|Publisher||Indiana University Press|
To Write Like a Woman: Essays in Feminism and Science Fiction is a collection of essays by Joanna Russ, published in 1995.Many of the essays previously appeared as letters, in anthologies, or in journals such as Science Fiction Studies , Extrapolation, and Chrysalis . Topics range from the work of specific authors to major trends in feminism and science fiction. Through all of these different topics, Russ underlines the importance of celebrating the work of female authors and turning a critical eye on the commentaries and work produced by men.
The collection is split up into two sections. Part One focuses on the critique of masculinist writing and male authorship, while Part Two focuses on the work of female authors and their relationship to writing.
This collection of essays has been praised for its accessibility, even to readers unfamiliar with complex feminist or science fiction critique theory.Criticism has mostly been centered on the contradictions in subject matter for the essays, since the source material ranges from Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley to Star Trek . In addition, critics have claimed that Russ' cautions against psychoanalytic readings of an author's work are naïve and overly simplistic.
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects (1792), written by British proto-feminist Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–1797), is one of the earliest works of feminist philosophy. In it, Wollstonecraft responds to those educational and political theorists of the eighteenth century who did not believe women should receive a rational education. She argues that women ought to have an education commensurate with their position in society, claiming that women are essential to the nation because they educate its children and because they could be "companions" to their husbands, rather than mere wives. Instead of viewing women as ornaments to society or property to be traded in marriage, Wollstonecraft maintains that they are human beings deserving of the same fundamental rights as men.
Feminist science fiction is a subgenre of science fiction focused on theories that include feminist themes including but not limited to gender inequality, sexuality, race, economics, reproduction, and environment. Feminist SF is political because of its tendency to critique the dominant culture. Some of the most notable feminist science fiction works have illustrated these themes using utopias to explore a society in which gender differences or gender power imbalances do not exist, or dystopias to explore worlds in which gender inequalities are intensified, thus asserting a need for feminist work to continue.
Science fiction and fantasy serve as important vehicles for feminist thought, particularly as bridges between theory and practice. No other genres so actively invite representations of the ultimate goals of feminism: worlds free of sexism, worlds in which women's contributions are recognized and valued, worlds that explore the diversity of women's desire and sexuality, and worlds that move beyond gender.
Joanna Russ was an American writer, academic and radical feminist. She is the author of a number of works of science fiction, fantasy and feminist literary criticism such as How to Suppress Women's Writing, as well as a contemporary novel, On Strike Against God, and one children's book, Kittatinny. She is best known for The Female Man, a novel combining utopian fiction and satire, and the story "When It Changed".
Mary Wollstonecraft was a British writer, philosopher, and advocate of women's rights. Until the late 20th century, Wollstonecraft's life, which encompassed several unconventional personal relationships at the time, received more attention than her writing. Today Wollstonecraft is regarded as one of the founding feminist philosophers, and feminists often cite both her life and her works as important influences.
WisCon or Wiscon, a Wisconsin science fiction convention, is the oldest, and often called the world's leading, feminist science fiction convention and conference. It was first held in Madison, Wisconsin in February 1977, after a group of fans attending the 1976 34th World Science Fiction Convention in Kansas City was inspired to organize a convention like WorldCon but with feminism as the dominant theme. The convention is held annually in May, during the four-day weekend of Memorial Day. Sponsored by the Society for the Furtherance and Study of Fantasy and Science Fiction, or (SF)³, WisCon gathers together fans, writers, editors, publishers, scholars, and artists to discuss science fiction and fantasy, with emphasis on issues of feminism, gender, race, and class.
The Female Man is a feminist science fiction novel by American writer Joanna Russ. It was originally written in 1970 and first published in 1975 by Bantam Books. Russ was an ardent feminist and challenged sexist views during the 1970s with her novels, short stories, and nonfiction works. These works include We Who Are About To..., "When It Changed", and What Are We Fighting For?: Sex, Race, Class, and the Future of Feminism.
The Two of Them is a feminist science fiction novel by Joanna Russ. It was first published in 1978 in the United States by Berkley Books and in Great Britain by The Women's Press in 1986. It was last reissued in 2005 by the Wesleyan University Press with a foreword by Sarah LeFanu.
Mary: A Fiction is the only complete novel by 18th-century British feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. It tells the tragic story of a female's successive "romantic friendships" with a woman and a man. Composed while Wollstonecraft was a governess in Ireland, the novel was published in 1788 shortly after her summary dismissal and her decision to embark on a writing career, a precarious and disreputable profession for women in 18th-century Britain.
Gender has been an important theme explored in speculative fiction. The genres that make up speculative fiction (SF), science fiction, fantasy, supernatural fiction, horror, superhero fiction, science fantasy and related genres, have always offered the opportunity for writers to explore social conventions, including gender, gender roles, and beliefs about gender. Like all literary forms, the science fiction genre reflects the popular perceptions of the eras in which individual creators were writing; and those creators' responses to gender stereotypes and gender roles.
