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Are you in the mood to watch and/or think about girls punching space zombies today, by any chance??? Because I am! And, here is a little bit (spoiler: a LOT of bit) of something I wrote for The Awl, YAY THE AWL, and I know it’s weird to say this about your own thing that you wrote yourself (I LOVE ME. I FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER. I WATCH ALL MY VYOU RESPONSES LIKE TWENTY TIMES) but, I think I’m really happy with this and I would like you to read it?

I was having maybe the worst month of my life when I saw Aliens at the Landmark Sunshine, and I’m pretty sure it was the only thing that saved me.

The details are fairly mundane. I was unemployed; I’d been dumped; I’d decided to deal with all this by hooking up with a stranger, and of course that had gone in the direction of broken condoms and Plan B and hormonal anarchy, probably just because I didn’t think anything worse could happen. Right when you think you’ve hit bottom, sweet Baby Jesus comes and puts a curse on your junk. It had taken serious work, is what I’m saying, for my friend Kelly to get me to leave my Couch of Constant Sorrow and come with her to see a movie I’d already seen a couple thousand times. But thank God she did.



  1. Jadey wrote:

    You are amazing. I don’t just mean that you are clever and funny and entertaining and thought-provoking and wise and insightful as a writer (although you are), I mean you, Sady Doyle, are an amazing person and if I could have written the same kind of article about my own life I think I would need to stick one more section there at the end, headed by your name.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Permalink
  2. Lucy wrote:

    I love this, and feminist nerds, and nerdy things that are feminist, and good science fiction that doesn’t get away with shitty plot and characters because ooh look at the pretty spaceships, so that was just about my favorite thing ever today.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Permalink
  3. RedSonja wrote:

    Sady, thank you for articulating why I LOVE all those women better than I ever have, even to myself.

    And a special “kid-who-didn’t-fit-in-so-just-did-what-I-wanted” fist bump. There’s a certain freedom in knowing you’ll be disliked anyway, so you may as well just be honest.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Permalink
  4. Maya wrote:

    I thoroughly enjoyed that piece and the other two in the series.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Permalink
  5. Brennan wrote:

    That piece is going down in the Sady Doyle Hall of Fame. Yes, you have your own Hall of Fame. You’re that awesome.

    Off topic, but I read the first sentence of this post, and my immediate response was “Oh my GOD yes!”

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Permalink
  6. x.trapnel wrote:

    Very, very cool. BTW, I started consciously looking for feminist SF/fantasy to read a few years ago, and found this blog very helpful. Also, Aqueduct Press publishes a lot of self-consciously feminist SFish stuff.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Permalink
  7. Melusin wrote:

    I read this an hour or two ago. It was really, really what I needed to read, during an especially bad month (I think the worst bit is that I’m supposed to write an essay on Little Women, and tone down the feminist rage in it)

    Thank you so much for *getting it* so much.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Permalink
  8. Alex wrote:

    This is an amazing piece. (I may be crying, just a little bit.) Thank you.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Permalink
  9. Sigrid wrote:

    Sady, is it wicked cheesy to say that I’m so happy you turned into the woman you are, in spite of all the shit you had to wade through to get here?

    Also, if you haven’t met her already, I think you would enjoy one of my favorite fictional heroines, Veronica Mars. Hers is the story of an extremely smart high schooler fighting the good vigilante-justice fight, private-detective style. She’s very much a classic “gifted” kid, in the sense of being an extremely intelligent and creative thinker, with a, to put it mildly, difficult social life and relationship with authority figures. Veronica reminds me lot of Starbuck, actually. Just replace fists and vipers with wits as her weapons of choice.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Permalink
  10. Xanthe wrote:

    This piece is FREAKING AMAZING! I seriously teared up a little, especially at some of the gifted child/troubled child stuff, because oh hey, (though I was far from prodigy status) some of that happened to me, too.

    Also, how did I not know that a woman was responsible for season 6 of Buffy? It seems SO OBVIOUS now that I know, because in finally watching all of Buffy this past year, that season was the scariest and the real-est for me. I kept thinking it was like someone finally clued Joss Whedon in that all the abusive partners and attempted rapists aren’t obvious demons-in-rubber-suits but sometimes they are regular people and sometimes even people we thought we new and liked. And now I find out it was actually a lady who probably knew that stuff already and suddenly it all makes so much sense.

