manifesta: (Rory/Logan Snuggle)
Working steadily on part 2 of the romance series, but it's slow-going. There are a lot of empowering and disempowering characteristics in romance, and for every topic I elaborate on, there are even more details within that topic that I feel like I need to talk about, and on it goes. I might have a beta reader look over it; if anyone's interested, especially if you have some familiarity with LGBTQ characters and/or kink/BDSM in fiction, do let me know! (Short summary: there seems to be more LGBTQ characters and kink in erotica than there is in romance, and I think that says alotalotalot about how we perceive non-hetero/vanilla/etc. sexualities, as well as the current state of the industry, but I'm not as familiar with erotica and I'm trying to avoid making assumptions. Any thoughts would be appreciated.)


Malinda Lo (author of Ash) wrote a 5-part series of blog posts on avoiding LGBTQ stereotypes when writing YA fiction.
"In YA fiction today I often encounter secondary characters who are LGBTQ. This is a great development; it means that LGBTQ people are increasingly part of the story. Nina LaCour’s hold still has a particularly awesome secondary queer character in it.

"However, I also find the most stereotyping in secondary characters. I think this is because a secondary character, whether he’s a supporting character or simply a walk-on one, has less space on the page than a main character." #

From the comments:
"Too often we still see the coming out story ignore that most teens today not only have greater familiarity with queer people and issues, and have seen those issues debated in real life and on TV, in the news, etc., but many have already met someone they at least perceive to be queer and have greater access to support and queer culture. And so when someone comes out in their world, or they themselves acknowledge they might be/are queer, it is from a different place and context then it was even ten years ago, and certainly than it was fifteen or more years ago. And the coming out stories written about them need to take these changed realities into account." #

 

manifesta: (Battle Eyeliner)

A new SF anthology is coming out titled "Before They Were Giants." Of the 15 contributing authors, only 1 is a woman.

[livejournal.com profile] cassiphone's periodic table of SF women:

"One of the most frustrating responses I heard to the ‘Before they were Giants’ discussion, itself the latest in a long line of TOC rows, was the kneejerk “but there just aren’t as many women who are giants in the field.”

"[...] Because of course there were women. And it’s time to stop and think about the fact that the majority of authors considered “giants” in the history of field are male. Is it really because their books were better? Because what they were saying was more important? Because more people were talking about them, critiquing them, being influenced by them? Are we absolutely certain that none of those things could have been affected by societal pressures other than the pure “quality” of the text?"
The editor of the anthology responded here. (Also indicates that nonwhite and LGBTQ authors were not considered.)

[livejournal.com profile] strangedave on the lack of female representation in SF anthologies. Apparently and a few others have been criticized for criticizing the lack of diversity.
"And we are still having this conversation in the SF field after at least 35 years. If just politely helping people become aware of the issue worked, we wouldn't still be talking about it. And yet, it keeps happening, again and again. People are still putting together anthologies without even thinking about gender as an issue — and the only way to make them think about the issue is to make sure it isn't thought of as just a nicety, just another thing to try and improve that fellow editors will give you hints about (like font choice, or cover layout), but rather as something that is a major mistake if you get it wrong, something that will attract not mild criticism but anger. Anger is entirely appropriate. No one should expect not to get publicly called on their big mistakes, rather we should all endeavour not to make them, and learn to handle them gracefully when we do (as, to his credit, Sutter largely has)."

When fail is put on the interwebs, I consider it free game. If it's relatively isolated incident that doesn't impact a ton of people, I might contact the author(s) privately or on their own site and address the issue there. But this is an anthology that we're talking about; it's going to be on physical bookshelves and it's going to impact people who will never run across the discussions that are happening right now on the internet. That anthology is not going to come with a disclaimer that apologizes for its silencing of nonwhite, LGBTQ, and female SF writers. And so if the only option availiable is to discuss its inherent privilege all over the internet, then that's what I intend to do.

For additional reading: A partial podcast transcript about the debacle.

manifesta: (Kahlan)

Tamora Pierce speaks out on sexual harassment and rape in the military:
 

"Representative Jane Harman of California visited a Veterans' Administration hospital, where she was told by doctors that 41 percent of the women veterans seen there were victims of sexual assault during their time of active duty. Harman went on to say, "We have an epidemic here ... Women serving in the U.S. military today are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq."

[...] And it's not just a woman's issue--it's a GLBT issue, and a man's issue. Why has the military been allowed to get away with encouraging this behavior, even if it's only to turn a blind eye? Why are they not educating about this problem at the boot camp level, and the officer training level? Are they, and no one is mentioning it? "It's getting better" isn't good enough; we shouldn't have "friendly rape" as part of the issues leading to PTSD (as compared to "friendly fire," when one of our people is killed by our own troops or artillery)."
One of the many reasons why I love Tamora Pierce.

Related: a post on the reality of women in the military:
"11% of women have experienced rape. 1.2% of men have experienced rape. These are only reported numbers. The Veterans service exit polls show that 28% of all female service members were raped during their time in service. Reports must be made to chaplains, predominantly male chaplains, and in order for an investigation to be launched against the attacker the victim must make a public statement. Yet while the investigation goes on the victim must remain at their post, interacting every day with their attacker, who may be their superior in their job, and his "buddies". The military's answer to this problem is to create a method for women to report rape and get help anonymously, but there can still be no investigation without a public statement."