Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Links of Interest: On LGBT+ Activists & Misguided Writing Advice

An Open Letter to Gays and Trans Folk, by Dystopic

This writer's viewpoint is quite close to my own. Though I'm a conservative Catholic (and yes, that means I don't dismiss the Church's teachings on sex and the human person), I also understand that I live in a pluralistic society in which many people do not share my faith or my views. Would I like to seek out compromises that everyone can live with? Absolutely! Unfortunately, there are many who have become so shrill and so uncompromising on these issues that reasonable arrangements are increasingly harder to come by.

I sympathize with this sentiment -- even though it doesn't precisely mirror my own.

Declan unloads some serious truth bombs in this piece. Like many on the social justice left, the author of the original article has buried a couple of uncontroversial needles (like, for example, the need for writers to do serious research) within a giant haystack of silly racialist ideology. What, exactly, defines an "accurate, sensitive" portrayal of "people of color"? Nobody's been able to answer that question to my satisfaction for a very simple reason: They can't. People of color are not interchangeable widgets. The African immigrants I teach at work have very little in common with folks who happen to have the same skin color but were born and raised in the US. And once you start talking about science fiction and fantasy, you don't necessarily need to hew to today's realities. It depends on where and when you set your story.

Oh, and yes: white people aren't all the same either. Funny how nobody seems to care about white stereotypes -- nor, come to think of it, does anyone define what it means to "act white in order to be successful." To me, that actually sounds hideously insulting -- to people of color. Success requires the ability to be polite, be responsible, recognize opportunity when it presents itself (even when it does so in an unpleasant guise), work hard, and delay gratification.. You know: the basic bourgeois values. Are you suggesting people of color can't reflect those values without betraying who they are? Are you suggesting that their cultures are fundamentally lacking in these traits -- that these traits are uniquely white? Of course not! Silly me. You are the very model of a modern anti-racist, right?


1 comment:

  1. There was this London playwright who insisted on writing plays that bare no resemblance to anyone he might have known or interacted with. He dared to write about Danes, Italians, and English nobles, as if he could possibly know about the Danish, Italian, or English aristocrat experience. The cultural appropriation he committed was legendary. Fortunately, this Shakespeare fellow has been long forgotten.