It’s Called Acting: In Defence of Russell Crowe as Javert in Les Misérables (2012, dir. Tom Hooper)

It’s Called Acting: In Defence of Russell Crowe as Javert in Les Misérables (2012, dir. Tom Hooper)

Stage actors have to concentrate on projecting their voice all the way to the balcony, and 80% of the audience is too far away to make out any facial details, which is why they usually put him in a cartoonishly huge hat so those of us squinting from the cheap seats can go “oh, it’s the baddie”. But for the film they saw the opportunity they had for variety, and seized it.

Robots, Women, and Other Subservient Things

Robots, Women, and Other Subservient Things

If a robot is designed to look like a person, it is given distinct secondary sex characteristics. Even AI, not housed in human(oid) bodies, become man or woman at their creator’s whim. It may seem a silly quirk that we insist on sorting the computer people by a trait applicable only to humans, but I don’t think that’s the full story. In fact, I would argue that gender relations have shaped our very concept of what AI and robots should be.