I’ve seen a lot of buzz recently around the ongoing call from writers and readers alike for there to be a broader range of diversity in books, commonly addressed online via the slogan #WeNeedDiverseBooks. Frankly I think it’s an argument that can’t be backed strongly enough so thought I may as well share my two cents on the matter.
There are many different perspectives to look at this issue from. It’s a call as much for publishers to distribute books with diverse characters and from diverse authors as it is for writers themselves to actually create diverse and interesting characters in the first place.
Perhaps it still comes as a shock to some people but not everyone in this world is a white, rich, chiselled, straight man. We need to see female characters taking strong, lead roles. We need to see characters with different ethnicities. We need to see characters with varying sexualities. We need to see characters living with mental disorders and physical handicaps. We need to see them being interesting out with these qualities, not because they adhere to tired stereotypes. We need to see them taking on important roles within the plot; not merely a novelty, there for the sake of it.
More importantly than all of that is why we need to see them. It’s not merely so we can pat ourselves on the back and say our books are diverse; it’s so we can represent what real life is actually like. Just walk down the street and take a look at how diverse the human race is; we should be celebrating it, not shying away.
Do you think books need more diversity?