A few things before we start. I am a woman. In case it hasn't been made blatantly obvious, I am a feminist. I am also a writer of speculative fiction. Apparently, I'm ruining that genre.
I make no apologies for the profanities that will be liberally sprinkled throughout this post. If you have an issue with my cussing, stop reading now. Swear words are fucking everywhere today.
Ugh! I am so sick of having to defend my gender against idiocy. I'm sick to death of it! I'll still do it, because fuck you if you think I'm going to roll over quietly about this shit. And fuck you if you think I won't try my hardest to make the world better for any hypothetical children I might one day have.
For those of you who don't know, there seems to be a backlash against women, people of colour and anyone from the LGBTQ community watching, writing, writing about or participating in any way shape or form in speculative fiction; especially science fiction. You think I'm making it up for feminist shits and giggles? I'm not.
Want to educate yourself on the backlash? Read THIS article (I refuse to drive traffic to this site, so I acquired a great link from donotlink.com. You'll get the article. They'll get nothing). If your blood does not boil before the first paragraph is done, you're part of the problem. Too lazy to read the article? Here let me provide you with its opening paragraph:
Science fiction is a very male form of fiction. Considerably more men than women are interested in reading and watching science fiction. This is no surprise. Science fiction traditionally is about men doing things, inventing new technologies, exploring new worlds, making new scientific discoveries, terraforming planets, etc. Many men working in the fields of science, engineering, and technology have cited science fiction (such as the original Star Trek) for inspiring them when they were boys to establish careers in these fields.
Science Fiction, don't you know, is about men reading about men doing important things. What were the women doing? Who cares! It's about men being important. Do you want to know what the next sentence is? Tough. You're going to:
The current generation of boys will not have this inspiration from science fiction, at least not from science fiction on television and in movies.
That’s because there is an undeclared war on real science fiction on TV and in movies.
Fuck. Just... fuck.
The moronic writer goes on to bemoan the "feminisation" of SyFy, the science fiction channel, starting with the remake of Battlestar Galatica. How dare they make Starbuck (a completely kick-arse) female! The nerve! It ruined everything. Apparently. The author also complains that "three gay characters will be added to various shows on SyFy." Oh noes! Diversity! Whatever will the manly men watch now?
Oh, and this guy's closing is stellar (pun definitely intended. See how I'm ruining the genre. See?):
As we know, science fiction has inspired boys to pursue careers in science, engineering, and technology as grown men. With women killing science fiction on television, the current generation of boys won’t have this opportunity to be inspired to work in these fields. There is still a great deal of written science fiction that is real science fiction, so all is not lost. However, many boys who would have gone on to make scientific discoveries and invent new technologies will not do so since they will never be inspired by science fiction as boys.
Not only is that blatant bullshit: men will always be represented, it's just now that young girls will get to see women being badass, and now they can be inspired as well. Not instead of. As well.
You see, readers. Real science fiction is by men, about men and for men. Nothing else is real science fiction.
- Mary Shelley
- Ursual K. Le Guin
- Margaret Atwood
- Octavia E. Butler
- James Tiptree, Jr.
- P.D. James
- Marion Zimmer Bradley
- Elizabeth Moon
- C.S. Friedman
- Kate Baker
- Eileen Gunn
- Lisa Tuttle
- Ottawa's own Marie Bilodeau
- And every woman who wrote under a male pseudonym for fear of being ignored because of their gender.
It's Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein.
Oh, this article isn't the only piece out there about how terrible it is that speculative fiction is having these women, and people of colour and queers all over it; watching it, reading it, writing it, talking about it. There are reams of articles by scared arseholes who believe that speculative fiction is only "real" if it's written by heterosexual white men, for an audience of heterosexual white men.
There has been a fairly recent controversy with the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, in which certain members bemoaned women and people of colour daring to be involved in the porcelain manliness that is speculative fiction. You can read a timeline of that gem HERE. This is not a donotlink.com link, as I find it a good place to send traffic.
That controversy started in 2013, and ending (as far as we know) in March of last year. Twenty-fucking-fourteen, people!
Here's the truth: Women, people of colour and all kinds of folks from all over the LGBTQ spectrum have been reading and writing science fiction, and speculative fiction, for as long as those straight white men have. Many of us absolutely adore the genre(s). A goodly number of us are damned good at writing it too, and have been rightly praised and awarded.
All this complaining these same straight white men are doing is merely because they've suddenly noticed that all the seats at their table they thought were empty - those millions of seats - are starting to be filled with people who are not like them. Suddenly, the're not as special as they once thought they were.
They were never special; we just let them think that because it was easier (we've always been there, straight white men)... until it wasn't.
There really isn't a good reason for all the idiocy being thrown at women, at people of colour and at folk in the LGBTQ community. Their inclusion in speculative fiction narratives, and stories written from their vastly different experiences are not ruining speculative fiction; which was always, if I may be so bold to assert, about asking questions, speculating, seeing things from new angles, dissecting the world in which we live in an effort to reveal truth.
How the fuck is that truth supposed to be revealed if we only ever get information from one, extremely narrow viewpoint? Quick answer: it fucking doesn't.
Then there is the ridiculous insistence that suddenly with all these other non-male, none-white, non-straight authors, there is less room for straight while male authors.
The publishing world is still skewed in favour of straight white men. They still have the edge. What's more, new readers are being generated all the damned time. They have a limitless audience. The best analogy is this: there is a continual supply of ice cream; a never ending supply, and these fuckers have been hoarding it all for themselves. And then someone not like them - a woman, a person of colour, a queer - steps up and takes some - not much, mind.. Just some - and they throw a fucking temper tantrum... even though there is more ice cream than they could ever possibly hope to consume in their entire lifetimes.
Right, I'm off to forget about the giant man-babies soiling my precious genre.