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Puzzled

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?


Comments

monissaw
Jan. 12th, 2009 03:34 am (UTC)
Possibly because it is being presented as problem, and that is going to generate discussion of whether it's a problem or not.

Which interesting aspects did you want to actually discuss? :)
girliejones
Jan. 12th, 2009 04:19 am (UTC)
The fact that it never changes - that even as we raise it as an issue, and editors and publishers must be aware of it, nothing ever changes.

And also ... the big one .. why are female stories (that doesn't mean stories written *by* women but stories that tell stories of women as in things that are relevant or about being women or from the perspective of women) are less interesting to men.
monissaw
Jan. 12th, 2009 04:44 am (UTC)
I'd put the first one as: what can we do to change it?

The second interests me, because I wonder why *I* don't write female stories. I'd start a discussion about that on my LJ but 1) I don't seem to have much luck with "discussion" posts over there and 2) I'm about to go away from any internet access for 2-3 days
girliejones
Jan. 12th, 2009 04:46 am (UTC)
See I'm more like, why does it happen first, before what can we do to change it. If we don't admit it happens, we can't look at why it happens.

monissaw
Jan. 12th, 2009 04:50 am (UTC)

That might be why you can't get the discussion to move forward. I'd go with "It happens, because I say it happens, now...." :)
(no subject) - girliejones - Jan. 12th, 2009 04:51 am (UTC) - Expand
girliejones
Jan. 12th, 2009 04:46 am (UTC)
What kind of stories do you write?

monissaw
Jan. 12th, 2009 04:53 am (UTC)

If you mean short storeis, I don't. I gave up on them a few years back (this is actually Tansy's fault -- not that I'm complaining).

I'm happier writing novels, but they (and the shorter things I used to write) invariably seem to have a male protag, with female supporting characters though. I like my female characters but they don't seem to want to take centre stage. I think this is because I "know* about women, it's the male of the species that I want to explore.
(no subject) - girliejones - Jan. 12th, 2009 04:56 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - monissaw - Jan. 14th, 2009 09:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - Jan. 14th, 2009 10:45 am (UTC) - Expand
cassiphone
Jan. 12th, 2009 05:50 am (UTC)
That's really interesting - I know there are quite a few women who don't write female stories, and it is a fascinating topic to me, so please do raise it when you're back. I'm sure I can come up with lots of questions!

Women can write great male stories and men can write great female stories. That's the whole beauty of fiction, you can have and do anything. As long as women aren't staying away from female stories because they think it might harm their career, cos that squicks me out something terrible.

It's also a problem if women feel like they don't get included in certain discussions, groups, etc, because they don't write female stories.

I've spent about the last 6 months repeatedly beating a dear friend and awesome writer over the head because she was told (by an EX BOYFRIEND) that she couldn't write male characters convincingly, and she bought it.

I forced her to, and she writes such marvellous boys and male characters.
capnoblivious
Jan. 12th, 2009 05:09 am (UTC)
I'm interested in that second point, too. Since I started to pay attention to gender, I have to say that I'm more interested in "boy stories" or "people stories" than "girl stories". It seems reasonable to me - I'm not part of the target audience for the girl stories, and I lack the female experience necessary to make the most of them.
girliejones
Jan. 12th, 2009 05:37 am (UTC)
What about empathy towards women or a curiosity to understand women or to look at the world through their eyes? Why isn't that interesting to you?
capnoblivious
Jan. 12th, 2009 06:12 am (UTC)
It is interesting to me. But I reckon I get more of it from a discussion like this one than I do from my leisure-time reading.

