Ramblings: Who Am I Supporting? Beginning a Journey of Ethical Reading

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Woman at desk with thought bubble: "Ramblings: Exploring ethical reading

With everything going on in the world (Palestine, Congo, Sudan, government corruption, etc.), I’ve been increasingly concerned about who I’m supporting. As they say, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Educating yourself about ongoing events while managing the difficulties in your own life is challenging. However, this is no excuse for giving up and not caring. Humanity as a whole needs to come together for positive, lasting change. The barriers we put up (and those our governments erect) need to be destroyed. Just because you don’t feel the impact now doesn’t mean you won’t. It doesn’t mean you won’t be the next target.

I’ve been trying my best to find ways to do better. Online, I’ve been sharing links to GoFundMes, videos of current events, and generally trying to spread awareness and show support. However, offline, I don’t think I’ve been doing enough. Disability has prevented me from attending events, I have no money to spare, and I currently lack the knowledge of what else I could be doing. After thinking about it for a while, I’ve concluded that it’s time to confront how I show up in the world and how the people and products I support impact that.

I love reading and reviewing books. But what message am I unknowingly sending if the author I’m supporting turns out to be a problematic person? Many of us have had to confront this question lately, most notably with J.K. Rowling and her beliefs about the Trans community. What do we do with art that has touched our souls if it came from awful people?

Wondermajica hosts reviews of many types of media, but books have been a primary focus for the last few years. Thus, I have begun a major book unhaul. I want to know that the authors represented on my shelves are people I have no problem supporting. This means I need to find information about hundreds of authors and confront things about myself and them that I may not like. I have just started, but I already know this is going to be a sad and disappointing process. I am unsure what action would be best to take. Do I adopt a zero-tolerance approach? Do I sell or donate the offenders' books? What about the really special ones? Do I keep them but put them on a separate, closed-off shelf?

Going forward, I know I will be researching authors before buying new books, but what do I do with what I have now? Should I share who I am removing and why?

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