Why single out white men as poor writers? Have you never written something that is objectively laughable? Are other races and genders inherently more capable writers due to factors beyond their control?
<p><a class="tumblr_blog" href="http://fozmeadows.tumblr.com/post/151521032956/why-single-out-white-men-as-poor-writers-have-you">fozmeadows</a>:</p>
<blockquote><p>I assume you’re referring to <a href="http://fozmeadows.tumblr.com/post/151235684071/dear-white-male-writers-do-not-do-this#notes">this post</a>, in which I’m specifically citing terrible prose produced by a white guy. The reason I’ve mentioned his race and gender within that critique isn’t because white dudes are the only people on Earth capable of bad writing, but because the specific <i>type</i> of bad evident in this instance is grossly laden with sexism and racism - the kind of stuff that gets produced, not just because the person is a bad writer, but because their social privilege has lead them to actively stereotype and dehumanise other groups.</p><p>What’s sexist and racist about his writing? Basically, it’s a combination of his obsessive, unnecessarily sexualised overdescription of female bodies coupled with the use of negatively-laden words when describing women of colour. Those things aren’t just bad writing, but the result of a particularly gross view of actual humans: it’s evident in the text, <i>not</i> because he’s trying to deliberately portray his POV character/narrator as a sexist perv (which is a different thing altogether) but because <i>he genuinely doesn’t understand that such descriptions are offensive</i>. And given his maleness and whiteness, which means that a) he occupies a position of relative social privilege and b) is writing about groups to which he doesn’t belong, it kinda feels like the reason he’s making those <i>particular</i> errors is because he, personally, has never been forced to consider why those sorts of descriptions are offensive.</p><p>Talking about a woman from an “exotic” country, referring to her as a “native” and likening her to an animal, both metaphorically and behaviourally? That is fetishistic and racist, whether he meant it that way or not. Making bizarre judgements about how the narrator was “surprised” that a “demure, timorous” woman would also have “plump and botox-boosted” lips, or making a backhanded comment about how a woman’s clothes meant she wasn’t “just another drone”? That’s making your female characterisation dependent on shallow, sexist stereotypes while simultaneously passing judgement on how women ought to behave. And all the while, he’s describing these women wholly on the basis of how appealing he - and thus his narrator - finds their bodies, which is both needlessly objectifying and, as it happens, bad writing, as it tells us next to nothing about them as <i>people</i>. </p><p>Are white guys the only writers capable of producing racist, sexist prose? Of course not! But in writing as in life, racism and sexism aren’t produced in a vacuum, and when you see such classic, dehumanising stereotypes produced so obliviously, it’s not unreasonable to say, “Hey, if you’re someone writing about groups to which you don’t belong - groups which have traditionally been subjected to a great many gross judgements by other members of <i>your </i>group - maybe try make an effort<i> not </i>to replicate that grossness through sheer dumb ignorance, especially when advising other writers!”</p><p>FIN.</p></blockquote><p></p>