And inspired--or infected with a sanity-destroying meme--by beccaelizabeth's post on counting speaking parts in Torchwood (there are charts! it's all kind of depressing!), I have been tracking the demographics of Stargate episodes as well as Bechdel test passes/fails.
They mostly fail.
So I've started writing fixits in which two women who were in the episode talk to each other about something other than a man.
I'm pretty embarrassed to realize that I don't think I've ever written fic that would pass that test before, and that it was sort of difficult, but anyway: here's my first try.
Stargate SG-1, during "Children of the Gods".
Sam and Sha're. PG. 983 words.
Thanks to iuliamentis and splash_the_cat for encouragement and beta!
Sisters in Arms
Sam liked being treated like one of the guys, or at least she'd trained herself to know it was a good sign. She liked good signs. Even when it was like this--Majors Kawalsky and Ferretti playing Sam's one of the guys, just us guys here, let's talk about guy stuff for all it was worth. Colonel O'Neill was doing a good imitation of not noticing she was there, or not noticing she was female, which she figured was his way of seeing whether she could handle it.
She could handle it. She knew all the words they were helping the Abydonian boys learn in English (Dr. Jackson had insisted that they had a fully adequate vocabulary for those topics already, thank you, and then gave up and started translating). She could have contributed a few creative expressions cooked up in the labs to describe literally astronomical levels of frustration and pressure, but Sam knew better than to get into that dick-measuring contest. She wasn't that much one of the guys, and even if she won, she'd lose.
Still, there was only so much sitting quietly and listening to locker room humor that she could do. Anyway, she really had to pee.
Sam got up as unobtrusively as she could. Kawalsky genuinely did seem to have forgotten she was there as he argued with Jackson about the exact usage of some obscenity or another. Ferretti gave her a friendly wink. The Colonel's eyes passed over her without lingering, but she was sure he'd know exactly how long she was gone, and in what direction she departed and from what direction she returned.
She was just glad she'd already put the important stuff in her pockets. Taking your purse with you to the restroom got a hell of a lot more obvious when your purse was a sixty-pound pack.
Sam nodded in the Colonel's direction, and he looked away, a dismissal as sharp as a salute. Sam turned on her heel and headed across the room, to where the Abydonian women--from Sha're to an old matriarch, and several others in between--were making supper, a few of them juggling babies as they cooked.
They were all chattering in Abydonian, but Sam thought Sha're, at least, must speak some English. Sam hadn't actually heard her speak yet, but Daniel had spoken to her and she'd understood.
Sam hesitated, out of arm's reach of the women, and then the oldest woman said something, nodding in her direction, and Sha're turned to face her.
"Sha're," Sam said, smiling nervously--beautiful women always made her a little nervous, even when she didn't need to ask awkward questions. "I was just wondering where to go, to, um--"
She made a vague crotch-ward gesture. "Where the women go."
She had figured out precisely where the guys went, by this point, and if it was that or the sandstorm Sam might just be tempted to try the sandstorm.
"Oh," Sha're said, and then turned and said something brief to the women, which caused them to all fall silent and look at Sam, and then at the men, and then resume talking in lowered voices. Sam felt herself blush a little--were toilet trips that interesting? Had she done something horribly wrong already?
"I will show you," Sha're said softly, brushing her hands off as she stood. She glanced past Sam's shoulder, toward the men, and then turned. "This way."
Sam followed her through a doorway, around a corner, and through another doorway, which led to a long corridor. The sound of the howling wind was muffled now. Sha're fell into step beside her and said, "You carry a weapon, like the men of Earth. You dress as they do."
Sam glanced down at the MP5 slung across her chest; she'd stopped noticing it sometime in the last hour. As for the clothes--maybe it was just Sam being hopeless about fashion, but she really didn't see that much difference between the robes the women and men wore on Abydos. She was probably missing some nuances, just as much as Sha're was missing the cute-yet-comfy underwear under Sam's camouflage.
"That's the way it is, among our people," Sam said. "Women and men work alongside one another. We receive the same educations, and women as well as men can join our military--the woman who was taken from us by Apophis, she was like me, a member of the Air Force."
Sam had never met her--she'd been new to the Cheyenne Mountain facility since Sam had had a reason to visit--but she'd stared at the sergeant's photo for a long time when she read the file. If it had happened back when Sam was working on the gate dialing computers, she'd have been no further from the event horizon than the sergeant had been. It could have been her the aliens grabbed, a few years ago.
"But she was not able to defend herself against them," Sha're said.
"No, not outnumbered like that. No one could," Sam agreed. "But she might still be alive, at least. That's more than we can say for the rest of her squad."
Sam glanced over at Sha're, to see her looking away. Up until a year ago her people had been under the thumb of Ra; God knew what she was thinking about, knowing there was another one out there like him.
"It's different here?" Sam asked. "Women aren't allowed to fight?"
Sha're looked up at that, and gave a wry smile--not the least bit downtrodden, not remotely oppressed and seeking to be made free, not again. She looked proud, and weary, and said only, "We have our own battles. We carry other weapons."
Sam figured she'd have plenty of time to learn what Sha're meant by that; she couldn't imagine they'd have any luck taking Dr. Jackson back to Earth without his wife.