I have generally enjoyed this series, though one part of it bothered me enough that I almost stopped reading it.

First, it’s a generally very gender-equitable set of books. Even most far-future (which this is not) sf seems to be content for some reason with 1950s gender dynamics. But many of the most powerful people in the books are women, and it’s telling how far we are from that ideal we are that I’m a bit surprised (both as a result of my own cultural training and how 1950s-compliant most sf is) when an admiral in the Martian navy for example turns out to be female.

All that said, there is one part of the book where a major character states that the only reason two men want to be friends with a female space marine is that they want to sleep with her. Not a reason. The only reason.

Never mind that she’s intelligent and fearless and incredibly loyal and brave beyond all measuring. Never mind any of those things. It’s her vagina that makes them want to get to know her.

Oh, bullshit. I am so damn tired of all of this, and all those who believe it.

Even after people disprove it so many times in their own lives, they still insist on believing it for some reason. Why, just why? It’s so limiting and so stupid.

Not that finding a friend attractive is wrong! It’s not at all. It’s human. I find many of my female friends very attractive. And hello, that’s for a reason! It’s because they are fucking awesome!

And on purely the physical side, I have a not-that-close friend in St. Pete who looks like some illustrator’s cartoon of an attractive woman. But that’s not why I befriended her, and I cannot stand to be around people I don’t like even for one second (as anyone who has met me surely knows).

I know I am atypical and not the best example, but still I just can’t understand why people who seem otherwise sane believe that men and women can’t be friends*, and it not be about sex. If sex happens, such is life. I can think of worse things than friends having sex, you know?

About the books, if you just ignore that part I mentioned, the first two are pretty good if you go in for that sort of thing.

*And I intentionally didn’t use the odious phrase “just friends.” Some of the best times of my life have happened with “just friends.”