Bookish Ramblings · Discussions

Are We Forcing Diversity??

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I have mentioned before that I’m a Latin American book blogger so, in many respects I’m part of what it’s called a diverse (minority) group – Thought I tend to think that as it is with beauty diversity is in the eye of the beholder, because I could argue that in my country Caucasians are the diverse group… but I’m digressing…

We are talking about diversity in books specifically and we know what the reigning market is.. therefore I’m a diverse minority and I’m glad that we are fighting for accurate representation and inclusion of all cultures in our books and media but I’m still wondering if we aren’t taking things a little to the extreme … This isn’t the first time I have this subject on my blog and I’m sure that it won’t be the last time either… but I decided to bring it up because I have been saying around social media and some review blogs comments that even if they advocate for diversity I don’t think they do it in a positive way….

Is it really that bad if an author decides not to include a LGBTQ+ character in his or her book? If you feel that one particular character in the story could have been better being LGBTQ+ ; that’s great! you can comment on that and suggest it to the author for future works but I don’t call their work crap because it didn’t have it in the first place… particularly if it not a relevant issue to the actual storyline…

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I’m the kind of person who prefers to read about something well thought out — whatever this may involve … a LGBTQ+ relationship or a coming of age character story that deals with acceptance of either cultural background or sexual preference… an accurate  (cultural representation mind you, not just the usual tick in the box) .. but if I don’t have it “perfectly” done I won’t fault the author for it… unless the content turns out racist, or misogynistic, or just discriminatory in any way… I guess you might say I’m kind of used to being misrepresented… since all Latin Americans fall into the Mexican bag of tricks (it’s like we are all the same and that it’s not true), I guess anyone of Asian descent can sympathize with me since that happens to them a lot too…

My point in this awfully long rambling is that I don’t think we should take out our pitchforks on just every book out there that has an all-white.., or an all straight set of characters – if the story is inherently good and entertaining – then just enjoy it and give the suggestion for a next book about how enriching having a multiracial set of characters could be… but don’t just trash their work because it’s not exactly what you wanted, don’t call them racists just because of their lack of multicultural characters… Give them a chance to evolve like the whole world needs to evolve… and that it’s not something that happens overnight.. We still have a lot of work to do…

Maybe we should focus on praising those with excellent grasps of cultural differences, and inclusive content, instead of just badmouthing all the rest… You get better results with honey than with vinegar in my opinion… Then again I know that a lot of times this “controversy” has to do with trending topics and comments and views and likes – and often times less with the reality of diversity and representation… because some of the books being targeted haven’t even been read by those who are thrashing them…

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Anyway, that it’s why I fear we are just trying to force a situation (even if the original intention is good) in this case it is diversity.. and I fear that the result may just be a tick on box to mark my multicultural LGBTQ+ character… and that’s it… The true representation just becomes a show… I don’t think we want that… so be more thought full of how we can get our points across without letting all become a witch hunt… extremes aren’t helpful and we should know that very well…

What is your take on diversity? What do you prefer, a better representation or just the usual tick of the box? Let me know your opinion the comments below..

As Always

Happy Reading

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15 thoughts on “Are We Forcing Diversity??

  1. Well said! This sort of topic gets very controversial very quickly but I completely agree. I get why so many folks are really pushing for diversity (my family and I are Mexican), it feels great when you see a proper representation of yourself and your culture in a book but I don’t think that it’s necessary to bad mouth authors for having a lack of diversity. Sometimes authors aren’t comfortable writing what they don’t know so they choose not to in order not to offend anyone by accidentally misrepresenting a group of people. It’s funny, my post for tomorrow is similar to this and revolves around this topic. I’m glad someone else is thinking about this subject similarly. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great posts! I do agree that we might be forcing diversity. It seems like a lot of books that are coming out seems to have diversity in them, which is great! Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing it. I’m all for books that have it but I’m also just fine with books that don’t have it either.

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  3. I so agree with what you are saying here. Many of the books I read feel like the author is just checking off a box, “yep got my diversity rep, check”. I really hope that with time this will start to disappear and true rep will start to happen. Great post.

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  4. I agree with you on this! I think a few authors are now trying to “cash in” or tick a box which just hurts the community more. In terms of diversity I would rather author/publishers/etc. sit down and think about what the word actually means because it doesn’t just mean poc or lgbtq+ people, as much as they need their stories to be told! Diversity covers so many different groups of people with different skin colours, ethnicities, body shapes and abilities – it can cover anything from the type of work a character does, to how much money they have, to their family situation to whether they have to walk to school or push their wheelchair. It’s impossible to put all of that into one book without exhausting the reader, but diversity doesn’t just mean two things because there are so many other voices not being heard.

    I really believe that if the content is good then it’s good, if it has “diverse” characters or good conversation along that topic than that’s fantastic but I don’t want authors to write characters they don’t understand into their books just to fill a quota or tick a box because that only makes the problem more of a problem in the reading community.

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    1. Great comment, it’s exactly how I feel… I would rather read a book with good content, and if it has good representation of anything… that’s great… but not just ticking the appropiatew boxes and that seems to be the case nowdays… and I fear that we are mostly to be blame because we don’t even know what we want in terms of diverse reading …

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  5. It’s such a tough topic because I definitely get why people want to see more diversity in books, but you don’t want it to be forced. When I look around my world and my community, I see LOTS of different people, so it makes sense that the diversity I see in real life should be represented in books I write, but I agree that we maybe shouldn’t beat up on people who don’t show every type of diversity in their books.

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  6. I recently was talking about this on a review. I am an Indian and of late there are so many books with Indian characters. While I am loving the attention, it often feels so forced and stereotypical that I wish there were fewer of them. I love the post.

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    1. That happens to me too… I’m from Venezuela and it’s not usually that I get to see a character from my country (it’s quite rare actually) but when I do see my country mentioned it tends to be with any topic pulled out of a headline without any investigation… or background..

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Fantastic post, my friend. You said everything I’ve been thinking, but haven’t really voiced. I 100% agree that we need to stop forcing diversity and let it happen naturally. I also love your comment about putting away our pitchforks and praising the authors who do it right. Let’s stop giving even more attention to the problematic books because, as they say, any press is good press.

    Liked by 1 person

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