Diversity in Fiction

We hear a lot about the need for diversity in fiction these days, which sort of makes me cock my head to one side, make puppy eyes, and ask ‘baroo?’

You see, I grew up reading diverse fiction. Fiction about all sorts of people, and places, and it made my imagination go wild enough that when I grew up, I became a writer. Now, that was diverse fiction. But evidently that’s nto what they mean, when they demand diversity. No, what they are asking for is the checking-off of ticky boxes to be sure that the right agendas are represented in their fiction, or they will turn up their nose and whiskers and scrape imaginary dirt over it. (I used to have a cat that did that. Funniest thing to watch.) The resulting stories are, of course, dull as ditchwater, and far less diverse. I mean, have you ever really looked at ditchwater? Dang, there are some prolific lifeforms in there, at the microscopic level. So… the ‘diverse’ lauded works are anything but diverse, as they all perforce align with the approved thoughts  and agendas of the day.

And it leaves readers cold. If I had a book sale for every reader who I have heard or seen talking about why they stopped reading – science fiction, usually, but sometimes altogether – I’d be a higher-ranked author than I am today. I know that my First Reader often brings it up while attempting to read books I’d put into our mutual Kindle, and failing to enjoy them. He wrote about it in his Curmudgeon’s Corner today:

“So many books get recommended these days that I start and cannot stand by the end of the first chapter, if not before. If your lesbian heroine has made a name for herself without the inheritance stolen by her brother by virtue of his maleness, and now must save her patriarchal family from the mistakes of the males I am done. If your soldier is fighting the evil corporations because all business is evil, I am done. If your station manager must save the station from attacks by the evil white male mercenaries while her ineffectual male co-workers piss themselves, I am done.

I have no problem with white villains. I have no problem with female heroes. What I do have a problem with is that our society has recently decided that the villain must always be a white male, even in black Haarlem, South Africa, or Japan. I have a problem with the fact that someone with an “alternative sexuality” must always be in the story and cannot be anything but a shining example of what a human can be. Oh yeah, the woman must always be right.

Funny, the number of TV shows where the wife is uber competent and beautiful, and the husband is a fat buffoon all seem to be taken by the left as reality TV, just try to show a competent father and a goofy wife, they would nail you to the wall. People say that you could not make Blazing Saddles today. What is sadder is that you could not make I Love Lucy or The Andy Griffith Show today.” 

Sarah Hoyt has often addressed the issue, as both a reader and a writer. She touched on it again today, in one of her blog posts (which are always worth the read, for her writing style and content, as she’s fun to read when she wanders off onto rabbit trails of fascinating thoughts).

“They honestly either believe that the mark of quality science fiction is its mock appeal to some “class” or “minority” or they view it as a way to signal how much better than others they are at selecting rarefied “literature”.  Actually the second would explain why the appeal they select for keeps getting more exclusive.  They have long ago accepted this cr*p doesn’t sell, and are now on a mission to “appeal to minorities by having someone like them in the story.”  (As a double — triple? — minority, I object.  I can identify with green tentacled aliens as well as the pale skinned mostly Caucasian guy now working the office beneath mine. I can identify with him too at least enough to empathize.  Otherwise, why marry him?)

Will this “literature” survive fifty years?  Oh, for crying in bed.  How can it?  It’s not even particularly popular now.  Hell, unless a nuking leaves some of these books as the only testimony of what our time and place was like, I doubt anyone even will remember their names any more than we remember the names of “praised” literature from the Victorian period.

Meanwhile Agatha Christie, a favorite “intellectual” punching bag is doing QUITE well fifty years on, despite lacking all those markers college professors think so important.

People like the village idiot of the Guardian are emotionally stunted morons who think “good” must be what his professors held up as such.

The rest of humanity finds it predictable and too boring for words.  Except for those who are counting coup “Ah, one eyed, one legged Hatian Lesbian.  This book is quality!” and those who want to be seen as reading “intellectual” stuff.  Both of which are an ever-decreasing minority in an era of overworked, overstressed people with a lot of other books to read and a lot of other forms of entertainment at their fingertips.”

