(If you're about to point out it wasn't hard to find because duh then you can just shut it)
But first I want to say something about the weird foghorn effect of the internet. Wednesday I wrote a blog post about representation in media and how I'm basically a recovering racist and I'll probably spend the rest of my life that way. I actually sort of hope I spend the rest of my life that way, but that's a conversation for another time.
Anyway, somewhere between my writing that and you reading this the internet has exploded because male YA writer made stupid (probably joking) comment about why he can't write girls. I think he might have said it and the explosion started before Wednesday, but I wasn't paying that close attention. But since it's on people's minds and my Wednesday post did sort of tie-in, I'm going to give you my two cents because it's my blog and I can. If you've heard enough about this and you're tired, feel free to skip down to the actual post.
Books about boys who struggle with their sexuality and the world around them are important. They're not more important, but I don't actually think they're less either. Except maybe in that they're everywhere and gaining critical acclaim seems to be easier. If dude is living on #1 of my list from Wednesday and he'd like to stay there then good luck with that.
But if he's not, and he'd like to learn and grow as a writer the entire universe exploding at him in incoherent girl-rage is probably not going to help. Now I'm not saying if you feel rageful you have to stop, or you have to give him space for his girl-erasure like it's a legitimate thing. I'm saying have you ever been screamed at by a person at the top of their lungs and responded positively to it? Because I haven't, and I'm generally pretty willing to admit I'm wrong, even when I look like a fool.
And you could say that message needs to be imparted to the d-bags who send rape threats and death threats to feminists on twitter, but frankly they're the equivalent of poo throwing monkeys, and if logic was steering that train we wouldn't be having that conversation in the first place.
So. Anyway. Now that I got all that out, let's talk about something else I promise not to make all angsty and negative.
What the Blue People Told Us; Racial Diversity in THE FUTURE!!!
Once upon a time Kentucky was what I like to call the Ass End of the Universe. Meaning there were people, but there were no roads and a chunk of it's in the mountains. This means, strangely enough, before motor cars people didn't move much. You were born in a place, you grew up, you married somebody who was probably at least loosely related to you, and then you had babies who just repeated the cycle again.
Now, if you know anything about genetics that makes you twitch a little because a population with no genetic diversity over a large period of time winds up with...you know, problems.
Like the Fugate family in Kentucky who literally turned blue. Like their skin was actually blue. I looked for a picture I could add on here, but there wasn't anything that I felt comfortable pirating, so go to Google and type in Fugate Family. I'll wait.
Freaking crazy, huh? I'll save you the giant science quotient. If you're interested you can check out this article from Wikipedia. The short answer is they were all descended from the same dude who carried a rare recessive trait that, when bred again and again into the population resulted in their blood turning brown and making their skin blue.
Human geographic/genetic tie-ins make for strange, strange strangeness.
A lot of anthropologists and biologists theorize that part of the reason we seem to be getting a little hardier as a species, as time goes, is our increasing genetic diversity. People move away from where they were born and marry new people with completely different genetics and that means X genetic disorder has a much lower chance of happening. Which is good obviously.
But it also means a certain homogenization of the populace. Like right now, scientists figure eventually we'll all look like mixed-race Brazilians in the future. And hey, if the guy they used in the picture on that article is anything to go by, it could be a lot worse. It's already happening too. In the last hundred years there are a whole run of things that've gotten less common just here in the US. Things like actual blue eyes (someday we'll talk about how your eyes get their color, if we haven't already, because weird).
So what does that mean for your space opera set in the year 6000?
Well, that geographical component is something I think they're not taking enough into account. When we plan for exodus I can't really see certain people getting on ships together, so you're likely to backslide. But then as you're backsliding your environment has changed so much. If dark skin is supposed to be a genetic mutation to protect from increased UV exposure around the equator, what does that do in space over a couple dozen generations of living in a serious UV shielded space-ship?
And then if we get out there, into the black, and there are aliens around that means new diseases and probably new genetics (because tentacle porn is a thing and I'm sorry, you can't convince me nobody would be up for that irl).
But the big question is this: Does writing an entire universe of homogenized white-ish people make you racist or just lazy?
Option A says racist, because you've intentionally erased all the people of color from any sort of bearing or agency on your concept of our future as a species. Even if you did it unintentionally (I'll own up to this. It's a thing and I'm working on it) they're still gone.
Option B says lazy, because it's easier that way and then you can just talk about trade negotiations with the bean people of Sigma 4 and tentacle alien sex, which is what we're all here for anyway.
Option C says you're neither. You've bought into the research and you're going to tell us where all that diversity went and how we feel about the fact that it's gone. But, you know, that's a lot of research, and if you pull that off without some serious world-builders disease I will fall at your feet and grovel.
Option D says you reject the entire question. You're not writing a universe filled with white-ish people, you're writing a universe filled with people and some of them are white and Christian, and some of them are purple and worship rubber bands, and some of them are brown and blare space-mosque calls to prayer onto the feed every morning at the exact same time.
So tell me which book you'd rather read.
And come back Monday where we start the whole cycle over again. And hey, if you've got a suggestion for Miscellaneous Monday leave it in the box. I'm clearly scraping the bottom of the barrel.