This made me so happy! Characters of color almost make up a MAJORITY of the characters!!! Where have you ever seen that in a video game before?? This is an example of Her hearing the desire for more diversity and giving it to us, and for that, I respect them. Keep up the good work, guys, and keep asking for diversity.
It is so good to see that there’s more diversity in this game as well.
Native people have had to deal for decades with stereotyping. Thanks to mass media, it seems as if every non-Native person from the 19th century to today has an idea of what a “real” Indian looks like.
It’s an image involving feathers, beads, tipis, bows and arrows, hunting buffalo on horseback, long black hair and a deeply tanned skin. Lacking those accouterments may result in one’s authenticity being questioned. Or lead to the question which frequently follows such an observation: “How much Indian blood do you have?”
(Alas, I had not brought along the dipstick I sometimes have thrust into my belt which enables me to respond to that latter query by pulling said dipstick out and saying “I seem to be down by a quart.”)
A wonderful post about identity and language from author Joseph Bruchac (Killer of Enemies).
For those of you who haven’t read my review of the Divergent book, here it is.
The film came out last weekend, and I’ve seen it twice, so here are my thoughts. All spoilers will be announced, so feel free to read on even if you haven’t read the book or seen the movie.
First off, I’m going to talk about my expectations of the film, then I’m going to talk about the reality of the film and what I liked versus what I didn’t like in comparison with the book.
I’ll be honest: I was not excited for this movie. While I enjoyed the book, and do plan on reading the sequels, I was not enthralled by it. So, the movie already kind of had one strike against it before I even saw the trailer for it.
And then the trailer came out and it was sort of…meh. Like the book, it left me feeling kind of in the middle. So that was strike two.
Beyond that, I was not sure how I felt about the casting. I like Shailene Woodley, though I haven’t seen her in anything besides Secret Life of the American Teenager, which was an awful show that was only marginally successful because of her awesome acting. However, I couldn’t picture her as Tris. Even when the trailer came out, she just felt off compared to what I had envisioned.
I was 100% against Miles Teller as Peter. I hated that casting choice, because the only movie I’d ever seen Miles Teller in was 21 and Over, and I thought that he would be too goofy and sarcastic for a role that was supposed to be a little more menacing. And don’t even get me started on how much I disliked the casting of Theo James. I thought that he was way too old and serious-looking to be Four, and when he stood next to Shailene Woodley he made her look, like, fourteen in comparison, which just added to the creepy factor.
Based on my expectations, this movie was officially out.
And then I actually saw it.
Idea for a two-volume book series:
- Book one: a life-affirming story about pretentious teens with superiority complexes who have experiences and give nauseatingly quotable musings on philosophy and what it means to be alive, which often involves their enjoyment of books and tea and their condescending view of the popular kids as sheep
- Book two: the same exact story, except this time it's being narrated by the teacher who has to deal with these asshole kids on a daily basis but is legally barred from saying "are you fucking kidding me" when they say some pretentious bullshit about how they prefer the smell of old books to the taste of alcohol. The teacher is re-telling the story to her friend at the bar, and her friend refuses to accept that these children could POSSIBLY be as pretentious as she makes them sound
When it comes to YA lit, media, etc — is all representation good? Representation certainly matters, but to what extent does the need for representation of marginalized groups in fiction excuse shoddily written characters and stereotypes? Short answer: It doesn’t.
After reading that VERY thought provoking article by Kelly Jensen on Bookriot, felt a need to respond. Or rant. Or whatever.
Sorry to hijack your post, Miss Dessen, but I really appreciate you putting this into words, because I’ve been saying the exact same thing about your books since I started reading them. They are wonderful, and the love stories are wonderful, but they are so much more than that, and most books in general are so much more than a sub-category.
Thankfully, the Alaskan Barnes and Noble doesn’t separate between YA and YA Romance, so I do not yet have to deal with the frustration.
There has been a lot of talk about diversity lately, and that is awesome. I think everyone can agree that diversity is something we want more of in books/TV/movies. But before you go and write the other (be they a person of color/differing sexual orientation/identity/disabled) into your book, I…
I’m starting to understand the real failings of multi-cultural education growing up in K-12 schools. We gave everyone access to the “fun” parts of culture. Let’s sing the dreidel song! Now we understand the Jewish experience. Let’s talk about segregation. Wasn’t that wrong. Aren’t we glad it’s over? Let’s take turns reading parts of the “I Have a Dream” speech. We had access to the easy stuff without having to really examine the hard stuff. And we were giving easy access to things that aren’t “ours” and shouldn’t be “ours.” So you can’t just pick up the “fun” stuff and put it into your party theme or Facebook pictures. I’m using simple terms like fun because that’s how multiculturalism was given to us as children. And while it may have served a purpose at the time, it gave us too much access to claim things that aren’t ours.
I honestly, honestly think that is some of the reasons why the race parties are such a horrible fad on college campuses. They are carrying on what we did in elementary school. Let’s make culture a party! Everyone bring your cultural food and put on a costume! The racism is present and good percentage of the participants are really expressing deep rooted racism. But some truly don’t want to “understand why it’s wrong” when they are re-enacting what we used to do with culture in elementary schools. Culture was supposed to be fun. “I don’t understand why you are mad now? I thought culture was a party!” Party’s over kids. Put down the head-dress.
In some ways it was easier for my generation. Racism was blatant and obvious. The “Whites Only” signs let us know clearly, what we were up against. Not much has changed, but the system of lies and trickology is much more sophisticated. Today young people have to be highly informed and acutely analytical, or they will be swept up into a whirlpool of lies and deception.
Assata Shakur, Honey Magazine debut issue (1998)
My friend shared this quote with me today and I instantly remembered another great quote from Assata Shakur that I feel is crucial to be absorbed when reading the quote above “No one is going to give you the education you need to overthrow them. Nobody is going to teach you your true history, teach you your true heroes, if they know that that knowledge will help set you free”.
See this goes out to people who constantly think those of us in this generation are too sensitive or are always looking for racism when it’s just that we realize how tactics have changed…racism has never gone away they’ve just tried to change the face of the game…
awkwardnoob asked: Writing is about freedom. Someone should choose to make a certain kind of character on their own, not feel pressured to do so.
If you bend over backwards feeling sorry for even having to think about putting people who are different from your in your stories, you are in the wrong. No one is going to break into your house and force you to make your characters people of color. They can, however, choose not to read books that don’t bother including them.
People of color aren’t aliens, LGTBQ folks aren’t unicorns, disabled people don’t just vanish when you stop thinking about them. We exist, and to not even consider reflecting that in your stories is poor, selfish writing.