I spent a considerable amount of time today arguing that cultural appropriation is not necessarily the same thing as fiction writers creating characters, and that it’s a disservice to everyone for the two to be conflated. Good arguments on this topic are explored here and here:
It is no longer enough to say that you merely disagree with something. Rather, the author must be stigmatized as a sort of dangerous thought criminal.
That being said, there are writers who use stereotypes. This is offensive, hurtful and likely harmful. It is also bad writing.
However, all fiction writing cannot be dismissed or forbidden because of bad writing. The task of the fiction writer is to walk a mile in another’s shoes. Indeed, fully realised fiction is an act of humanity: it demonstrates the all-too-often forgotten human capacity to empathically inhabit, and then convey difference. There is nothing, in my view…
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