Why Diversity Matters

I was tossing about this idea for a while. Whether to write this post or not but hey, here we are, so we’ll see if this gets published. if you’re reading this then I think its safe to say I published it. To those who are white like me, to those who are white and straight: the world whether it’s real or fictional doesn’t and shouldn’t revolve around you (us). Here’s why diversity matters to me and why it’s high time it should matter to you…(if it doesn’t already!)

Our world isn’t white. So let’s stop white washing everything: from characters in books to on screen. The colour of someone’s skin shouldn’t make them any less valid than someone who is white. 

Our world isn’t straight. Be inclusive not because you want brownie points, be inclusive because our world is full of talented, funny, beautiful people from all walks of life who can identify however the hell they want to. Also when you have a bi character lets stop portraying them as being greedy/indecisive/in a love triangle which ends badly because a bi character is still bi when dating the opposite gender and is still bi when dating the same gender. We don’t turn straight or gay guys. 

We don’t have just two genders. Look you don’t have to agree with there being more than two genders, but you can at least respect it. Something I’m trying to do daily (until it’s ingrained in me) is using they/them pronouns unless the person has stated/said what they prefer people to use. 

Acknowledge the privilege we have. We’re white. We didn’t choose to be born white but hey here we are, so please acknowledge the privilege you were born into. We don’t have to fight as hard for our voice to get heard. We have so much representation across the media its ridiculous. 

Listen to others. We don’t know what it’s like to be in a minority group. Don’t dismiss others voices, lift them up, listen, learn and grow from other’s experiences. Don’t dismiss/invalidate their experiences because they’re nothing like yours or they don’t count because xyz. 

Diversity matters to me because it means seeing my friends get the representation they deserve and shouldn’t have to wait so long for. It matters to me because I want to read about other cultures/minority groups and slowly with the more media consumed which has accurate rep I can build up an understanding of what it’s like for them. Saying you don’t like a book and giving it a low rating because you can’t identify with it…I mean I can’t relate to being a vampire but I’m not about to give a vampire book 1 star. 

Kids shouldn’t have to grow up reading books and wonder why none of the characters are like them. I grew up reading books and inadvertently white washed the characters until I was a teen and realised what I’d been doing for so many years. Simply because there wasn’t diversity to show me, because so many of the things I consumed growing up were very heavy on the white cis hetero characters and that is not the world we live in. 

It sure as hell isn’t a world I want to live in. I want to celebrate other people’s cultures, learn about them, learn the names given to them at birth if they choose to share it with me. I’ll try my best to pronounce it and I’ll likely ask you how you pronounce it because your names shouldn’t be butchered. We shouldn’t be forcing people to change their name/use a nickname because we’ve been so ignorant and they’re tired of dealing with ignorance. You should be able to use your name if it’s the name you love and were given, I’m just saddened knowing so many of my friends chose to shorten/use a nickname to avoid the mispronunciation of their name.

I’m sorry if I’ve ever come across ignorant or butchered your real name…I’m also sorry if I’ve ever unknowingly said something which has hurt you. It was never my intention. I want to learn, with that born in mind. If you feel like it, please leave in the comments your rec’s for books you’ve loved which you’ve felt seen/represented by and likewise with any films/series. I don’t have Netflix but I will do my best to get access to them so I can watch them. 

 

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9 thoughts on “Why Diversity Matters

  1. Thank you so much for posting this, it shows just how important this is to you by the way you’ve written about it and I was like you, inadvertently whitewashing in my teen years and seeing so many diverse books thanks to the online book community has just really expanded my world so much

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Kids shouldn’t have to grow up reading books and wonder why none of the characters are like them. ” This is very similar to a comment that Tan France made in his autobio. This is an important post and I’m so glad you decided to publish it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such an important topic to talk about and I am so glad you have written this post, Clo!
    The whitewashing of characters is something you can’t really prevent but spreading awareness is important and I hope people see this post and realise their mistakes and be more inclusive.

    Like

  4. Like you, I grew up reading books with all white characters, and despite the fact that I’m a Latina girl, I never thought anything of it. I never asked myself why the characters didn’t look like me, and I just assumed that was how it worked.

    It wasn’t until I started reading diverse books that I realized how much of a problem it was. Eventually, when I did find characters more like me, I was thrilled! I had never felt represented, and to this day I can only think of very few characters like me, but I now wonder why the misrepresentation didn’t bother me until I got older. Now I enjoy reading mostly diverse books, or I try to.

    I love this post, Clo! 💕 It has a very important message and I agree that diversity in many forms of media should matter more than it currently does.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awh Xandra, I’m so happy you’ve finally found some representation in the books you read.

      I hope you get to read more books with characters like you, you deserve all the representation that I’ve always had and never realised until I started blogging.

      Ah I’m so glad you loved the post ❤

      Like

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