This is part two of this week’s linkspam–part one is more general links, these are more focused.
First is a new discussion in the romance community about m/m romance about bi and trans* and female characters in books marketed as m/m romance.
- Jessewave: On-Page Het Sex in M/M Romances: Why are M/M Readers Disrespected by Some Authors? (Hey, guess what? Jessewave deleted the post! But there’s a screencap!) This is the post that kicked things off–I disagree with just about every point made in it. The language that Jessewave uses is so similar to the way I’ve heard some (by no means all) slash writers discuss female characters in their fandoms that I would bet cold hard cash that Jessewave started out in slash fandom. (h/t for screencap to Sasha L. Miller)
- Heidi Belleau: Respecting Readers: An Open Letter to Jessewave
- Aleksandr Voinov: Letters from the Front: The definition of “respect” – or I R IN UR GENREZ
- Heidi Cullinan: Thoughts I Think About Rants, False Ghettos, and Misinformation Surrounding the Gay Romance Market
- E.E. Ottoman: This Journey Without a Map: More Than Just a Preference: women and trans* characters and why we should not warn for either in m/m romance
- On Being Disrespectful
- Amelia C. Gormley: Some clarification on what is offensive about yesterday’s brouhaha
- Sunny Moraine: Get your ladybusiness out of my dudes: M/M romance and the problems therein
And last–but certainly not least–are all the links I’ve collected since Monday on sexual harassment and sexism in the science fiction community. As before, this is not intended to be a comprehensive list and I am sure I’ve missed some posts. Feel free to drop links in comments!
- S.L. Huang: A Timeline of the 2013 SFWA Controversies This is where to go to figure out what’s been going on and when it happened.
- Jenett also has a fantastic collection of links.
- This is also being discussed at MetaFilter.
- SFFragette has a website!
- Addressing (unintended) disrespect in your professional community.
- Maria Dahvana Headley: The Golden Age of Science Fiction Swimming Club: More Thoughts on SFF, Sexism, Racism and General Badness
- C.E. Murphy on SFFragette
- Shanna Germain: If you’ve been following the recent events…
- Leah R. Cutler: Talking about systemic harassment
- Tricia Sullivan: I know I got my shovel, where’s yours?
- Mary Robinette Kowal: Dear Twelve Rabid Weasels of SFWA, please shut the fuck up.
- Angela Highland: Yet more SFWA fail, and I am out of words
- Solarbird: all that sfwa fail
- itsroach: The Company That You Keep
- Claire Humphrey: Renewing my SFWA membership
- Jenny Thurman, K. Tempest Bradford, T.C. McCarthy: Man Defends Free Speech By Demanding Women Talk About What’s Important To HIM (with tweets)
- Rachel Udin: SFWA Bulletin Cover #200, an analysis
- Polenth Blake: Leaving SFWA and Updates
- Brandie Tarvin: My Letter to the SFWA Board
- Sarah Hoyt: What is Harassment? Hey! Everyone stop! Sarah Hoyt is here to explain to everyone what harassment is! I will say this for her: she’s got that Heinleinian narrative voice down perfectly in her writing (at least on her blog; I refuse to read any of her books). And then there’s this lovely sentiment: “If the screaming delicate flowers ruin my conventions, by making men stop attending, I swear to the memory of Robert A. Heinlein that they’ll live to regret it.”
- Robin Bailey: Anonymous-Fail (screencap). Posted in a public newsgroup, screencapped by myself–definitely not anonymous. Where did I leave my sharp stick?
- David Moles: Won’t someone think of the insensitives?
- Marshal Ryan Maresca: Conventions and Harassment
- Jared Axelrod: What We Talk About When We Talk About Con Harassment
- Dustin Kurtz: We live in the future—stop being a damn creep at science fiction conventions
- Doctor Science: Creepers: How To Spot One, How To Be One (the comments are pretty bad)
- David McDonald: What can Men do about Sexual Harassment at Cons?
- Mark Evanier: Saturday Afternoon Report My reaction to this: EWWWW. Be warned, it’s gross.
- John Scalzi: My New Convention Harassment Policy
And, finally, due to John Scalzi’s announcement around his convention harassment policy, Alyssa Rosenberg wrote a piece on ThinkProgress. There are a few things I noticed right off the bat. First of all, she never mentions Elise Matthesen by name. She is, in Rosenberg’s article, merely a friend of John Scalzi’s. This is reductive and completely non-representative of Matthesen’s involvement in science fiction fandom. If she wanted to talk about spending social capital, she could have started by talking about the capital Matthesen used to have her post appear on not just one but on six popular blogs.
Additionally, Rosenberg decides that the proper context for this discussion is as a part of the problem in media fandom–which, while related to science fiction fandom, is a bit of a different beast because media fandom conventions are usually larger and run by and for corporate entities and science fiction conventions are usually much smaller and run by fans for fans. While there is certainly overlap, by contextualizing Scalzi’s statement as an outgrowth of the media fandom conversation Rosenberg has in effect silenced all the women in science fiction fandom who have been talking about this.
When I raised these issues to Rosenberg on Twitter, I was told that I was setting up a “wild strawman” and that I was merely upset that she wasn’t sending traffic elsewhere–most of her post’s link go to pieces that Rosenberg wrote. The way this conversation is framed is important and I was–and am–disappointed in her reaction to criticisms of her piece. It would have cost Rosenberg so little to use Elise Matthesen’s name in her article and so little to contextualize the larger discussion around sexism in science fiction. And while I understand the being a professional blogger/journalist has its own set of constraints (the more internal links she can use, the better their “engagement”), still. It’s disingenuous and in this case reinforces the idea that something isn’t important until a man talks about it.
I am aware that Rosenberg linked to an article she wrote for Slate’s XX Factor that does provide some context; however, I have serious problems with how that article is framed as well. While Rosenberg does mention some of the women involved, the issue is again presented as a problem that John Scalzi had to deal with, not as an ongoing and pernicious issue that women who have been dealing with since science fiction fandom came into existence.
I am well aware of the importance of allies in this fight for equality and safety, however it saddens me that the only relatively mainstream news article I’ve seen on this latest issue silences and marginalizes women’s voices in favor of that of a man.
And in closing, this excellent video (via)