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[ profile] shawnam: I can't ignore you any longer!

Anyway, the first thing I wanted to address today is the tempest in a teapot that has been stirred up by the announcement of Realms of Fantasy's Women in Fantasy issue. Doug Cohen, the general editor, announced the issue earlier this week, and apparently a mini-firestorm immediately erupted on the basis of whether or not it's sexist that such an issue even exist. I decided to ignore that, as usual, since I thought it was silly. But then some more serious charges arose around Doug's choice of language in his announcement, and I can't ignore the issue or the internet any longer.

[ profile] benpayne: Realms of MANtasy???

What the editor, apparently one Douglas Conan, failed to realise is that women are creatures of wild emotion and oversensitive feelings.

You can't talk down to them. In order to patronise them, you have to patronise them carefully. [Satire]

[ profile] girliejones: What, What Did You Say?

Why would you ever refer to professional female writers that way? I've been trying to wrap my head around whether the reverse would ever happen. Noone would ever refer to writers like Jeff Vandermeer or Cory Doctorow or China Mieville as "boy writers". There's even a more stark comparison in the guidelines themselves which asks "Gents" not to apply. Male writers = Gents; Female writers = girls. It's hard for me to get past, clarifications or no.

Christian A Young @ Dimlight Archive: Something to buy in a heartbeat, and something I’m not buying even for a minute

Realms of Fantasy making a visible commitment to do the work, especially in light of their long-standing reputation for gender bias and consistently utilizing cover art targeted at the (heterosexual) male gaze, would be incredibly welcome.

A “girl writers only” issue isn’t going to achieve that. It’s particularly not going to achieve that when the call for submissions makes it sound like they’re setting the bar low, is badly worded, and is full of diminutive language (ladies, girls).

[ profile] cassiphone: More on Realms of Fantasy

Let the lesson be this: jokey attitude in submission guidelines? Rarely a good idea. Like it or not, big budget or operating out of your garage, when you set submission guidelines, you are in a position of power & privilege over the people who might be thinking of submitting to you, and taking that lightly is a fast way to offend people, especially when you are attempting to pre-select your work from a limited group of people whether your discrimination is based on age, gender, cultural background, etc.

[ profile] ithiliana: claiming X is the FIRST of anything is a very risky claim

Shawna McCarthy posting about the RoF discussion, claiming (again) (incorrectly) that she published the first anthology of women in sf in 1983.

As ide_cyan points out in the first comment, she and Ellen Datlow tried to point out several times that no, there were anthologies earlier.

So Shawna McCarthy has learned something today.

[ profile] yuki_onna: A Book of One's Own

You know, just about every time I post anything about writing, but especially if I post about increasing the visibility of women, queer culture, and people of color in literature, I get several of this kind of comment--and yes, I just got ANOTHER one on my Racefail post. "If you want more representations of women/gays/PoC, why don't you write your OWN damn books?" Often accompanied by the cute addendum: "Just tell YOUR story, and don't worry about politics."... My story *is* political.

[ profile] stonetable: The Lemonhead Defense: A Plea to Warren Lapine

Warren, criticism of Realms of Fantasy aren’t personal attacks against you and invoking the lemonhead defense against them is eroding the respect equity that the magazine has earned itself over the years. Look at it as an opportunity to interact with the community. Listen to what’s being said. If you choose to respond, do so thoughtfully, even if in disagreement. Stand firm in your beliefs but be open to hearing other points of view. People aren’t asking for special favors, they’re asking for equal treatment, equal representation. Instead of a "Women-only" issue, focus on the “Women in Fantasy” theme and accept submissions from all. Solicit stories from a number of profile authors of all genders. Publish the stories that work.

S.F. Murphy @ Murphy's Pondering Tree: An Interesting Thing Happened on the Way to Oblivion

The fail has manifested itself into Racefail (google that) Boobfail, and the list goes on. Each of these cycles revolves around a charge against an editor or writer, perhaps a publication, of discriminatory conduct. In some cases, these charges have the patina of legitimacy. In other cases, they do not. What is probably most reprehensible about these fail cycles is the veiled or outright accusation of bigoted behavior by members of fail fandom (some of whom are either writers or aspiring writers themselves). Even when these accusations are brought down by other members of the community, there is almost never a retraction of the original charges, never a true apology.

The Crochety Old Fan: FAIL fail

I’ve yet to be convinced that there is a “problem”. I haven’t seen the numbers. How many stories are submitted by female writers vs male writers? How many stories are submitted to the right market by either group? How many good stories by women? If I knew for certain that more stories were submitted by competent female authors than male authors, I’d be certain that there is a problem and I’d be pretty sure that there was some editorial bias going on.

Robert Hoge @ Hogetown: From the "You can please some of the people some of the time" file

There’s not a lot of great data on this out there but I suspect some of the under-representation problem - though far from all - is a flow-through issue. Part of the reason female writers are under-represented in various anthologies and magazines may be that they are under-represented in the number of submissions. And this is where I’m mostly interested in - and supportive of - the move from Realms. Announcing the issue so far in advance should encourage more female writers to submit. Hopefully that might go beyond just one issue but only time will tell.

[ profile] girliejones: Update on the wording of the Realm of Fantasy Submission Call

Elsewhere on the internet last night I found myself being stripped down for being offended, told I had a skin so thin it was translucent and that this poor man was never going to win because I was always going to tear strips off him. These are of course the traditional methods for silencing women, being put back in the box. I've come a long way I think in this last year. I don't think I was wrong to express my own reaction and I don't need this reaction to find approval from a man in order for me to be able to feel it. It was also implied that I could not object to the word "girls" in a professional call for a professional submission because my lj handle is "girliejones". It had me thinking about whether I need to defend or explain the idea of taking back and owning words that have been used derogatorily and how the use of words is all about context. But I'm not teaching Feminism 101 anymore.

[ profile] amethyst_dragon: Skin So Thin It's Transparent - My Opinion

Hoo Boy! I am probably going to catch some flack from my over this post! Over on brendanpodger 's journal he made a post about Realms of Fantasy and some word usage that was made. Apparently the editor used the terms "girls" and "ladies" that had some feminists screaming their lungs out that it was sexist. Then when the poor fellow tried to make an apology, he chose to use the term "ruffled some feathers". I agree with Brendan, at this point, no matter what this gentleman said, he was going to be just wrong.

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