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Month: October 2015

Somehow you never took to fright

One of my earliest memories is my first nightmare. I was five, had just started kindergarten, and was having… social adjustment problems. As the oldest child in my family, I was used to interacting with adults. I was also a nerdy little thing, already prone to big words (for a five-year-old) and science fiction references. I didn’t understand kindergarten — it seemed like it was for babies — and kindergarten didn’t understand me, either. In this dream, the kids in my kindergarten class were being herded into a vast and terrifying machine. I think its design was based on a…

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SFC Part 9: The strong female characters have had enough of your nonsense

(Saving the world from Strong Female Characters so you don’t have to, Part 9 of 9. VICTORY IS MINE!!!!!!!! ) Let’s see, where were we? I believe our essayist was insisting that his erotic preferences are, in fact, the obvious and objectively correct default for the entirety of the human race. It is obvious that men and women are different both in fine and in gross. Annnnnd we’re off to the races again, with Mr. Wright obsessing about all the ways in which women are different from men. (Also, “fine and gross“? That’s almost as bad as “fecund.”) Whew, it’s…

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SFC Part 8: Some is not half

(Saving the world from Strong Female Characters so you don’t have to, Part 8 of 9. Really? We’re not done yet? Good lord. ) When we left off, we were talking about feminism-as-cult. So why are the ladies in despair? Why do they commit suicide in record numbers? Is it because of me, John C Wright, internationally recognized science fiction author, failed attorney, retired newspaperman, savant and scholar with my fat belly and outrageous beard and nearsighted eyes, my glorious bald spot, my dull swordcane? Did I suppress you, my dear ladies? Are women actually committing suicide in record numbers?…

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SFC Part 7: Funny, I don’t remember joining a cult

(Saving the world from Strong Female Characters so you don’t have to, Part 7 of 9. I… I don’t know if I can make it after all… let me just lie here… and die… ) When we left off, our essayist was explaining the conspiracy to take over the country for the forces of political correctness, starting with science fiction, starting with an insistence on strong female characters, because… uh, I’ll let him explain it: The cult wants to put leftwing messages into stories to influence the minds of the reading public and make their leftwing worldview seem like the norm,…

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SFC Part 6: Invasion from the Planet of the Radical Feminists

(Saving the world from Strong Female Characters so you don’t have to, Part 6 of 9. I can taste victory!) When we left off, Mr. Wright was talking about how unrealistic he finds women in film who can kick your butt. He goes on: I have never seen a scene where a woman fighting a man gets scared and starts crying and gives up, Which is funny, because I feel like I have — so often that the scene in The Shining where Shelly Duvall gets scared, starts crying, and doesn’t give up, struck me as novel. even though, without the…

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SFC Part 5: Zombies of the patriarchy

(Saving the world from Strong Female Characters so you don’t have to, Part 5 of 9. We’re in the home stretch now!) Earlier in the essay, we were treated to the spectacle of our essayist pretending he didn’t understand the dictionary definition of sexism. So, he redefined it to something he personally finds absurd, then declared anyone who uses the word “sexism” as it is normally defined to be obviously, inescapably, indubitably a stupid dummy head. Here, we get the point — seemingly inevitable in any anti-feminist screed — where he doesn’t understand patriarchy: Now, a rebuttal to this counter argument is that the categories of masculine…

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SFCPart 4: A brief history of sexism in the 20th Century

(Saving the world from Strong Female Characters so you don’t have to, Part 4 of 9. We’re almost halfway there!) Back to our deconstruction of the essay, we briefly diverge into something that isn’t detailing exactly the ways in which our essayist believes that women are different from men. Instead, we talk about the history of sexism in the 20th century, and things get surprisingly less creepy and wrong! The modern women’s liberation movement got started in the same era when the sexual revolution was imposing on women a demeaning role from which she needed to be liberated This is…

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SFC Part 3: Verbosity and petticoats

(Saving the world from Strong Female Characters so you don’t have to, Part 3 of 9. See, we’re a third of the way through already!) So, here’s what we’ve got so far: Mr. Wright believes that “strong female character” is code for “masculine female character” and that this is a wrong and offensive thing because women are different from men. So different. Here, let me spend some more time telling you all the ways I think women are different from men, and my justification for why I think that is, and here are some more things about women that make them…

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SFC Part 2: A definition of sexism

(Saving the world from Strong Female Characters so you don’t have to, Part 2 of 9. Don’t panic!) When we left off, Mr. Wright was in the middle of detailing his idealized feminine qualities. Diving back in, we get to: The female spirit is [..] deep in understanding rather than adroit in deductive logic” Wait, what? Did he really just assert that the female spirit is not adroit in deductive logic? After claiming that the male spirit is “unerring in deduction”? Dude, you just claimed that men are better at thinking than women. On the basis of — well, nothing, really.…

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Strong female characters Part 1: Saving the world from strong female characters so you don’t have to

So, this year. There was this thing nominated for a Hugo. You might have heard of it — “Transhuman and Subhuman,” a collection of essays nominally on the subject of science fiction by John C. Wright. It was in the Hugo packet. One of the essays is the novel-length anti-feminist ramble: “Saving Science Fiction from Strong Female Characters” Glad somebody’s on that! Wouldn’t want those strong female characters all up in there, wrecking things. I ended up devoting a ridiculous amount of brainspace to this epic exercise in fractal wrongness. Even skimming madly, I kept seeing things that were so…

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My VCON schedule

Friday, October 2 3:00pm Richmond E | Women In Urban Fantasy 7:00pm Minoru A | Multi-Author Book Launch Saturday, October 3 10:00am Minoru A | Killing Off Characters 3:00pm Richmond E | From Oz To Teen Wolf: The Rise of Sexy Weres 5:00pm Richmond C | Sad Puppies & Happy Kittens: The Hugo Situation 6:00pm Richmond D | Sanity Check: The Lingering Popularity Of Lovecraft Sunday, October 4 2:00pm Richmond C | Worlds Of Whedon 3:00pm Gilbert | Reading   See you in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada!

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