Lit Ignorance is Bias: The Diversity Manifesto

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

  1. EmperorHorus

    EmperorHorus Jedi Knight star 3

    Sep 3, 2016
    Rubbish. Sinjir is a very interesting character, and this is coming from someone who shares your disdain for Aftermath.

    whoa where was this
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  2. Todd the Jedi

    Todd the Jedi Mod and Soliloquist of SWTV star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Oct 16, 2008
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  3. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Jul 30, 2000
  4. EmperorHorus

    EmperorHorus Jedi Knight star 3

    Sep 3, 2016

    Spoilers? I was waiting until all episodes were out :eek:
  5. Contessa

    Contessa Jedi Master star 3

    Nov 28, 2013
    Yeah, only caught the pilot so far and I could've done without that...
  6. Vthuil

    Vthuil Force Ghost star 5

    Jan 3, 2013
    Hmm, reminds me a little of the discussion about whether it would have been problematic for Sinjir to die in Empire's End. On the one hand, it's the logical outgrowth of a more diverse cast, but on the other hand, that can sometimes result in... not too good a look.

    (I don't really have an issue with Discovery, specifically, in this regard mostly because it's not like they tried to make anything a bait and switch. We knew in advance Michelle Yeoh's character wasn't going to be 'The' Captain for the show; it's not the criticism over TFA seemingly advertising Finn as the new main Jedi hero when that wasn't really true.)

    Edit: Spoilering as per what Contessa pointed out.
    Though again, I think most people probably saw Georgiou's death coming.
  7. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Jul 30, 2000
    Please Moderator folk close that!


  8. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Nov 28, 2000
    So, this is interesting as an example because from what I've heard from folks (specifically L/B women) online is that they did not particularly appreciate Moff Mors, and thought she was either a stereotypical portrayal or poor representation. I can't really speak for them, but only offer that anecdote from various tweets etc. I've seen on the subject.

    Suggesting perhaps that the audience being represented has different views on what good representation is as opposed to an external one, and they are less concerned with it being gratuitous or cheap and possibly more concerned with it being routine or normal.
  9. Contessa

    Contessa Jedi Master star 3

    Nov 28, 2013
    Vthuil and GrandAdmiralJello — Thank you

    Can confirm, Mors was terrible and a big mistep as nucanon's first queer character. I get pointing to Beviin and Medrit as worth emulating, but Mors? Nah.

  10. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Jul 8, 1999
    IMO a lot of what happened with Mors was just because she was the first--if LotS came out now she'd read much less like SW saying "this is how gays are".

    One solution, of course, would've been for LotS to have multiple queer characters.
    Iron_lord likes this.
  11. Ewoklord

    Ewoklord Jedi Knight star 1

    Feb 15, 2014
    I just want to say how nice it is that the Lit forum is a relative bastion of sanity in the bigotry that seems to permeate so much of nerd fandom in general. I don't participate too much but I love being able to go somewhere where racism/sexism/most-isms get routinely called out.
  12. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Jan 5, 2011
    To highlight the flaws in different perspectives is not to be closed to different perspectives.

    I'll return to your comparison of this forum to fascism later.

    Actually, Daneira countered this in the very first response to DaRonin.

    You're using the "I have an X friend" defense. Need I say more? "I like this other book with gay characters, but..."

    Having an X friend, or liking a book with X, is not a defense, it is not proof. It is simply one example, now being contrasted with another example.

    It may be that this defense actually hurts your case. You were able to accept homosexuality in Traviss' books because she integrated it with the story enough for you to get past your aversion to it; but the fact she had to work to make you accept it perhaps suggests a bias against it from the start that needs to be overcome, an obstacle you do not require heterosexuality to surmount. While your bias against homosexuality was surmounted by Traviss, it was not surmounted by Wendig, because he did not put in the effort to surmount it. Meanwhile, you've offered no such obstacle to the random heterosexuality that exists in the book(s).

    I'll note, however, that you had absolutely no response of any kind to Mia's excellent response on Traviss' work.

    Right, when homosexuality comes with professions, a backstory and a purpose, it's okay. When it doesn't, it's not.

    Meanwhile, heterosexuality is always okay, even if it doesn't come with professions, a backstory or a purpose.

