Disadvantaged WoC, Should I add Racial dynamics?
Hi, and thanks for all your hard work and patience!
My MC competes in mage tournaments in a fictional/fantasy world. I want her to be…not quite an underdog, but with less advantages than her rival. Is this a bad/racist reason to make my MC a POC and her rival White? Not necessarily to enforce a theme or make a racial metaphor, but it seems like this dynamic would be more meaningful (for lack of a better word) than if it were the other way around or if they were both the same race. And if I do it this way, should racial themes or issues be more prominent in the story than if they were the same race?
(I asked this before and asked to remain anonymous, but Colette says the ask didn’t go through and suggested I submit without my name instead…I don’t know if I’m anonymous or not, so if this isn’t anonymous can you make it so that it is? Thanks!)
Though i’m curious as to what advantages she lacks as opposed to her rival and why, if they are not issues related to systemic and/or blatant racism, then I can’t see why race would come up as an issue in this situation. The Woman of Color’s rival happening to be white does not necessarily make it a “racial” issue either, unless, again you, the writer, thoughtfully decide to make it one.
If the story is not About Racism, or have significant themes of racial or systemic disadvantage, then the inclusion of certain racism would feel out of place. I think this post illustrates this well and also poses questions to ask yourself when considering adding a larger race dynamic: Racism as a Plot Device + Explaining Racism without Sounding Preachy
Reminder: A general question results in a general answer. You did not specify race or her disadvantages. There are nuances, and we’re much more helpful when race and/or ethnicity is defined in questions.