miss_s_b: (feminist heroes: Liz 10)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
I have been interested to notice the launch of fifty-fifty festivals in the last few days. The concept is simple: since the readership of SFF is fifty-fifty male-female, and the writer base is fifty-fifty male-female, panels at cons should be fifty-fifty male-female too.

I'm VERY interested in Paul Cornell's response to this, and the responses to his ideas. While I agree that it's dispiriting that nobody pays attention to equalities measures till a man joins in, and Paul's method might be a bit of a blunt instrument, and yes, he has a bit of a reputation as a White Knight... I, for one, am not going to condemn him for this. As several people have said: for years and years mediocre men have been advanced in front of more knowledgable women, and Paul doing his bit to correct this balance should be applauded.

This makes me want to persuade [personal profile] magister to start organising cons again...

Further reading: http://www.badreputation.org.uk/2012/02/23/guest-post-the-5050-sff-movement/ and http://fjm.livejournal.com/1152261.html and http://tansyrr.com/tansywp/or-maybe-sometimes-equality-might-mean-half-the-paul-cornell-parity-project-edition/

ETA: FWIW, yes, I do think Cornell is probably doing this, at least partly, for selfish publicity stunt reasons, and yes, his wording and thinking are not perfectly feminist. But so what? Honestly, if it achieves something, so what? We need to stop condemning the good for not being perfect. Sure, constructive criticism can always help the good be BETTER, but doing something a bit good which is not perfect is better than doing nothing at all, or sitting throwing flames on the internet.

Date: Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 05:06 pm (UTC)
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)
From: [personal profile] matgb
Chance has a slightly different take on the Cornell thing:
http://secritcrush.livejournal.com/458855.html
http://secritcrush.livejournal.com/459427.html

Which given it's the only real coverage I'd read...

Having met him a few times, it is the sort of grandstanding "I must be seen to do the right thing" approach that's within character.

But yeah, organising Cons would be good.

Date: Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 05:45 pm (UTC)
innerbrat: (opinion)
From: [personal profile] innerbrat
I need to properly formulate my feelings, but...

...I really think feminists should be pointing our bows and arrows at the enemy, here, and not directly down at our feet.
Edited Date: Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 05:46 pm (UTC)

Date: Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 05:46 pm (UTC)
drunkwriter: Me in South Park form. (Default)
From: [personal profile] drunkwriter
Cornell's using his higher than average profile to draw attention to a problem which, perhaps, most male congoers hadn't even necessarily noticed (privilege, yadda yadda yadda). Even if, as I predict, he abandons his crusade after maybe one unpleasant episode at the next major event he goes to, it's broadened the debate.

Date: Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 09:02 pm (UTC)
blazingskies: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blazingskies
I have problems with some of Paul's approach, particularly his slight ham-handedness (particularly with regards to the... uh... discussion he had with the Eastercon staff since Eastercon has been aiming for overall panel parity for a while) but to give him his due, at least he's *trying* to do something instead of going 'Well gosh, isn't it terrible that women don't get a fair say.'

Screaming at him for trying *something* is just going to scare away other people who want to take action.

Date: Sunday, February 26th, 2012 04:06 am (UTC)
purplecthulhu: (Default)
From: [personal profile] purplecthulhu
A few days after he announced this policy was Picocon. I was running the silly games there and, knowing he's good at Just a Minute, wanted him on the panel. He agreed, but noted his new policy, which was fine with me. I went well beyond 50-50 and arranged a panel with only two males on it - him and me - with 6 females.

And then, through a combination of factors, he didn't turn up to the panel, but stayed in the bar.

I was a little grumpy, I must admit, but the game went very well despite his absence.

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