Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Conversations with Caity & Candice: Sexism

Conversations with Caity & Candice: Sexism
by Caity Lotz and Candice Patton
COPYRIGHT 2018 FOR THE AUTHORS AND THE BARYON REVIEW.

THIS IS SHARED FROM SHETHORITY.COM, A NEW WEBSITE CREATED BY THESE TWO AMAZING LADIES TO SHARE THEIR AND OTHERS THOUGHTS ON A NUMBER OF SUBJECTS. AT THE END OF THE ARTICLE, THEY SAID "PLEASE SHARE" AND I AM DOING JUST THAT.

In these interview series we ask each other questions and try to get to the bottom of some taboo and controversial topics. We don’t have all the answers, but our hope to start a conversation. This is part of one of the series on sexism.

Candice: What’s one of the most pressing ways sexism and gender bias is affecting your life currently?

Caity: I think the biggest way it’s affected me are the expectations and limitations I put on myself as a result of it. I had self esteem issues when I was younger because I felt like I wasn’t pretty enough and as a result, I was letting people down and had less to offer to offer the world. I feel like little boys were encouraged to be successful, build businesses, invent things, and make their mark in the world. Which, granted is its own pressure, but at least it’s something you can work hard at and have a chance at achieving. Whereas there’s only so much you can do about the way you look. It took a lot of self work but I stopped associating my value with my looks. There’s an amazing quote that nails all of this on the head, “You Don’t Have to Be Pretty. You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked ‘female.’”

Candice: I love that.

Caity: I hope things continue to change and little girls will grow up knowing they have so much more to offer than their looks. I have a 2-year-old niece and I try to always compliment her attributes rather than her looks. So instead of “You’re so pretty” I say “You’re so smart/kind/strong.” I want her to get attention for who she is not how she looks.

Candice: Yeah, my niece is 1 and a half and I try to do the same thing. She’s so beautiful (at least to me) and I worry that will be the predominant compliment she’ll get. Sometimes when that’s all you hear, you start to think that’s all you have to offer, so I want to be an influence in her life that reminds her she’s so much more than that.

Candice: We hear this phrase “toxic masculinity” more and more. I know I’ve experienced it in my personal and professional life. Have you? What do you want young men to understand about women and about toxic masculinity?

Caity: For those of you not familiar with the term, it’s about the negative effects created when a man is restricting his emotions and actions to adhere to strict male gender role. When men aren’t allowed to express all their emotions it all becomes anger, and they feel pressured to act as the alpha and assert themselves. I think it’s pretty easy to see how that could create problems. I’ve definitely felt the toxicity of it especially in relationships.

We talk a lot about how gender stereotypes negatively effect women, but it can be just as damaging for men. It’s like we make people fit in to a box with a label and if they don’t they are ostracized. So people over compensate and suppress their true-self, which creates problems for everyone. I think what’s happening right now with gender is going to be really good for the world. It’s like we are tearing down the gender walls and rebuilding it all to be more fluid and accepting.

Caity: I think sometimes about raising a son one day and how best to do it. What do you think is important for him to value and respect about women?

Candice: Our strength for sure. Our complexities. Our boundaries. What about you?

Caity: I hope by being a good mother he would respect women because he would respect me. If you teach him to be a good human he will be a good man (or whatever gender identity he decides to be). I think you would really enjoy this NYTimes article:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/01/well/family/metoo-sons-sexual-harassment-parenting-boys.html


Caity: I didn’t realize some of the negative effects of sexism until I was older and then it was like a flood gate of realizations for me. From major to minor things that affected the way I thought, dreamed, and acted. What was the experience like for you?

Candice: I agree. My experience was similar. I didn’t really understand or see the negative effects of sexism till later in life. I’ve been thinking about feminism a lot lately and how I came to really care about these issues and why I didn’t see it as much when I was younger. And I realized a lot of it came from my father. My dad was always extremely proud and supportive of me. He believed I could do anything I wanted. He treated me just like my brother. My goals and limitations were never set by my gender (or my race for that matter). So I moved through the world subconsciously believing I could do whatever my heart dreamed of. And it wasn’t until I got older and into the real world that I realized other men and even other women didn’t think that way. I was angry. Feminism wasn’t something we discussed in my household, it was just a way of life in terms of women being equal. My parents shared responsibilities. Both parents worked. Both paid bills. And both were respected. And that was my model. So I was confused as I got older and saw that that wasn’t the norm everywhere.

