Lit Ignorance is Bias: The Diversity Manifesto

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

  1. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

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    Why don't you?

    Also yes.
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  2. Zeta1127 Force Ghost

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    I don't even know what it is that bugs me about gays in the fictional universes I love, maybe its my traditional beliefs on marriage, because I always enjoy it when other forms of diversity show up. I understand Coop's complaints about the main characters of the New Jedi Order being primarily white human males.
  3. Esg Jedi Grand Master

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    Dude trust me when I say people in traditional marriages don't respect their own Marriage. Look up the divorce rate.
    Last edited by Esg, Feb 9, 2013
  4. TrakNar Force Ghost

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    I know my mom didn't respect her own marriage. For that matter, she hasn't respected her divorce enough to actually finalize the damn thing after two years and suddenly deciding a couple weeks ago that she's going to marry someone else! :oops:
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  5. Esg Jedi Grand Master

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    My dad's divorced twice
    Last edited by Esg, Feb 9, 2013
  6. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Ok, but to be completely fair, that's not a great argument. The claim that traditional marriage is already being messed up since "well, straight people aren't really taking marriage seriously either!" is kinda like saying that "well since we're already doing it wrong, let's just keep doing it wrong!"

    There are much better arguments than divorce rates -- such as treating people like decent human beings instead of lepers to be cast off.
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  7. Esg Jedi Grand Master

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    I lazy and tired and likely not thinking too well. I also had more thought up but I eventually went **** it
    Last edited by Esg, Feb 9, 2013
  8. TrakNar Force Ghost

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    It's not marriage that's messed up--it's the people who are messed up.
  9. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    For what it's worth, I strenuously disagree.

    Also for what it's worth, I would characterize the primary position of this thread as "this needs to be talked about". The message in the title isn't "more diversity please", it's "stop ignoring the issue".

    Here's what I think Jello was getting at: I have traditional beliefs on leeching people of their life energy (I'm against it), but I'm not bugged by Dannik Jerriko. I have traditional beliefs on warrantless wiretapping (I'm against it), but I'm not bugged by the ISB. I have traditional beliefs on technology (I'm for it), but I'm not bugged by the Yuuzhan Vong.

    You're free to disapprove of homosexuality all you want, but why does that mean you're unable to handle seeing it in fiction? If your enjoyment of a story requires you to approve of all the activities of its cast, let me ask you: how many murder scenes have you read?
    Last edited by CooperTFN, Feb 10, 2013
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  10. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

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    High five, fellow "dad's been divorced twice" buddy!
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  11. instantdeath Force Ghost

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    Am I prejudiced for not wanting Duros in Star Wars anymore? They're starting to freak me out.
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  12. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    That's just what they want you to think.
  13. instantdeath Force Ghost

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    I could write a book on all the things I find wrong with the concept of marriage :D
    Last edited by instantdeath, Feb 10, 2013
  14. Skaddix Jedi Grand Master

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    nope because they dont really exist
  15. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    Come to that, if we're gonna talk about how "liberal" this thread is, I could point out all the things in SW I have nontraditional views on but don't feel the need to expunge from the franchise. [face_mischief]
  16. instantdeath Force Ghost

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    Great perspective. I was reading a blog post by an author whose name I can't recall, who took the position that, while he was personally against homosexual practices because of his religion, he still felt that he needed to portray them in his fiction, and not in a negative light. I obviously heavily disagree with his point of view there, but can commend him for not being so close minded as to write a world in which a segment of the population doesn't exist because of something so arbitrary.

    Personally, homophobia is literally something I don't understand. Why in the world would anyone have anything against a person based on what they do in the privacy of their bedroom? Madness, I tell you. Or maybe I'm being too close minded for not trying to understand why someone would be close minded to something like that. This political correctness thing can be a deadly circle.
    Last edited by instantdeath, Feb 10, 2013
  17. TrakNar Force Ghost

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    Just pretend that they're Chiss.
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  18. instantdeath Force Ghost

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    Have you even seen that nose? How am I supposed to ignore that?! It threatens me as a human being, I tell you.
  19. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    That thread is killing us.
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  20. TrakNar Force Ghost

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    Perhaps you should kill the thread, then. Get revenge.
  21. instantdeath Force Ghost

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    That thread has turned me into a racist and Coop into a killer. Something must be done.
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  22. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Where's Vader? I hear he's good at doing what must be done.
  23. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    Gee, who do we know with thread-killing abilities... [face_thinking]
    Last edited by CooperTFN, Feb 10, 2013
  24. cthugha Force Ghost

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    @Why_So_Serious: I have to disagree with you on two important points.

    Regarding your first series of posts: Of course "race" as understood by racists (i.e. that different phenotypes indicate differences in ability etc.) is a dangerous fiction. However, the fact that everybody doesn't look the same is not a fiction, it's a fact. And why shouldn't this fact be "celebrated", as you put it?
    Think of it like this: If every single character in the NJO had curly red hair, wouldn't that strike you as a little odd? Not because you're a hairist, certainly -- but simply because the comic (or illustration, or whatever) does not make use of even a small part of the spectrum of possible hair colors. And that goes double for a galaxy in which you have not only humans, but all manner of other species as well.

    So I say -- yes, we should celebrate diversity. For aesthetic reasons on the one hand, and yes, also for political reasons.

    Because (now I'm referring to your second series of posts, about science education vs changing popular culture)...
    Science is important, and science education is super-important. I totally agree with you on that one. People should be educated about all the scientific conclusions undermining the popular understanding of "race", to make them think twice before they attribute characteristics to people because of their skin color. Obviously.
    But while humans are extraordinarily capable of changing their attitudes through education and rational reflection, these are not the only factors that shape our perception of the world and our actions. Humans like to tell stories; we constantly tell ourselves the stories of our own lives within our heads. And these stories are shaped by the stories we hear, read, see on television etc. These stories give us the tropes, the basic plots and the metaphors which structure our experience, the way we think about ourselves, the way we plan out our lives, live our relationships and all that. Because of this, storytelling of any form is never trivial; less so when it reaches a comparatively big audience like Star Wars media do; and even less when a great part of this audience are kids.

    But the stories we read, hear and watch also have another effect on us. They show us what is interesting. By their subject matter, their heroes and villains, they demonstrate what is worthy of being told, and in a more general sense: of being talked about.
    And this is why diversity is so important. Diversity of phenotypes on the one hand -- because if every protagonist of every story has curly red hair, what this tells you (in sum total, not every single work by itself, mind you) that you're not interesting if you don't have red hair. You're not worth being talked about; don't ever expect to be the hero in your own story. The best you can do is be the villain in somebody else's.
    But also other diversities -- remember how some pages back I was thrilled that the Dramatis Personae for The Last Jedi included a mechanic and a poetess? Because things like that don't just mean interesting storytelling opportunities, but also that your story is worth telling even if you're not waving a lightsaber around or shooting people or being a criminal or a crime-fighter. Because there are so many things to do in life that are just as (or I guess actually much more) fulfilling than that -- but when I ask my 10- to 14-year-old students what they'd like to be when they grow old, only a few can come up with anything else (or at least anything else "interesting and worthwhile") but actor/actress, secret agent, police person, private eye, or assassin for hire (seriously; and increasingly in recent years).

    Slightly diverging here, but I hope you get my point. [face_thinking]
  25. instantdeath Force Ghost

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    I'll leave now.



    I don't have very much to contribute beyond "diversity is good", anyway :oops:
    Last edited by instantdeath, Feb 10, 2013