What is “good” and what is “evil?” Who’s a hero, and who’s a villain? What do we–an amalgamation of ever-evolving cultures–label as good and evil, hero and villain, and what does it say about us?
Anyone who reads my fiction knows that beneath the grungy sorcerers, urban tree-nymphs, and glitzy street magic lies an those questions.
In my September MeeklingTALK, I delve into our stories’ villainization of folks who are already marginalized. People with mental illness and disabilites, women-identified folks, people of color, LGBT+ , even the natural environment get the “villain” treatment. Meanwhile, the same stories go to great lengths to normalize the problematic behavior of white-straight-cis “heroes.”
As creators of culture, it’s our responsibility to make ourselves aware of this, and to instead tell stories that center and empower those we might think of as “villainous” — for the wrong reasons.
Many thanks to Chicago’s very own Meekling Press, local eventspace The Martin, and my colleague Chelsea Fiddyment for this opportunity.