So—and unless there’s something REALLY exciting, this is more or less my last word on the SFWA thing—one of the tropes going around is that we have to fix this from the inside.
That the only right thing to do is to work to change the attitudes using our position within the organization.
Actually, no. I don’t have to do that.
I don’t have to do a damn thing.
I can say, at any point, “Y’know, the energy I’m spending beating my head against this is far in excess of anything I’ll get back.”
I can say “I think there are very good and decent people working to do just this, and I admire them for it, but I don’t have the spoons to continue being one of them.”
I can even say “I don’t think there’s enough here to salvage. Let the hulk rust quietly away, and maybe someday it’ll be a very nice artificial reef.”
There are organizations that I feel can be fixed from the outside in.
There are organizations that I feel can be fixed from the inside out.
There are organizations that I feel can’t be fixed, ever, due to their history/members/entrenchment/whatever.
I get to make all those decisions on my own, like a real grown-up! One with her own car-keys and everything! And nobody gets to wave guilt flags at me about whatever decision I make! (Well, I mean, go ahead and try if you want. Just don’t expect to get the result you’re hoping for.)
Frankly, there’s enough young blood around that it might be easier to found another organization from the ground up. I won’t be founding it, because I should not be trusted to organize a car-wash, but I can see it happening. Then in sixty years we’ll be the old men yelling at clouds (cue music, drums, lion cubs held aloft over the savannah)
So, yeah. I haven’t decided on SFWA yet. I’ve got plenty of time.
And I may decide it’s worth the fight. Or I may decide to walk away, whistling.
One of the nicest things about being a grown-up is that I totally get to make that call.