Thursday, October 1, 2009

Exit, pursued by a ...

This was going to be a jolly post (yes, it was, really!). I was going to describe our pathetic attempts at jiving (probaby best I don't tho') and how we arrived home on Tuesday to find Sweetie Pie had all but broken her foot when a scary spider chased her out of the living room. In her terror, she ran straight into the open door. Ouch. After a mere two hours in A & E, she was told it was 'just' a sprain and strapped up, and she hobbled off to school as usual in the morning. Well actually, I don't suppose that is that jolly, is it? Sweetie didn't think it a laughing matter - well, not until after she'd had a couple of painkillers anyway.

I was going to tell you about that, but then I spotted the info on the Brit Writing Awards in Writers' News and wanted to check if I'm the only person in the UK who can't understand the need for a 'Diverse unpublished writer of the year award' or, if we must have something which is so badly worded, why it should only be diverse enough to include black and ethnic minority writers but not white ones. That's right: the 'diverse' category is strictly limited in its diversity - if you're diversely white, forget it.
Seems like they don't understand the meaning of diverse. You can't have a diverse writer. It's like having a diverse bus or a diverse cooker. You need more than one thing to be diverse. Or, that's my understanding. I could be wrong.

But even apart from that, why do we have to separate ourselves into categories all the time? Why should a person's sexuality, race, religion, etc, matter in writing? I'm dead impressed by those people who can paint with their feet, and I can see that it's significant in their case that they're a separate category from other painters. I can also see that the writings of children or people with learning disabilities might be judged differently from those of non-disabled adults.

But are we really suggesting that the only way for black writers to get a break or a fair chance is by creating a separate category for them? What does that indicate about the underlying prejudices of the people who think that's necessary? To my mind, it says that they think white writers are superior and would run off with all the prizes. How patronising and plain wrong is that?

3 comments:

Casdok said...

Very on both counts.
Hope Sweetie Pie's foot is better soon. There are so many more bigger spiders around this year.

Honeysuckle said...

Hi Casdok - Sweetie's fine now, thanks. Those spiders - real bruisers, some of them. A friend told me recently that they don't like conkers, so next year we'll have conkers in every room before the September rush.

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