Sunday, May 5, 2019

The mixed reaction

Another single-gender Sherlockian society has given way this weekend, as the word came out that the Speckled Band of Boston inducted its first four female members. They voted two years ago to accept non-male members, and . . . well, not sure what happened in 2018, but here we are.

And my reaction is a very, very meek sort of "yay?"

It's great that they have finally accepted women as equals, but noting the event brings out the fact that as recently as two years ago, that didn't seem to be the case. A person doesn't want to condemn such a positive move forward, so as to discourage any remaining holdouts from getting with the times, but it still is just a little . . . 

But, hey, Brad doesn't live in Boston, attend meetings there, shouldn't matter to him, and why should he blog about it anyway? Mind your own business, Brad, and let Sherlockians have their fun!

About that: Restricted membership societies have always been a particular bee in my bonnet for one reason and one reason alone. I like other people. I don't like seeing them getting depressed due to arbitrary barriers in our fandom, especially when they're talented, lively, fun folks. And maybe Boston hit one of my friends hard once. It's definitely a part of this hobby that has never been fun.

We try to put history behind us, not look back too hard, and move on. We have to do that to a degree, just to maintain any kind of forward motion. But we also live with our history ever day. Every building, large or small, that we inhabit was built in history. Every one of us who didn't appear magically upon this Earth was sired by history. And even when a club allows its first few members of another gender in, their banquets, still mainly comprised of the original gender for those years until balance is achieved, still show their history in every photo.

It's a tricky thing holding on to what we see as the good parts of the past while not letting the really rotten parts taint them. We can't tear down every building a crime occurs in, though time will do that for us, eventually. Some things don't last, however grand they might have seemed to the folks of a certain time and a certain place. In the end, it always comes back to who you are now. What you do now.

So good for the Speckled Band of Boston for finally overcoming a huge character flaw. Where they go from here? What they do for their fellow Sherlockians today and tomorrow, and the day after that? Well, I shall be interested to see what news comes from that direction, and what the word is from Sherlockians I meet out on the trails. 

We make our history ever day, figuring it all out as we go.  Somebody figured out how to change one of the last great Sherlockian gender holdouts, so good on them. But we've still got a long way to go as this fandom rolls into the future. So maybe a quiet "yay" will do for this round, as we prepare for the next.

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