Had an awesome conversation with Rob about the issues of diversity in publishing and media in general, whether it’s TV, movies, whatever.
In the middle of my rant about why it’s necessary (Rob’s a gem to listen to these, honestly), a really solid metaphor cropped up, and I wanted to share. Right now, there’s a lot of push and pull involving the change that needs to happen. A lot of voices who previously weren’t heard are gaining traction and really fighting to BE heard. However, a lot of times, when people hear ‘hey, we’re tired of it only being straight white guys in books/movies,etc’ it gets filtered as white guys in books/movies are BAD!
So, say an ice cream shop only serves vanilla ice cream. And folks eat the vanilla for a long time, because it’s good ice cream and apparently the only shop in town. However, people speak up because they want to see other flavors on the menu. In response, the ice cream shop adds chocolate, pistachio, cookies and cream to the menu boards. Most folks are excited. More flavors! However, others start ranting about how it was better back when it was only vanilla. How the other flavors are crowding out the vanilla. But in all honesty, it’s just adding more variety to the board, allowing more than just one taste. And guys? That’s a really good thing.
Now, I know that’s distilling an incredibly complex issue with a lot of facets into sweet, sweet ice cream, but I’m just talking about this one element today. Variety is good, and just because there is MORE out there, doesn’t mean there is less of the thing you liked. So dive in and enjoy the metaphorical ice cream. I know I am.