May I please just note that calling a problematic work “a product of its time” is by no means a +10 defensive shield against accusations of bigotry? Because in every time, there are those who oppose the status quo. No matter what point in our history you’re looking at, there were people – maybe lone visionaries, maybe quietly organized subversives, maybe members of the group being targeted by the bigotry, maybe an open opposition willing to fight a war – who *did not believe* the crap you’re trying to handwave.

So it wasn’t “a product of its time”, it was a choice. It’s always fair to examine that choice, and why it was made, and what that choice says about the person who made it. Sure, consider the choice in the context of its time as well as the present. But don’t pretend that there *was* no choice. That does a disservice both to the work and to history.

Author: Zeenah

Zina writes about comics, nerd history, and ridiculous romance novels when not working frantically on her first collection of short stories and complaining about stuff. One day, she'll settle down and write that novel.