps keep her functioning until she gets through the attack/crisis. The alternative is what? collapse at the worst possible time, due to the worst possible crimes, allowing emotional brusing to paralize her from the inside out.

Acknowedging things in a business like, and clinical way, that circumvents dangerous, but natural and normal, emotionally painful reactions while your in the middle of that crisis is not a bad thing. That's part of how you keep functioning instead of going comatose.

It's Like Richard Pryor used to say, "My mamma taught me how to get out of a burning building. First you get out, then you look back and go 'Hey! I left my wallet in the M-Fer.!"

You do what you need to to survive and that includes your train of thought. Focus on being ready to act when you get your chance, and not doing anything that gets somebody else hurt, may help more than hurt. If you can't stop them from doing what they want, what's left for you to do...panic?

I'm not enough of a philosopher understand all that and I do agree with 95% of what you said in the review, including being disgusted at whatever develops with one of her rapists down the road. (I understand forgiving them so you can move on, but, trusting someone who delivers that kind of hurt after reaching a safe place is beyond my comprehension.

I certainly do not condone rape in any form or fashion. I'm simply refering to what a victim has to do, in the middle of the crisis to survive. What you hold onto in your mind, makes a difference or helps you get through without being killed or maimed or permenantly scared. Not all scars are physical.

Rolling with the resistance is often a way to limit damage in a crisis.

As for the four guys who ganged up on her, I do not have the same compassion. I would gladly load the weapons for their firing squad myself and arrange for them to be properly discharged into their filthy stinking bodies.

(I'm just tossing that out there. It's not something I have the experience to fully comprehend.)

Having said that, I did like the review, and I am equally disgusted Friday and her other behavior (as written by the MAN, Hienlien). I just think she should get the benifit of the doubt on that one.

Everybody wonders why someone endures abuse at the hands of another when "they could have just left or told someone. Called the police." It's ALWAYS more complicated than that and the answers are never easy to understand or comprehend. If your stuck in a situation like that, you do what it takes to survive (mentally and physically). Sometimes it really isn't going to be better if you leave or fight back and even though most people would consider homicide justified, such a thing always leaves a scar, so just doing what it takes to "live through it" is the best you can do.

Then, once it's over, or you reach a safe place, you try to repair the damage done you, or find a way to live with it.

Nobody stops for a doctor or psycologist behind enemy lines if you can still walk and breath, you just keep going until your safe. Then you find a doctor to deal with it.

Second guessing the victim, is sometimes part of what keeps them a victim.

It's just a thought.


Stephen Hugh -

Thanks for the comment and I agree with much of what you said. Going back to the beginning of the book when Friday is being raped as part of "softening" her up, I had no problem at all with the way she handled it. She was trying to survive and she was enough of a trained soldier to look upon it as an interrogation method and to try to turn it to her advantage. At the very beginning of the book, I thought she might turn out to be an incredible character.

For me, it was the aftermath of that beginning and how she reacted to it and interacted with the world that quickly sent me into a tailspin of anger. Her choices were horrible. Heinlein, in my opinion, really blew this.

The reckoning at the end with the rapists was just another in a long line of bad decisions that Heinlein developed throughout the story.

In the end, as I alluded to in my review, I think of my daugthers reading this and it makes me cringe. That is always a test I use for determining how I feel about certain books.

I found most of your comments to be very appropriate when tied to the beginning of the story and the methods a person might use to survive (mentally and physically) from such an ordeal. I agree with you.

Unfortunately, that was only the beginning of the book and the rest of it really bothered me.


message 60: by The Pirate Ghost (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) Thank you Stephen. I've a daughter too. In my capacity as a Substance Abuse Counselor with the Navy, I've worked with some very courageous women who have dealt with such things.

It's litterally heartbreaking.

The most heartbreaking thing is, that what Heinlien described, is, sometimes (by no means everytime) the kind of promiscuous behavior exhibited by victims of sexual abuse. The problem with the book is, that there is no reason to believe that Heinlien really has a clue about any of that, and so, as a man writing about a woman, without doing his research or opening his mind, he characterizes her in the worst way possible--victimizing the victim in an even more incidious way. That's the literary crime here. The book might not have been so bad if he had attempted to add realism and allowed for us to understand how survivors or trauma have to heal for a very long time and their behavior can get self-destructive and "crazy" to those who look in from the outside.

For the record. I almost deleted my last post. Not because I don't believe it, but because, I've been entertained and enjoyed your reviews for a long time, and, from what I can tell, you are a good person with a good, and caring heart. You are very right about this story. The story is flawed, badly, in a horrible way. Keep up the good work with your reviews. At no time did I think you intended to do anything but take Heinlien to account for what he has written.

