I posted the link to Women and Fantasy to a discussion board I frequent the other day. The site (at least the area I visit) is mostly populated by other writers from every imaginable genre. I had little doubt that there would be opinions posted regarding what I had written, but I was not prepared for what happened - or for what I would learn as a result.
Apparently, I was born a few years too soon and in the wrong part of the country, because as the posts accumulated, I became astounded by the passion and knowledge of fantasy shown by the women there. They explained to me in no uncertain terms that not only were they lifelong fantasy enthusiasts, but were into comics, D&D, gaming, etc. In a way, it verified my earlier blog, being that I am a bit older and many of the books they love weren't around in the late 70's and early 80's which is when I first discovered the genre (though some of them were). But, that aside, I couldn't help feeling that I had missed out on some awesome people as a kid - particularly when I hit my late teens and early twenties. Perhaps if I would have opened my eyes, I would have noticed that they were there all along.
One thing that struck me was that a lot of the women felt mistreated by the male fans. When in comic shops and fantasy gatherings they said that men would act in extremely inappropriate ways. I'll not go into specifics, but what was being said and done was reprehensible.This behavior is inexcusable and anyone who exhibits it should feel ashamed. Furthermore, should you see someone doing it, you should step in and make it known that it will not be tolerated.