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April 5th, 2009

Kids, Get off My Yard! *shaking cane* [Apr. 5th, 2009|04:57 pm]
I'm going to be on vacation later this week, but I had to toss this out for discussion, from IROSF's latest column, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch:

"I see no discrimination against women in sf/f any more. None."



"What amazed me was that the same group of people believed this to be evidence of gender bias in SF publishing. And as I poured through the names of the complainants on the site and on linked blogs, I realized that all of these people were much younger than I am."

Take that, you young'uns.


"One of the editors defended himself on the site, by stating he had invited women into his anthology, but the women either missed the deadline or bowed out at the last minute, forcing him to go to writers of his acquaintance who worked quickly and weren't already invited into the anthology. As a result, he produced the accidental womanless TOC."

This isn't probably Kris's fault for not knowing the full story of what actually happened to Eclipse, but it wouldn't have taken much research, surely? But more importantly, let's get it out in the open: editors ARE responsible for what's goes into their anthologies and magazines, according to their intended market. (I have to stress that). If it's men you're going after, then a male-dominated table of contents makes sense. Or female. Or if it's a mix of both, then a mix makes sense. And so on and so forth. It's called basic business principles. Nothing in business is done without knowing whom your market is. (Or at least I hope so).

Editors decrying that it's all they've got to work with, or going around and blaming women for not submitting enough material, well, that's just lazy, at the least, especially for our field. It's not like it's hard to make the effort to widen your pool of eligible contributors, if your goal is to appeal to both sexes.

But to proclaim point-blank that there's no discrimination left in this field? Hell, discrimination is alive and kicking, here in the United States, today, and no one would argue otherwise.  Our field is a microcosm of the world, and the same issues are reflected there, as much as anything. Nothing will change until we confront those issues head-on, and work together, but:

"I know that the arguments about gender bias in SF will eventually disappear. They're fewer and farther between now than they were when I came into the field, but they're not finished yet. (Although I think they should be. There are other things to argue about.)"

Nothing should ever be finished, btw, otherwise we learn nothing. Life is ongoing, as is change, experience, and a loot more. And what you may consider not important is important to others, and can't--shouldn't--be dismissed.

We shouldn't rest on our laurels, then, now, or in the future.
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