Cat Valente is one of my favorite fiction authors, mostly because, holy shit can that woman turn a phrase. I believe I've mentioned that from time to time.
The SFF corner of the internets had a blow-up last week. If you want to know what happened, Scalzi (who also had something to say on this sort of thing a while back) has the history and various weirdnesses available. Here's the basic story, though: a respected male writer took a giant dump all over the slate for the Clarke awards and the internet went into a frenzy of (mostly good-natured) craziness. Because that's what the internet does.
Valente made the point that, sadly, gets made after every one of these things happen. I don't say "sadly" because it's tired and, geez, why won't these women just shut up about it. I say "sadly" because I'm genuinely saddened that we keep having to see these things at all. I wish people could figure out that a woman who voices her own opinion isn't a bitch or a harpy, but a woman with her own goddamn opinion. I wish people could figure out that, "You deserve to be raped, you bitch," is not now, not ever, and will never, ever, ever, EVER be a correct response to anything, especially someone simply stating her opinion.
I also wish that all the men that then say that the woman in question is complaining about nothing and really should just leave everything well enough alone would do the world a favor and count the number of times random strangers have threatened to rape them for the sin of publicly stating an opinion and shut the fuck up until the reach the number, oh, say, 1. That would solve a lot of problems right there.
Either way, Cat Valente, folks:
I’m frustrated. I’m tired of the disparity of voices, of who gets written off and who gets their blog posts discussed in The Guardian being dismally predictable. I’m tired of still having the “when men say it it’s awesome and when women say it it’s bitchy” conversation that was supposed to be sorted in 1985. Not because I have a whole bunch of horrible shit about awards that I’d like to say. I don’t. But I have to tell you that I don’t, so that you’ll think I’m a nice girl, so that I don’t come off as threatening, so that you’ll listen to what I say and not just write me off as an angry feminist…what? Bitch. Because feminist bitches are not to be listened to, don’t you know. They are not to be considered, not the way Priest was considered, even by people who disagreed, even by people who thought he went too far and too personal and too much.
It's not exactly as flowery as the Dirge for Prester John, but that'll preach...