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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

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.
girliejones
Jan. 12th, 2009 06:15 am (UTC)
I guess for me it comes back to what Tansy was saying about me as a female reader having been preconditioned to read and be interested in male stories. I have to accept that if I want to read exciting plot driven science fiction, I usually have to accept a male protagonist and a male portrayal of the world and the story.

I find it troubling that male readers are less tolerant or interested in women's stories or version of the world and don't have to be.
capnoblivious
Jan. 12th, 2009 06:30 am (UTC)
I find it troubling that male readers are less tolerant or interested in women's stories or version of the world and don't have to be.

Um - that's twice you have taken my comments on my reading tastes and seemed to make veiled accusations of sexism on my part. I'm uncomfortable with that.

You were interested in why I was less interested in female stories. It's because I don't perceive myself to be part of the target audience.

It doesn't follow that I am intolerant of women's stories or that I'm trying to shut out women's experiences. It's just not my main interest.
girliejones
Jan. 12th, 2009 07:40 am (UTC)
I don't think I thought you were being sexist its just always abit .. I dunno it feels belittling to hear that things about you are uninteresting.

That said, I find Dickens to be THE most boring writer EVER. Cause there are no women in his books at all or they are whores. So .. yeah. It's just a response.

But .. would you feel the same about say ... stories about men of a different race or nationality as you?
capnoblivious
Jan. 12th, 2009 01:02 pm (UTC)
I dunno it feels belittling to hear that things about you are uninteresting.

I don't know how to address that. There are stories - typically female coming-of-age stories but other stories that engage heavily with the female experience - that I don't relate to. And, to my view, I don't relate to them because they're not aimed at me, the author isn't interested in engaging with me.

I'm sorry if that comes across as "you're uninteresting", but that's not my intent.

But .. would you feel the same about say ... stories about men of a different race or nationality as you?

Well, in the same context, I think I'd likely feel alienated to a greater or lesser extent by books for (as opposed to about) people of a different race or nationality - or, at least, they wouldn't necessarily be my first choice of reading material, and my reasons for reading them would likely be different from my normal reading reasons.
(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
(no subject) - girliejones - Jan. 14th, 2009 04:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zillah975 - Jan. 14th, 2009 04:28 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - Jan. 14th, 2009 04:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - Jan. 13th, 2009 05:54 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - capnoblivious - Jan. 13th, 2009 06:28 am (UTC) - Expand
(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.
capnoblivious
Jan. 12th, 2009 06:01 am (UTC)
That ... wouldn't really be my expectation.
random_alex
Jan. 12th, 2009 06:05 am (UTC)
It is the expectation of publishers, though, I think - implicitly, of course (don't know that there would be many who would be caught saying it explicitly, except for c0ck, but that's different...). Simply the fact that there are vastly more male SF writers published than female gives that impression.
girliejones
Jan. 12th, 2009 06:08 am (UTC)
Because even if it's the case that more men submit, and the publishing of submissions is actually fair and unbiased ... if there really was acknowledgement that there was a problem and thus that it needed to be fixed ... what is never really discussed is the fostering of new female talent. Not a quota, not affirmative action but actually fostering and nurturing the talent.
capnoblivious
Jan. 12th, 2009 06:44 am (UTC)
That's what I reckon.
bluetyson
Jan. 14th, 2009 08:01 am (UTC)
Clearly 21st century publishing and consolidation and less editing etc. is moving away from nurturing/fostering - saw Lou Anders say the other day that isn't his job - his job is to find the best stuff that exists, now. He of course doesn't work for one of the media empires, though.

However, go back a bit to the 40s, say. At a rough number, you'd have 90%+ of the SF be by men. Now it is probably 75%+ as a ballpark figure. So clearly it has changed/is changing. If there was no new talent being fostered, ever, would it have stayed the same? Or is it just a societal trend with changing roles and has not much to do with what editors are doing in general? The SF/fantasy numbers would seem to be similar for short stories (with more male editors) and books (with more female editors) (e.g. 3/4 and 1/2 to simplify), as a possible point for the latter.

It is also possible there will never be more than one woman to three men interested in SF writing. It is also possible that in another 50 years it will be 55-45.
girliejones
Jan. 15th, 2009 01:52 pm (UTC)
You're right. And to be fair, we don't necessarily do that much of it at TPP. Unless you get to the acceptance/edting stage and then I spose there are some aspects of nurturing talent. I think maybe there is some at play in small press.

I guess that's the question though - is it true that women don't read SF?
(no subject) - bluetyson - Jan. 15th, 2009 02:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
zillah975
Jan. 14th, 2009 06:03 pm (UTC)
Off-topic: you say there are people in the publishing business who foster and nurture talent?

Where might I find one of those people, do you think, if or when I reach the point where I'd actually like to write for publication?

This is me, woefully ignorant about publishing anywhere offline. Or, you know. For money at all.
(no subject) - girliejones - Jan. 15th, 2009 01:50 pm (UTC) - Expand

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