Talk:Joanna Russ

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"the anti-seminal work"

Don't be ridiculous. :-) "Seminal" means "seed".

I removed the assertion "science fiction is a genre for and by adolescent boys"- that's just silly. I agree that teenage boys constitute a fair portion of the readership, but I suspect the authors are a bit more grown up than that. Also I found the article sexist - it runs both ways. Neither anti-male nor anti-female tone is welcome. - MMGB

Women did not "first begin to enter Science Fiction" in the 1960's or 1970's. Frankenstein has been called the first science fiction novel and was written by a woman in 1818.

I don't think the argument is that "there were no women science fiction authors" before the 1960s; that is, I agree, provably false. However, equally provable is that women in science fiction, as authors and as characters, were marginalized (and quite frankly still are). For all that there were writers like C.L. Moore and Leigh Brackett, and that there were male writers like Heinlein and Asimov who featured strong female characters before it was fashionable to do so, the mainstream of science fiction in the 1940s and 1950s portrayed women as victims or props.

No argument!

2001Those six notes date from December 2001. --P64 (talk) 00:17, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Disagree with the summary of TFM[edit]

No offense, but the summary of the TFM as an exploration of technological advances' effect on gender roles looks off. There's little about science in TFM. One of the reasons it is considered innovative bears mention -- the four "J" protagonists are all different editions of the author herself, as she imagines she might have been in four radically different cultures.

What about: "The Female Man follows one woman, 'J,' through different universes. In one universe, she is a timid ultrafeminine library assistant from a world which never left the Great Depression; in another she is a 70s feminist writer beginning to challenge the authorities in her life; the third J lives in a woman-only communal society which is both more liberating and more oppressive than it first appears; and the fourth is a ravenously violent woman in whose universe men and women are literally at war. As the Js meet and their stories merge together, then flow apart, Russ leads the reader in an exploration of cultural influence on how humans become gendered."

--RLR — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 02:32, 15 July 2004‎ (UTC)

That really needs to go into the article on the novel itself. -- Beardo 13:07, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Citation needed[edit]

"Because the field of science fiction was largely male-dominated, The Female Man was initially received as negative propaganda." I agree with the first statement but the second seems to me to require supporting quote/s or, at least, a citation. LadySappho (talk) 03:33, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

The Female Man is no longer covered substantially here. See the book article. --P64 (talk) 00:17, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Openly lesbian[edit]

I have used Russ as an example of openly gay SF author in the homosexuality in SF article, and i have a citation for it from 1983. But there is a question in the GAN about whether she was out to the SF community when writing her most important works. Does anyone have any sources stating her as gay anytime BEFORE 1980? She is too important to ignore, but the particlur sentence is to illustrate that gay authors were accepted by the SF community in the 70s. Is this true?
— Preceding unsigned comment added by Yobmod (talkcontribs) 08:49, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

