Wednesday, May 14, 2014

As a female genre writer....

So, it never occurred to me there was a problem. Despite the fact that I work with the public, and I know what savages people can just constantly be, I didn't realize women writers at scifi and fantasy conventions were regularly harassed, insulted, belittled, and disregarded.

It never occurred to me that fellow professional writers would do that to each other.

I know, I'm so innocent, right? I may have confessed not favoring my own gender, but it really doesn't mean I want bad things to happen to women, simply for being women. In fact, it's bullshit.

But I'm hearing about it time and again. Kameron Hurley wrote about it on the Angry Robot Books website for International Woman's Day (I didn't know we got a day! .....I missed it). The writer of The Belle Jar blog returns to it time and again, both in the context of feminism and as a female writer. Maria Dahvana Headley talks about it a lot on her blog as well, and among other things, she recently co-edited an anthology with Neil Gaiman. But this is her 2013 list, which is fabulous and impressive. This is part three in a series (overall titled "What the hell went wrong" wherein she talks about the sexism of the scifi world).

So how didn't I know?

Well, I read about some women getting manhandled, literally, at conventions. And like I said, I know the public is savages. I don't expect it, and Goddamn well don't excuse it, but I was less surprised than I could've been, perhaps. I need to tell people to get away from me at the library when I'm getting DVDs out of a locked case, I could just imagine what the people at a con's level of "acceptable behavior" might entail. But then I couldn't. I mean, I've only been to one convention, a gaming con, at a college a few years back. But I didn't see or hear any harassing behavior. I didn't see women being inappropriately touched. I was not inappropriately touched. Hell, I got second place in the D&D contest (don't ask me how you win at D&D, especially in that context. I'm still unclear).

But that's a problem. I'm saying this from the sidelines, obviously, as I'm an unpublished pony not even in this race. But obviously I feel women are serious writers too. Women are serious genre writers, if you need me to spell that out. But you shouldn't need that spelled out. Nobody should. We use bad words, and we're "allowed" to.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know this was a problem either. I wouldn't advise anyone harass me at any convention, gaming or writing. I love conventions and have one coming up this weekend. Most of the conventions I've attended (3 total) have been nothing but inviting to all people. I hope I never experience belittling by anyone and I hope I never have to see a writer harassing another writer. I'd have to say something about it.