Tuesday, February 14, 2017

SFF, SJWs and the circular firing squad.

The Stupid burns ever deeper in SJW Land, according to the Washigton Post.

These days, though, a book may get an additional check from an unusual source: a sensitivity reader, a person who, for a nominal fee, will scan the book for racist, sexist or otherwise offensive content. These readers give feedback based on self-ascribed areas of expertise such as "dealing with terminal illness," "racial dynamics in Muslim communities within families" or "transgender issues."

These are people who read your book and tell you all the parts you weren't "woke" for, in the hope that the Social Media Swine will leave you alone.
Sensitivity readers have emerged in a climate — fueled in part by social media — in which writers are under increased scrutiny for their portrayals of people from marginalized groups, especially when the author is not a part of that group.
Last year, for instance, J.K. Rowling was strongly criticized by Native American readers and scholars for her portrayal of Navajo traditions in the 2016 story "History of Magic in North America." Young-adult author Keira Drake was forced to revise her fantasy novel "The Continent" after an online uproar over its portrayal of people of color and Native backgrounds. More recently, author Veronica Roth — of "Divergent" fame — came under fire for her new novel, "Carve the Mark." In addition to being called racist, the book was criticized for its portrayal of chronic pain in its main character.
In other words, its a protection racket. For suckers, because the only way to get the Perpetually Aggrieved to back of is... well actually, there is no way. If they don't find something to be offended by, they will make something up.

Personally, I consider it a sacred crusade to piss these cretins off. Some of y'all may know, I've been doing some writing. When my work finally hits print or ebook, if I don't get at least one bitter denunciation on Twitter from some pink haired sea mammal, all upset because of the sexy robot girlfriends, I will be quite disappointed. Yep, sexy robot girlfriends. With guns.

However, the next bit is even better.  Some lady named Jodi Meadows wrote a "young adult" fantasy book, and recently gave a teaser pic of the book cover. Well, apparently some people were upset because there was a black girl on the cover. No, I'm not kidding. Yes, it is stupider than you think.
First, so many people have said so many nice things about the cover. Thank you! I'm happy you like it! I love it, too.
A few people have mentioned they see this as an important cover, because it has a Black girl in a dress. That's what I want to talk about. I didn't realize when the cover was being designed (that's my privilege), but this is the first time a big publisher has this kind of cover.
It shouldn't be the first time.
The first time a major publisher designed a YA cover with a Black model in a gown, it should have gone to a Black author.
Again, me not realizing that hadn't happened yet: that was my white privilege at work.
The fact that mine came first is a symptom of the problems in publishing, and who publishing is designed to work for. By the time I knew what was at stake with this cover and the timing, the model had already been hired and her photos taken. At that point, changing the cover would have meant telling a Black model that she couldn't be on my cover because she's Black.
Yes friends, the Perpetually Aggrieved were angry that a black girl appeared on the cover of a book by a white author. They flamed poor ol' Jodi, and she had to go back on her blog and apologize all over the place.

That is what I'd call a Blue on Blue circular firing squad event. And they missed the target too.

The Deplorable Phantom


Keith West said...

Jodi should have told them to sod off. She had no voice in the cover art and probably couldn't have done anything about it even if she had known.

The Phantom said...

I totally agree. Authors have no say in cover are at most publishers. But even if they do, SINCE WHEN is it bad to have a black girl on the cover of a book?

But there she is, all worried and fretting that somebody might get offended. Frick sakes.

Keith West said...

As I understand her comments, it's not the skin color of the girl on the cover but the girl (herself) who wrote the book. If Jodi had been black, everything would have been fine. Which is totally stupid, but there you go.

The Phantom said...

That was my understanding as well, the offense was white author with black model on the cover.

No word if black author and white model on the cover is equally offensive. We shall have to wait for the SJW oracles on that one.

That also raises the question, should Authors Of Colour be getting sensitivity readers to comb through and look for places where they offended Scottish Canadian sensibilities? Possibly they got the haggis wrong, or put "poor wee lad" in the wrong place, or misused the expression "eh?" Americans never get "eh?" right, most offensive!

The answer to that joke question is of course "no!" We have learned that sauce for the goose is never sauce for the gander.

Keith West said...

I've heard enough gripes about white models on covers of books featuring black characters and/or written by black authors to know the answer to that one....