by Shelt Garner
After years of dwelling on the nature of my heroine, I feel as though I’ve finally managed to come up with a woman who is really, really unique. Because I continue to do all of this in a vacuum, I am at a loss as to what people’s reaction to her might be.
My heroine of my first novel looks like a younger version of Nicole Scherzinger
Remember, by definition, because I’m a smelly CIS white male there will be members of the woke cancel culture mob who dismiss my right to tell the story I want to tell. I’m supposed to just stick to writing from a male POV and otherwise shut up. This happens, of course, in the context of “intersectional feminists” complaining about not enough representation in fiction.
In fact, I listened to an entire Slate podcast where two women were angry about how not enough women, POC and LGBTQ+ people were in positions of power in Hollywood. That’s all well and good and I validate those concerns, but I found myself growing a little insecure — what if a CIS white male like me makes a good faith effort to tell a story about a POC woman?
Is that “representation” or is that “exploitive appropriation?”
I am really self-conscious about that potential criticism being lobbed at me. But it’s too late now. I had no idea of the cultural minefield I was wondering into when I decided I wanted my heroine to be a POC. And, what’s more, I only relatively recently realized there was some sort of woke taboo against against a man writing from a female POV.
But, having said all that, I do think I’ve come up with not one but TWO heroines (over the course of six novels) who are just as interesting, in their own way, as Lisbeth Salander. In the end, you just can’t please everyone, especially not members of the woke cancel culture mob who have all these weird ideological demands for any art they consume.