?

Log in

No account? Create an account

The Past | The Previous

Women For Sci-Fi

Of course, what the feminist movement in science fiction requires is a bunch of guys speaking for them, but I present you these links, anyway:

Charles Coleman Finlay (ccfinlay) talks about how Fantasy and Science Fiction doesn't publish many women, and noting that many women he respects tell him that they feel unwelcome. After talking with editorial assistant John Jospeh Adams, who agrees that not many women are published in the pages of Gordan Van Gelder's magazine, he figures that what is necessary is for 100 submissions by women to Fantasy and Science Fiction, in the hope that this will over turn the idea that the magazine is primarily a male playground.

Well, to that, I say: Way to go guys. Way to organise them women.

It's not that I don't see the point, really, I do, but you got to admit that there's some irony in watching a white male who has been published in Fantasy and Science Fiction fairly regularly motivate the poor, downtrodden, and unwanted feeling women to submit. There's nothing like breaking down those social power structures, I find. Incidently, have I pointed out that I'm a white male who is pointing out the power structure of men and women, here? Perhaps I could have a nice chair put above everyone and I could look down upon everyone and say, "positions of power are a difficult thing to navigate. If you find an already dominate power figure to champion the cause of the minority, and to be their voice, what then are you truly accomplishing?"

Well, it's the blogsphere, and Finlay has his heart in the right place, so there's not much damage, I suppose.

For my money, however, I'd have to side with Nick Mamatas (nihilistic_kid), who calls Fantasy and Science Fiction and the other big three fetish magazines: "F&SF is essentially a men's magazine. Given its price, its atavistic trim size, its choice of cover art, etc., it is no surprise that the majority of contributors are male. It, and the other "big three" magazines are essentially non-sexual fetish rags, designed for a very specific and ever-shrinking audience of die-hards. It's ironic that many women writers are banging their fists against these doors, or giving up, as magazines for women actually predominate on the newsstands."

As Mamatas says, I'd be more interested in finding different markets if I was a female sci-fi author (go where the getting is good, as he says).

Comments

( 32 Soaking Up Bandwidth — Soak Up Bandwidth )
nihilistic_kid
Jun. 14th, 2006 03:55 am (UTC)
I am interested in finding other markets myself. My point is that women aren't a vanishingly small minority in the periodicals market in general, so why not get where the gettin's good?
benpeek
Jun. 14th, 2006 04:03 am (UTC)
yeah, i knew that. i fixed the end of the post to make it clearer.
squirrel_monkey
Jun. 14th, 2006 04:07 am (UTC)
Well, it's not like it's an either-or proposition. It's as an interesting experiment -- accusations of gender bias have been flying around, and lack of women who submit stories is often cited as a reason. On the other hand, I'm not convinced that 100 subs in one day is the best way of going about it, but I'm curious nonetheless.
(no subject) - benpeek - Jun. 14th, 2006 04:11 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nihilistic_kid - Jun. 14th, 2006 04:11 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - squirrel_monkey - Jun. 14th, 2006 04:12 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nihilistic_kid - Jun. 14th, 2006 04:28 am (UTC) - Expand
mme_publisher
Jun. 14th, 2006 04:25 am (UTC)
Way to go guys. Way to organise them women.

That's "wymyn" to you, Tool of the Patriarchy.

You know, you and Nick are probably right, but this is a field that is seriously lacking in stunts. When was the last time you saw even a little tiny stunt of any kind?


(no subject) - mme_publisher - Jun. 14th, 2006 05:07 am (UTC) - Expand
benpeek
Jun. 14th, 2006 04:35 am (UTC)
there's lots of little blog like stunts, though. i did one last year with the local scene here. i'd be more impressed if it was a big stunt--like a bunch of angry militant feminist sci fi authors kidnapping van gelder and then running his mag for six issues with angry, feminist militant stories, and pictures of him gagged and videos you could download from the next with their angry--

oh, wait, this isn't the right venue for that.
(no subject) - mme_publisher - Jun. 14th, 2006 05:12 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Jun. 14th, 2006 05:25 am (UTC) - Expand
mevennen
Jun. 14th, 2006 09:34 am (UTC)
Interesting. I have to say, I've not encountered much sexism in the genre markets. Locus has always been very supportive, and both David Pringle and Gardner asked me not to use my initials when I was first starting out (my rather pathetic reasoning being that Liz Williams is such a boring name and I didn't want to go down the pseudonymous route of renaming myself Drusilla Eiderdown or something). Their reasoning was that it's important to have women visibly writing in the field.

