Brownie Points

Submitted by Madalyn Clare on Wed, 09/26/2018 - 23:57

Sugarcoated words
Plus chocolate cheeks
In a whipping bowl of
Acceptance in a bakery of

Cracking thin shells of debate
Into a glass bowl of hate
Whisking in the screams
Of meaningless berate
To make diversity cream.

Tastes like a dream?

I’m getting sick on
These brownie points
I’m raking in.

Pop in a lolly
Of sticky correction,
Guilty reflection,
With a sprinkle of
Nasty election.
Chew a candy bar
Of sickly sweet,
Logic where eyes
Can’t even meet.

Suck a sweet of
Silver tears, poured
On years
Of meaningless
Clipped tongues
That only fly
When the time buys
Glory that would have gone

Spoon in a heaping size
Of girls getting wise
Against the bitter taste of toxic guys.
Avoid the poison in the tongues
Of those who stand among
The facts and the ‘good advice’.

For extra measure,
Extra pleasure,
Peel back the zingy sour ball
Of every single color, sugar buttered
Diversity, or else you’re not
Sweet at all.

And if you please,
Author dear, appease,
The rainbow-pigmented lot.
I can tempt you with juicy,
Genderless jelly beans
That every writer’s got.

I lost my sweet tooth, then and there,
And I don’t want it back, or I’ll beware
The bakery of inclusivity, where
I swear, it’s all about the
Brownie points.

Author's age when written

In the writer's realm, I tell you, it's getting so much harder nowadays to write a story that you want to give to the world, which will inevitably complain about the lack of diversity. This may be difficult, ESPECIALLY if your moral views don't match up with their view of diversity. I don't want to betray my morality, my religion, and my conscience at all, and so I refuse to accommodate for each 'diverse' character. This is a rough poem I jotted down, illustrating my struggles with beta readers.


The sad part is that so many people have only been taught one critical lens through which to evaluate literature -- the rubric of "what identity groups are represented by the characters" and "what identity group is the author a member of".

Some students may have felt at some point that there was something more important and nuanced in stories than just "How much diversity does it have?" and "What identity group is the writer from?" and "What does it say about oppression of minority groups?" but I think a lot of the time it's just a very easy path to take through school to repeat back an analysis along those lines -- especially when the literature you're made to study is only chosen for these aspects.

I also like how the poem is not emotionally monotone just angrily condemning the critics, but also has in it the feeling of repentance ... a fed-up-ness with being pushed along by them...

"I’m getting sick on
These brownie points
I’m raking in."

and the determination to quit the game.

"I lost my sweet tooth, then and there,"

And he was just wondering, for he was a severe critic of his own work, whether that last line couldn't be polished up a bit...
~P.G. Wodehouse

Thank you, Caleb!

Yes, that's exactly what I mean.

And even more, it's so hard to want to write a story that contains minority characters that one believes in (people of character, people with disabilities, different social tiers) and refuse others (feminist stereotypes, lgbt+, depression) because of your moral views. I personally believe in the inclusion of people of color and disability, but not in the others, and it's so difficult because, in this day and age, if you believe in strengthening one minority, you MUST believe in the others or else you're a bigot who hates these minorities. And then they accuse you of raking in brownie points with one group, so they accuse you of hating them in the first place.

Introverts unite!
From the comfort of your own homes!

I relate so much! I feel you, I really do, and the sick feeling and disgust with trying to be someone or something you're not, working against your own convictions, is very clear. I absolutely, one-hundred-percent love love love this, and thank you so much for writing!

“planting seeds inevitably changes my feelings about rain.” —luci shaw.
psalm 84:10 esv.