Divide, Divide, Divide


WARNING! This blog post is mostly a political rant and will likely offend those who lean to the left and take themselves very seriously. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like lately my Facebook feed has been overwhelmed with petty political rants and memes pushing some agenda. Two of the recent ones that have annoyed me a great deal (probably because they remind me of all the inane bickering that goes on in the Horror Writers Association) are about Women in Horror Month and some chick’s reading challenge.

HWA has done Women in Horror Month during February for several years. On the one hand, I think, who cares? If it really takes something like that to get you to read Mary Shelley, Shirley Jackson, Tamara Thorne, Deb LeBlanc, etc., then you have some problems. On the other hand, I just really dislike events that divide people into categories. As a marketing thing, I see the potential of it, sure, but still, you’re singling out a segment of society not because that segment has done something noteworthy, but simply because it is different than another segment, and that seems silly.

This year the Women in Horror Month kept popping up in my Facebook feed because some obscure guy went on a rant about it. So naturally all the liberals had to jump on and defend the idea of venerating women simply for being women. Whatever. Obscure Guy got some mileage out of it.

The much more annoying issue that won’t die out of my feed is a challenge by a female I won’t name here. She challenged people to read anything except books written by “white, straight, cis male authors.” This stupid thing came up so often that tonight I finally gave in and looked up what “cis” means. This is a completely new-to-me term liberals are using to further break people into categories (and, of course, turn those categories of people against one another to serve their political interests). It seems that “cis” simply means someone who believes they actually are the gender they were born as. Yeah. So essentially she’s asking people to boycott authors who happen to be heterosexual white guys who are fine with the fact that they are guys. Why? Duh. Because heterosexual white guys who are happy being heterosexual white guys are the worst thing to ever happen to this planet.

Some will argue that the challenge is to simply experience diversity. Diversity is good. Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God is one of the best books ever, and Zora was a black woman. Everyone should read that book. But the challenge doesn’t say to diversify your reading. If that was the challenge and all you currently read is LGBT authors, then she’d be challenging you to mix in some hetero honkie hombres. But no. The challenge is worded like this: “I Challenge You to Stop Reading White, Straight Cis Male Authors for One Year.”

That isn’t inclusion. No way. That is EXclusion. But it’s okay, because she’s excluding the one group of people it’s perfectly okay to discriminate against. And my liberal writer friends on Facebook pretty much all support the idea, even though a good many of them are authors who stand to lose out on sales during the year if people actually take up the challenge. (I never said liberalism made sense.)

I’m sorry, but I just can’t imagine choosing a book based on an author’s sexual orientation, gender, skin color, or, God forbid, satisfaction with biological plumbing. I can remember a time before the Internet when readers likely didn’t even know if a writer was white or black and sure wouldn’t have known the author’s sexual preference. Life’s short. When I want to read Clive Barker, I’ll read Clive Barker. When I want to read William Peter Blatty, I’ll read William Peter Blatty. When I want to read E.L. James, I’ll blow my brains out.

Oh wait, that’s for another post.

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