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Nebula Voters HATE WHITE DUDES!!!

SF Signal posted the Nebula Award Finalists yesterday, with links to lots of free fiction. (Huge congratulations to all the nominees, by the way.) I’ve seen a lot of discussion about the diversity of the nominees this year. Rose Fox did a breakdown over at Genreville.

So of course it didn’t take long for someone to pop up in the SF Signal comments to say:

Sure is a huge slant towards women and the non white male. If we don’t start counteracting all the relentless one sided articles soon. Then SF is going to look a lot like the Romance Genre. And the funny thing is there wasn’t even a fight.

Thats my Counterpoint Mirror to todays Half Truths(its the other half that will complete you)

Another commenter jumped in to say how girly the list was, and to talk about how he reads a very broad and diverse range of male authors.

I wish I was making that up.

(He did concede that he’d be willing to check out Mary Robinette Kowal’s book, though. I assume it’s because she’s proven her manliness credentials.)

The fact that there are dumbasses on the internet should come as no surprise to anyone. And plenty of folks have been happily mocking the clueless trolls. But maybe we’re not giving the poor troll enough credit.

Sure, he packs an impressive amount of idiocy into a single comment. But what if it’s not just a dude who doesn’t want women and non-white folks in his genre, with a bonus scoop of “Romance is icky!!!” What if, instead of being a dumbass, he’s trying to make a sneakier point?

After all, some of us have complained time and again when we see an awards ballot or anthology list dominated by white men. If I mock these commenters for complaining about a list dominated by…um…well, people who aren’t white men, then I’M A FLAMING HYPOCRITE AND MY ENTIRE SOAP BOX WILL COLLAPSE UNDER THE WEIGHT OF MY DOUBLE-STANDARDS!

Why, if this was his devious plan all along, then we the PC Thought Police of Doom have DRASTICALLY underestimated our opposition! This isn’t a clueless, sexist, racist dumbass after all! This is a Moriarty-type genius of–

No, wait, sorry. My bad. Still a clueless, sexist, racist dumbass. Tell you what, dude–when you can demonstrate a pattern of historical discrimination against white male authors, if you can show how we’re persistently under-reviewed, under-nominated for awards, underrepresented in “Best of” anthologies, then we’ll talk.

In the meantime, my condolences to the good folks at SF Signal. It’s never fun when the neighbor’s ill-behaved dog shows up to take a dump in your yard.

ETA: Changed the title because penis =/= dude. My apologies. Dammit, I’m supposed to be smarter than that.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.


( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 22nd, 2013 01:51 am (UTC)
No, you're right. I'm particularly annoyed because I know I've stumbled over this one before, going for the easy penis-laugh without thinking through what I was saying. My apologies.
Feb. 22nd, 2013 02:04 am (UTC)
Thank you for that.
Feb. 22nd, 2013 03:16 am (UTC)
Well done. Have a cookie.
Feb. 22nd, 2013 03:24 am (UTC)
And we have a winnah!

"I share the concern about the Nebula award being dominated by women and non-whites.

I want my sci-fi heroes to be named things like “Chip” and work in traditional naval-officer hierarchies. I am very concerned that if more women are encouraged to write, scenes of action and exploration will be replaced with delays for menstruation. Also, I find uteri to be unsettling and would not want to be pressured to read a book in which they become sentient and menace colonial outposts and possibly, if the girl writer is also non-white, eat spicy foods.

This is why Tom Clancy is my favorite science fiction writer. He should get the Nebula.”
Feb. 22nd, 2013 03:29 am (UTC)
I don't think I want spicy foods near my uterus -- capsaicin and mucous membranes are two great tastes that don't go together.
Feb. 22nd, 2013 03:59 am (UTC)
Sorry,that was one of the comments. From the thread. Made me hoot with laughter and Ikind of want to send its author a "you have won the internets" certificate. ;)
Feb. 22nd, 2013 04:08 am (UTC)
S'okay. The mental image does amuse me in the abstract. In the concrete, see my previous comment. ^_^
Feb. 22nd, 2013 02:13 pm (UTC)
Please warn a person before you do that! :-)

I dang near snarfed coffee in my keyboard. The IT department here never lets you forget about things like that. They point and laugh at you in the hallways.

