"The personal essay format demands that women reveal everything, often to the point of absurdity, while also allowing men to get away with vague metaphors and platitudes. On one end of the spectrum you have “I’m Glad My Friend Killed Herself,” and on the other end you have, "I Did Some Bad Shit, But All You Need To Know Is That I’m Dealing With It, Manfully."
The Testosterone Takeover of Southern Food Writing In which Kathleen Purvis asks why male voices have come to dominate big-market Southern food writing and pokes at the genre's resulting obsessions with "bourbon, barbecue and pork belly." From The Bitter Southerner.
"I've collected the suffering that men so recklessly visited on myself and other women and fashioned it into a livelihood. It is not a fortune but it is a tasteful empire of pain. I might be unlovable but I am not unsellable. I know some women who drink from mugs labeled 'Male Tears.' That's what I've labeled my checking account." Alana Massey for Medium: The Monetized Man.
"When women win literary awards for fiction it’s usually for writing from a male perspective and/or about men. The more prestigious the award, the more likely the subject of the narrative will be male. I analysed the last 15 years’ results for half a dozen book-length fiction awards: Pulitzer Prize, Man Booker Prize, National Book Award, National Book Critics’ Circle Award, Hugo Award, and Newbery Medal." Nicola Griffith notes the absence of stories about women from prize-winning novels--even when those novels are written by women. The Seattle Review of Books adds an interview with Griffith on the writing and aftermath of her original blog post.
The Women I Pretend to Be, by novelist and game writer Naomi Alderman (previously):
No one in tech has ever been as sexist toward me as teachers and rabbis before I was 12 years old. But I've come to notice more and more how working within the particular masculine sexism of the tech industry has nudged the way I present myself, just a little. I've noticed how, very slowly, I've started to acquiesce into playing roles that get assigned to me. I've noticed how I disappear behind these masks.
What follows is not a horror story. It's a series of moments.
Trans women writers Jeanne Thornton, Imogen Binnie, Red Durkin and Casey Plett read from their recent works for Talks at Google. [more inside]
The first Women in Science Writing: Solutions Summit took place at MIT on June 13-15. Here's a brief roundup, with plenty of links and stats that look at gender bias and harassment in science journalism.
Laura is super passionate about girls fighting evil, creating collages with short stories about various groups of girls fighting off demons - from radio DJs and the interns at Night Vale, to Dorothy Gale, travelers, and of course Beyonce. Sometimes the girls are helping the demons: evil counterparts to Cinderella, Belle, and Snow White, the underwater orchestra, even the underlord's admin assistant. Sometimes they fight each other; sometimes they fight themselves. Some of these fighters are real. Sometimes they'll let you borrow their style.
‘Tough, Cold, Terse, Taciturn and Prone to Not Saying Goodbye When They Hang Up the Phone’ - Is the fabled "Strong Female Characters" a bad thing? Counterpoints from Mur Lafferty and Charlie Jane Anders. Obligatory Kate Beaton link.
The results of the Women Working in Comics survey are in. Meanwhile Comics Alliance has asked creators how comics can do better at female characters. (previously, previously)
Real-Estate Tycoon Deconstructs 'Twilight' "Barrack describes a lonely evening on a yacht in Turkey after a cancelled business meeting. In the yacht, Mr. Barrack writes, he came upon a book on which 'were written the words that strike terror in the hearts of every macho, red-blooded male... TWILIGHT'. He goes on..."
Isaac Asimov on how to be a dirty old man.
The SF Signal Mind Meld feature poses science fiction related questions to a number of SF luminaries and the scientist, science writer or blogger. Subjects have included the best women writers in SF, taboo topics in SF, underated authors and the most controversial SF novels of the past and present. The also cover lighter topics, such the role of media tie-ins, how Battlestar Galactica could have ended better (bonus Geoff Ryman) and the realistic (or otherwise) use of science on TV SF shows.
What Girls Want - A series of vampire novels illuminates the complexities of female adolescent desire. (via) [more inside]
Brilliant Women: The Blue Stocking Circle was a group of intellectuals with a strong desire to discuss, analyze, and examine the social, political, and educational problems of the day Mostly female intellectuals, but they included many prominent men as well. They assembled in the London homes of literary hostesses such as Elizabeth Montagu, Frances Boscawen and Elizabeth Vesey in the 1750s form the nucleus of the exhibition. .... At first, all the party-goers were nicknamed blues, but from the 1770s, the "bluestocking" tag was applied to the women members in particular. By the time of Montagu's death in 1800, any female intellectual might be labelled a bluestocking, whether or not she could claim a link to the original circle.
It is important to take the current political situation [NYT] in Iran in context. Shirin Ebadi and Azar Nafisi are two women who have written memoirs (Iran Awakening and Reading Lolita in Tehran, respectively) dealing with being a woman in the world's only theocracy. (bugmenot) Individual Iranians both commend and disagree with their portrayal of Iran to Western audiences.