I posted my comments because patients I see regularly are dealing with this kind of thing, and, I feel it's important, for me if for nobody else, to help build understanding when ever I get the chance.

I'll take it down if you would like.


Stephen Hugh -

I would not want you to take down your comments as I thought they were very appropriate and very helpful. I knew you were involved in the military but did not know you were a Substance Abuse Counselor. I tip my cap to you, sir, as I think that is wonderful.

When you said, "The most heartbreaking thing is, that what Heinlien described, is, sometimes (by no means everytime) the kind of promiscuous behavior exhibited by victims of sexual abuse. The problem with the book is, that there is no reason to believe that Heinlien really has a clue about any of that, and so, as a man writing about a woman, without doing his research or opening his mind, he characterizes her in the worst way possible--victimizing the victim in an even more incidious way."

I think you hit it right on the head. I could certainly read (and recommend to my daughters) a book that dealt with these issues and all of the behaviors (good/bad weak/strong) that can naturally arise out of dealing with these issues. Events like this can cause people to react all sorts of ways (as you obviously know from your work). I just didn't find anything positive about Heinlein's portrayal.

As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I have read and liked a lot of Heinlein's work, but this was a complete miss and then some.


message 62: by The Pirate Ghost (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) Here's one for you and your daughters (when they get older). Even Silence Has an End by Ingrid Betancourt.

A courageous woman. It's by no means graphic, but it is direct and has some very "straight talk" in it about what happened.

(of course, it's recommended for an adult read, no children. Non-fiction.)


message 63: by The Pirate Ghost (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) And for the record. I like a lot of Heinlien's work too. I'm not as crazy about Starship Troopers as everybody else seems to be, but Tunnel in the Sky and Glory Road were two I enjoyed.

I think I'd offer an olive branch to heinlien. When you don't understand something...you just don't understand it. He wrote what he believed was healthy reactions and wanting to develop a strong, independent woman who was comfortable with sexuality and ...yaddah, yaddah. Truthfully speaking, take out acouple of things like the rape and offering herself as a thank you note,...change the lighting and he might have pulled it off...maybe...

I'd like to believe that, at the time he wrote this, he didn't have a full understanding of how things connect to eachother. Remember, Luke and Laura from General hospital (Please don't tell me that I'm the only one that remembers that... and I'm a guy). the love couple from the Soap Opera Hall of Fame? in the early going, Luke Raped Laura, then turned around and fell in love with him.

So, he's not the only one. The writers of G.H. have all clearly stated that, knowing what they do now, or understanding it as they do now, they would have never written the story in that direction. Some are still appologizing for that every chance they get.

I'm just saying, bad book, good review (spot on), the writer gets the benifit of the doubt...until proven otherwise.


Stephen Curmudgeon wrote: "the writer gets the benifit of the doubt...until proven otherwise."

I can get behind that sentiment. I haven't read Glory Road but really enjoyed Tunnel in the Sky. That kind of story was RAH at his best. I will have to move Glory Road up to be the next Heinlein I tackle.


message 65: by The Pirate Ghost (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) I liked Glory Road. If your into strange comparisons, try comparing Glory Road to The House Between The Worlds by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Not two writers that would easily identify with eachother, but, there is an odd similarity between the set up for each book... of course that is, assuming I'm not the only one that sees that similarity.


message 66: by Willow (new)

Willow Thank you! I read this book a long time ago and I was so annoyed after I was finished. You have described my reaction perfectly. I could not stand the way Friday gives herself to men like she's a ‘thank you’ Twinkie or something. I was pretty young at the time, and I wondered if maybe I was just a prude, but your review has made me feel vindicated for despising it.


message 67: by Saretta (new)

Saretta Stephen wrote: "David, I understand your point about Heinlein's intention and would imagine that he might have offered a similar explanation. My real gripe came from the fact that I didn't SEE any of that subtext ..."

But sex and gender are involved in lots of his books...
Personally I liked "The moon is a harsh mistress", "Stranger in a strange land" and "Starship troopers" (despite the silly women in the second and the highly militaristic view in the latter).
I've never read "Friday" and I suppose I never will; instead I've read "Farnham's freehold" that contains both misogyny and racism (jackpot, yei!). "The Puppet Masters" and "Time enough for love" have a little misogyny of course (in the latter lot of sex themes are involved) and ridiculously perfect male characters (but this is a problem of the '50-'60 science fiction)


Tobias I have only read three fourth of this book so far so I can not really give my final statement on this, but I think that most of you are utterly missing the point on Friday and the whole sex thing, including the rape at the beginning.

