On March 8th we celebrate International Women’s Day, a U.N. designation in which women are “recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.”  We celebrate this in promotion of the effort to create a more gender-inclusive world.  It serves to commemorate the great accomplishments and achievements (socially, politically, scientifically, etc.) from women around the world, as well as to recognize the strides that have yet to be made in order to truly achieve global gender-equality

In the small corner of the arts that encompasses SFF (science fiction/fantasy), there has been a history of works that perpetuate the outdated notions of casual misogyny or even outright sexism/racism and anti-progressive.  Not only do we see this in some older works, but we’ve seen it very recently with the sad puppy/rabid puppy movements to “stifle diversity” among the nominees for the Hugo Awards.  However, despite this, the SFF genres have also served as powerful instruments to promote equality and diversity well before our societies were ready to even consider these ideas (see Bustle’s 8 Feminist Science Fiction Books or BBC’s Why women can thrive in sci-fi for just a few examples).

Carrying on with this and celebrating women in SFF (both in terms of characters and creators), Diana Pho at Tor.com has been unveiling a series of 11 short stories – each centered around the now famous lines, She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

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From Pho’s post on Tor.com:

“Three short lines, fired over social media in response to questions of why Senator Elizabeth Warren was silenced on the floor of the United States Senate on February 7th, 2017, for daring to read aloud the words of Coretta Scott King. As this message was transmitted across the globe, it has become a galvanizing cry for people of all genders in recognition of the struggles that women have faced throughout history. To me, it is also serves as a reminder of the cyberpunk nature of our everyday lives, as technology can weave our hearts and minds in unity toward a greater cause.

And, as many have pointed out, these three lines read as if they are the opening passage to an epic and ageless tale.”

Throughout this day (March 8th), 11 short stories from 11 different authors will be published online at Tor.com.  Go to Pho’s “Nevertheless, She Persisted,” short fiction event page here to read each piece and share your favorites.  Let’s celebrate all of the accomplishments from fantastic women around the world and ultimately imagine the immense opportunities for humanity when we finally allow equality for all to flourish.

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