Social Justice Warriors Are Not Ruining Science Fiction!

So hear’s the thing… I am frequently running into fans of science fiction who are half my age and proport to be more knowledgeable about the genre than I, and what’s more, they can explain to me exactly why it’s all going straight to hell.

To cut to the chase of their rather lengthy arguments, they claim that social justice warriors (SJWs) are destroying all that’s good in science fiction. Now,  whoever these SJW may, or may not, be the complaint is that science fiction will never recover from vandalism done in the name of diversity. Which leaves me with just one question, WHAT ARE THESE PUNKS SMOKING?

From my old-fart-fan point of view, science fiction has always been about diversity. Don’t believe me? Star Trek, of course, went out of its way to ensure the Enterprise had a diverse crew (don’t believe me? Watch a few other shows of that era). Or you could read Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War released in 1974 which takes place in a future where homosexuality is more acceptable than heterosexuality.  Robert A. Heinline’s characters, of course, are often in polygamous marriages which are considered normal in his future.  And even in old Flash Gordon, there was an occasional flash of feminism as Dr. Zarkov defends Dale Arden as a talented radio operator who must be included on the missions.

In short, science fiction has always been and always will be about pushing societies envelope. Today, I can recommend D. Wallace Peach’s Bonewall and highly recommend the Jurisdiction series by Susan R. Matthews. Both are carrying on the long and proud SF tradition of pushing our social envelopes and make for good reads.

So, no, I have no idea what are these fanboys complaining about when they moan about SJWs ruining science fiction. These still are the good old days and I for one intend to enjoy them.

By Clayton J. Callahan

 

6 thoughts on “Social Justice Warriors Are Not Ruining Science Fiction!”

  1. Great post! I loved Redshirts, and the ‘Old Man’s War’ series by Scalzi. And I am loving seeing the diversity in society reflected in more stories these days by some excellent writers. These stories are successful because they’re good, and because people want to see stories about people like them.

    Like

  2. The issue of SJW’s ruining Sci-Fi is that they aren’t awarding or lauding compelling or interesting stories that happen to carry a message. They are so focused on whatever agenda they have that they push that to the exclusion of all other concerns, including quality writing, interesting stories or ideas.

    Take a look at the mentality at world con these days. When you’re stirring up a mob because someone accidentally used the wrong imaginary pronoun, then tearing down people who have the audacity to tell you that maybe you should chill.. yeah. That’s totally not a problem.

    The view that “SJW’s” are ruining sci-fi doesn’t stem from an opposition to diversity. It stems from the constant hysterics, and hostility directed at anyone that dares to think out of line, or happens to disagree with them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It would be nice to read stories that are simply good stories, without any targeted combination of genders and minorities (as if everything were an 80s teen movie) or any political subtext buried shallowly and obviously in the story. It would also be nice to participate in fan culture and also be true to one’s own values.

      It’s as if a large portion of fen have been replaced with a bizarre type of pod people, tainting if not ruining everyone else’s experience. Not a healthy direction for an industry invested in having a wide fan base.

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  3. You are EXACTLY correct about:
    “I turned away from Star Trek Discovery because it had a bad concept, plot, and the character’s acted stupidly. It had nothing to do with the fact that Captian Yeoh was Asian because frankly, who cares?”

    But your premise, here:
    “So what are these fanboys complaining about when they moan about SJWs ruining science fiction?
    In a word: diversity.”

    has it backwards.

    So flip it.
    “It had nothing to do with the fact that Captian Yeoh was Asian because frankly, who cares?”

    EXACTLY!

    SJW’s are ruining science fiction because “diversity” is used as an excuse or mask for bad concept, plot, and the character’s acting stupidly.

    If you look at it from that angle, your perspective and the obverse are in harmony.
    Good stories should always be told.
    I like the world better when I assume positive intent.

    Liked by 1 person

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