John Scalzi announced the results of the Carl Brandon Society pledge matching effort, launched by him in response to the huge collection of SFWA fails as of late, particularly those of white supremacist Thomas Beale. There’s still opportunity to be involved, should you be so moved.

Also, in a guest post over at Here Be Magic, Angela Highland calls on fathers to cut some of the bullshit and lead by example here.

She’s talking specifically about the kind of dumps SF readers take on romance-genre readers, but there’s a more general point to be made about ingrained and enduring sexism issues in SF, gaming, film, software, and, hell, life in general. Even that part of “men’s rights” activism that isn’t flat out about hating women comes straight out of sexism.

It all falls out of the the persistent devaluation of anything women do. Women are fond of Skyrim? Suddenly Skyrim is “a casual game” (see above), and, “casual games” (like, oh, Pac-Man) aren’t “real games,” all because girl cooties. Software development was a low-paid clerical job; all the early programmers were women. Then men moved in, it became valuable and highly-paid, and women aren’t “real” developers and don’t “really” know tech*.

And while that’s ingrained into women pretty well too – millennia of this sort of thing will do that – it’s made worse by and defended most fiercely by men. A lot of the recent upswing in both degree and fury is caused by reaction against progress, but progress is not guaranteed.

So, yeah. Frankly, a lot of fathers have a lot of stepping up to do. Not just in genre; in general.


*: From real-life stories: A few of of us were sitting around at Norwescon, talking about music software. I’m asked whether someone could run some piece of software – I think Ardour – on their Windows machine, and I said no, and started talking about cross-platform binary executable (compiled programme) compatibility issues, saying it’s difficult tho’ occasionally doable, and this guy sitting over from us leans over and tells me that I’m wrong, binaries aren’t platform-specific, they work on any machine.

I go “what?” and say, “No, we’re talking about platform binaries, not…” and he interrupts me again to tell me YOU ARE WRONG BINARIES ARE NOT PLATFORM SPECIFIC. He keeps doing this, interrupting me and using small words reserved for the stupid, until I stand up and yell at him, “I WAS A SOFTWARE DEVELOPER FOR THE MICROSOFT CORPORATION FOR MOST OF A DECADE. I HAD CODE IN THE WINDOWS BOX. YOU HAVE OWNED AND QUITE LIKELY RUN MY CODE.”

At which point he kind of stammers and says that he thought we were talking about data files, which, of course, we weren’t, at any point. And I’d told him that, or tried to, but because I was Some Women Who Doesn’t Get Tech, he didn’t bother hearing it.


This is part of a series of posts on sexism and racism in geek culture.