I don’t often post just to point you somewhere else, but sometimes it’s worth it. Sophia McDougall is one hell of a writer on gender issues in modern SF&F. This was first brought to my attention by her post in response to Steven Moffat’s unbelievably mysogynist comments that half the Internet seems to know all about, and the other half seems blissfully ignorant of and even defensive-about-in-ignorance. To be fair, since the whole Riversong thing there’s been less of the ‘Yes, I’ve heard he’s secretly sexist, but I don’t believe it – he writes such strong women!’. Sophia’s post came out before the ‘My whole purpose in life – becoming an archeologist and a badass, everything – was to catch up with the Doctor because I love him and need him to complete me’ second-half-of-season reveal. When I read it, I felt like the scales fell from my eyes. Now it feels generous.
Given the number of times I’ve seen her post linked to I was surprised to find that no one I spoke to at the SFX Weekender had read it. So, in case you missed it, here, complete with full and damning quotes from the Moff himself, is one post you should read: Capes, Wedding Dresses, and Steven Moffat.
But that’s not the post I started this one to draw your attention to. It’s this: SFX Weekender and the Nudes in the Metropolitan Gallery. She points out a number of things that I had missed, and (again) makes a case I want to put forward better than I could. I didn’t notice the gender disparity in panels, but then I only went to two, one of which was the Q & A with the kickass Eve Myles. But yeah – Sophia really would have been an ideal person to have on a panel, especially when relative unknowns like my mate Dave (who, for all his good qualities, only had his first book come out on the Thursday of the SFX Weekender itself – promotional, yes, but perhaps not an authority) got a look in alongside the obvious choices, like China Mieville.
Anyway, where mine is one person’s point of view, Sophia’s post has breadth, style, and nuance. Go read.