First of all: rape is horrid, no argument about that.

It is, in my opinion, very clearly established through that scene, that Friday is a highly skilled professional trained in various techniques (detachment, "if you can't beat them, join them" and various mental techniques to deal with high stress situations are mentioned) to deal even with such a detestable thing as rape. The alternative is what Hugh described above. And while that is most likely the more realistic reaction, no-one wants to read 400 pages of that.

And that is before we learn that she is an AP, wich is arguably the most important part about all this.
The thing is that she wasn't raised as a human. I am not saying that she isn't human, but she was raised so fundamentally different from "normal people" that she states time and time againt that she will never understand "human" sentiment towards sex and other social interaction.
Through this upbringing Friday sees sex as a "pleasant necessitie" like eating, playing, sleeping and so forth. (Which seems a lot healthier to me than most people's attitude towards it today.)

In addition to all that, there seem to be far less taboos regarding sex than today.

And it is with all of this that I says that, in my opinion, Friday's behaviour (up until the point where I stopped reading for today) is not onyl OK, but fitting and coherent for her character.
Let us take the guy offering his place a an example.
I would imagine that the thought process would sound a little like "Hey, I'm rutty anyway, and that dude seems like a nice guy. I'm gonna tap that."
And why, if sex is classified with eating or drinking, would there be anymore meaning attributed to it than to choosing a meal.

Note that all this disregards the whole "wanting to belong" thing. That's a different matter, imho.

Also: I registered a few hours ago, so forgive me if I violated some kind of established goodreads-protocol.


message 69: by Ross (new) - added it

Ross Now I wanna read this book!

Thanks!


Tobias Ross wrote: "Now I wanna read this book!

Thanks!"


Do it, seriously. I've finished it by now. It's a really good book.


message 71: by MrsJoseph (new)

MrsJoseph Tobias wrote: "I have only read three fourth of this book so far so I can not really give my final statement on this, but I think that most of you are utterly missing the point on Friday and the whole sex thing, ..."

I honestly don't think that any person who has not been raped can make this type of statement.


message 72: by The Pirate Ghost (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) Tobias wrote: "I have only read three fourth of this book so far so I can not really give my final statement on this, but I think that most of you are utterly missing the point on Friday and the whole sex thing, ..."

I believe it's the Humanity in characters, however alien and foriegn from our expected norms that we identify with.

So, the point is to play on our own misgivings about ourselves and our ability to fit in...strangely, this "feeling outside of society" is a norm for victims of sexual assault and abuse. "Nobody wants me" is fear, and sometimes, unfortunately, for some a reality. So, it's not the ways that we differ it's the ways we feel the same as even the strangest characters that's important... so I'm not sure that a character's acceptance of being attacked and writing it off as something that can be showered away is effective here.

but that's me.


message 73: by MrsJoseph (new)

MrsJoseph Agreed Hugh


message 74: by The Pirate Ghost (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) Agreed Mrs. Joe


message 75: by The Pirate Ghost (last edited Oct 18, 2012 04:41AM) (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) http://www.stripes.com/news/female-ma...

More thoughts on what it takes for women to "fit in."

I think this quoute at the very end, framed by the story above it is what we need to think about. The military has "A" problem, it does not have the only problems with sexism and prevailing attitudes that would rather everyone forget so it would just wash away like it never happened.

"The problem with confronting people who make these comments is that the most you will get out of it is mockery and reprisal by superiors," she said. "You are just one girl who got offended by the comment, while so many others adhere to it." Kaitlyn Scarboro


message 76: by Jon (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jon Shurtleff I read the book at a young age and it the subtext of Friday's social status as an AP and effect it had on her of being willing to subject herself to abuse with equanimity was crystal clear from the beginning through many examples. Coming from a mysoginistic (sp?) family, it was a wake-up call to carefully examine the values I was being exposed to. I guess, that value is in the mind of the beholder. I don't find anyone or anything very useful without examining context, bias, subtext.


message 77: by Casey (new)

Casey H Just a reminder: she isn't fully human, having her mind and body augmented to suit her job. If a woman could emotionally detach herself from that which lies between her legs she would indeed have a powerful asset on hand. And what better tool if you are a sort of super-agent that needs to manipulate people? One could argue that her ability to so easily sway men with sex is an indictment of men. I don't think Heinlein executed it brilliantly, but there are some things to actually think about here other than the melodramatic response this review ended up being.


