An interesting conversation happened in the comments on Jim Zoetewey's "Legion of Nothing" this week when someone mentioned the superhero trope "Woman in Refrigerator," which is an idea with its own website that women in comic books are frequently victimized (killed, hurt, raped) to up the stakes on storylines. Different comments on the Women in Refrigerators website (WIC from here on) and comments on JZ's actual story summarized this trend as the result of a largely white, male, heterosexual writing class wanting strong masculine heroes to have emotional reactions to damsels in distress because that's their culture.
So, parallel to that, most comics are white hetero-normative (I think that's the phrase I want to use). There's not a lot of cultural, racial, sexual or gender diversity. There are sometimes "token" gay or racial characters. (There are also some comics that deal with diversity well - I think of X-Men, which addresses oppression, discrimination and diversity all the time).
Anyway, what I was wondering, was where do writers here weigh in? Do we have a social responsibility to try to incorporate different voices, perspectives and cultures in our writing, or just go with what we know? Do you write to be entertaining or educate? (This isn't an either/or thing, just want to see people comment).
Me personally, I have a lot of multi-cultural experience, but because of plots I've decided to do in my stories, I just realized that the majority of my characters are white, and they're all heterosexual (so far as I know, I haven't really asked most of my characters about their sex lives). I found it funny that a kid that had black, white, Asian, Christian, Muslim, straight, gay, agnostic friends and studied world religions grew up to write primarily white fiction. My own writing doesn't reflect my experiences and while I know my plots have a lot of planning (like in NMAI the main characters are rural Canadian white kids from the same small town, not much room for a gay kid from Hong Kong to join them) I wonder if I'm perpetuating stereotypes. Does anyone else think about stuff like this?