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Inclusion in Fandom: Call for Links

A week or so back, I talked about inclusiveness in fandom and the SF/F community, trying to separate perception from reality.

In the comments, author Ekaterina Sedia pointed out that many people who feel excluded in one way or another have been blogging and talking about this issue for a while, but that the response tends to be pretty minimal. (Whereas when the straight white male geek blogs about it, he ends up with close to 100 comments.

Running with a suggestion from netmouse, I’d like to collect and share some of those less-trafficked blog posts. If you’ve written or read about the issue of inclusiveness in our community, please share the link in the comments. My plan, depending on how many links we get, is to summarize and organize the list in a future post. (LJ Note: LiveJournal has been sending more comments with links into the spam folder. If this happens to you, don’t worry about it. I’ll unspam that as soon as I catch it.)

Short version: If we’re going to have this conversation, let’s try to get more attention to a broader range of voices.


Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.


( 36 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 18th, 2012 03:51 pm (UTC)
Not 'fandom', but still worth boosting: Melissa McEwan, The Terrible Bargain We Have Regretfully Struck
Nov. 18th, 2012 04:20 pm (UTC)
I know this is something of a firehose approach, but I have to say, as a white, straight, male, able, middle class fan (in other words, someone who checks almost every privilege box there is), that I got one hell of an education just by Googling on "racefail 09", and following a bunch of the resulting links. That was a couple of years ago, so I am, unfortunately, unable to remember and recommend specific posts.

There's also a lot to be found by Googling "male privilege", "white privilege", "christian privilege", "able bodied privilege", etc.
Nov. 18th, 2012 05:01 pm (UTC)
Writer Nalo Hopkinson used a vid to talk about racial and gender diversity in the science fiction community.

Kate Elliott talks about how she feels about having this conversation about science fiction and fantasy (both the literature and the community): My first novel was published in 1988. I’m still having and reading the same conversations about the representation of women, of people of color, of LGBTQ people, of non-US or non-Western cultures in fiction.

bossymarmalade talks about what it's like even getting people in the community (and on the Internet) to listen.

Edited at 2012-11-18 05:01 pm (UTC)
Nov. 18th, 2012 05:09 pm (UTC)
A lot of people find the racefail discussion so huge ( and dotted with minefields of FAIL, hence the name) so as to be unapproachable.

My suggestion to Jim was to encourage people to link to posts from the last couple of years only, to keep this view of the discussion current.

I applaud you for your personal initiative though. And it's certainly good advice for people who have the time to go back through it.

Were there one or two posts or blogs that particularly stood out, in your reading?
Nov. 18th, 2012 08:54 pm (UTC)
Sorry for my lack of reading comprehension earlier. On re-reading I saw you already said you couldn't remember specific posts...
Nov. 18th, 2012 06:10 pm (UTC)
There's a reason you're my favorite blogger! :) Here are some posts I've written on fandom and/or popular media:

* Oh, Fandom and Your "Inclusiveness" on the current mess (which actually references your post!), along with a follow-up link roundup
* The Open Letter to John Scalzi that I linked in your other comments :)
* Why Women In Refrigerators Isn't a Bad Thing, which contrary to the title is anti-sexism-in-media
* And Why is the "Normal Television Family" Always White?, not SFF but on media in general

Here are some posts I've read recently that are on the awesome side and I've either already linked to myself or been meaning to (this is off the top of my head so I might come back and add more):

* On worldbuilding and language, and then on not marginalizing via your worldbuilding language (by Rose Lemberg)
* On female characters being allowed to be anything (also Rose Lemberg), and on female friendships in media (Alex Dally MacFarlane)
* Lighten Up and It’s Not My Fault I’m Pretty on the institutional sexism women have to deal with every day (not fandom or media specific)
* An incredibly apropos comic about the recent blowup
* Racebending's review of Red Dawn is a good in-a-nutshell representation of everything wrong with race in media

Some sites about marginalization in media I follow (some with a SFF bent, some not):

* Racebending
* Racialicious
* The Angry Black Woman
* Native Appropriations
* Ars Marginal

There are also some other sites not in my reader but that I swing by occasionally, like Angry Asian Man and Reappropriate . . . and many more people (like me) often post about this sort of thing but it isn't our whole focus. Tons of people ARE regularly talking about race and gender in society/media/SFF, and if you want to keep reading up on what makes us mad and sad, you have a lot of options. :)

Also, I want to make a special mention of Requires Only That You Hate. Some people can't get past her DIAF rhetoric—I get that; I couldn't at first either. But then I realized what incredibly good points she was making about a lot of books—points that no one else was making, about race and gender but also about non-Western perspectives. She makes me a more critical reader, and I consider her an vital part of my blog-reading, even (especially) when she tears apart books I like.

