Episode's 2017 Diversity Standards


#337

I respect you so much for the time you’ve taken to write this.
However, my thoughts somewhat contrast to yours. Please do not take this as an offence, I’m merely sharing my opinion.
I agree with your first point. Episode is, very literally, propaganda. It’s morals and ideas are shared over millions of readers all over the globe, and it’s able to influence people, especially the innocent and inexperienced, and they can be very wrongly motivated or influenced, and hold some bad morals. Episode has many included themes that are not appropriate for reality, and therefore this is also a very dangerous factor in which is why I also urge these tropes not to be shown as much as possible.
I Also agree with some of your second point. Featured stories are featured. Literally anyone can tell they hold a lot of influence, weight, and importance, as only few reside on the shelf. However, many of the stories include themes that are not appropriate for some younger people, or even people in general. As shown in the read world, it is so easy to be influenced into something, and something morally wrong in society. Therefore, I agree that featured stories must be reviewed in every way possible to ensure that what is shown is appropriate. Even with Warnings, there is no stopping children with a younger age to continuously read these stories, and be influenced by them, especially with naive (And I mean this in the nicest way possible) minds. However, within diversity, I understand this is important to portray them in the modern world. However, I would have to say, in some period eras, there should be no arguing for diversity. For example, in the 1800’s-women still did not have rights, and black people were (and I’m not trying to offend) slaves. This was how it was then. There was not LGBTQ+, so arguably it would be strange and unhistorically accurate to present this. However, this was not in the argument so I won’t argue against you on this.
Your third point- forgive me, but I’m assuming what you mean by promises was diversity and controversy around “instant princess” and the sort? If so, I agree with that, which brings us to the first point.
True, many stories are set in US. However, this may not be because of the writer but also because of influence. Of course, the writer makes the choice, but, America has been in charge of producing so many movies we all know today. Naturally, our instincts are turned more to them. Shows, movies, anything- as a result of the American dream. However, there are also stories set in other places, and I’m writing one set in England. I also agree diversity should be added as America is full of- diversity. However, diversity is also a controversial topic in America, so I feel some authors may not comfortable with that. Or, if you can see now, a rising trope is a LGBT friend (or of another ethnicity or both). Authors may want to avoid this as in real life, not everyone has one. Still, I agree it’s important to add diversity as it’s so common.
I agree with your point in number 4, but I also have to say that, I don’t think all of it is how we come to terms with ideas that are complex- it’s more that some people may not understand the ideas in the first place, which brings us to stories where we’re not exactly sure what the author is promoting, whether they are promoting or arguing against their story’s morals. (Example: teacher-student relationships) This also brings confusion and gets us to wonder what is right and what is wrong, so I think it’s more as the understanding isn’t quite clear.
Your fifth point brings me to the first point I wrote. I completely agree with you. A story can never be just a story. It is filled with the author’s own attitude and opinions, biases, and controversies that have to power to influence or promote.
Sixth Points is rather the same, and I agree again. This is completely true, and I agree Episode needs to keep track of what it’s promoting- thousands of stories out there that are promoted are not suitable for many people.
Seventh Point- Yes, I completely agree. The ideas and morals from the story are influenced from what the author is influenced by- they are feeding you propaganda from the propaganda they were fed, which at times I feel it’s better to try leaving politics out of it. This may be a reason, really, why Episode may be hesitant to add diversity.
Aesop’s Fable- yes, even when it seems like someone has no opinion on something, the person will always have a bias towards a situation, so even small clues and hints that the author might even not know if there be brought into it.
True. Episode is an animated story platform- it’s now not only to “share” ideas. It’s extremely important to so many people. Exactly, the way people are portrayed in different scenarios can affect the way you think about them, as a person, or a race, it’s more than a few people, and people are all different, their beliefs are all different. Therefore, to judge something from one thing is also something not said or shown.

