Could Diversity Be Harming Its Own Cause?

Could Diversity Be Harming Its Own Cause?

When Criticism Becomes Bullying

It's the big new (or not-so-new when you think about it) subject in publishing. Lack of Diversity. It's splattered over headlines, debated within panels, and agonized over in the industry.

You know where else it has an impact? Fandoms. The publishing world is driven by the reactions and opinions of book fandoms, but not always in a positive way. Diversity is supposed to be a positive concept. It's supposed to be a term that encourages minority voices to find the representation denied to them for so long, a term that allows the world to be depicted as it really is: multi-cultural.

Yet, diversity has made a surprisingly quick left turn. Suddenly, to even attempt becoming a diverse writing is a terrifying thought, because the fandoms of "diverse" books are the most critical. Many well-known authors such as Cassandra Clare, J.K. Rowling, and most recently Sarah J. Maas have become victims of the word rather than champions for it.

There is no hiding the truth. Up until recent years, diversity has been nearly nonexistent in the publishing industry. Popular writers were either male, white, or at the very least American/English. That's a fact, and I will never try to deny it. Things have changed, though. Publishers are now hearing the cry of the public and understand the need for literature that not only reflects the desires of the public, but also the cultures of the public. Sameness is no longer a term we want to hear.

However, just as Sameness blanketed the literary sphere in the past, the attempt to force Diversity into the same position has already begun. White writers are becoming scared to attempt writing diverse characters, for fear of misrepresenting a certain group/race/culture and being verbally attacked in the process. Diverse writers are becoming scared NOT to write diverse characters, for fear of the exact same thing.

Note to readers and writers: Just because you are a diverse author does not mean you should be forced to write only diverse characters! And just because you are a white writer does not mean you should be forced not to write white characters! We need both, whether in the same books or separate ones. But we also need to understand that this is an opportunity for CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM rather than bullying.

Sarah J. Maas is the perfect, current example of when the public can turn nasty, even while trying to be a proponent of diversity. Her fandom has recently exploded on Twitter with some of the most negative and hurtful backlashes I've ever seen. She's been accused of being a purist, of purging her characters, and I've seen multiple tweets blaring profanity and telling her to quit writing.

Readers! If a character is misrepresented in literature, it is your job to draw attention to this so the writer can learn from the world and grow/adapt through it. Yelling at someone and telling them they are worthless is not your job. All that makes you is a bully; you make yourself no different than the people who once refused to even consider a character who was different than them.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

Popular Right Now

Worlds Collide

To some, this will seem silly. To others, I hope it speaks truth.

  

Is it wrong that I want to call you mine?

Is it wrong that when you talk about her, I want you to talk about me instead?

I know what you’re all thinking

That this is just another silly little love poem

Designed to make people fall asleep as this tale was already told thousands of times before.

I know because I was just like you.

Falling asleep as soon as the girl started talking about ‘the one’

But this is different

Because I know you’re not the one.

And this isn’t silly.

Not to me.

I can’t say that I think about you all the time

Because I don’t.

Life is too hectic for that.

But little things will remind me of you.

Little, everyday things.

So in a way

I guess I do think about you a lot.

I think about hugging you

And being wrapped in a warm embrace, never wanting to escape into the cold air.

I think about you watching every theatrical performance I’m in

And cringing every time someone breaks into song because you hate musicals, 

But you come anyways

I think about you coming to my games, cheering me on

Then asking you to not come next time because you make me so nervous that I mess up

But you still come anyways.

I think about holding your hand

And you know people will talk but you choose not to care.

I think about coming to your games

Wearing your number on my cheek with so much pride that I pin my hair behind my ears so all can see it.

I think about driving around with you

Doing absolutely nothing

But never wanting to leave each other’s company so we just pretend like our destination is real.

I think about calling you

And staying on the phone for hours

First talking about this hellish, heinous world full of awful people

Then talking about absolutely nothing but we stay on the phone anyways because we can’t stand not hearing the other

But our worlds will never collide.

You would get too bored in my world

And I wouldn’t even know how to breath in yours.

I’ve tried

And I’ve failed.

I don't see a long term future for us.

Perhaps even after high school I will never see you again.

Your face never popping up in my head until I go through the list of unimportant people in my contacts.

How odd it is that someone so special to you at one point in time can just become another face of nothingness and blends right in with the crowd.

I’ve never seen us getting married 

Or having kids

Or even going to the same college.

Our plans for ourselves are too big for that. 

So I know that this will never become a long term thing.

But is it wrong that I want it to still happen?

I know our worlds will drive us apart,

But is it wrong that I want to try anyways?

I know that our futures have nothing to do with the other,

So why do I still want our nows to combine like a perfectly placed ribbon on top of a Christmas present?

You’ll never hear this.

Or even if you do, you’ll never know it’s about you.

Or even if you do, 

I’ll always say it’s not true.

Why?

