I’m about to commit a metric butt-load of white-male-privilege sins by being a white-male-guy whose linking to another white-male-guy saying sensible things about writing and feminisim, but just this once I’m going to be okay with it.
Chuck Wendig wrote a post about Sexism and Misogyny in Publishing. It got some responses, ’cause Chuck knows his shit when it comes to building an audience on the internet, and so people link his posts around.
Then he wrote a response to the responses, and called out this particular piece of bullshit in a way that had me punching the air like a madman.
“BUT IT DOESN’T SERVE THE STORY!”
Worst excuse ever.
I hate this excuse. I hate it like I hate the DMV, hemorrhoids, airline travel delays, and bad coffee. I hate it because it suggests that writers are not in control of their own stories, that they are merely conduits for some kind of divine unicorn breath, some heady Musefart that they can’t help but gassily breathe onto the page. I AM VESSEL. STORY IS LOA.
I hate it because it absolves you of ever having to change anything — whether that means changing a character’s race or sex or even just making edits to improve a story.
I hate it because it allows you to rely on lazy crutches, institutional biases, stereotypical culture patterns, and a whole lot of horrible shit-ass storytelling.
I hate it because it excuses you from making effort or taking responsibility.
Chuck Wendig, CHALLENGING RESPONSES TO SEXISM AND MISOGYNY
There is nothing in this world that pisses me off like a creative artist who absolves themselves of the responsibility that comes with having an audience. Stories are inherently political – the climax of any story is predicated on a Moral Choice, so you can’t get away from putting forth a moral stance and political worldview.
Take that shit seriously. Think about what you’re doing.
And, for the love of all that’s fucking holy about art and writing, don’t pretend you have no control over your work.