Tag Archives: discrimination

My Daughter Can Do Anything

I have a four-year-old daughter. She likes pink and purple. She loves wearing skirts. She loves dolls, My Little Pony, Frozen, Pretty Cure, and drawing hearts and flowers. She also loves cars, trains, and airplanes. She has shown interest in ballet and singing. She’s also shown interest in soccer and baseball. She is full of energy, strong-willed, stubborn, and takes control over whatever group she’s playing with.

She has shown a very strong ability to problem solve, work with her hands, do puzzles that are meant for older kids, and create things with Lego. She has an incredible imagination, as I would expect kids to have. Within a few months, she should be fully bilingual in Japanese and English. She loves numbers. She loves animals.

She’s told me she wants to be a ballerina, singer, and a doctor.

She can do it. She can be whatever she wants. She can do anything she wants. If she wants to join a baseball team, then I’ll be there cheering for her. If she becomes the top kid in her school in math, I will be very happy for her. If she wants to become a singer and go on a show like Canada’s Got Talent, then I’ll be behind her all the way.

I will not tolerate people who tell her she can’t do something because she’s a girl. If she has a teacher who ignores her ability to do math, tells her that girls can’t do math, I won’t hesitate to tell the teacher that I will be reporting them to the Principal and school board for their sexism. If she’s a great pitcher, and her baseball coach has her sitting on the bench because she’s a girl and girls can’t throw, I will not tolerate that. I want her to be recognised for her ability, not her gender. If she’s bad at something, then she can practice more. She needs to earn her place. But if she’s ever told she can’t do something because she’s a girl, I will not be a pleasant person to deal with.

She will do what she wants to do. I will support her dreams. I won’t let her settle with what society expects of her. She needs to do what she desires. It’s her life to live, not anyone else’s. I’m happy to live in a society that supports this. But there’s still a long way to go.

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Disgusted: Paris and More

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Sometimes, it takes an event like the terrorist attacks in Paris to make people think about how completely screwed up the world is today. Paris is a reminder that this kind of thing is happening in many parts of the world. It’s not the deadliest attack by a long way, but it is very high profile, and it happened in a country where people should be safe. If it can happen in Paris, it can happen anywhere.

People are complaining that this is getting a lot of media attention while the attacks in Lebanon, Palestine, and Africa are getting little attention. The problem is, it’s always happening in those places, and we’ve become desensitized to it. When it happens in a place like Paris, everyone notices. But whether it happens in Beirut, Lagos, or Paris, all of the lives that were lost matter.

Look at the deaths due to terrorist attacks so far in November:

  • West Bank: 5
  • Somalia: 12
  • Egypt: 3
  • Lebanon: 48
  • Iraq: 31
  • Chad: 3
  • Cameroon: 4
  • France: 128+

These numbers don’t include the terrorists, only the victims. But look at October:

  • Philippines: 4
  • West Bank: 2
  • Turkey: 106
  • Australia: 1
  • Nigeria: 98
  • East Jerusalem: 5
  • Niger: 8
  • Iraq: 64
  • Yemen: 7
  • Israel: 3
  • Chad: 38
  • Cameroon: 9
  • Saudi Arabia: 7
  • Pakistan: 33
  • Bangladesh: 2
  • Afghanistan: 6
  • Egypt: 224

Really disgusting. I’m feeling pretty speechless by all of this.  It’s hard to put into words how I’m feeling.

I just wish they would stop. These acts of terrorism are done by people who have no compassion, no sense of what being human is. They have no capacity to understand people who are different than them.

And then I hear about people saying we should shut out all the Syrian refugees. That’s not going to help anything. More than anything, it’ll create even more resentment by the refugees, and will breed more violence. These people are running for their lives, running from the very same terrorists that want to destroy western civilisation. You know who most of the victims of terrorism are? Muslims. Most of this is Muslim on Muslim violence. And those terrorists are extremists. They represent such a small percentage of the population that they do not represent everyone. I know Muslims who are wonderful people.

What I can’t stand is people who are willing to discriminate against the majority of Muslims who are good people just to try to keep out extremists and terrorists. That won’t work. And I really can’t stand people who will tell Canadian Muslims to get out of our country when those very Muslims want nothing but to live their lives in peace.