I was going to oppose what you said, but many of your points are valid.
I would just have to say that many people would not think that a story is a great deal, which is why some people may misinterpret what you say.
Everything you read, see, watch, is all part of propaganda you don’t know. I love superhero movies, for example, but at the same time, even if it wasn’t meant to be, it is propaganda, as it’s made in America and to be shown that America is the superhero.
This is not meant to offend America. I’m only meaning to say it’s part of our everyday life and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
I’s also want to add not every story is like this, I would promote some, but this isn’t the thread. However, those stories are also promoting something, I believe is good.
Propaganda is something that makes us believe something is good. Really good. For example, I believe Teacher- student relationships aren’t good.
What is good and bad is taken by society’s standards. Say here, I’m not sure whether I’m defending it or not, but I suppose I’m more biased towards it. See, even I am affected my propaganda.
I have no idea what my point is.
Let me think about it.
I think my point is, be careful of what you write.
That’s it.
Happy thinking!


#338

I’m tired of people who scream, “Diversity!” But never take action to include in their stories, or support stories without it. Diversity is much more than race, religion or sexuality. Diversity is people, just multitudinous people who are different. That’s the bare definition of diversity. That’s all there is to it. I want representation, too. I’m one of the few New Yorkers on this site, so I live in a very diverse place, for sure. Most, or all, of my stories include diversity, but not as the focus. It’s about accuracy, respect, positivity, and representation. Episode, has done nothing related to diversity, at all.

#RepresentationMatters

Now spread this. :heart:


#339

Sorry for not including this in my writing, I’m so used to seeing diversity being represented as race and sexuality I forgot about the actual meaning.
Support.


#340

Are you being sarcastic?


#341

Perhaps addressing that in a PM would be best.


#343

No, I’m just curious. Not trying to argue, Jeremy. :slight_smile:


#344

No, it’s fine. I use punctuation too. You’re good


#346

Sigh. I said Episode in capitals because this post is about the COMPANY, not every single writer.


#347

:clap:


#348

Thank you for your intelligent and well-thought-out response. I have a few comments, a few disagreements and general points to add with regards to this and I’m grateful that you’re being kind enough to have a debate and consider my side. I’ll do my best to do the same!

I definitely agree with this! My main issue with the over-sexualisation of the featured section isn’t that it’s an issue to have a sexuality. In fact, I promote women who want to explore their sexuality (even if I’m religious and don’t do the same myself). My problem is that they make sex seem cool and sexualise women too much. It normalises treating women as objects and making sex a game… with women as the prize. Very few of these stories are about sexual liberation. They’re about sex as a way to control.

In terms of diversity, all of the stories push a (slightly) liberal, middle class, American agenda… even if the skin colours and locations change. It doesn’t matter if there is a black girl as a lead because it’s still not diverse. She still acts like every other character that came before her and has the exact same priorities and motivations. What about cultural or socio-economic diversity? What about having an MC whose main problems aren’t annoying parents and mean girls? What about an MC who actually struggles to get by? I mean, look at Tangled Love! It’s set in France (supposedly), but everyone speaks English (I would much rather the author just make it clear that it’s translated and they are actually speaking French), the education system is American and everyone acts like Paris is just a city in the US. Some stories take distinctly American names like “Brody”, “Tyler” or “Chad” and give them to British kids… those names really not very common in the UK.

Definitely! People start to see bad things as normal if they’re constantly exposed to it through the media they consume. It’s Episode’s responsibility as a platform with so much traction and influence to make sure that they’re not normalising negative things (as they make very clear in the guidelines for stories).

I both agree and disagree with this. I mean, there’s a whole world in the 1800s and slavery is very entrenched in American life. It’s not so true of the rest of the world. I mean, sure there was the occasional slave here and there in Europe, but also important people of colour! For example, Mary Seacole and Equiano. Queen Victoria even had a man from the Indian colonies come to the palace to teach her Hindustani – the language of India when it also included Pakistan and Bangladesh. There were even free men/women of colour in American society. People often forget about this kind of thing. And women were only really less than men in the middle classes. At the time, Britain had a female monarch and lower class women worked just as hard as their husbands and were valued in the households.

