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Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




Sarern posted:

All they have to do is read the books, OP.

I like Jemisin's prose and I've read most of her stuff except the new NYC book, but the Fifth Season absolutely lends itself to readings most goons would find politically problematic. No one has to read the books that way, of course, but the books support that reading very well, it's one of the problems that comes with setting up a series of novels in conversation with the Dragon Age video games (source for the Dragon Age claim).

Oh no. Dragon Age is the dumbest use of the trope. It relies on video game mechanics where you can accept a fire blast and a sword strike do equal damage, and the oppressors in that world put all the mages together in Circles, which is the exact opposite of what you would do if you didnít want them to take over. Concentrating marginalized people is something you do when they have no power. With mages, youíre just putting them in a place where they can more easily work together and come up with plans for world domination or whatever else strikes their fancy.

Sigh. Videogames!! shakes fist

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killer crane
Dec 30, 2006


Revolving a power fantasy around saving the world by committing genocide is a deep level of hosed-upness, whether your feel disenfranchised by your race or because you're an incel neckbeard.

Jaxyon
Mar 6, 2016
boring as hell and also can be low-key racist

killer crane posted:

Revolving a power fantasy around saving the world by committing genocide is a deep level of hosed-upness, whether your feel disenfranchised by your race or because you're an incel neckbeard.

The world is not saved by genocide in the Broken Earth series. I'm not sure what you're referring to here.

killer crane
Dec 30, 2006


Jaxyon posted:

The world is not saved by genocide in the Broken Earth series. I'm not sure what you're referring to here.

Alabaster uses his mega-wizard power to cause the rifting (which kills... almost everyone) without any warning in order to begin the process to save the world.

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

killer crane posted:

Alabaster uses his mega-wizard power to cause the rifting (which kills... almost everyone) without any warning in order to begin the process to save the world.

The Rifting was a consequence of opening the Obelisk Gate, not a direct application of Alabaster's orogene powers (and also, doing that resulted in Alabaster losing his Orogene abilities and turning into a Stone Eater).

Also don't forget the power plays going on between the Stone Eaters, where some of them were acting to exterminate all of humanity (orogenes, normies and guardians, all) and what Essun did was throw a wrench in them pulling off what they wanted to do (but imperfectly, because *a lot* of people died). Essun's options were: Help the Stone Eaters exterminate everyone, break the mechanism they wanted to use to exterminate everyone (but still cause a lot of destruction), do nothing and wait for everyone to be exterminated.

A bunch of poo poo choices, but don't pretend that you or anyone else would have done any better with the same lived experiences and information available to make decisions from.

Misrepresenting the actual plot to make your argument of "might makes right" or whatever isn't helping things.

biracial bear for uncut fucked around with this message at 19:21 on Apr 7, 2021

Kchama
Jul 25, 2007

YAP YAP YAP


Ccs posted:

Iíll echo my post above: Racism and sexism, etc are the result of irrational fears based on misconceptions, usually employed to strengthen the current ruling class. Wizard powers, at least as depicted in The Fifth Season, are a legitimate threat. This changes the context of the oppression that these storytellers seem to want to explore. Even if the reaction to this danger is overly harsh, the ordinary humans are still acting out of self-preservation. This is almost never the case in real-life oppression.

The Guardians, as agents of the humans desire for self preservation, donít change the problem of the metaphor.

People have already spoken on this, but this is absolutely completely wrong. First of the matter was that slaves WERE oppressed because they were seen as dangerous. The slave owners did it out of self-preservation. But also slaves were kept as a form of self-preservation because they benefited the slave owner with their labor. In certain societies people were turned into slaves because it was decided it was required for the good of society, aka self-preservation. In a lot of these cases, the enslaved could (and indeed at times did) fight against it and sometimes even won.

In America's slave days, black people were constantly thought of as superior physically but inferior mentally, and slavery was seen as a form of self-preservation for both white person and black person, because without the white intellect and hand to guide the slave, it was thought that they'd use their superior physical power to begin massacring white people.