Going to the even more extreme are the people who want to stop immigration altogether. Two of my grandparents were immigrants. My wife will be an immigrant. I won’t stand for that. Especially from people I know.

All I want is for people to stop their idiotic fighting and try to get along. If you can’t get along, then just don’t talk to each other and keep to yourselves. There’s no need to bother others and impose your set of beliefs on everyone. Obey the laws of the country you live in. Don’t try to impose your religious or personal beliefs on the government of the country you live in. Respect the law, and respect others’ rights to live their lives peacefully within the law. It’s actually a very easy thing to do. I don’t know why people have to make it so difficult.

This isn’t all about France, of course. This is about everyone. I long for a peaceful world where everyone can live without fearing who’s going to hate them for religious or cultural reasons. It’s a cycle that just keeps going and going. It never ends, does it?

Authors Answer 42 – To Be PC or Not To Be PC

Political correctness has taken over, hasn’t it? It seems that almost anything can offend someone, so we make sure everything is gender neutral, religiously neutral, racially neutral, and so on. We don’t want to offend anyone, do we? But what about in literature? Should we be PC?

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 42: Does political correctness have a place in your writing?

H. Anthe Davis

I’m not sure what this means.  I don’t write Earth cultures, so the societies are different.  People fight about different things.  I do keep an eye out for story-elements that could be construed as racist/sexist from our perspective, but my personal opinion is that most of those problems, in fiction, come from treating the characters as props instead of people.  Since I try to fully flesh out my characters and their cultures, no matter how minor, I think it goes some way toward heading off those complaints.  Though I suppose there is one thing I do: I avoid derogatory terms for women or femininity unless they’re really necessary, because those just piss me off.

Paul B. Spence

Obviously you haven’t read my writing. J No, I don’t tend to be particularly politically correct, which is not to say I’m offensive for the sake of being offensive. I try to make sure I’m only offending the people I want to offend.

Caren Rich

Don’t get me started on this! I equate political correctness with censorship. My mama always told me there was a way to state your opinion without it being a personal attack. And she’s right. The first amendment guarantees you the right to BE offended. My high school government teacher was a brilliant woman. She told us repeatedly she would rather racists, and others, have the right to say what they want. That way you knew who they are.

In writing, we have to be true to our characters. People are not perfect and life is messy. We need to remember that when we write. It’s hard. I know I have a little voice that creeps up and yells, “Don’t write that! Your mama won’t like it.” At that point I have to re-evaluate what I’ve written and the character, to make sure that it’s still true to the story and character.

I’m not saying you should run out and write hate filled books and call it literature.  But at the same time, there is a way to write about difficult or unpopular ideas.

Eric Wood

It depends on the time period I’m writing. If I’m writing current material then political correctness has it’s place. I’ve written a few pieces where political correctness went out the window simply because my characters weren’t politically correct. I tend to be a PC person so my characters usually are, also. Writing non-PC is tough for me if I’m writing in the current time period.

Jean Davis

I try to portray my characters as honestly as possible. Some of them aren’t very politically correct. Some of them are. It’s not something that I give much thought to when shaping a story.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Yes and no. I do make a conscious effort to avoid the kinds of things that tend to offend people and get them all riled up. However, I don’t hold back if I feel the story warrants it. So, for instance, in “Nowhere to Hide” there is a fair bit of profane language, because I felt that it would be ridiculously unlikely that everyone would remain prim and proper in the face of flesh-eating undead monsters. Above all else a writer has to make their story feel like it could really happen, to get their reader to fall deep into the world, and if you avoid political incorrectness it could very well be at the cost of making your characters and your story feel unrealistic.

Gregory S. Close

No.  Although delivering a sensible and honest diversity in my writing to engage the broadest possible base of readers does have a place.  I work to make sure that I represent different genders, outlooks, sensibilities, orientations etc. in a fair and honest way, both to the character and the delivery of story.

For example, I would never place a gay character into a story just to check off a “gay” box, but I certainly try to be aware that gay people exist, and that when creating a character it’s a realistic question to ask – is this character gay?  If the character is gay, how does that affect the character’s place in the story, or society, or with other characters?  The same question should be asked of other characteristics – should the character be black or white, male or female, etc. Star Wars fan or Star Trek, that sort of thing.