    Forgive me. I’m babbling. But seriously, this article was amazing.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Permalink
  11. I, also, may be crying just a little bit. This is wonderful.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Permalink
  12. Bee wrote:

    I am thinking about your when-we-stop-identifying-with-Newt-and-start-w/-Ripley thing. Which has to do with important parts of growing up. And actually becoming the strong women that we’re pathologized for APPROACHING becoming. But it’s interesting that understanding that we need to protect ourselves and others is part of the deal; part and process of that mental taking charge. I do think that’s how it works for a lot of us and I wonder why.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Permalink
  13. Bee wrote:

    Sorry, clarification– it’s the fact that it’s protecting OTHERS that I’m wondering about. Specifically. If y’all have thoughts.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 10:50 pm | Permalink
  14. Shadow Boxer wrote:

    This took my breath away. YES, EXACTLY THIS. THIS is why I’m a nerd, a geek, a sci-fi chick. YES, because sci-fi is one of the few places where I find a strong woman who ISN’T out looking for a man. YES, because it makes me realize that I have chosen a male-dominated field and that doesn’t make me weird. Or if it makes me weird, I’m owning my weird. Thank you, Sady. Thank you thank you thank you. Thank you for saying what I want to say but can’t articulate. Thank you.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 11:31 pm | Permalink
  15. smadin wrote:

    It seems kind of redundant to just say, “yes, this is brilliant,” but I’ve been absent from this here comment section for a while, so maybe a little me-too-ism is an OK way to reintroduce myself.

    In short: yes. This is brilliant.

    Also, I should probably re-watch the Alien movies.

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 12:18 am | Permalink
  16. XtinaS wrote:

    …holy shit, that was stunningly awesome.

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 1:14 am | Permalink
  17. Andrew wrote:

    Wow, the psych. evaluation quotes were scarily familiar. I think we had the same childhood.

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 2:39 am | Permalink
  18. tree wrote:

    wow. just wow. you’ve stolen all my words. so, what everyone else has said. and i’m crying a little bit, too. this was one of those things that i didn’t know i needed until i had it.

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 4:16 am | Permalink
  19. Lindsay wrote:

    Oh, this was so what I needed to read today. Actually, this is what I need to read every day.

    I feel like maybe you’re not giving Sarah Connor enough credit, though? At least in the TV show, which did some seriously amazing development of that character. It was easy to get distracted by various subplots involving Cameron throwing dudes through walls, but Sarah was always the emotional center of the show. I also loved how, in the second season, Sarah’s parenting struggles were echoed by Shirley Manson, Morally Ambiguous Robot With Terrible Fashion Sense. (I miss The Sarah Connor Chronicles SO MUCH, you guys. I will never forgive Fox’s decision to renew Dollhouse instead.)

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 10:46 am | Permalink
  20. Lady D wrote:

    “Because: What if no one is coming to save you? Sometimes, nobody is coming. And who didn’t come to save you, and when? What happened, on the day that you were not saved? That was the day that you saved yourself. ”

    Right frakkin’ on.

    Every day I fear that I’ll find myself back where I was a year ago and I’ll have to deal with the loneliness and depression all over again. And every time that thought creeps into my mind, I remind myself that I pulled myself through it once- and, if necessary, I can do it again, dammit.

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 11:48 am | Permalink
  21. Teaspoon wrote:

    Great article, Sady. Much there to identify with.

    Cheers to all the River Tams out there.

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Permalink
  22. sossajes wrote:

    oh sady, that was just beautiful. it really brought tears to my eyes, because it’s so rare that i can find something so funny, so strong and so compassionate.
    i really loved how you wrapped up with the discussion of becoming your own saviour–i just watched “prisoner of azkaban” this weekend and that is one of my favorite themes in the movie–because it’s something i don’t think is talked about often enough. it’s hard to do, and it also means that you have to find yourself worth saving, but, god, it is worth it.

    thank you so much.

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Permalink
  23. sossajes wrote:

    oh, and i loved season six of buffy. i felt like it grounded the themes that had been in the series before and made them more real. @xanthe above said it really well!

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Permalink
  24. maddi wrote:

    This was a beautiful piece. Thank you.

