So there's a tweet, making its way around my timeline this morning. It's this: "Sci-fi & fantasy have been a white boys genre for too long. Have some favorite women writers you want to share?"
Which. Fine. I will be generous. I will take this at face value, take this as someone who is genuinely trying to broaden their own reading, and who is using their platform to bring writers to other people's attention. Both of these things are good.
But also. Come on. We are are here, we women writers of sci fi and fantasy. We are not fucking unicorns.
I mean: Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Twilight. Maybe you've heard of them? Written by women.
But also: Kelly Link, Alice Sola Kim, Cassandra Clare, Maggie Stiefvater, Nicola Griffith, Maria Dahvana Headley, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman, Sofia Samatar, Aliette de Bodard, NK Jemisin, Susanna Clarke, Ursula K Le Guin, Monica Byrne, Sarah McCarry, Madeleine L'Engle, Erin Bow, Mary Rickert, Holly Black, Gwenda Bond, Genevieve Valentine, Diana Wynne Jones, Kate Elliott, Helen Oyeyemi, Erin Morgenstern, Alyssa Wong, Amal El-Mohtar, Kameron Hurley, VE Schwab, Zen Cho, Ilana C. Myer, Fran Wilde, Alwyn Hamilton, Nnedi Okorafor, Cat Valente, Seanan McGuire, Sabaa Tahir, Madeleine Ashby, Elizabeth Bear, Roshani Chokshi, Renee Adieh, Maureen Johnson, Sarah Rees Brennan, Sarah J. Maas, Leigh Bardugo, Robin Hobb, Margaret Atwood, Malinda Lo, Cindy Pon, and that is off the top of my head. I know there are more - I know I've read more.
I am here for making efforts to diversify reading. And yes, sometimes it does take a conscious effort to realize that we're not reading enough women, or people of color, or works in translation, or whatever else. Thinking about what we read - and what we miss - is a good thing to do.
And I understand how clickbait questions work - and lo, I have responded myself, with this ranty little blog.
But the thing is, raising the question implies that we're still invisible. It's not forward progress. It's stopping, once again, and saying "where are these people?" instead of showing all the ways we're already here, that we've been here, that we will be. "Who are they?" is no longer the right question to ask, if it even ever was. (Mary Shelley.)