The Great Geek Sexism Debate
This post from io9 editor Annalee Newitz presents the rare opportunity to post something that addresses all three of my Simsian Review themes. In it, she presents episodes in three recent, major geek cons where gender disparities in publishing, atheism, and hacking (respectively) were on display.
Sexism in geek culture presents an interesting challenge. Somehow, geeks have made headway in moving from a denigrated position to one of power quite easily, at least compared to attempts to undermine male hegemony and obstinacy in any number of fields. Among geeks, I often find myself having to point out inappropriate comments or actions but I notice less resistance than with non-geeks. Of course, this amounts to anecdotal, and thus useless, evidence. Still, sexism among geeks is shocking in a way that it is not among business entrepreneurs. Perhaps this is just cognitive bias, as I obviously fit more easily into the former camp rather than the latter. History is replete with disadvantaged groups simultaneously seeking equality and instances of groups fighting each other as they also fight against existing power are always discouraging. I am thinking primarily of disparate worker rights groups fighting each other at the same time that they fight for extended rights and abolitionists and suffragettes at odd with one another. This is hardly the topic being addressed by Ms. Newitz, but I can’t help but feel disheartened when I see a group left out of the progress of a larger set to which they belong.
All of that said, please click-through and read.
Ursula K. Le Guin has been awarded the Eaton Lifetime Achievement Award
I could spend a great deal of time discussing how significant this is both long the lines of gender studies and literary science fiction, but in 2012 I feel that would be disrespectful. Anyone who has not yet acknowledged Le Guin’s prowess and unique contribution to SF and Fantasy literature is not likely to ever do so.
Le Guin has strengthened SF and Fantasy immeasurably and I look forward to hearing what she has to say about this recognition.
What the New Yorker and Tin House science fiction issues tell us about the state of SF
io9 has a great review of the Tin House science issue and The New Yorker science fiction issue. I can’t wait to get my copy of the latter, though the review and table of contents have already given me minor reasons to pause and accept that I cannot be really satisfied.
Video: The Science Fiction Issue : The New Yorker
Sadly, I cannot embed the video. Needless to say, I’ll be reading this New Yorker cover to cover.
I have to get some work done, so I’ve ducked out of the third session in favor of working from the hotel.
I have some pics that will follow but for now I want to comment briefly on the fact that, while the conference was probably misrepresented–and I knew this–as a science/science fiction/theology intersection, so far the only panels I’ve gotten to see were my own (which was interesting) and another about how to use SF to teach the Bible.
Using SF as a pedagogical tool is certainly worthwhile, but it requires a certain amount of knowledge of the field as a whole, not simply as it pertains to literature. Just as I would not ignore religious writers and theories, neither should the religious pretend that the secular world is unable to produce worthwhile results. Many people there got this point. Sadly, those that don’t make it difficult to handle.