Rant time

#KeepYAKind. Yeah. Exactly. I agree. We should 100% keep the YA and all other book worlds kind. Except the satanic one. I guess. Unless they want to be kind. I mean, it's really their choice, but it seems kind of counter productive. And then again, how could you really have an online community wheee everyone is an asshole, satanic shit aside? Like, I mean, you really couldn't even go in your group and say, “What’s up, goat fuckers?” Because goat fornication seems like it could be a good thing in satanism and even if it's not cool, you're still saying what's up which is still a form of… sorry. Wrong rant. 

This ones about this hashtag about keeping YA kind. At first, I saw it and was like, “fuck yeah, let's keep it kind as a hell,” but like figurative, because once again, I don’t know what kind means in a satanic environment. But then I clicked on it and was like, oh, fuck no.

The reason for the about face is because a bunch of people are using the hashtag as a way to shut people down. If they were using the hashtag to police shitty behavior and shut that down, fine – good actually. But that's not what's happening. Some people are using the hashtag as a camouflage to disguise racism and sexism. Plain and simple. It might not be the intention some people, but honestly, when the effects are clearly adverse to marginalized people, who gives a damn what the intentions were?

Whenever I click on one of these hashtags, it always leads back to some of the same animal-avatared twitter accounts that are constantly blowing up the #OwnVoices tag with their nonsense. That nonsense can be summed up into two arguments, which are actually both true, which makes the cats’ and dogs’ use of them all the more infuriating.

Argument/truth 1: anyone should be allowed to write whatever they want about whoever they want whenever they want. True. 100% agree. But, and it's a big one, that doesn't mean anyone has to buy it. And that also doesn't mean that the people you offend, have to stay silent about it. If you write some bullshit that does harm to a community, the kind thing for people to do – what is kind to the community that you've damaged – is to call you out on being an asshole. Just like anyone is free to write whatever they want on in a book, people are also free to write whatever they want in a review of that book.

Argument/truth 2: it should only be about the writing, not who’s writing it. YES! That is literally what brought about the #ownvoices movement. It was the fact – FACT – that marginalized authors are marginalized. Because of the life they were born into, whether it is their sex, gender, race, culture, religion, etc. that is different from the white, cis/het, Christian American standard that has been created over centuries in the book industry, something about who they are has kept them from being published and therefore represented in books. All marginalized authors want is to be judged on their writing.

Own Voices is about better writing. Think about it. Who is going to tell the story of a Mexican immigrant better, someone who made the journey themselves or lived through their parents’ struggle with immigration, or someone who has heard politicians yell about it and has no other experience? Who is going to be able to capture all the intricacies and beautiful aspects of Islamic religions, someone who was raised in the tradition and faith, or someone whose only knowledge comes from decades of news outlets saying all Muslims are terrorists? A good writer who has lived an experience is going to be able to write their story better than a good writer who hasn't.

And I'm pretty sure that's all anyone is asking for. I haven't seen or heard of anyone saying that all minorities who write books about minorities must be traditionally published in place of white authors writing about white things. If you believe that's what's going on, take off your tinfoil, make-America-great-again hat, and get a grip on reality.

Another thing absolutely no one is saying: if you are a white, cishet, Christian male, all of your characters should only be white, cishet, Christian, males. No! No, no, no, no, noooooo! The issue isn't about restricting people on what type of characters they can include in their work. Quite the contrary. The world is not filled with your clones, so your book shouldn't be either. Include characters of other ethnicities, races, cultures, just do so in a responsible way. And if your main character is an Indonesian-American Army officer, and the story is about him dealing with cultural issues while treating his PTSD, but you’re a white guy who does computer programming as a day job, do you really think you're the right person to write that book?

Okay. So how can you #KeepYAKind ?

Well, this has taken up a good chunk of my NaNo time, so I'm just going to steal what smarter people than me have said on the issue:


And my favorite of all: