R is for Representation
Going in line with my earlier posts about consent is another issue that’s becoming important to me. Representation.
This one is a stickier subject–especially for writers. It’s one thing to rally up and say we need more X representation, but knowing how to go about achieving that can come with some difficulties.
So many of our stories are about straight, white men. We see them everywhere–in movies, on TV, in our books. Recently on the literature front, we’ve seen an influx of leading ladies, which is good. It’s a fantastic start.
But so few of our stories have anything besides straight, white people. If we look around us, anyone can see that the world is filled with a plethora of different people, of all genders, skin colors and ethnicities, sexual orientation, and religions. Where are their stories? Why is it always the same person appearing over and over again on our screens and in our books?
Well, honestly, I don’t know the answer to that question. I possibly don’t want to know.
What I do know, though, is I think this is a terrible disservice to the actual world we live in. Continue reading
Discworld is a wonderful, enthralling, hilarious world, rich in humour and history and all manner of intriguing cleverness and nonsense.
D is for Discworld
With over forty novels and companion books, there is a veritable avalanche of things to talk about and go on about. (Which I can and have; you should hear the chatter when Michelle and I get going talking about Discworld!)
However, while I could rhapsodise on the humour (silly and serious, wound through every topic), the cultures (satiric and exaggerated, but multi-layered and deeply thought-out), the plots (wide-ranging and intriguing), and many other things, what I’ve actually decided to focus on is what definitely keeps me coming back to Discworld over and over again.
The amazing characters.
The peoples that populate Discworld – no matter their species – are fascinating and incredibly varied, each of them whose eyes we see through showing us their unique take on their world.
Today, we’re going to talk about consent.
Consent has quickly become one of my most touchy, push-button subjects. I find myself constantly analyzing media (especially television shows and movies, but books as well) for how consent is portrayed. More often than not, it is shown very poorly, as Hank Green of the Vlogbrothers talks about.
Hollywood’s representation of consent is so poor that they barely bring it up at all. Nearly everything I watch has at least one character that has things done to them without any sort of nod to that character’s understanding or wish of that treatment. Think of all the times you watched a love scene where the man walks in, grabs the woman by the face or jaw, and starts to kiss her. Think about those scenes where a man picks up the woman and carries her off, completely ignoring her protests. Think about what that means in terms of consent.
Now think about how the directors and filmmakers and actors want you, the audience, to feel. Like these actions are romantic and emotional. Like it’s normal for the man to do what he wants with a woman, no matter what she says or doesn’t say. I mean, she wants it anyway, right?
How do we really know that?