But at the same time, it is true that the vast majority of American black people of the time were slaves and that women were largely silenced in the circles that influenced the world. However, does that mean that they should be excluded from stories of the time? I don’t think so. In fact, I think it would be even more interesting if a writer is able to humanise a black slave from the 1800s and show their life and its struggles… even if the story isn’t about them. Shakespeare does it beautifully. Even when he brings “Moors” into his plays, they aren’t bland characters with no personality. They all have motivations and lines and you can really sympathise with them. Take The Tempest as an example. Even though the story is about a, well, Tempest (it focusses on a shipwreck), there is a side story about the wizard’s black slave and individuality. He isn’t the most likeable of characters, but he is a 3-dimensional character.

The same goes for women. Even though they had no formal say, both women and people of colour did influence the world in their own ways. It just gets brushed under the rug by the formal successes and failures of white men. For example, music today wouldn’t be what it is if it weren’t for the cultures that the slaves brought from Africa to America. Women could sometimes control their husbands like puppets even if they couldn’t gain any formal political… and men would often consult their wives behind closed doors.

The main problem is that history is so well and truly “whitewashed”, if it were. Many people forget that the history that we read in textbooks and are told about in school and documentaries… well, it’s the history that a bunch of old, dusty, white men want you to know about as they sit and rub their hands together in their University lairs. A lot of history that doesn’t involve clear political repercussions isn’t seen as “interesting”, and so it gets abandoned or neglected for something “more interesting”. Maybe it’s time for more stories to open our eyes to the 99.9% of a period’s history that we don’t get in our standard books. The women who helped their husbands run a country. The slaves’ struggles. The influential woman whose contributions are forgotten because they aren’t massively political. The evidence and sources are out there waiting to be discovered.

I disagree with this. There have always been underground LGBT communities and there have always been gay people in society. However, the way they responded to their sexuality and were treated because of it changed drastically over time. Of course, it would be historically inaccurate for a gay person to come out as gay and be dramatically fabulous in the 1700s (I’m going for this period because there are plenty of out gay writers like Oscar Wilde from the 1800s). But maybe that’s what makes their story so interesting! Gay people existed. They just didn’t have gay pride marches like we do now. I would be fascinated by a story of how a gay man or woman had to deal with their feelings.

I guess my main message here is that historical silence doesn’t always mean historical absense. James VI and I of Scotland and England was historically accused of homosexuality, but at the time, it was all euphemisms and “male favourites” at court becuase no one would even dare think about him and his (possible) lovers. Their silence says a lot. It’s often deliberate.

Yeah, that’s pretty much what I mean by that. Also, promises like a “gender fluid story”. I was excited about that, but they really didn’t follow through. Also, I don’t mean to prioritise different types of diversity or claim that certain minorities aren’t important, but I don’t know why I trusted them to tackle gender fluidity when they haven’t even had a homosexual or male MC in a featured story. The closest they’ve come is appeasement by throwing in a poorly-thought-out love interest at the end of a story and suddenly claiming that the MC had been bisexual all along even though the story revolved around her relationship with the two men. I don’t know why I expected them to deliver on gender fluidity when they can’t even get the “more common” types of diversity right.

I think this is where we need a change. In order to truly embrace diversity as an app, Episode should start to promote stories that aren’t set in America with an American cast. They’re out there. I’ve read a lot and written a few. If Episode makes the first step, maybe they can make a positive change. Mybe people won’t see foreign countries as too weird or scary to write a story about. The stories exist. Episode just decides it’s going to keep promoting the same stuff.

I have to agree with you here. Although, I think that when it comes to negative things (like an abuse of power or a lack of diversity where it belongs), having a vague story with no clear morals can actually be equally as dangerous as promoting bad morals overtly. What it does it normalise bad behaviour. If a story neither promotes nor condemns a student-teacher relationship, what it is doing is desensitising its audience to the very idea of a student-teacher relationship. The more stories thet see like that, the more it seems normal as a thing in general. So, even though the writers aren’t necessarily trying to openly promote the abuse of power, they are contributing to people slowly thinking it’s normal.