Short answer: I don’t really care about being politically correct, but I do want to be fair.  (I guess I should have just led with that)!

Allen Tiffany

No. I don’t think about political correctness at all. The only correctness I think about is how “correct” is the story and my story telling.

Linda G. Hill

I have to say yes. And no. If I’m narrating something in a novel I try to stay as unoffensive as possible. My characters on the other hand are bound to say anything that’s in their nature to say. I have very little control over them – if I try to control them it’s obvious, and my writing becomes boring to read.

D. T. Nova

That depends very much on what is meant by the term. Many things which I have seen some people denounce as “political correctness” were almost certainly not included for any such reason. I strongly suspect that, for example, the diverse relationships in my first novel would fall into that category.

I have said before that I do intentionally include characters who represent groups that I consider to be underrepresented.

However, I don’t intentionally pander to anything I don’t agree with. If I think a belief or practice is very harmful, I will not portray it without depicting the harm.

S. R. Carrillo

In general, my feelings toward actual political correctness are a little conflicted. What people consider PC is usually just an attempt at legitimate correctness, maybe not executed the best. So, sure. I guess you could say PC is in my books, although I stay away from labeling most things at all.

Jay Dee Archer

I will only use political correctness if it’s appropriate. That is, if it’s related to government, public relations, or customer service within a novel. All other situations, I’ll keep things more realistic. In everyday life, we don’t speak politically correct in general. So why should characters in a novel behave and speak politically correct? I don’t think they should.

If I have an offensive character, whether he or she is racist, sexist, foul-mouthed, or whatever else he or she may be, they will be offensive. I will not censor my character to protect the feelings of readers. Besides, when you read my novels, I want you to be offended by an offensive character. If you get upset with a character, then I did my job well.

Keep this in mind: the attitudes and opinions of my characters do not reflect my personal attitudes or opinions.

How about you?

If you’re a writer, how much does political correctness factor into your writing? If you’re a reader, do you feel novels should be politically correct? Let us know in the comments below.

Where Are All the Female Epic Fantasy Authors?

When you think of epic fantasy, what authors come to mind? Robert Jordan? George R. R. Martin? J. R. R. Tolkien? Men. It always seems to be male authors. So, where are the female epic fantasy authors?

Here’s a list of them on Reddit. Oh, C. J. Cherryh. C. S. Friedman’s a woman? I didn’t know that. I know Jacqueline Carey and Janny Wurts. There’s Lois McMaster Bujold. N. K. Jemisin is a newer one, and she’s African American, too! And there’s Robin Hobb. Did you know she’s a woman? There are some big names there, but the list is incredibly short.

On Leona Henry’s blog, I found that list, and her post inspired me to write this. It’s unfortunate that female fantasy authors seem to be stereotyped as YA authors or romance authors. It’s a shame that epic fantasy novels written by female authors have romance style covers when there is no romance in the novel.  Sounds like publishers are to blame with that.

I want to see more epic fantasy novels written by female authors. Although not really fantasy, one of my favourite authors is Anne McCaffrey, and she had some wonderful books based on the world of Pern. They are dragon-themed, but it is science fiction. I want more variety in the books I’ve been reading. It just seems I pick up books that look good based on the description and cover, and pass over the ones that look like they’re more romantic. I see the error in that now.

There’s another thing that I’ve been inspired to do. You see at the top of the page, a menu option called Reviews? I’m going to add another page that lists books by the author’s gender. As I tend to read mainly science fiction and fantasy, you’ll get to have a good list of female authors as I read their books. So, if that page isn’t there now, it will be shortly. I’ll get that done within the next hour, I think.

And I think I’m going to try get into using Reddit, especially the fantasy and science fiction sections.

So, I would like to ask you a question. Which female epic fantasy authors would you recommend? Let me know in the comments.

This Makes Me Angry

I apologise in advance for any profanity I may use in this post. I feel it is justified to show the degree of anger in relation to these acts and events.

Beaten Pomeranian found with note. This makes me angry. Kill a dog, then boast about it? Whoever did this is not only an asshole, but also more likely to  murder a person. Anyone who tortures and kills animals for fun needs to be sent to a remote island without any hope of escape.