Honestly, I read about marginalized groups in media and fandom daily, because it's what I choose to follow. Partly I do this because I'm a POC and I don't have the privilege not to notice this stuff. But reading about it regularly also makes me more aware as both a consumer and a creator, and helps me recognize my own internal racism/misogyny and fight it. Which is not always comfortable, but which is important. So I recommend, rather than reading one linked post here or there, that people add some of these sites to their feeds.
Nov. 18th, 2012 07:26 pm (UTC)
Hmm, I just realized that a lot of my links are about SFF media rather than SFF fandom—the two sort of overlap in my mind because so many media creators are also big names in fandom, and I think the issues involved feed off each other A LOT. And because when I think about "being included in fandom," I'm invariably thinking about "feeling included when I read/watch fannish media," so I hope that's okay. :)

And I wanted to add (damn LJ character limit!) another thank-you to you, Jim. I know you don't do this sort of thing for cookies—you do it because you think it's important, and that's what we love about you. So here are some Internet Cookies anyway. Crunchy, because they're baked with ground-up wifi cards and Cat 5 cable.
Nov. 18th, 2012 07:34 pm (UTC)
Inclusiveness and new horizons
I will give you a personal excerpt.

I was at the G.L.A.C.e (Great Lakes Area Conventions) meeting held at YoumaCon the first weekend November in Detroit, MI. G.L.A.C.e is an informal meeting of convention heads where we talk shop, compare notes, and try to help each other.

One of the biggest things talked about was an actual movement to have conventions (at least anime cons) be "safe places". They are looking at taking an active stance against bullying and not allowing anyone to disparage the interests of other attendees, and to have possibly have new rules on display guidelines.

There were some industry heads for anime at the meeting and they were very interested in seeing this. For them, having conventions become a "safe place" means they could reach a wider audience and they would be much more inclined to support conventions that did this.

So that is what I can contribute. You may consider this to be a personal account or an except from the meeting minutes. But this is a trend you should definitely watch for.
Nov. 18th, 2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
I haven't posted anything on my can-hear-crickets-chirping blog because this is my first time seeing the articles. I don't take it too personally though I do pout about it. There are a dozen reasons why I don't get as many likes or posts for this or that and while it's not good marketing it pleases my aspergery side that doesn't want to suck time away from my writing, reading and real life by responding to blog posts:D At least that's what I tell myself while.
Nov. 18th, 2012 09:03 pm (UTC)
aw, thank you for this!
rcloenenruiz had a great article (and series of column forthcoming in Strange Horizons) here: http://strangehorizons.com/2012/20121112/loenen-ruiz-c.shtml

( also have a couple of articles about representation in SFF media, but nothing specifically on fandom)
Nov. 18th, 2012 09:06 pm (UTC)
Ha, actually scratch that, I also had an interview that touched a bit on this: http://www.lucreid.com/?p=4382
Nov. 18th, 2012 09:08 pm (UTC)
(that's rcloenen_ruiz who wrote the column in the first post)
Nov. 18th, 2012 09:33 pm (UTC)
Jim, I've written at least two dozen articles on cultural parochialism, gender diversity and linguistic/scientific/literary literacy in SF/F. Please let me know if these sound like they fit the bill before I start posting titles and links. -- Athena Andreadis, aka Helivoy

Edited at 2012-11-18 09:35 pm (UTC)
Nov. 21st, 2012 01:03 am (UTC)
Athena - why don't you post a few of your favorites, and I can check those out and post 'em with a link to your main site for folks who want to read more, if that works? Thanks!
Nov. 21st, 2012 01:41 am (UTC)
Hello, Jim. I did send a list with links, but was told that it got marked as spam. Let me know if and how you wish to proceed.
Nov. 21st, 2012 01:46 am (UTC)
Yep, that's LJ trying to be helpful. I've already marked it as Not Spam. Thanks!
Nov. 18th, 2012 09:42 pm (UTC)
Shit, the whole RaceFail linkspam from rydra_wong probably doesn't get enough love as it is despite years of being right there and accessible for long-term reading and processing.

I have a reading these before engaging list of links I feel need all the signal boost they can get for the contributions they make to the discourse.

I'd plug my blog generally but I am not really interested in speaking to "general" (read: white) audiences anymore; it's nice when they drop in, but I hardly get anywhere discussing things with white commenters, so I've turned my focus to speaking with other POC.
Nov. 18th, 2012 10:23 pm (UTC)
We see discussion a lot on women and race. I just wanted to ensure that disability is included as well. Considering what a large portion of the population actually HAS disabilities it is disappoint sometimes both in fandom (and in sff fiction) to see such a dearth.