The same is true of a lack of diversity. A lot of really right-wing people will say “well that’s just how the film industry is. Deal with it. I don’t cry when there’s a black lead in a film”. That’s because we’re so used to consuming media with predominantly white casts and white MCs that it’s now odd for it to not be a thing. Granted, it is getting much better now… but it is still deeply ingrained in our minds. When you think of a character doing a heroic act, do you think of a man or a woman, for example? When you think of a terrorist, do you think of a specific race? When you think of a villain, do you think of either a British or a Russian accent? I know most people do… because it’s seen as normal. It’s what we’re often exposed to and the thing that needs to change. The story may not be promoting viewing women as weak… but if all films have weak women in them, that doesn’t really matter. We’ll end up seeing that portrayal of women as normal anyway.

Thank you again for this post! I actually agree with most of what you’ve said and I was delighted to read this and respond. It’s interesting to hear the perspective of someone who is so willing to hear other people out. You’re yet more proof that people who are aware of the influence of the written word are less susceptible to it – though not completely free.


#349

My 2018 Diversity Standards Proposal

By the end of 2018, a portion of the Episode community sat down at their computers and looked at the Episode app to decide what we wanted the team to focus on in the coming year. Although we may have small disagreements about the execution and the philosophy, one thing was clear: Episodes’s stories and platform have failed to reflect the amazing diversity of the players and the world around us. In regards to that, you have continued to let us down, and I (along with many others) have spent over a year reflecting on how we want you to do better.

When I use the term “diversity”, this includes but is not limited to age, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, culture, socioeconomics, gender identity and expression, sexuality, mental health, and physical disability / chronic ailment.

I want to share a few suggestions I am hoping you will adopt as a team for the upcoming year (2019). I hope they’re reasonable and will be heard by the Episode team:

  • A promise from you that you will commit to at least 50% of new Featured stories being created by Episode community members who haven’t been featured before. By April, I would love to see more liaison with Episode writers who are willing and able to provide the diversity that Episode so strives for. That starts with the writers themselves. I would like to see a diverse team of Episode feature writers from different backgrounds to spice up the stories that are being produced.

  • A promise that you will prioritise the promotion of more underground writers in your weekly shelves. As of recently, two of my favourite writers have been featured in the shelves, both of whom already had millions of reads before they got the extra promotion. I hope you will spend more time curating themes that are different and unique and look for undiscovered talent to place on them.

  • Your assurance that these partnerships with creators will see fruition. I would like to see more writers with interesting user stories placed on the app and not Wattpad stories with a negative representation of both men and women and promote the same middle-class, American story dynamic. I want to see your stories go around the world. The best way to do that is to form partnerships with writers from all around the world.

  • That you will continue your good work with your diversity of clothing, hair styles, character features and backgrounds to empower everyone to tell THEIR story. This means more landscape pictures of cities from around the world, along with the inclusion of longer skirts for Limelight.

  • That you set a time pre-production time that may include speaking to other Episode users who might be able to give an insight into the community.

  • That you will set aside some of your time to the dedicated search of underground, under-appreciated stories instead of relying on the users to do it, or that you’ll add features to the app which allow for the discovery of stories with very few views that were written a long time ago. If a story hasn’t taken off, how are the users supposed to know that it is a good one?

  • Your promise that you will be more open and honest with what’s happening on Episode so that we know what to expect and what not to. As a team, you have been surprisingly silent about this issue since releasing this statement, which is beginning to make it seem like the forums are nothing but a pretence. I mean, even the shelf suggestions happen over Instagram instead of the forums. This is really lowering my (and many other people’s) faith in the integrity of Episode and how much you as a team care about your users.

  • The implementation of some official guides so that writers can be up to date on what you think is the best way to approach diversity in a story. I hope that you’ll work with some people to come up with a Google Docs tutorial on sensitive topics and diversity to help writers who want to help themselves. You have your own specific way of dealing with diversity (or at least the pretense of your own way) and I would like you to follow that through by introducing it to us.

  • For you to get some more community authors on board in your team. I cannot speak for the Episode budget (otherwise I’d ask you to put together a team who are responsible for finding good quality user stories to promote), but I am sure there are many Episode writers (myself included) who would be happy to team up with you for the perk of Writer’s Payments at a lower read count in order to provide you with some insights on how WE think the community should move forward. I am unsure if there is actually a representative Episode council. If there is, why aren’t they being promoted on here for us to talk to?