    Okay, let me respond to this, because you have now introduced this element to the discussion several times, when no one else has.

    You're saying people can say what has been said here on the internet (because it is remote and anonymous)...but not face to face in real life. To me, this reads as an obvious threat. When you call out someone's "toughness", the threat is definitely implied.

    Why would I have to be "tough" or "courageous" to say these things to your face? The answer is obvious: because you would physically assault me. That's the very obvious implication. How else can I take it? What else would require courage and toughness for me to face? Your words in return? Well, we're already doing that here on the internet, and you've made it clear that this exchange is something that can be done on the internet but not in real life, very clearly suggesting a difference between the two. So what's the difference? Physical assault, not a verbal assault, because you can do the verbal version here if you want.

    By bringing up the toughness of various posters here, you are taking a non-violent conflict of words and pushing it toward physical violence. If there is no threat of physical violence from you, why is toughness relevant?

    Remember when you called this forum fascist? Well, you're the one taking it from a conflict of words to something that would get physically violent if it were in person. You are saying, quite clearly, that we wouldn't say these things to your face, because...the threat of violence is left obviously implied.

    Personally, I think people should be able to call out prejudice in person when they see it, without having to fear a violent response, like you suggested they would. Fortunately, the laws of the United States agree with me. It is not legal to physically attack a person for suggesting you have a prejudice against homosexuality.

    People aren't usually (but certainly are sometimes, illegally) physically attacked for their words, much less ones suggesting a prejudice against homosexuality. But here you have suggested that people cannot call out a perceived prejudice against homosexuality without fear of getting attacked by the person they call out.

    Which one of us has the more fascist view here?

    We haven't met. I don't love Star Wars. I don't even like it.
    Well, your opinion has been duly noted, and several counterpoints have been provided.

    Personally, I think the reaction here has (mostly) been taking comments at face value, and that the face value itself reveals bias. I don't need to read any minds or hearts, there's enough in the comments themselves to read and respond to. That's my view.

    I'll tell you this: my engagement is, at the very least, a sign of bare minimum respect. There are several people on these boards that are on my ignore list, because I do not respect them enough to even read their posts, much less engage with them. So, if I engage with you at all, at least you know I think you are at least worth a response.

    Based on your comments, it seems that you are approaching homosexuality as notably different, separate, from heterosexuality. Exceptional. If this is true, perhaps it would be helpful to accept homosexual characters fully, to integrate and unify with them in your mind, so that you do not see them as something notably different, separate or exceptional. This way, you will not be pulled out of the story by a throwaway reference to a homosexual couple, the same way you would not be pulled out of the story by a throwaway reference to a heterosexual couple.

    For example:

    It would only appear that way to someone who views gay people as notably different, to someone who takes special note of it.

    Why is homosexuality box checking, and heterosexuality is not? Why are all the many random and pointless (other than trivial info) references (and there's a metric ton of them) to a character's opposite gender partner completely unworthy of note, and one reference to a character's same gender partner especially gratuitous, meaningless and distracting? Why is it unnecessary, and all the other heterosexual references aren't? Why does one single random reference to homosexuality trigger your aversion and pull you out of the story, and the many random references to heterosexuality do not?

    To further demonstrate with a neutral example: you also have the same reaction to modern jargon and slang that "feels very out of place". Would you say you have a bias (which isn't necessarily negative) against modern jargon and slang in Star Wars books? It's not bad to have a bias against modern jargon and slang in Star Wars books, it's just a matter of taste.

    Do you, perhaps, have a similar, even minor bias against homosexuality in Star Wars books? Does it also feel "very out of place"? Again, we've covered the difference between Traviss' work and Wendig's. One is worked with, the other is not. But do you also have the same reaction, being pulled out of the story, to one line references to hetero relationships?

    While you may not think that you are expressing opposition to the existence or inclusion of homosexual characters, you are holding them to a much higher standard than heterosexual characters. It is, quite demonstrably, literal/literary double standards. One standard for heterosexual characters/couples, and a very different standard for heterosexual characters/couples. You may want to examine this double standard, and whatever explanation you have for it.

