Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hetero, Christian Cis-Male Writer Seeking Critical Readers

Let me state first that this is not intended to be a whiny, woe-is-me rant about how anti-oppressive movements stifle writers' freedom of speech. That is bullshit, and if this comes out sounding like that, it's unintended and exactly what I'm writing this about.

The fact is, I'm privileged. I used to wear facial piercings and dreadlocks and women's clothes in an attempt to separate myself from that privilege, but the mere fact that I can describe that in the past tense demonstrates the difference between it and true disadvantage. Short of a facial tattoo, there is nothing I could do to effectively make myself part of an oppressed group (and even then, having a "white-sounding" name is an advantage in anything not face-to-face, and being hetero means I'll never have to fear holding hands with my spouse.)

As a Christian, and a human capable of empathy, my role in life is to demonstrate love to my fellow creatures. I'm not always great at it, but it's something I'm working on. And as a privileged Christian, I am called to demonstrate love to the oppressed.

From my position of advantage, it isn't always easy to see when I am taking part in oppression rather than liberation. That's why I'd like to open up this invitation to request of my readers: If you ever spot this in my writing, please, tell me. I want my work to be a liberating form of art, and if I make an off color joke or talk about dicks too often, and it is anything other than liberating for any group, I want to fix it. If I am failing the Bechdel Test or just being ethno-, Ameri-, hetero-, theo-, or chrono-centric, that's truly not who I want to be.

And lastly, if you point out to me that I am falling into any of the trappings of my privilege, and I decide to be an asshole about it and start getting all defensive and explaining to you how it's not oppressive and you just need to take it in context, please link me back to this post.

The following message is for future asshole me:
Stop being a hypocrite you moron! What you're doing is oppression! Don't make me a liar! Oh, and while you're here, when do we get robot eyes?

This post has been brought to you by Orson Scott Card's recent hateful drivel, because he tells the kind of stories I want to tell, but he is not the kind of writer I want to be.

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