Prometheus: Male Surgical Procedures Only

5 Jul

When Prometheus‘ Dr. Elizabeth Shaw discovers she is pregnant with an Alien baby, her spontaneous response is to remove it from her body immediately. Kept sedated by the malevolent android, she feigns sleep, knocks out several orderlies, and runs to the nearest (and only) robotic medical surgical pod. Typing her request–C-Section–into the keypad, an electronic voice insists “Male surgical procedures only,” the pod then attempting to terminate the exchange. Shaw overrides the shutdown, typing instead “abdominal surgery” into the keypad. The pod opens! And Shaw begins the process of removing a deadly monster from herself.

Despite the horror and general grotesquerie of the scene–Prometheus‘ best, by the way– the real-world implications here are redoubtable. Stranded on a spaceship 2 lightyears away from earth, Shaw turns to the only medical help available for her singular problem. What she finds is not assistance, but negation based on the very fact of her sex and her condition. She’s resourceful however, using reinterpreted keywords and scientific know-how to cut herself open and get the job done. If only it was so easy…!

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