Of course, I didn’t – and still don’t – expect these changes to happen overnight. I did, however, expect to see more visible improvements over a year on. I would love an update on the stories that you have in development which help to reflect your dedication to representing your diverse community. At the moment, very little has changed since the beginning of 2017 and I would like to know what happened to the stories you promised.

I hope that you will be as transparent as you claimed to be when you set out your diversity goals for 2017 and I hope you listen to our attempts to hold you accountable to them. I wish there was feedback and a dialogue, but there has not been so much as an update on this for over a year, which really makes it seem like this was disingenuous. You didn’t learn from your mistakes, and have let a lot of people down.


#350

By the title alone supports the fact that Diversity is way too subjective to please everyone. Don’t get me wrong, you guys have come up with some points but all I see is people with different views on what Diversity should be. As long as we as a people- have different perspectives on diversity, then there is no way that Episode will be able to make everyone happy in regards to it.

That’s not how Episode works. There’s a whole process,

There are featured writers from different backgrounds but then again seems like a subjective statement.

Again, Episode has teamed up with writers around the world, but I’m not sure if you mean certain countries or cultures.

Agree with this. I was actually looking for long skirts the other day.

They do that. I don’t know if they still do it but I know for a fact that they get on Skype or make calls with members of the community.

And boom here we go. What does this have to do with diversity? Hey, to be fair maybe to some people this falls under diversity, like you. But to me… this does not and it doesn’t belong in the standards. Subjectivity at its finest,

Since the statement, they released stories that they thought would make everyone happy with diversity but quickly found out that it didn’t. Again some of us have a view on how diversity should be and thought that their attempts were not good enough.

Again, “on what YOU think is the best way to approach”? Very subjective, still won’t make everyone happy if they don’t agree on what they think is the best approach,

Ouch and now this statement might make your whole “diversity Standards post” discreditable, I don’t know about other people, but this makes it look like you are trying to use Diversity for personal gain by suggesting to be PAID (what does getting paid have to do with diversity?) to provide insight and how “YOU think” (again subjectivity that will not account for everyone) the community should move forward.

So I don’t mean to be a killjoy but Episode is a business, there is a strict process, stories have to perform a certain way to get featured. This is reality, this is life, this won’t change. They will not just “pick people” for featured stories.

And like I said, in my opinion, as long as people have their own versions of what diversity should be, it shall never completely be fulfilled.


#351

Good points.


#352

I agree with diversity being different for everyone. I’m okay with “white, cis, heterosexual, Christian” characters as long as the story is good.
(However I would prefer them not to be from the same country. Even a non English name is good enough)


#353

Okay, here we go.

Of course it’s going to be subjective. I don’t claim to speak for anyone but myself. People are free to agree or disagree. I’m not a spokesperson for the whole of Episode. I’m someone who is making suggestions. Hence:

I’m not trying to speak for the whole world and I won’t try. We all have our own opinions on how this should work. As I said here:

Because most of us agree that Episode hasn’t met its goals, but we disagree on execution and philosophy.

How exactly is this a subjective statement? It’s stating what I’d like to see, sure… but writers from different backgrounds is hardly a subjective idea.

Are there people from different countries but not different cultures? Or are there people from different cultures but not different countries? Often different countries will have a plethora of different cultures that vary massively from other countries.

It’s good if they do this already. It would be even better if there was a way to see the conclusions that are made in these discussions for us to access if we want to.

What it has to do with diversity is that it promotes stories that may not usually be made popular. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but first and foremost, Episode does what sells. Straight, middle-class, high school American girl with boy troubles is the most common type of Featured story, regardless of ethnicity. Of course, if it’s what’s normal, it’s understandable that people cling to that as a crutch, but it’s not very representative of Episode at a large. Promoting stories that are not as popular because they’re out of the ordinary is a great way to show the diversity of Episode.

