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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. 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.

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