Thursday, September 29, 2016

Thursday's Discussion - Diversity

So this is going to really something that has been bothering me for a while but I'm been nervous to say anything but I decided not to care anymore and I'm just going to put my thoughts out there.

I am warning everyone, there might be some things that offend you, turn back now if you get easily offended.

Diversity. It's a word we all know now. It's either something we are all for or hate it completely. I am one of those that are all for it. We need more diversity in books, movies, TV, and so on. Though here is where I get pissed.

So many 'fans' of Sarah J Maas are getting pissed at her that her characters are all white, and straight. Or they getting angry that even though she made a bi character but he's still with a girl. I understand where people are coming from, so please don't think I don't. The world is so much more beyond white and straight. 

But I think this is completely not right. We should never ever, send death threats and attack people. Ever. Does anyone stop to think how this makes the author feel? I'd feel like quitting if some of those things were said to me. How meanly they were said. 

Or I saw on Twitter how some people were getting upset at Victoria Schwab because her book had only white characters. People were completely angry at her for it. Again, I understand why they are angry and I agree. I just hate the way everyone is going about it. How they are hurting the author for it.

 I mean we do need diversity but don't go and be mean to the author, they still work so hard on their stories. They pour their blood, sweat, and tears into these things. Trust me, I'm currently doing to same thing with my own story.

If we want more diverse books we have to buy them more, spread the word of them more. Get them to the forefront of book sells but that doesn't give anyone the right to get pissed and hurt an author for their stories not being just want the reader wanted. It's their story, not ours. There are many books out there that I don't like. I don't go bash the author and tell them to die. I just give my review and move on. 

I guess what is just really bothering me about this is how it seems to be pushing all of us apart. I used to feel like the blogging world was so close and inviting but everywhere I look now it's turned into some kind of war. 

I saw somewhere that a blogger has decided not to read anything unless it has diverse characters and that would be one way to send a message, if more started doing that, the publishing companies would follow the money as that's all they really care about.

Personally, when I get a book to read, I just read the description and if it sounds good to me that's what I go for. I don't look to see if the characters are white (though my grandmother was full Native American) and bi and Wiccan. So I've never found a book that represents me personally (though if any of you know of one, please let me know). Everyone wants to read a book about themselves. I can understand that, I really do. Also at the same time, I read to escape the world I live in. If every character was just like me and lived in my fucked up world, I would quit reading. I want to read about different people. So I'm pretty sick of seeing the same old, same old. Even more so in YA. 

I fully support diverse reads, I would love to read more about other cultures and people and how they live. I love being taken to another place and seeing new things. That's why I read in the first place. 

My main point; I just wish in the fight for diverse reads, we'd stop clawing at the authors and even at each other. We are so much stronger when we stand together. Don't hate and bash, an author works so hard and then to get death threats... there is no need for that. Let's just push harder for diverse reads without becoming bullies.

I love you all! I'm sorry for the rant but I just had to get this out. Have a great day and happy reading. 



PS, this is not edited and I'm sorry if there is lots of mistakes. Also if anyone has read some really good diverse reads, please let me know below, I'm looking for some new ones. 

13 comments:

  1. I agree. If we want diverse books, we have to be mature about it. Publishers are companies, so they’ll follow the money. If we’re BUYING diverse books, they’ll publish more of them. Threatening an author isn’t productive. It won’t change the industry. Use your wallet to support what you want, and publishers will listen.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. Yes! You're completely right. They will follow the money. It's up so us to change it with our wallets, not bullying any author.

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  2. Well said! I think it's easier for people to snarl spite at others from behind the safety of their screens than to actually make the effort to DO something to change what they claim to hate. Diversely charactered books are out there - thousands of them - but I think folks who only read mass-market authors are less likely to encounter them.

    Personally, I try to ensure that at least a third of the books I read are by non-British and non-American authors, and another third are by immigrant authors (immigrants to anywhere). I also often prioritise books from small publishers and indie authors. Covering this wide variety of cultural backgrounds means I find immense diversity in my reading and couldn't imagine it any other way.

    Perhaps we need a #diverse hashtag when tweeting our book reviews to get the word out about books that do feature diverse characters?

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    1. I completely agree. Mass-market books aren't that diverse and if that's all you read... you'll find nothing diverse.

      I try and do the same, any time I get an indie author, I always try and read them first. The more we cover, the more others will find these books. I need to try that too, making some of my books by no American authors as it seems that's over half my books. I now have to do some research!

      I LOVE that idea! I'm going to start using that hashtag for any review. I'm also going to label in diverse in my review for anyone trying to find more diverse reads. Thanks for the idea!

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  3. If you're looking for diverse reads then the best place to start is with Naz's blog - readdiversebooks.com

    I agree that no-one should ever threaten people. Ever.