Caity: Speaking of parents, what’s something your parents said to you when you were younger that was annoying but now you get it?

Candice: My mom would say two things that annoyed me. lol

“You can catch more bees with honey than with vinegar” and “Pick your battles.” I think both of them speak to an issue I had when I was younger and something I’ve gotten better about. Naturally I’m a fighter. I believe in righteousness and justice. And boy would I fight. I wanted every wrong (at least in my eyes) righted. In my mind I had the energy to fight every battle and my mom said, “Candice as you get older you won’t have the energy, and you’ll have to choose.” Boy, was she right! I’m tired, girl.

So I’m conservative with my energy and my time. Not everything gets a response. Not everything gets a fight. And not every wrong gets righted. And that’s ok, because when the big battles hit in my life, you better believe I’m coming with everything I’ve got.

Candice: What’s been your relationship with women throughout your life. I know you have a lot of the same friends from when you were in grade school. How important is that to you? And how to you work to maintain those relationships.

Caity: My tribe! I would not be who I am today without my girlfriends. Most of my crew have been friends and entrenched in each other’s lives since grade school. I can’t even describe how grateful I am to have found such supportive, smart, spiritual, curious, and generous friends. They make me brave because I know they have my back. You (Candice) have met them, they’re the shit right?

Candice: Your friends are amazing!

Caity: I really do mean it when we say we want you in the tribe. We’re always looking to extend the family.

Candice: I accept this rose!

Candice: So you went to Italy recently and said you went to a restaurant that gave your boyfriend a menu with prices and gave you the “lady menu” without prices. How did you feel about this? I know for me there are traditional roles men and women play that I still very much adore and find beautiful. Holding open doors for example. I’m sure for men, as women become more self assured and independent in many areas of their life, it makes it hard for them to understand what things to keep doing and what to not. What are your thoughts on that? And what are a few traditional gender roles regarding men that you still find endearing?

Caity: Don’t forget, at the end of the meal they handed him the bill and me a cute box with cookies in it! I mean I loved it, but then I was like, wait am I not supposed to like it?! It is pretty presumptuous. What if I’m the one paying the bill? Or what if the guy wanted to split and now he feels pressure? I think we’re in an interesting time where gender roles are being blurred or redefined and we’re all just trying to figure it out. So it’s a good time to not be easily offended and have a lot of open dialogue.

It must be confusing for guys. “Treat me like a powerful capable woman, but also treat me like a delicate flower and take care of me. Take charge and be a man, but don’t tell me what to do.” A guy friend told me a woman got mad at him for opening the door for her, which I don’t think is fair. If it makes you feel offended having someone open the door for you than maybe just say, “after you, please” and hold the door for him.

Personally, I love it when a guy helps me with my bags, pulls out my chair, or gives me his jacket when I’m cold. I like the idea that the guy picking up the check, but I recognize that totally unfair to have to do all the time. All the sweet things from old traditions I like, but I’m not into the women can’t work, make decisions, and are basically property of men things.

Candice: I love chivalry as well. I find all of those gestures extremely endearing. I had a boyfriend once who would open the passenger door for me to get in and buckle my seatbelt and then kiss me on his way out. I loved it every single time. I think every woman is different though. For me personally I like a man who enjoys being chivalrous because I don’t think it takes ANYTHING away from my strength. I think once that occurs, then there’s a problem.

Caity: Ya, I do wonder if that means we’re trying to have our cake and eat it too? Though, when I think about it…I guess I do all those things for people as well. If my friend is freezing I’ll give them my jacket, I open the door for strangers, help if someone has lots of bags, etc. When I’m with my boyfriend, he usually prefers to be the one doing these things for me, and it makes us both feel good. Though he doesn’t mind when I pick up the check sometimes lol.

I think it’s just both finding ways to show your love, it can’t be one sided. Both people in a relationship need to feel like you’re taking care of each other. Those can be “traditional” ways if it works for you or you can mix it up. It’s up for you and your partner to decide.

Candice: Equal pay is such a big topic right now and one we’ve discussed on many occasions. Even recently it was discovered Claire Foy was getting paid less than her male co-star for The Crown in which she was clearly the lead. How do we assure that women are being paid equal to their male counterparts in industries like ours where the lines are blurry? What’s the biggest factor/hurdle in addressing equal pay?

