…and what I wish I could have articulated when I recently had a conversation about so called “reverse discrimination.”

Neesha Meminger discusses racism in the context of writers of color writing characters of color on Justine Larbalestier’s blog. The money quote:

“This also addresses (another of my pet peeves,) the “reverse” discrimination argument; an argument that doesn’t take into consideration the fact that oppression is about power imbalance-not just name-calling and hurt feelings.

In the case of a parent-child relationship, when a parent smacks a child with all his might, the effect is far different than when a child smacks a parent with all her might. The latter is not “reverse” abuse. The former results in lasting physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual scarring while the second leaves hardly an imprint. Why? Because there is a massive power imbalance on every level. The child is completely dependent on the parent for her very survival. And the parent is far stronger and bigger than she is.”

Massive power imbalance is the key here. This is a topic dear to my own heart for the obvious reasons that I often write characters of Japanse or half-Japanese descent. Which is another kind of sticky situation as Japanese don’t experience the same kind of racism in the US as other ethnicities/races do.

But it’s sure something my daughters will have to take into account at sometime in their life, whether in the US or in Japan.