Friday, 15 May 2009

Racefail and how it applies to my worlds.

Alright, so if you don't know what Racefail is, it was a big, huge debate that occurred in early '09 about writing and race and racism and all that stuff. I didn't really pay much attention because I was dealing with my own crap and I didn't want to expend the energy debating it. No matter what side you took, the other side would keep fighting you.

So, last week, wank stirred over a book a writer I grew up reading published where-in North America was discovered, but there were no indigenous people and another debate is brewing. Also, coincidentally, I was thinking of my stories and just how much of an equal opportunist I really am.

Elven Lacryment received a review commenting that all the elf's body types were basically the same. This is true, and then I really thought about it... They're all also either white or black. And the black ones are 'evil' because they are basically drow elves. Is this racist?

However, ShadowWolf herself is not really a hero. She herself is an unabashed racist. A white skinned racist against orcs, part of the dominant, elven race. On the other hand, she's also that world's version of a melting pot, a sub-species of elf that came about from sub-species-A and sub-species-B making sub-species-???. Lacuna elves are sort of a grab bag of chance.

Issues is prejudiced against the Glenney (drow elves). I don't want to say racist exactly, but he thinks ill of them until proven otherwise. (But then again, Issues seems to dislike everyone upon first meeting them, so there we go!)

The Glenney think themselves better than the other races, and that's purely from their own arrogance and heritage.

That's Elven Lacryment, but what about everything else?

Last night, while trying to fall asleep, I was thinking about Project C, and the races within that.

  • The main character is Latino, though he doesn't know it because in his world there is no racism, only classism.

  • His wife is white.

  • His sidekick is an Asian female.

  • His other sidekick is a white female.

  • His mentor is a white male

  • Two more friends are white males.

  • One acquaintance is a white gay male.


Does the fact that the title character is a minority give some cred? Or does it even matter? Should it?

Then, for shits and giggles, I evaluated Necropolis.

  • NecroRaver has been puttering around in my mind a lot lately, and while I know he is European (at least in ancestry), I was toying with the idea of throwing some native American in there.  But he's not. He is, however, white, male, bi-sexual and holds all the power.

  • Gail Ng is half Cantonese, half black. She's a female of considerable power, and Necro's right hand woman.

  • Melissa From is a white female and apparently a-sexual. She is also high ranking of Necro's lackeys.

  • Mary Jane is a bi-sexual, cross-dressing white male. He used to be high ranking, but that shifts sometimes.

  • Ends is white and male.

  • Panacea is a white, straight female.

  • Puzzle is white and hetero.

  • Sadie is Irish and apparently pan-sexual. A blatant sex object of Necropolis.

  • Stagger Lee is black, female, and heterosexual. She's an antagonist to NecroRaver.


Here's where it gets tricky. NecroRaver had a rival in his past named Royce from whom he acquired Gail Ng. Gail was this guy's mail order bride and he used her as he would use furniture. At times he even made her wear a head to toe robe, very similar to a burqa.  She was Royce's servant and 'obedient' wife. There to wait on him and be a willing sexual partner.

The problem is, I'm considering making Royce Middle Eastern, and that could be a problem in today's global climate. Also, I know very little of the Middle East, and don't want to muck it up and show my white privilege or anything.

I am a white, single, heterosexual, disabled, agnostic female, an Italian with red hair and green eyes.

And this is why "Write what you know" doesn't work.

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