When my two older kids were younger, I used to charge them five bucks every time the word fair slipped out of their mouths.
“That’s not fair? Five bucks, please.”
Since five dollars was, at the time, equivalent to a week’s pay for chores for them, and since I actually made them pay me, that word quickly slipped out of both their vocabularies.
The only word in the English language I have less respect for than fair is bored, which means the person saying it has voluntarily turned his brain off.
One summer vacation, my two oldest complained that they were bored. I told them to find something to do. They whined that there wasn’t anything to do. So I showed them how to turn their brains back on.
It took one complete summer vacation, but they learned how to NOT be bored…and if either of them reads this post, I’m sure they’ll regale you with the horror story of what they had to do that summer…and why, to this day, neither of them has ever claimed boredom in front of me again.
Back to fair, though, which is the subject of this essay.
Over in the Rebel Tales community right now, a discussion on publishers’ target audiences popped up, and drifted into writing awards (ack), and into a comment that women don’t get as many awards for writing SF as men do, and that this was probably because the panels are made up of men…and the writer appended the comment with the stated hope that Rebel Tales would “set a standard of fairness in all genres.”
Five bucks, please, for using profanity in my house.
If this were the best of all possible worlds, everyone would receive equal justice.
Meaning: Everyone would reap the rewards for the consequences of his or her own actions.
- Artists who created good art would be rewarded with recognition, admiration, and wealth, while those who created crap would sink into obscurity;
- Businessmen who created products people wanted and needed and who dealt honestly with their customers would get rich, while those who created shoddy garbage or who cheated customers would go bankrupt;
- Dictators who ran their countries by trampling on the rights of citizens would be ripped from power and stripped of their rights, while heads of state who worked to limit laws in order to preserve individual rights would flourish and become icons in history books as well as role models for others;
- Men and women who fought to preserve the rights of others would be hailed as heroes, while those who fought to maintain a status quo of oppression would be rightly identified as villains and would be hounded and punished; and,
- People who lived their lives to the best of their ability and to their highest goals and aspirations, while never using force or deception to obtain what they wanted from others would live long, happy lives; while murderers, child molesters, rapists, and thieves would have taken from them what they had taken from others.
Life in this world that we live in is not evenly just, but the concept of justice is born of a clear standard that can be objectively identified and objectively remanded. All men are to be held equal in the eyes of the law. Actions = Consequences.
Justice is an attainable standard, even if it is rarely attained.
Fairness, on the other hand, ignores actions and consequences. It ignores where things come from, how they are created, who created or acted, why they did so, and to what end they worked.
Fairness states not that all men are equal under the eyes of the law…but that all men are equal.
And all men aren’t.
Fairness demands that more women should be in positions of power because there are more women than there are men.
Fairness demands that people who have built businesses with their minds and hands and backs should make no more money than those they employ, because everyone who works at the company is ‘just a person, like everyone else.’
Fairness demands that competence be ignored as a standard because competence is unfair: some people have it, others don’t.
Fairness demands that half of all awards in all fields at all times should be granted to women and half to men—and that those awards should be further subdivided across standards of
- political affiliation,
- area of origin,
- area of residence,
- physical attractiveness, and
- ownership or non-ownership of pets, with no favoritism shown to those who own cats versus dogs, or vice versa, because…
…Fairness has no respect for achievement, no respect for effort, no respect for quality, no respect for intelligence, no respect for ability, no respect for motive.
And this is because FAIRNESS has no respect for the INDIVIDUAL.
Fairness, because it insists that all men are equal, can see humanity only as a vast, faceless lump.
The instant fairness looks past the dogmatic lie that “all men are equal” to see individual people with their individual and unequal skills, motives, morals, integrity, desires, and actions, it dies choking on that lie. So it doesn’t look.
Justice is the desire of the honest individual, who takes action with integrity and accepts the consequences as his earned due.
Fairness is the desire of the unthinking herd, that envies what it has not earned and demands a piece of it just because it’s breathing.
Justice is my standard. I will not accept any other, nor will I compromise.
Fairness earns only my contempt.
So, no. Rebel Tales will NOT set a standard of fairness. We will reward competence and quality. If the only people who demonstrated competence and quality were men, then I would publish only men.
If you want a place in Rebel Tales, earn it by being good enough to belong there.