Oct 13, 2017 | news

Introducing #ManListeningMonday

Hey all, it’s Brian, your former Fireside editor.

A lot of women have gone silent on Twitter today. It’s a reaction to a lot of things that have been smoldering for ages, set aflame by the past week of Harvey Weinstein revelations, emerging stories of shittiness by people in his orbit (Ben Affleck Fuck Off), and women in and out of Hollywood talking about their experiences of harassment, assault, and rape by men.

All of this is happening because women are speaking out. Whether or not they speak today, men need to listen, learn, and amplify their voices. This idea of listening is of course is not a concept I came up with, and a lot of women have been talking about this need for listening this morning.

Personally, it was this tweet (and the subsequent thread) from @sawdustbear

tbh I don’t really want women to remain silent on Twitter for a day, I want all men to say nothing and only amplify women’s voices.

— that got me thinking about pushing for a day of men being silent and boosting women. I was talking to Fireside’s publisher, Pablo, about it and we hit on the idea of making this a weekly thing: #ManListeningMonday. Every Monday, Pablo and I are committing to not tweeting ourselves, and only RT’ing and otherwise boosting women’s voices, especially the voices of women of color and disabled women, along with anyone who does not identify as male — genderqueer, intersex, and all the other people on our great big gender spectrum outside of male.

Here is the key thing about this though; this is not about virtue-signalling or ally cookies or any other bullshit. Yes, #ManListeningMonday is a hashtag, but don’t spend half your Monday using it to tweet about how you’re supporting women. Just do it. At most, pin a post Monday morning saying “It’s #ManListeningMonday, and today I will only be boosting women’s voices.” And then just shut up and Listen. Listening to, believing, and valuing what women have to say is vital to fixing the bullshit they have to put up with every goddamn day.

That’s it. That’s the plan. We hope you will join us, this Monday and every Monday going forward.

© 2017 Brian J. White

About the author

Brian J. White

Brian started Fireside Fiction Company in 2012 as an experiment in crowdfunding and paying speculative fiction writers well above the accepted professional rate at the time. It worked! Thanks, have a great day!

Brian has been informed he has to write more in his bio. Fine! Brian took that experiment through five Kickstarters (and did not die!) and into a subscription model. During his tenure, Fireside published 150 stories, five novels, and one novella, and also published the first #BlackSpecFic report, which examined the massive under-representation of Black short-story writers in the field, prompting conversation, reflection, and change in the speculative fiction community. It remains one of the most important things he has worked on in his adult life. Brian was a 2017 World Fantasy Award finalist in the Special Award, Non-Professional category for Fireside, and Fireside has been nominated for multiple Hugo Awards.

Facing the burnout that is all too common among people who work at small presses, Brian stepped down as editor and publisher in 2017 to regroup and recharge mentally. He returned as interim editorial director in 2020 and resumed full ownership of the company in June 2021 with a great team you can read about below.

In the wider world, Brian is a former journalist who worked as an editor at The Courier-Journal in Louisville from 2006–2010 and at the Boston Globe from 2010–2018, where he was part of the staff that won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting in 2014 for the newspaper’s coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2014. He still lives around Boston, where he works as an editor for a private company and takes photographs, paints miniatures, and spends time with his amazing wife and various cats.