Even in the story itself, the oppressors have actual power over the oppressed, magic powers or not. Not only have they grind them down, but they have forces with powers that surpassed the oppressed, which is why they could regularly massacre them.

killer crane
Dec 30, 2006


biracial bear for uncut posted:

The Rifting was a consequence of opening the Obelisk Gate, not a direct application of Alabaster's orogene powers (and also, doing that resulted in Alabaster losing his Orogene abilities and turning into a Stone Eater).


Misrepresenting the actual plot to make your argument of "might makes right" or whatever isn't helping things.

This isn't misrepresenting the plot though. Alabaster's magical actions to save the world kills massive amounts of people... and his actions are portrayed as necessary to save the world. Causing the right kind of suffering to the right kind of people. That's the problem with the story as "just a power fantasy." It hinges the entire story, the heroic climax, on originally ripping the earth apart. It ends up as an apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic power fantasy that justifies having the apocalypse as a good thing in order to reshape the world correctly. That's comic book villainy.

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




Kchama posted:

People have already spoken on this, but this is absolutely completely wrong. First of the matter was that slaves WERE oppressed because they were seen as dangerous. The slave owners did it out of self-preservation. But also slaves were kept as a form of self-preservation because they benefited the slave owner with their labor. In certain societies people were turned into slaves because it was decided it was required for the good of society, aka self-preservation. In a lot of these cases, the enslaved could (and indeed at times did) fight against it and sometimes even won.

In America's slave days, black people were constantly thought of as superior physically but inferior mentally, and slavery was seen as a form of self-preservation for both white person and black person, because without the white intellect and hand to guide the slave, it was thought that they'd use their superior physical power to begin massacring white people.

Even in the story itself, the oppressors have actual power over the oppressed, magic powers or not. Not only have they grind them down, but they have forces with powers that surpassed the oppressed, which is why they could regularly massacre them.

Imagined self-preservation. You're confusing the fantasies that inflamed the racist beliefs for the actual events in the stories where superpowered people are human weapons. Key word is "seen". Racism might cause people to "see" other people as dangerous, but those beliefs are without merit. In these fantasy stories where mutants can wipe out a town with their mind, there is merit.

As I said in the example before, it's the difference between crossing the street to get away from someone of a different race, predicated on racist fantasies of danger, and crossing the street to get away from a man with claws coming out of his knuckles. Fantasy stories that give an oppressed group superpowers take the above examples and say "these are the same." The metaphor collapses in on itself from the implications.

Like I'm pretty sure the reason slavery lasted as long as it did was because of the economic advantages to the slaveholders, the idea that the slaves were a threat was an after the fact and convenient rationale for continuing a terrible system. I could be wrong though.

But this trope's way of messing up stories whose themes are supposed to be positive is very damaging. Attack on Titan has the exact same setup of an oppressed group with destructive magical powers that are taken advantage of by the rulers. The theme of the series is ostensibly "War brutalizes us all but especially our children." However by bungling the oppression metaphor by using the oppressed wizards trope it's been hailed as "The Alt-Right's Favorite Manga". And the alt-right assholes aren't just willfully misreading the series (though they are doing plenty of that.) They're also tapping into the contradictions in the incoherent metaphor and running with it.

Ccs fucked around with this message at 21:25 on Apr 7, 2021

Apparatchik Magnet
Sep 25, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Ccs posted:

You've stretched the metaphor to its breaking point and its still not working. Magic powers are a better compared to weapons than any sort of marginalized trait. And no one should be comfortable around people carrying weapons.

Sure, they probably won't use the weapons unless provoked. It's still a weapon. It justifies the fear, which doesn't map to real world marginalization or oppression.

Is this sort of generalized cowardice common where you live or do you think you're an outlier? Are you scared to enter a kitchen, for example, or walk through a parking lot with cars being driven?

Apparatchik Magnet
Sep 25, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Kchama posted:

In America's slave days, black people were constantly thought of as superior physically but inferior mentally, and slavery was seen as a form of self-preservation for both white person and black person, because without the white intellect and hand to guide the slave, it was thought that they'd use their superior physical power to begin massacring white people.

It's a shame that even with six decades of Haiti experience before the Civil War they didn't realize how foolish this was.

