Yes, I realize calling the most recent incidence of sexism in SFWA a “kerfuffle” somewhat diminishes the importance of the situation, but I’m going to try to make up for that in body of this post.
As you may, or may not, know, I have two daughters. They are 11 (almost 12!) and 13 years of age. They are not considered “normal” by society because they are “geeks;” they are not considered beautiful by society because they don’t look like models; they are not considered equal because they are girls. They are, however, white girls, so they’ll have more opportunities than a lot of people.
My challenge is to make them aware that though they are “normal,” “beautiful,” and “equal” in MY eyes, that they are not necessarily any of those things to the broader society in which we live. The further challenge is to teach them that not only do they not HAVE to be the former two (normal & beautiful), but also that they should, nay, NEED, to embrace themselves as amazing human beings regardless of what society tells them. As for the latter (equal), the challenge is to fight EVERY SINGLE INSTANCE of sexism and bigotry that I come across so that they see that it’s one thing to not be equal, but it’s an entirely more awful thing to take that lying down. [Read more…]