I agree with you there. I was a bit dismayed not to see OCTAVIA BUTLER included at all in that anthology. She is, in my opinion, one of the greatest SF writers of all time.
Indeed! That’s a major exclusion.
The longer podcast might include a discussion on her and other women of color, but the article doesn’t. And often times, white women are let into the club well before people of color of whatever gender…
What a concept! Looking for ways to include, rather than exclude? Why, it’s like you actually care about real equality or something.
(/s for anyone who didn’t read the entire conversation)
No, @Mindysan33 is properly employing an intersectional view on racial and gendered hegemonies in science fiction (as opposed to the intersectional view, for example Samuel DeLany could make a similar critique about erasure of explicitly queer science fiction authors and works intersected with race and gender).
I hope Mindysan33 will forgive me for jumping to her defense thusly.
Critical (seminal) reading: Crenshaw, K. (1989). Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics. University of Chicago Legal Forum , (1), 139–167.
Geeky Aside: I just landed on Murs yesterday for the first time. Dude was rockin’ an intersectional lens on the contributions of the Beastie Boys to hip-hop, it’s history and legacy (especially at the end). That said, he didn’t include a gendered dimension in his analysis. Back to women in SciFi!
That’s got “Problematic Art” emblazoned all over it.
I was just noticing today that the only race tag (races actually) on Science Fiction & Fantasy StackExchange is explicitly only about non-human races.
Written by a Sci-Fi writer to complain about just this.
Written in the Eighties, yet depressingly, true in every decade since.
And it’s one of the writers mentioned in the article, too. I’ll have to check this out, so thanks for the link.
Look at the blowback N.K Jemisin has had to deal with just within the last few years. We have got a long way to go, even now. I guarantee you, the entire system markets Myke Cole bigger than it does Nnedi Okorafor. Even now, POC authors may use white-sounding names or resort to initials to be more marketable.
That marketing includes marketing to school curriculums from kindergarten through university. Even Mary Shelley wouldn’t be Mary Shelley, without the Percy Bysshe connection. Even now, people argue that much of Frankenstein was his work. And if the wealthy, white woman who helped kick the ass of an entire genre into gear is still actively being erased, it doesn’t take much to imagine what would happen with a less-famous or more “difficult” name.
It reads like a book written yesterday, because it’s about the same nonsense.
It should be a canon book on canons.
And this isn’t something that impacts just authors, either… I came across this today with regard to actors and the all important convention circuit for people who work in speculative fiction films/TV shows:
I like this idea! Canon doesn’t just happen, it’s the result of choices gatekeepers make.
You mean Alice Mary Norton who used a male pen name back in tbe Earlies until.her reputation and sales were established?
I really want us to get to a point where we admit that women (and specifically women creators) existed in every cultural era.
I love when people write an article highlighting suppressed and forgotten histories. But when I think that every decade also had some version of the “Make way for the women, boys, they’ve just discovered Rock’n’Roll” type of article, I feel bad for the recurrent amnesia that seems to re-set with each generation.
I think what this article is really trying to get at is that the amnesia is not just forgotten, but a purposefully erasure… like declaring elvis started rock, when Sister Rosetta Tharpe was doing that much earlier.
This is why it’s a bad idea to have mostly white men write history more largely, because they have both unintentional and intentional blindspots when it comes to writing what happened in the past.
Amnesia’s just what it feels like to me, after the exclusions. An intended and fostered amnesia.
Yes, yes, this!
I want humanity to get to a point where every group matters, for real.
I’ve spent the last half-century observing the historical/cultural/political awareness of college-age people. You don’t have to encourage amnesia or ignorance or presentism–as far as I can tell, it’s as natural as horniness in that population. And it’s also fairly difficult to overcome. They say that the past is a different country. What they leave out is that it’s apparently only a couple blocks away.
The problem though, is that it’s never made clear to many of them why history matters. Couple that with attempts to marginalize specific groups from the historical narrative (either by only focusing on people who have power - historically white men) or by setting up sub-categories of history (women’s history, African American history, etc) that is often ignored HS history classes, and you get this very problem of historical erasures. These are due to young people not giving a shit (because it’s clear to me that they often do care), it’s because there is an attitude that young people don’t natural want to learn, so education comes to be seen as something that is antagonistic, instead of something that’s valuable and relevant to their lives. They really aren’t to blame for the failures of the American education system.