True diversity is not some pro-forma compliance to whatever flavor of political correctness is prevalent today. No, it’s writing a story that can dig deeper than skin color, orientation, or *insert buzzword here* and entertain it’s readers. Really entertain them – lift them out of their humdrum everyday existence and make them forget what color, shape, or quark spin they were in. Now, that’s real diversity.

79 Comments

Filed under CEDAR SANDERSON, SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY

79 responses to “Diversity in Fiction

  1. Uh oh. Just realized one of my main Bad Guys is a transmale. Well, I did balance that with evil cisfems who actually have multiple children.

    • Alright, but if you add an orthocaucasian there could trouble.

    • See, now, you don’t *try* to force your characters into orientations that they aren’t. Which is the way to really be diverse. Simply tacking on a label doesn’t change the character, any more than it does a real person. How they act, react, and move the story is far more important.

    • Heh. I love asking SJW if they have a problem with Baron Harkonnen, and why Frank Herbert gets a pass and Orson Scot Card doesn’t. The gymnastics are most entertaining.

  2. One TV show that seems to have broken through a lot of this bullshit is “Penny Dreadful”. Possibly because it is both semi-historical and fantasy and thus not to be taken seriously.

    In season two the main villain is a sexually ambiguous witch, and she is terrifying (largely because she is played by Helen McCrory, who emotes pure menace.) Another sexually adventurous side character is Dorian Grey (played by the beautiful Reeve Carney) who is definately not a good guy, although it’s unclear if he’s really a bad guy so far.

    The male characters are allowed to be manly men, competent at what they do and damned handsome (Timothy Dalton is aging well as Sir Malcolm and Josh Hartnett’s Ethan Chandler is an American westerner in London who is not played at a total rube.)

    The one Black character is Sembene, played by Danny Sapani. He is a strong silent type with a mysterious past and an unspoken deep connection to Sir Malcolm. He has what seem to be African tribal scars on his face, but so far nothing has been said about them. There is a dignity and a strength to the character that no amount of racial posturing would have achieved.

    And then there is Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) who might be considered the hero (although it’s much more an ensemble cast show than a single hero show.) She is a very feminine character–not at all flighty or silly or weak, but dignified and reserved. She is also both powerful and damaged, and seems to be intermittently possessed by an evil spirit. What I find particularly courageous in the writing is that the traumas in her background are not the result of evil men–nearly all of her significant conflicts have been with other women.

    In any event, I didn’t mean to ramble on for so long, but I really like this show, and I find it encouraging that Showtime was willing to greenlight the series and stick with it for three seasons.

  3. 1, So I started reading a shared world called Shadow Unit, because Kindle has it for 99 cents. It is set in a US that is pretty much identical to our own, except sfnal bits, and in an FBI that is also pretty much the same. I remembered bouncing off it before, but I thought maybe I remembered wrong. Sadly, I didn’t. Good stories, but some very stupid virtue signalling.

    The team has so many members of minority race that white people are actually in the minority. (The writers are mostly very white, so it was kinda funny.) Very few members of the team have the (prerequisite for FBI) years of experience in law enforcement or related fields. (A couple of them I could buy, because of the sfnal elements, but come on.) A supposed professional did a reveal of her sexual preference that would have been stupid and unrealistic for a twelve-year-old. And apparently no member of the team would ever have done anything so gauche as voting for Ronald Reagan, because being a Republican means that you have trouble with sfnal elements.

    2. Dana Stabenow had a sale/freebie on several of her sf and historical novels, so I grabbed a few. I bounced off her space station novel that was the first in a series, because it had about as many stupid plot holes and plot elements as it had plot. And no, I wasn’t at all convinced by the spiel about how women would naturally be all the station managers in space stations, especially since this apparently didn’t stop Evil Space Military Men What Are Evil Doing Evil Things. (And of course the evil guy was an evil ex-boyfriend who had only dated the main character to get more power. Because that’s exactly the kind of guy who gets promoted to a combat position in the space military. Whatever.) I should have stopped there, but I was hoping she was being sarcastic.

