Turning the other cheek

I’ve been reluctant to dive in to the (latest) fray and share my thoughts on the ongoing kerfuffle surrounding SFWA’s future and the S&SF community’s present (as detailed here, here, and here). Partly this is because my feelings on the issue are complicated and partly it’s because the whole thing makes me tired and sad and angry, none of which are very nice emotions to be wallowing about in.

That there is a small but vocal minority who wish to keep our community living in a past that no longer exists, who wish SFWA would not evolve but devolve, and who wish pesky women and minorities would keep their opinions to themselves does not particularly surprise me. There are always people who fear change and lash out against it. Happily, there are many (a majority, even) in the community who not only accept the changes in society at large and SFWA writ small but embrace them. This is very encouraging. Scalzi, as always, says it best and with the greatest perspective on the underlying silliness of this whole thing.

Still, it’s hard to read posts and comments of people you know personally or respect professionally saying really hypocritical, ignorant, and hurtful things–worse yet when they seem truly oblivious to why their attitudes are problematic. It makes my blood boil. And, frankly, I don’t have time to sit around with boiling blood. I have books and stories to write and edit, a day job to engage in, and a social life and family to enjoy.

Honestly, my personal response to all of this is just to withdraw. To pull back and not engage. And that makes me sad and angry too, as if the people I see being harmful to a community I value have won.

Still, I know they haven’t won. In fact, their vitriol is clear sign of that. So, I’m going to do my best to let this latest squall blow by (as it inevitably will). I’m going to knuckle down and write and hope that when I have someday made a name for myself my work will be evaluated on its quality alone. That I won’t be talked about in about blogs and forums as a yapping dog or a swarming insect or a pretty lady writer but simply as an author with something to say about the world.

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