About three years ago I decided to only read SF written by women for one year. It was an interesting experiment that opened ways to stories I’d never have encountered otherwise and that had a profound impact on me. After that year I realized after maybe three or four months that while technically I could’ve started reading books by men (and there were quite some books in the pipeline), I...kind of didn’t or at least not to that extent I had done before.
It took me longer to also realize that maybe diverse reading is not just reading stories about white women written by white women or of POC written by white women.
A couple of days ago my Twitter feed blew up.
Apparently there is this book “The Continent” which is about a white girl and all the racist stereotypes no one wants to read.
There was some great discussion, the usual trolling, a lot of people defending shit that doesn’t deserve defending, people being insanely ignorant, but all in all it was another eye opener regarding White Feminism. It was apparently too easy for me to not see the irony in trying to read diverse and only paying attention to the characters and not the person writing those characters as long as she is a woman. Because that is exactly the kind of argument I don’t want to hear when men defend lists upon lists of straight white dudes, that it doesn’t matter who writes the book but that the story is most important.
No, nope, because the story is shaped by the author’s own experience and that should tell us why that argument is completely invalid.
I love Kameron Hurley dearly, but it is also very important to seek out the N.K. Jemisins, Octavia Butlers and Karen Lords, to support their work and broaden your own horizon.
Time to tweek my preorders a bit