This blog is to put my two bits in a conversation on the Vision list. We were discussing to what extent (or even if) considerations of stereotypes and concepts of Polictical Correctness apply within our genres.
This is a public forum, so we’re wearing our opinions on our hats like that game where you have to guess who you are. Actually, maybe not so public if only I read my blog 🙂
What I love about Spec Fic is that you can push the boundaries to anywhere. You can have women that are men, or both, and anything in between. On the other hand, you find many total stereotypical characters in some works (the manly men and busty heroines or weak damsels) and exploitist fantasies played out across whole societies. Then you’ve got parts of the audience (and writers, too?) who are just there for the explosions. I love that diversity.
Just gunna make three points.
1. Stereotypes make annoying characters. In spec fic, I am interested to read about different races/cultures/sexes both real and invented. If you write about real ones I think you should consult with people from those groups for both authenticity and fairness. (Was that one point or two?) If they say ‘Don’t touch this,’ I think you should follow their wishes, or try to find someone from that group who will collaborate with you.
2. As writers and creative individuals we can invent the future. Yet, our words might not be used as we plan, Eg. Jesus.
3. ‘PC’ was (in the 70s?) used tongue-in-cheek to mock the political appearance of fairness, Eg. the token woman on the board. What we’re really talking about is giving the under-represented a fair go.
I’m still struggling with Steampunk, but there does seem to be a lot of whitey-white skin. I say shake it up.
Debate away. I love hearing these debates 🙂