Sinking Ships: Political Correctness and Fiction
To me, writing is art. Fiction is a powerful form of creative expression. My goal is to be original and fresh. I want readers to say, “Wow, I’ve never considered that before” or “Day-um! I can’t believe she went there.” And let’s be real here. How many times has this industry demanded we “go there” in the name of originality? Over and over we hear the cries of the readers and publishers for writers to give them something unique. They want original, groundbreaking, thought provoking shit. They tell us to stretch the confines of what has been written, and they demand we create something mind-blowing and new. In short, they beg authors to knock their socks off.
Then they cry because their feet…show more content… And before the Internet, it wasn’t a big deal. Authors offended people and those people stopped reading their books. They voiced their outrage, but the bandwagon wasn’t as easily accessed, so the spark of outrage didn’t ignite into a full on fire as often as it does now. Thanks to the Internet, it often seems like society is okay with restricting creativity and thought and narrowing the margins of tolerance and political correctness so that we never, ever, cause discomfort or pain to another human being. We’re more than okay with it. We’re saying it’s more important to protect someone from hurt feelings or discomfort than it is to show them another point of view or to nudge them into reexamining their biases or…show more content… We must avoid offending the religious rights of others. We must avoid profanity so “clean” folks can be cool with trolling social media. We must limit depictions of sexual acts so folks with puritan belief systems don’t feel uncomfortable when they accidentally buy our book. We must not question sexual, religious or political ideas, because those who believe in them might feel threatened. We must not question the veracity of statements of fact, because… I’m not sure why. Perhaps the idea that someone dares to question our beliefs scares us. Is fear a good reason to metaphorically tar and feather and then burn someone who expresses a different truth?
Look, I’d be a lazy writer if I didn’t show the motivations and thoughts behind the oppositional force in my novels. I’d be lazy if I didn’t explore ideas I don’t believe in or support. I’d be a pussy, actually, because the only reason I wouldn’t examine these things is if I’m afraid of making my reader uncomfortable or angry or I fear it might topple my own personal belief system. I’d be a shitty writer if I allowed the feelings of others or myself to influence what I