“But QQ, why is equal representation in books such a big deal?” you ask, ignoring all the links in the above post. You ask this question because you are either white or male or heterosexual or cisgender or able-bodied or all of the above. You ask this question because you don’t understand what it is like to be an under-represented minority. You don’t know what it’s like to feel diminished because of your gender or your race. For you, representation has never been a problem. You can turn on the TV and see people who look like you every time. You can pick up a book and assume the characters appear white, and a large percentage of the time your assumption will be correct. You can be surprised that Rue is black even though she was described quite clearly as being black in [The Hunger Games]. There are people who do not have this luxury, and to ignore their feelings of self-consciousness, of hurt, of frustration, of the utter pain of invisibility, is to live in a world in which you are complicit in racism and sexism, whether or not you want to admit it.
–Query Quagmire on the state of sexism (and racism) in publishing.