Yesterday’s post, Home truths, was something of an experiment. As one commenter pointed out, my opinion of Asimov and Foundation are well-documented, and there’s little need to repeat it. But that fact, and the responses to Fabio Fernandes’ Mind Meld on the Russ Pledge on SF Signal yesterday and Cheryl Morgan’s post on the SFWA website on gender balance on 13 June, suggested a small test…
On two previous occasions on this blog I’ve made my thoughts on Asimov’s fiction plain, and both times I received around a month’s worth of hits in a single day. I was also on the receiving end of a number of threats and insults. One person even called me a “retarded nazi pedophile”. And all this for suggesting that Asimov is a rubbish writer and Foundation not a very good sf novel…
Then there’s the “mansplaining” on the Mind Meld and on Cheryl’s piece on the SFWA site. I covered some of the choicer ones here. A lot of male sf readers, it seems, turn combative when accused of sexism in their reading choices – despite an unwillingness to question those same choices.
So, it occurred to me, which of the above two would upset sf readers the most? After all, it takes a hell of an emotional investment in a book to call someone a “retarded nazi pedophile” for daring to slag it off. Would sf readers respond with such passion to being called sexist?
Sadly not. Most of the comments on my Home truths post are about Asimov.
But then, as someone pointed out, most readers of my blog already accept that most male sf readers are sexist. And my thoughts on the contribution of women in sf is also well-documented. For my experiment to have worked, it really needed a bigger pool of test subjects, ones that were ignorant of the women in sf debate – but unfortunately no one linked to it from reddit or fark.
So, sorry for the trollbait. It seemed like a good idea at the time. And it didn’t exactly prove what I wanted it to prove. It sort of did, but not really; and the results are probably tainted anyway. Ah well.