Jaxyon
Mar 6, 2016
boring as hell and also can be low-key racist

killer crane posted:

This isn't misrepresenting the plot though. Alabaster's magical actions to save the world kills massive amounts of people... and his actions are portrayed as necessary to save the world. Causing the right kind of suffering to the right kind of people. That's the problem with the story as "just a power fantasy." It hinges the entire story, the heroic climax, on originally ripping the earth apart. It ends up as an apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic power fantasy that justifies having the apocalypse as a good thing in order to reshape the world correctly. That's comic book villainy.

It's not clear at all that Alabaster had to cause the Rifting, just that it was his understanding of it along with his wish to destroy the civilization that had traumatized him.

If you want to go into Alabaster being a problematic 'tragic gay' trope, I'm right with you though.

Kchama
Jul 25, 2007

YAP YAP YAP


Ccs posted:

Imagined self-preservation. You're confusing the fantasies that inflamed the racist beliefs for the actual events in the stories where superpowered people are human weapons. Key word is "seen". Racism might cause people to "see" other people as dangerous, but those beliefs are without merit. In these fantasy stories where mutants can wipe out a town with their mind, there is merit.

As I said in the example before, it's the difference between crossing the street to get away from someone of a different race, predicated on racist fantasies of danger, and crossing the street to get away from a man with claws coming out of his knuckles. Fantasy stories that give an oppressed group superpowers take the above examples and say "these are the same." The metaphor collapses in on itself from the implications.

Like I'm pretty sure the reason slavery lasted as long as it did was because of the economic advantages to the slaveholders, the idea that the slaves were a threat was an after the fact and convenient rationale for continuing a terrible system. I could be wrong though.

A slave uprising could just as easily wipe out a town without mutant super-powers. Many such uprisings happened in reality! The Stono Rebellion of less than two dozen slaves wiped out a half dozen plantations and killed their inhabitants before a militia could be raised to crush it. The Haitian Revolution was a slave uprising that wiped out the entire country of Saint-Dominique and replaced it with the country of Haiti. The idea that 'in reality' a slave was worthless and could never harm anyone so slave-owners never had any reason to fear that their cruelty could backfire on them and thus never had a real need to act in self-preservation is not born out in reality.

Like, that seems to be what your point is when you say that mutants are singularly dangerous and thus could never be convinced that they couldn't rise up and overthrow their oppressors through purposeful propaganda and use of people stronger than even the mutants to keep them in line.

Like a large part of the X-Men was that even as strong as an individual mutant was, they didn't have the strength to just overthrow the government or other oppressive systems by their lone selves. The government had weapons and indeed their own super-powered individuals working for them who could defeat you.

Kchama fucked around with this message at 22:06 on Apr 7, 2021

Fatty
Sep 13, 2004
Not really fat

TheGreatEvilKing posted:

The problem is that wizards as black people is completely incoherent, because the wizards can trivially slaughter normal humans with absolutely no repercussions at all. Go reread the opening of the first book again, where Nassun gets mad her son was killed and trivially butchers an entire village, indiscriminately destroying people, buildings, and nature. The regular people can't even fight back, because Nassun can split crossbow bolts in flight. This isn't a metaphor for collective action or anything, this is just one angry woman who on a bad day can slaughter a town and nobody can do anything about it. It's not a study thing, it's not a training thing, it's entirely a eugenics thing based on inherited magical power. This parses to black people...how, exactly? A black man has the same intrinsic abilities as a white one.

Except she explicitly has had a lifetime of training and that's what allows her to ice the town? Her children haven't, and most back country orogenes haven't, which is what leads to them getting killed/Guardianed when they first exhibit their powers.

It maybe doesn't help the allegory when the protagonist is exponentially more capable than the rest of her oppressed group though.

