Tag Archives: diversity

Really Interesting Female Directors

I’m in the soup, but this weekend, I thought this article by Julie Zeilinger for Identities.Mic on female directors of color who are doing and will be doing interesting work was worth bringing to attention. Looking forward to the film adaptation of On Beauty by Zadie Smith.

http://mic.com/articles/110456/these-filmmakers-are-wildly-talented-but-you-won-t-see-them-winning-oscars

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Moving Things Around

In a very short bit of time, my blog, The Open Window, will be having a five year anniversary. This blog was an experiment for me, a lab in which I could try things out and figure out how I wanted to do certain things, in which I got to say some things I wanted to say, and bring attention to some books and artists I liked. There were periods of time that it was neglected, because life got in the way, mostly in a good way. I got a little better at using the formatting devices of Word Press. There were various decorating changes over the years. Now that I’ve entered a new phase of my life, I’m not entirely sure what this blog is going to turn into, but I am going to keep going with it and see.

As I was looking through the stuff I had backlogged from last year, one thing that was clear was that 2014 was a very busy year for issues of diversity, civil rights and social equality, in SFF and book publishing and in many areas outside of those things. And that stuff is important to me, to my family, I’m going to write about it, link to articles I find interesting. But, it’s not primarily what I want this particular blog to be focused on. And so I’m expanding the blog a little, in part to make things easier to find as I did with the Books to Read page. I’ve added a separate page called Social Equality.

I’m still going to do pieces on those subjects on the main page, like the Women in Film review, which will be coming shortly, but those pieces will also be copied on the Social Equality page. Other entries and collections of links to others’ writing on diversity and civil rights issues may be only on the Social Equality page, however, with a link to them on the main page. If you are following me mainly for my talking about those issues or to learn about interesting articles and stories on those issues, you’ll be able to just go to the Social Equality page if you want. (Older pieces on those subjects are available in the blog archives.) So it’s kind of three little blogs together, and I’ll see how that works for me. I may end up changing it; hey, I may get a website at some point. I really don’t know what’s going to happen this year. But we are well into our shiny new century millennium, and while the electricity is still on, we might as well keep talking.

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Diversity and Discrimination Thoughts (Dumping Days)

It’s time again for articles concerning diversity and discrimination that I found interesting last year.

Vikram Chandra wrote an interesting article for Wired about sexism factors in Silicon Valley, U.S. versus sexism factors in India’s tech industry. It shows how notions of gender are cultural and can create different forms of discrimination and inequality.

Amanda Marcotte at Raw Story looks at the ludicrous freakout by some over California’s policy change to a standard of sexual consent at its state universities and colleges. It again looks at how hard it is for people to wrap their heads around the idea that human beings own their own bodies and therefore get to give permission for who touches them sexually and how, especially when it comes to women. When there is progress made on this and other basic civil rights in law and society, the immediate claim is that the people whose rights are being supported will be vindictive, threatening destructors who will rend the very nature of society, democracy, free speech, take your pick. So put that discrimination back right this minute! As always, the fact that some people might have to alter their behavior a little bit to give others equal rights is considered way more important a problem than the actual equal rights.

McSweeney’s offers up a satiric bit called “The Open Letter to the Tiny White Man the Republican Party Has Sent to Live in My Pants.” Which also touches on the topic of women actually owning their own bodies, and getting to decide what is done to it sexually and medically and how they will live their lives.

Attorney Mary Adkins at Slate.com looks at the sexual harassment and assault of naked photos of women and girls being posted on Twitter (and elsewhere on the Net,) without their consent, and the problem with Twitter’s inability to properly enact policy on its large and contentious network.

And speaking of Twitter, Miri Mogilevsky at The Daily Dot did a nice piece talking about how This Week in Blackness‘ Elon James White created a very funny Twitter hashtag called #DudesGreetingDudes. The hashtag campaign is to point out the hypocrisy of those whining over complaints about catcalling and sexual harassment on the street. It proposes that if guys just want to say hi to others and be friendly, that they greet guys on the street the same way they are greeting women on the street. There’s also a nice videotape made re the hashtag, showing this in action:

Chris Sims at Comics Alliance looked at the problem with giant San Diego Comic Con’s attempt to hide on the issue of con harassment, in the belief that this will keep people from thinking that harassment ever happens there, versus cons that deal with the issue realistically. SDCC is so big now that it is in many ways insulated from worrying about audience desertion, as long as Hollywood still loves it. But one serious mishap and lawsuits is an ever present threat at that sort of pretense. With other big cons like New York Comic Con stepping up to have a workable, prominent and advocated harassment policy to its betterment, San Diego is going to have to change its stance soon. But this article shows h0w hard it is to root out institutionalized discrimination at these events so that practical policies can be enacted and enforced.

Also regarding conventions, author K. Tempest Bradford talked about some of the not-fun discriminations that came up at Readercon last year and at other cons for non-white, straight, etc. authors. It shows how this stuff crops up all the time in many different ways that create discrimination.

