Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sexism. Or, Do You Need Cajones for a Sci-Fi Career?

By Linda Robertson

The Sci-Fi Good Ole Boys' Club. I have heard mention of this phenomenon in the writing industry. I do believe it exists. What I don't know is if it's actually hindered me personally in any way. I don't endeavor to write hard SF, tho. I'm just a UF girl in a great big publishing world.

Have any informal connections that men have made been kept secret from me, and has this somehow been furthering their careers at the expense of mine?

shrugs  I don't know.

It would be naive of me to think that there aren't some powerful publishing men (insert editors/agents/authors here) who have a go-to list of pals. Perhaps that list was compiled and refined over golf games, or while enjoying a good cigar. By it's very nature, The Sci-Fi Good Ole Boys' Club would exclude me, so I cannot confirm its existence any more than I can confirm what happened in Area 51, y'know?

But hold on to your cannoli.

I've also heard stories about the RWA mavens who expected their members to attend their conventions dressed in professional office wear and wouldn't talk to anyone who wasn't in "uniform." I've actually been to RWA conventions. I've witnessed some of their 'darlings' wearing their cheerleader smiles and business casual while trying to drink each other under the table as if doing so would confirm their superiority over the other 'darlings.' And we all know how mean and petty some women can be. (I could give you examples, but I don't need to. Mean and petty girls are plentiful.)

The bottom line is: PRODUCT.

Even this industry won't say no to a good product.

That's why plenty of PEOPLE are getting published out there. From small presses on up to the major NYC publishing houses. PEOPLE are doing the hard work of writing stories that are inventive and compelling as well as COMPLETE, submitting them according to format guidelines, and ENDING UP WITH CONTRACTS. Sometimes, those PEOPLE are asked to disguise their gender. (J.K. ROWLING...HELLO!!!)

In answer to the question/title, I say NO. You do not need the dangly bits to get published or to be taken seriously as an author. You DO need to write, write well about a plot that interests a group of folks willing to pay for the entertainment of your story, and conduct yourself rather professionally in the meantime.

That in itself is challenge enough. Right?


  1. Definitely a challenge without throwing in the added worry of whether your bits are dangly enough.

  2. Yeah. I think theres no doubt theres a girls club as well as a boys club. There cliques. Always will be. Gotta write a good book. The work will speak for itself regardless of your group affiliations.

  3. Act professional? Pfffffftttttt. Good thing I have dangly bits. lol