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Permalink
  25. moxicity wrote:


    Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Permalink
  26. raddad wrote:

    Three appreciations:
    1)For giving me the emotional high that one gets when one is reading the passionate telling of truth
    2) For being proud of your work (this is an upgrade from you just offering it up in the past)
    3) for educating me about two of my favorite shows: Ballet and River – never noticed; I love all of Buffy so I never noticed the season six controversy.
    and a question: what about Caroline in the Dollhouse?

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Permalink
  27. jbwright wrote:

    i think i’m going to have to keep reading this article daily. and forcing everyone else i know to do so as well.
    gives me chills. thanks sady.

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Permalink
  28. Bee wrote:

    I have loved reading this series. Thank you for your writing (even if it makes me want to run out of work and watch Aliens right now).

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Permalink
  29. I’ve been passing this series of articles around to everyone I know who’s interested in scifi, feminism, or social commentary… which is pretty much everyone I know. It’s good to see that you’re happy with it.

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Permalink
  30. Suzers wrote:

    Sady. You have done it. You have broken me. With awesomeness.

    I don’t think I can even express how deeply this piece (this series, but especially this piece) has affected me. It is a work of genius. I am serious. You are possessed of both the vision and the skill of a true genius. I am so thankful that you are on this planet and sharing your writing with us.

    Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 5:52 am | Permalink
  31. Erin wrote:

    At the risk of repeating what others have already posted, I would like to ad my appreciation and admiration for what you have written. On this edition of It Gets Better: the Ladies Edition! Your post reflects the profound truth of my life experience as a woman and feminist, and I hope hope hope that there are young girls who read this and learn the simple (and difficult) lesson: you can – and must- save yourself. No one will create meaning in your life for you. You must fashion your self. A long time ago, a friend gave me a copy of a poem that she said reminded her of me, including the lines: “she has fashioned a parachute of all the things broken.” I love that line, and your post resonates in that line, and vice-versus. Being strong isn’t about not being weak, it’s about figuring out how to create strength made from weakness, brokenness, suffering.

    Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 9:30 am | Permalink
  32. Sakutou wrote:

    “Are you in the mood to watch and/or think about girls punching space zombies today, by any chance???”

    Well, I wasn’t, but after reading your article, I damn well am!

    Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Permalink
  33. Dan wrote:

    For all y’all looking for more feminist takes on Whedon, there’s a book coming out in March called Whedonistas: A Celebration of the Worlds of Joss Whedon by the Women Who Love Them. Tons of great feminist scifi/fantasy authors and some academics contributed essays.

    Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Permalink
  34. Dan wrote:

    Oh! Sorry for the double post but I forgot to say: Sady, reading this essay of yours was both a privilege and a pleasure.

    Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Permalink
  35. Freddie wrote:

    It’s a great piece.

    Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Permalink
  36. Lokey wrote:

    I…loved…this. Somewhere around the middle of the third paragraph, I realized I had a huge grin on my face. By the end of the fourth paragraph…I had tears in my eyes.

    I’m more than happy to sacrifice a few man points to admit that. It’s nice to know there are other people out there who “get it”…makes one feel a little less alone in the world.

    Monday, December 13, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Permalink
  37. Susan C wrote:

    Sady, I loved loved loved this. I think it’s one of my absolute favourite pieces you’ve written. It felt so spot on, and so damned *right*, you know?

    Thank you. Just, thank you.

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Permalink
  38. voinddryday wrote:

    I know that “none of the good deeds go unpunished” but of course in the heat of been a “Good Samaritan” i gave my car to a friend to drive until her car getting fixed in my garage. It lasted about a week and a half and she wrecked the car. Damage to other vehicle = none, according to her. My car is hit in the front radiator leaking and the hood and one of the headlights is smashed. She got a verbal estimate from some guy to fix it for a grand,(she is willing to pay me) which I doubt is enough because I am positive she overheated the engine on multiple occasions after the accident because she have told me she kept driving it until smoke came out of the engine compartment few times then she called me. I suspect that engine is a toast – the car is 95 Escort wgn with 200k. But I really babied that car and it was running almost (considering the age and miles) flawlessly.
    Her insurance company said they will only process the claim as a secondary insurer and my provider will have to be a primary because the insurance follows the car not the driver – their exact words. I don’t even want to call my insurance and ask because i suspect my rates will go way up and I have two teenagers in the house.
    Any suggestions?

    Monday, December 20, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Permalink