The ‘Ender’s Game’ Boycott is Narcissistic and Pointless

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I’ll give you a quick update for those of you living under rocks: Book of Win Ender’s Game has been made into a film that’s being released in November this year. You remember this one, right? Genius kid gets sent to crazy space camp and ends up “saving” the world? It should have been one of the seminal books of your childhood. If it wasn’t, go read it. It’s great.

But some people have decided that they’re going to “boycott” the movie, because, well, Orson Scott Card doesn’t think that gay people should be able to get married. More than that, he was a member of the National Organization for Marriage, an anti-gay group that is actively attempting to keep LGBT people from getting their full marriage rights (shocker: he just recently stepped down as a board member in the wake of the boycott).

These are all problems, right? As people who care about liberty and ensuring that individuals have full equality under the law, we should be joining into protest a movie by a person who has worked to ensure that people are denied that equality. Yes?

No. This may come as a surprise to people, as I supported the boycott on Chick-Fil-A, but hear me out.

To the best of my knowledge, Ender’s Game is a book about courage, oppression, and war. It has wonderful things to say about all of these topics, and lessons that our society needs to learn about cruelty and the ethics of warfare. Though LGBT tolerance is also an important value for our culture to incorporate, so are the themes of Ender’s Game. More to the point, Ender’s Game is silent on the issue of homosexuality, and, as such, it’s not as if going to the movie will perpetuate anti-LGBT sentiment at all.

I am so impressed by Geek Out’s commitment to declining to go to a movie. Seriously, y’all, way to commit to the cause. It doesn’t take any effort—in fact, it requires you to not do anything at all. This has become the ultimate “activism” of our generation. Keying into our inherent laziness to (1) not really critically think about what we’re doing and (2) to try and get people to not do anything.

Real boycotts involve giving up something you actually want or need to get something you want more. Not going to a movie isn’t a signal of dedication to your cause, nor would it help anyone achieve marriage equality. The Ender’s Game movie boycott is the bravery of slacktivists—that is, giving up something that they won’t actually suffer for not having in order to make a political statement that will do absolutely no one any good.

Forgive me my old lady rant, but this makes me want to shake my cane at my generation. This is nothing more than another lazy adolescent’s attempt to be politically correct and make themselves feel good. It accomplishes nothing. It requires no sacrifice. If you really care about LGBT equality, you can do so much more than not go to a movie. You can donate to LGBT causes, lobby for marriage equality in your state, or boycott something that actually matters in order to force people to give others’ rights.

Seriously, kids. Get off my lawn and put your money where your mouth is. Actually do something that matters for a change.