Dienstag, 14. April 2015

Diversity in books/Discussion of Reading diversely - My opinion/ Response to Danielle

You may roll your eyes now and be completely annoyed by only reading the title. See, there we already have a problem.
This topic was highly discussed on BookTube. The Reading Diversely Tags were really popular and reading diversely was one of the big reading goals for 2015 for a lot of people, if not the biggest!
Now. Don't get me wrong! I also did a Reading Diversely Tag (you will find links to everything I'm refering at the end). But if you read it you may realized that I had quite a lot of problems answering the questions. So, this post may be also an explanation why that was so hard for me.

I mentioned in this post that for me reading diversely "is everything which isn't about the same lifestyle I have.." Because, honestly that's exactly what it is for me.
At the end of the tag I also added this:
"Reading diversely and character diversity is a very personal thing. For another person diversity means something totally different than for me."
This statement kind of addressed this whole "movement" which was going on at that moment which brought up this quite strict definition of what diversity means.
But have you ever thought that what you consider as your normal reading comfort zone might be pretty diverse for another person?
You can't just define reading diversely like, in my opinion, it happend on BookTube.

This leads me to the topic which made me write this blog post.
Just recently I discovered this amazing Tumblr blog post by Danielle over OneSmallPaw.
She was talking about the usage of graphs and the term "People of Color". Also that you "care" about the LGBTQ+ community but not mentioning them in your graph about the gender of the authors  (just mention female/male). So, she was talking about putting someone in one single category.
(You will find her blog post linked at the end! Please read it!)

I am an 19 years old heterosexual, white, Christian, Swiss, young woman.
Do I want that I'm defined by that? No. Because I'm way more than just that. I do not fit in one "category".
Putting someone in a category brings up a lot of stereotypes and ideas of how a person is.
When I tell someone I'm from Switzerland, the answer is usually: "Oh, that's lovely. How is it to live in the mountains?" 99% of the people who gave me this answer were not joking and seriously thinking all Swiss people live in the mountains and when I told them that I don't live in the mountains they were like: "So, you're not really Swiss" And this really upset me.

So, if it upsets me when I'm confronted with stereotypes and being put in a category, why should I do this for others?

For me it's even really, really difficult to put a book into a specific genre and I'm seriously thinking of not doing this anymore, because a book is often way more than just part of a specific genre.
So, why should I do this with people?

I'm in no way privileged just because I'm white, Christian, heterosexual and Swiss to put anyone in any category!

Let's not try to fit people into categories and let us see them as a wonderful individual with their own personality, which will never fit into any category at all.
Every single one of us is unique and shouldn't be caged with stereotypes and categories.
Don't let us reduce the wonderful art and the hard work an author puts in a piece of literature by putting them into a category.
It may be fun for you but not really for the ones who were put into this categories.

I will continue to read diversely. BUT! By reading diversely, I mean accepting everyone's beautiful individuality and not boiling down someones character based on color of their skin or based on their gender.

My Reading Diversely Tag:
Danielle's amazing Tumblr post:
Another great post by Courtney of Pickles Reads:

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