David Yeah, none of us actually thought about it, none of these things occurred to us, none of us actually guessed what Heinlein was trying to accomplish; thoughtful criticism is all just "melodramatic response."


message 79: by The Pirate Ghost (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) David wrote: "Yeah, none of us actually thought about it, none of these things occurred to us, none of us actually guessed what Heinlein was trying to accomplish; thoughtful criticism is all just "melodramatic r..."



I've honestly moved on from this thread and conversation. I just want to go on record as saying.

I appriciate that you believe this "is all just melodramatic response." I do not agree and would prefer if you didn't speak for me and include me in the "none of us" (which would be everybody on the thread).

I understand Casey's argument, and it was brought up several posts ago. It works if all she is is a spy, but there is more to this than just that. I think Casey has missed the point about what we felt was significant.

And dimsissively calling it a "Melodramatic Response" is actualy sort of Ultra-Patronizing. Sneaking in two months after the conversation concluded with a blanket characterization of the discussion is a neat trick, but that doesn't mean that those who have posted before agree with your characterization.

Again, I've kind of moved on. I just prefer not to be included in a blanket statement about the nature of a conversation that was happened two months ago that presumes to understand my thought process and judges my reaction "Melodramatic."

So, for those who come by and read this string, from this post on, please remember that am not giving a blanket endorsement of any point of view on this thread any more. Certainly not one that passes off a serious conversation about rape, the way women have been portayed in fiction in the past and a number of other things as a "melodramatic response."

"The problem with confronting people who make these comments is that the most you will get out of it is mockery and reprisal by superiors," she said. "You are just one girl who got offended by the comment, while so many others adhere to it." Kaitlyn Scarboro, USMC, Rape Survivor. (The Quote is from an article in Stars and Stripes.)


message 80: by David (last edited Jan 25, 2013 04:26PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

David I, Curmudgeon, I think you have misread who is saying what in the above posts. Casey was the one calling our responses "melodramatic"; my response was sarcastic.


Lowkey Umm I liked it.. Remember we are all children of our generation. Suspend judgement and enjoy the story. Each to their own :)


message 82: by Casey (new)

Casey H Some of the talks here were interesting, but I was responding to the review, not the discussions. Maybe y'all were too busy literally priding yourself in being "offended" to actually read what I wrote. Heinlein's book may or may not be misogynistic, it may or may not offend you, but calling it a smut-grade, pornographic piece of shit that should be flushed down the toilet IS melodramatic. It certainly is not what I would call "thoughtful criticism." My point was that the review again and again refers to Friday as a "woman" when she is in fact an artificial person desperately trying to "fit in" with a sci-fi world that hates her. It's an interesting topic to explore - particularly since it is so vested in the context of the era in which it was written.

Treating her character as if she grew up a healthy, actual-human being is missing the entire point of the book. Of course it is shocking when her response to a gang-rape is essentially no response at all. It's code-breaking, it completely snaps against what you know and understand. That is, I believe, the point. And it is probably why Heinlein had it so early in the book. I sensed a bit of projection when the reviewer started injecting his personal life into the review, ostensibly feeling the need to validate the personhoods of women and shield himself from the notion that an individual like Friday could ever exist. I no longer felt like I was reading a review, but instead an apology from the reviewer. A big "sorry" for embarrassingly picking up a book that he found offensive, and to make sure that they knew he was also offended on their behalf.

Anybody can huff and puff. Theatrics might make for good journal entries or blog posts, but it doesn't make for good reviews.


message 83: by Yosh (new) - rated it 4 stars

Yosh Waters Very much agree with the comment above me. It seems you are so desperate to prove how great your morals and values are that you have to berate a story that isn't meant to be morally beautiful in the first place. Get off your high horse. Friday is a person - an artificial one, but a person all the same. She has a unique and individual personality that doesn't have to conform to your vision of a strong and capable woman. Don't you see? People are different. Everyone is different. You don't like the way this character was written and your protestations only make it appear as though you think a woman can only have a certain set of traits. Accept the character for who she is and stop whiteknighting like a fool, talking about how she is offensive to women. If you don't like a male character, do you bitch and moan about how he is offensive to men?


David So, Yosh, I actually didn't hate Friday, I just thought Heinlein showed his usual skeevy outlook, but I got what he was going for. I also get why people have issues with the execution, though. So why exactly are you so exercised about the fact that some people hate a book you evidently loved? Or that their viewpoints may be different from yours? Don't you see? People are different.