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




I think youíre misunderstanding my point in a small but important way. Itís not about the fact that slave riots or colonized groups can fight back and sometimes win when they band together. Itís that the trope introduces an inherent power dynamic that breaks the metaphor. If you're using wizards as your stand-in for Oppressed Group X, then making each member of the group inherently more powerful than an ordinary human, it means there is now a justification for the ordinary humans to fear the wizards. The story may not condone the oppression that springs from this fear, but by introducing the inherent power differential between two people who in our reality would be on equal footing (absent oppressive power structures) it changes the context of the metaphor. I think it changes the context of the metaphor so much that it breaks and becomes incoherent as a model for real world oppression.

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

killer crane posted:

This isn't misrepresenting the plot though. Alabaster's magical actions to save the world kills massive amounts of people... and his actions are portrayed as necessary to save the world. Causing the right kind of suffering to the right kind of people. That's the problem with the story as "just a power fantasy." It hinges the entire story, the heroic climax, on originally ripping the earth apart. It ends up as an apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic power fantasy that justifies having the apocalypse as a good thing in order to reshape the world correctly. That's comic book villainy.

You're missing the effect of the plot points you omitted when quoting me. Alabaster was never the protagonist, he was explicitly a villain and sided with the Stone Eaters that want to kill everyone. He was conflicted about his feelings for Essun but that didn't stop him from trying to kill everyone.

Essun opposed him, but couldn't stop all of the damage he caused (she could only protect the town she was in when the Rifting kicked off, and only stopped the extermination plan by a narrow margin of error).

killer crane
Dec 30, 2006


Jaxyon posted:

It's not clear at all that Alabaster had to cause the Rifting, just that it was his understanding of it along with his wish to destroy the civilization that had traumatized him.

huh, I thought it was essential to the story that the rifting was Alabaster's first step in saving the world.

I feel like I've come across as hating this series, but really I appreciate it in a lot of ways. Jemisin is talented, the characters are well written, and most of the story is compelling. The books deal with trauma and loss in very real and sensitive ways. That it stumbles, in my eyes, over the issues of power dynamics, and justifications for causing suffering is a disappointment, because it is otherwise a great series.

Harold Fjord
Jan 3, 2004



Ccs posted:

as I said in the example before, it's the difference between crossing the street to get away from someone of a different race, predicated on racist fantasies of danger, and crossing the street to get away from a man with claws coming out of his knuckles. Fantasy stories that give an oppressed group superpowers take the above examples and say "these are the same." The metaphor collapses in on itself from the implications.

The man with claws coming out of his knuckles is merely an armed man, must like any other man in our society may or may not be armed at any time without you realizing. You may think the fear more rational, but that isn't obviously true.

Jaxyon
Mar 6, 2016
boring as hell and also can be low-key racist

killer crane posted:

huh, I thought it was essential to the story that the rifting was Alabaster's first step in saving the world.

I feel like I've come across as hating this series, but really I appreciate it in a lot of ways. Jemisin is talented, the characters are well written, and most of the story is compelling. The books deal with trauma and loss in very real and sensitive ways. That it stumbles, in my eyes, over the issues of power dynamics, and justifications for causing suffering is a disappointment, because it is otherwise a great series.

I need to reread that book, because I don't remember his actions being a necessary step, just that he thought it was.

I thought the "Gate" had enough power on it's own.

Also I don't think you hate the series, I just think some folks have criticisms that are reaching (ie Essun is basically Richard Rahl).

I've read a lot of trash fantasy, I've read deep into Raymond Feists catalog. I've seen poo poo. NK's stuff is at least different. She's not the only person writing from her perspective, but that's a smaller pool than it should be.

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




Harold Fjord posted:

The man with claws coming out of his knuckles is merely an armed man, must like any other man in our society may or may not be armed at any time without you realizing. You may think the fear more rational, but that isn't obviously true.

Yeah but people in our society arenít intrinsically armed. This goes back to points Iíve made before about how it changes the context of the metaphor.
Just try to think about this a bit more. About how giving a group terrifying monster powers and then oppressing them because of those powers just doesnít square with the origin of real world oppression in any sense.

Jaxyon
Mar 6, 2016
boring as hell and also can be low-key racist

Ccs posted:

Yeah but people in our society arenít intrinsically armed. This goes back to points Iíve made before about how it changes the context of the metaphor.
Just try to think about this a bit more. About how giving a group terrifying monster powers and then oppressing them because of those powers just doesnít square with the origin of real world oppression in any sense.