    But… this story takes place in a giant station complex that encourages people to have kids in order to increase population, and in a storyline where the main character is supposed to have a special bond with her amazingly brilliant magical golden child Mary Sue niece, and where her co-workers and family are constantly bugging her to get over the evil ex, find someone else, settle down, and have kids, to the point that they pretty much set her up with a love interest by hiring an appropriate guy. And there’s no problem affording kids, getting childcare for kids, or raising kids when unmarried.

    The main character reports having happy unmarried sex with the guy to her sister, the doctor, who’s the mother of the brilliant niece. Doctor/sister basically says, “Yay!” and then in the next line says, “And here are your morning-after pills, so take them right now so any baby in there gets aborted.”

    Now, mind you, I’m not expecting that every book in the world is going to be pro-life. But there is no discussion of options, and there is no internal thought by the main character. Nothing at all. It’s like the entire plot of “Get the main character in love and with babies!” has been forgotten. And there is never any explanation of the point or any discussion with the love interest or the sister/doctor, either. There’s no “I can’t get pregnant because I have to do X thing that is dangerous” or anything like that. She’s the boss, so it’s not any kind of corporate requirement or expectation. It’s just a total disconnect with all the thoughts and discussions that happened before and that happen afterward, to the point that I’m really not sure why the author would even introduce such a point if she wasn’t going to follow it up. (And the story never writes about the morning-after pills actually doing anything; there’s not even an extra toilet break. So these are apparently super-nano-morning after pills that magically vaporize everything.)

    So I read far enough to find out if anything was ever going to be said, and apparently it wasn’t. The book didn’t get more interesting or make more sense, either, so I stopped reading. Stabenow is normally a better writer than that, so maybe she was just working off issues or something.

    • Yeah, I read Stabenow’s space series and enjoyed some of it. She was deliberately trying to ape Heinlein, who she read and liked. But it was an odd trio of books, because it felt like she’d never read anything *else* in the genre besides perhaps the Moon is a Harsh Mistress (and missed most of that) and the story about the girl from earth visiting the moon (there’s a scene in the Stabenow book that is a rewrite of the flight scene in that story.)

      • Sanford Begley

        The Menace From Earth

      • Uncle Lar

        Learned recently that a movie based on Mistress is in preproduction. I am not hopeful for a good result.
        Of the three movies I know based on Heinlein stories only one was in my opinion decently crafted.
        Starship Troopers was a hatchet job from the get go.
        Puppet Masters crapped all over the written story.
        Predestination was a very well done translation to the screen of his All You Zombies. Australian production company and location, and given current media they could not keep the original title as it would convey the wrong signals. I believe it opened and closed in about two minutes in US theaters.

  4. I heartily agree with this post. Its a problem in all genres I read – I’ve run into in mysteries, historical fiction, thrillers, science fiction, alternate history, steampunk (especially pronounced there), and fantasy. Some of it is so overdone it has become cliched. For example, a female protagonist with gay male best friendeven in historical fiction. Another is where if [INSERT MINORITY HERE] has done something wrong it is all because they were driven/forced to by society (how’s that for “denying agency” you Progressive twits?). I could go on and on, but I’m probably preaching to the choir here.

  5. TheMightyEmu

    One of the things that stood out to me in Stranger Things was the science teacher: he was just a decent guy willing to put in extra effort for his students. The fact that a TV series had a male role model was shocking to me says a lot about modern entertainment these days.

    As an aside, for a different take on typical TV families, try Bob’s Burgers ( I recommend starting with season 2, season 1 is not as endearing).

    • I just sucked my 14 yo daughter into watching one of my current Netflix faves – Blue Bloods. Great show for showing how families can work, be supporting, and still squabble.

      • I like BB for one reason, well two actually.

        I love those family scenes. No matter what is going on, they sit down and have Sunday Dinner together. And of course Tom.

        What I don’t like to they way they portray Danny and how many times he, and to a lesser extent Jamie, cross the line.

  6. Uncle Lar

    I weep when I stumble upon a commercial tv broadcast of Blazing Saddles. The grandkids are now 14 and 15. I think next opportunity for a movie night we shall sit and watch the full unexpurgated version. With their parents’ permission of course.

    • Sounds like an excellent idea. You may have to do some explaining, though.

