Charles Tan’s Essay: “Awareness and Bias”

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 13 - 2011

Around a week ago, Charles Tan (The Bibliophile Stalker) posted an essay which I believe merits wider discussion/dissemination. The essay is entitled “Awareness and Bias” and here’s an excerpt:

What people need to understand is that everyone will have an agenda¬† (and I don’t mean to use the term in a negative way, which in itself is an example of baggage associated with language). Mine for example has been the promotion of Philippine speculative fiction, “World SF”, and authors/editors I encounter and admire. If you think this blog is bias-free, you’re mistaken. It’s my particular bias that shapes who my readers are (you can think of it as my target audience). No text (be it fiction, poetry, film, music, games, or any other media) can be entirely divorced from its agenda (although readers, of course, are free to interpret it under their own biases as well). Every story, for example, will have a hierarchy of moral values (and what’s moral in one culture might be a different case in another).

I love speculative fiction but let’s face it: there’s a lot of things wrong with the genre (again, Western-centrism and patriarchy). A lot of it is unconscious.

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