Lit Ignorance is Bias: The Diversity Manifesto

Discussion in 'Literature' started by CooperTFN, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Penis-hat Imperial Advisor clearly was the height of fashion.
  2. Gamiel Force Ghost

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    OK, but you will have to post in it
  3. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    The Diversity Thread has a new logo.

    [IMG]
  4. Gamiel Force Ghost

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  5. Trip Force Ghost

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    why are they all so shiny? D:
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  6. Gamiel Force Ghost

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    If I remember right human skin has an tendency to be shiny in studio light if you have not applied makeup; can somebody tell me if this is right?
    Last edited by Gamiel, Oct 4, 2013
  7. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    Thread status: success.

    [IMG]
  8. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    Last edited by CooperTFN, Oct 17, 2013
  9. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    I. She's got a great point, as always.

    II. Dear gods that's a giant image of doom posted up there.
  10. Mechalich Force Ghost

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    Without trying to spill too many beans - because it relates to a (hopefully) upcoming Eleven Thirty-Eight article, this reference is incredibly relevant to the situation of race vis a vis Star Wars as well.
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  11. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

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    I'm proud to say that I correctly guessed her heritage when we met :p
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  12. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    I had heard that Chloe Bennet was mixed, but I admit I would've guessed Latino.

    In any event, I had to mull the post over for a minute because on its face, her point seems to conflict with my policy in here of doing exactly what she's complaining about--assuming characters are white unless proven otherwise. I think it's different, though, when you're talking about characters without a real-life person to tie them down to; as much as Antares Draco might strike people as a POC, for example, I think it's ambiguous enough that each reader could decide for themselves--which is good in a way, but a lesser good, I think, than a distinctly POC character. And in the case of someone like Bennet, a half white, half "Chinese" character in the GFFA could be nigh impossible to communicate through prose, or even a comic, so I'm inclined against giving a creator credit unless we are in fact "smacked in the face" with it, as she says--and luckily, we've already had extensive discussions in here about tasteful ways of describing Asian features in prose.
  13. Gamiel Force Ghost

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    Can I get a link to were this discussion take place?
  14. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    I actually don't like that policy because it's exactly what the artists have been doing too. I understand your point about "giving credit" for diversity, and I certainly understand wanting authors to (as Martha Wells did) make it clear that everyone isn't a white person, but it has its problems too.

    It is true that white characters are sometimes described directly too: "his red-gold hair framed a heart-shaped pale face" so it wouldn't be that hard to say something like "her honey-brown hair was cropped short, contrasting with her swarthy, angular mien." Although what would you make of that, too? A swarthy person could easily be mixed-race, or something.
  15. Mechalich Force Ghost

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    I feel this is really uncharitable though. 'Traditional' minority groups ie. Blacks, Asians, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders, account for 13.1%, 5.1%, 1.2% and 0.2% of the US population. 'Mixed' racial groupings ie. two or more races and Hispanic or Latino account for 2.1% and 16.9% respectively. That's 19.6% vs. 19%, so if you exclude the second category (and also other, smaller, not census official groupings like Arab Americans) you're only counting half of the diversity, which means of course whatever you're evaluating is going to appear under-representative.

    It also disadvantages non-visual media against visual media, and specifically movies, with actual actors. For example, by the 'smacked in the face' criterion, without background data, wouldn't you have to call Temuera Morrison 'White?' Doing that eliminates a massive number of people of color from Star Wars. We only know he's not white because we have access to his personal history.
  16. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    IMO, Temuera Morrison is clearly nonwhite by appearance. But to your point, he is known to be partly of white descent, yet I do still count Jango clones in the "pro-diversity" category. The point of the policy--and it wasn't a decision made quickly or lightly--is that I don't see a way to make a non-actor-derived GFFA human character clearly of mixed heritage in the way that Chloe Bennet is, without at least linking them to an actor in OOU statements, like JJM has made regarding Kerra Holt and Salma Hayek. It's not about discrediting ambiguously mixed-heritage persons or mitigating their value, it's about removing the option for prejudiced readers to remain willfully ignorant of a character's POC status--which is largely what the thread title is saying. If this were an Earth-based franchise it'd be a different story, but I just don't see how "half-Chinese" would work in a Star Wars comic beyond individual readers chosing to interpret someone that way (which is great, of course, but doesn't necessarily earn the creator any points IMO). Hopefully Bria will drop by sooner or later; I'd love to hear her thoughts.

    Incidentally, my example of Draco may have been a poor one, because I think we may actually have chosen to count him as nonwhite--I'd have to dig through the temp thread to be sure.

    It's in bits and pieces (probably on the two preceding threads, as well), but good rule of thumb: search for the word "yellow".
    Last edited by CooperTFN, Oct 17, 2013
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  17. instantdeath Force Ghost

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    Having recently read the JAT, and am currently reading I, Jedi, I have to say that I've always pictured Gantoris and Tionne as black, and Streen as Asian. Is there any textual evidence for where I might have gotten this, or is it all my imagination? I also tend to picture Kirana Ti as darker skinned, but I think every Nightsister we've ever seen has been white, so my imagination is probably wrong on this one.
  18. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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  19. JediFreac Force Ghost

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    I feel Bria on the Agents of SHIELD thing when it comes to Bennet's character and I do think it is remarkable that there are two Asian women in the lead cast. At the same time, I am frustrated with SHIELD's good guy paper bag test -- four episodes in and it's frustrating to see the black and brown antagonists and the light-skinned heroes (including the Asians.)
  20. TheRedBlade Force Ghost

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    It does make me giggle a little bit that the clones add to diversity.

    Re: Bria's article: 1) Does Summer Glau not count as Asian? WIKICHECK: Scots-Irish and German? This is as big a surprise as when I found out Catherine Zeta-Jones wasn't Spanish.

    2) Chloe Bennet is Chinese-American and can sing? I think the world may finally have found a suitable Lynn Minmei.

    3) For a show with Wheedon's involvement, Bennet's character seems a little stereotypey/tropey, but I'm glad that it is no longer viewed as a strange thing that the show's female characters are its best developed.

    I really thought that last weeks episode would be a way to bring a woman of African descent onboard. I could understand the show not wanting to have a Token Black Castmember on the initial lineup of the team, but it is a rather conspicuous absence.

    Back to Star Wars... Have we seen any non-white Dathomiri Witches/Nightsisters? I like the idea of Streen as an Asian guy. Gantoris, I always pictured as Greek - perma-tanned skin, with a lot of dark, curly hair.
    Last edited by TheRedBlade, Oct 21, 2013
  21. JediFreac Force Ghost

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    Hey, just wanted to say that I rode Star Tours at Disneyland this weekend and finally saw the Boba Fett alternate ending. At the end of the ride your ship pulls into the docking hangar of a Mon Calamarian cruiser where you are greeted by a bunch of Rebel Alliance members including Mon Mothma. The horde of rebels greeting you is quite diverse!
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  22. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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  23. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    Mon Cal or Mon Mothma? You might want to clarify... :p

    --Adm. Nick
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  24. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    OT and PT Mon Cals look pretty similar. :p
  25. Esg Jedi Grand Master

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    They were antagonists but hardly outright "villians"

    One was altered by his powers and the other was forced against their will as was even the dude who was here handler. Coulson's ex was the only outright villain

    I feel you are jumping to things to take offence to
    Last edited by Esg, Oct 21, 2013