The secret history of science fiction's women writers: The Future is Female!


Originally published at:


This is an important collection and history of (some) women in science fiction. However, “The future is female” is a really problematic slogan. It elides sex and gender,
which means it leaves out trans women, intersex folks, gender queers, and non-binary folks. I can’t get behind it as a feminist slogan because it isn’t intersectional. If anyone has ideas to the contrary, I’d love to hear them.


Future is Female!

My Dear Wife just said the very same thing.


The future is feminine? The future is lady-centric? The future is grrrrllllllrific… I don’t know, but I think you got a good point there.


Well, it is   Die Zukunft   where I’m from.


The Future is ≆Female!


We’ll be happy if the future is even human. Might be AI:s taking over writing the stories.

P.S. In the list of what was left out you forgot “men”. Boring heterosexual males still exist.


As women? Because that was @Rita_Lynn’s entire point - that the category of woman includes more than just cisgendered women, which she argues that “female” implies.

Do you really need to have men included in the category of WOMEN to make you not feel threatened?


I think you misunderstand. Men haven’t been forgotten. Their absence is very much on purpose.



And now, onto congress!


Congress, or “congress”? Neither need involve men.

Right, that’s done. Back to the thread!

I favour “Future is feminine”; wide enough to cover all the bases and not so unwieldy it can’t be used easily. I’m not a big fan of overlong acronyms or very specific titles that seem to alienate by accident. YMMV as ever, but the word Feminine doesn’t mean weak to me, it means power, compassion, empathy, inclusiveness, love, positivity… I could go on :slightly_smiling_face:


If the internets are any indication of long-term trends then maybe it should be “the future is feline.”


Hey, I’m okay with this. And I’m supposedly not the target demographic: a middle aged guy (that is, heterosexual male who sometimes is a poster boy of all cliches) who is mostly European in heritage. But these are good stories, and that—that—is what matters. And these are writers who were ignored for far too long.

I hope to live to see when gender truly becomes unimportant, where the only thing writers are judged by is their prose. Or if gender is an issue, it’s because the artist revels in their gender. Something like that.


Judy always said that if you were a woman at a convention, and assumed to be some man’s arm-candy (probably Fred Pohl in her case), you’d overhear a lot more than they thought you were overhearing. :wink:



But I think that they don’t just want women to read them, they want any sci-fi fan to read them. That’s the point.


Of course it is, and that was my point. When you say that the future belongs to a certain group it is intended to polarize, and that isn’t pretty no matter what group you mention. The future is supposed to belong to everyone.


Pretty sure there’s already been a fair number of sci-fi stories about heterosexual men.


And another one miss the point. Nothing wrong with female science fiction writers or stories about women. Some of those listed authors are great, others a bit too old for me to have come across. I suppose you could dismiss the phrase “The future is female” as click bait, but it is still harmful to polarize like that.


It’s only “polarizing” in the sense that it’s likely to piss off the Sad Puppies crowd.

One would almost need to have almost incel-levels of insecurity to think that the well-being or media representation straight dudes is in any way under threat, either now or in the foreseeable future.


Who said it is?