Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"controversial" author

I didn't realize that Orson Scott Card was considered "controversial." Evidently so. Read this about the mini-furor created by Card receiving the Edwards award from YALSA.

Card sometimes writes about politics. It seems that he has written some articles about his opinion that laws against homosexuality should remain on the books. And for that reason, some people think he should not have been given this award. I read some comments on one YA blog about this. Some did defend Card's right to express himself and receive the award. But one said, "the consequence of being a bigot is that you should not get a lifetime achievement award." One said that he had made the personal choice to not read Card's books because he "preaches intolerance and hate." One person responded to that comment saying, "And if the consequence of being a bigot is that you don't get a lifetime achievement award, can I tell the Edwards committee not to give the award to Stephenie Meyer in 10 years because I think many LDS beliefs are misogynist?" (Orson Scott Card, like Meyers and many other talented authors, is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.)

Yikes. Here's what I wonder: If Card were Jewish or Catholic or Muslim would anyone be calling him a bigot? Imagine for a sec that the Edwards had been given to a Muslim man who had written an article similar to Card's besides the YA work he was being recognized for. NO ONE would be saying ANYTHING about how awful that YALSA gave an award to a bigot. No way.


ladyofmaine said...

Perhaps it is this kind of thing that tends to make some Latter-Day Saints defensive concerning other's perceptions of the "Mormon" faith.

I confess to being touchy when I construe a remark about my religion as insulting and have no doubt misconstrued some to be so.

The most frustrating thing is the extreme ignorance displayed by otherwise well informed people of the tenets of the LDS faith.

ave said...

Just think of what would happen if we scrutinized an actor/actress's character before handing out a golden globe or academy award! Angelina would get them all for her adoptions, although maybe her nanny really should be the one who receives them, and poor Brittany would have to return all of her MTV music awards.

Auntie Lee said...

Its pretty radical to use the word 'misogynist' but I can certainly understand why. I really get frustrated with a lot of American LDS women who think they have to be barefoot and pregnant all the time. I am not talking about at-home moms, that is different, but I think you all know the kind I mean. I think it puts lots of extra stress on men. And why is it only American LDS women? In other countries LDS women do all kinds of things.

After being YW president for so many years I do NOT see where they get it from.

ave said...

Calandria I set up a blog. witlesswaysorthoughtfuldays.blogspot.com

dave said...

First, Anne Fadiman (who wrote the incomparable Ex Libris) has an interesting essay about whether we should think less of an author's work because of their personal actions or beliefs; it is in her book At Large & At Small and the title of the essay refers to the 'cultural wars'. The example she uses is Melville, who was a terrible domestic abuser. I agree with Fadiman that it doesn't make Melville's work less. Much music that I find uplifting was written by artists (like Mozart & Beethoven) who lived lives that were wildly immoral by my standards. Likewise, I think we should separate the author from the work. If a lifetime achievement award celebrates the work, then go on. If it means you think he's a great guy, then maybe he shouldn't (if the awarders seem his as a bigot).

Second, I think a lot of people refer to Islam as misogynistic and - in African aid circles - people talk about the damage the Catholic church has done in opposing condoms. I don't think Mormons are unique in being critiqued.

I can see why many people are uncomfortable with LDS roles for women in the Church, but that's not so different from Catholics, Muslims, Orthodox Jews. None of these faiths have women in the same leadership positions as men.

ave said...

I agree with Dave, and may I add since we (women) have different parts perhaps it is meant to be that we work in diffrent ways.

Calandria said...

Good points, Dave. Maybe it is true that someone would have made a stink about a Catholic author, for example, getting the award if that author occasionally wrote pro-life opinion pieces or something. I don't know.

I only included the following comment because I thought it was a good point against not giving someone an award because of their beliefs: "should I tell the Edwards committee not to give the award to Stephenie Meyer in 10 years because I think many LDS beliefs are misogynist?"

I did not mean to suggest that I think LDS beliefs are misogynist, at least any more so than other religions.

Calandria said...

Oh, and I need to clarify that I did not make that comment in the original post. I was quoting someone else who commented on another blog. Sorry for the confusion!