    This isn't me calling you a homophobe, this is me addressing your comments and what I think they reveal in themselves. Instead of seeing it as an attack, maybe you can see it as me challenging your comments, perhaps with the intent of provoking you into self-examination. But, you know, without calling out your courage or toughness in a display of masculine aggression.

    If you think I'm just way off base, that's fine, but it might worth some self-examination, not just about homosexuality, but about the implied threats you issued.
  13. Stymi

    Stymi Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 10, 2002
    I thought this post important enough to respond with a simple, I agree.

    Sent from my Moto X-Wing
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  14. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Jul 30, 2000
    The second book came out today.
  15. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 6

    Dec 16, 2012
    Haven't they read stuff like Deadbeats?
    Charlemagne19 likes this.
  16. Endor_boy

    Endor_boy Jedi Knight star 2

    Dec 24, 2013
    I’ve fallen behind on the last several books since the Aftermath trilogy. Has there been any LGBT characters included recently?
  17. Darth_Duck

    Darth_Duck Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Oct 13, 2000
    The "From a Certain Point of View" anthology has some

    Sent from my SM-G386W using Tapatalk
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  18. Endor_boy

    Endor_boy Jedi Knight star 2

    Dec 24, 2013
    Awesome! I bought the audiobook already o just haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet.
    On a similar note, what’s going on with LGBT content in the Old Republic game? I know they did finally add a couple of same sex companion romance options at higher levels. Are they continuing with that and/or including options at lower levels? I’ve always been interested in playing and being able to play as a gay character is a big plus.
  19. darthcaedus1138

    darthcaedus1138 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 13, 2007
    I actually really loved Moff Mors, and though I'm a white cis male and don't have as much room to speak on the subject as others would, I thought she was one of the best fleshed out characters of that whole book, and probably much of the canon. She has a tragic past, starts off the book as very depressed and down about her life but through conflict has a spark reignited and becomes a character with a lot more agency and will to fight. I understand that starting with that character in a less than spectacular spot in their life doesn't do much for people and doesn't look the best as your first ever queer character, but she evolved in a very realistic way and seemed to be well developed to me.
  20. Counter

    Counter Jedi Padawan star 1

    Mar 3, 2017
    That's fair. And I can understand that perspective. I thought the way she was written had some actual depth and Kemp clearly had particular traits in mind for her that meshed with the overall storyline of how Ryloth had "gotten out of hand" from the Imperial perspective.

    In full disclosure, when I view diversity in Star Wars stories (or really any story in any medium), I come at it from the perspective that it's important not to just check boxes or come across as merely checking boxes. I realize others don't necessarily share that view.

    The reason I hold that perspective is because when it does come across that way (and thus far it's almost exclusively in Wendig stories), it completely pulls me out of the story. It focuses my mind on the author and a perception that he or she (in this case he) is merely seeking approval from certain reader audiences instead of focusing on just telling a good story. And when that happens, the effort appears hollow and almost selfish.

    Kemp and Traviss did it better in my opinion.
  21. Counter

    Counter Jedi Padawan star 1

    Mar 3, 2017
    Everyone has biases. I don't deny that as a human being with thirty two years of life experience living all over the world, that I have them. We all do. You do as well. This is not a profound revelation. Respecting others' viewpoints is the hallmark of tolerance. A failure to do so--and even worse--an assumed ulterior motive is a sign of an oppressive and even totalitarian mindset. Notably, it's a sign of an unhealthy mental/emotional state because it means that someone is automatically assuming the worst about another person whom they don't know and have never met.

    That happens frequently here. It's unfortunate. And it doesn't lend itself well to being a platform for a very diverse fan base.

    For example, I'm a happily married heterosexual male. Of course homosexuality is notably different from my lifestyle. It is different from my lifestyle. I also recognize that its inclusion is very important to many people. Because of that I think it should be done in a manner that doesn't ring hollow. I have the same perspective on humans of different races. I'm ecstatic, for example, that Rose Tico is not just a background character in The Last Jedi. She's an important character for the story.

    But the problem with the way this forum can often present itself (especially on these kind of topics) is that by merely making this statement, I would be relegated to some 'Undesirables' segment of the community. Because many people here tolerate no dissenting viewpoint.

