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The Fannish Misogyny Fairy

So it went down like this.

SFWA announced that they’re putting a task force on fixing the Bulletin RIGHT NOW and that’s a good thing. We are hopeful!

John Scalzi said, somewhat ruefully, on Twitter that this is what he gets for thinking that the last month of his tenure as SFWA president would be quiet.

I told him that he had tempted the Fannish Misogyny Fairy with such thoughts.

He said he wanted to see an illustration.

There are very few people for whom I will whip off a spontaneous illustration, and I have to be in the right mood (my buddy Mur is still waiting for her sugar cube golem!) but all the stars aligned, I found photo ref of Hoary Marmots (because A) these are very hoary attitudes and B) if you google them, there are some marvelous shots of hoary marmots sitting around in groups, looking like grumpy old men) and…well…


Prints are available! And if you want to post this around to fight the forces of People Saying Stupid Things, you are more than welcome–give me some credit in the comments or link or whatever.

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.


... and Google stats show a strange spike in the number of people searching for "hoary marmot".

I just did it! Not that I didn't know what hoary marmots look like and all, but just to contribute to the Google spike.

And the Fannish Misogyny Fairy is far too accurate!

The little elf booties really make it. DH says he doesn't want a print, he wants a t-shirt. Preferably pink.

I like your husband's ideas and wish to subscribe to his Bulletin.

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You are the best. Have we mentioned that lately?

This is amazing and so are you. :)

Misogyny, Fandom, GRRM, and Rape in Fiction

I don't know if misogyny is generally more an attribute of old rather than young men -- if you have much contact with the hip-hop and rap subcultures (of all races) you will encounter a degree of misogyny that would make most misogynistic male fen pale by comparison.

But then there's very little crossover between those two subcultures and fandom. What you're seeing here I think is an effect of the 1960's - 1970's counterculture on fandom. The counterculture was very misogynistic (radical feminism first appeared largely as a reaction against its assumptions), tending to both be in favor of committments-free sex and to view women mostly as walking sexual appliances whose position in the Revolution would be "on their backs."

I entirely disagree with you regarding George R. R. Martin's fiction, though. While it is quite true that GRRM's fantasy cultures are misogynistic, that is because he modeled them very closely on real-world cultures, and real-world pre-industrial cultures tended to be very misogynsitic by modern standards. Note that the culture of most of the protagonists -- Westeros -- is one of the less misogynistic ones in his world, and this even becomes a plot point (remember how Dany gets her army?).

As for rape in fiction, any fiction containing characters of both sexes and which deals much with war is very likely to have rape as at least a threat which the characters must keep in mind. This is for exactly the same reason that it is likely to have pillage and slaughter as at least threats -- war is chaos ("in time of war the laws are silent") and in situations of chaotic anarchy, at least some people will decide to treat those even temporarily weaker than them with extreme cruelty. Indeed, rape, pillage and enslavement of the vanquished used to be the standard perks of capturing a city.

If we eliminate rape from fiction, it means that we are simply ignoring unpleasant realities, which is not the healthiest thing to do when the fiction is one of violence.
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Re: Misogyny, Fandom, GRRM, and Rape in Fiction

Your points have been addressed at length by dozens and dozens of female writers and readers. Tired, tired, tired.
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Unsure whether that thing near his ear is the end of the headband or a poorly-inserted bluetooth headset, but either way it makes me giggle.

This is, um, "lovely". Excellent execution, horrifying concept. :D

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Obviously the arch-nemesis of Gamma Rabbit. Once a week they will have twenty minute conflicts, starting with a power rock title sequence and with an important message at the end.

... the Fannish Misogyny Fairy is apparently having a wet t-shirt contest...

*wipes off monitor*

Excellent illustration, and fortuitous analogy. Marmots also whistle piercingly at passersby, as I recall, although those I've met did not seem to be whistling exclusively at one gender -- then again my Mom and I outnumbered Dad two to one, so who knows?

There is a dreadful pun in here about getting a Marmot laid, but I suppose he'd have to be orange for that.


Would a sugar cube golem look like a MineCraft Enderman, only in white?

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The "lady editors in bikinis" bit is especially ironic, given that some of the most influential editors in modern sf/fantasy publishing are female. Toni Weisskopf, of Baen Books, for example.

This is a very salient point. I also note that so far as I can tell, a significant majority of the porn-ish web comic artists are female as well.

While looking up marmots (because, duh), I found this quote on groundhogs and thought of you and that you'd probably find it amusing. "Groundhogs raised in captivity can be socialized relatively easily; however, their aggressive nature can pose problems. Doug Schwartz, a zookeeper and groundhog trainer at the Staten Island Zoo, has been quoted as saying 'They’re known for their aggression, so you’re starting from a hard place. [Their] natural impulse is to kill ’em all and let God sort ’em out. You have to work to produce the sweet and cuddly.'"

Emphasis mine.

My ex used to work with Doug when he'd put in time at the Prospect Park Zoo in Brooklyn, and when I met him at the employee holiday party... this sounds like exactly the kind of thing he'd say. We had a .... colorful... conversation about the walruses who were watching us eat, as I recall.

That.... that .... that is BEAUTIFUL.

The Fannish Misogyny Fairy is awesome -- well, if that is the right adjective to use. Entirely appropriate and striking, perhaps.

Also, just to prove that some things are more than two thousand years old:

As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, so is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?
-- Proverbs, 26:18-19