Diversity is About Opening Your Eyes

Is your too straight! Make that one gay! Yaay everyone happy! Nope!

The first point is that diversity is not including a person that belongs to a “minority” and shoving it into your story.

It’s not either the problem of looking at political correctness; checking all the boxes and making sure no one gets angry. Because for me that’s hypocrisy to the fullest. And it’s just wrong.

 

Perhaps I should talk about my views on that matter first so that you can understand my later point.

I am very deeply against communitarianism. I am against the idea of shoving a group of people together, linking them by a few they share traits. Now I understand that in politics and sociology, it’s important to have certain terms that cover a group so that can be named, and rights may be given to them, such as people of colour, or LGBT. However, I believe, that as an author you should scrap those from your brain. I believe in the beauty of the individual.

I dislike those types of terms, because for example; people of colour lumps together the majority of the population covering our planet. I rather believe that the experience of a Japanese twelve-year-old living in a middle class is quite different to the life of an elderly black Caribbean woman.

 

I also hate it because it creates otherness. And anything that creates otherness, for anyone, is for me a trashy thing to do. Seeing my past and how my otherness has led to a lot of pain, it’s under stable that that is my point of view.

 

I am, however, very much aware that communities do exist, and shouldn’t be ignored. Countries, empires, political groups, social groups formed by a hierarchy. All of these do need to be taken into account. What I am saying, is that they should never for you be a simple summary of an individual’s experience.

 

And most of all, I believe in the opening of your eyes and your hearts to as many things as possible. Not to communities, but to certain people that are as alien to you as possible. Reach as far and wide and search for difference and look at it with as broad eyes as you can.

And you need to look with eyes as neutral as you can, without ever considering a hierarchy between what discover and yourself.  A lot of things will seem extremely strange.

For example; western civilizations have gone through the dark ages where they were controlled a lot by the Catholic religion. And during that time period, sex, of course, became a sin if done before marriage. The root of that is, I think because women would die easily in childbirth at that time and it was a means to try and prevent it. Agree or disagree with how it was handled, but it installed into western civilization a certain view of sex that is still held a lot today; straight monogamous and dutiful sex is the one held up as a high standard. Now I’m not criminalizing you if you still believe it. However, if you learn about other societies, well their views on sex may be, and most probably will be drastically different to yours.

So my advice; take a big dose of neutrality, and go out and learn.

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