Posted by on August 6, 2014

One of the major hesitations I have about this project is the selection of subjects. Not that any of them are somehow unworthy of inclusion, but looking back from the end of a completed first draft… I realize that there’s actually quite little diversity.

There’s no really good way to put this. Most of my subjects are white, either from the US or Europe. A fairly decent number of those are middle-to-upper-class women. There’s a hell of a bias here. There are, in fact, no entries from the southern hemisphere at all, and only Malala from the eastern hemisphere. (Unless Badass Flying Ace Lydia qualifies, but I think she was flying out of the western part of Russia. Even so.) Seriously, self? WTF?

This was not at all my intention. It just kind of happened. I went looking for women who did many different types of things — science, activism, sports, politics, medicine, and so on — and neglected to think about diversity in other senses. White American and European history is dominant in these parts, so that’s what I found first. I didn’t make the effort I should have to dig deeper.

Now the question I am faced with is: Do I leave the first draft of this volume as-is, on the basis that this is what I have right now and I should continue to improve it with the intention of introducing a second more inclusive volume later, or do I add new content to it in order to be more well-rounded and prolong the already-stretched-out timetable? It sounds like a “duh” kind of choice. Take the time to do it right. And in an ideal world, I would. This is not an ideal world. This is a world in which I have limited time and energy, and if I try to pile on more and more tasks the project might wind up never getting done at all. In which case, what’s the point?

Am I overthinking it, overcompensating for being in what I know is a position of priviledge here? I don’t know. But it’s bugging me.

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