The Renegade Writer

The Renegade Writer’s Nondiscrimination Policy — And, Have You Ever Been Discriminated Against as a Writer?

A few weeks ago, a writing buddy of mine, Ollin of Courage 2 Create, was discriminated against by a fellow writing blogger because he’s gay.

Say what? I always considered writing one of the most accepting and non-discriminating industries: If you can write, you’re golden.

I mean, as a straight, white, fortysomething woman I’ve written articles for minority college grads, gay men, moms (well before I became one myself), and kids. As long as I had good ideas and could write them up in a compelling way, no one cared about my age, ethnicity, parenthood status, sexual orientation, or anything else.

So I was shocked to hear this story from Ollin. He’s a great writer with ideas worth sharing, and that’s all that should matter to potential clients and bloggers in search of guest posts.

Ollin posted his nondiscrimination policy, and I thought I’d chime in with my own. (I’m sure Ollin won’t mind if I steal parts of his nondiscrimination policy for mine.)

The Renegade Writer Blog is committed to the principle of equal opportunity when it comes to choosing its guest bloggers and choosing who gets to engage in discussions. Everybody is welcome to share and read the content provided here. This blog does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin.

I’m thrilled that The Renegade Writer attracts such a broad and diverse readership. Thank you to everyone for reading this blog, sharing its content, and participating in the Comments.

How about you — do you feel that the writing industry is generally accepting and non-discriminating? Have you ever been discriminated against as a writer because of your gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity or anything else? Please post in the Comments below.

Mar 29, 2012 Ethics, Rants, Writers

11 Responses

  1. Lori says:

    Because I work in technical areas, I’ve not been taken seriously — until I open my mouth. I’ve had interview subjects “dumb down” what they were saying thinking I wouldn’t understand (they didn’t know, so I can’t say it was anything heinous). It wasn’t until I responded with the industry jargon and carried a conversation that they realized I knew what I was doing.

    My male counterparts have never had someone assume they didn’t know the topic. Hmmm.

    It’s rare, but occasionally I do come across the client who thinks I’m still wet behind the ears. I counter it with confidence in stating my price and my background. Rare is the client who will argue with someone who is damn sure of herself and her skills.

    • Interesting how that happens. How can we girls possibly know anything about technology when we’re so busy shopping for shoes, right? Good for you for showing your stuff and making them think twice.

  2. Kenia says:

    There is definitely gender discrimination. Unfortunately, it’s very stealth-like and you usually can’t tell when/if you’re being discriminated against.

    Take James Chartrand’s story, of Men with Pens: http://www.copyblogger.com/james-chartrand-underpants/

    And most writers featured in major media–such as the New York Times or late-night shows, for example–are typically white males:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/12/business/media/12women.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

    http://www.tnr.com/article/books-and-arts/77506/the-read-franzen-fallout-ruth-franklin-sexism

  3. Maggi says:

    Several years ago I wrote regularly for a national service organization membership magazine using only my initials and last name. The editor always assumed I was a man and I never shared the truth. I think it never crossed his mind that I’d be a woman. :-)

    I like the idea of a nondiscrimination policy for a blog. Website too.
    Thanks!

  4. Discrimination. It’s a big word with major impact, and yes it does exist in writing, as it does in other industries, unfortunately.
    In a “perfect world” it wouldn’t. :-)

    As a case in point, most writers can remember when James Chartrand revealed, ( a few years back), that “he” was a she. And that she had taken on the identity of a man to prevent stereotypic views and prejudices that exist for females in business. And she wanted to be taken seriously and judged by the merits of her work.

    If she felt the need, certainly that says something.
    The thing is that discrimination is hard to prove; whether it’s in housing, writing or employment practices.

    And let’s face it: not many people will admit to being biased because it’s “politically incorrect” these days.

    Perhaps intelligent, honest dialogue is a way to bring about a change?

    That’s just my two cents…

    • I do remember James’s situation. I haven’t faced anything like that, thanks goodness. But now James seems to be kicking butt, even though I assume most people know he’s a she. Good for her!

  5. Amandah says:

    It’s the 21st century, and we’re still dealing with and speaking about discrimination. Seriously? It’s an old, old topic. I think it’s time to find a new one.

    My thoughts on discrimination

    I think the reason why people discriminate has to do with how they were raised. I wasn’t ‘coddled or sheltered’ as a child like some kids are today. Whew … I could write a book on this topic because I have the sources to interview from principals to daycare workers.

    I was taught to give and show respect if I wanted to receive it. Also, I was taught to ‘think for myself’ and draw my own conclusions instead of ‘following’ the crowd and general opinion. I do believe a person’s ‘life experiences’ come into play. I could also write a book about this as well; it would help a lot of teens.

    I would think that corporations, publications, and website owners would want to hire/work with the ‘best’ writers. If they happen to be gay and or women, who cares? Maybe ‘the bottom line’ and or web traffic aren’t important after all. Interesting.

  6. Gwynneth says:

    What I like most about writing is that the onus of production and quality is on me. The buck stops with me. I like that.

    However, twice in the course of one month back in 2010, I was quietly dropped from technical writing contract consideration because I was too old. Yup. The recruiters insisted on my disclosing my college graduation date (which is a sneaky way to find out someone’s age) even though I pushed back. Did a little research and discovered that one of the ageism-promoting companies (a large telecommunications company that shall not be named but is currently in stalled merger talks)has a distinct history of pulling this trick.

    The other company was a PR firm that needed experienced finance writers with my range of experience but couldn’t seem to get past the fact that I’m no longer under 30. Their loss.

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