They’ve released Venomous. They almost released Instant Princess. I’ll look through the featured section now. Living with my Crush, Back and Forth, It Started With a Bra, Love and War… these all follow the exact trope I was talking about. American, straight, middle class, boy troubles, most likely in High School. Because diversity isn’t just about producing stories from the same neck of the woods with different skin colours. Episode listed many, many things in their definition of diversity and I agree with it. But where are the straight-up gay MCs? What about the male ones? Disabled MCs? I’m not even going into skin colour, race or ethnicity here.

Again, I named this as MY proposal because I knew not everyone would agree with me. Of course, it’s going to be subjective. Unless you expect me to just solve the issue… I could solve the Israel and Palestine controversy whilst I’m at it.

I’d much rather people pick up on certain points to agree or disagree with than act like my proposal has no weight just because it’s MY proposal.

To be honest, fair enough if some people think that. What I think is that Episode makes enough money to not expect people to give out all their aid and advice for free. I mean, I am already doing that with my own blog, which I link to on a regular basis for people who want to improve their writing, but I am also conscious of the fact that EPISODE is making money from diversity and maybe some people would want a little compensation for their time spent. It’s fair enough if you ask me. Trying to help with a messy subject like diversity can be gruelling and require a lot of hours.

This is the worrying thing for me. Episode does what sells… including falling flat on their own diversity standards? Why is it that these particular stories sell so well? Where’s the gender fluidity story they promised? Back and Forth is a great story and I love it dearly, but changing bodies with another person isn’t the same as gender fluidity. I’d love to know where that story is.

Which is true… but Episode should start first by meeting their own standards and following their own version of diversity.


#354

I think that white, cis, heterosexual, Christian characters DO count as diversity if the whole cast isn’t white, cis, heterosexual and Christian. Diversity is about including people from various different backgrounds and walks of life. That does include cis white people.


