1. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    Pardon me, but your racism is showing.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by KhalieLa, Nov 2, 2015.

    I picked up my manuscript from my beta-reader on Saturday. She never read the last chapter because she was "mortified" that I could write such things and "sincerely hoped I didn't actually believe in such practices."

    The issue? An inter-racial marriage. Specifically, between a woman and a dwarf.

    She likened it unto bestiality. I pointed out that everyone was human, so it wasn't bestiality. Really, it's just a Celtic man and a Scythian woman being joined in matrimony. There isn't even a height issue because average height for Celts at that time was 5'4" and average height for Scythian's was 5'2". The Goths were 5'7", which is why I get to call the Celts dwarfs (After-all, that's what the Goths called them. And all of this was pointed out in the book.) I asked if there was an issue with people of different heights marrying?

    "Well, even if they are people," she relented, "it's still wrong it would be like a woman marrying a . . ."

    She never finished that sentence. A what? Black man? Hispanic man? Maybe a Muslim? (The dwarf and my MC were of different religions, the dwarfs being Goddess worshipers.) Turns out the story would be fine, she said, if I just changed the identity of the dwarf to man and didn't distinguish him as Celt or her as Scythian. Everyone should be the same.

    Oh, what a difference a label makes, even when they're all Caucasian.

    Have any of you experienced backlash from mixing of races in your work?
     
  2. CMastah
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    CMastah Active Member

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    Ummm, try and make sure she didn't think dwarf as in Gimli, I know this was clarified in your novel but she may have missed it due to being mortified. Actually, wherever (whereever?) she's from, I find it hard to believe that she'd identify with the Scythian being 'human' and the Celt not being so unless SHE'S Scythian and can put herself into the whole equation. It's like if you changed their nationalities to Japanese and Chinese and ME being mortified: I don't identify with EITHER culture (since I'm not even Asian) so even if I'm racist I don't see why I would side with EITHER (actually, where is Scythia? Is it somewhere in what's currently the UK?).

    Her reaction doesn't strike me as racist, it instead has me confused.
     
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  3. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Bizarre. I wouldn't give it much thought. I don't think very many other people would turn a hair. I take it she's not a Terry Pratchett fan, or a fan of Game of Thrones?
     
  4. Inks
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    Inks Contributing Member

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    Would say "little person" was the intended end of that sentence, might be missing the entire context, but I am guessing it was more about a "Gimli-sized" Dwarf and a normal human woman.
     
  5. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    It was an ancient empire around Ukraine, Southern Russia, Kazakhstan.
    It seems very bizzare to liken the relationship to bestiality.
     
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  6. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    There's really no combination of circumstances here in which her objection makes sense.
     
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  7. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Seems to me she's finding offense where none exists. I mean, even if the character were a dwarf like Gimli!dwarf, interracial marriages in fiction is pretty common. It's like...it's...it's like they're able to see the entity that they love inside the physical shape that embodies that entity. It's like they don't have a problem with the fact that their partner looks different than they do. Weird!!

    At best, she's extremely confused. At worst, a racist. None of these speak well for her.
     
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  8. JadeX
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    JadeX Active Member

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    Is your friend on Tumblr, by chance? She sounds like a Tumblrista. Try changing all your characters to transgender pansexual minorities who insist on using "xi" as a pronoun, maybe that'll please her.

    Long story short, your friend is delusional, ignore her.
     
  9. Inks
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    Inks Contributing Member

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    Acceptance and comfort in certain situations is a relative matter, but let's not insult people who have taken time to read the works of our members. Not everyone holds the same tenets, but let's not be nasty...
     
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  10. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I know, but from what it sounded like, she got all bent out of shape because a Scythian woman was getting in with a Celtic dwarf. Of all the things to be offended over, this shouldn't have even been noted as a problem.

    Guess it just goes to show you that if it exists, someone's gonna find a way to be offended over it.
     
  11. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    How odd. I have an interracial relationship in my first novel - in terms of two humans of different races - though they could be any race for all the difference it makes to the plot. Nobody has been horrified by it so far and frankly I would lose all respect for someone (and the rest of their feedback) if they did.
     
  12. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    To be honest, I have plenty of interracial relationships spanning all my stories. Some are between humans of different cultures and skin tones while others are humans and fantasy races. If someone gets bent out of shaped about that and act like it's the most horrifying thing they've ever read, I'm going to smile sweetly, pat them on the back and say, “Oh you are so precious. You and your innocence.”
     