Caity: It drives me nuts when people think that a wage gap doesn’t exist. There are so many layers to this issue it’s hard to explain, but it goes way beyond women just needing to not settle for less than they should be getting. It happens in every industry but I’ll focus on the one I know best. The entertainment industry works off a quote system, meaning your next job goes off of how much you got paid on your last job. Women and minorities have traditionally had fewer opportunities for leading roles, so less of a chance to get their quote up. So even as the tides start to change our quotes are a lot less so we get paid a lot less.

Candice: SAY IT LOUDER!

Caity: Lol, I’ll keep going then! A lot of the decision makers in the industry, who are mostly white men, either consciously or subconsciously view white men as more valuable than women and minorities. There is this very real feeling of, “You should be grateful, and if you don’t take this offer, we’ll find some other pretty girl that will.” Like it’s just filling the spot of “love interest” or “token black guy”. Like you’re easily replaceable. Now that we’re starting to tell more diverse stories and consumers are supporting it, we are seeing some real change. We still have a lot of catching up to do but I feel optimistic about the direction we are heading. We’ll see!

Candice: (singing) “PAY ME WHAT YOU OWE ME!” I love that song.

It’s an interesting time. I think #MeToo and #TimesUp and other similar initiatives have made people see that women are not afraid to speak up. I think it’s put a lot of industries on notice. Our voices are so powerful. We truly are stronger together. It’s still a complex topic though. I think we are conditioned not to speak about pay. It’s not “polite,” but you know what? Where has that gotten us?

I also think this is where our male counterparts can be a huge help to our fight. If they used their privilege to share information about their salaries and if they used their voices to fight for parity that would be huge asset in the fight for equal pay.

Caity: I may have gone on a rant there and I don’t want men to feel attacked, because that’s not what the feminist movement is about. So to all the men out there… We love you and value everything you bring to the table. When you see and treat us as equals, it allows us to be the best women we can be for you, ourselves, and the world. We’re all in this together.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Batwoman TV Series in Development


Batwoman TV Series in Development, Will Feature Out Lesbian Kate Kane

By Andy Swift / July 17 2018, 7:59 AM PDT

Previously announced as the special guest for this fall’s four-way crossover event, Batwoman is now being developed as a series for The CW by Warner Bros. Television and Berlanti Productions, TVLine has learned.

Slated for a potential 2019 premiere, Batwoman would follow the adventures of Kate Kane — the second incarnation of the Batwoman character in DC Comics lore, introduced in 2006 — who is described as “an out lesbian and highly trained street fighter.”

Batwoman‘s official logline is as follows:

Armed with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind, Kate Kane soars onto the streets of Gotham as Batwoman, an out lesbian and highly trained street fighter primed to snuff out the failing city’s criminal resurgence. But don’t call her a hero yet. In a city desperate for a savior, Kate must overcome her own demons before embracing the call to be Gotham’s symbol of hope.

Caroline Dries (The Vampire Diaries) will write the project, executive-producing alongside Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Geoff Johns.

Batwoman’s introduction into the Arrowverse was first announced at The CW Upfront in May, where Stephen Amell revealed that she would be fighting alongside characters from Arrow, The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl in the network’s next major crossover. (And here’s a fun, though potentially unrelated, fact: In the comics, one of Kate’s main love interests is Maggie Sawyer, formerly portrayed on Supergirl by Floriana Lima.)

COPYRRIGHT BY ANDY SWIFT 2018


REBEKAH by Orson Scott Card

Rebekah, book two in New York Times bestselling author Orson Scott Card's Women of Genesis series—a unique re-imagining of the biblical tale.

Born into a time and place where a woman speaks her mind at her peril, and reared as a motherless child by a doting father, Rebekah grew up to be a stunning, headstrong beauty. She was chosen by God for a special destiny.

Rebekah leaves her father's house to marry Isaac, the studious young son of the Patriarch Abraham, only to find herself caught up in a series of painful rivalries, first between her husband and his brother Ishmael, and later between her sons Jacob and Esau. Her struggles to find her place in the family of Abraham are a true test of her faith, but through it all she finds her own relationship with God and does her best to serve His cause in the lives of those she loves.

