Dash (spacehawk) wrote in exp_horizons,

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Some Stuff About Gender And SF

This link appeared on SF Signal. It links here and here (scroll to the May 16th entry).

So if you go read that post on "Before They Were Giants" (the second link in this entry), you will see what is at first a bingo card of "ally fail" slowly turn around, and I think it ends with at least the more major points having connected with their audience. This is how I read it, anyway. Like Farah, there are "many, many points" in James' comments I could take him up on, I agree, but as the most important ones seem to have connected, I'm willing to step back and see what sorts of works he publishes in the future, and go form there.

The larger lesson in all this, as I see it, is that those who are "gatekeepers" need to be conscious of themselves as so, and what that means. To summarize one of the commenters: 1) If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem, and 2) Just because you are part of the solution, doesn't mean you're not ALSO part of the problem. Along that same axis of difference, here, gender, or along a different one (such as race or cis-sexual privilege or something else).

So if you put your anthology (or award list or whatever) together "without regard for race, creed or gender", you're actually pulling a "I don't see race/creed/gender" move -- and just because you're ignoring it doesn't mean it's not a real issue that impacts those real people (who are not like you). What's so scary about glancing over your list and seeing how many many you've asked to participate, and how many said yes, and whether that gender ratio makes any sense? What's so scary about with paying attention to these issues? (Especially when collective ignorance/denial of the importance of these issues continues to privilege some folks at the expense of others?)

Collectively, the gatekeepers feeling like they don't have to look at these issues, and their being allowed to continue to ignore these issues, keeps the systematic status quo in place.

And then we have this, ostensibly an anthology about robots (let's face it, folks, robots are kinda awesome), except that cover art... wait, that's not a robot. That's a mostly naked woman coming out of the water, or at least posing provocatively in water.

She's made "slightly metallic" in certain choice areas so we can be CERTAIN she's not human -- she's literally an object. We can take all that "women being made into objects to sell products" stuff that's been out there in the advertising world for decades one step further and make women into ACTUAL sex objects, and put that on the cover! To sell books! About robots.

(And isn't water potentially bad for robots?)

At least I got a chuckle out of the flying tentacled space vagina.

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