"My work may be garbage but it's good garbage." Mickey Spillane
I posted a short take on this on my author page on facebook, but I think it deserves a longer look. First I want to recommend this excellent article about Margaret Atwood. The subject reflects heavily, not only upon women in general, but women in genre especially. When I was a teenager and just starting to write with serious intent, I watched the New Wave spread its influence through Science Fiction and Fantasy. It was part of a transformative process that acknowledged that speculative fiction was no longer just for adolescent boys. There had always been women readers and a tiny handful of women authors, often writing under a male pseudonym. But in the 60s and 70s we were allowed to come out of the closet.
The New Wave was a renaissance for genre. It was still a ghetto (and genre continues to be a ghetto), but it was a bright and daring time. Some of us even managed to gain mainstream acceptance when people like Tanith Lee and Ursula Leguin started landing on the New York Times bestseller lists.
Wikipedia’s decision to move women novelists from the general category into a sub category of fiction is symptomatic of the changing attitude toward women that is rampant in certain segments of the general population. Out of sight, out of mind. Women are to be seen and not heard. Our freedom of choice, equal pay for equal work, and of course contraception, are in danger of being taken away from us unless we stand strong. And this trend is reflected in attempts, like the one made by Wikipedia, to put us back “in our place.” We are being shoved backwards into another century’s morality and imprisoning conventions.
As authors, we may not be able to fight the larger fight, but we can fight all the smaller skirmishes such as the one with Wikipedia and win them. We won’t be shoved backwards into a tinier and tinier ghetto where we can be disparaged and belittled by the Great White Wh(m)ales.
THE CURMUDGEON’S CREED
If you don’t want a blunt, honest answer: DON’T ASK A CURMUDGEON.
If you don’t want a blunt, honest review: DON’T ASK A CURMUDGEON
If you’re thin-skinned and vindictive: DON’T ASK A CURMUDGEON
If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen, but DON’T STAND THERE WITH A CURMUDGEON
If you must get in someone’s face, IT HAD BETTER NOT BE A CURMUDGEON’S.
If you must spam the messageboards, AT ALL COST AVOID THE CURMUDGEON’S. IF
NONE OF YOU HAVE FIGURED THIS OUT YET, ALLOW ME TO EXPLAIN IT: I AM A CURMUDGEON
Hello, I’m Janrae Frank.