Permit me to ask where you stand on things, historically. How did you or your family comport themselves when people were being beaten, tortured, bought and sold, hung from trees with impunity? Was derision of the Africans and Chinese and Jews and Italians and Latinos tolerated in you or your family’s presence? Was one whit of attention paid to all the laws being passed in the attempt to strip those groups of an ability to participate in society, to provide for themselves, to be full human beings?
Permit me to ask where you stand on contemporary events. How do you and your family comport themselves as women are beaten, tortured, bought and sold, killed with impunity? Is derision of women for the mere fact of being women tolerated in your presence? Do you pay one whit of attention to the constant attempts to pass laws governing how women can dress or behave, or how in judging by pay scale women are only three quarters the value of men?
As some of you who have been following me on social media can attest I post about human rights on a regular basis. Some followers have difficulty grasping why I have such an interest in people being treated as though they are, in fact, full people free to go anywhere at any time, achieve their full potential, and so forth. There are those who tell me we already had the 1960s, or that it isn’t that bad, or this, or that.
Yet I still find myself somehow wandering into the nigger conversation. You know that one. I’m standing with a bunch of guys and the conversation veers toward the subject of women, and bit by bit, we meander to the point where if you replace the word “women” with the word “niggers” you realize you’re having the same conversation being held at the regional KKK headquarters. No need to look back to wonder at how free folk conducted themselves during slavery or reconstruction or the Jim Crow era when we can simply observe the men in our lives.
It is easy to see, then, how dismissive belligerence–even from an author who is of little consequence to the overall publishing industry–can trigger strong reactions in literary circles, as we have witnessed this week. Women don’t exist just in the horror scene, so the condemnation has to be considered within the larger context of society. A single metal post is not threatening, so focusing on it seems silly until you realize many more encircle you forming a cage.
If you take part in the horror community you are likely aware that February is Women in Horror Month. Maybe to some folks this month feels strange. They look around and see so much attention being lavished on genre authors who are biological females. Take a moment to realize that’s how it is for women in horror: every month, all year, every year, is Men in Horror Month.
Want to do something about the horror genre? Support our Women in Horror event this Saturday at Ukazoo Books in Towson, Maryland by attending, sharing online, or getting your Baltimore-area friends to go. Also visit WomenInHorrorMonth.com.
Want to do something about society? Check out ACallToMen.org. I have observed them and they seem to be doing good work proselytizing for…well, I want to refer to it as common sense, but it’s not common so we’ll call it remedial sense…in the community.
Oh yeah, listen to “Thug Baby” by Rabbit Junk: