One of the key points of Joanna Russ’ How to Suppress Women’s Writing which really struck a chord with us at Galactic Suburbia was the way that female authors are so often assumed to have written a single book, with the rest of her backlist quietly ignored. (yes, this sometimes happens to male authors too, but not to the same massive degree) Vintage Classics are duly releasing 14 of the novels written by Stella Gibbons, who is famous for writing Cold Comfort Farm. I’d never heard of these, and Westwood has already leaped on to my to read list.
Holly Black has added to the ‘Mary Sue does not mean what you think it means’ discussion with a great post: Ladies, Ladies, Ladies. Her driving point is that a Mary Sue was a character inserted into someone else’s canon, and every time you stick that label on a female protagonist, you’re basically saying that she doesn’t belong in her own story. It’s also horrible how often wish fulfilment is ascribed to female authors (she wants to be her oh so perfect heroine, she wants to shag/marry her amazing hero) because that takes so much away from the perception of her as a writer.
She wrote it, but look what (who) she wrote about.
Ah, Joanna Russ. If only there was a week where quoting you was inappropriate.
Helen Razer at the Age interviews Karen Healey and others about this weekend’s female superhero conference at Monash. Jealous!!
Great post at Feministe about the invisible women at tech conferences, and arguments people make against bothering to include female speakers.
Such-heights has written a substantial post looking at how both of the modern Doctor Who showrunners have handled such issues as gender, disability and race – what I like about it especially is that she isn’t trying to make RTD out as a hero at Moffat’s expense or vice versa. Shockingly, she acknowledges the successes and failings of both! Ditto, she looks at how the various female companions have been handled, without an agenda about how much she hates or loves them.
Bitch Magazine has been running a fabulous series of blog posts by Jess McCabe about women in detective fiction, Murder She Blogged. They’re all good, but my favourites are: Detectives in Distress, Class and Fashion in Miss Marple, and the First Female Detectives.
At Tiger Beatdown, What Do You Mean When You Say You Want Strong Female Characters?
Podcast of The Week: Locus presents Karen Burnham and Karen Lord in Conversation. Two intelligent women compare their science backgrounds and discuss, among other things, communication and linguisitcs, Greg Egan, Ursula K Le Guin, the double standards involved in ‘hard’ vs. ‘soft’ SF, & how silly it is to try to write ‘pure’ science fiction without social structures, politics and personality being relevant, because the actual practice of science is hugely influenced by those things.
This vid is for Zeft! And because you can never have too much Joanna Lumley, or Victoria Wood, or in fact just about every working comedian in the UK.
“You can’t talk now, the music has started!”
“But we haven’t finished the scene yet…”
“You’ll soon get used to our ways.”
[does in fact contain many, many spoilers for season one]