It's hardly worth yelling anymore. News flash: Sexism in genre fiction. Or, another Friday.
• First clue bat of the day goes to Marvel Comics, for pairing two shirts: one male, one female. One says "Be a hero!"; the other says, "I need a hero!" Guess which one is which? I know, we could debate sexism in comics till Doomsday (the event or the villain), but for now, could the home of Black Widow, Elektra, Jessica Jones, Ladyhawk, Rogue and Storm maybe remember that one does not require a penis to be a hero? Face, meet palms.
• Seanan McGuire comes under fire for being nominated for the Hugo. Yes, really. Sure, she says, it's fine if you don't like her stuff. But to criticize her for "overpromoting"? This seems to be a charge leveled at most female authors who promote their work, while male authors are simply seen as assertive businessmen. How many times did McGuire mention the Hugo in her blog? Twice. Wow, talk about saturating the market!
I'd tie that in with Sheryl Sandberg, whose new book Lean In earned her an interview on the Daily Show in which she pointed out something I've never really thought of: Go to a playground, and you will see a girl who speaks up called "bossy." You will never, ever hear of a boy being called "bossy." He'll be "showing leadership skills" or "king of the hill." The worst sexism is the kind that doesn't even recognize itself.
• Author Hugh Howey got temporarily famous by complaining about a woman who he says was rude to him at WorldCon. And nobody cares about rudeness at con - oh, I could tell you stories. What is getting everyone's attention is that he doesn't focus on this woman's statements or attitude... but on her appearance, how ugly he thought she was... "Big-toothed," the "batshit craziest broad," "she-devil" and some reference to a fantasy of accepting a Hugo by calling this woman a name and grabbing his crotch. It ends with the classy and subtle, "Suck it, bitch." In fact, it's delightfully titled, "The Bitch From WorldCon." Her great sin, apparently, was in disagreeing with him in a somewhat condescending manner. Not that anyone else in that room was being condescending, of course.
Setting aside the ongoing class warfare between traditional publishing and self-publishing (soon to become a religous war! Tune in tomorrow!), I'm with Jeff Vandermeer when he writes, "I'm fed up with writers who canonize their path to success as the way to do it for everyone. It's limiting and it shows no imagination or caring for other people. As for the language in this post: just ask yourself, would *you* ever write a post using words like this?"
To give Howey a smidgeon of credit, he admitted on Twitter that the post was "in jest, admittedly with poor humor." Yeah, perhaps "Suck it, bitch," was taken the wrong way.
I'd love to give you something happy to end this, but unfortunately it's been a rough week for the heroines. And now I shall await the cavalcade of critics telling me how I'm Just Too Sensitive and we women need to Learn How To Take a Joke. Raise your hand if you're tired of hearing that.
EDIT: I take it back. I can give you something happy.