    • TRX

      Most people sit there with the remote in one hand and phone in the other, and have no idea how badly some movies get chopped up when broadcast on TV.

      Not only that, there are often different “market releases”, sometimes with peculiar differences. And sometimes the theatrical, VHS, and DVD versions get different edits.

    • 14 and 15 might be a little young for Lily Von Schtupe.

  7. I caught myself, about a year ago, starting to make a mental check list of minority and not-straight characters for a book. Oh heck no! Now, I did do something like that for _Language of the Land_, because the plot required it since I was flipping the “evil oppressive patriarchy” trope. I’ll probably go back and ease up on it a bit when I do pre-publication checks, because heavy-handed is heavy-handed, no matter which way it goes, but it was fun to make a SJZealot (with apologies to the shades of the original Zealots) check-list and flip it. *evil little kitty grin*

    • TRX

      Does the character’s race/sex/religion/preferences/underwear choice have anything to do with the story?

      If not… leave it out.

      What I find painful about a lot of modern writing is that it’s often character-driven instead of plot-driven. To the point where every character has his own backstory. “I bummed a ride home with Bob from the next cube” tells me all I need to know, particularly if Bob never shows up again.

  8. In the story that I am currently writing, I am seriously debating not giving any racial information on the main character (other than him being male of course), Because Heinlein did that once with ‘Fear no Evil’ and I thought it would be cool to see if I could do it.
    Then when the special little snowflakes come screaming at me about my ‘white’ male character I can ask them just where in the book is he white?
    Just like in a previous book I asked ‘just where were the explicit sex scenes?’
    I tell you, these people project so much, they should work in movie theaters!

    • Connie Willis, before the soul-rot set in, (3 decades or so ago)had a really fun book where the sex of the protag simply didn’t appear story. It was a neat trick to see how she pulled off the effect.

      And the heroine of A Witch of Blackbird Pond was deliberately written with NO physical description so that the reader could imagine her anyway he wanted.

      It’s as if these goombahs who’ve decided to colonize fandom for Social Justice think history began with them.

    • Seriously, how often does racial information come up in everyday life? I mean, if I talk about my friend Ed, the first things I talk about are how I know him from summer camp, that he’s a pretty efficient manager, or that he’s working on a film. Or when I talk about Brian, it’s that he’s one of three actors I know with recent Broadway shows. Or how about Amanda, who skis and sings opera (just like Carley, Hannah, and Robert)

      Two of those people are white. One has the surname Rivera but looks more like the Filipino side of the heritage. One is registered Cherokee and can be seen as anything from white to Arabic, depending on the outfit. And two have black heritage.

      Given my descriptions, there is no way to tell which is which. All you need to do is not bother with physical descriptions and I bet you slip it right past the readers.

    • J_redPandaKungfu...

      Neil Gaiman, you might be surprised, (may have just forgotten) doesn’t reveal his characters races, until it’s necessary in the story. I didn’t realize ‘Shadow’ in American Gods was Black until near the end of the book. As a mixed-race person, poorly written POC characters are far worse than none at all; so just don’t write characters of X ethnicity poorly. Or Y ethnicity.
      Y ethnicity?
      Because everyone is all hung up on it!
      So this is the door, no I got it, thanks —–___ ___ __ _

  9. One thing I have noticed is that you can tell when you meet a woman if she has read too many books of a certain kind because she seems to treat the men around her as if they’re like the characters in those books.

    Condescending, belittling, directly insulting, while also downplaying any male doing pretty much anything and celebrating every thing women do as special. The difference between reading and watching tv or movies is that in books you don’t actively see the characters so you can write something like a five foot, hundred pound, beautiful, female detective facing off with a six foot two, two hundred and twenty pound thug and the female detective easily beating the crap out of the thug. It could happen, if it was written well (distract the thug, pick up a heavy object of some sort and hit him when he’s not looking. Then keep hitting him until you’re sure he’s out because it’s going to take more than one whack when your detective is so much less strong), but the way it’s written is usually a straight up fight where she just wins because she’s awesome. And the thug is stupid. And weak. And stupid. And slow. And stupid. And male. So even more stupid.

