Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

Women And British Science Fiction Redux

with 3 comments

This is an attempt by me to concisely set out the thoughts I have articulated in this long thread about the lack of women in British SF:

  • I read science fiction, I write about science fiction, I take a strong interest in it as a form of literature. I therefore take a particular interest in wider issues – such as sexism – when they relate directly to the genre.
  • It is a fact that there are very few women currently publishing science fiction in the UK. It also seems clear that the number of women publishing SF is decreasing.
  • The fact that this gender disparity exists in SF does not mean it doesn’t also exist in other spheres. Equally, its existence in other spheres doesn’t mean that I can’t focus my attention on its existence in science fiction.
  • Gender inequality in SF matters to me because of justice. I don’t want to support institutionally sexist organisations and structures.
  • Gender inequality in SF matters to me because of art. I don’t want to read the same type of book by the same type of person.
  • Diversity is always inherently a good thing.
  • I am not in favour of quotas. I am in favour of seeking to increase participation from under-represented groups. (When people raise the issue of quotas, they are almost always raising a strawman and trying to disrupt the conversation.)
  • The issues underlying the gender disparity in British SF are likely to be systemic and outside of the immediate control of individuals. But as individuals we can all make sure we are aware of the issues and assert pressure where possible.

This conversation will continue at Torque Control.

Written by Martin

12 October 2010 at 12:11

Posted in sf

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3 Responses

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  1. [...] What Martin said. But. Here’s my own record on reading female science fiction writers during the last ten years (2001-2010): [...]

  2. [...] haven’t shaped the contemporary field as much as their male counterparts. Martin Lewis has an excellent summary of his thoughts from the discussion here. And Karen Burnham has posted on the spin-off point of the [...]

  3. [...] 6 comments Remember these fine words? Well, I never really followed up on them. Niall Harrison’s focus week on women in SF came [...]


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