Women in Sci-Fi

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.

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About

Hi, My name is Jamie Dodge. I am a full time writer and a full time caregiver. I generally write science fiction, but will dabble in almost anything, I can't write romance to save my life. I was born and raised in Central Florida into a large Italian family. The youngest by four years I had the advantage of being taught to read by the time I was 3. I don't think a day had gone by since then, where I haven't had a book in my hands at some point. One day I figured I would try my hand at it, so I wrote my first novel, The Forgotten Edge. I always get asked why I use the profile picture I do. I wish I could tell you, but I can't. It is a promise I made a few years ago, and I will honor it until I am given permission not to. That's it. That's me. I hope you enjoy my ramblings about my writing process and the other things that I find interesting.

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2 comments on “Women in Sci-Fi
  1. Thank you for this. I have kept this blog tab open all day with its message running in the back of my head. It is reasoned and personal. It calls no names (coming closest with “grow up” and even then it’s directed in a friendly, encouraging way to “folks”. At least, that’s how it comes across to me.

    I appreciate that you don’t show an “I can fix things for the little ladies” attitude. It seems to be more like, “If we shovel the snow off the ramp instead of the steps, everybody can go in from the cold sooner”. (‘Snow’ is a metaphor here.)

    One thing women are doing for themselves is continuing to write. And in many cases, they are working together to bring their stories out in anthologies. female authors are well represented in last fall’s UnCommon Bodies and the same will be true with the upcoming UnCommon Origins anthology. Mosaics: A Collection of Independent Women will have short fiction, flash fiction, poetry, essays, and art, with profits donated to the Pixel Project to end Violence Against Women. The Women in Fantasy StoryBundle benefits Janis Ian’s Pearl Foundation. Pearl helps returning students financially.

    Women also have stories in Tails of the Apocalypse, with revenue going to Pets for Vets, and The Immortality Chronicles with its charity, First Book. All of this shows that male and female writers can get along famously if the objective is to write well and help those in need.

    However, there does seem to be a tendency for some male writers to resort to derogatory language when presented with women’s receiving positive attention in a field they—however bizarrely—consider their own. When women write about sex, they’re called sluts. When women write too well, the drive-by 1-star “reviews” show up. Those male writers appear not to consider that such behavior is destructive to themselves (some readers will choose to avoid their works) and, possibly, the varied offerings of all fantasy writers. Discouraging women writers is not a way to enrich the genre … and it obviously isn’t working to try to do so!

    Thanks, Jamie. I’ve had my say and can now close the tab and go back to editing some speculative fiction.

    Liked by 2 people

    • dodge7505 says:

      Thanks Deanne. It took everything in me not to use foul language and insults. We are supposed to be in this, life, together and I will never understand the attitude some men display. Thankfully, they are fading into the minority, but this is still a very important topic and I plan on covering it again in the future.

      Liked by 1 person

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