I’m a writer. I’ve got lots of ideas and when I look at a lot of the “draft” versions of these ideas, I see something that disturbs me… it really disturbs me more because I just watched a video pointing out a terrible injustice. But back on track, what do I notice that disturbs me?
Penises. Penises disturb me.
Get your head out of the gutter. I’m saying a lot of my characters are male. Damn.
Growing up in the midwest, with the ethnic diversity of a glass of milk. Yep, white and completely lacking actual diversity. Diversity where I’m from is a handful of Native Americans. No, literally less than fifteen.
If I took a critical look at my ideas, right now, I’d say that a good chunk of my characters are white males and those white males are almost exclusively in prominent roles that aren’t the main ones. Yep, I’m writing from my experience… of growing up.
Well, this sounds like a wonderful revelation that just dawned on me but I’ve got to break character here and relay a little bit more information before I return to the fiction that is me discovering my lack of diversity.
Several weeks ago, I made a conscious decision to switch up a lot of the characters I’m claiming are still white males. I also diversified the ethnicity a while back, too. I’ve changed my science fiction starship crew lineup to many different ethnic backgrounds and I’ve changed up the genders so that men aren’t even the predominant gender. My superhero shared universe was already fairly diverse (because I believe if we are to have superheroes literally running around fighting evil that they’ll be all over the globe and very little making them similar except for super powers) and they just needed a nudge to turn a “Black Widow amongst the rest of the sausages on Avengers” to be at least equal. There are other things I’ve done that have turned things around but I wanted to tell this story in a way that made me seem to just realize things.
Back to the tale.
The video I watched on Facebook was about girls looking for superhero action figures of the on screen women. The video pointed out that there are 20 comic book movies coming out in the next decade and only two of them have a female lead… LEAD, not a sidekick or a background character or someone part of a team. Yep, Wonder Woman is the only one I can name without Googling the other one. How sad is that?
So I’m going to start changing a lot of my characters into women. I’m going to start being more thoughtful about what backgrounds my characters are coming from… because 65 white males with capes is a little obnoxious when you barely have anyone else wearing a cape that isn’t a white male.
The “don’t change the gender or the skin color” idiots are obviously stupid. Johnny Storm was great as a black man in the Fantastic Four movie… the movie wasn’t good, but that had nothing to do with an ethnicity swap. We need to see more of that type of thing in media.
This is going to be a shorter column… but at least I’m putting one out and I’m making a concerted effort to be more inclusive when I’m writing.
Think on it.