    I also agree that not *every* book has to have diverse characters - though I also see the point of view of those who feel like this should be the case.

    I think the main point is that the industry is skewed, which means that the view of the world presented in books is skewed. Media (and yes, literature is a form of media) has a huge impact on attitudes, biases, and viewpoints - and this is a knock-on to legislation and society as a whole.

    I think it's also important to point out that it's ok to disagree with people, so long as you're not being bigoted and/or acting like a jerk. I think the backlash from the V E Schwab incident was *far* more divisive than the legitimate questioning and debate which sparked the whole thing.

    I like to stay to the positive actions where possible - for my own sake: offending people tends to trigger my anxiety - but there's a big problem with trolls who are, quite simply, bigots.

    Some of these people are actual Nazis, as in, the Swastika-brandishing kind - and they've slunk their way into the community via people like Bre Faucheux.

    Sorry for the epically long comment! But I've become more and more involved in the diverse part of the bookish community, and firmly believe that diversity is the way forward - as you do! :)

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    1. I will be checking out that blog, thank you very much.

      I think you may have misunderstood what I said, I never said that not every book needs to be diverse. I just hate when people in their fight for diverse reads decide to swear all any books with white or straight characters. If every book from this moment on was published without those two... we still would not be representing the world as their are white and straight people. My point was, that we should include everything without excluding anything. I think every book should actually be diverse as the world we live in, is so very diverse.

      I agree! Yes, there is nothing wrong with having an opinion and there is nothing wrong with sharing it. There is also nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone else. Just like you said, don't be mean or bigoted. That is what bothers me most. The hate.

      Oh oh oh! I've seen the youtuber (booktuber) you're talking about! I've actually seen her video! I actually agreed with one of her points, that a character on the inside (actions and thoughts) was more important than whatever the heck they looked like on the outside. I do agree with that actually. I would not care what the characters looked like (white, Asian, black, so forth), I'd just want a well written character over anything else. But I'm sure everyone wants well written books and characters, so I know I'm not alone there. But I do NOT agree with anything else she said. I think people like her are.. I don't even have a word for her. I don't like how she went about stating her opinions (hate more like it) and I don't share her viewpoint at all. Just wanted to make sure that was known.

      I hope I got all that across without sounding bad or something. I'm awful at putting my thoughts in words about this... I'm so sorry.

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    2. Ha, no worries. This tends to be an icky-sticky topic, words-wise :)

      Her follow-up video was even worse... ugh.

      I think the most important thing to remember with all of this is just: be nice! If people don't act like jerks, we can't go far wrong ;)

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    3. Yes it does. That's another reason I'm nervous sharing this. I don't want to word something wrong and make everyone mad.

      Yes! So much worse, it was so hard for me to even make it to the end... I was so upset.

      That's exactly what I was trying to get across. We all just need to be nice.

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  4. I agree with you that we, as readers definitely have to be buying more diverse books! Publishing houses support author's whose books are sold in stores and if diverse books aren't selling, they most likely won't print the author's books and the cycle will just keep going around.

    The thing with fantasy books not having enough diversity is that we don't know where they're taking place in the world (because of the whole evolution thing, people who live in colder climates have lighter skin). So I can really appreciate books like The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson because it takes place in a warmer climate so the characters will of course have darker skin. It's really nice when it makes logical sense and the author isn't just sticking it in there for good press.

    I do think we need more ships with LGBT characters (when the Percy Nico ship became a thing (I can't remember their ship name for the life of me!), I was so excited!) or at least more publicity about them!

    This is such a great topic, Carrie!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

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    1. You make a good point. In fantasy if they do live in warmer climates they will be darker skinned and the other way around too. I actually didn't stop to think of that.

      Yes! More ships going public! More LGBT couples in general would be great. I also don't remember their ship name but I know my sister was into their ship that it was all she'd talk about lol.

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  6. You said this SO WELL! I also think that we need diverse books, but that attacking people and authors won't help anything.

    I think that instead of outrage, people need to remain calm, discuss things respectfully and provide actual arguments to support what they're trying to say, instead of just repeating the same thing over and over again (which is what I generally see in these sorts of situations).

    I also usually choose books based on their descriptions as well, not necessarily on how much the characters are like myself (though, admittedly, it would be nice to have more similar to myself!). All of this has made me so sad, to see people so divided over something, arguing, getting angry at each other. We need diversity, but intimidation is not the way to get it! All that time spent arguing on the internet....people could've been reading and reviewing the very diverse books that they love in the first place!

    This was a really great post, thanks for sharing your feelings on this subject!

    Wren @ http://fortheloveofbooksreviews.blogspot.ca/

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    1. I'm not surprised our views are so alike. We tend to do that alot lol.
      Thank you. I was so scared when posting this that everyone would get mad at me that I almost didn't share my thoughts. So yeah, thank you very much.

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