Links: 06/06/14

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice.

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June 6, 2014

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  1. Steve

    Wow… that MZB link…

  2. delagar

    Truesdale’s still digging, over at the Blackgate link. It’s getting really sad at this point.

    The other commenters, though, are (mostly) very impressive. It’s one of the better comment streams I’ve seen on this topic.

  3. Athena Andreadis

    @delagar: More like a toddler’s tantrum, actually.

  4. Ellen Klages

    I’m dismayed that i’m being used as Truesdale’s poster child.

    Besides, his facts are wrong.

    He did not pull my story from the slush pile. John O’Neill asked me if I’d sent him something, and I did.

    And “A Taste of Summer” was never a Nebula nominee.

  5. robin reid

    I was linked to the discussion over at BlackGate and one of the many things that leaped out at me in the multiple citations of Ellen Klage’s story was that he keeps calling her a female. I’m not sure he can use the word “woman” to save his life, but will have to check again (was reading at the site on a smartphone).

    It was kind of creepy (not surprising, sigh). And the “not me, just because you’re sexist, I’m not , and I had NO power, I just read the slush pile!” was just ridiculous.

  6. robin reid

    Did a quick cut’n’paste and used “find” to check the numbers:

    woman: 0

    women: 5 (2 from quotes, 2 involving “women and men” or “women and men”)

    female: 9

    female heroine? (1) As if there is a male heroine out there? Really?????

    female protagonists(s) (5)
    young female as the lead
    female writers

    “Taste of Summer” (Ellen Klage’s story) “written by a female”

    So he only refers to a human woman once by female (which I continually tell my students not to do because it’s sexist usage), but the “female heroine” cracked me up bigtime.

  7. Athena Andreadis

    “Female” as a noun is used for animals. For humans, the noun form is “woman” (Vocabulary101). I doubt Truesdale is unaware of this – it’s yet another nose-thumbing gambit.

  8. Cecily Kane


    Well, I tried. He's not operating in good faith, that much is clear.

  9. kate

    This is quite the collection of links, and I have now gone down several rabbit holes. (But the Nussbaum link has no link.)

    • Natalie Luhrs

      @kate: Nussbaum link should be fixed now!

      @Jonathon: He’s wrong because he’s engaging in a false equivalency w/r/t romance and he’s subscribing to a very basic definition of sexism that doesn’t take structural inequality and power imbalance into account. Sure, romance may be mainly written by women for women (this is a big generalization), but it also gets very little respect in the mainstream for that very same reason.

  10. Jonathon Side

    That Matthew Lane guy at Black Gate is making my head hurt. I know he’s wrong, I just can’t articulate it well enough that I can hope he’ll shut up. Is he a known troll or something?

  11. Jonathon Side


    Ah, thank you! I thought it was that, but I wasn’t confident in my understanding.

    And I thought if I suggested that romance was a disrespected genre, I might be making assumptions of my own.

    Thanks again!

  12. jennygadget


    Romance isn’t just treated disrespectfully by individuals, there are even structural inequalities. It’s hardly the equivalent of disallowing gay marriage or having separate schools, but it’s worth noting that the bestseller lists would be dominated by romance novels – if it weren’t for the fact that the newspapers and other organizations that create them deliberately skew the results. There are actual weighted formulas that exist to put romance novels at a disadvantage on such lists.

    (at least, this was the case at one point, I’m assuming it still happens)


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