Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen

Week of February 27-March 5

Two rejections. That's it.

Reading John M. Ford's Web of Angels. Cybery. Not very punky. This is fine with me. Self-conscious punk gives me a pain sometimes.

Somebody brought his allergies home with him last night and woke up early and in need of medication for them, so I'm a bit weary.

I'm weary in entirely the other direction because of this Electrolite discussion. So for the record: physics degree. Hard SF writing. Fantasy writing. Breasts. None of this incompatible. You may even check my overt femminess at local events; may I suggest Minicon? she said subtly. I look extremely girly. You will not have any doubts about my sex even when regarding me fully clothed.*, **

When I left physics, one of the hardest things was getting over the idea that there were two kinds of people: the kind who can do physics and the kind who don't do physics. It's insidious in that kind of atmosphere. It's also very, very wrong. It's not just wrong in the sense that there are two levels of smart (smart enough to do physics and not) rather than different flavors of smart. It's wrong in that people like me can have the capabilities and find other things more interesting. Really. Truly.

Feeling I have to say that makes me tired.

Look, my mom was steered away from science and math because she was a girl. Told she didn't need more than I forget what, geometry or algebra II or something else I knew inside out well before I turned 15. You don't get to do that and then turn around and say, "Well, we haven't been doing that in the last five minutes, so now it's a level playing field and women just must suck and be incapable of writing hard SF even though they do in great numbers so there so there sew buttons on your underwear!" You. Just. Don't. As a teenager, I was told that I should consider biology because it might be socially better because there are more women. (Because clearly if there aren't very many women in physics already, adults should encourage teenage girls to abandon strong interest in it.) Yes, it's extremely wearing to be hugged by teary-eyed moms over and over again and told that you're "a pioneer!" for doing demos for high school students during your college's recruiting events. But the solution to that is to take some deep breaths, eat your LN ice cream, and go on with your life, not to discourage kids from doing any of it in the future. Physics was wrong for me because I'm a writer, not because I'm a chick.


*Which I will be at Minicon.

**When I was a freshman in college, I requested flannel nightshirts to get me through Minnesota winter nights. I did not want pink-and-eyelet ruffled monstrosities. Just plain plaid flannel was good with me. My mom surveyed the plain, dark nightshirts I'd just unwrapped as Christmas presents and wailed, "People will think they look like a boy's nightshirts." And my dad stared at her, and then said, very gently, "Hon? Nobody is ever going to mistake our daughter for a boy." So far he has been right. When I was a physicist, wearing tiny little flowered dresses was a political act. But even when I was in an Einstein T-shirt and a flannel and a pair of baggy jeans, nobody was confused.

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