Dude, where are the women in science fiction?

Hi, all.

Whew. Sorry about the delay; I’ve been crazy busy. I finished up the edits for the third in my sci fi series, The Edge of Rebellion. Cover coming soon as well as an excerpt. I’ll post them here and on my main site don’tcha know, so stay tuned.

I’m also sending the fourth in my New Mexico series, Day of the Dead, in for edits. We’re hoping to have that out by the end of the year. WOOOO! Stay tuned for a cover and excerpt from that, too.

Thanks again, everybody, for stopping by during the (blog) Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Much appreciated. I discovered some new authors, so I’m pretty stoked. Plus it was just really great to build a bit of community.

Anyway, I wanted to bring your attention to sci fi writer Kameron Hurley. By all means, read her work, but also, for the love of goddesses, read her blogs, too, because she is on point when it comes to dealing with how women are represented in fiction and science fiction. I just recently found out about what appears to be some major sexism at the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) not only through Hurley, but also through E. Catherine Tobler.

Keep reading…

Verily, I was mightily appalled at the content of the last few issues of the SFWA Bulletin. Hit that link for Tobler, above. She’ll break it down for you.

Now go read Hurley’s take on it. Scathing and brilliant. And oh, so true.

No, calling sexism out is not “censorship.” You can’t expect to say douchey things about women or insist that they’re second- or third-class citizens without somebody responding to you in a not-so-positive way. Calling you out does not mean you’re being censored. It means somebody noticed that you said something douchey. It means you have an opportunity to really look at what you’ve said and think about how that may have hurt someone. Calling you out gives you an opportunity to grow.

I’d also like to point you to another piece Hurley did along these lines — on not erasing women or people who aren’t white straight men from fiction, on challenging the “women, cattle, slaves” narrative.

Let us indeed challenge ourselves as writers to do better. Let us, as Hurley says, tell stories that don’t erase half the world.

Because when we choose to write stories, it’s not just an individual story we’re telling. It’s theirs. And yours. And ours. We all exist together. It all happens here. It’s muddy and complex and often tragic and terrifying. But ignoring half of it, and pretending there’s only one way a woman lives or has ever lived – in relation to the men that surround her – is not a single act of erasure, but a political erasure.

Populating a world with men, with male heroes, male people, and their “women cattle and slaves” is a political act. You are making a conscious choice to erase half the world.

As storytellers, there are more interesting choices we can make.
Kameron Hurley, ” ‘We Have Always Fought’: Challenging the ‘Women, Cattle and Slaves’ Narrative,” at the site A Dribble of Ink (May 20, 2013).

Go on out there and write the world. And be brave enough to point out erasure when it happens.

Happy reading, happy writing, happy Friday.

7 thoughts on “Dude, where are the women in science fiction?

  1. I know as many women who are into sci-fi as men, so you’d think someone would, at least from a business standpoint, think maybe they should introduce a few female characters with substance and depth.

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