View Full Version : The 2 PoC model (What do you call this?)

Rachel Udin
11-15-2012, 06:50 AM
I occasionally see this, but what would you term it. (probably fits other types of inserted diversity too).

A writer (usually not of the group) is told that they need more than one [choose your diversity term] in the book in order to prove their one character is not a prejudiced representation.

So in order to prove they have "diversity" they make one super evil and one "super good" making them thus polar opposites, yet kinda still stereotypes.

Working examples of this are in Mistborn: The Final Empire (Spoiler alert!)

Where the character that's the savior kinda turned out to be magical PoC and then the big evil baddie turned out to be evil PoC... meaning there was nothing in between in the representation. (Made me go ??? all over the book)

/end spoiler.

I have others too... basically, you don't get moral gray at all when you have the two PoC characters. You either get (excuse this) evil hoodie-wearing gang black dude or you get super magical negro (who may or may not be from the Middle class/redeemed himself from street gang violence.)

Or in terms of other diversity, you get the virtuous housewife v. the (excuse this too) skanky hoe.

If the Skanky hoe (stereotype) and the virtuous housewife (stereotype) talk about something other than men (something stereotypical like clothes) then it passes the Bechdel test, right? But there is so much wrong with this kind of polarization in the first place!

Same with the PoC Bechdel version of the test.

What would you term this kind of nauseating behavior...?

LJ Hall
11-15-2012, 07:44 AM
Dueling stereotypes, that's all it is. You can't erase a bad stereotype with a good stereotype. They're all harmful, and that's something I am constantly shocked that people don't understand. Joking that a Chinese friend must be great at math is just as offensive as joking that he's probably a terrible driver.

From my own experience, Arabic women fall into one of two categories - a walking burqa who is only there to be silenced and repressed, or a rebellious woman just longing to be freed from the tyranny of her clothes, waiting for someone to save her so she can walk the earth in daisy dukes and camisoles.

Both of those are incredibly offensive (not even addressing the fact that not all Arabic women are Muslim and not all Muslims wear burqa and niqab, so strike one and two). Assuming that a woman has no identity because you can't see her face is just as horrible as assuming that she's longing to tear her clothes off and be wild and 'free' like a woman from the west. But the second one would probably be thought of as a 'good' stereotype while the former would be a bad one.