It could open something like this: In a diverse world, is fantasy and science fiction literature open to the largest possible view of the world and its cultures? If not, why not? What am I as writer, as reader, and as viewer doing to promote and highlight a more realistic view of the world’s diversity?
But such an opening already presupposes that I’m writing from the stance of a cultural hegemony centering around Euro/American settings and its structural, political, historical, and religious backdrops. The phrase “a more realistic view” already situates me within a US-centric sphere. It begs the question: More realistic than what?
The instant I say “diversity” what I mean, whether I want to or not, is that I’m writing to an audience in which the default mode lies in being male, white, and mostly straight. Or, to quote writer Aliette de Bodard, the [phrase] “‘importance of diversity’ boils down to ‘why white people benefit from seeing POCs in fiction.’”
POC, for those of you who may not know this acronym, in this instance stands for ‘people of color.’ I agree with Bodard, and I want to add that for the purposes of this post, I’m speaking of diversity in its largest sense, to include gender, gender identity, ethnicity, race, religion, nationality, language, class, and so on.
I’m weary of having this conversation over and over again. Continue reading