#355

First of all, that was an excellent reply, and just, incredibly amazing of you to reply with such length.
I’m sorry, but I’ll have to keep this reply short and sweet as I’m replying from school.I definitely agree with you that women needing to explore their sexuality is very normal and a good message to send out as a theme where women come to terms with themselves (same for weight)
I usually don’t talk about this when discussing episode, but here goes:
I both agree and disagree about your points on sex. When you argue that sex seems cool, I think what you mean is that they make the theme of sex overused and used in the wrong context. To some people, sex is a everyday thing, whether it’s for strippers, for couples, but in context I’m assuming not all strippers (and I’m not here to judge, just what I think) are strippers for the love of stripping, but because they have financial situations that lead them to this. I think that these themes I would be fine with, but they should be used in context not just to be unrealistic and oversexualize women just for oversexualizing women. I agree with the fact that sex isn’t a game- but in context. You could argue that the sex seen in some of these stories may be what happens to some people in real life, but I think too much of this leads people to caution this subject. I think there should be different themes and the problem with this topic is people are making too much of the same thing. It all comes down to personality and character of each person in the story, and it should make sense or have a backstory or be able to explain their behaviour in a realistic way. I agree with your point when you state that in stories, sex is a way to control, which can be seen in themes (I will not point out) such as gangs and mafia. In reality, they are nothing like what is portrayed, and research should have been done prior to introducing this. I agree that there should be realistic situations for the MC, as untrue ideas of reality could get into reader’s minds and influence their way of thinking in a bad way. I have not read tangled love as of now, but I think, and I don’t mean to offend you, that the way you saw the situation was wrong. I understand that as it’s set in France, people should speak French. I agree that there should be at least some french dialogue with reader message or overlay translations, but you could also argue that around, I guess, 80% of Episode readers can speak and read English, as it is one of the most common languages in the world, and more people would be able to read and understand it with another language. However I agree that at least some language should have been used. I do think the problem with the kid’s names aren’t huge. Many British people may like American names, and I don’t think that’s a defining problem at all. I’m so sorry about the way I explained period eras. First of all, I completely forgot I was talking about the world, and there is a movie about a black young aristocratic lady who is entitled to huge amounts and faces challenges in England due to her colour. The movie’s called “Belle”, but obviously that isn’t my point. Yes, I agree that there were black people at these times with these problems, etc, and there should be more of these stories. However, I have to point out there are not as many episode stories or writers who are so interested in writing periodical stories. However, these themes could open the mind of people. There are some MC’s who’s problems are not just mean girls and annoying parents. I know one amazing story I could recommend, and I’m assuming the other answer you aren’t looking for is from not high school stories, because they mainly involve not so appropriate themes and one theme that’s almost particularly consistent in almost everything I see- the so called hot person. Well yes, I agree we should look top Shakespeare for that. In my last reply, I forgot so much stuff, and I’m sorry for that. (And yes, the Tempest was great) I agree with all the points you listed in the paragraph. It’s the age of femininity, but I think it may be misinterpreted incorrectly, which is what I think is also a problem. There are many women in history (I’m not saying their motives were good) that have been able to lure men by not just their beauty, but by their friendliness and brains, I think the problem is that “lure” is the theme right now, whether it is to lure, or be lured by. This is extremely consistent. I agree with your points about history, and I’m sorry for my rebuke,
yes. I’m sorry. I was looking more to America when I was talking in terms of LGBT community, or just modern times, really. I know that some monarch’s had preferences which I had read, and at the time wasn’t controversial at all. I know this wasn’t your main point, but Oscar Wilde’s homosexuality is most likely a misconception. See: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2003/may/07/top10s.oscar.wilde. I agree, having this would a theme of historical homosexual people would be quite emotionally grasping.
I understand your message completely and I’m sorry I didn’t look out for that.
For your point of gender fluid stories, I understand that you think there are stories with badly thrown in characters in a poor attempt at diversity. There are, however, some stories with a LGBT (MC) and in some stories, you get to choose in the start your preferred gender. I understand you think that embracing diversity is a huge problem. However, some people’s target is not on LGBT- their main characters are supposed to be straight, because of their envision, and maybe because of the stress of this new theme, it may be poorly managed. I saw think it’s hard to think for a LGBT mind if you’re straight, which messes up the way they are portrayed. Overall, I agree that there should at least be background characters of the sort to show reality, but the sexuality should be up to the author0- you can give them as much as it’ll mess up their vision. I think there could be more of LGBT stories, of course, but I don’t think blame should be put on authors entirely. Here’s the thought process:
This new theme is making authors frantic, which causes them to try implementing these themes. However, it comes out wrong, because they’re not exactly sure how it should be used. In consequence, we blame for this. However, I think, either they use it, or they use it properly- which is harder for them.
I agree, there should be more stories not set in America. Again, I think this is just propaganda and generation influence from the American dream. (And I really am not trying to offend anyone, but propaganda has been America’s biggest weapon since the 1950s. (Riddle, Lincoln. “American Propaganda in World War II.” WAR HISTORY ONLINE (blog), August 6, 2016. https://www.warhistoryonline.com/world-war-ii/american-propaganda-world-war-ii.html.) ) Well, I really haven’t heard of these right wing people before, but your view on it should be correct. I completely agree with you about terrorists and all- but for me, it’s because of the news circulating recently. However, the times are changing, and I think it becomes better. When I think of someone doing a heroic act, I think of a woman, I think mostly because (and I’ll mention this again) now being the age of femininity, and also because of Wonder Woman. (The movie) I agree we should definitely not be promoting women as weak. My point is not to say that women should control men, which is the wrong way of seeing feminism. Instead, it’s equality, I see it as gender equality, and we should not hold it down.
Sorry for the reply being such a long time difference! I started writing this 11 hours ago, in the morning at school, but I had only a few minutes breaks everytime I started typing, and I typed more on the bus, but I couldn’t press reply because of the wifi. Anyhow, thank you again for such a lovely long reply, and how you spent so much time thinking of this.

Yes, I agree, even now, I’m basically putting out propaganda with what I’m saying. It’s everywhere.

Edit: However, I do have to agree with @/S.Langdon that, (and if you look at this from their perspective) Episode is a money making app. American cliche gang/well I won’t mention, but those stories are what bring in the audience. I would like to say that they are at least, trying to help. Perhaps they will as this is quite the topic currently. However, I would have to say that keep in mind Episode also cannot function to run on everyone’s opinions as everyone’s biases varies.

Anyways, happy reflecting!


#356

Hello again!

