- To Achieve Diversity In Publishing, A Difficult Dialogue Beats Silence – An important post about how white publishing is and how that needs to change if we want to elevate a wider diversity of voices and stories.
Last spring, a group calling itself We Need Diverse Books launched a Twitter campaign to press for greater diversity in children’s books. Writer Daniel José Older supports the campaign, but he doesn’t think it goes far enough.
“We need diverse agents, we need editors, we need diverse book buyers, we need diverse illustrators, and we need diverse executives and CEOs at the top, too.”
Older says the industry needs to take an honest look at who holds the power over who gets published. Because as things stand now, Older argues, writers of color often find themselves navigating a world that makes them feel unwelcome.
- Portraying Ethnic Characters with Dignity in Contemporary Romance – Chinese-Canadian romance author Vicki Essex talks about writing ethnic characters for a mainstream audience.
Despite my background, I found it challenging to portray a Chinese American heroine and her family in a way that preserved their customs and cultural values while still keeping it accessible to those who were not a part of the culture and while also trying create believable, sympathetic characters. I thought I’d share what I learned so that if you’re thinking about making your stories more culturally diverse—and you should!—then you can consider these points to help keep you out of the THAT’S RACIST zone.
- 5 Shocking Ways the Modern World Screws Blind People – The headline is clickbait and not totally accurate, but this is a good look at some common misconceptions of blindness.
That’s because the average person thinks you’re either blind or you’re not — the moment your blind friend compliments your haircut, your first reaction is, “What, is that sarcasm? You’re blind.” The reality is a lot more complicated. Like cheap liquor, blindness comes in a huge variety of flavors and varieties — and while all those flavors are vaguely reminiscent of butt, they do all have their unique takes on it. “Legally blind,” for example, doesn’t mean your eyes don’t work, it just means they’re one-tenth as powerful as they should be, which effectively means that you can’t see below the big E on an eye-doctor’s chart. So even a lot of legally blind people can read books, provided they use a computer screen or anything with a massive enough font.
You can, in fact, gather 50 blind people and not have any two of them see the same way. That’s because there are several dozen conditions that can cause blindness, all in different ways. Even my uncles, who suffer from the same rare genetic disorder, lost their sight very differently: One lost his peripheral vision in his teens, while another lost his central vision in his 20s. Only 18 percent of visually impaired people are classified as totally blind.
- Can ‘World of Warcraft’ Game Skills Help Land a Job? – As a former semi-serious WoW raider, I loved this story. I raided with this one guy who would’ve made the best project manager. This man was always prepared and absolutely unflappable. Progression raiding involves showing up with 25+ people on a set schedule (we went 8p-12a Sun-Th) and working together to clear a dungeon. This usually involved anywhere from 3-10 bosses on a seven-day reset counter. As you progress, you could spend a full week wiping on one guy. Having the patience to lead 25 people through 20+ hours of wipes and never lose your temper as you problem solve? Put that on a resume.
A handful of job seekers are listing achievements in videogames such as the role-playing platform “World of Warcraft” on their résumés or LinkedIn profiles, betting that virtual-world accomplishments will impress hiring managers in real life.
Some players say the game’s tasks aren’t that different from the duties of the modern office job.
That was the view of Heather Newman, who included her Warcraft experience on the résumé that helped land her current job as director of marketing and communications for the University of Michigan’s School of Information.
In the “Leisure/Volunteer Activities” section of her résumé, Ms. Newman noted that she has managed guilds of as many as 500 people and organized large-scale raids of 25 to 40 players to complete tasks for several hours four to five days a week. These tasks, she said, “directly apply to the kind of job I hold.”
- California Legislature Votes to Ban Sterilization of Inmates – File this under “good news, but I can’t believe this was even happening in the first place.” Coerced sterilization in prisons is eugenics, plain and simple.
The bill passed by the California legislature this week tightens the restrictions on the sterilization of inmates by banning the practice, with few exceptions. Sterilization procedures like tubal ligations would only be allowed if the person’s life is in danger or if the procedure is deemed “medically necessary” to treat a diagnosed condition. The bill also requires that jails and prisons publish data on instances of sterilization, broken down race, age, and medical justification, on their websites.
The text of the bill also acknowledges that the sterilization of inmates is a reproductive justice issue. “It is the intent of the Legislature … to ensure safeguards against sterilization abuse within the coercive environment of prison and jail, and to positively affirm that all people should have the right to full self-determine their reproductive lives free from coercion, violence, or threat of force,” the bill reads.
- Three common strategies sexual offenders use to discredit child witnesses – A reminder that we should believe victims who share their abuse with us.
A Texas high school student named Greg Kelley was recently convicted of sexually victimizing a four year old boy. Despite the jury verdict, a small vocal group of supporters have been working hard to convince the public that this sexual offender is innocent.. Marginalizing the powerful voice of the child victim is often at the heart of this disturbing and all too common objective. In my years as a child sexual abuse prosecutor, I discovered that offenders and their supporters use three common strategies to try and convince others to embrace their distorted definition of innocence.