That chain-mail bikini: a limerick

Today's words for Three Word Wednesday are: damaging, ego, legitimate

That chain-mail bikini was damaging;
Male ego run wild, now they're hemorrhaging.
Legitimate anger,
When told, "Yeah, I'd bang her!"
SFWA needs re-imaging.

In case you've been unaware, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has been dealing with the fallout from gender-based evaluation (or devaluation) of writers expressed by one of their publications. It all started with a column by Mike Resnick and Barry Malzburg which discussed, among other things, which female writers show off a bathing suit best, which are generally the best looking, etc. Understandably, this sparked some resentment and critique, much of it apparently long overdue.

In their follow-up column, Resnick and Malzburg said it wasn't right that they should be denied the opportunity to evaluate their fellow writers on their sex appeal. Or at least, to evaluate their fellow FEMALE writers on that criteria. E. Catherine Tobler gives a frank summary of why SFWA isn't worth her time, money or effort anymore.

The leadership of SFWA is responding with a task force to address the sexism and misogyny - the real and the perceived - that permeates the institution and the culture of science fiction and fantasy. The charge of this task force is "to look at the Bulletin and to determine how the publication needs to proceed from this point in order to be a valuable and useful part of the SFWA member experience."

We'll see. My experiences with special task forces has been mixed at best. For task forces convened to deal with thorny issues? Well, let's just say I didn't become such a bitter and cynical curmudgeon without some help.

NOTE: I'm not a member of SFWA, nor do I plan to become one. This is not a moral stand on my part, courageous or otherwise. Nothing I've published qualifies me for membership and unless SFWA has a change of heart with respect to how it views self-published works, I don't see that changing any time soon.

||| Comments are welcome |||
Help keep the words flowing.


  1. Quite convincing, even from the male viewpoint.

  2. I'm hopeful about the revamp. Coming from a corporate background, I completely understand your sentiments on task forces, though. Let's hope this one doesn't talk the issue into a never-ending spiral and spit the same product out the other side.

    1. The task force is only about that magazine, though. Even if they decide to take action about that, the culture that lives behind it is unchanged.

  3. Asimov is turning in his grave, I expect.

    1. I expect so. My guess is that he might have expected 2013 to be a bit more advanced than chain-mail bikinis.

  4. Yeah, if the Good Doctor were alive today, I'd expect a scathing article about this asshattery, followed by an issue of all-women authors.

  5. Wanting to judge female authors based on how they'd look in a bikini? Excuse me, but what cave did these so called "gentlemen" crawl out of? Isaac Asimov would indeed be ashamed.

  6. Chain mail eh! always gets in the way! I wrote a poem to this weeks three word wed too. ^_^


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