Avatar

eye roll (Gaming)

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Saturday, December 07, 2019, 16:53 (287 days ago) @ Harmanimus

Yes, but a long line of acceptable characters and representations can be easily overlooked for some demographics by a shorter line of notable offensive examples. No one remember all the times someone has successfully used a crosswalk, but they remember when someone got face peeled on the front of a truck in it.

If you are respectful and do it will it will go unnoticed. Most people do not care if you are speaking on things second hand. Just don’t drown out the first hand experiences, be respectful, and in general your actions will go unnoticed. And the tiny number of loud people won’t matter in the grand scheme. Empathy-policing Georg is an outlier and should not be counted.

I get anxious about terms like "acceptable." I'm on board if you mean not relying on stereotypes--I take as a given that stereotypes make for bad characters. I think you're saying that an author creating characters must not block the way for first-hand experiences. The latter is autobiography, though, and I'm talking about fiction. Tom Wolfe had never been a young woman in college when he wrote "I Am Charlotte Simmons." Richard Price had never been an African American gang member when he wrote "Clockers." Neither was writing to go unnoticed or overlooked. Writing fiction is often an act of breathing life into characters until at some point they act on their own in service fo your story. They don't exist to offend or not to offend. Say I create a character. She might be the antagonist. She might do bad things. She was conceived as an individual, not as an identity or a representation, but if you're steeped in an ideology that emphasizes group identity first and foremost and views human history as a power struggle between groups, then this character might be threatening because she is interpreted as a negative representation of a group. That's not my frame of reference because I don't view history that way, but if you do, then I've dropped the ball because I haven't served up a positive role model for one side of the struggle.

I like to think you're right, that over time, great writing survives , but this debate has been going on (in academia at least) since the 80s. I hope we get back to a place where we take people as individuals, real or fictional.


Complete thread:

 RSS Feed of thread