brother-mouse reblogged your post how-much-farther-to-go asked:Do y… and added:
Jesus fucking christ, It’s a fantasy novel; key word FANTASYy’all need to calm the fuck down. I try to ignore this BS as much as I can but this post is pissing me off. Allow me to clarify; I have yet to…
Completely off-topic, but I can’t ever push it enough: If you love fantasy, if you love good writing, if you love brilliant ladies, and if you love representation of POC, get thee to Max Gladstone’s Three Parts Dead.
So do we want to start a quota?
"I’m sorry, we won’t publish your book, you need more PoC in it. Oh it’s not up to our standards in how it represents women. Sorry."
Write your own books and quit bitching about what anyone else writes.
"A blog post criticizing one series means that you want a super kooky opposite world where authors are forced to write what YOU want!" Holy strawman, Batman!!!
It must be nice to be pretend that the only possible response to systematic and pervasive racism in both the content of books and the publishing industry in general is some kind of imaginary fascist quota process sucking the life and precious white maleness out of Literature with a capital “L”.
And in the meantime, fantasy works by authors of color are put in the wrong sections where fans can’t find them ["Don’t Put My Book in the African-American Section", N. K. Jemisin], books with main protagonists of color have pictures of white people put on the cover despite the authors’ protests, ["Ain’t That A Shame", Justine Larbalestier] and publishers admissions that they purposely avoid putting characters of color on the cover of books.
From “Ain’t That a Shame”:
Since I’ve told publishing friends how upset I am with my Liar cover, I have been hearing anecdotes from every single house about how hard it is to push through covers with people of colour on them. Editors have told me that their sales departments say black covers don’t sell. Sales reps have told me that many of their accounts won’t take books with black covers. Booksellers have told me that they can’t give away YAs with black covers. Authors have told me that their books with black covers are frequently not shelved in the same part of the library as other YA-they’re exiled to the Urban Fiction section-and many bookshops simply don’t stock them at all.
And this is a problem that goes FAR beyond fantasy and genre fiction.
The attitudes toward what counts as “serious literature”, even if you CAN get a book published, can be pretty much summed up by this quote from David Gilmour, an author and instructor at Victoria College in the University of Toronto:
“I’m not interested in teaching books by women. […] … when I was given this job I said I would only teach the people that I truly, truly love. Unfortunately, none of those happen to be Chinese, or women. Except for Virginia Woolf. And when I tried to teach Virginia Woolf, she’s too sophisticated, even for a third-year class. Usually at the beginning of the semester a hand shoots up and someone asks why there aren’t any women writers in the course. I say I don’t love women writers enough to teach them, if you want women writers go down the hall. What I teach is guys. Serious heterosexual guys. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chekhov, Tolstoy. Real guy-guys. Henry Miller. Philip Roth.”
I’m sure you can relate to how oppressed this poor, crusty old white professor was by people pointing out that this was sexist and racist! You feel pretty comfortable behaving and speaking as if criticizing racism in literature of any kind can only lead to some kind of fictional scenario in which white authors (i see your assumption there) are “forced” to appease dictated “diversity quotas”, because you perceive the stories, writing, and inclusion of people of color as so undesirable that that would be the only way you can imagine it happening.
I’ll go ahead and leave this with an article from Sunilli Govinnage, “In 2014, I’ll Only Read Books By Writers of Color. Here’s Why.” with a focus on the tagline:
Before you throw accusations of ‘reverse racism’ at me, consider this: it is vital for us to hear more stories about our world told from non-western perspectives.
As you can see, apparently even a personal choice of what to read by a person of color is subject to some kind of accusation of being unfair to white people or some other such garbage.
Of course, I know accusations of reverse racism are pending, on the same vein that women-only book prizes and women-only reading lists have been declared sexist. And no doubt people will say I am limiting myself by purposely avoid books on the basis of an arbitrary factor. But it’s the opposite: I see it as a way of opening myself up to new stories, rather than re-iterations of the same formulaic fables we’ve heard time and time again.
The facts are, books by white authors about white people are considered the default, they’re “just books”, they’re perceived as neutral. The way things are right now, you could put together a list of 100 books and include one author of color and people would exclaim “how diverse!!!”
But reading books only by authors of color for a year, on any or every possible topic, whether it’s a home gardening guide or The Color Purple or a dang bodice-ripper trashy romance novel, THAT is still seen as “limiting yourself”, somehow.
But you know, rather than NOT adding your worthless two cents to people who are addressing a very real problem, that exists right now, why not throw yourself a pity party on my time, imagining your own fictional and entirely imaginary future oppression by enforced quotas of books you don’t want to read written or populated by the “kind” of people you apparently don’t like.