So here’s a thing.
I spend a fair bit of my recreational life being genderless. Basically. Gaming especially, and internet things outside of here, I’m pretty sure people I talk to have no idea of who I am, girlwise. And that’s on purpose.
It makes a difference. I really can’t explain until you try.
People react to gender. They just do. You kind of get used to it, and don’t especially notice it until it suddenly its not there. Like in a game, when you’re just some fucker chasing people around with an enormous rifle, and none of the other stuff matters.
And that’s good.
It’s really fucking good, and honestly, everyone should try it. Just use a meaningless gamertag or handle or whatever, and see how life is without people making assumptions.
Um, everyone female, I mean. Obviously the point is that a meaningless name means people assume you’re male.
Which kind of leads to this.
I mostly write girly shit in a girly genre, and I’m home a lot, and when I go out I don’t use public transport. And when I worked it was in an industry that’s pretty okay for treating women not too unfairly. I mean, there are some ongoing problems, but it really isn’t as bad as it could be. And… I can’t find an actual link now, but I always got told there’s been women doing software as long as there’s been software, basically. Um. Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper and the team who programmed ENIAC and all that.
So that’s cool.
You just are who you are and life goes on.
Until you realize that no matter who you are, these kinds of things just won’t go away, because other people won’t let it.
Not because of you. Because of them.
And that actually pisses me off, quite a lot. It’s unfair, basically. And unfair makes me angry.
Um, stop reading now if you want. You can pretty much guess were this is going, and I realize I don’t normally talk about things like this. So not everyone here may want to read it.
So to explain.
A while back there was a bit of an internets kerfuffle about sexism in an organisation called the SFWA, which is the professional association for SF writers from America. By sexism, I mean people being enormous dickwads. Basically.
So I had been wondering if I should say something about the kerfuffle. Because this is bad, and it’s the especially nasty kind about making rules for other people and how they ought to behave and absolutely fucking infuriates me because it turns up in things like gaming too. As in, shitty games companies who deserve nothing more than bankruptcy because they start from the assumption their game is about shooting people or crime or whatever so doesn’t need female avatars.
And as an aside, Mass Effect. Just fucking Mass Effect, where you could play a lethal special-forces space marine who’d fought her way through a brutal fucking war against slaver space pirates, and was off to save the fucking galaxy, and shaved her fucking head before she set out. Because she’s a fucking space marine, going to war to save the galaxy, and she doesn’t have time to condition with everything else that’s going on.
So Bioware, I love you just for that. When I’m famous and rich and shit, I will happily write game scripts or novel tie-ins any time you ask just because of the clipper-cutted girl Shep.
So anyways. Today I was in the mood for blogging about the serious and earnest, so I thought I might write about that.
Then I wrote some stuff.
Then I decided, actually, no, I’m not going to.
This sounds a bit weird, but I don’t think this is the place.
I’m not a SFWA member and never will be. You have to be an American, for one.
And politics tends to upset people. Some of you have opinions on things. Sometimes you won’t agree with me, just because you like to read my stories.
And that’s completely cool.
And I’m really not an especially political person, and I don’t have the right words to explain why all this matters so much, and I think other people do it better.
So I won’t.
Instead, as gently as I can, may I just touch on this stuff, and point out that this kind of shit is really hurtful to a lot of people, including me, and if you like my writing then maybe you care about that.
I’d like to think you do.
So if anyone wants to read up a bit on what’s going on, here are some links. Here and here and here and here and here, all in no particular order. And also, closer to home for me, especially here about assuming women aren’t also soldiers.
This stuff is actually important, and knowing why other people get upset is important too, even if you don’t agree with their why.
And, fuck, I don’t know. Maybe some of this is worth hearing.
So basically, it would be cool if anyone was interested, but you don’t need to. Don’t in any way feel obliged if you don’t want to. Really don’t.
I don’t think I’m going to say much more than that.
I’ll put up another post in a bit that will hopefully mean this makes a bit more sense.