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Thursday, March 08, 2012

Question for Feminists: Is it wrong to directly target women for inclusion?

One of the things I've struggled with as someone who sees himself as a feminist is whether it is right to intentionally create diversity by targeting women (or another minority group).  One specific instance can be found here.  Jen and I do not get as many women authors on our show as we would like (let alone LGBT authors), which we are not comfortable with.  We're not sure why that is, except perhaps because there are simply many times more men publishing in SF/F.  Occasionally, we put out a call for female authors (and other minority groups) to fill the gap.

But every time I write up one of those posts, I wonder whether I'm crossing a line.  Is creating diversity artificially a good method?  Or does it make me complicit in the system?  And if I am committing a wrong of sorts, how do I get around it while also creating the diversity of content that I want?  Do I avoid the request system altogether and simply go directly to the authors Jen and I want to interview (a difficult process, actually, and one I'm not sure we would both enjoy, since we like the unexpectedness of our request system)?

What do you think?

The comments are wide open for opinions.  Have at it.


P.S.:  I am a feminist.  The title of the post is directed towards other feminists in part because I don't think of myself as a particular good feminist in terms of being well read or fully understanding the experience of women in a patriarchal society.  I am a white male, after all.  I'm hoping the title will draw some folks with more experience or knowledge into the mix.

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  1. Kelsey12:50 PM

    Your intentions are not negative, really, but creating diversity is such away sounds almost discriminatory it itself. It's not that wanting to include people is wrong, but there is a sense that you are referring to these minorities as the "other," instead of average people, which can be annoying.

    In any case, I would just put more effort into finding authors that you can bring on the show, and treat the whole matter as normal - whether they are a white man, a woman, an African American or they are categorized by some other label. Authors are authors, people are people.

  2. One of my housemates had a similar experience with this when he was asked to join the LGTB society because 'they needed people like him'. He told them no, because he saw no reason why LGBT people should have their own special group for something that's part of him and shouldn't divide him from 'everyone else', whether or not it celebrates it. (His actual words compared the LGBT club to Nazi camps, which was hilarious, but a little over the top, haha)

    But in any case, like Kelsey, I think that sometimes through targeting people you can at the same time, make them feel almost discriminated, even if it is innocent.