Harlan Ellison groped Connie Willis at the Hugos. (Point #3)
..and I should say something about it, but.. Ach.. I'm too disgusted about it.
But one blogger (found through Lis) brings up the best point, something to be addressed.
It makes me wonder–how must a woman just entering the field feel about this? Younger female readers? What could they possibly think about this? Could they possiblly think anything good about SF/F? As a field? A community? I tend and like to think as a field we have our shit together. But, much as we have the “digital divide” on the Internet, we have the “sanity divide” or “asshole divide” in science fiction! I’m sure shit like this happens in other fields–but in such a public arena? Where the award-winner gets treated like shit?And he naturally has me thinking about comics. When the stories about female professionals and the behavior they face at cons get out -- hell, when stuff like Miller's ASBAR SCRIPT gets out -- and we see the harassment and unprofessionalism and general disregard for women behind the often defended as harmless surface material, what do you think we think?
I was nervous going to Chicago. The last con I'd been to was GenCon and that was when I was a teenager, with my sister and two friends (one of whom was such a HUGE guy that only an idiot would threaten him or the little 15 year old talking to him). Here I was a grown woman, nervous that I'd run into trouble there. Making "Group" plans to avoid it.
I've spoken to a number of other young female fans online, and they expressed the same trepidation. Worried that the fanboys at Wizardworld were as bad as they heard. And who wouldn't be? It's sponsored by Wizard Magazine, notorious for pandering to the adolescent male mentality -- we've all seen the cover and the contents.
It turned out to be an enjoyable experience, but Wizardworld Texas (which is far closer to my home) is rounding the corner and I can go there alone. So, of course, the same nervousness is rearing its head. I won't be backed up by three girls in matching shirts. I'll be a single woman. I've told other women not to worry, to just go. If I can get the time off, I will just go, but still... Most of us would rather stay home than risk it.
And it comes back to the horror stories online about how we're treated in male-dominated fan communities, and comic book stores, in addition to conventions. We've all heard them and gone "so that's how it is," and it makes sense, because of the "Sex sells" attitude that actually translates to "Sexy Women sell" in comic book marketing. What are we supposed to think? What kind of message does it send? It all combines to tell us that we are not welcome there.
If you guys wonder why you never see many female fans in person, this may have something to do with it.