I’ll have to say that I agree with you. I don’t think this is politics, this is asking for people to just treat people ( no matter their differences) with respect.
As authors, we have a responsibility to communicate the messages we wish people to internalize. People learn empathy from reading, they learn societal expectations and the messages we put into our books are hella-powerful.
You can start with seeking to see everyone as equal beings. That includes having an equal cast of characters in your books. Realistic, yes, but well rounded characters that are male and female and a variety of races, orientations and identifications. We become the examples we see.
Have strong women and weak men. Flawed, multifacted females that develop their own characters and maybe find a healthy relationship down the line.
Say no to unhealthy relationship tropes such as violence towards partners, sexual harassment or assault as “signs of love of an alpha” (or whatever nonsense there is). ** TIP the trauma of these events are long lasting and deep and relationships in such a misbalanced power relationship are NOT love. Teaching people that they are, is where the message to use such methods comes from.
Gah. I could go on for days. Don’t objectify women / others, whether for plot devices or sexual gratification.
Oh. I said it already, but I’ll say it again. Have equal representation. Guess what. 50% (or more) of the population are women. And they’ve been strong and smart and brave and courageous and amazing leaders for centuries. Human society and the patriarchal nonsense that dehumanizes women and justifies sexual harassment purposefully erases women as contributors. Write stories that challenge that!
We’ll make a dent in the issue of sexual harassment / discrimination based on sex, colour, creed, orientation or any other difference within our race.