For thousands of years, some men assumed that the original or ideal human type was male, with women being pictured as weaker or imperfect men. This ancient prejudice inspired fictions from E.T.A. Hoffman’s The Sandman (1816) to Ira Levin’s novel The Stepford Wives (1972).
This lecture looks at fantasies of artificial women (usually seen by their male creators as superior to biological women) to examine the complex connections between science and assumptions about the supposed naturalness of gender roles.
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