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View Full Version : was I right to think this way?



Kim Fierce
05-04-2013, 02:48 AM
http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/representing-minorities-in-your-writing

This is an interesting article about a Jewish writer who wrote a story "from the perspective of former slaves and African-Americans". It is a call for writers to go outside their cultural boundaries, but my only problem was with the title of the article, which is: Representing Minorities in Your Writing.

I posted a comment which reads thus:
"This is a fantastic article, but I might suggest a more fitting title could be “Representing Diversity in Your Writing.” The title “Representing Minorities in Your Writing” seems to only speak to people in the “majority” so is this article only for them?

I try to include some type of character diversity in all my stories, and look forward to the day when this becomes more mainstream."

I mean, am I right in thinking that despite the good intentions of this article, the VERY TITLE pushes people away? This was the main headline on the Writer's Digest web site, and whether the writer of the article meant it or not, it's already assuming that only white writers will be reading it, right? I think saying "diversity" would just be so much more all-inclusive. I don't think this is the fault of the author of the book, but the person who put the article together.

lolchemist
05-06-2013, 01:22 PM
Yeah, a lot of times online people write things in a certain way that excludes people who aren't white without even realizing they're doing it. Recently there was a 'Racism test' on Tumblr (yes, yes, I know...) that read basically:

Answer these two questions:
1- I would marry a white person.
2- I would marry a poc.

If you answered yes to #1 but said no or said 'yes, but..' and added qualifiers to #2 you definitely have racist thinking.

** The above is paraphrased by me. But anyway, see the problem? This sanctimonious piece of shit itself excludes me, a POC in its very first question. Why the hell is MY 'racism' being judged by whether I would marry a white person or not? Why not have the question be 'Would you marry a person of your own race?' instead???

These race and racism experts on the internet have a lot of growing up to do and the first step will have to come from pulling their heads out of their own asses, sorry to say. They mean well but they are causing a lot of harm. In the above example, I literally had people trying to whitesplain to me that minorities would OF COURSE want to marry white people because white is the ideal race and everyone just naturally wants to be white. It was like OHMYGOD STOPSTOPSTOP!!

Anyway I feel like I'm derailing now, sorry. But yeah, definitely agree with you. The first step to being inclusive is to BE FUCKING INCLUSIVE.

Chris P
05-06-2013, 01:39 PM
Yeah, I read that title as very "Euro-normative," if such a word exists. It assumes that PoC primarily write about white folk and would have to do something different when writing about other PoC (which, of course, is an endlessly diverse group). One of the things I'd like to see disappear from stories (and culture in general) is this idea of "them": writing about "them," marketing to "them."

crunchyblanket
05-06-2013, 02:07 PM
It sets up an 'us and them' dichotomy from the very start, which seems counterproductive - almost as if 'minorities' are a rare and exotic creature that need special care. I would favour 'diversity' - it's more inclusive, and implies that 'the white majority' and 'minorities' exist in the same sphere.

Jcomp
05-06-2013, 07:40 PM
Yeah, a lot of times online people write things in a certain way that excludes people who aren't white without even realizing they're doing it. Recently there was a 'Racism test' on Tumblr (yes, yes, I know...) that read basically:

Answer these two questions:
1- I would marry a white person.
2- I would marry a poc.

If you answered yes to #1 but said no or said 'yes, but..' and added qualifiers to #2 you definitely have racist thinking.

** The above is paraphrased by me. But anyway, see the problem? This sanctimonious piece of shit itself excludes me, a POC in its very first question. Why the hell is MY 'racism' being judged by whether I would marry a white person or not? Why not have the question be 'Would you marry a person of your own race?' instead???

These race and racism experts on the internet have a lot of growing up to do and the first step will have to come from pulling their heads out of their own asses, sorry to say. They mean well but they are causing a lot of harm. In the above example, I literally had people trying to whitesplain to me that minorities would OF COURSE want to marry white people because white is the ideal race and everyone just naturally wants to be white. It was like OHMYGOD STOPSTOPSTOP!!



Christ. Beyond all that, it's a fairly loaded question to begin with. Someon's personal preferences in a long-term relationship--who they're attracted to / who they'd marry / etc.--isn't really something I think should be judged at all, particularly as being indicative of racial prejudice.

Kim Fierce
05-16-2013, 03:11 AM
Well I am glad I'm not crazy.

At least, not too crazy.

And the word "minority" itself is something I don't even use. I just don't like it. Maybe technically and statistically it is still correct, the literal definition is "smaller group", but to me at least it's one of those terms that feels like it has a stigma attached to it. I feel like instead of "smaller group" sometimes it gets equated with "lesser group". But that might just be me.