Saturday, January 2, 2010

On sexism, racism & politics in books

Ok, ok. I know I seriously struck out with yesterday's blog. How do I know? Well, the fact that I only got one comment (and it was on Facebook, mind you) about how funny my pictures are pretty much gave it away! LOL.

I know we all hate editing, guys, but it still needed to be said. Kinda like the dentist. We all hate it, but we have to do it.

Moving on, today we are discussing racism, sexism and politics in writing. Why? Because I can (insert scary, evil laugh here)!

Actually, writing is a phenomenal medium for stating your political beliefs either blatantly or subtly. Our art form gives us that freedom, and our readers eat it up!

Ok, if you haven't figured it out by now, I am out of the closet. Not just out - I went flying out of it years ago! :) I put the "B" in GLBT, baby! ;)

What does that have to do with anything? Everything! As an out person, I use my books to discuss the hatred that I have seen and experienced towards all of us in the GLBT community. If you've read Loving Her, you know EXACTLY what I'm talking about. Imperfect will also discuss similar themes. I can use my personal life and my craft to point out just how evil and ignorant prejudice is! Ha ha! Take that, biggots! LOL.

I do the same for racism. I mean c'mon!

I'm Puerto Rican,



and Hungarian!

What does that mean? It means I can curse you out in a few different languages, so play nice! LOL.

Seriously though, I am able to use the racism and prejudice various members of my family faced and incorporate that into my story lines. Once again, I have no problem using my books to tell the world how I feel about racism.

Then there's sexism. Oh sweet sexism! Let's see...I'm an openly out, loud, out-spoken, multi-lingual writer who puts her political views in her books. Oh yeah, you know I'm going after sexism HARDCORE! LOL. :)

If you notice, everyone in Loving Her is well established in the various careers. Not one of them is unsuccessful.

Carol and Alex are both very intelligent and successful in Imperfect.

Lareina in Unbreakable Hostage is smart, strong, and very sharp witted.

All of my female characters are strong, have strong personalities and prove that they can hold their own in the world. Have I gone overboard with that? Personally, I don't think so. I've dealt with so much sexism in my life, it's been very important to me to have strong, capable, and intelligent heroines. My readers may not even realize it as they're reading these stories, but I am proving to the world, that I (and all women) are capable of amazing things (and we shouldn't be disregarded simply because of our gender). Am I a Feminazi? I wouldn't go that far. But I do prove that chicks rule! LOL.

My point is this, blogger world: we all have different agendas, different beliefs, different politics. It's ok to disagree. We can't all see eye to eye, and that is part of what makes this world so great! Just because you & I may not agree on every little thing doesn't mean we can't appreciate each other's writing, even if our politics is in our writing. That's a good thing. It's a damn good thing, actually. 'Cause you're making your readers THINK. Now that is the mark of great art!


ChainsawChick said...

I love your blog!! We all fight for equality in our own ways and your books are a great platform to speak your mind.

Chelle Cordero said...

When I was in Junior High School there was a teacher who made us debate topics we didn't necessarily agree with - such as gun ownership, abortion, busing (NYC in the 60's), etc.

He always starting out by asking our honest opinions and then assigning us to debate for the OTHER side. His explanation was that we could only be sure of our beliefs if we really understood all viewpoints.

It was a terrific lesson and one that has served me well in life. It is a very good thing to read/listen to all opinions, it keeps your mind open.

Sun Singer said...

I hope that our many centuries of cultural conditioning about traditional gender, political, spiritual, and other "identity issues" won't take as long to fix as they took to become broken. Sometimes, it's mind-boggling within the Judeo-Christian-Muslim world to see that values (right and wrong) we hold true today go back into pre-history. No wonder change is outside people's comfort zone.

Our fiction is a good way to address these issues, I think, and that just might be a stronger approach than nonfiction. That is, a well-crafted stories gets to people at deeper levels than a ranting blog or a speech.

My two cents.