Access_Fandom on LJ has a number of great articles and is ongoing on the issue relating to disability and inclusiveness in fandom - http://access-fandom.dreamwidth.org/

Although more about in Writing itself rather than fandom, I thought it still might be useful.

GeekGirlCon's Panel -A Fate Worse than Death: The Last “Outsider” in Popular Culture – Disability

More than 1 in 10 Americans live with an apparent disability. But this isn’t reflected in books, comics, films or television (e.g. Less than 2 percent of TV show characters display a disability and only 0.5 percent have speaking roles). When seeking to include characters with disabilities, creators are asked, “Why?” There is greater acceptance when beloved characters are killed as opposed to maimed or permanently disabled; and celebrations when they are cured. It’s assumed that disability isn’t like diversity – it’s weird and different and uncomfortable and sad.

Discussion examines the reluctance to include characters with disabilities, common myths and stereotypes, and some of the common controversies using examples from popular and geek culture, personal experiences in industry and discourse with audience members.


Portraying Disability in Fiction - http://unleadedwriting.com/2012/08/07/portraying-disability-in-fiction/

All Shapes & Sizes (short) - http://unleadedwriting.com/2011/08/08/all-shapes-and-sizes/

Other and Narrative Responsibility - http://unleadedwriting.com/2011/08/11/some-more-thoughts-on-other/
Nov. 18th, 2012 10:43 pm (UTC)
This is kind of tricky for me... I tend to blog about these issues a lot, but I do not like to talk about myself. I write reviews 5-6 times a week, focusing on underrepresented groups in recent speculative fiction. I'm working on turning the reviews into a full-fledged fanzine called Emerald Spires.

Here is the master list of my reviews by topic.

But this is not as on-topic as talking about myself would be, I suppose. I have one post about my race, ethnicity, and my experience with online English-language fandom discourse. There's also a discussion about applying to con travel grants, and why I made the decision not to apply. (This might change in the future.) But that's about it.

For the record, I get a surprising amount of site traffic, and people talking about me (I prefer Spivak pronouns, but that's another rant), so while there aren't a huge amount of direct comments, I wouldn't say I'm blogging to crickets either!
Nov. 18th, 2012 11:19 pm (UTC)
The hotel rant by Mari Ness - An account of the issues of navigating the WFC 2011 hotel in a wheelchair.

From my own perspective, I don't think I've written a blog post about fandom specifically, because for the most part, I don't take part. Conventions are very expensive. I avoid most online communities as they look unwelcoming. So when I blog, it's usually about lack of inclusiveness in media, because until that's sorted, it won't be welcoming in fandom.

Some groups may well be under-represented in fandom-specific discussions for that reason, because the focus is on media inclusiveness.
Nov. 19th, 2012 01:19 am (UTC)
It's not only LJ filtering all link messages to the spam filter. Blogger's doing it, too. At least I get alerts, since I filter everything there. The only comments I seem to get are spam ones anyway. That's okay, because people know where to find me, if they come across any links they think would be good to include (not that they have, but you never know).

The must amusing thing about some blogs is, some of them, we start for ourselves, and end up...yea. Because the Internet is for sharing.
Nov. 19th, 2012 01:45 am (UTC)

Book cover Monday from Rabia Gale: http://www.rabiagale.com/2012/10/01/book-cover-monday-strong-females/

Women without weapons http://www.rabiagale.com/2012/11/13/book-cover-art-strong-females-no-weapons/

Also adding one of mine on portrayal of women http://unleadedwriting.com/2012/08/21/portrayl-of-women-in-fiction/ (This followed the one Day posted above)

Is There a Strong Woman Character or Are We Being Fooled? http://garridon.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/is-there-a-strong-woman-character-or-are-we-being-fooled/

Nov. 19th, 2012 06:01 am (UTC)
Malinda Lo on writing outside of the "norm": http://www.malindalo.com/2012/11/write-from-the-gut-not-from-fear-of-prejudice/#more-6412

Malinda Lo on being queer and having depression: http://www.malindalo.com/2010/10/hope-is-a-gay-unicorn/

By the way, Malinda wrote one of my favorite YA sf novels of the year, Adaptation. You should read it!

