For the months of February and March Queen Mob’s Teahouse will be featuring fiction exclusively from women and non-binary/non-gender conforming identified authors. This is an active attempt at getting more diverse voices to our readership and hopefully it will be the first of many future initiatives. It is an important time to give voice to those at the margins and this idea came into being right before the Women’s March on Washington this past month. It is a small action but an action that I can do as a fiction editor and it seems to me we all must take whatever actions we can in this world, no matter who we are or what roles we embody. Reading has always been resistance, information has always been the target of dictatorships and hostile regimes and administrations, so here we offer to you, our readers, more points of view, more ideas and information to consider.
Beginning with Pandora women have always been mishmash creatures, how women are defined as a group, what makes a woman, has never been definite and this non-binary idea of woman is also part of this project—it is less about womanhood as a category and more about living outside of the binary and gender binary expectations, no matter how one identifies. In Hesiod’s Works and Days Pandora is a product of technology, her strength comes from her hybridity. It is this hybridity that was feared by men and it is hybridity that is still feared today.
In the Cyborg Manifesto first published in 1991, Donna Haraway writes:
“Cyborgs are not reverent; they do not remember the cosmos. They are wary of holism, but needy for connection—they seem to have a natural feel for united front politics, but without the vanguard party. The main trouble with cyborgs, of course, is that they are the illegitimate offspring of militarism and patriarchal capitalism, not to mention state socialism. But illegitimate offspring are often exceedingly unfaithful to their origins.”
Humanism has brought us much destruction and violence and hatred and it has made us, the cyborgs, and hopefully this lack of reverence for our current system can bring about real change.
Lately I have found it particularly difficult to read anything that isn’t news—checking all sorts of resources hourly and then trying to stop, trying to stay calm. I am very easily distracted, confused about what to do, who to turn to. I live abroad and as an American citizen abroad I feel extremely useless to the fight. I also realize this isn’t only a national fight but rather, it is a worldwide uprising and even those of us living in different countries have a responsibility. I hope that the fiction featured here over the coming months allows you space to think, to be calm and to have time with yourself. I for one have spent a lot of time feeling angry lately and reading the stories featured here allowed me to take a step back from that anger and find a way to make use of those feelings in a more productive and compassionate way.