Thursday, May 22, 2008

The sexism of Rowling-bashing

In The Guardian, Bidisha says that the latest round of attacks on J.K. Rowling are motivated by an unwillingness to accept that women can write serious "speculative fiction".
Readers who rave about the scope of Lord of the Rings, in which a club of white men flee (a) a big burning vagina and (b) some black guys in hoods, are simply unaware of the awesome complexity of Katharine Kerr's Deverry sequence of Celtic fantasy novels. They hail William Gibson's prescience, oblivious to Marge Piercy's prophetic sci-fi masterpieces Body of Glass and Woman on the Edge of Time and Liz Williams's intelligent, knotty novels like Darkland.

Speculative fiction - whether that is historical epic, space psychodrama or telepathic warrior quest - has always been about infinite possibilities. Why is it so hard to imagine a world which acknowledges the importance, multitude and sheer brilliance of its women writers?


  1. Surely anyone in their right mind would flee from a big burning vagina. We were taught that as basic safety back at primary school.

  2. And anyway, if you hung around and rang the fire-brigade, they'd only think it was a hoax call. The best thing is probably to sleep with a bucket of water next to the bed.


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