    A woman I worked with a while back had gotten a four hundred pound load stuck and couldn’t get it loose so asked me to help her. Now, when you ask a big guy to help you in that situation you are asking for a certain kind of knowledge and I know how to move big heavy things, but she wanted me to do it her way. Which was wrong. I check the controls to make sure it’s actually stuck (something I’d do with anyone since I can’t be sure they’ve tried everything unless I’ve seen them do it, or I’ve tried it myself) and she gets upset. Then when it fails (which I expected but it’s always worth trying for the one in twenty chance that it might work) she comes out with the ‘I told you sos’, but not in just that phrasing, in dozens of different phrases. I’m quite annoyed to be yammered at as I try to work out a way to move the load. Finally I see a solution; she stays at the control and I signal her to go forward and back as needed as I push the load into place. No guy in the world would have a problem with that but she does; she wants it reversed. She wants to tell me when to push and which way to push as she works the control. We argue for a minute (because that’s not happening because it won’t work even if I were willing to do it. The person doing the most work determines how the job is done. Pressing a button does not give you control) and finally I get annoyed and tell her to stand back. I turned to the stuck load, pick it up and put it in place. Four hundred pound load. When I say annoyed I mean quite annoyed. Normally this would end with a thank you but she took my demonstration as an implicit threat and wrote me up. The bosses looked at her report, laughed, ripped it up, then came and thanked me for helping her.

    She was a heavy reader of those kinds of books and I had to wonder if she had ever seen a big guy doing something physical in real life (her husband was puny) before. It wasn’t a threat, it was just a way to get the job done without continuing to argue.

    I’m probably more sensitive to it than most guys though because I look like a big dumb jock and getting treated like a big dumb jock when you aren’t one is irritating.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      If you’re writing a scene where a woman fights a man, you have to make it realistic. All the grrl-power in the universe can’t overcome a massive disparity in body mass. Yes magic/superpowers can work, but you can’t use those everywhere all the time.

      • Terry Sanders

        Consider Modesty Blaise the ultimate grrl-power icon of the Twentieth Century.

        In the novels, she does beat up the bad guys on a regular basis. But the rest of each book makes it clear why.

        1)
        She trains obsessively. Her books frequently read like latter-day Batman.

        2)
        She carries weapons. And uses them.

        3)
        She always looks for an edge.

        4)
        She cheats whenever possible.

        5)
        She NEVER assumes she has an advantage.

        One of the scariest passages, to my mind, involved a fine upstanding fellow she coaxed into her bed (not hard, I will grant you). Things were going just great, up to a certain point — and then, right at the climax, she tried to push him off.

        The next few minutes were right out of a rape-case “she asked for it” defense. Within seconds after it was over, the fellow was overcome with shame and remorse. He was also puzzled as ****. He KNEW how good a fighter she was. And she hadn’t tried a single dirty move out of her huge bag of tricks.

        Eventually he got up the nerve to ask her WTF. Her explanation? Every so often she finds a fine young man and does that to him. To remind herself, in the most brutal possible fashion, that *she can’t win a fair fight.*

        She was sorry. But it had to be done. Because if she ever forgot that, she would die.

        And then I read the modern stuff, and wonder why I am supposed to admire these fragile snowflakes with delusions of godhood…

      • Draven

        and this is the magical thinking that has resulted in the problem our military is about to find itself in.

      • Leverage is one that can work well, but too few authors understand. All other factors being equal, I’d rather fight someone with a foot on me than someone closer to my size because I can get UNDER their center of gravity much more easily which gives me certain leverage advantages. It also gives me ‘squirm away and maneuver’ advantages than someone with less height disparity. Depending on the skill disparity, I may still get my ass kicked, but I’ve got more options against the big boy in a grapple. (Getting into a grapple presents other problems, but if running and shooting aren’t options…)

    • Yep. It’s a real thing. Though I would add that the reader in question also has to be remarkably unreflective.

      I really like Sherri Tepper novels (despite the fact that she tends to resolve her major plot conflict with… “and then a miracle occurred.”) including A Gate to Women’s Country. And I noticed that after reading them, I would get impatient with, or be more likely to put the worst construction on, the actions words of the men in my life.

