My thanks to everyone who contributed links and suggestions for posts about inclusion in fandom and SF/F. There were a lot of suggestions, far more than I could squeeze into a single blog post. Which means 1) I’ll have to try to come back and do a Part II to this, and 2) I found myself in the position of having to pick and choose.
I’m not happy about #2. As a member of the most included groups in SF/F, it’s uncomfortable to feel like I’m filtering what people should read about diversity and inclusiveness in our community. But I’ve done my best. For anyone who wants more, all of the suggested links are in the comments of the original post on my site and LiveJournal.
It’s Amazing the Things We Know, that are Actually Wrong, by Kate Elliot. “How unrealistic a more “diverse” story will seem to a reader or writer whose views of the past are mired in these sorts of errors. How flawed, even though it actually isn’t. Attempts to add “diversity” into such a scenario then remain trapped in the same box, regardless of the axis of diversity: The “diversity” becomes an ornamental or utilitarian element being forced onto the “real” underpinnings of the world (which remain in such a case as the default male, white, Western, straight, whatever), rather than being an intrinsic part of the creation.”
Octavia Butler’s Descendants: Diversity in Science Fiction (Video), by Nalo Hopkinson. Ironically, the introduction text opens by talking about how science fiction and fantasy is “about as inclusive as it comes,” before transitioning into Hopkinson’s argument about racial and gender diversity.
Oh, Fandom and Your “Inclusiveness,” by SL Huang. On geek cred, geek girls, and why all of the anger and vitriol about “fake” geeks seems to be directed at women…
Inclusivity and Exclusivity in Fiction: Aliette de Bodard on Crossing Over. “It’s all but inevitable that someone within a group will perceive it in different terms than someone outside a group: it’s what I call ‘insider’ writing vs ‘outsider’ writer. There are two different problems: who is writing this, and for whom it is intended.”
Read These Before Engaging. A collection of links about race and privilege and diversity and unexamined assumptions.
The Hotel Rant, by Mari Ness. Some commenters asked or talked about what conventions should be looking at in terms of choosing accessible hotels for disabled attendees. Read this post. Also, you might want to follow http://access-fandom.dreamwidth.org/
What About When Something is Offensive AND Amusing? by Renee Martin. “It is commonplace to argue that “that’s not funny” because it’s offensive (now, sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes it’s just plain vile, or sometimes we’re just so outraged and sickened by it that the very idea of it being funny is boggling to us). And it’s awkward because sometimes we use it even when we don’t believe it – even when we are tempted to crack a smile. Because we have an idea that somehow, if it is funny, it is not offensive…”
Radical Inclusiveness: or, Why Hufflepuff is the Best House, by Nightsky. Talking about inclusiveness in Harry Potter and Doctor Who both. And this is one of the reasons I love fandom. (The entire Doctor Her site was also recommended on general principles.)
The “Fannish Enough” Question, by Cheryl Morgan. “Why can’t it be the case that people who are ‘not fannish enough’ are not those who fail to adhere to any particular narrow definition of what fans should be, but rather people who fail to accept that fandom is a diverse and wonderful community, in which we all have a place?”
Women Are Geeks, Too, by Sylvia Sybil. Examining many of the ways women are made to feel excluded from fandom, as well as providing links to examples of inclusiveness as well.
Things People Need to Understand, issue 223.2, by N. K. Jemisin. “We have to shed this idea that SFF is somehow special. That it is perfect. That it is in any way better than the mainstream society from which it derives. It isn’t. And in fact, SFF’s manifest unwillingness to examine itself is one of the things that makes it worse than the mainstream. I and people I care about keep getting accused of having some kind of agenda, whenever we express a demand for some kind of positive change. So OK. You know what it is? Lean close. Here’s the secret. Here’s the goal of the big shadow conspiracy…”
November 26, 2012 @ 10:06 am
These links are fantastic. So many of them sum up what I have been trying to tell people about my own experiences in fandom, or in the gaming world (which isn’t SFF, but some of these links are totally still applicable) as a female pansexual possibly poly person. (oooh, alliteration! And before breakfast, even!)
I love the ones that speak to the lack of inclusiveness for girl geeks, and the idea that we can be fake. No one questions the males, it seems, but yet, us girls are often told we aren’t real geeks. Heck, I got told I wasn’t a real gamer because I play mostly mobile/handheld stuff lately, with a smattering of older console titles thrown in. I tried to figure out what would make me a gamer, but no one could actually give me a clear answer on that. Silly people.
So yes. Much link-love, and I will be sharing bunches of these with people I know. 🙂 Thank you.
Jim C. Hines
November 27, 2012 @ 7:52 pm
“No one questions the males, it seems, but yet, us girls are often told we aren’t real geeks.”
Yep. Because somehow geekness is inherently connected to the possession of a Y chromosome or a penis or something ridiculous. I haven’t been able to sit down and write a response to the whole “Fake Geek Girl” nonsense yet because every time I try, I can’t get past the facepalm stage…
December 2, 2012 @ 5:27 pm
Missed this when you published it. Good stuff. Fb can be useful for something, apparently.
Now excuse me as I go play some more Guild Wars 2 (which I can’t really be playing, since I’m a woman – Bleh, and good riddance to the kind of people who “think” that kind of stupidity) before reading some more later.