I have had (thus far) an unbroken run of successful submissions to Asimov's. I've never sent anything to Analog because I just don't do their kind of thing. I have never had an acceptance by F&SF but Gordon wrote to me after the 13th or 14th rejection and explained, in 2 closely worded pages of A4, why he does not connect with my work and IIRC, it was more to do with a Jungian approach to the metaphysical than the fact that I've got tits. Which I felt was fair enough.

I think this came up on Night Shade a while back and, also IIRC, Gordon responded by saying that he just doesn't get the same rate of subs from women that he does from men.

My hit rate with Realms, which is edited by my own agent, is about half and half. Shawna has rejected quite a lot of my short fiction.

In the smaller press, Andy Cox has consistently solicited submissions from me, even when I was just starting out: again, his reasoning is that there are not enough women writing in the field.

So my experience of discrimination has been more of the positive kind than the negative kind. But that doesn't mean that sexism doesn't exist. I'm not one of those women who think that sexual harrassment doesn't happen just because it hasn't happened to her.
benpeek
Jun. 14th, 2006 10:49 am (UTC)
i'm like you, in that most of my awareness of how females are treated in the scene is very positive. doesn't mean it doesn't happen, however, but i'm mainly concerned that a bunch of guys getting up an organising women, so to say, isn't exactly the right way to solve that discrimination for others.

that's pretty nice of gelder to write that letter, got to say.
nihilistic_kid
Jun. 14th, 2006 12:39 pm (UTC)
I have never had an acceptance by F&SF but Gordon wrote to me after the 13th or 14th rejection and explained, in 2 closely worded pages of A4, why he does not connect with my work and IIRC, it was more to do with a Jungian approach to the metaphysical than the fact that I've got tits.

Jungian...like mother archetypes? ;)
lokilokust
Jun. 14th, 2006 11:57 am (UTC)
'Way to go guys. Way to organise them women.'
i'm glad someone else hit upon that.
i find that aspect of the whole thing to be pretty disturbing.
benpeek
Jun. 15th, 2006 06:16 am (UTC)
it surprises me that more people haven't bought it up.
kristine_smith
Jun. 14th, 2006 12:39 pm (UTC)
First time caller--here via mevennen

I don't sub short works all that often, so I don't know the answer--has the number of women pub'ed by F&SF changed since Kris Rusch was editor? Has the tone of the magazine changed? Don't know if anyone has already asked, or even if it matters. Just wondered.
benpeek
Jun. 15th, 2006 06:23 am (UTC)
hi kaygo--

i actually have no idea if its changed. for as long as i've known the magazine, it's been edited by van gelder, so i'm not the person to ask. but it's a good question. you might want to try charles finlay's blog. i'm sure he'd know--or someone there will.
shadowsandice
Jun. 15th, 2006 02:01 am (UTC)
Yanno, I'm not all that fussed about the sex of a person who has a nifty idea if the idea is in fact nifty.

(I have encountered no unwelcomeness anywhere because I don't submit! Yay!)
benpeek
Jun. 15th, 2006 06:26 am (UTC)
i tend to think it is a point. after all, if you want to break down the male dominance, having men organise the way to protest, so to say, really just enforces it. but shrug. i'm not hugely fussed for this.

you should submit, though.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Jun. 15th, 2006 02:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shadowsandice - Jun. 15th, 2006 02:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Jun. 15th, 2006 02:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shadowsandice - Jun. 15th, 2006 02:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Jun. 15th, 2006 02:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shadowsandice - Jun. 15th, 2006 02:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Jun. 15th, 2006 02:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shadowsandice - Jun. 15th, 2006 02:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Jun. 15th, 2006 02:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shadowsandice - Jun. 15th, 2006 03:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 32 Soaking Up Bandwidth — Soak Up Bandwidth )