What was in the original column that started all this? Does someone have a scan of it somewhere?
She was competent, unpretentious, and beauty pageant gorgeous ... as photographs make quite clear. Tell the succeeding generations all about her, please. -- Barry
Almost synchronous with her [Catherine Tarrant's] entrance was that of Beatrice Mahaffey as Raymond Palmer's assistant editor when Palmer left Amazing to originate a series of his own magazines (beginning with Other Worlds) and I will leave it to you to introduce her; you knew her from the SF community of your early years and were, with so many, an admirer. She was competent, unpretentious, and beauty pageant gorgeous ... as photographs make quite clear. Tell succeeding generations all about her, please.
Ah, Bea Mahaffey...
She was the only pro I knew in Cincinnati when we moved here from the Chicago area more than a third of a century ago. She was incredibly generous with her time and reminiscences, and I spent a lot of time with her, on the phone and in person, duting the first few months when I was learning my way around town.
Anyone who's seen photos of Bea from the 1950s knows she was a knockout as a young woman.
<four paragraphs with a possibly apocryphal story about Isaac Asimov redacted>
Another story is from nonagenarian Margaret Keiffer, who lives just a couple of miles from us. She's the widow of super-fan Don Ford, who ran the 1949 Worldcon, and founded both Midwestcon and First Fandom. Don also created CFG (the Cincinnati Fantasy Group), the venerable local club to which Carol and I belong. According to Margaret, during its first few years of existence CFG was populated exclusively by men. Then Bea joined. Then the members' wives got a look at Bea in her swimsuit at the 1950 Midwestcon. Then the club's makeup changed to the 50% men and 50% women that has existed ever since.
I remember the notorious issue #200 of a few months back. When it arrived I looked at its cover of a busty barely clad heavily made-up chick with every muscle clenched standing over a dead frost giant in snow covered mountains, rolled my eyes, and tossed it in the magazine basket.
Do I enjoy having my skills as a writer and artist doubted by the Old White Men who used to run the world? Sure. But I also deeply resent the implications that I am nothing but a helpless victim, part of a culture of victimization, and that I must be protected from All Bad Things by never having to see them in the first place. I can decide what offends me, and how to respond to it.
But I also deeply resent the implications that I am nothing but a helpless victim, part of a culture of victimization, and that I must be protected from All Bad Things by never having to see them in the first place.
What I find interesting is that chainmail bikinis and lingerie armor are kind of the laughing stock of artwork these days.
Sorry, Frank Frazetta, but your stuff was "neat" when I was 9.
I'm no longer 9.
While I can appreciate the pulpy-ness of your contribution to fantasy art, I find it kind of gross, ugly, and laughable now.
I get it if it was a shout-out to the "olden days" here, but yeah, so not my thing. I want a real woman who can kick some real ass and that woman has decent armor.
This isn't just a female issue. The armor and weapons that some fantasy illustrators give men is laughable, too.
Thanks for posting that, Alessandra.
You know, now that I've seen the original offending pieces... they don't strike me as so outlandishly offensive? I mean I had been expecting a lurid account of some woman's attributes in a swimsuit, given the heat of the controversy I've been seeing around the Twitters.
Though that follow-up rebuttal... hoooo boy. That's really, really not cool.
I gather that the original protests were mild backchannel murmurings about the offensiveness and disrespect shown.
Under the circumstances I think the proper response ought to have been a quick apology along with an acknowledgement of the inappropriateness of the comments.
Unfortunately, what happened is that the offenders dug in their heels, came up with justifications for what they did, and started attacking the protesters.
That sort of thing never ends well.
Yes, exactly. As an outsider looking in--and as much as I deplore the lack of editorial oversight in the original article--the most regrettable action was allowing Resnick & Malzberg to use the organization's membership magazine as their own personal platform for the rebuttal. The unfortunate consequence of this action has been to make them the face of SFWA in the eyes of many and, now, no one can be blamed for thinking their viewpoints are sanctioned by the organization and its officers. This lack of leadership and oversight does the entire membership a grave disservice.
Ah, I see. As I mentioned, I'm an outsider; I don't have the creds to be a member, so I obviously don't know the inner workings. But, you know, Polenth, what you're describing is still a lack of leadership issue. One hopes Stephen Gould can provide the top-down leadership and focus on the business of SFWA that's missing.
That if one says or does something that betrays a lack of consideration, a demonstration that one had not considered the other person a full human being, or considered them at all, one immediately stops doing it and apologizes.