The controversy about the lack of female science fiction writers and protagonists is likely to come to the fore again with Radio 4’s Women’s Hour on Friday talking about ‘what happened to tough women in science fiction‘.
This debate will not go away until either a reasonable explanation for the lack of women in science fiction is given or there are more women writing and portrayed in the genre. The fact that even after all this time no explanation has been readily forthcoming speaks for itself.
Yes, there have been initiatives to encourage and report more women in science fiction, and whilst they have made a few inroads, they have not solved the issue.
My take on it?
The stats speak for themselves to say the bias against women has and continues to exist (see e.g. wiki on Women in science fiction). I haven’t got to the bottom of the reason behind this, but I do know of quite a few new lady science fiction writers who are finding it very difficult to get a foothold in science fiction. And yes, their writing is of the quality I would like to see in the bookshops, so we are not talking about sub-standard work here.
But the one thing I can be sure about is that in due course the historians will ask the self-same questions and will eventually work out where the fault lies… if there have been any untoward biases, the guilty will pilloried.