Science fiction studies is the common name for the academic discipline that studies and researches the history, culture, and works of science fiction and, more broadly, speculative fiction.
The academic discipline of women's writing is a discrete area of literary studies which is based on the notion that the experience of women, historically, has been shaped by their sex, and so women writers by definition are a group worthy of separate study: "Their texts emerge from and intervene in conditions usually very different from those which produced most writing by men." It is not a question of the subject matter or political stance of a particular author, but of her sex, i.e. her position as a woman within the literary world.
Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman is the 18th-century British feminist Mary Wollstonecraft's unfinished novelistic sequel to her revolutionary political treatise A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792). The Wrongs of Woman was published posthumously in 1798 by her husband, William Godwin, and is often considered her most radical feminist work.
How to Suppress Women's Writing is a book by Joanna Russ, published in 1983. Written in the style of a sarcastic and irreverent guidebook, it explains how women are prevented from producing written works, not given credit when such works are produced, or dismissed or belittled for those contributions which they are acknowledged to have made. Although primarily focusing on texts written in English, the author also includes examples from non-English works and other media, like paintings. Citing authors and critics like Suzy McKee Charnas, Margaret Cavendish, and Vonda McIntyre, Russ aims to describe the systematic social forces that impede widespread recognition of the work of female authors.
Feminist literature is fiction, nonfiction, drama, or poetry, which supports the feminist goals of defining, establishing, and defending equal civil, political, economic, and social rights for women. It often identifies women's roles as unequal to those of men – particularly as regarding status, privilege, and power – and generally portrays the consequences to women, men, families, communities, and societies as undesirable.
The role of women in speculative fiction has changed a great deal since the early to mid-20th century. There are several aspects to women's roles, including their participation as authors of speculative fiction and their role in science fiction fandom. Regarding authorship, in 1948, 10–15% of science fiction writers were female. Women's role in speculative fiction has grown since then, and in 1999, women comprised 36% of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's professional members. Frankenstein (1818) by Mary Shelley has been called the first science fiction novel, although women wrote utopian novels even before that, with Margaret Cavendish publishing the first in the seventeenth century. Early published fantasy was written by and for any gender. However, speculative fiction, with science fiction in particular, has traditionally been viewed as a male-oriented genre.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was an English novelist who wrote the Gothic novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818), which is considered an early example of science fiction. She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. Her father was the political philosopher William Godwin and her mother was the philosopher and feminist activist Mary Wollstonecraft.
Feminism has affected culture in many ways, and has famously been theorized in relation to culture by Angela McRobbie, Laura Mulvey and others. Timothy Laurie and Jessica Kean have argued that "one of [feminism's] most important innovations has been to seriously examine the ways women receive popular culture, given that so much pop culture is made by and for men." This is reflected in a variety of forms, including literature, music, film and other screen cultures.
Jeanne Gomoll is an American artist, writer, editor, and science fiction fan, who was recognized as one of the guests of honor at the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention, having been a guest of honor at numerous previous science fiction conventions. She has been nominated multiple times for awards in artist and fanzine categories, and for service to the genre of science fiction, particularly feminist science fiction.
Chrysalis: A Magazine of Women's Culture was a feminist publication produced from 1977 to 1980. The self-published magazine was founded by Kirsten Grimstad and Susan Rennie at the Woman's Building in downtown Los Angeles. Chrysalis grew from Grimstad and Rennie's editorial work on the self-help resource books, The New Woman's Survival Catalog and The New Woman's Survival Sourcebook. Chrysalis distinguished itself from other feminist publications through an organic integration of politics, literature, cultural studies, and art. The magazine was produced through a collective process that grew out of the feminist practice of consciousness-raising. Unusually broad in scope, Chrysalis did not substitute breadth for quality. The authors, poets, essayists, and researchers contributing to the magazine reveal a veritable who's who of towering intellects of the feminist movement: black lesbian activist Audre Lorde; the magazine's poetry editor, Robin Morgan, who later served as editor of Ms. from 1990-1993: award winning poet Adrienne Rich; novelist Marge Piercy; artist Judy Chicago; science fiction writer Joanna Russ; art critic Lucy Lippard, plus Mary Daly, Dolores Hayden, Andrea Dworkin, Marilyn Hacker, Arlene Raven, and Elizabeth Janeway. Over a three-year span, the all volunteer staff produced ten issues before they were forced to disband in 1981 due to financial difficulties.
Women of Wonder: Science-fiction Stories by Women about Women is an anthology of twelve short stories and a poem edited by Pamela Sargent, published in 1975. The collection reprints work by female science fiction authors originally published from 1948 to 1973, arranged in chronological order.