Hello everyone! So before I begin this post, let me give you a disclaimer. There isn’t a single issue in calling for more diversity in books. Our world is so vastly diverse that having an all white/ all straight cast of characters is more unrealistic than even fantasy should ever be. Everyone should be able to find themselves in characters. We just need more of an effort from authors, and there is nothing wrong in asking for that.
But that isn’t the point of this post.
The point of this post is to shed some light on the way that we should not be going about asking for this change. And it’s a huge part of what makes the fight a little…annoying for me…especially in the wonderful world of Twitter.
I’ve spoken about my feelings on Twitter, both on why I am scared to write diversely as well as when it’s okay to read non-diverse books. I’m going to get into a little of the latter right now, because it’s an issue I have.
I’ve seen so many people attacking readers for the books they enjoy. I see lovers of Sarah J. Maas get some serious shit for enjoying her stories when they are far from diverse. I’ve seen a tweet that says a book is wonderful only to have a bunch of replies condemning that reader for loving it.
Why? Because it isn’t diverse.
This can’t stand.
The problem with diversity isn’t readers enjoying stories that aren’t diverse. It’s readers enjoying stories because they aren’t diverse.
The problem isn’t that books exist that aren’t diverse. It’s books still being created that aren’t diversified.
Do you think a change will occur because you tweeted at me saying you can’t believe I love ToG. How could I do that and simultaneously support diversity? Because it’s a damn good story, that’s why. And I enjoy the world that has been created and I won’t let myself hate a book that I love.
But I will stand by you in asking Sarah J. Maas to try harder, for us, for her readers, so that we can see more diversity in those books that we love so much. I won’t offer her death threats, but I will do what I can to help these calls for diversity to be heard by all authors.
Take the issues to authors, not readers enjoying books.
Why are we fighting each other as readers and lovers of stories? I guess I wouldn’t have an issue if the tweets were kind, or just curious as to how you can like a non-diverse book while supporting diversity. But they aren’t nice. They are aggressive, and that isn’t helping a damn thing.
I will admit, I’m not one to see race, or even character descriptions, as they are described in books. I make up these images in my head and it’s not until I see fanart that I really change my mind. But I know that this is easy for me. I see myself automatically in so many characters because I am straight and white. I haven’t felt what it means to be a POC and crave that a character, a hero or heroine, looks like I do. That my ethnicity or sexual orientation is perceived as beautiful or accepted.
So for that, I want to apologize. I want to apologize if I have ever read a character that is a POC and I have perceived them as looking like me. That’s not fair. Especially when books are becoming more diverse, I don’t want to miss that diversity because I make those characters up for myself.
But if we really want to achieve this diversity across all genres and age groups, we have to stop fighting each other. We have to accept that we, as readers, can’t change the books that exist today, but we can fight for better representation in books to come.
Choose your battles and fight for diversity, not against each other.
I hope this post made sense and didn’t offend anyone. Do you see a point in fighting the readers of non-diverse books? Comments are open for discussions and opinions, but please be respectful.