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Space for Rent: Raise Your Hand if You Are a Hypocrite


Tweet of the Day: The Limits of Wonder and Defining Speculative Fiction

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<Raises hand>

Yes, I am.

But I an explanation is in order, if for no other reason than to inject a modicum of context to the discussion. I often complained in this space, as well some others, that certain patterns in media can be harmful, that is, the repetition of negative stereotypes based on race, religion, ethnicity or sexual identity is inherently wrong and should be done away with.

So far, so good, right?

However… I’ve also gotten angry with people demanding that an individual writer should include people of color and people outside cisgendered identities in their writing. To me that sounds like an arbitrary imposition on the creator. A demand that violates the writer’s sensibilities and intrudes into their comfort zone.

But what are these patterns I complain about built out of?

Right.

The only answer is that while authors should resists the idea of pandering to their audience, they should not use the excuse of striking beyond their comfort zone to avoid changing the very climate they critique. It also falls on the gate keepers, the editors, agents and other content distributors to seek out new content that breaks the pattern. It is there, it exists and the same goes to the audience. Don’t around waiting to be serve, search out, promote and highlight new authors with new ideas.  This may seem like I’m spreading the guilt around, but the truth is, not one author, or editor or fan can change the landscape. Be it by tiny steps or leaps and bounds, we all must become the change we need.

I’ll start by pushing back Señor Hypocrite.

I know, I know, but hey, its a start.

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