Many mutants don't have terrifying monster powers. They are just lumped in with the dangerous ones, in much the same way that black people/jews/roma/undocumenteds are viewed as dangerous criminals despite having at most the same criminality rates as their oppressors and usually substantially less.

Whether or not the people targetted with oppression are actually dangerous is mostly irrelevant, because they will be treated as such either way.

And let me take a bold stance here, maybe we shouldn't horrifically oppress people even if they do have powers that make you scared?

killer crane
Dec 30, 2006


I think the weapon thing keeps coming up because guns should be regulated, and libertarians keep coming up because people with extreme wealth should be taxed. Because of how the story deals with power disparity it can be both read as being against racial oppression, but also against curtailing any "freedom." I think everyone arguing against the use of power in the story understands what the writer intended, but sees it as also unintentionally (we hope) defending some pretty lousy ideas.

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat




killer crane posted:

unintentionally (we hope)
Oh, come on.

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




Jaxyon posted:

And let me take a bold stance here, maybe we shouldn't horrifically oppress people even if they do have powers that make you scared?

This is why I keep saying that the stories donít condone oppression, they just introduce an actual cause for the oppression by giving one group of people deadly magic. Iím using this as an aggregate example of every franchise that makes use of this trope, whether it be The Broken Earth, X Men, Dragon Age or Attack on Titan. I think itís an incoherent metaphor.

Jaxyon
Mar 6, 2016
boring as hell and also can be low-key racist

Ccs posted:

This is why I keep saying that the stories donít condone oppression, they just introduce an actual cause for the oppression by giving one group of people deadly magic. Iím using this as an aggregate example of every franchise that makes use of this trope, whether it be The Broken Earth, X Men, Dragon Age or Attack on Titan. I think itís an incoherent metaphor.

So am I reading this be that oppression is justified when people are scared enough of the people they are oppressing?

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




Jaxyon posted:

So am I reading this be that oppression is justified when people are scared enough of the people they are oppressing?

No itís saying that unlike racism, which is predicated on fiction, these stories introduce deadly magical powers and give them to a particular group. It provides an actual reason for the fear. The oppression that results from the fear is not condoned.

Letís just do a thought experiment where every mutant is as strong as Jean Greyís Phoenix. People would be entirely justified in being afraid of anybody with that kind of power. Because she actually has the ability to incinerate the world. Compared with a reality in which people only believe that this group of red haired people can end the world with a thought. One is based on fictitious and harmful imaginings, likely pushed by the current ruling class. The other is a legitimate fear.

Ccs fucked around with this message at 00:07 on Apr 8, 2021

killer crane
Dec 30, 2006



I honestly don't know Jemisin's views on economics and guns. And really, from the books, I could assume she believes people should own all the guns to prevent tyranny and oppression, or that government control of economics is just another tool of an oppressive system. That I can't tell is frustrating.

Harold Fjord
Jan 3, 2004



Ccs posted:

No it’s saying that unlike racism, which is predicated on fiction, these stories introduce deadly magical powers and give them to a particular group.

I don't even know what to say.

But every mutant isn't Jean Grey or a 10 ringer. Why this false premise to justify the fear?

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




Harold Fjord posted:

I don't even know what to say.

But every mutant isn't Jean Grey or a 10 ringer. Why this false premise to justify the fear?

Iím using that as an example. In a lot of these fantasy stories, like Dragon Age, all of the members of the particular oppressed wizard group are around the same power level, which involves having a ton of destructive capability. A group of people who all have this same destructive ability naturally causes people to fear them. The fear motivates the oppression that happens. The oppression is not condoned by the story, but it twists how oppression actually works.

As opposed to real world oppression where a powerless group is enslaved and then the oppressors start to get nervous because these people have a legitimate grievance because they were oppressed. Or they were oppressed in the first place due to completely fictitious ideas about how dangerous the group was.

Itís a simple substitution. Fictitious idea to actual threat, and the corresponding baseless fear to legitimate fear.