“This playfully speculative novel succeeds in bringing Sarah's oft-overlooked character into vivid relief.”—Publishers Weekly

“This is an inventive and engaging telling of the life of Sarah, the woman who laughed at God’s news (that so old a woman would now bear a child)—and who gives as good as she gets throughout both the book of Genesis and Card’s novel.”—Historical Novel Society

"This series is definitely for those interested in women in the Bible, and in such novels as The Red Tent."—Kliatt

“The story moves swiftly, climaxing at several points, such as Abram and Sarai’s stay in Egypt when the pharaoh wants to take Sarai as his wife. It is a quick and interesting read…. This is an intriguing story.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

ORSON SCOTT CARD is best known for his internationally bestselling science fiction novel Ender’s Game and its many sequels. He has also written contemporary thrillers like Empire and historical novels like the monumental Saints and the bible-based historical novels Sarah and Rachel and Leah and Rebekah.

On Sale July 17, 2018 from Forge Books. 9780765399342. $16.99 USD.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

SKULLSWORN by Brian Staveley



SKULLSWORN by Brian Staveley

Brian Staveley’s new standalone, Skullsworn, returns to the critically acclaimed Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne universe, following a priestess attempting to join the ranks of the God of Death.

Pyrre Lakatur is not, to her mind, an assassin, not a murderer—she is a priestess. At least, she will be once she passes her final trial.

The problem isn’t the killing. The problem, rather, is love. To complete her trial, Pyrre has ten days to kill the seven people enumerated in an ancient song, including “the one who made your mind and body sing with love / who will not come again.”

Pyrre isn’t sure she’s ever been in love. And if she fails to find someone who can draw such passion from her, or fails to kill that someone, her order will give her to their god, the God of Death. Pyrre’s not afraid to die, but she hates to fail, and so, as her trial is set to begin, she returns to the city of her birth in the hope of finding love . . . and ending it on the edge of her sword.

“A lyrical, bloodsoaked, impossible quest that's sure to entertain.—Kevin Hearne, New York Times bestselling author

“Staveley has quickly become one of my favorite fantasy authors, and his latest doesn't disappoint. Skullsworn is a brilliant new chapter in a fabulous series."—V. E. Schwab, New York Times bestselling author

“A warm, funny, character-focused novel which is also darkly charming, bloody, and lethal. It was very, very hard to put down, and had an emotional punch to match its high adrenaline moments.”—Sci Fi and Fantasy Reviews

“Pleasantly grim and emotionally complex.”—Kirkus Reviews

BRIAN STAVELEY is the author of the Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne series, starting with The Emperor's Blades. He has taught literature, religion, history, and philosophy, all subjects that influence his writing, and holds an MA in Creative Writing from Boston University. He works as an editor for Antilever Press, and has published poetry and essays, both in print and on-line. He lives in Vermont with his wife and young son, and divides his time between running trails, splitting wood, writing, and baby-wrangling.

On Sale July 17, 2018 from Tor Books. 9780765389886. $17.99 USD.

Friday, July 13, 2018

THE LAST HARVEST by Kim Liggett




THE LAST HARVEST by Kim Liggett

Kim Liggett draws on her childhood during the Satanic Panic for a chilling tale of magic in The Last Harvest, winner of the 2017 Bram Stoker Award.

"I plead the blood."

Those were the last words seventeen-year-old golden boy quarterback Clay Tate heard rattling from his dad's throat when he discovered him dying on the barn floor of the Neely cattle ranch, clutching a crucifix to his chest.

Now, on the first anniversary of the Midland, Oklahoma, slaughter, the whole town's looking at Clay like he might be next to go over the edge. Clay wants to forget the past, but the sons and daughters of the Preservation Society—a group of prominent farmers his dad accused of devil worship—won't leave him alone. Including Ali, his longtime crush, who suddenly wants to reignite their romance after a year of silence, and hated rival Tyler Neely, who's behaving like they're old friends.

Even as Clay tries to reassure himself, creepy glances turn to sinister stares and strange coincidences build to gruesome rituals, but when he can never prove that any of it happened, Clay worries he might be following his dad down the path to insanity...or that something far more terrifying lies in wait around the corner.

