Before we start: This is not an opinion, this is some sort of an discussion I made. Tbh, it’s not even essay/discussion. It’s more of a question I have to you guys, the readers. While diversity has been one of the main principle in my country, the application is very different from the theory, in a negative way. Since diversity is also a main topic recently, I really want to know what do you think of the things below. If you’re disagree or want to give your thoughts, please do it in civilised manner that will not offend anyone. If you feel offended by someone’s comment or parts of this post, please let me know and I’ll take down the comment or try to clarify my point. Thank you for reading this super long disclaimer.
Now let’s get started.
Diversity has been source of heated debate lately, especially within the book community. Earlier this year, there was this discussion about The Song of Achilles. Some people said that TSoA is problematic because [SPOILER] it killed both gay main characters[SPOILER ENDS]. Other argues that since it’s a retelling of greek myth, changing the ending would be disrespecful to the greeks, and the deaths are caused because they were at war instead of because they were gay. This thread explains more.
I understand both sides of LGBT people and the greeks. On one side, LGBT community has really high death rates, and it could be harmful and triggering to read TSoA, not to mention the existence of the “bury your gays” trope. On the other side, TSoA is based on Illiad, a story that is well-known as a tragedy, existed since before time, and changing the ending would be really disrespectful to greek culture. This thread explained exactly what I want to say.
This is what I want to discuss about today. When talking about diversity, most of the times, rarely we discuss cross-dimension aspect of diversity. There are a lot of diversity: cultural, religion, race, lgbt, and many more. When it intersects, each side will have their own points. Each group has rights to have their stories heard. So does picking one side making you not a diversity advocate?
This could also happen in real life. Not all countries are as liberal or as open-minded as the US. Many are still conservative and under heavy influence of either values/religions. You support diversity. You do. But you also believe in your faith or values or whatever it is you’ve known since the beginning of time. They shaped you to be who you are. They are the things your family, society or country surrounds you with. And it make you can’t support some groups of diversity, even though you support the others. Does that make you an non diversity supporter?
We easily label someone -phobic just because they are undecided or wavering about their support toward certain groups. The definition of -phobic, according to merriam-webster is “of, relating to, or having an extremely strong fear or dislike of someone or something“. These people aren’t being hostile or (physicaly) harm anyone, they are just unsure about their stance. They will support the social rights, because hey, the quality of your work, rights to get health care, ability of having a family and rising a kid aren’t defined by who you are. Regardless of your sexual orientation, gender, religion, or ethnicity, everyone deserves to be treated the same. Those undecided people will stand up for you, but deep down they are unsure. So are they not diversity ally because they do not support one group, even though they support the others? Does that mean they are a -phobic?
There are also some people chose to be indifferent. They aren’t actively disagreeing, they don’t join rallies, do violence, and many more. They only passively disagreeing, which can also counts as passively agreeing since they won’t voice their opinion anyways. As my friend said, one can just stay silent because they do not want to cause harm to their fellow humans and society or they can stay silent because fighting for diversity like say, LGBT, is something that is prohibited in their religion/ value. They just do nothing. Does that making them a non-ally?
To conclude, my questions are: Is diversity is an all or nothing stand? Does supporting one group but being indifferent to the others will make you a non-diversity ally? Does being undecided make you a non-ally? What should we do then when we come across two opposite spectrum in diversity?