Starting Some Shit

Did Paul Di Filippo just compare women and minorities to vegetables? I think he just did. (You’ll have to scroll.)

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16 thoughts on “Starting Some Shit

  1. Well, I’m not sure he exactly did; my take is that he was comparing the anthology to vegetable fields and the stories to vegetables, but still. It was pretty spurious. An anthology is specifically non-homogenous, isn’t it?

  2. I don’t think he exactly compared women and minorities to vegetables. He tried to compare publishing as an industry to growing vegetables, and writers (of all stripes) to veggies. It’s an analogy that’s insanely stupid, but I don’t seem him singling out anyone in particular to compare to veggies (unless I’m missing something about his specific use of corn and potatoes).

    That said, the fact that he thinks that analogy makes any sense whatsoever makes me question his reasoning ability. A lot.

  3. On re-reading, I see I missed the “sheets of lettuce” comment, which might be what you were looking at. That’s more suspect, although I think it’s more problematic when you look beyond comparison; he’s basically claiming that white male writers are the expected and normal item — the sheets of white paper — and that women and minorities are the thing that’s out of place, unexpected, and unwanted — the lettuce.

    That pretty much disgusts me on just about every level imaginable.

  4. Better than that, I like how he infers by this phrase – “if the MAMMOTH book had included a token one or two writers of color or female gender” – that the only way writers of color or women might have been accepted was if they were viewed as TOKENS. Not because they might be, you know, great writers.

  5. I like the “white men only know white men, and that’s not racist” argument. And by “like,” I mean “find hilarious that he thinks anyone could take seriously.

  6. yeah, it was the sheets of lettuce thing I saw before the rest. I was skimming, because it’s all just blah blah white male privilege blah blah i hate uppity minorities blah blah veggie tales.

  7. Huh. If my mind were blown by such homogeneity, I doubt I would be so eager to confess that to the world.

    And comparing anthology diversity to finding a piece of lettuce in a ream of printer paper is horrific. It goes beyond the normal chorus about how there isn’t enough room in a single book to celebrate all of the excellence in a field and makes the claim that science fiction not written by a white man is defective and plainly unable to provide value to the customer. Am I to understand that this guy gets paid to express his thoughts in writing? Paid with money?

  8. In this day and age it’s very difficult to not believe this choice was deliberate. He really does believe that women never have written any mind-blowing sf.

    What does he read?

  9. In this day and age it’s very difficult to not believe this choice was deliberate. He really does believe that women never have written any mind-blowing sf.

    What does he read?

    Stories by his friends in the old-boy network, obvs.

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