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Fiction: 'Jade City' (Extract) by Fonda Lee

Venus is a Man's World (1957)

Venus Transit

Thoughts Before Listening

This radio drama is called ‘Venus is a Man’s World’ or as Illustrious Acquaintance is calling it, “Weenus is a Man’s World LOL Weenus Hahahaha What a Funny Word is The Word Weenus”. I know I’m going to regret this, but I’m also wondering exactly how bad a show called ‘Venus is a Man’s World’ can be. And isn’t it racist or PC culture or something to assume this is going to be bad just because it is called ‘Venus is a Man’s World’? What if this is amazing? Let us find out.

It’s probably going to be really bad tho.

Thoughts While Listening

Everyone, this is set on a luxury spaceship headed to Venus and it is 150 years “from now”.

Some lady is talking like I don’t know what.

Or maybe it’s a little dude talking.

Either way, they are talking like I don’t know what.

Actually I do know what. They are talking like an ass.

This person just said that one of their sisters was “ok for a girl” hahaha oh lordy what have I done to myself.

Based on my prejudices, I’ve decided this is a little dude.

Anyway, he has been packed off with his sisters to Venus. Wei? Because Venus is where you get all the men.

I guess I should have known that.

I mean if you can’t understand that Venus is inhabited by men from a title like ‘Venus is a Man’s World’ then what the heck is life.

Little dude is bored and is now going to walk around the spaceship with his sister.

So in this story, women don’t know anything about spaceships because they are too busy in government.

Usually women don’t know anything about spaceships because they are women.

This is often the reason why women don’t know anything about anything.

But in this story, it’s because they are too busy in government. That’s how crazy upside–down this story premise is.

It’s always a little boring when the craziest, most upside-down premise for a story is POCs or women in positions of power.

Feel like it would be far more crazy upside-down if positions of power were occupied by mangel-wurzels.

The ship’s crew is made up entirely of men! How upside-down is this upside-down future by golly!

So bored children are basically wandering around the ship being boring.

Also in this crazy upside-down future they have apparently passed a male desuffrage act and men are no longer citizens of Earth omg why is that so hilarious.

Is desuffrage a word?

This little dude is proof that you can be a disenfranchised member of the desuffraged sex, which aren’t even bona fide citizens of earth, and you can still be a dick.

Little dude has opened a closet or something idk.

It was very dramatic tho.

Little dude has met a large Venutian dude.

Meeting a dude from Venus is exactly like meeting a dude from Earth except the dude is from Venus.

Idk, there was a third atomic war that wiped out the dudes? I don’t know what’s going on.

What the fuck is my life actually.

So the Venutian is saying a lot of stuff that I guess is sexist? But it’s a crazy upside-down future so I guess it isn’t. Even though it is.

This is like how my Racist Friend is racist but isn’t because they are edgy. Or non-PC.

Maybe they are both idk.

And they are so racist like I can’t even tell you. Racist Friend is a racist motherfucking racist.

They don’t read this which is why I am boldly calling out their racism. By name.

Anyway, this conversation between the little dude and the Venutian dude is like a funny cat gif without the cat and without anything funny happening and it’s not a gif either.

So here is what I think happened. Venutian dude went to Earth and tried to be a dude in all his dudiness because he’s a dude. And then he was arrested for being a dude. And then the judges and attorneys were all women because upside-down land is so very upside-down. And Venutian dude was like let me just be a dude! And the female judges and attorneys said no.

Illustrious Acquaintance says this is why suppression of men is bad and I have to agree, it is quite bad you guys.

Back where the dude comes from, ‘a man spoke his mind and the woman walked by his side’.

I feel like I should say something about that. But mostly I’m like nah.

Btw I think the Venutian dude’s name is Butt.

“If I know her breed, she’ll be bossy and opinionated.” “Aren’t all women?”

Are we supposed to laugh at this? Or clap? I don’t want to do the wrong thing.

The young dude is now getting yelled at by his sister.

The ship is called the Eleanor Roosevelt btw.

SHOULD I CLAP OR SAY HAHAHA I DON’T KNOW

Illustrious Acquaintance says it’s always better to clap on these occasions. It does seem like the safer option imho.

The sister is now being taken to see Butt HAHAHAHAHA

I’m really sorry I started listening to this.

I’m not sorry for laughing whenever they say Butt.

‘Golly sis that’s no way to talk to Butt’ HAHAHAHAHA oh wow we must take our entertainment where we can with this one.

There was some ‘boys rule no girls rule no boys rule’ talk between the sister and the Venutian dude so I’m assuming that these two will get married at some point.

Wise words from the future, in case you want them- if you want a poodle, you can pick one up on earth. But if you’re looking for a man, you have to go to Venus.

They aren’t talking about actual poodles though. Which is misleading and unfortunate.

Butt is a MANLY MAN. And he owns some islands.

And he has good teeth apparently.

So at some point Butt said, let’s try each other for taste and then there was a silence so I don’t know if he licked her or something and then the sister either slapped him or snapped her fingers.

Oh he kissed her.

It sounded like that happened without her consent but I also feel like this is one of those ‘consent lol’ situations.

So they hauled Butt off to the brig (HAHAHAHA) and all the females have gathered in the lounge for the hearing.

They are having a hearing for this offending Butt. HAHAHAHAHA. HA.

Some ladies are like oh I want him, he’s mine WHY DO YOU WANT HIM HE’S GROSS

Illustrious Acquaintance points out that he has nice teeth and islands.

So Butt is apparently a powerful Butt and along with his teeth and islands he is just so attractive to the sister and so she wants to marry him because anyway she was kissing him back earlier because that little disenfranchised dick of a brother said so.

Wow this was so fucking awful.

Thoughts After Listening

Illustrious Acquaintance informs me that according to Google Books, “'Venus Is a Man's World' takes you on a humorous, satirical romp that only William Tenn could pull off. Wry, witty, and intelligent.” Racist Friend says I was unable to see any of this because of feminism and some other things I can’t remember. There is also a good chance that guy’s name wasn’t Butt. Anyway here’s a song called ‘You Can’t Say No to a Soldier':

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Image: Transit of Venus (Credit: JAXA/NASA/Hinode)

"Venus is a Man's World" first aired on X Minus One in 1957. It was written by William Tenn.

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