For someone dropping code words like "whiteknighting" and "bitch and moan" into the conversation, I can't see how you're any different from the teenage girls who flip out when someone disses their latest squee over a YA vampire romance. You liked it and you're very, very upset that other people are interrogating the text from the wrong perspective. Get over it and move on.


message 85: by Yosh (new) - rated it 4 stars

Yosh Waters The conversation is about whether the book was misogynistic and why, not simply about whether people like it or not. When you make such a dramatically negative review, you should expect equally passionate responses from both sides - and that is why I gave my opinion in such terms. There's a comment function for a reason, David - at least I'm using it to give my opinion and further the conversation rather than just attacking someone else, like you evidently like to do.

I made a comment defending the book for having a character that doesn't conform to a particular concept of the ideal woman and you're making exaggerated ad hominem attacks comparing me to teenage girls? At what point did you think you were so witty that you simply had to chime in? Take your own advice: Get over my comment and move on.


David It wasn't my review, Yosh. Read more closely.

And no, I actually don't usually expect passionate responses from the "other side" when someone posts a negative review. Many people on my friends list have posted blistering reviews of books I loved, and vice versa. It doesn't upset me, because I got over my "Want to be a Heinlein character and must correct every wrong person on the Internet" phase a long time ago.

So sensitive. Tsk.

See, you could have posted a perfectly fine rebuttal about how you think Friday represents a "different concept of the ideal woman." You might not have convinced me or anyone else reading your response, but it would be a legitimate opinion, and without accusing everyone with an opinion that isn't yours of "whiteknighting like a fool," maybe it would make for an interesting discussion. I do think that Friday's inability to see herself as actually human was the point of her journey, and a point that is often overlooked by readers who only remember the rape scene and its epilogue. That said, it doesn't make criticisms of how that story was told invalid.

See, that's how discussion and criticism works. Among grown-ups.


message 87: by Yosh (new) - rated it 4 stars

Yosh Waters I am aware you didn't write the review, and never meant to imply you did. "When you make such a dramatically negative review" was a broad term, not meant to indicate that you specifically wrote the review. Just for clarification.

One of us here is definitely more sensitive than the other, and I'll leave it at that.

You should stop taking harsh terms so personally, I don't think you've gotten over your phase at all. This is all I have to say on the matter, really not interested in doing verbal battle with you over your sensitivity toward my opinion.


message 88: by ickyTeQ (new) - added it

ickyTeQ Planet of the Nympho Bimbos Part II: Attack of the Soapy Breast Monsters- Now you've got my attention, sir! I'll try it.


message 89: by Jon (new)

Jon Ogden Seems a really liberated woman just scares the metrosexuals all to death


David Oh god, that's funny.

Where do these people come from? Stephen, we miss you dude.

Off to get a pedicure and some manscaping now...


Bobby Bermea You'd be even more baffled if you had read it back then. Which I did and loved it. Not because of Heinlein but because of everyone else. If you can, go back and read some of the reviews. And after all, it was nominated for the Hugo and the Nebula awards. It wasn't just Heinlein. But what did we know?


message 92: by Caitlin Rose (new)

Caitlin Rose Blaney Good to know!! "Friday" sounds worse than terrible. I wonder why his writing got so bad?

Ok, first I want to congratulate you for having what sounds like an awesome family full of amazing women! Second, I want to thank you for being a man who loves his children & acknowledges how awesome his family is, and doesn't treat women like second-class citizens - even today, sadly, that type of guy is still out there all over the place and it's really, really sad. Thirdly, I want to thank you for the time I'll never waste now by reading this garbage.

I read a few of Heinlein's short stories by chance in anthologies, and happened upon a cheap paperback copy of "Tunnel in the Sky" which I'm about halfway through and enjoying very much. Usually when I read sci-fi (and other) stories from the 30's-late 50-s, I'm either consciously or subconsciously keeping an eye out on some level for the author's treatment of female characters, male characters' thoughts/reactions to women and girls, etc and so far, I've actually been somewhat impressed by the way he's treated male-female relations in TITS (whoa, just realized that's the acronym for this book's title!! Heinlein really HAS got a one track mind, haha!). While a few places in the book are obvious in reflecting the general lack of men's understanding of women's motives, etc., a lot of the portrayal of females in TITS are very strong, their characters being just as (and often more so) helpful/smart/strong/imaginative/etc. as the males.

That said, I'd recommend Tunnel in the Sky (although I'm only halfway through it; for all I know the second half could deteriorate into just space brothels and Martian sex slaves)...

Anyway, nice review, glad I'll be skipping this one :)

- Caitlin Rose


message 93: by [deleted user] (new)

Sounds awesome. Now I wanna read it. ❤️


message 94: by John (new)

John Good god get over yourself.


message 95: by AmyAmy (new)

AmyAmy No, why don't you say how you *really* feel.
Kidding.
Loved your review!


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