And further on that theme, Hannah Giorgis at The Soapbox talks about the #WeNeedDiverseBooks hashtag campaign and why diversity issues are so critical in children’s publishing.

And last for now, a podcast at Latino USA in which authors N.K. Jemisin, Daniel José Older, and Nalo Hopkinson discuss diversity in geekdom and diversity issues in fiction publishing.

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A Link to a Cool Magazine Issue with some Diversity Links (Dumping Days)

Back last summer, Lightspeed Magazine did a very cool issue of the magazine called “Women Destroy Science Fiction!” featuring stories from women SF writers and a lot of articles about women in science fiction and the issues female writers and fans face in the field. I meant to feature it at the time, but life happened. You can still check it out at the link above. There’s also a lovely Twitter feed “article” — becoming a new art form that — from SFF writer Seanan McGuire about what the issue of the magazine means to her as writer and fan.

Of course not everybody was able to get into the spirit of the thing. Old fashioned sexist Dave Truesdale, who apparently runs a site called Tangent Online, whined about the issue’s existence and assembled panels of others to “review” the issue’s non-fiction articles by whining about their existence. This irked a number of people into writing very fun articles about the issue and that critiquing site’s usual sexist commentary on the very idea of it, the kind of rhetoric heard all the way back by Mary Shelley when she published Frankenstein. Amal El MohtarE. Catherine ToblerJohn O’Neill of Black Gate Magazine, and Rachel Acks were the ones I found the most astute and Natalie Luhrs was both astute and offers up interesting related links.

On a similar front of encouragement and documenting discrimination, Gail Simone did a great piece for women creators in comics and women creators in general. My favorite quote from it:

“I have many times seen advice given to women that essentially equals, “smile and don’t upset anyone.” This is the world’s worst advice, and the people who say that to you? Make no mistake. They are the enemy, regardless of gender. Don’t even bother to engage them, just go around them as they try to grab your legs and pull you down.”

Bestselling fantasy author Carrie Vaughn also does a great piece about writing “tough” female characters and the stereotypes we socially hold about them.

And at Vox.com, Susannah Locke did a fascinating interview with scientist Sarah Richardson, author of the book Sex Itself: The Search for Male and Female in the Human Genome. The book tackles the actual facts about our biological sex regarding our DNA and Richardson talks about the social biases about gender that have skewed biological research and had to be deconstructed:

“Our biological theories of sex are deeply intertwined with our cultural theories of sex and gender.”

Good stuff, so check out what interests you.

 

 

 

 

 

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Diversity Issues Are An On-going Campaign

Normally after I’d done a mini-rant on how Wonder Woman is getting marginalized and washed down, I wouldn’t plop down another group of diversity writing links so soon after, but there’s been a lot happening this particular spring and summer, a lot of it deeply saddening. The good side is that a lot of people have been writing interesting pieces on the issues, pulling up stats and social research, explaining for the umpteenth time what privilege is — since people seem to have a very hard time understanding that not being discriminated against in the society for being in a demographic group is actually a privilege that has wide ranging effects. But since I was otherwise occupied, those pieces I thought worth looking at piled up. You may have seen some of these already, but they are here for your reference. This batch is from earlier in the year, plus one older one:

1) Soraya L. Chemaly looks at how women’s speech is suppressed and erased on an every day basis, starting in childhood, with lots of lovely links to research studies, in “10 Simple Words Every Girl Should Learn“.

2) David Mura adds some interesting thoughts in the wake of discussions over author Junot Diaz’s piece on MFA degrees regarding people of color, in “POV on the Response to Junot Diaz’s MFA Vs. POC“.

3) Anne Ursu on her blog looks at how women YA and children’s writers get erased and the issue of diversity problems in children’s/YA publishing in her piece called, “‘The John Green Effect’, Contemporary Realism and Form as a Political Act“.

4) Devin Faraci at BadAss Digest looks at the inequality towards female directors in Hollywood and film in “2002’s K-19 is the Most Expensive Live Action Film from a Female Director“.

5) Model View Culture‘s Editors penned “An Open Letter on Feminism in Tech” about sexism in the tech industry.

6) Todd Harper at Polygon talks about the suppression of diversity in games and the particular excuse that having diversity destroys enjoyment in “Erasing Your Audience Isn’t ‘Fun’“.

7) Vixy, a blogger, writes about the answers to the question “What am I supposed to do about it?” regarding discrimination in society, in “So What Am I Supposed to Do About It? #YesAllWomen“.

8) Arthur Chu writes at The Daily Beast about the sexist scripts male “nerds” are taught in “Your Princess is in Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds“.

9) Damien Walter at The Guardian talks about diversity in SFF and regarding awards issues in “Science Fiction’s Real-Life War of the Worlds“.

10) SorryWatch talks about sexism towards female athletes in “Wanted: #1-ranked Tennis Player, No Fatties“.

11) Andy Duncan has a brief word for pals complaining that there’s too much complaining about diversity in “Politics in SF, What Side Am I On?“.

