Hello everybody and a happy Sunday to us all! A few bits, bobs and also: OUTRAGE.
The winner of an ARC of These Broken Stars is
Congratulations! You know the drill. Send us an email (contact AT thebooksmugglers DOT com) with your snail mail address, and we’ll get your winnings out to you as soon as possible!
The Oscars, That Onion Tweet, Sexism in Film and TV: HERE IS OUR OUTRAGE
You are probably sick and tired of hearing/reading about the Oscars and about Seth MacFarlane’s misogynistic shitfest as its host, or how the misogyny was not by any means limited to your TV screen but also moved on to Twitter and the Oscar coverage happening there. More specifically the Onion’s tweet that called 9 year-old Oscar Nominee Quvenzhané Wallis a cunt.
Although we already spoke about it all at length on Twitter this week, we still need to talk about it here and add our voice to the myriad of other ones that are outraged and found all of this unacceptable and unfunny. That tweet in particular is outrageous because Quvenzhané Wallis is a 9 year-old-child, because it is a sexist tirade, because it is a racist tirade. It dismays us to see people defending the tweet as a joke and even attacking the Onion after they issued an apology. Because those who excuse it and those who don’t think there is anything wrong with it are deeply oblivious of not only the deeply problematic historical context in which that tweet happened and how it is not by accident that it was directed at a young Black girl but also oblivious to the internalised sexism present in the film industry. I highly recommend you to read N.K. Jemisin’s post “Fantasy Fans: Where’s Your Outrage?” as well as Shakesville’s epic breakdown of the issue. Both posts are a call to arms which we felt we needed to respond to as allies, as fantasy fans and as feminists.
Interestingly enough and related to this conversation, yesterday I attended a panel at Watersprite – Cambridge Student Film Festival – on Women in Film and TV. The panel’s summary said: “A rare chance to hear professionals in diverse areas of Flm and TV share their experiences. With our partners WFTV, we will be hosting a panel of incredibly successful women from the industry, including a Fight-coordinator, a production designer and an editor. This is a fantastic opportunity to discover the intricacies of the business and, in particular, the (sometimes real, sometimes perceived) hurdles faced by women.”
The “perceived” part should have tipped me off. The panelists were Gabi Norland, a cinematographer; Susan Brand, a film editor; and Ruth Cooper-Brown and Rachel Bown-Williams who both work on choreographing dramatic violence for Film and Theatre, teaching combat and providing Fight artists. It was really interesting in parts and I really enjoyed to hear about their successful career (especially about Ruth Cooper-Brown and Rachel Bown-Williams’ totally awesome career on stage fight). But the panelists did not address the specific hurdles faced by women at all until a member of the audience asked a specific question at the end of the panel on sexism in the industry.
The replies were a revelation.
I am paraphrasing but here is the gist of what came out collectively:
“I have never felt left out or harassed, I don’t think there is sexism, even when I WORK ON A SET WHERE I AM THE ONLY WOMAN, I was never harassed. There are only 3 women (and 100+ men) in the society of cinematographers; 6% of women working as directors. But these are just NUMBERS, not sexism. Sometimes I walk into a set and someone immediately assumes I am the make-up artist but that is just gender stereotyping. There are no girls applying to courses that are more technical like sound-mixing and there is a lack of women in these fields and why are they not applying when they should be seeking out opportunities.”
And although I am really happy for these fantastic professionals and how they were able to build their career and not feel personally harassed, it dismayed me to hear how all the points they made on the topic were spot on about institutionalised, systemic sexism and yet none of them actually seemed to realise that and declared point blank that they don’t think that there is sexism in the industry anymore and that it is in fact, a very welcoming field to women.
Maybe they did not watch the Oscars?
SO. YES. We need to keep having these conversations, we need to be outraged when shit like the Oscars misogynist fest happen. Being silent is not an option.
This Week on The Book Smugglers:
On Monday, Thea reviews Frost Burned, the latest (7th) instalment in the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs (plus a giveaway opportunity).
On Tuesday, we will be taking part on the When We Wake Blog Tour, hosting an intriguing character interview that will focus on Immigration issues. We will also post our joint review of the book.
Next, it’s Old School Wednesdays and we will be opening the floor to YOU, dear reader, so you can leave recommendations of older books you’d like to see us review.
On Thursday, we post our – after careful consideration – final Hugo Ballot, listing the books and the people we will be nominating this year.
Finally on Friday, we post our joint review of The Archived by Victoria Schwab. And over at Kirkus, Ana reviews 2012 Andre Norton Award nominee Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Aaaand that’s it from us today! As usual, we remain…
~ Your Friendly Neighborhood Book Smugglers