Sunday, August 3, 2008

Intolerance of Orson Scott Card

Update: I found this courtesy of Yonmei over at Feminist SF - The Blog! Apparently Mr. Card's opinions were quite the opposite more than twenty years ago, which can be found here and here.

What does one do when an author with phenomenal talent turns out to be a disgusting excuse for a human?

I was just reading my favorite feminist blog today, and was pretty much horrified by their newest thread about Orson Scott Card. I read Ender's Game years ago, I think it was actually in high school (not for class or anything, but because I had heard good things about the book) and was amazed by it. The overall sadness, the encompassing futility in war, and the corruption of the innocent blew my mind. I also read Ender's Shadow and was even more compelled to love these books, and continued with Speaker for the Dead. These novels were amazing. However, it has been some time since I read them, so maybe it was just me in my sub-educated naivety that I thought they were so amazing (please note that this is around the same time that I first read The Belgariad).

At any rate, it's disappointing to find out that one of your influences has such detestable beliefs (China Mieville, please do not fall from the pedestal on which I've placed you, I beg of you). I actually find that this is more disgusting than David Eddings' sexism. I mean, Mr. Card states

Already in several states, there are textbooks for children in the earliest grades that show "gay marriages" as normal. How long do you think it will be before such textbooks become mandatory -- and parents have no way to opt out of having their children taught from them?

And if you choose to home-school your children so they are not propagandized with the "normality" of "gay marriage," you will find more states trying to do as California is doing -- making it illegal to take your children out of the propaganda mill that our schools are rapidly becoming.
Who the hell decided that heterosexual people are normal? Probably the same assholes that decided that "white" is normal. I must say I love Mr. Card's ironic quotes around "gay marriage."

I can't believe that we're still arguing about these issues. People are people and they are attracted to who they are attracted to, and have the same human rights as everyone else. Why are we still "othering" people that don't fit the "norm" (see, I know how to use "quotes" as well, sir).

I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Many of our greatest authors were disgusting beyond their work: Shakespeare (if not a homosexual, then certainly homosocial) was racist (show me a work by him that isn't...seriously, I don't believe one exists); Chaucer was a rapist (not that I like Chaucer to begin with, but at least I can point that out every time someone wants to lavish him with praise); and James Joyce was anti-Semitic. And, I will not play favorites here: Baudelaire had a touch of the racism as well, though his favorite lover was black (it's a little creepy how he fetishized her body).

I don't understand why people act as if gay people sprouted from no where. I've met people who actually think it's a decision, and that it's only "gained in popularity" in the last 20 years or so.

Yeah, because gay people didn't exist until a decade ago. Tell that to the Romans, asshole.

Oh, and if the majority got its way every damn time, I doubt we would have anything remotely resembling progress. Orson Scott Card points out that
These judges are making new law without any democratic process; in fact, their decisions are striking down laws enacted by majority vote.

Well, maybe the majority isn't always right. Civil Rights Movement, anyone?


Emily Karrmarshall said...

Hey Sheri,
I learned about Card's homophobia a little after reading "Ender's Game". As amazing as this book was, having this new information kind of ruined it for me.

It's so ironic too because "Ender's Game" preaches a message of tolerance and understanding. Too bad Card doesn't hold those same ideals that he writes about.

I still say it's an amazing book and deserves all the praise it gets. However, Orson Scott Card is still a douche bag. Being a talented writer doesn't change that.