12) And finally, one from 2012 that I was introduced to, by Doug Muder, on privilege, that I thought was very apt, “The Distress of the Privileged“.

 

 

 

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Diversity Writings That Still Echo

Under a bit of a time crunch today, so I am offering up some links of writing I have found good and interesting on diversity and discrimination that came out earlier this year or previously.

People of color, women, and gays — who now have greater access to the centers of influence that ever before — are under pressure to be well-behaved when talking about their struggles. There is an expectation that we can talk about sins but no one must be identified as a sinner: newspapers love to describe words or deeds as “racially charged” even in those cases when it would be more honest to say “racist”; we agree that there is rampant misogyny, but misogynists are nowhere to be found; homophobia is a problem but no one is homophobic. One cumulative effect of this policed language is that when someone dares to point out something as obvious as white privilege, it is seen as unduly provocative. Marginalized voices in America have fewer and fewer avenues to speak plainly about what they suffer; the effect of this enforced civility is that those voices are falsified or blocked entirely from the discourse. — Teju Cole

Kelly Thompson, author, comics writer, and journalist, at the GoodComics blog did a seminal piece about diversity issues and sexism in the comics, for her column “She Has No Head,” entitled “No It’s Not Equal.” (Thompson just had her graphic novel The Girl Who Would Be King optioned for film.)

Foz Meadows did a blog post about exclusion of women as the default in female geekery.

A few months ago, journalist Jessica Valenti did a piece for the UK’s The Guardian about how the notion of a women’s confidence gap is a sham used to justify and continue excluding women from the fields of endeavor.

Liz Bourke did a piece last year for Tor.com that I find particularly relevant these days too, entitled “Sleeping with Monsters.”

The definitive overview on cover whitewashing from TheBookSmugglers.com — definitely one of the biggest problems facing fiction publishing, especially YA, and SFFH publishing.

Saeed Jones at Buzzfeed.com takes an illuminating survey of things that women writers are sick of hearing in interviews and events.

Owen Lloyd explains why the main arguments of the men’s rights movement are mainly false.

Macy Sto Domingo at ThoughtCatalog.com looks at white privilege based communication blocks.

At Salon.com, Soraya Chemaly tackles the sexual harassment of insisting women smile.

 

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Links & Misc. — Spring Cleaning! — Part 3

Diversity & Ending Discrimination:

Because I can, ha ha! There are just a lot of these saved up, from various craziness that’s occurred in the last several months, and many folks have been writing interesting things. So I’m presenting the links all at once.

At Salon.com, Sara Eckel presents actual evidence that “Feminism Isn’t Ruining Your Love Life.”

Jim C. Hines deconstructed this bizarre rant from Larry Correia back in January. It is even more relevant now with Correia’s Hugo voting fun times. Correia attempts to accuse a writer at Tor.com who was encouraging other SFF writers to think outside the box regarding binary gender in their stories of actually demanding as a commandment that all should get rid of cisgender characters. Hines looks at each of Correia’s assumptions, misinterpretations, and misdirections.

The always interesting super fan Michi Trota explains the extent and damage of discrimination in geekdom in “No One Can Deny You Entry to Geekdom, but Some Can Make It Really Hard to Get Through the Door First.”

Astra Taylor looks at misogyny and inequality built into the Web and how we deal with the gender gaps.

Amanda Marcotte in an editorial at The Raw Story looks at “What Are Misogynist Geeks So Afraid Of.”

Comics maven Janelle Asselin talks about meeting this sort of misogyny firsthand when she dared to criticize a poorly done comics cover, and received rape and death threats.

Jonathan McIntosh writes about the difficulties in the gaming world with “Playing with Privilege: The Invisible Benefits of Gaming While Male.”

The Korra Is Not Tan blog does a nice little rundown of racism and sexism regarding attitudes towards superheroes.

Mark Chu-Carroll at Goodmath.org talks about misogyny in “The Horror, the Horror, How Dare We Discriminate Against Men by Listening to Women.”

Katherine Lampe talks about helping out her guy friends dealing with discrimination issues in “What’s a Good Guy to Do.”

An older piece from two years back that was brought to my attention — Dr. Sheila Addison expands on John Scalzi’s famous piece about privilege, “The Lowest Difficulty Setting.”

The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates tackles recent racism controversies concerning Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling in “This Town Needs A Better Class of Racist.”

PZ Myers, regarding the recent Hugo voting slate discussions, talks about how “But Silence is Political.”

Foz Meadows also tackles the subject for Huffington Post in her highly intelligent way, in “Politics Belong in Science Fiction.”

Daniel Jose Older writes at Buzzfeed.com what is perhaps one of the best pieces on discrimination and diversity I’ve seen in awhile, in “Diversity Is Not Enough.”

Most recently, Violet Baudelaire at Jezebel gives a really excellent explanation of what the term “privilege” means in an open letter to the idiot young white boy who calls himself the Princeton Kid. (But really, it isn’t his youth that’s the issue — we get this at all ages.)

And lastly, a very moving video in which the artist called Panti speaks after a play production about discrimination:

 

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