Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Writers should not have politically correct guns held to their heads

I think it would be great if more strong-willed female characters became common in fiction. I love Captain Plasma. Captain Plasma stands out from other characters like her because she is cool enough to be stocked in the "boy" isle of the toy store. This is big. Because through gender stereotypes we've brainwashed little boys into thinking if you play with "girl" toys than you are "a wussy" ... except for Plasma. She's cool enough to be one of the boys. And that's great.

It would be nice if in addition to more characters like Plasma that it became more common for people of colour, transgendered, and gay and lesbian characters to become more common as well. But I don't think writers should be forced into adding them. There is this growing movement of wanting to hold a politically correct gun to writer's heads and force them to add more diverse characters and that pisses me off so much.

What a writer does and the choices he/she makes is theirs alone to make. We are not going to make these changes happen through whinging, nagging, and bitching about it online. It irritates me when people criticise Disney for not having a disabled Disney Princess or for Girls for not having any black characters or for the Walking Dead killing off black characters because it just shouts me! me! me!

Writers do not owe people anything and writers are not public property that can be controlled with a vote. If you do not like the Disney princesses or the characters in Girls or in the Walking Dead...then write your own. It's not hard. Well, no it is hard. But it's not impossible. Just sit down at a computer and stare at it until you get an idea. We shouldn't shackle writers to political correctness and force them to write what we think is acceptable not if its not the story they want to tell. And what annoys me in particular about the complaints directed toward the Walking Dead is that it is so...misplaced and stupid. There are a lot of black characters on that show and people of other races who have been alive for a long time. In fact I would go as far to say the Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead are two of the most racially diverse shows on television. But it's not good enough for these people. They always find something to complain about. They've convinced themselves that the shows are racist. But it's not racist to kill off a black character. And it's not like white characters are never killed off on the show. I get such an angry twitch when I hear these people complain because they hate no right to tell Robert Kirkman how to write his books. He can kill off whoever he wants.

There's a lot of comics out there that have female characters in it that I hate. The anti-Plasma's if you will. These are the old cliche female "super heroes" with giant breasts, tight round bums, and outfits so tight you can see their camel toes. When I see figurines of them in the shops I'm torn between annoyance and rolling my eyes and laughing a little because they are really, really stupid looking. But the people who write those comics and the people who enjoy them can like that stuff if they want. I'm not going to hold a politically correct gun to their heads and force them to change. Instead it's better to step back and wait for the change to happen slowly, naturally, on its own. Because writers should be able to express themselves however they want. They shouldn't be censored or forced into a tight narrow little politically correct cage. Do we really want writers to be chained to some sort of politically correct rule book? to have some sort of quota for diversity in their cast? Do we really want writers to have to justify why the black character died? or why Becky hasn't got any black friends?

Politics should stay out of creativity.