"Black Lives Matter is a racist thing to say, all lives matter!"
"A writing contest for LGBTQIAPN people isn't fair to heterosexuals."
"Black Entertainment Television is willing segregation... and racist."
I'm hearing more people utter comments like these (or worse) these past months. Many white, cishet,* able-bodied, Christian (sometimes Atheist) people can't understand why an organisation might exist that they can't enter. These people claim minorities would be rallying against any group that denies them entry.
So, I'm going to break stuff down.
Saying Black Lives Matter isn't saying other lives don't.
African-American people are saying they shouldn't be unjustly killed, arrested, etc. White people mattering is a given in our society and thus, why they aren't included in the saying. If someone already got everything on their shopping list, you wouldn't remind them to get something on that list.
Minorities need their own spaces.
Because we don't get representation proportional to our percentage in society (minimum). And we don't get varied portrayals like the majority get. Or the amount of opportunity. The bigotry some have make certain spaces unsafe for us (violence, threats, dehumanization).
Our spaces give us places to thrive while we try to counteract centuries of society's ingrained, prejudiced beliefs.
Instead of complaining about how unfair it is to not have (the relatively few) chances reserved for minorities open to everyone, maybe people should think about why those groups exist. Why aren't there more Asians in movies? Why are disabled people around 2% of media portrayals when they are almost 20% of the population? Why are Sci-fi authors seen by a wide audience as good only if they're men?
If everyone had equal chances at everything without oppression or any other negative factor on the board, there wouldn't be such a need for us to make our own pockets of support. But society is still not welcoming. We are still not safe or given the possibility of being seen as worthy. To many, we are still second-class.
And those people don't want it to change. Giving us more chances equals less chances for them. A literary magazine that publishes minorities at a rate of 3% per issue with the majority making up the rest could start publishing minority writers at 15%, but it means the majority gets 12% less than before. Few people like giving up their advantages and perks, even if they didn't earn them. And if they don't see the ones taking something from them as their peers? A lot of anger and disgust builds.
Maybe, someday, I won't have to keep explaining these things because there won't be a need for them. At least, that's the hope.
*cishet means someone is not transgender and is heterosexual
Well said! At a con I recently attended, we were talking about the pyramid of representation, and how that very scarcity of characters that are something besides an able-bodied, cisgendered, white male between 25 and 35 makes single characters have to carry a crazy burden of complete representation. The key is to write more of them so each can just be a person rather than an entire category.ReplyDelete
Our world is incredibly diverse. Our media should reflect that.Delete
People who don't believe we have issues with representation and support bug me.