Thursday, October 15, 2009

Free to Good Home: The Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans

Remember this?

Even today, some fandoms seem to have a “No Girls Allowed” sign. Created by men and for men, and populated with men who don’t realize that women also dream of telepathic communication, traveling to the stars, dragon-slaying and x-ray vision, it can get stifling for a female fan. Often a search for positive female portrayals is answered by “This is not for you, so go read Harlequinn romance,” “CENSORSHIP!! She’s crying for CENSORSHIP!!” “I know at least two women who like [simpering, annoying female stereotype "character"]” or even “If you are actually a woman, online its hard to tell.”

(At least, that’s how it seems in superhero fandom.)

But there are female-friendly stories out there. There are female-friendly sites and communities. There are female-friendly fans out there. And yes, there are even feminists out there! Which brings us here.

The Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans periodically collects posts from the hazy side-reality where feminist social consciousness meets the outer limits of the imagination. This is to draw attention to lesser known bloggers, to bring individuals of like-minded (or at least, understanding) interests together, and to foster the growth of feminist fan communities.

I used to take great pride in keeping the Feminist SF Carnival going. Not just keeping my friends connected, but also being able to sustain meaningful conversation about such a niche subject as feminist analysis of genre fiction. That's not easy to do.

Unfortunately, over the last couple years I've let it slide as my career's become more and more demanding. Since at least January I've fully intended to ask around for another organizer to take over, but even that's fallen by the wayside. I only really read a select few blogs anymore, so I don't even know if there's been drama and splits in the community. I don't even know if I've been replaced in the meantime or if we're going through an odd period of quiet or if the old gang has simply self-destructed while I wasn't watching. As a result, I've been reticent about offering this up. I used to keep my finger on the pulse of the community--at least the comics portion--and it's very weird to be so disconnected from everyone that I don't know who would be able to do this, and would have the social skills/connections to keep everything together.

But I figure after reading that guy yesterday, and the reaction of disgust he got, and the idiocy responding to that disgust... There'll be enough activity soon for a blog carnival on this subject.

I won't be able to host or organize, though, and I don't want to be the one occupying a slot that can be filled by an active person.

The organizer job involves finding a host, giving the host guidance on running a blog carnival, and promotion promotion promotion. You need to be diplomatic, attentive, passionate, obsessive, and on decent terms with the crew of Feminist SF -- The Blog! because they're associated.

So if someone wants to take this thing and run with it, email me.