Nnedi Okorafor on H. P. Lovecraft's racism and the World Fantasy Award: http://nnedi.blogspot.com/2011/12/lovecrafts-racism-world-fantasy-award.html

N. K. Jemisin on racism and sexism in fandom: http://nkjemisin.com/2012/09/things-people-need-to-understand-issue-223-2/

Covers in YA fiction: Still 90% white: http://www.katehart.net/2012/05/uncovering-ya-covers-2011.html
Nov. 19th, 2012 06:05 am (UTC)
Oh, and also a much more in-depth look at diversity in YA and middle-grade fiction, including sf and fantasy: http://www.bookslut.com/features/2010_02_015679.php

Finally, me on mental illness in sff: http://rachelmanija.livejournal.com/1042244.html

Edited at 2012-11-19 06:18 am (UTC)
Nov. 19th, 2012 03:01 pm (UTC)
Not a link, but every Wiscon Chronicles book ever...
Nov. 19th, 2012 03:33 pm (UTC)
Series on inclusivity and exclusivity
I've been doing a series of interviews of writers (so far) about who's getting left out of fiction and what to do about it, so although that's slightly off the topic (I'm speaking with writers more than readers so far, though it would be good to branch out), these posts might be of interest. (Aliette de Bodard already mentioned the interview I did with her, which was fascinating for me.)

7/27 – interview with Leah Bobet (http://www.lucreid.com/?p=4103)
7/29 - Where Are the Female Villains? (http://www.lucreid.com/?p=4113)
8/3 – interview with Vylar Kaftan (http://www.lucreid.com/?p=4125)
8/9 - Concerns and Obstacles (multiple mini-interviews) (http://www.lucreid.com/?p=4159)
8/10 – James Beamon on Elf-Bashing (http://www.lucreid.com/?p=4166)
8/17 – Steve Bein on Alterity (http://www.lucreid.com/?p=4178)
8/24 – Anaea Lay on “An Element of Excitement” (http://www.lucreid.com/?p=4192)
9/21 – Leah Bobet on Literature as a Conversation (http://www.lucreid.com/?p=4276)
11/2 – Aliette de Bodard on Crossing Over (http://www.lucreid.com/?p=4382)
11/9 -
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I've been doing a series of interviews of writers (so far) about who's getting left out of fiction and what to do about it, so although that's slightly off the topic (I'm speaking with writers more than readers so far, though it would be good to branch out), these posts might be of interest. (Aliette de Bodard already mentioned the interview I did with her, which was fascinating for me.)

7/27 – <a href="http://www.lucreid.com/?p=4103">interview with Leah Bobet</a>
7/29 - <a href="http://www.lucreid.com/?p=4113">Where Are the Female Villains?</a>
8/3 – <a href="http://www.lucreid.com/?p=4125">interview with Vylar Kaftan</a>
8/9 - <a href="http://www.lucreid.com/?p=4159">Concerns and Obstacles (multiple mini-interviews)</a>
8/10 – <a href="http://www.lucreid.com/?p=4166">James Beamon on Elf-Bashing</a>
8/17 – <a href="http://www.lucreid.com/?p=4178">Steve Bein on Alterity</a>
8/24 – <a href="http://www.lucreid.com/?p=4192">Anaea Lay on “An Element of Excitement”</a>
9/21 – <a href="http://www.lucreid.com/?p=4276">Leah Bobet on Literature as a Conversation</a>
11/2 – <a href="http://www.lucreid.com/?p=4382">Aliette de Bodard on Crossing Over</a>
11/9 - <a href="http://www.lucreid.com/?p=4403"Anatoly Belilovsky on Atrocities and Menschkeit</a>
Nov. 19th, 2012 04:31 pm (UTC)
To give a change from a bunch of reading, I recommend the Galactic Suburbia podcast. They frequently talk about news in the fandom/sf/f world on all axes of feminism.


Nov. 20th, 2012 02:21 am (UTC)
I am not sure if this is what you are looking for, but this was my two bits about the cosplay kerfluffle last week: http://rowyn.livejournal.com/427686.html .
Nov. 24th, 2012 03:45 pm (UTC)
We've got a whole load of discussions about unexamined tropes in the speculative fiction genre over here

Including: Why Author Identity Matters
Why Social Justice Critique of SF/Fantasy matters and a fair few more

A post on slash and praising subtext over actual LGBTQ inclusion which is so common in fandom

Nov. 29th, 2012 04:35 am (UTC)
In case you're still looking, and in case this counts.
Nov. 29th, 2012 04:35 am (UTC)
Nov. 30th, 2012 12:58 am (UTC)
It makes it easier for me to add it to the next linkfest blog post, yes :-)

And thank you!!!
Nov. 29th, 2012 04:41 am (UTC)
( 36 comments — Leave a comment )


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