Jan. 12th, 2010

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[livejournal.com 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.

[livejournal.com 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]

[livejournal.com 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).

[livejournal.com 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.

[livejournal.com 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.

[livejournal.com 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.

[livejournal.com 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.

[livejournal.com 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.

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

Hoo Boy! I am probably going to catch some flack from my er...fellow...er...ladies 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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[livejournal.com profile] xtricks: This week in bigotry: fandom fail flavor of the month

Evidently the curren fandom wank going round is about straight women writing m/m fiction. I hadn't been paying much attention because, hey, other things on my plate. I think that has to change. Not only did I have the misfourtune to read a particularl asinine post about it, the OP also seemed to be claiming that m/m fiction (or at least romantic fiction) wouldn't exist without straight women - because they invented the genre/made it big (or popular or something). I think that's really the first time I got that sense of jaw dropping WTF?!?!?!

[livejournal.com profile] gwailowrite: VERY VERY IMPORTANT

And as you watch it, please remember that the next time a writer of m/m fiction bitches about how they are being persecuted by not being eligible for a Lambda award because they aren't GLBT, their words matter to. Some really hateful things were said during Ally Fail, not as extreme as this man's but hurtful and hateful just the same. Because at the end of the day, those who aren't GLBT but write m/m do not have to face people like this every day of their lives because they only write m/m. They don't have to live it.

[personal profile] stoneself: some more slash fail [Warning: fail in comments]

[Comments on Ann Somerville's "Can we ever stop fighting?"]

[livejournal.com profile] logophilos: Pen names and pretend names

Which doesn’t explain the rash of male or gender neutral names in m/m, becuase slash was and is dominated by women writers, and so is m/m. Male slashers are rare enough in slash to be notable for their gender alone. There are, I think, four actual gay men writing m/m under male names and whose gender is not disputed. There are a handful of trans men. But in percentages, women are well over 90% of the authorship, and probably even higher in terms of readership. If there’s a genre more welcoming to a woman writing under a female pen name, it can only be the wider Romance field. Yet gender neutral or male pen names account are used by nearly 50% of authors in the genre. You don’t find this in the Japanese yaoi/BL tradition, that I’m aware of. It’s peculiar to western publishing.

[livejournal.com profile] mresundance: Meta, Meta, Meta: Two Links

The problem for me, is that a lot of times, the reality of - hey, there are real gay people out there - is strangely absent from too much fan fiction and fan fiction discussions. Even if fan fiction sometimes helps me to feel less alien and less alone in the world, I find it disheartening when I feel my presence - or the presence of people like me - is subtly un-acknowledged or ignored. I don't think it's often intentional. But I do think it is often a reflection of privilege and a reflection of people with privilege not thinking about a wider picture. And I can say I am guilty of that too with other things, such as race and ableism. It's not so much accusation as food for thought.

[livejournal.com profile] logophilos: Apparently I've fucked up again

Okay, judging by the hits I’m getting, and this post as an example, I gather that I’ve pissed some people in the GLBT community off with my post about the m/m genre. I’ve looked at it, talked with gay friends about it and the criticism, and want to try and clarify.

[livejournal.com profile] mothwing: Why can't we all just get alooooong?

Ever since Lambda Fail, the more I about m/m writers, the less patience I have for straight women (well, female and straight male M/M writers in general, to be honest) and their quest to write male-on-male porn or ~romance~ in peace. This "romance" usually is a type of porn, too, the only difference being that the emotional vulnerability of the characters is fetishized rather than their sexuality. Just.... EUGH.

[livejournal.com profile] evildrem: Some questions..

Some of you may be aware of the current debate raging in m/m fiction circles about the validity of women writing gay men etc. I'm not planning on sticking my toe in that particular swamp nor am I going to express any opinions on the subject but reading through the various arguments for and against has raised a few questions in my mind. Now I know that the majority of my flist identify as GLBT so this seems like a good place to ask these questions and they are geared to eliciting responses from people who identify as GLBT. I would however also be interested in hearing from absolutely anyone however you identify yourself.

[livejournal.com profile] maryaminx: In which I rant. A lot.

Yup. Lesbians write slash. A lot of it. There are even scholarly articles about it, even though it apparently BOGGLES THE MIND of every gay man ever. Strangely, though, we seem to be left out of the debate. The straight chicks steamroll right over us with cries of "kawaii!" or "J2!!" and the gay dudes don't seem to see us.

[livejournal.com profile] gwailowrite: How Do I Know If I'm Getting It Right?

So the question was in relation to m/m romance and it was How Do I Know If I'm Getting it Right when it comes to writing gay characters?

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