Last night I went to an excellent party hosted by Kolter in nearby Akron. As the evening went on, I was talking with Professor Raja’s wife, Jenny (she’s a Renaissance Studies PhD candidate at Florida State, and she has a healthy appreciation of SF) about AVP2 Requiem and my thoughts about the Alien-Predator hybrid as previously discussed on Dynamic Subspace.
Jenny hasn’t seen AVP2 Requiem, but based on my description of the scenes I was most struck by, she gave me another reading that’s more feminist than queer. Thinking back to the scene where the Alien-Predator hybrid forces itself on a pregnant woman to impregnate her with its monstrous offspring, this image can be reduced to the enforcement of male patriarchy on women. Men (as signified by the Alien-Predator) are incapable of creating new life. This is the one thing that women can do that men cannot. The image of the pregnant women reinforces this signification through her role as creator and progenitor of new human life. However, the Alien-Predator hybrid takes away her chance to give birth by impregnating her with its voracious and violent spawn that devour her and her child from the inside-out, and erupt from her belly/uterus in an explosion of blood and tissue.
If you think about this, AVP2 Requiem, through this scene, continues to promote the problematic at the heart of SF that goes back to its founding as a genre. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus is about this very issue–man attempts to usurp woman’s ability to give birth. There are many examples of this throughout the history of SF, and its clearly an issue that continues to challenge the feminist project (as I read it: the elimination of patriarchy in order to establish equality regardless of sex or gender).