Science fiction is no stranger to controversy, but I always thought the controversial topics were the concepts not the people doing the talking. Sadly, the people who cannot innovate new ideas must innovate new ways to annoy us. That’s what leads us to the following abortive attempt to discuss social topics with sensitive candor:
My theory is that the author of this article read up on how controversial blog posts increase click traffic. So he woke up one morning, poured a cup of coffee and wrote a blog post that ends with: “Ladies if you want to succeed, then suck less and persevere more. It really is that simple.”
I’m willing to admit that this writer may have good intentions. Of course we should focus on the quality of story rather than the gender of the author. However in the 21st Century, we’ve come to understand that how you say something is just as important as what you say. Whether a publishing house, podcast or anthology accepts one gender more often than another is another example of complaining about how kids play in the sandbox instead of inventing your own sandbox to play in.
I stay off of topics like these for two reasons. One, I don’t feel that way in my heart. I love authors of every gender and I will never make your gender a factor in my appreciation of your art. Second, I want my stories to be the reason people know me, rather than my opinion. Purposefully throwing gasoline in the fireplace may keep you warm in the short term, but it also has an equal chance of burning your house down.
If I were a Lady SF Writer, I think my response would be along the lines of: “We’re grateful that the standards for SF writers are so high. Otherwise, we might become bloggers.” Or you could just read what Chuck Wendig had to say.
What a creep.