“An eerie new take on the classic Satan-worshipping horror story....With vivid and terrifying characters and events, this novel is chilling, emotional, and full of nightmarish surprises.” - TeenReads

"An utterly terrifying tale that's impossible to put down. It will haunt you long after you've turned the last page. Prepare to be transfixed.”—Jasmine Warga, author of My Heart and Other Black Holes

"The writing is vivid and gorgeous, and the atmosphere is eerie and unnerving and tense. I love it."—April Genevieve Tucholke, author of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea on The Last Harvest

“This book had me laughing at the same time goose bumps crawled up my arm. Kim has a talent of balancing humor and horror. Inventive, chilling, immersive, and above all terrifying. I love this book.”—Virginia Boecker, author of The Witch Hunter

At sixteen, KIM LIGGETT left her rural midwestern town for New York City to pursue a career in music. Along with lending her voice to hundreds of studio recordings, she was a backup singer for some of the biggest rock bands in the 80s. She is the author of Blood and Salt, Heart of Ash, and The Last Harvest.

On Sale July 24, 2018 from Tor Teen. 9780765380999. $10.99 USD.

Don’t Miss Kim Liggett’s newest novel, THE UNFORTUNATES, on sale July 10, 2018!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Lost Gods by Micah Yongo



Lost Gods by Micah Yongo

In this extraordinary fantasy debut, a young assassin finds himself hunted by the brothers and sisters he has trained alongside since birth

Neythan is one of five young warriors trained and raised together by a mysterious brotherhood of assassins known as the ShedaĆ­m. When Neythan is framed for the murder of his closest friend, he pursues his betrayer – and in so doing learns there’s far more to the Brotherhood, and the machinations of the rulers of the warring kingdoms, than he’d ever thought possible. His journey will lead him across the five realms, from the Forest of Silences to the Ash Plains of Calapaar, and reveal the breaches that lie beneath the world, and the hidden truths of his oath.

A July release from Angry Robot Books.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Space Unicorn Blues by TJ Berry




Space Unicorn Blues by TJ Berry

A misfit crew race across the galaxy to prevent the genocide of magical creatures, in this unique science fiction debut

Humanity joining the intergalactic community has been a disaster for Bala, the magical creatures of the galaxy: they’ve been exploited, enslaved and ground down for parts. Now the Century Summit is approaching, when humans will be judged by godlike aliens.

When Jenny Perata, disabled Maori shuttle captain, is contracted to take a shipment to the summit, she must enlist half-unicorn Gary Cobalt, whose horn powers faster-than-light travel. But he’s just been released from prison, for murdering the wife of Jenny’s co-pilot, Cowboy Jim… When the Reason regime suddenly enact laws making Bala property, Jenny’s ship becomes the last hope for magic.

A July release from Angry Robot.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Walking With Ghosts by Brian James Freeman



WALKING WITH GHOSTS
, Brian James Freeman, PS Publishing, 308 pages, £20, 9781786363237, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

This is a fantastic volume that gathers together the majority of Brian James Freeman’s short stories. If you have never read any of Brian’s stories, getting this volume will make your reading cup overflow with goodness.

After a forward by William Peter Blatty (yes, that Peter Blatty), the book is divided into four parts: Weak and Wounded, More Than Midnight, Dreamlike States and Lost and Lonely. You can be sure that the stories fit the description and will possibly leave you weak, lost, lonely, having strange dreams, and up after midnight because you want to finish this volume.

Favorites are “Mama’s Sleeping” is the kind of story that most cable installers might shy away from. “The Final Lesson” is one that when learned, will stick with you for a while. “Not Without Regrets” might just be a saying you hear, but after reading this story you might look at stormy nights differently. “Ice Cold Dan the Ice Cream Man” is an Afghan veteran with PTSD who keeps a rifle on his truck in case the enemy comes back. “One Way Flight” is one of those stories that you do not want to read before you have to fly. “The Last Beautiful Day” is the one story that hit too close to home and helped bring a good cry that had been long in coming.

This a volume that should definitely find a place on your horror shelf, especially if you prefer that psychologic horror that sneaks up behind you and slaps you in the back of your head. Dan is one of the folk that come into my office every day looking for help and I try to help them resolve the problem before it gets out of hand. Beautiful days are hard to come by, especially after reading this story and knowing exactly the feelings evoked. Brian James Freeman is a force to be reckoned with. He writes extremely well and his stories pack a punch to the gut. And to the heart.

This will be available in August, but you need to pre-order it now so you won’t be disappointed. www.pspublishing.co.uk is the link to use.