Last year in my Intro Class for the Sweetland Minor, I put together a zine based around the non-human, non-organic female characters featured in the 1960’s version of the Twilight Zone television show. The project grew out of an essay I had written in my Sexual Objects class examining a documentary about Real Doll Sex Dolls called “Guys and Dolls”. In the essay, I argued that the true appeal of these dolls were not just the customizable aesthetic features, but the ability for their (mostly male) owners to impress a kind of imagined autonomy on these dolls; that their ideal woman was the kind who could not have a life beyond the one their owners/partners created for them. I was interested in this idea of imagined autonomy being expanded from the idea of sex dolls to the idea of the robot/doll/mannequin/other non-human women that populated the original 1960’s run of The Twilight Zone: I wanted to pay tribute to these characters whose characters often hinged on the question of how real their own perceptions of their autonomy/humanity were. I also wanted to explore their characters and the implications of their lack of physical humanity in the worlds they inhabited beyond the confines of the (and I don’t think I’m being controversial here) sexist 1960’s television landscape. It was a good way for me to indulge in my love of white-knighting underrated/underwritten female characters, and it gave me a new way to think about the iconic characters and stories from a television show that I absolutely adored growing up.
For my project in my Capstone class, I want to return to the idea of the robot woman and how she exists in different capacities in other sci-fi stories/genres. I’m still figuring out how I want to engage with this subject in a different way, but I definitely know that the work I’ve done previously in exploring these character archetypes will lead the way in understanding how to unpack this subject in Capstone.