Say what you will about Starship Troopers, but I make no apologies for my unerring love of Paul Verhoeven's very loose adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein's novel of a futuristic, military driven society. People can pick apart the acting or the script all they want, but at the end of the day there is no denying how intriguing some of its cultural norms and ideas are. And while some of these elements may seem idealistic and well-intended, it's tough to rigidly define what is and isn't considered progress in the future.

It at first seems outwardly progressive that women are not only allowed to, but encouraged to serve in the armed forces as everything from fleet commander to bug-fodder grunt. But in reality, service is also the only way women can get the citizenship license to have babies, which, as we all know, is a bit of a step backwards (unless this is done purely as a means of sustainability population control; in which case who are we to judge their planet-critical needs?). So I guess we're not off to all that progressive of a start.

Ah, but there are also the coed showers to consider, a sign of sexual openness the likes of which our current military knows not. This also has the added bonus of dispelling some of the perceived gender inequality that currently exists between men and women. Though, to play Brain Bug's Advocate, "Ally McBeal" also had co-ed bathrooms, and that was 1997 (coincidentally the same year Starship Troopers came out), so I guess we're not all that progressive yet.

But there's one last bit of futuristic acceptance that Verhoeven and co have up their sleeve, and it has a little something to do with an extreme-to-the-max game of arena football.



Not only is the sport gender neutral on both the amateur and professional levels (remember, Diz was going to play for the big leagues after graduation), but the future of Starship Troopers is so mind-blowingly progressive that even previously iron-clad preconceptions like gravity and physics have 'laxed their totalitarian ways. If our own future lacks metal footballs and ramps on the playing field for men and women to defiantly jump-spin off of, I'm not so sure that I want to live to see such a dystopia.
CATEGORIES Sci-Fi