Because deep down

I’ll always know

That our worlds will never collide.

  

Is it wrong that I want to call you mine?

Is it wrong that when you talk about her, I want you to talk about me instead?

I know what you’re all thinking

That this is just another silly little love poem

Designed to make people fall asleep as this tale was already told thousands of times before.

I know because I was just like you.

Falling asleep as soon as the girl started talking about ‘the one’

But this is different

Because I know you’re not the one.

And this isn’t silly.

Not to me.

I can’t say that I think about you all the time

Because I don’t.

Life is too hectic for that.

But little things will remind me of you.

Little, everyday things.

So in a way

I guess I do think about you a lot.

I think about hugging you

And being wrapped in a warm embrace, never wanting to escape into the cold air.

I think about you watching every theatrical performance I’m in

And cringing every time someone breaks into song because you hate musicals, 

But you come anyways

I think about you coming to my games, cheering me on

Then asking you to not come next time because you make me so nervous that I mess up

But you still come anyways.

I think about holding your hand

And you know people will talk but you choose not to care.

I think about coming to your games

Wearing your number on my cheek with so much pride that I pin my hair behind my ears so all can see it.

I think about driving around with you

Doing absolutely nothing

But never wanting to leave each other’s company so we just pretend like our destination is real.

I think about calling you

And staying on the phone for hours

First talking about this hellish, heinous world full of awful people

Then talking about absolutely nothing but we stay on the phone anyways because we can’t stand not hearing the other

But our worlds will never collide.

You would get too bored in my world

And I wouldn’t even know how to breath in yours.

I’ve tried

And I’ve failed.

I don't see a long term future for us.

Perhaps even after high school I will never see you again.

Your face never popping up in my head until I go through the list of unimportant people in my contacts.

How odd it is that someone so special to you at one point in time can just become another face of nothingness and blends right in with the crowd.

I’ve never seen us getting married 

Or having kids

Or even going to the same college.

Our plans for ourselves are too big for that. 

So I know that this will never become a long term thing.

But is it wrong that I want it to still happen?

I know our worlds will drive us apart,

But is it wrong that I want to try anyways?

I know that our futures have nothing to do with the other,

So why do I still want our nows to combine like a perfectly placed ribbon on top of a Christmas present?

You’ll never hear this.

Or even if you do, you’ll never know it’s about you.

Or even if you do, 

I’ll always say it’s not true.

Why?

Because deep down

I’ll always know

That our worlds will never collide.


Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

A 2008 Book Craze With A 2018 Book Review Of "Life and Death"

Here I am sitting in 2018, my mind stuck in 2008.

Picture this: Its 2008, Twilight is in theaters and I’ve read most of the books cover to cover. I was probably the biggest Twilight fan I knew…. I try to write that with pride.

It’s now 2018 and I find myself once again reading a Twilight book. But this time, it’s a different story.

Twilight Saga author Stephanie Meyer rewrote the original story for the 10th anniversary by gender-swapping the characters. It’s now under the title of “Life and Death.” That’s right, every character, with exception of two, had their gender switched to the opposite. For example, Edward Cullen was now Edythe Cullen. When I heard about the book, my 11-year-old soul needed it.

I am well aware of the issues with Twilight, and I have come to see the shortcomings. I know Edward was a crappy boyfriend, the writing wasn’t all that great, and a host of other issues. But revisiting it as something I loved as a kid is sometimes enjoyable.

This version breathed new life into the story. For starters, the book was more polished, it read better than Meyers’ past books in the series. The language and some of the dialogue was changed to fit the new perspective being shared. In rereading her books, I couldn’t help but notice how ‘cringe-worthy’ the wording was, something I definitely never noticed when first reading the book.

The new perspective was interesting seeing the story from Beau’s, the male version of Bella, point of view. The essence of the original story was there, but I felt like I appreciated it more from his view. I found Bella whiny and one-dimensional and while the one-dimensionality still remained, I feel like the whininess I had an issue with was decreased. Whether this was because he was a guy and “guys aren’t whiny” or maybe it was ironed out in her rewriting the story.

Going into the book, I had questions about its ending and how it would be resolved. By about halfway through, I had sort of guessed the ending, and I saw a quick quip (oops) of the afterword and put it all together. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the journey, even though I saw the ending coming. I actually found the end way more compelling than the original. The end seemed more realistic… as realistic as a book about vampires can get. It was moving and that really surprised me. It actually made me cry a little.

It seemed that the characters finally found themselves in this version of the book. Twilight seems awkward and forced while this novel seems to flow. If Meyer decided to continue and flip all of her other books around chances are I would read them.

In the end, vampires are still whiny and not good significant others, humans are still annoyingly helpless, and Charlie is still the best character in the book. That being said, would I recommend this? Absolutely, it was nice slipping into the past and enjoying it all again for the first time. It was a fresh look at a familiar story.

Cover Image Credit: Youtube.com

Related Content

Facebook Comments