      Weird effect, but GIGO, I suppose.

  10. As for diversity, I look at how I handled things in my comic. I have a lot of diversity but everyone is supposed to be the object of jokes both for and against. The female characters have to be able to tell jokes and be the butt of jokes, same with the Korean dude, and the black guys.

    The reason I do that and don’t have them be the way they are in lots of comic strips (and tv shows, and books, and movies) is because the joy of telling a joke is getting the laugh. In magic parlance it’s the Prestige. The moment when you get the laugh is the same moment that magicians get the applause.

    If you restrict what laughs your diverse characters can get you are often denying them the Prestige of that laugh. They get less by you, the writer, trying to give them more.

    Not only does that accidentally harm the character, but it actively harms the character. Because even when they get the joke and the laugh it’s usually at the expense of the white guy. The problem with that is if you’re always giving and never receiving the sympathy of the audience is going to go to the one character who is taking AND receiving. The white guy.

    Which means you’ve actively made your ‘diverse’ characters unsympathetic to the audience. So they don’t get the laugh, and they don’t get the audience’s sympathy, and they don’t get the love.

    They’re placed above the audience. And the writers that do that think they’re doing them a favor.

    • I have white, black & brown characters but no black or yellow ones.

      I know, it’s just awful, the way limiting your color palette to black & white & French grey turns your cast racist!

      On the other hand, at least they’re representative of all the phyla..

      Meanwhile, off to check out your comic.

  11. Mary

    sigh

    working on a novel where for the first part, there are no good men. And precious few good women, either, but one’s the heroine.

    I shall just have to seduce readers with my earlier works, first.

    • Mary

      Though if I knew a reader had had a surfeit of the books described I would probably point him to The Witch-Child And the Scarlet Fleet for a story of mine.

  12. TRX

    > People say that you could not
    > make Blazing Saddles today.

    *Mel Brooks* said that. And “today” was in the mid-1980s.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      The way Hollywood is going, we’ll get an SJWized version of Blazing Saddles. That will make about $13.00 at the box office.

      • Like the pending (?) remake of Ocean’s Eleven with an all-female cast? *eyeroll* Kids are so lacking in creativity these days.

        • TomT

          Ocean’s Eight could turn out ok. They didn’t pick a cast of ardent feminists but instead picked a cast of women who make sense in the rolls. So it could turn out ok. Sadly I’m thinking that the studio didn’t’ learn the right lesson from Ghost Busters. From what I have heard GB isn’t a horrible movie it just isn’t anything special and the original is something special. That and when the first trailer came out and was soundly attacked by ALL of the expectant fans the response was to viciously attack the the fans and keep up the attack.

          Unfortunately I am afraid this means the studio or director may try to turn Ocean’s Eight into an in your face movie.

      • Patrick Chester

        Which will likely not save their phoney-baloney jobs?

  13. ftumch

    preamble:

    I am Northern English and working class. When I was a kid, my teachers took us to the local cenotaph. I have always been in awe since. Young men gave their lives. For us. The thing is, you will find such cenotaphs everywhere here; that’s the horror of WWI.

    Last November, it hit me, on account, I suppose it being a centenary year, and I ended up watching Band of Brothers. Nay, I binge-watched it. Hadn’t seen the show in over 10 years. It was awesome.

    Band of Brothers is a true story. And they was all white. Oh no!

    There were three females in the show, of any importance, and only two of them had speaking parts. Damn that patriarchy!

    And then, the Vile 77tards did a thread on diversity….

    The entire thread is a hoot, some absolute gems:

    [quote]
    Aaron on November 17, 2015 at 6:51 am said:

    Can we only imagine far future or fantasy worlds where characters with different coloured skin are fundamentally different?

    If your attempt at diversity is only cosmetic, is it diversity?

    rob_matic:
    It isn’t only cosmetic to portray in your fiction a secondary world or a far future that is not rooted in early 21st Century notions of privilege.

    Aaron:
    No, it is a deeply privileged thing to do.

    rob_matic:
    Well, that’s a pretty abrupt dismissal of the works of Ursula Le Guin.
    [/quote]

    And these assholes dont virtue singal much, do they? Nor do they understand the difference between The Peoples Front of Judea and The Judea Peoples Front.

