Realms of Fantasy Women's Issue #3

[livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna: Winpunk
I don't think this really deserves an entry of its own, but it has been brought to my attention that the Powers That Be at Realms of Fantasy have been posting to Facebook and dismissing not only my entire post about the women-only issue, but all argument about it anywhere because I also mentioned email submissions. (I believe I am the only person to mention email submissions, in the context of other debates RoF might want to respond to editorially.)

[livejournal.com profile] giandujakiss: I'm not into science fiction, I know nothing about publishing, and I've never read Realms of Fantasy
People publish their friends; people solicit stories from their friends. People mention to their friends what they're looking for, and remind them of deadlines. And when the editors are male, their author-friends will be, too. So I don't really have a lot of faith in the knee-jerk response of "but there were no women to choose from!" Because it implies that reaching out to women authors is necessary to get women interested, or something, instead of necessary to counterbalance the existing outreach that is directed only to men, except that it's called networking, not male outreach.

[personal profile] jonquil: On Writing
[livejournal.com profile] jonquil: On Writing (same post as above -- different site, different comments)
Which brings me to the case of Realms of Fantasy's submission invitation. To a writer, there's a genuine difference between "girl writers", "lady writers", "women writers", and "female writers". Talking about that difference is talking about the heart of writing. It's not a digression.

[livejournal.com profile] julieandrews: Realms of Fantasy All-Women Issue
All-Women Contributors versus Women-Themed Issue: I think the latter would have gotten a better reception, if been a little trickier to pull off well. Don't you think a fantasy story about Madam Curie written by a man would be potentially feminist and well within theme? And perhaps better to feature a story like that than a story written by a woman where a boy comes of age by joining the Dragon Corps? (Not that I wouldn't want to read both.)


If you have links, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them to us at our Delicious account. Comments are screened by default.

Realms of fantasy women's issue linkspam #2

[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.



If you have any links, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them to us at our Delicious account.

For the moment we are not putting our posts behind a cut. Please let us know your thoughts on that.

Women's Issue: Realms of Fantasy #1

Gender (Realms of Fantasy Women's Issue)

Edited after first posting to remove: notes about warnings (meant to be working, not in text of Linkspam), and to add "blockquote" html to the quotes (which are from the OPs).

Jay O'Connell @ Realms of Fantasy Announcing August 2011 “Women in Fantasy” themed issue

Realms of Fantasy is planning a special themed issue for August 2011, the theme being women in fantasy. This theme will be addressed in all three departments of the magazine, i.e. nonfiction, art, and fiction. So we’re putting out the official word that we’re looking for submissions from the fiction writers out there.


[livejournal.com profile] jimhines Realms of Fantasy’s All-Women Issue

Realms of Fantasy is doing a “Women in Fantasy” issue. For this issue, they’ll only be accepting stories by female authors.

I’ve got a number of opinions on this, but for once I’m going to keep those to myself, at least to start with.


[livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna ALL GIRL ACTION

So Realms of Fantasy is having an all women-authors issue.

And how do you feel about that, brain?

Well, it's always good for women to get published. But on the other hand, I feel certain that there have been all male issues without calling them THE ALL DUDE REVUE.


[livejournal.com profile] fiction_theory Untitled

Yuki_onna on how Realms of Fantasy's "all female issue" is not so great actually... Her comment about what the cover of the issue might be did stir some thoughts in me.


[livejournal.com profile] truepenny Quarantining the Girl Cooties

I think there's a point in the process of opening a genre where the Very Special Episode Issue is a good thing, when what you're saying with it is, HEY! There are enough [women/African-Americans/GLBT writers/writers with disabilities/etc.] doing excellent work in our field to fill A WHOLE ISSUE! Maybe we should all be PAYING ATTENTION!

But, returning to the specific circumstances, that's really not where women SF writers are anymore, and hasn't been for, jeez, thirty years.


[livejournal.com profile] girliejones the latest in female presence in SF ToCs

Instead it sets up a series of assumptions - in the world where Douglas Cohen is only selecting from female submitters, he will select the best stories and put together a female-heavy ToC. But he is unable to do that under other circumstances. That says to me that the problem is not with the submissions.


[livejournal.com profile] cassiphone Realms of Fantasy: now for Ladies!

Publishing is a meritocracy. But merit is subjective, and it is fluid. Editors who read “without considering matters or gender, race or author background” and yet consistently publish work which is about the default white male gaze do need to be challenged by their audience, if that audience has an interest in diversity in fiction. Sometimes affirmative action, of whatever kind, is necessary to help editors (not necessarily male editors) find value in stories that they might have missed out on otherwise – not because they are deliberately creating a culture of sexism (or racism, etc, let’s stick to sexism for now) but because their actions and to some extent their personal taste are unconsciously supporting said culture.


[livejournal.com profile] douglascohen Well, now...

It appears I have accidentally ruffled some feathers (to put it mildly) with the announcement about the women in fantasy issue. In particular, I'm referring to how the use of "girls" and "ladies" has bothered some people...


[livejournal.com profile] catherineldf Special issues and the "Other," variously defined

Science fiction and fantasy markets are not, in fact, a level playing field, and pretending that it is otherwise is naive. The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, The Mammoth Book of Mindboggling Science Fiction, the Hugo Awards and far, far too many anthologies and magazines and awards to count are male-dominated and/or exclusively a boy's club. The most recognizable names in the genre are male. If you survey an average reader fan at an average con (i.e. not WisCon) on what they read, you get a list that generally includes Jordan, Heinlein, Asimov, maybe Stephenson, Gaiman - in short, the usual bestselling suspects.


[livejournal.com profile] copperwise The Women in Fantasy issue of Realms of Fantasy

Yesterday Doug announced that he is taking submissions for a Women in Fantasy issue.

This issue came about because of an article that I pitched for the Gallery. I wanted to do an article about the evolution of images of the feminine in fantasy art...chicks in chain mail, ethereal floaty princesses, excessive breasts and women kneeling at the feet of warriors...up to the kind of powerful and dignified women that most of us would like to see, and the artists who are doing those kinds of images of women in fantasy art.


ETA: Comments on this post are not screened.

If you would like to respond privately, is our permanent Suggestions post with all comments screened.