I object to obvious cultural appropriations and misuse such as “Chief Wahoo”(Cleveland Indians) and other insults to Native Americans such as the feather head-dress photo at top. I confess I didn’t think much about Princess Summerfall Winterspring on the old “Howdy Doody” show, but I was a tot then. Today the worm has turned, and if we write, we have to be aware of writing and cultural appropriation.
Here’s the issue. On the one hand, if we fiction writers can’t use our imaginations to cross boundaries, and imagine things and create characters unlike ourselves, we’re doomed as a species. On the other hand, there are sensitivities that we need employ. A New York Times op-ed piece by Lionel Shriver (9/23/16) has generated a lot of buzz. Here’s her piece: