Gender / You crawl over there......

Fury, Thy Name is…

Let me sum up. Using smaller words, because obviously some of you couldn’t follow what I was saying the first time. Those of you who got it, are excused from class…

Imagine a class of kids, split roughly 50/50 boys and girls, the way classes in a normal culture are. Now picture them in a sunny field, laughing, happy, playing games. Today they are going to have some fun, and the teachers have set up obstacle courses. They will run through them, and the fastest students through will get a prize. Maybe it’s pizza, or a book, yay!

Now they line up, joking about who’s the fastest, and who will fall with their face in the mud. I can hear them in my head, and it makes me smile. But wait… the teachers are walking along the line of children, tapping the girls on the shoulder, and pointing to the second course. What’s happening?

The girls stand in one line, the boys in another, and the teachers announce that because everyone knows the boys will win the obstacle course times, and that’s not fair to the girls, they have set up a second, easier, course for the girls to run, and the times will be adjusted for sexes to determine the winner.

This is what’s happening with my beloved field of writing. I’m told that I, as a woman on my own merits, can’t compete with the men, so I need a leg up, because I’m a woman. Because I’m a woman, they say I’m a victim of oppression and without that easier course that only women are allowed to enter their writing in, I can’t make it.

And you wonder why I’m steamed. I demand equality. Offer me a hand up ‘because I’m a woman’ and I will spit in your eye and run the harder course. I might not win. But I will compete as an equal.

I am no victim.

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15 thoughts on “Fury, Thy Name is…

  1. No, no, no, no, NO! You need that special course because three generations ago, girls weren’t allowed to run the course at all. Well, OK, they were ALLOWED, but discouraged, and sometimes their times were recorded wrong, and everyone agrees today that that was wrong.

    Because of that, you need the special course today. And it’s not an EASIER course, silly! It’s just a course where half your competition has been excluded. You can still go run in the open course if you want. You’re so special, you’re eligible to win prizes in BOTH courses! But those nasty boys, we’ll only let them win in one course. That’ll punish them for discrimination three generations before they were born!

    And no, silly, there are no boys-only courses today! That would be EVIL! Why, something like that might prompt a moribund, in-fighting runners’ association to get off their asses and stage a protest against discrimination!

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    • LOL! You are so right. I should have written that all the boys were made to go sit on a bench, and just watch teh girls. Only, no, you all turn around, because you can’t LOOK at the girls. Better yet, go inside and sit at your desks, but if you wiggle too much, we’ll lock you in a closet… (I swear to you, I’ve been reading a fellow blogger whose son was routinely being locked in a closet, in a public school, But he was a boy, so it was ok.)

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  2. Good Lady Writer: Please keep on plugging along!

    We greatly need more “Cedar” to offset the “Coras” of the world…

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  3. Cedar, I’m running right there with you. I don’t know whether to shake my head or my fist at those who want to “level” the playing field by excluding everyone who doesn’t fall in line with their way of group-think. Honestly, if I weren’t so angry with them right now, I’d feel sorry for them. I grew up with a strong mother who loved my father, very much a cismale, very much. Neither parent had a college degree. Heck, Mom only had a few college credits. But she worked hard and proved herself time and time again in business until she was making more money than my father — who was southwest comptroller for one of the country’s largest underwriting companies. I was always taught I could do anything I wanted if I put my mind to it. It might not be easy and I’d face those who’d tell me I couldn’t, but what I did was up to me. Now I see members of my own sex telling me I can’t compete because of my sex. I call bullshit. They aren’t my “sisters”. My “sisters” in arms are folks like you and Sarah and Kate who want to earn your stripes, not have them given to you.

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  4. I’ve been “handicapped” since 1977, and when I went back into the workforce (after 2 surgeries), I had a “tax credit.” I never mentioned it, until _after_ I was hired. I worked hard for that skill, and wanted the job on my abilities, not me “specialness.” They’re incapable of seeing the damage that “special quotas” do.

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  5. This totally out-of-touch seventy-five-year-old male gives less than one half of one tinker’s damn about what sex is the author of books and stories he enjoys. (Or their politics, or their religion, or… ad nauseum, but that’s another topic.)

    Good Lord! Talk about cutting off one’s nose! Let’s all band together and have us a good boo-hoo about those poor, downtrodden authors Andre Norton, Vonda Mackintyre, Patricia McKillip, Lois Bujold, Anne McCaffery, Ursula Le Guin, or to reach even further back, Leigh Brackett, All of ’em have written stories that I’ve enjoyed, and that, I submit, is of the most important — at least from my standpoint.

    Yes, getting published may have been more difficult for women writers in the past, but it _was_ possible. (George Sand, anyone?)

    Was it Spider Robinson who opined that the ultimate consumer — the reader — was the proper target of every writer? As I recall, he said that readers were, in general, hard-wired to like _stories_. OK, Ladies (“Lady” being an honorific): I have enjoyed what I have read of what you’ve written. And I’m an ultimate consumer. Write some more rattlin’ good stories so that I can give you money. Please.

    Ben Hartley

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