It's like what Tansy said - she percieves that a male-heavy TOC indicates a predominance of boy-stories, and feels alienated by that. I feel much the same about a female-heavy TOC in the other direction. If I were to pick it up to broaden my understanding of the female of the species, that would be a different act from picking it up because I think I'll like the stories.
(no subject) - girliejones - Jan. 12th, 2009 06:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - capnoblivious - Jan. 12th, 2009 06:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - Jan. 12th, 2009 07:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - capnoblivious - Jan. 12th, 2009 01:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zillah975 - Jan. 12th, 2009 07:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - capnoblivious - Jan. 12th, 2009 08:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zillah975 - Jan. 14th, 2009 04:26 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - capnoblivious - Jan. 14th, 2009 04:59 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zillah975 - Jan. 14th, 2009 05:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - capnoblivious - Jan. 14th, 2009 05:35 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - monissaw - Jan. 14th, 2009 09:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cassiphone - Jan. 14th, 2009 10:08 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zillah975 - Jan. 14th, 2009 06:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bluetyson - Jan. 14th, 2009 07:39 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - girliejones - Jan. 13th, 2009 05:54 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - girliejones - Jan. 13th, 2009 06:31 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - capnoblivious - Jan. 13th, 2009 07:18 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - Jan. 13th, 2009 07:22 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - capnoblivious - Jan. 13th, 2009 07:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - Jan. 13th, 2009 07:30 am (UTC) - Expand
random_alex
Jan. 12th, 2009 05:45 am (UTC)
But see, this is one of the issues: women are expected to read stories with a male protag and like it (and heck, often I do) - whereas men seem to think they can't or shouldn't or wouldn't.
(no subject) - capnoblivious - Jan. 12th, 2009 06:01 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - random_alex - Jan. 12th, 2009 06:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - Jan. 12th, 2009 06:08 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - capnoblivious - Jan. 12th, 2009 06:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bluetyson - Jan. 14th, 2009 08:01 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - Jan. 15th, 2009 01:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
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homonculus
Jan. 12th, 2009 05:28 am (UTC)
I couldn't answer the second part for all of mankind without making gross generalisations which would probably offend half of the population I claimed to represent.

However, my reading is heavily weighted to the "male" side of things. And I'd say it is simply due to my own personal preference for (dare I say it?) the traditional "male" sphere: plot over characterisation, events over themes. There are some female authors who write like this (Mary Gentle comes to mind quite readliy), and I happily read their work, but for the most part this material is put out by men. So I read them.
girliejones
Jan. 12th, 2009 05:40 am (UTC)
I guess the same question I put to Stu above. But the answer is ok. There's nothing wrong with being interested in worlds that relate to you and your own. But the converse then must also be allowed (not arguing with you that you haven't but with others who said it elsewhere) that women's viewpoint is different to men and there are other stories out there that are different and should be given word allowance too.
(no subject) - homonculus - Jan. 12th, 2009 05:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - Jan. 12th, 2009 06:00 am (UTC) - Expand
cassiphone
Jan. 12th, 2009 05:40 am (UTC)
See, that's perfectly valid. Everyone should be able to embrace their personal tastes, irrespective of how much they are and aren't coloured by gender, or traditional gender-isms.

The problem for me is that I like the exact opposite kind of story. I prefer character over plot (both is nice, but character is everything to me), and I find a great deal of "traditionally" masculine spec fic somewhat empty and irrelevant to me. But I love spec fic and so much of what it has to offer.

And at the short story level, there just aren't enough of the kind of stories I want to read. There aren't enough editors, and taste-deciders, who share my tastes. But I do know there are a LOT of readers who do. And I really don't think that all the readers who like the kinds of stories I do are female.

I don't necessarily subscribe to the idea that character-heavy stories are more feminine or plot-heavy stories more male, but I do know that statistically, I tend to like more female authored stories than male. And the scene would benefit greatly in all kinds of ways if there was more diversity in what is published. I don't care that somewhere like Analog, for instance, is a bastion of maleness. As long as there are some female-heavy publications to balance it out so the scene as a whole is representational of all its readers and potential readers. And sadly there just aren't as many female-oriented publications out there, certainly not at the pro or semi-pro level.
(no subject) - homonculus - Jan. 12th, 2009 06:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - Jan. 12th, 2009 06:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cassiphone - Jan. 12th, 2009 06:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - Jan. 12th, 2009 06:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cassiphone - Jan. 12th, 2009 06:20 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - cassiphone - Jan. 12th, 2009 06:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - capnoblivious - Jan. 12th, 2009 06:41 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cassiphone - Jan. 12th, 2009 07:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ex_benpayne119 - Jan. 12th, 2009 08:14 am (UTC) - Expand

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