What's Your Default?
So one of the things that I've discovered since really investing in the online world of social media is that there is a pretty vocal group who want you to know that your default when you read a character in a book is a Cis/White Male. According to these cats any character that you read who isn't specified is automatically a Cis/White Male.
Obviously I have been reading books wrong all of my life. You see when I read a book and the character's race or sexuality isn't specified I never think about them. Not once in my entire life have I ever even cared. Now you might be asking yourself, "Self, I wonder what he does picture when those things aren't mentioned?" Line drawing with graphite shading. I grew up drawing and until the author decides to fill in the lines with a skin color they remain blank spaces just like they would if I were working on them myself.
Anyway, I want to play a game. I'm going to give you a passages from one of my favorite books and I want you to tell me what skin color the character is; and if you give a damn about it (which I really don't) what sexuality they are. Ready?
"When Zarathustra was thirty years old he left his home and the lake of his home and went into the mountains. Here he enjoyed his sirit and his solitude, and for ten years did not tire of it. But at last a change came over his heart, and one morning he rose with the dawn, stepped before the sun, and spoke to it . . ." (Kaufmann, 121)
So there you have it. What's your default?
Kaufmann, Walter (1976). Thus Spoke Zarathustra. (Ed. and Trans). The Portable Nietzsche (103 - 439). United States: Penguin Books. Print