This idea has been stuck in my head for a while now.
Yesterday, I was reading an article about DC's latest reboot; they now have only two women working on the 52 DC Universe titles (one author writing two titles, and one artist doing one cover). That's out of 209 artists/writers/cover artists.
The sole female writer called on DC to hire more women, and one of her fellow creators was unhappy about that. His argument, albeit not in so many words, was 'which of the us do you want to get fired for this?'
And this seemed like entirely the wrong question. DC and Marvel's superhero comics are read by, I dunno, maybe a couple million people. Out of the seven billion people in the world, these giants in the field are reaching maybe a thousandth of a percent. And it's not that people don't like superheroes: I'd guess that at least ten times as many people watched Captain America as read even one superhero comic in 2011.
So this guy is saying 'I don't want to lose my job to some woman just because she's a woman and there aren't enough jobs for everyone'. Which is totally understandable. Except that it ignores the ability of people to MAKE MORE JOBS. It ignores that maybe if the DC Universe wasn't a No Gurlz Allowed club, maybe it would appeal to more people. Not just women, but men too. Maybe if you weren't so jealously intent on protecting your little bitty pie from anyone else getting a slice, you'd find out that you could make a much bigger pie.
But it's not just this one little thing. It's so many things where I feel like we as humans are totally misguided, where we act as if resources were not just finite but narrowly bounded, as if there's a fixed amount of wealth in the world and there can never be any more so we have to grab as much of it as we can and keep anyone else from getting their hands on it. We can't let immigrants into our country and steal OUR JOBS. We can't let people get rich because that should be OUR MONEY. We can't be happy for a friend's successful blog because those should be OUR READERS.
One blogger called it 'slottiness', when aspiring writers would get jealous of another being published, as if that author had taken their slot. But we do it with so many things. It seems like common sense to think that if one person gets X, the next person can't.
But it's still wrong. There's so much that we can create. Life is not zero-sum. We don't have to make sure someone else loses in order for us to win.
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