    But hey, this is awesome:

    Tasha Turner on November 17, 2015 at 9:15 pm said:

    When I’m talking about Diversity It’s really about representation. I want entertainment media to show a world full of the human beings I’m likely to see everyday and have since I was a young child. I can’t remember a time when I was only around white people.

    Yeah, because Tasha, your solipsist nature demands all stories are about you. You ever heard of the word “narcissist”?

    When I read books/watch tv and movies/play games and the only people with agency are straight white dudes it’s an alien world to me.

    Note the us of the word “agency”. It’s a tell. Real people never speak like this.

    Yes straight white dudes play on the lowest difficulty setting but they are surrounded by women, children, LGBTI, disabled, and non-white people in real life and always have been even though history keeps trying to write the rest of us out.

    The Scalzi thing. Hmm… squee or puke… puke or squee…

    Women and children in fantasy have frequently been used to give men a reason to do something.

    Because this never ever happens in any other genre.

    Rape/murder a woman/child important to a man and he has a reason to go on a quest or out for vengeance and it’s called realistic.

    Perhaps she would prefer a man in this situation just to have a mental breakdown. Or would that be triggering?

    Yet the majority of women aren’t raped

    Wow! Never seen any feminist ever suggest this sht before. Wow.

    (1 of 4/5/6 are raped depending on which stats you use so 3/4/5 aren’t raped). Most women/kids aren’t murdered or we wouldn’t be worrying about overpopulation (sorry too lazy to look up stats).

    But teh Patriarchy is still killing Womyn, ain’y they Tasha?

    Why write a white cis male for your character? What is his being cis white male adding to your story?

    What’s with the “cis” thing? Oh, I get it. It’s an insult. Fuck off.

    Write what you know. Even ursula K Le Guin said taht. A white male writer writes from his pov. Fuck the fuck off Tasha Turner.

    • ftumch

      forgot to tick the box. but I am not gonna say “Ticky” like its funny, or Fifth.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      “What is his being cis white male adding to your story?”

      Change that to “gay black female” and see how they respond.

      • ftumch

        Hmmm.. don’t you mean Lesbean Person of Color, you cisheteronormative man you!? This is why we need MOAR diversity! Damn you sir, check your privilege!!!

        Oh, and God save the Queen. She does a grand job.

        I was gonna link to some music, apropos of nothing much, by a certain thrash metal band called “I got an office job for the sole purpose of sexually harassing women”… but then I got distracted by this:

    • [Insert trite, overused, cliche] so the man goes on a quest for vengeance . . . yet one more lazy shortcut many authors take. But that’s a different problem.

      And the “cis” thing amuses me no end. Oh? I’m suppose to consider “you’re sexually normal” an insult?

      And whites don’t play on the easy setting. They play the game from the first move picking up every weapon, energy cube, clue, and ally possible. AKA, they show up for school and work at it, all the way through college and keep putting the effort into their first job. They don’t trot through three levels then throw a temper tantrum because they haven’t jot the weapons or energy to fight this level’s monster. “I didn’t know I’d need that!” “I should have that, why doesn’t somebody give me that?” “I’m entitled.”

      And everyone else who does the same reaps the same benefits. It’s not easy. It’s not privilege. It never gets easy. It’s always work.

      • ftumch

        “[Insert trite, overused, cliche] so the man goes on a quest for vengeance . . . yet one more lazy shortcut many authors take. But that’s a different problem.”

        Cliche? or Trope? I can’t think of many examples of this. The whole Girlfriend in a Fridge is a weird event, and comic book thing too; I can’t think of any examples in SFF literature. So much feminazi claptrap is conspiracy theory crap.

        And yes the “cis” thing is intended as an insult.

        “And whites don’t play on the easy setting.”

        Yeah, Scalzi: uber asshole.

        • It’s more of a Grade B fantasy movie trope (thank you, brain could not cough up the right word!). The hero’s out hunting and returns to find the village burned to the ground, his wife dead . . . It’s like they can’t come up with a better reason to get the hero into the action.

