Maura McHugh @ Splinister: SFX responds: a long post
To whom it may concern,
I purchased the horror edition of SFX magazine at the weekend since I'm a fan of horror literature and media, and also write in the genre.
I was surprised at the lack of representation of women in the articles in the magazine.
In particular I was stunned by the "Horror's Hidden Treasures" piece. You found the time to query 34 men for their opinions, but neglected to ask even one woman to recommend an under-rated gem in the horror field.
Can you explain how this occurred?
nwhyte: Poking my nose in
I've been following the activism of Maura McHugh / splinister with interest and sympathy, but I think I now need to de-lurk and do so in practice - sparked by her correspondence with SFX here (a long read but worth it).
In a sense I am poking my nose in here, because I have bought perhaps two issues of SFX in the last ten years and am not really a horror fan; I have heard of very few of the men and women creative artists mentioned in the discussion. On the other hand I am a man who enjoys the genre (defined at its widest); and I would like to be counted as someone who is outraged at this sort of sexism in one of the genre's leading publications. I was also dismayed by several rhetorical deficiencies in Ian Berriman's response to Maura McHugh, sufficiently so to catalogue them below the cut.
Lynda E. Rucker @ in the pines: Yes, Girls Dig Horror, Too
There are lots and lots of women who do work in the horror genre in some capacity or another, and before we were creators, we were fans. We still are fans. And we still hear this kind of thing a lot, whether from people anxious to save us from our own collusion in a genre often seen as misogynistic to those fine specimens of manhood hailing from what I think of as the smelly boy’s locker room of horror who smugly declare that they "don't read women writers" because "they just aren't dark enough"!
Maura McHugh @ Splinister: dear Alexandra
Sure, we can all say it's an unconscious bias, but I'm at the point now where I find it inexcusable. Too many people have pointed it out. There have been conferences, essays, articles, and events about this. Too often we pat people on the back and say a variation on "It's not your fault, it's society's conditioning", and then nothing changes because they go away thinking "well, that's just how it is". Both the anonymous women Ian Berriman quoted to support the SFX horror edition said "it's not your fault," and one said "you're just reflecting the industry".
cassiphone: (Invisible) Women in Horror
You could create a bingo card from his responses: they meant to include women, they thought about it, they intended to, but one article and two email correspondences went astray, and besides, there aren’t that many women in horror anyway, and if there are any, they don’t send their books to SFX, and they don’t make enough films, and when women do make horror it’s not really horror, and look, he has two anonymous female friends who confirm it’s not his fault, he meant well…
Maura McHugh @ Splinister: women in horror: a summary of recent posts
It's time for a summary of the reaction across the Internet to my recent posts about the lack of representation of women in the SFX horror edition.
bites_the_sun: [Untitled; criticizes SFX's reaction to McHugh's comments]
I don't think Ian Berriman is some horrendous sexist pig conspiring to keep women disenfranchaised in horror or indeed, anywhere else. I think - simply by dint of his reply rather than his horror issue - he's intellectually lazy and not quite mature enough to cope with serious criticism or try to examine what privilege he has as a man. That, sadly, makes him typical rather than exceptional. The response on the SFX boards is just as wearisome and typical, if not more so - a quick descent into jabs at 'whining women' and 'PC gone mad!' and so on.
All blockquotes are pullquotes from the original post. Any text in square brackets [ TEXT ] is entered by a linkspam mod.
As requested by readers of the community, linkspam posts of six or more links with blockquotes will be cut for length.
Comments are screened by default, but will be unscreened as long as they are not derailing, abusive or off-topic. If you have thoughts on the content of one of our links, please comment there and not here. Please let us know if you would prefer your comment to remain screened.
You can post further links in the comments to this post or send them to our Delicious account.
Additionally, comments/suggestions/feedback can be left at our feedback post.