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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 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.
Jan. 12th, 2009 06:01 am (UTC)
That ... wouldn't really be my expectation.
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.
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.
Jan. 12th, 2009 06:44 am (UTC)
That's what I reckon.
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.
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?
Jan. 15th, 2009 02:00 pm (UTC)
Not sure about don't read it, as in hardly any.. I would imagine the proportion of readers of is higher than the proportion of writers of given all the 'women read heaps more' numbers bandied around.

However, I'd imagine the proportions of women that are readers of SF is lower than other genres. Maybe it is 50-50 of 40-60 or something, as opposed to 70-30 for fantasy and crime, and 95-5 for romance, or something.

So possibly female perceptions of it are skewed, because while the large majority of fiction publishing is aimed at them in general, and they are used to that - this is one area where it isn't such a large majority, so it appears that way.

Probably some study somewhere that has a survey I guess.
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.
Jan. 15th, 2009 01:50 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure that there are necessarily people who foster and nurture talent but getting published in semiprozines is a good start. In terms of learning the process of publishing and professionalism etc.

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