          And poor James Bond! Has he ever had a serious girlfriend/lover/wife who didn’t die . . . Okay the Japanese one, he just forgot her. Darn, been a long time since I read those . . . Anyway, that was just clearing the decks for the next story to proceed without encumbrances, but I do hate seeing that one over and over.

          • ftumch

            “It’s more of a Grade B fantasy movie trope”

            I don’t watch such things so, I don’t know… two movies that come to mind most are Josey Wales and Deathwish. Both very popular films.

            Tropes are tropes. It’s how it’s handled that matters.

            From TV Tropes:

            Stuffed into the Fridge

            “While it is strictly true that Tropes Are Not Bad, this one, especially as a catchphrase, is often given a very negative connotation as it is all too often a hallmark of supremely lazy writing—using the death of a character as “cheap anger” for the protagonist, and devaluing the life of that character in the process, instead of giving the villain something actually interesting to do that can involve all three characters and more emotions than simple anger and angst.”

            Seriously, “cheap anger”? The feminazis don’t get men at all do they? But this trope they talk of comes from comic books. Many of the situations I looked at come in the middle of series, thta’s not quite the same thing.

            Let me fly off on a tangent.

            I was once told to never EVER use a coincidence as a plot point. Good reasoning here, a mid plot coincidence is stating: “the author is fucked! How to proceed!!” I get that. But you can start a novel with a coincidence, and that’s when the story starts…

            I have no problem with a Girl in the Fridge at the start… in the middle, well this smacks of Author has Lost It.

            Truth be told I can forgive quite a lot. I am currently reading Eric Flint’s 1632.. enjoyable, yes, involved, yes… but hey, the Corrupt Corporate Executive trope sticks out like a sore thumb.

            • ftumch

              I forgot to mention… this comment was brought to you with the help of Freebird.

            • ftumch

              Stolen from a comment at Larry Correia’s:

              “Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon. ”
              –G.K. Chesterton

              I think this trope works for us men, us heterosexual men, for the same reasoning.
              Feminists will tell us that men like to possess women, no. We are simply connected. We have an obligation. I would suggest most men get that, they get Josey wales and deathwish guy, and Dirty Harry for that mattter, for this is about Justice as much as Revenge.

              We guy, all growd up, we can kill that dragon.

            • “Truth be told I can forgive quite a lot. I am currently reading Eric Flint’s 1632.. enjoyable, yes, involved, yes… but hey, the Corrupt Corporate Executive trope sticks out like a sore thumb.”

              Then you haven’t read enough of the series. Try the next volume, 1633, where both the CCE and the union leader have to look past their prejudices.

            • Matthew

              Not sure why Eric made Simpson so flat in 1632. The character really comes to life in 1633 and beyond.

      • “And whites don’t play on the easy setting.”

        That shit always makes me laugh. If I’m on the “easy” setting, all the rest of y’all are f-ed.

        There is no easy setting. Life is hard, and then you die and they throw dirt in your face. Saudi prince, working stiff, all the same.

    • Dude, if I never see the names “Aaron” and “Tasha Turner” again, it’ll be too soon. Please, my bleeding eyes!

      • ftumch

        Mwahhahha

        Tasha Turner on December 13, 2015 at 2:59 pm said:
        “Pro-lifers should really be called pro-birthers. I always think of them that way. It helps with the dissonance. They only care the baby is born not that they are fed, sheltered, clothed, educated, or given medical care. Heck some of them are in favor of murdering adults so babies can be born and starve or die due to lack of social services. Obviously they aren’t pro-life. I think we should start calling them what they are pro-birth. Don’t let them define the language.”

        I saved that, just for you Phantom.

        I will give Mike Glyer his due:

        “I’m not spending the rest of the afternoon reading nonsense like this.”

  14. Chris Nelson

    I’m tired of “diversity” and it’s cousin perversity permeating all the holes in society. I’m one of those readers that has given up on any “new” “mainstream” fiction. I’ve also given up on television and movies.

    But now I’ve turned to find some truth and beauty in hard math and science. Maybe someday I’ll return to sit and listen to the storytellers.