Tag Archives: female

My Daughter Can Do Anything

I have a four-year-old daughter. She likes pink and purple. She loves wearing skirts. She loves dolls, My Little Pony, Frozen, Pretty Cure, and drawing hearts and flowers. She also loves cars, trains, and airplanes. She has shown interest in ballet and singing. She’s also shown interest in soccer and baseball. She is full of energy, strong-willed, stubborn, and takes control over whatever group she’s playing with.

She has shown a very strong ability to problem solve, work with her hands, do puzzles that are meant for older kids, and create things with Lego. She has an incredible imagination, as I would expect kids to have. Within a few months, she should be fully bilingual in Japanese and English. She loves numbers. She loves animals.

She’s told me she wants to be a ballerina, singer, and a doctor.

She can do it. She can be whatever she wants. She can do anything she wants. If she wants to join a baseball team, then I’ll be there cheering for her. If she becomes the top kid in her school in math, I will be very happy for her. If she wants to become a singer and go on a show like Canada’s Got Talent, then I’ll be behind her all the way.

I will not tolerate people who tell her she can’t do something because she’s a girl. If she has a teacher who ignores her ability to do math, tells her that girls can’t do math, I won’t hesitate to tell the teacher that I will be reporting them to the Principal and school board for their sexism. If she’s a great pitcher, and her baseball coach has her sitting on the bench because she’s a girl and girls can’t throw, I will not tolerate that. I want her to be recognised for her ability, not her gender. If she’s bad at something, then she can practice more. She needs to earn her place. But if she’s ever told she can’t do something because she’s a girl, I will not be a pleasant person to deal with.

She will do what she wants to do. I will support her dreams. I won’t let her settle with what society expects of her. She needs to do what she desires. It’s her life to live, not anyone else’s. I’m happy to live in a society that supports this. But there’s still a long way to go.

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Gender Imbalance in Literature

I read an interesting article on The Awl about the lack of female authors being represented in reviews in various publications. The author of the article has decided to no longer review books by men, and to focus on only those written by women.  I can understand why she would say that. It’s her choice, and I have no issue with it.

But it makes me look at what I’ve read and reviewed. I have an overwhelmingly male list of books. But why? It wasn’t a conscious decision. It wasn’t even an unconscious decision. When I look at the books I have, I see a lot of fantasy and science fiction, mostly written by men. But my selection process has nothing to do with gender. The very first thing I consider is the blurb on the back cover. Does it interest me? If so, I’ll probably buy it. However, if I see a book by an author I know and like, I will also buy it.

To be fair, if I’d started writing reviews earlier, I’d have far more books reviewed by female authors. I’ve just read them already. In fact, while I was in university, the books I read were mostly by female authors, one in particular. She was probably my first favourite author. Her series stands as one of my favourite all-time series, and she is probably one of my top two favourite authors. Her name is Anne McCaffrey. I fell in love with her Pern series, and although I haven’t read one of her books in quite some time, I will be going back to reread them. Reviews of her books will come. I’ll also mention J. K. Rowling as and Naomi Novik as authors I’ve read several books of. And I’m quite excited to read N. K. Jemisin, Lois McMaster Bujold, Ursula K. Leguin, Octavia Butler, Marion Zimmer Bradley, C. J. Cherryh, Margaret Atwood (Canadian!), Jo Walton (another Canadian), Ann Leckie, Robin Hobb, Elizabeth Moon, Mercedes Lackey, Janny Wurts, and C. S. Friedman. The list goes on. That’s a lot of books to read. You can also tell my tastes in books by this list: fantasy and science fiction.

So, my list of already reviewed books is heavily male just by chance. However, I’m never going to choose books based on the author’s gender. That’s not important to me. I just want to read a good book.

What do you think? Is there an unfair imbalance? Do you choose books based on the author’s gender? And which female authors of fantasy and science fiction would you recommend? Let me know in the comments below.

My Reading Gender Gap

I finally did up a book review list of books listed by the author’s gender. Was I ever surprised. Take a look.

Only six of the books had female authors. Note that two of them also had male authors, as one was co-written by a male author, and the other was a collection of stories by many authors. And there were fifty-eight written or co-authored by men. A 6:58 ratio. Wow.

I need to read more books written by women. It’s not intentional. I tended to buy books based on how interesting they looked. I’d also like to add that I’ve read a large number of books by Anne McCaffrey, who is one of my favourite authors. I just haven’t reviewed many by women.

What do you think your female to male author ratio is?

Where Are All the Female Epic Fantasy Authors?

When you think of epic fantasy, what authors come to mind? Robert Jordan? George R. R. Martin? J. R. R. Tolkien? Men. It always seems to be male authors. So, where are the female epic fantasy authors?

Here’s a list of them on Reddit. Oh, C. J. Cherryh. C. S. Friedman’s a woman? I didn’t know that. I know Jacqueline Carey and Janny Wurts. There’s Lois McMaster Bujold. N. K. Jemisin is a newer one, and she’s African American, too! And there’s Robin Hobb. Did you know she’s a woman? There are some big names there, but the list is incredibly short.

On Leona Henry’s blog, I found that list, and her post inspired me to write this. It’s unfortunate that female fantasy authors seem to be stereotyped as YA authors or romance authors. It’s a shame that epic fantasy novels written by female authors have romance style covers when there is no romance in the novel.  Sounds like publishers are to blame with that.

I want to see more epic fantasy novels written by female authors. Although not really fantasy, one of my favourite authors is Anne McCaffrey, and she had some wonderful books based on the world of Pern. They are dragon-themed, but it is science fiction. I want more variety in the books I’ve been reading. It just seems I pick up books that look good based on the description and cover, and pass over the ones that look like they’re more romantic. I see the error in that now.

There’s another thing that I’ve been inspired to do. You see at the top of the page, a menu option called Reviews? I’m going to add another page that lists books by the author’s gender. As I tend to read mainly science fiction and fantasy, you’ll get to have a good list of female authors as I read their books. So, if that page isn’t there now, it will be shortly. I’ll get that done within the next hour, I think.

And I think I’m going to try get into using Reddit, especially the fantasy and science fiction sections.

So, I would like to ask you a question. Which female epic fantasy authors would you recommend? Let me know in the comments.

Female Dominated Societies

Fantasy and science fiction tend to be dominated by male authors.  It seems that fantasy in general has cultures that are male dominated, mostly taking cues from history.  Science fiction is different, though.  It tends to have more balanced societies with neither being dominant.

I’m reading a couple of books right now that take things a bit differently.  In the science fiction book, the enemy alien is female dominated, and I actually haven’t seen any males at all. This has not been explained yet, but may be in the future.   In the fantasy book I’m reading, females dominate the culture, and men are considered to be inferior.

Looking at nature, there are species that are female dominated.  Many insects have much larger females, and even those that eat their male mates.  The same goes for fish.  It seems that most mammals and birds have larger males than females, though.  It seems as if endothermic animals (often referred to as warm blooded) are mostly male dominated, while ectothermic animals (known as cold blooded) offer a larger variety of both male and female dominated species.

In my Ariadne universe, there’s a tendency for women to have a particular advantage over men, which may lead to a more female dominated society.  I will likely explore that, in fact.

Are there any books you’ve read that have a female dominated society? Leave a comment with your suggestions.