I’m on a closed writers group on Facebook for science fiction authors. A question was asked and I’d like to discuss it here.
Why are racial slurs taboo but not gender slurs?
This has bothered me since I was young. I grew up in a house full of women, Italian women at that, and I have never understood why women were treated so much different than men. I know there are differences in the genders, they are quite obvious, but my mother and sisters are some off the strongest human beings I know, both emotionally and physically.
Moving into the science fiction arena. Growing up I knew girls who liked sci-fi. They had to keep this interest hidden because it wasn’t “proper” for them to like such a boy thing. Some of the best science fiction writers were women, who had to use a mans name, because they weren’t taken serious. The sad thing is, this is still happening today.
A perfect example is Gamergate. How dare a women want to like video games and develop them!!! How dare they step into the “boys” realm! They must be punished! Let’s rape them and then slit their throats!!
Those words, and many more disgusting things, were actually said to women because they had the temerity to become gamers. Why, in 2016, do we still feel this way? Why must everything be an us or them situation? I truly do not understand this.
I’ve been lucky enough to get to work with some of the best science fiction writers out there and they are women. I’ve talked about The Collective Sci-fi with you enough so you know about it. What you may not know is that three of the fourteen Scribes are women, and I honesty wish that percentage were higher.
One of the most vocal drivers of the group is Buffy Naillon. She is an awesome person and an unbelievably talented author. Another is Saffron Bryant. Not only is she INCREDIBLY smart, she wrote a kick ass version of Snow White for the Collective. The last in our group is Pav Tyler. She doesn’t speak a lot, but when she does, you better damn well listen.
These three women are so talented and love the science fiction genre, but I would bet that all three have been called some slur because they are a woman in a “mans” world. Their talent doesn’t matter to some people, the fact that they have boobs does. This sickens me in a way I can not describe.
One of the things that I find incredible is that the number of likes on my Facebook author page is evenly distributed between men and women. Things are changing for women, but not fast enough, especially in the world of science fiction. Sci-fi has always been on the leading edge of societal evolution, yet when it comes to women being equal, it has been a slow push.
It’s time to grow up folks, women are in this arena and it is much better because of it. Put your prejudices aside, all of them, and watch what can happen in this world, and all the ones we have yet to explore. If you won’t read a sci-fi book because a woman wrote it, sit down and really give your life a cleaning.
To the women in my life, thank you. You are the ones who got me interested in these strange new worlds. You are the ones who stand beside me as I travel this road called authorship. You are the ones who have kept me strong.