Thank you for the laugh this morning.

Feb. 22nd, 2013 12:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for fixing it. Honestly, the misstep is counterbalanced to me by the willingness to take criticism and correct it, without getting defensive. That's what makes you different from these people currently shrieking about the awards ceremony. :)

(And also, it truly is amazing how ONE year that treats white men the way everyone else is treated = apocalypse, isn't it?!)
Feb. 22nd, 2013 06:32 pm (UTC)
I wish there was a "LIKE" button here on LJ. Or a button that meant, "You said EXACTLY what I was thinking".

And wow, it's Hypnocat in your icon! (love)
Feb. 22nd, 2013 07:05 pm (UTC)
*blush* I keep wishing for that button too, now.

Also, that's my actual cat, so she's flattered too. :)
Feb. 22nd, 2013 12:35 pm (UTC)
(I wanted to thank you for saying this, because I was debating whether I should... and it was a relief to see someone else had spoken up. Amusingly, I actually know one female SF writer who had a white penis when she wrote a theoretically-eligible novel, but no longer had it by awards time. I'm guessing that is, er, not quite what these commenters had in mind either. Also, my sympathies on the cissexist ethnography. As a palate cleanser, may I offer : http://www.amazon.com/The-Collection-Fiction-Transgender-Vanguard/dp/0983242216/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1361536425&sr=8-2 I promise I'm not associated with them or getting any profits, I just think it's a fantastic book.)
Feb. 22nd, 2013 02:41 am (UTC)
My take-aways from this:

1) Yay for nominees who aren't white and um...born male (no idea of the correct way to say this, and don't want to offend).

2) I'm pretty sure this is the first time I got an email notification of a blog post with the word penises in it and didn't delete it.

So yay Jim? (No, really, yay Jim.)
Feb. 24th, 2013 01:17 am (UTC)
1) Yay for nominees who aren't white and um...born male (no idea of the correct way to say this, and don't want to offend).

Current parlance among trans* folk is generally one of the following:

AMAB/AFAB = assigned male/female at birth
DMAB/DFAB = designated male/female at birth
CAMAB/CAFAB = coercively assigned male/female at birth

The first two are equivalent. The third is usually used by people who are particularly angry about having had a sex assigned to them that doesn't fit their sense of self, such as intersex CAFAB people who were surgically altered as infants to look "more female". All three emphasize that they are referring to sex as a legal or societal designation.

Cisgender people and some intersex people are AMAB-and-male-identified or AFAB-and-female-identified. Trans*, agender/neutrois, and some intersex people have an identity that doesn't match the sex they were assigned at birth.

My guess is that you actually meant "nominees who aren't white cisgender males", as if you rephrased as "nominees who aren't white and AMAB" you'd leave out trans women such as nominee Caitlín R. Kiernan.
Feb. 22nd, 2013 04:10 am (UTC)
so now Jay Lake is the Token White Dude Poster Boy? grin.
Feb. 22nd, 2013 04:12 am (UTC)
I'm of the opinion if the white male authors want more representation, they should write more and better stories. ^_^

(tongue in cheek)
Feb. 22nd, 2013 08:59 pm (UTC)
I am of the distinct opinion, that I agree with you.
Feb. 22nd, 2013 11:33 am (UTC)
I am staying away from the loonies (my headmeat is suffering from jetlag today and I don't need the stupids on top), but:

Have any of them yet mistaken Kim Stanley Robinson for a GURRL!!1! (because of the name)? Or does he not count because he's a pinko leftie communist, or something?

(My pick for the first transgendered Nebula winner would have to be rozk, as/when her Symphony of Blood trilogy gets the love it so richly deserves.)
Feb. 22nd, 2013 01:20 pm (UTC)
I haven't seen anyone explicitly mistake KSR for belonging to the Girl-Cootie Club, but it wouldn't surprise me.
Feb. 22nd, 2013 06:39 pm (UTC)
In which case, you'd think *those* dumbasses would get a clue with "Stanley", which is not a typical female name, but since it's his middle name, who knows.

