So Alex Dally MacFarlane started a series on gender diversity in science fiction which some obnoxious little wankstain “author” called Larry Correia took exception to, whose nonsense was aptly but slightly more charitably than I would’ve done dissected by everbody’s science fiction pinup, Jim C. Hines. The gist of Correia’s ranting was that nobody was interested in all that gender nonsense and it was all political correctness and message writing and people want story, not strange queer or agender people in their fiction, anyway, you know the type.
Basically what he seems to say is that only white straight men read science fiction and they don’t want to read about anybody else but themselves, because the familiar is truely what you read sf for. Well, Ria off off Bibliotropic is here to set him straight (heh) on the first part:
I love opening a book and sinking into the story and discovering that a character is like me. Whether that means they’re asexual or agendered or just have a weakness for knitting with cashmere yarn, it’s a little bright light that goes on, a link between me and the person whose story I am following, and it makes me want to read about them even more. It’s a very selfish impulse to want to read about people in whom I can see myself reflected.
But that doesn’t make it a bad thing. It makes the character real, because I am real. It makes them a person, because I am a person. It means they have no point, because I have no point, but why should that mean that I and everything about me should disappear for the comfort of people who already have far more options to see themselves reflected in the pages of the novels they read? My existence doesn’t depend on someone learning a lesson from me. I am not an after-school special.
And I’ll set him straight on the second. You know, these days I not only reading science fiction that doesn’t feature the kind of protagonist I can see in the mirror, but actively seek it out. I bought Ascension because its cover featured a black woman; heck, this is my FemShep. Why? Not out of some poofaced desire to know what it would be like to be a black woman in the future, that would be slightly offensive, but because it’s fun, it’s interesting to read the adventures of somebody who isn’t you.
And that’s something people like Correia just can’t understand, that people can be genuinely interested in post-binary gender, even if they’re not personally involved in it. Which is just sad for a science fiction writer.