‘How To Suppress Women’s Writing:’ 3 Decades Old And Still Sadly Relevant

In January, Ursula K. Le Guin died. Her Washington Post obituary is glowing; it notes that The Left Hand of Darkness “was cited by literary critic Harold Bloom in The Western Canon,
his overview of classic literature, and paved the way for Ms. Le Guin’s
broader acceptance.” It also, reverentially, identifies her as the
“grande dame” of science fiction.

Joanna Russ would probably have something to say about that phrase.

How to Suppress Women’s Writing — published
in 1983, just reprinted — is startlingly slim for the amount of work it
does, nimbly drawing disparate sources into an outline of the ways the
literary establishment has rejected a canon of women’s writing. (They
include She didn’t write it; she did but she shouldn’t have; and she is not really she [an artist] and it is not really it [serious, of the right genre, aesthetically sound, important,etc.] so how could “she” have written “it”?)

‘How To Suppress Women’s Writing:’ 3 Decades Old And Still Sadly Relevant







“weaponized femininity” more like “how to cater to the male gaze and Western beauty ideals while acting like it’s Totally Subversive”



[Comic source: Kate Beaton]

Apparently, according to all the people who were upset that we dared to call out Hideo Kojima and implied that his use of Quiet in promotional materials was objectification and pandering, you can also act like it’s totally subversive by writing a long back story for the character.

It doesn’t have to be, or really their own back story, or one that the majority of players will even experience – just so long as there’s something there to claim that you “totally humanized and made worthwhile” the character who’s boobs appear in every promo post.

Then it becomes a deep commentary of the “reality of women in these situations”… there being so many women who run around in bikinis on battlefields in reality.

– wincenworks

Since “weaponized femininity” got namedropped in that post we reblogged this weekend, let’s maybe bring it back today. And wonder once again how exactly does displaying a conventionally attractive heroine’s

tits and supermodel strut  equally as much as her

weapons and battle prowess count automatically as female empowerment and not thinly-veiled pandering to cishet men.

And also let’s remember another, more evocative name which Miss Represenation documentary gave to this Totally Subversive™

trope – The Fighting F*cktoy





i don’t want to achieve equality by sinking to men’s level, i want them to get on ours! why should i have to unlearn the conversational art of waiting my turn, unlearn sexual self-restraint, unlearn trust in others’ good intentions, unlearn the impulse to cater to others’ needs, just to have a chance at success among savages? why can’t the men learn some fucking manners so we can all conduct our affairs in a civilized manner? i shouldn’t have to stop saying sorry, you say sorry!

I put up with this as an excuse for FAR too long.  “Oh, it’s just how men talk. Oh, it’s natural.  If you have a problem with it, interrupt me! I won’t mind!*  If you don’t like it, learn to give as good as you get!  Toughen up, god, don’t be so sensitive.”

Get fucked.

Don’t put up with this if you can possibly avoid doing so.  Certainly in a relationship, this is a no-go.

* Ohhhh, they fucking mind. And if you dare raise your voice to match the volume of theirs, holy shit, suddenly you’re yelling when they weren’t.



My thoughts exactly, re: #readwomen 

This is like saying “All Lives Matter” instead of “Black Lives Matter”.

Both the gender and the race of an author does matter nowadays because the publishing, editing, and writing business is dominated often by white men. It’s not because white males are the best authors, but because the system is skewed towards them being uplifted and more often published. @readwomen and @readpoc2016 are about reading with awareness by uplifting female/poc authors because they are often overlooked or face harder standards in the industry, even thinking they can’t sell as well.

It’s important because John Green is considered “the savior of YA” despite the numerous female authors who have been keeping it going and selling tons of books. It’s important because male pseudonyms are still more often looked at than if a woman keeps her name. It’s important because books by women and poc about women/poc are still considered less likely to sell. It’s because when a poc is on the cover, it can affect sales or publishing idustries think it will. 

It’s important because the world is still sexist and racist and we’re trying to close these gaps, by reading with awareness, a phrase @ladybookmad used that resonated with me deeply.

Articles on Sexism in Publishing:

Articles on Racism in Publishing:

These are just a small handful of articles that talk about the inequality in writing, publishing, editing, reviewing, and so forth. 

This is why it matters what gender or race the author is. Because the world is far from equal and uplifting these authors is the least we can do




Not only were graphic images created of her being raped and a flash game specifically made to simulate assaulting her, but the barrage of death threats made against her because she made some videos about video games were so rampant and severe that she had the move out of her home, and the San Francisco police have handed over the case to the FBI. Multiple events she has attended have received bomb threats and more than one of her events had to be canceled for security concerns.

She was specifically asked by the UNs womens coalition to speak at an event about gendered cyber violence.

But sure. It was just ~some mean words~ yeah? Not like, an online culture of entitled pissy trolls angry that a woman said some not nice things about games they liked allowed for escalating threats of violence masked by anonymity that had real world implications.

Also if people actually watched her videos then it would be clear that she wasn’t being overly radical. She was calm, her topic was not very radical (the damsel in distress trope is overused), and she evens says stuff like “just because uses this trope doesn’t mean it’s sexist” and “just because a game is sexist doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any value”. Masculinity is so fucking fragile that it’s hilarious, and I’m a guy saying that. 

Seriously. Ive seen a few of her videos. They are all “babies first introduction to media tropes.” Basic, entry level analysis.

The outrage that such simple, baseline videos caused in these gamer bro communities is embarrassing.