I don't know if this helps but in James Tiptree Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon, the author sets Joanna Russ as having come out in 1975. I think a closer reading would have to be done as to whether this was specifically to Tiptree or to the community as a whole. Gwytherinn (talk) 05:51, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
I remember reading an interview of her in, I believe, Isaac Asimov's SF Magazine in the early 1980s -- maybe that's the citation you have? 1983 seems about right. As I recall, the question of her sexual orientation came up during the interview along the lines of "Given the presence of lesbian characters in The Female Man, have people wondered if you're a lesbian?" And, as I recall, she basically evaded the question. But then, the interviewer sent her a proof copy of the interview, & she then said, Hang on a moment: In answer to that question of if I'm a lesbian, yes, I am. I remembered that because it meant a lot to me that she'd come out publicly in a major genre magazine.
"Coming out" in any case isn't a one-time event. If she came out in 1975 -- well, to whom? To herself? To a few select friends? Possibly it was an open secret in wider SF/F circles -- but I got the distinct impression that she wasn't public about being a lesbian until that IASFM interview.
Wish I could find a copy of that issue, though. I'd dearly love to read that interview again. Maybe interlibrary loan.... Yksin (talk) 23:48, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
I think the previous commenter was remembering Charles Platt's profile of Joanna Russ in his book Dream Makers II (1983), for which she provided an after-the-fact note in which she said, "Sure I'm a lesbian," but she prefaced her "admission" with a story (apocryphal) about how the people of Denmark frustrated Nazi attempts to round up Jews during WW2 by having the entire country, Gentiles and Jews alike, wear the yellow star armband, making it impossible for the Nazis to tell who was or wasn't Jewish. She was basically indicating that even if she wasn't a lesbian, she was going to say she was as a gesture of solidarity. The seeming self-outing is therefore ambiguous and evasive, which suggests that she was not "out" even as of late 1981 when the interview was conducted. If she was out at the time, Platt did not seem to be aware of it, and as a fairly prominent and active member of SF fandom at the time (as well as a published SF novelist and former editor of New Worlds magazine), he probably would have known if it were general knowledge in the SF community. I, as a young SF fan at the time, had certainly not heard any such thing about her, and didn't until years later.
Because of this, I think it's misleading to identify Russ as an "out lesbian" in the context of the 1960s. She certainly was later on, but by then she had largely ceased to publish in the SF field. Craig418 (talk) 01:50, 14 May 2020 (UTC)

SFF Hall of Fame[edit]

Russ has been named to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame (the original name which has been restored online this month).[1] --she was not born this January 1; it's a sloppy website in other respects too.

That notice implies five members to be named daily Mon-Fri. Perhaps there will be some comprehensive press release Friday or next week. --P64 (talk) 19:59, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Three months later there has been no more comprehensive coverage by the museum or by outside sources that seemed likely to me. Revising this article hours ago, I added the bare fact of 2013 hall-of-famerdom ;–) with official ref.
--P64 (talk) 23:38, 11 September 2013 (UTC)


{{Infobox writer}} should be selective. It now lists:

Notable award(s)   Hugo Award, Nebula Award, two James Tiptree, Jr. Awards, Locus Award, Gaylactic Spectrum Award, Pilgrim Award, Florence Howe award of the women's caucus of the MLA

Three of those (italics) are not covered in prose, nor anyhow 'noted' in the list of works.

Infobox documentation recommends template {{awd}}. For example of a repeat major-award winner see Margaret Mahy.

[ref name=sfadb] may be used more intensively.

--P64 (talk) 00:17, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Reverted 10/25/13 addition by user[edit]

I reverted the addition of the following paragraph:

On her first draft on "About Pornography", Russ strongly voiced her opinions and opposed pornography. She described how pornography was a feminist issue. The essay was very well written and compellingly delivered to the readers, and readers can also sense her anger and frustration about the issue.

The first sentence is referencing a draft, instead of the final published essay, which is unusual. If there were a reason to reference the draft, it should be mentioned, e.g. if she toned down her wording in the published essay, etc. The final sentence is a personal opinion, and does not meet the "neutrality" criteria. (Unless, of course, one could find a reference of someone else saying this about the essay draft.) Darrah (talk) 05:12, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

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Jewish/Jewish ancestry?[edit]

Was Joanna Russ of full or partial Jewish ancestry? 2601:8C:4500:4680:8884:CE92:D29C:6D18 (talk) 04:30, 23 February 2019 (UTC)

Yes, her family is Jewish. Her parents were second-generation Jewish American teachers. Bohemian Baltimore (talk) 14:48, 22 October 2019 (UTC)

Jeopardy contestant[edit]

Reliable sources in the science fiction community have told me that Russ was a contestant for two days on the Art Fleming version of Jeopardy. Sadly, there is no index to the Fleming-era episodes and their contestants. Can anybody help me find more details? --Orange Mike | Talk 05:37, 27 July 2019 (UTC)