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  13. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    Both the Goths and Celts traded with the Byzantium Empire, which brought them into contact with the Scythians. (I'm focusing on the archaeological site of Olbia, near Odessa, on the north shores of the Black Sea.) The Goths came down the Volga and Dneper rivers, the Celts entered via the Danube. Byzantium (called Constantinople on the map, because it's from a later date) was "the city" for trade at the time because it's where all the luxury goods could be swapped; silk and spices from the orient, furs and amber from the north, iron and bronze goods from central Europe, wine and olive oil from Greece and Rome. It's through trade routes that all my characters meet.

    I've got a Jarl from Gotland that I'm quite fond of, so I described things in terms of Norse Mythology. He refers to the Black Dwarfs of the Rhine (Celts) and the White Elves of the Elbe (Elben/Germans), etc.

    Here are some Pre-Roman Empire maps stolen from Wikipedia:
     

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  14. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Tell your friend she's a narrow-minded, bigoted, judgemental idiot, and don't use her as a beta reader again. In fact, don't use her as a friend again.
     
  15. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    [​IMG]
     
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  16. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    Friend? . . . Where do you find these friends? I have no friends who majored in English Literature or Composition. Geologist, Physicists, Ecologist, sure, but no English majors. :(

    We connected via an old NaNoWriMo site. I read her manuscript in exchange. It was painfully happy and pleasant. I'm just worried about the book. The first two people who read it were offended over the sex. (There are 4 sex scenes, one of which is posted in the workshop.) Everyone says the book is good, but . . . eliminate the sex, make the characters christian, no mixing races, etc. I'm just wondering if there is anyone out there who'll think the book is good. Not the book is good, but . . .
     
  17. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    For goodness sake! The only question here is why the hell you're taking any notice of these fucking morons??

    Find yourself a decent bunch of people, rather than the cast-offs from the KKK and the SS, and get them to do your beta reading instead.
     
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  18. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    If two humans from two different cultures getting together is horrifying to her, I can't imagine how she'd act if she read a fantasy work where a human fell in love with a fantastical race. I can see it now...

    Med Droid from Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
    “For reasons we don't understand, we are losing her. She's lost the will to live.”

    Captain Kirk
    <peels face off of the alien dancer he was kissing> “She's dying?”

    MDfSW:RotS
    “Yes. Apparently the idea of interracial marriage was too much for her. I'm sorry, sir.”
    -----
    OK, OK, joking aside, @KhalieLa , write your books with as much sex and interracial marriage as you damn well want. Quit hanging out with those racist, bigoted fucks. Honestly, you're just torturing yourself if you do.
     
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  19. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    So... she's bent out of shape because characters, all white humans, who happen to be different heights, are inter-mingling?

    If it was a lizardman or a catman with a human.. I could understand there is a valid viewpoint that borders on some sort of bizarre xenophobia but if the races are intelligent akin to human and the physiology makes sense it's hard to not to just shrug and say, "You do you, homie."

    According to your geography, most characters CAN'T be christian due to the time and cultures. The only one, depending on the year, would be the jarl.
    And God forbid marriage between people from different countries... all them pagans are nothing but animals living in mud huts and fornicating in the streets.
     
  20. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    I think you're choosing (or being offered) the wrong beta readers, @KhalieLa. Conservative Christians aren't going to give your book a fair hearing. I know beta reading is a big endeavour and we can't afford to be too choosy, but when it becomes demotivating it's not worth it for either party. I would advertise for betas again and make it clear there are sex scenes and interracial mixing and whatever else people have got their knickers in a twist about. At least then people won't offer their help if any of those things offend them.
     
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  21. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just this. Unfortunately I don't think this is what @KhalieLa is interested in hearing. Sounds like a serious case of denial to me. Either that or she simply isn't as outraged by her 'friends' beliefs and opinions as other here seem to be.
     
  22. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Exactly. Clearly these beta readers you keep going to, KhalieLa, are offended at everything that aren't white, Christian, cisgendered, heterosexual people. Ignore them, and when you search for new beta readers, let them know up front so you don't have to repeat this mistake again.
     
  23. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've never actually experienced anything like that in my life, let alone in response to something I've written.

    It's not for me to tell you what you should or shouldn't do. But if I were you my christmas card list would have become slightly shorter.
     
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  24. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    None of them can be Christian because Christ hasn't been bore yet. I'm focusing on the Iron Age and incorporating later Hallstatt culture, roughly 600 BCE to 450 BCE, with my target date being after 660 BCE that was when the city of Byzantium was founded.

    As for the mud huts--it would be post and beam construction, waddle and daub walls, with thatched roofs once you get away from the Mediterranean and Black sea area, where much of the early architecture is stone.

    Celts were converted by about 500 CE, the Germans a little later. The North Men were converted last, approx 1200 CE.
     
  25. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are all of these beta readers coming from the same place?
     

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