So, I've got a new laptop, and it's got an extremely high resolution monitor -- like, some programs haven't been correctly patched yet and their menus are like size 4 font because they scale for a screen with not nearly this many pixels. And I've also got photoshop, because one of the first things I did when I got a computer that could run it was sign up for Adobe Creative Suite. (I missed photoshop so much, you have no idea.) And I've been making desktop backgrounds. There's a really consistent format to them: I find a quote I find inspiring from someone I admire, and render it in a pretty and thematically appropriate way using free artwork and fonts. (Mostly. The photo of Westminster in the George Orwell one wasn't labeled fair use, but I'm guessing copyright surrounding photographs of British government buildings is probably too weird for me to bother with anyway, and besides, who's going to sue over somebody using a grayscale copy of the top of their photo of a really famous building as a backdrop for two paragraphs from George Orwell's "Why I Write?")
Anyway, after my first few -- one from Terry Pratchett, one from Mike Rugnetta, one from a They Might Be Giants song, and one from Ursula K Le Guin's speech at the national book awards, I realized that everyone I was quoting was white, and almost all of them were men.
So, I've started to dig around for more quotes I find inspiring from women and people of color. And it's really not as easy as I thought it would be. I've added five more since the first batch: two white men, George Orwell and Walter Benjamin, and three men of color, Junot Diaz, Jay Smooth and Orlando Jones. No more women so far, although I've got a Donna Haraway quote sitting in a photoshop file pending actually finishing a complete read-through of "A Cyborg Manifesto."
I figured it'd be easier than this, but the biggest thing I've noticed very quickly is that many of the quotes I find most inspiring or enlightening from women and people of color are about the experience of being women and people of color -- which has been a valuable part of my experience of achieving a more complex and complete perspective on my own privilege, but which aren't really inspiring or uplifting in a personal way -- like, they wouldn't and shouldn't inform my own decisionmaking directly.
My goal is to get my desktop to represent more people of color than white people and more women than men, and this effort has in the past few days compelled me to pay a lot more close attention to who among my role models I've devoted the most time and energy, and who deserves a lot more of my attention.
(Which is to say: Cory Doctorow and Neil Gaiman, you're probably not getting on my desktop any time soon. Sorry but not really.)