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How many people does it take to say that the gender inbalance in SF outlets is a problem before it's seriously acknowledged, and accepted, as a problem?

Reasons, blame, motives, agenda, solutions and reason aside.

When is it allowed to be just ... an issue?

When will we be able to get past that discussion and start looking deeper at the more interesting aspects of it?


Jan. 12th, 2009 03:17 am (UTC)
My gut feeling is that yes, there are few female editors, and that male readers (and editors), on the whole, tend to prefer the types of story that men write, and vice-versa. That preponderance of male editors is responsible for fewer readers in the genre, and thus fewer writers (and hence fewer female editors). That said, it's just my impression, and I'd like to see it backed up with numbers.

This has always been my impression as well, and of course the generally male editors of yesteryear would have led to generally male readers, some of whom have grown up to become another generation of generally male editors. And so the cycle continues.

If there is to be a deliberate move to encouraging parity, it's at the editor level I think the move would be most effective.
Jan. 12th, 2009 03:35 am (UTC)
And the other one of course is - with the reviewers and people determining 'best ofs' being predominantly male, the whole issue of which art is determined to be the superior example... is also skewed.

So not just male editors (and publishers), but so many male voices approving of said editors. And I do feel that those women who do make a name for themselves in the field as editors are those who select work which is generally liked by that predominantly masculine critical voice - not necessarily just at a 'lots of male authors' level, but having tastes which correspond to that voice.

So yes, we need diversity at all levels - editorial, publishing, critics, writers and protagonists - in order to get to a place where the field actually has enough of a range to appeal equally to women as well as men. And to be honest, I don't think it's just the female reader who is missing out. Male readers also deserve to be exposed to the widest possible range of experience, stories and characters in their fiction. Male readers absolutely deserve the chance to read awesome stories by female authors as well as male, and right now in the SF field they are (still) being short-changed.
Jan. 12th, 2009 04:25 am (UTC)
I do agree with this, which I think was my original point of the argument.

And comes back to the circular one you guys were talking about before - how do men know they don't like women's stories? (Ie stories about women and experiences of being women)
Jan. 12th, 2009 05:43 am (UTC)
This is true. Often they simply haven't read enough to know this, whereas women are taught and cultured from really early on to see the world through men's eyes and consider their perspective, often before voicing their own.

Not me, obviously, who was raised by a militant single mother, but it's there in the culture.

If more guys read Tamora Pierce at 12 like Grant did, the world would be a better place!

(am reminded of the awesome story Sarah Rees Brennan tells on her blog of being a librarian sneaking copies of Maureen Johnson's The Bermudez Triangle to a bunch of boys, and ending up being a pusher for lesbian fiction to teenage boys!)
Jan. 13th, 2009 08:14 am (UTC)
*snicker* I recall that! Her blog is like crack, and I keep crawling back for more (I can always count on her to cheer me up).

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