Stories in modern fiction that have their settings in the past, from novels to TV series, almost always shows the "hero" characters as having improbably enlightened views. These views are directly or indirectly compared to the backward attitudes of the other characters, or in contrast to the prejudicial attitudes of the era being depicted. The leading characters, the ones we identify with, are very liberal with regard to race, gender, nationality and so on. But such views would have been unlikely in the time depicted. And highly unpopular.
My point here is that these fictional situations are scripted in a very self-congratulatory way. It serves to give the modern reader or viewer a sense of smug superiority.
We are patting ourselves on the back for being wiser than the backward inhabitants of the fictional pasts that surround the point of view characters.
Real history is characterized by casual brutality toward minorities. Levels of bigotry that were tacitly accepted as the way things are and the way they ought to be.
Those people, in those times, had a ways to go.
We still have a ways to go. We still indulge in casual brutalities. They are so accepted as to be nearly invisible.
There remain minorities that we brutalize. Part of this has to do with the other minorities that get the opposite treatment. The accepted attitude that"we" are better than "they" are. The assumed superiority is not discussed because everybody should know that it's true. And if you question it in ordinary conversation, or in a classroom, you have committed a grave social error. The "others" are demonized, Because, of course, they are the cause of our problems. By contrast "we" are sanctified, we have the solution to the same problems -- if only those others could be brought under our control.
We are qualified to control those others. Who says so? We do, of course. How rude of you even to ask.
In my own science fiction I posit societies that have moved past at least one such polarization. So my stories include social progress, not just technical progress.
To be specific, my stories are set in times when the political correctness movement has acquired some historical perspective. This means that the the characters have moved beyond the neo-Victorian rules about not offending the ladies.
My "ladies," such as they are, are past that. So are the men. They have all been educated past one particular casual brutality. I posit a time in the future when anger-against-men industry has largely faded away There's a new partnership between men and women. To be sure, some of my stories are directly about the difficulties in getting to that partnership: It's not an easy path -- but that makes the story.
These tales may be shocking and offensive for a couple of decades -- but with time they be self-evident and even quaint. Until then these narratives may seem to describe dystopic worlds.
Make it easy on yourself. Don't try to share any of this with anyone who isn't part way there already. Nevertheless some of them will be offended, appalled, horrified, and furious... and it will be your fault.
You don't need any more casual brutality.
Adam likes the company of small domestic animals and 82% of women. Enjoys long walks in the rain (in the Pacific Northwest, he'd better).