James Tiptree, Jr Award to Retain its Name


Logo from Tiptree.org

This morning, I read the File 770 article Tiptree Award Motherboard Decides to Keep Name and followed the link to their source material Alice Sheldon and the name of the Tiptree Award, written by Alexis Lothian at Tiptree.org.

I’m glad Sheldon’s pseudonym will remain on the award. Look, I know from one perspective, what she did was horrible, but let’s view her situation through the lens of compassion. Click on both links and read the whole story. If any of us were faced with her situation, it would be nightmarish, and who knows how we’d react.

Sure, we all like to think we’d do better, be better, somehow rise above, but that doesn’t take into account our humanity and fallibility. When the powers that be judge people, they tend to do so through the looking glass of their highest ideals, not seeing things with their actual personalities, warts and all.

I commented on this situation a couple of days ago, and am glad to see that it worked out differently than I expected.

I’ve experienced the “mainstream” voices in science fiction and fantasy as being heavily biased in a particular direction and, in many cases, not taking the “human equation” into consideration when making judgments as to who has become unworthy of 21st century accolades thanks to suddenly enlightened perceptions.

I’m glad to see that Sheldon and her desperate actions are being considered in light of the human heart. We shouldn’t punish anyone because they were in a tremendous amount of pain and responded out of that pain. Today, somebody was kind. Thanks.

2 thoughts on “James Tiptree, Jr Award to Retain its Name

  1. And just when I thought the whole “Tiptree award” controversy was settled, they said this:

    We’ve seen some people discussing this statement and saying we’re refusing to rename the award. Of course it’s easy to read what we’ve written in that way; our apologies. While this post focuses on the reasons why we have not immediately undertaken to rename the award, our thinking is ongoing and tentative, and we are listening carefully to the feedback we are receiving. We are open to possibilities and suggestions from members of our community as we discuss how best to move forward. You can contact us at feedback@tiptree.org.



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