royalty-free-writing-clipart-illustration-1146779 Not pretty, actually. I’ve been basing my blogs mostly on research and supporting statements, but now I’ll discuss my personal reactions a bit.

Example 1: I’ve been offended by an influx of this kind of writing into the hit CBS show The Good Wife this season. This year has seen the introduction of several new minority characters. That’s great—they’re wonderful characters. However, a new set of writers seem to have been itching to take down the powerful white characters on the show. Law firm Lockhart, Agos & Lee have to cater to minority job applicants after an investigation for discriminatory hiring practices. Peter Florrick and Eli Gold become sniveling apologists. Alicia Florrick falls into paralyzing depression. This doesn’t work—these are the characters that made the show what it was. The network has announced the show won’t be renewed for next year.

Example 2: I suspect Elizabeth Bear’s Karen Memory has been shaped by the discussion that took place in RaceFail2009. I already discussed some of the reasons I didn’t care for it in the review I did. It seems messy and forced. A seemingly athletic white female protagonist is described as “plump,” and has a lesbian relationship with an East Indian woman. The straight, white men are villains, inconsequential or stupid, while minority men fill the lead roles. I know these role reversals may be the point, but still it looks like a sexist, racist attack on straight, white men.

Example 3: Ann Leckie’s Ancilliary Mercy also seems to be infected with this kind of ideology. It’s harder to identify in this case, because of the all-female pronouns, but does anyone really think Breq is a man or that Seivarden is a woman? Seivarden is already struggling because of the disappearance of his wealthy and powerful family while he was in sleep storage. In this episode, he is bullied by other crew members into assuming blame for the ancient colonial tradition of privilege. Seivarden isn’t personally to blame for this. Again this looks to be a thinly veiled attack on (white) men.

Is this white guilt literature? Does the new ideology translate to advancing minority interests at the expense of white men? Somehow it looks a bit smug. I can consider these are points to illustrate how insidious privilege can be, but still this marks the resulting works as racist and sexist. The new ideology seems to be quite powerful, too. Both these novels were high in the reading list for Nebula consideration.

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