I am a firm believer that a writer can write things out of the realm of their direct personal experience... so long as they do so with the acknowledgement that people are allowed to call them out if they bork it up. But I can admit that I stay within my comfort zone a lot, it should surprise no-one who looks at my stable of characters that I am white, and that puts me in a position of some privilege, it also causes me to default to certain cognitive biases when writing, specifically... most of my characters are white women.
This isn't about some forced tokenism, about introducing new characters just to have different races represented and be broad simplistic archetypes, it has simply been pointed out to me that one of my existing characters already has traits which could easily cause someone to read her as something other than I intended. Specifically I have accidentally given my main gal Robin Morgan some physical and ideological traits often associated with Asian people. Most notably her dark hair, her strong sense of duty and her fondness for meditation and a quiet, reserved face she puts on for the world. I have actually had people mistake her for an Asian woman before, not often, and most viewers don't even seem to care, but it has been on my mind.
Robin's race has never really been relevant to her personality or background, her being white wasn't integral to her backstory, and if I were to consciously confirm what some people have suspected then it wouldn't alter much, she wouldn't suddenly be way more into Shintoism or Buddhism, anime or tea ceremonies, or anything else from the rich history of Asian nations I know very little about, she would still be born and raised in a western nation, having primarily absorbed that culture. Which region of Asia any Asian ancestors came from would also affect little beyond some relics of thrice-removed culture.
I guess what I'm asking here is what anyone who cares thinks about this decision I am mulling over. I have no desire to be disrespectful to any culture, any mistakes I would make in my portrayal would be honest, unwitting ignorance and I would value efforts to enlighten me. While anyone should be allowed to write anything... that is not an excuse to be an ignorant asshole and wilfully spread misinformation, so I'm taking pains to assure everyone of the sincerity in my intent.
So yeah, I'll put up a poll shortly, feel free to leave your thoughts there.
Listening to: novelty ringtones for the smartphone I finally got
Reading: American election post-mortem
Watching: TFS streams
Playing: Dragonball Xenoverse 2
Eating: A rocky road cupcake