    DaRonin was assailed for merely making the observation. He's been a member here since 2005. And one individual had the gall to call him a "fake fan" because of his opinion. The guy has been participating here for over a decade and he's attacked in such a manner. That doesn't reflect well on the community. Perhaps everyone should look in the mirror and exam how they interact with others?

    You claim a lot of things--almost all of which are just inaccurate and poor assumptions. The one that made me literally laugh is the notion that I'm threatening people by calling out folks who think they're courageous or brave for attacking other people via anonymous Internet forums.

    If you see or think my words are violent, then you must have an unbearably difficult existence. No one would say these things to me in person because in-person interactions tend to be civil when compared to the Internet and I'm a nice guy. Here, on an anonymous message board, people freely toss accusations, make assumptions (as you've done expertly in your diatribe), dehumanize others, and say terrible things without consequence because we're just names to one another on a message board. None of us are real to one another.

    It's the unfortunate fact of digital interaction.

    If we were having this discussion in person--over coffee or in a living room somewhere--we'd be actual faces, names, and people.

    And thus, the venom seen in the other thread, likely wouldn't materialize. In fact, I dare say it would be good conversation on the whole.

    I will say this. Thank you for responding and interacting.
  22. JediMara77

    JediMara77 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 5, 2004
    Seriously? Homosexuality isn't a "lifestyle." How is a same-sex couple any different than your relationship?

    So, would having Asian characters in a background scene ring hollow to you?
  23. DarthPhilosopher

    DarthPhilosopher Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jan 23, 2011
    Firstly your 'lifestyle' probably has just as much in common with homosexuals as other heterosexuals.

    But this is the problem. When heterosexuals are represented it doesn't matter if the character has depth or not as their sexuality isn't regarded as a defining aspect of their personality. You're treating homosexuals as unique and exceptional because of their sexuality - a character who must be finely crafted because they happen to be homosexual. If you have a set of characters making one of them homosexual shouldn't make anyone go 'oh a gay character, I hope they are finely crafted lest this is poor representation'. It's like you want homosexual (and given your comment, POC as well) to be finely refined characters, or else there is a problem with the representation. I know it comes from a good place, but I think it ultimately acts like minority groups need to be treated differently amongst a sea of non-minority characters. Just treat people equally, where homosexuals and POC are just as developed, underdeveloped and represented as heterosexual white characters, with their difference being as unremarkable as it should be.
  24. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Jan 5, 2011
    I disagree, tolerance does not require respect.

    Nah. Some viewpoints do not deserve respect, that's all. They can be tolerated, without being respected.


    I don't agree, as in my experience most people don't particularly care enough to hold a grudge.

    I honestly can't think of any Lit regular who has been relegated to some Undesirables segment of the community. I can't think of a single example in all my years here. I seriously doubt you will become Untouchable. You can still comment, and people will interact with you or they won't, as usual. I doubt many people will go "ewwww Counter cooties" and shun you completely.
    You're gravely mistaken. You can think you're being the nicest guy in the world, but if you said what you've said here in-person (and I had some reason to bother to speak to you at all), I would say these things to you. I'd have no problem saying some of the things that were said to you by others.

    I have no problem pointing out bias against homosexuality when I think I see it.

    I've said far worse to my own mother in similar arguments. I'm not afraid of a confrontation, even a heated one.
    See ya around the boards.
  25. Counter

    Counter Jedi Padawan star 1

    Mar 3, 2017
    The problem, as I see it, is an obtuseness on your end. You presume that I have a "bias" "against" homosexuality. My "bias" is merely rooted in the fact that I'm not gay; not that I'm opposed to the inclusion of homosexuality characters. Clearly that isn't the case. In fact, my arguments have largely been predicated upon one particular author's style.

    This isn't bigotry or prejudice. It's merely an acknowledgement of a separate experience from those in a same-sex relationship.

    I would say everything I've said on here in person. If you puffed your chest out and accused me of bigotry to my face, then perhaps you're just simply not a very tolerant, open-minded, or decent person to begin with.

    The fact that you brag about mistreating your mother isn't an encouraging sign either.

    I have no way of knowing because we don't know one another, so I'll just have to take you at your word.