Meanwhile in the Future: Nobody Cares About Your Gender

Nerf balls are for boys. Dolls are for girls. Romance movies are for women, and action flicks for men. Nearly everything in our world is gendered in some way. But what if we lived in a world where gender was more like hair color — something you could change at will, and that had little bearing on what other people… »10/06/15 9:17pmTuesday 9:17pm

These Charts Show Just How Bad The Problem of Gender Bias in Science Fiction Awards Really Is

Are men better than women at writing science fiction and fantasy books? The major awards in the field certainly seem to think so. And in case you weren’t aware of how widespread the problem is, a groundbreaking new research project has generated some utterly staggering charts. »9/29/15 8:00pm9/29/15 8:00pm

Almost None of the Women in the Ashley Madison Database Ever Used the Site [Updated]

When hacker group Impact Team released the Ashley Madison data, they asserted that “thousands” of the women’s profiles were fake. Later, this number got blown up in news stories that asserted “90-95%” of them were fake, though nobody put forth any evidence for such an enormous number. So I downloaded the data and… »8/26/15 3:16pm8/26/15 3:16pm

This Twitter Rant Might Change How You Think About Female Characters

At this point, the debate over "strong female characters" has gotten a bit stale. Movies and TV keep serving up tough women, but they mostly still don't come across as actually "strong characters" in any meaningful sense. So this Twitter mini-rant by science fiction writer Ada Hoffman is incredibly useful. »2/17/15 1:37pm2/17/15 1:37pm

When Writers Remake Gender, They Create A Better Mirror On Our World

There's a fascinating interview with Ursula K. Le Guin over at Electric Literature. She talks about the former literary/genre divide, and when to ignore "the rules." And she also explains why creating radically different versions of gender is actually a way to help people see the here and now more clearly. »8/08/14 4:40pm8/08/14 4:40pm

Fandom Academia: Gender Influences Filk Far Less Than You'd Think

I love the highly-specific title of this academic paper by Melissa Tatum, Robert Spoo, and Banjamin Pope: "Does Gender Influence Attitudes Toward Copyright in the Filk Community?" It combines three hot-button issues: copyright, gender, and fandom. It's a like a powder keg of things people have very strong opinions on. »6/21/14 3:30am6/21/14 3:30am

I'm A Man Who Plays As A Woman In Games, And I'm Definitely Not Alone

I self-identify as a straight male-bodied dude, but recently I've taken to playing as a female-bodied character in many games. It's not something the majority of people do, but it's also not uncommon. Oddly, however, men play as women far more than women play as men. Let's break down why people choose the avatars they… »5/16/14 3:27pm5/16/14 3:27pm