Btw, thanks for accepting my friend request on FB just now. I've been ignorant of your presence there all this time! The *horrors*. Now, Mr. Hines, are you ever going to make it out to the Los Angeles area? Don't make me beg!
Feb. 23rd, 2013 03:17 pm (UTC)
Okay, first of all, that is one of the niftier LJ icons I've seen in a long time :-)

As for LA, I'm afraid there are no immediate plans. I would like to get out to the west coast both for some book-tour stuff and just for general sightseeing, but I'm afraid I have no idea when I might be able to make that happen.

When it does, I promise I'll crow about it on LJ, though :-)
Feb. 24th, 2013 02:51 am (UTC)
Hey, there's always the president's mother.
Feb. 22nd, 2013 12:57 pm (UTC)
My thoughts about this post, in no particular order:

1. Well said as usual, Mr. Hines.
2. Those comments just put me in mind of eight-year-olds on the playground shrieking about GIRL COOTIES. Sadly, it's not the first time sexist idiocy has made me think that.
3. Congratulations to all the writers, especially Sarah Beth Durst, Holly Black, and Caitlin Kiernan, whose books I love. Also, there's my summer reading list, right there.

~ Neva
Feb. 22nd, 2013 05:37 pm (UTC)

Annnnd I'm back to the "well, they have a gay pride day, we should have a straight pride day" kind of moment.

Can one facepalm AND headdesk at the same time?

(edit for clarity in case my fuzzy brain is not as clear as I think it is... The same kind of thinking in this is "defend the people who need defending, celebrate the people who need celebrating" when the "people" referenced are, in general, already being celebrated or at least not actively mistreated. I've seen it a lot when talking GBLT politics, etc, and it always amazes me when I see people genuinely not get : if you're part of the predominant/dominant cultural group, being put outside of it or no longer given all the golden spotlight does not constitute abuse or lack.)

Edited at 2013-02-22 05:44 pm (UTC)
Feb. 22nd, 2013 08:57 pm (UTC)
The complaint, however, does indicate something akin to a sore loser. Maybe he had to buy someone lunch, because he'd bet on the outcome of the votes.
Feb. 23rd, 2013 04:20 pm (UTC)
Don't forget about White History Month! Because it's not like we have twelve of them already...
Feb. 22nd, 2013 08:56 pm (UTC)
LMAO! I popped in when I wondered what you were up to with the "penis" comment. But yes, there si always going to be a peanut gallery, composed of those for whom, the pendulum of popular acclaim did not swing in their preferred direction.

To be honest, the preponderance of male nominees in the past did not bother me, because I knew enough women would be on it eventually, as more authors came into the field, and competition increased. The only thing that would really have bothered me is if an obviously poorly-written book, which was not parody, had made it to the list. Even then, the book had to be a known parody, and not so esoteric as to not be known to be a parody by anyone reading it.
Feb. 23rd, 2013 08:39 am (UTC)
On the bright side, when I visited that page just now, I only saw two guys whingeing about there being not enough white dudes on the ballot (plus one other complaining about there being too much fantasy) - and a good couple of dozen people calling them out and/or making fun of them. So that was fairly heartening, at least...
Feb. 23rd, 2013 03:15 pm (UTC)
Yep. Overall, I've seen significantly less idiocy than I was originally expecting, which is refreshing in a way.
Feb. 25th, 2013 04:37 pm (UTC)
Entirely for my own amusement, I did some numbers. White men make up ~37% of the nominees, and ~34% of the US population. (I only looked at the US population since it was for books published in the US. I know that books by authors from other countries can also be published in the US, but figuring out those numbers would have been way too much work.)

Another fun fact: 11 of the 13 nominees for the (usually) most remunerative category, Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, were white men. (Those numbers are if you count Joss Whedon twice, for his two separate nominations. If you only count him once, it's 10 out of 12.)
Feb. 28th, 2013 04:38 pm (UTC)
Ohs Noes There are women getting awards? Do you realize what that MEANS????

More women will be encouraged to write SF and think they might get awards for it too!!!

Quick, build a space ship so the folks who are afraid of girl-cooties can go to Lois M. Bujold's planet of Athos, where there are NO WOMEN AT ALL.

Wait. That planet was written by a woman. Does it have girl-cooties by proxy?
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )


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