March 17th, 2015
#1: Books written by white men, and possibly white women. No really, this is a thing:
The internet has been abuzz recently with debates over reading lists and reading habits. Writer K. Tempest Bradford caused a bit of a stir when she challenged readers to stop reading straight white cisgendered male authors for a year. Sunili Govinnage generated her share of outrage when she reported on her year spent deliberately not reading white authors. And in late 2014, the phenomenally successful #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign took Tumblr and Twitter by storm, sparking a conversation about which books get published and read, and which don’t, and what these choices are doing to children’s literature.
Many of the responses generated by these articles and initiatives have been supportive — even from those white male authors ‘targeted’ for exclusion. Neil Gaiman, whose novel American Gods appears crossed out in red at the top of Bradford’s piece, told “anyone hoping for outrage”that he thought Bradford’s suggestion was “great” . . .
Why limit it to just books?
We should boycott anything invented by a white, straight man!
Cars, airplanes, medicines, TV’s and computers should all be rejected.
Although I have an awesome vacation planned in May, so are we all certain both Wright brothers were cisgendered? I’m just saying..
How about not worshipping in any tradition founded by white males?
Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, Zoroasterism, and Sikhism, are all founded by while, and presumably cis-heteronormative, males. Even atheism’s most prominent faces are those of white males, both currently and historically, Even prominent non-white atheists, like Chairman Mao, learned their atheism from white males. Modern Wicca was founded by whites, both male and female.
What does that leave? Shintoism, animism, Voodoo, Confucianism, and what?
Since Confucianism explicitly venerates male (and heteronormative) ancestors, that is out also.
Well, one thing is certain: you can’t get rid of white male books without getting rid of all the good ones.
Go ahead, read a whole year without the good ones.
Yes, I meant precisely what was implied.
Maya Angelou is a shit author, everyone knows it. So are, well, nearly all the other Nobel winners.
Quick, say out loud a good black author.
Times up. You didn’t think of a single one.