Cecil killer just saw a ‘nice lion’, says Jacob Zuma. South Africa’s president laughing off trophy hunting, huh? Well, trophy hunters are the scum of hunters. They do this for nothing but their own insignificant egos that no one cares about. They can join the animal torturers on that island.

No link for this one, just a comment about many of the Republican candidates for President of the United States. You’re idiots. Really. Let’s see, climate change denial is the biggest beef I have with you. Why would I, a non-American, be concerned about this? Well, the US is the world’s biggest industrial powerhouse, and if they have a government that doesn’t care about the environment, it affects the rest of the world. Not only are they screwing up their lives, but they’re fucking up the lives of their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and so on. They don’t care about their own descendants! They’re just telling their grandchildren, “Money now is more important, so I don’t give a shit about your life. You can die of starvation, during wars over water, or whatever. I don’t care.”

There are so many other things. I want to say this to the people mentioned above and others, including animal torturers, trophy hunters, climate change-deniers, anti-vaxxers, anti-science nutjobs, racists, sexists, homophobes, and all others who abuse people, animals, and the environment for their own personal gain or entertainment: Fuck you.

Are you one of those above? You’re not worth my time.

Parenting While Male? You’re Incapable

Imagine you’re walking through a park with a playground and you see many children, many mothers, and one man sitting on a bench.  He’s watching the children. What’s your first thought about him?

Now, imagine some of the mothers go over to him and confront him, saying that he’s making them uncomfortable watching the children. Of course, he sighs and says as cheerfully as possible that he’s watching his children. He’s a stay at home dad or he works from home and is taking a break with his children at the playground.  And then this happens:

Do you think he’s been unfairly treated? Or do you think the woman is right?

I’m definitely on the dad’s side. The woman is one of those people who thinks dads can’t take care of their own children and must have advice all the time or be told what he’s doing wrong. I’ve heard the stories, and it seems that dads who take care of their kids may be discriminated against.  Sometimes, moms think they’re kidnappers or pedophiles.

Here in Japan, I am happy to see that there are many younger fathers who take care of their kids along with their wives. However, many men are absent because they work long hours of overtime or go out with their boss after work (they often have no choice). But when I go out with my daughter to the playground, I’ve found that I’ve been approached by mothers who ask me how old my daughter is. As for the occasional father I see with their kids, they seem to be glad to see another father.

What I wonder is what it’ll be like in Canada if I take my daughter to the playground and watch her along with a few mothers. Will I get some of the same attitude as in the video? If they think I must have a difficult time and I’m incapable of taking care of my daughter, I’m of a mind to say that it must be sad for them to have a husband who doesn’t know how to be a parent.

Society needs to accept that fathers can be just as good a parent as mothers.

If you’re a parent, have you seen or experienced this kind of situation?

I’m Unimpressed, Indiana

With all the news about the Indianapolis state government passing a law that is “not about discrimination,” it sure sounds like it enables business owners to discriminate against the LGBT community.

It’s been said that Indiana’s not the only state, that there are several others have similar laws.  That is true.  But Indiana’s case is happening right now, and it’s important to talk about this.  The other states will be looked at as a result of this discussion.

But you may ask me why I care.  I’m Canadian, I don’t live in the US.  Well, I have friends in the US, including some in Indiana and other states that have these laws.  They have friends who could be affected.  And these days, it’s become internationally known that the US is a hotbed for bigotry, especially with the way the Republican party (particularly the old tea party group) has been going out of their way to discriminate against gay people (not to mention pretend that climate change isn’t happening, but that’s another story).  The US has been having race problems a lot, too.

I’m not an overly emotional person, but I have this to say:  Grow up, you morons! Why can’t you just learn to get along and let others live how they like?  Why do you have to push your religious and political agendas down everyone’s throats, as if gay marriage is a threat to your own way of life.  It is not a threat!  Only bigots think this way.  I mean it.  If you think that gay marriage threatens your own personal way of life, you have no intelligence whatsoever.  I dare you to try to give a rational explanation that justifies discriminating against people different than you.  Go ahead, do it.  I bet you can’t.  If you want to try, the comments below await you.

For everyone else who is levelheaded, has compassion, and accepts people for how they are, I’d also like your input.