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Author Topic: EP584: Your Body, By Default  (Read 532 times)
eytanz
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« on: July 14, 2017, 10:10:43 AM »

EP584: Your Body, By Default

AUTHOR: Alexis Hunter
NARRATOR: Alex Acks
HOST: Divya Breed

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They brought you back because they want something from you. Maybe one day they will bring people back because they can or because it’s the right thing to do — but for now there’s you and there’s them and there’s the unspoken obligations that lie between you both.

#

The IED blew your body into pieces: bone and brain and blood, sprayed in the sand with the twisted shell of your tank.

Maybe you weren’t always happy with your body; maybe your breasts were smaller than you would have liked and your toes reminded you of tree roots and there was that one mole right in the middle of your back that you always managed to catch with the hook of your bra; but it was your body. Your history was written in scars and tattoos. And you knew it, inside and out.

You made it yours over the years — the shaved sides of your head accenting the bright shock of magenta hair spilling over the top, the solid black contact lenses that made pupil and iris indistinguishable, the ornate scrolling ink that wrapped your ribcage.

This hunk of flesh you now inhabit is foreign. It is devoid of scar and ink and memory. It bulges or dips in all the wrong places. What it is is wrong, just as what it isn’t is wrong. It’s ten kinds of not you and you’re helpless under this skin.


Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
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TheFriendlyNSA
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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2017, 12:01:14 PM »

It may have been obvious to everyone else, but I was shocked to hear Alexis Hunter's inspiration for the piece. Especially after the comment that females were so much more complicated because of menstrual cycles, pregnancy, etc., all I could think about was the bias of using males in biological research.
Clinical trials were almost exclusively male up through the '90's, and a shocking percentage of animal research is male-centric to this day. As a scientist whose lab has been guilty of cutting corners by only worrying about males, I couldn't help but cringe when I realized that this story is completely feasible given the biases in research.

I loved the interplay between identity and authority - definitely shared with my coworkers!
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acpracht
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2017, 11:11:47 AM »

It may have been obvious to everyone else, but I was shocked to hear Alexis Hunter's inspiration for the piece. Especially after the comment that females were so much more complicated because of menstrual cycles, pregnancy, etc., all I could think about was the bias of using males in biological research.
Clinical trials were almost exclusively male up through the '90's, and a shocking percentage of animal research is male-centric to this day. As a scientist whose lab has been guilty of cutting corners by only worrying about males, I couldn't help but cringe when I realized that this story is completely feasible given the biases in research.

I loved the interplay between identity and authority - definitely shared with my coworkers!

That's an excellent point that hadn't even struck me, but I was aware that this is an issue in science and research from a few stories that Science Friday has done on this in the past.

Well-spotted!

-Adam
Producer
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Feverwood
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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2017, 02:47:27 PM »

As a trans woman this hit me, doing the time trapped in a body I didn't want. I wonder if they do make female bodies would our two women choose to re-up to be female bodied again but 60 years would be a lot.

Thank you.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
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Katzentatzen
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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2017, 10:56:33 AM »

Well isn't this horribly relevant with the latest apparent ban on trans people in the military. Also with the turmoil surrounding the casting of the first female Doctor in Doctor Who, women have shouted again and again, "white male is not default, it's still a political stance that devalues women and anyone one else not white male-bodied." I felt so much outrage on behalf of the narrator, cringed along with the case worker's excuses. I teared up when the man she met took the earbuds out because I knew it was Rosa. This hit me so hard.
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"To understand a cat you must realize that he has his own gifts, his own viewpoint, even his own morality."
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Thunderscreech
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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2017, 03:39:54 PM »

Science fiction has been a medium for social commentary from the very beginning, and the timing on this one couldn't be better.  I don't know what magic ball helped you decide which week to post this, but ask it for some stock tips.
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acpracht
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Posts: 176


« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2017, 05:59:14 PM »

Well isn't this horribly relevant with the latest apparent ban on trans people in the military. Also with the turmoil surrounding the casting of the first female Doctor in Doctor Who, women have shouted again and again, "white male is not default, it's still a political stance that devalues women and anyone one else not white male-bodied." I felt so much outrage on behalf of the narrator, cringed along with the case worker's excuses. I teared up when the man she met took the earbuds out because I knew it was Rosa. This hit me so hard.

We swear, neither Trump nor Doctor Who creators let us know what they were planning.

-The management.

Wink
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Scuba Man
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Drabblecast, Pseudopod, Escapepod, Podcastle


« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2017, 06:35:34 AM »

This fascinating story seemed to get its inspiration from an 80s novel called The Eternity Brigade. I liked it a lot!
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"What can do that to a man?  Lightning... napalm? No, some people just explode [sic]. Natural causes".  Source: Repo Man.
Varsha
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« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2017, 10:03:17 AM »

I had trouble connecting with this story, as I am a man, but then I guess I would find being a mind inside woman's body strange as well.

Some obvious things that could be done better:
- Since this seems to be a military operation, the excuse for only producing male bodies could be that they are stronger by nature.
- 30 years in unfamiliar body? Certainly they can produce a woman body in less time, and soldier unfamiliar with his body will not do as good.

Narration was OK.
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acpracht
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Posts: 176


« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2017, 08:45:17 PM »

I had trouble connecting with this story, as I am a man, but then I guess I would find being a mind inside woman's body strange as well.

Some obvious things that could be done better:
- Since this seems to be a military operation, the excuse for only producing male bodies could be that they are stronger by nature.
As you say, though, an excuse. And this point seems to be contradicted by your second one. (i.e. I have more muscles now, but I don't know how to use them.
 Also, testosterone is making me act like an idiot).


- 30 years in unfamiliar body? Certainly they can produce a woman body in less time, and soldier unfamiliar with his body will not do as good.
I suppose I took the issue not that they couldn't produce a female body in the next 30 years but that they couldn't make one in time for our protagonist to be placed in one. I got the impression there was a fast, ticking clock on how much time could pass between time of death and placement into a new body. 

Narration was OK.
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