Yesterday, I had a discussion with a person I shall not name. After seeing many of the same same social media statements that I saw, this person asked how I came to my conclusion that this was celebration about inclusion, and not about exclusion.
That’s a very good question, because based on the wording alone, there seems to be quite a lot of hate against the white male in spec fic circles. But consider, if Neil Gaiman had won for best novel, would anyone be celebrating any less? Neil Gaiman is a proven world-class writer who can write most of humanity under the table. Nobody would question the win.
As I said during that discussion yesterday, I believe the tweets that read “Hurray, no white men” were sent without thinking through unintended consequences. I have to believe they were a statement of “Yeah, some new and deserving blood” rather than “Let’s see how many years we can keep all the awards out of the hands of white men.”
But then, I have extracted myself from spec fic social circles lately for personal reasons, and I could be completely wrong. There could be a lot of white-man-hate out there. Maybe people who finally are gaining a legitimate voice are going to punish us for the sins of our fathers. It could be a vast conspiracy.
I don’t believe it. I still like the Occam’s razor explanation that people are excited to see something different for a change, and the social media outbursts were just expressing joy at seeing “people like me” win an award.
Please don’t prove me wrong.