Jenny's Library

Reading Russ: Introduction

Posted on: April 11, 2013

About a year ago now, I purchased and began reading Joanna Russ’s How to Suppress Women’s Writing.

cover image for How To Suppress Women's WritingThis was prompted by a couple of related events.  The first was simply that a lot of people seemed to be talking about her (at least, the people in my online circle of friends and interesting people), likely in part because of her death the year before that.  The second was the response to Liz Bourke’s post at Tor.com about women in military science fiction.  More specifically, one particular man’s response to it, his success in monopolizing the comments, and how that led to the entire conversation being shut down.  Which, because people were already talking about Russ anyway, got me thinking about the ways in which women (and others) are so often talked over and dismissed.  How to Suppress Women’s Writing called to me, promising advice for how to identify and deal with this problem – or at least provide witty singers for me to quote.

The plan was to read it and keep track of my thoughts as I did so.  This being me, I got as far as the second chapter.  Not because it’s a boring or incomprehensible book – quite the opposite! – but because I had trouble finding the time to write down my impressions.

But now! I am determined to start again.  Determined! I say.  So, I am re-beginning with this introduction.  Shortly to follow will be reposts of what I put on livejournal a year ago concerning the first two chapters.  And then, finally, posts on the other nine chapters!

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