Thank you so much for your reply! I’d like to respond with a few things :slight_smile:

This is very true and I have a lot of respect for strippers. One of my friends is a stripper who does it to put herself through medical school, which I find so inspiring (even if I don’t have the body confidence to strip regardless of if I needed the money or not) that she’s using her job to make a better life for herself. My problem with sex as a game comes actually from the more patriarchal implications of this. Sex as a game is often for the pleasure of men and at the expense of women, which is frustrating and sexist in my opinion. In general, the culture of sex shouldn’t be about one-upping people and mind games. If any games are played, it should be literal ones between consenting individuals who are enjoying themselves. I should have mentioned that, so I’m sorry! I agree with pretty much everything else you said here.

I agree with this. However, I people in Paris don’t really go around speaking English all their lives. They speak French! I think the author should have done a Les Miserables thing where they make it clear that the characters are speaking French even if we hear it in English. This could be done by incorporating words like “Monseuir” every so often instead of making French a foreign language class in her French school. A lot of Parisians speak English as a second language, sure… but if she’s gone to France as part of an exchange programme, it’s ridiculous that she can function and get around in France with terrible French without a single person in a supermarket or library or something trying to speak to her in French before switching to English. That’s realistically what happens when you’re in a foreign country. Unless they know you’re a tourist, people are going to try to speak to you in their own language before switching to English. If she’s living and functioning in a French school and not just mini America given the name France, it should at least be clear that the English we’re reading is just a “translation” of what she said, because French teachers aren’t just going to deliver the whole lesson in English just to suit one student who came to France unprepared.

It’s pretty easy to pull off, actually. You start the sentence with a French greeting and continue in English. That way, people understand that it’s actually French they’re speaking. Also, if her French is really that terrible, it would be funny to have her speaking poorly in English and for the people around her to say “Your French is terrible”, so we understand better. I don’t think the whole story should have been in French, but I think the writer should have made it clear that even though we’re reading English, they’re speaking French there.

That is fair enough, but if the writer is trying to make us aware of how quintessentially British this person is, choosing the 1% of American names you’re unlikely to find in Britain is disingenuous. There are so many names that Britain and America share, but it’s bizarre to me that British people who are supposed to be “so British” in an Episode story (or even TV show) would have one of the 5 names you won’t find in England. There are hundreds more that they could use! It shows a lack of research to me.

Forgive me, but this article says that Wilde wasn’t gay from Childhood and that he came out of the closet later in his life:

  • “His ‘conversion’ to homosexuality probably came about in 1886/7 with a young man who was to remain a lifelong friend, Robert Ross.”

  • “After Oscar’s conviction he [Douglas] wrote a defence of their love for a French journal, which would have done more harm than good, and was never published. He also helped Oscar financially after his release from prison.”

He was also on trial for homosexuality because of his relationship with Douglas.

These happen a lot in community stories, but the featured stories rarely deal with this. When they do, it’s often a “I know we’re friends but I like you” at the end.

That may be true! I hope, therefore, that Episode works with some LGBTQ writers to create LGBTQ Featured stories.

I have to admit, this really made me smile. I’ve asked so many people this and they always answer with a character like Iron Man, Batman, Superman or Spiderman. The thing I personally think of when I think “heroic act” is Lily Potter’s sacrifice for her son in Harry Potter.

The sad thing is that Episode is also an influential app. They do contribute to create the ideas of what sells. If Episode pushed good stories that broke from the mold slowly and well, they could really make an impact. They just need to make the leap.


#357

I don’t know, the rich in general were all pretty dramatically fabulous in the 1700s, at least by today’s standards. :joy:
On a more serious note, I agree that LGBTQ+ people have always existed. The same language hasn’t always been used, but there’s historical evidence that the experiences of LGBTQ+ people have always existed. They haven’t even always been demonized.
That being said, Oscar Wilde was most likely bisexual. Some historians have just been arguing over whether he’s gay or straight because they like to ignore the existence of bisexuality.


#358

That’s true! Although it is clear that he has an innate attraction to the male figure. He attributes masculinity to the ideal aesthetic! People do often forget that bisexual people can be attracted to men and women for different reasons, too!