And that makes for an awful metaphor for real life marginalized oppressed groups.

Ccs fucked around with this message at 00:36 on Apr 8, 2021

Jaxyon
Mar 6, 2016
boring as hell and also can be low-key racist

Ccs posted:

No itís saying that unlike racism, which is predicated on fiction, these stories introduce deadly magical powers and give them to a particular group. It provides an actual reason for the fear. The oppression that results from the fear is not condoned.

Letís just do a thought experiment where every mutant is as strong as Jean Greyís Phoenix. People would be entirely justified in being afraid of anybody with that kind of power. Because she actually has the ability to incinerate the world. Compared with a reality in which people only believe that this group of red haired people can end the world with a thought. One is based on fictitious and harmful imaginings, likely pushed by the current ruling class. The other is a legitimate fear.

White people scared of The Other have a legitimate reason to fear. They fear that, much like an orogene losing control and blasting a village, a black man might "thug out" at any time and do crime. Because of this fear of the other, they treat a whole group as criminals. They use that fear to justify oppression.

What you've said here is that if people are scared enough, it makes it hard to condemn the oppression.

But it doesn't, because oppression is bad no matter how much you think it's deserved. Torturing small children is a bad thing no matter how scary they might be as an adult.

quote:

As opposed to real world oppression where a powerless group is enslaved and then the oppressors start to get nervous because these people have a legitimate grievance because they were oppressed. Or they were oppressed in the first place due to completely fictitious ideas about how dangerous the group was

Oppressed people aren't powerless. That's a messed up way of looking at oppression.

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




The thugging out is a paranoid fantasy. The text of the book shows us orogenes having deadly magical powers that can kill people. Itís a question of whether the fear is legitimate or not.

I keep repeating that it does not condone oppression. It just breaks the metaphor because now thereís legitimate fear.

Do you believe regulating guns is a good idea? Because thatís what these magic powers basically are and it provides a much more 1 to 1 metaphor that doesnít break as easily.

Ccs fucked around with this message at 00:41 on Apr 8, 2021

Jaxyon
Mar 6, 2016
boring as hell and also can be low-key racist

Ccs posted:

The thugging out is a paranoid fantasy. The text of the book shows us orogenes having deadly magical powers that can kill people. Itís a question of whether the fear is legitimate or not.

I keep repeating that it does not condone oppression. It just breaks the metaphor because now thereís legitimate fear.

Do you believe regulating guns is a good idea? Because thatís what these magic powers basically are and it provides a much more 1 to 1 metaphor that doesnít break as easily.

Fear is always legitimate to the oppressor. It's how they justify the oppression. It has nothing at all to do with any reality and magma wizards don't change that.

Child abuse is regulation, and that is your better metaphor?

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




Jaxyon posted:

Fear is always legitimate to the oppressor. It's how they justify the oppression. It has nothing at all to do with any reality and magma wizards don't change that.

Child abuse is regulation, and that is your better metaphor?



Why are you changing the definition of legitimate? I mean inherently legitimate, not "this guy has a twisted worldview, but because it's HIS worldview he thinks its legitimate. After all, villains are always the heroes of their own story."

The whole message of racial/sexual tolerance is to affirm the fundamental, underlying humanity of every individual, and to recognize that race/sexuality is merely one descriptor of a human being. Written succinctly, the message is, "We are equal." And these stories go, Well actually one of these groups has deadly magic powers. They're basically born with a gun strapped to them. Uh, good luck dealing the that power disparity!

porfiria
Dec 10, 2008


The closest analogy to XMen or Wizards is rich people, tbh.

Rogue absorption powers? Rich people can pay others to work for them, thereby extracting their labor (but also their lifeforce).
Shapeshifting? Rich people can pay PR firms, marketing agencies, and image manipulators.
Bandaging Charm? Access to healthcare.
Avada Kedavra? They can pay to have you killed.
Wolverine Claws? Rich people can easily afford knives.

Etc.

Jaxyon
Mar 6, 2016
boring as hell and also can be low-key racist

Ccs posted:

Why are you changing the definition of legitimate? I mean inherently legitimate, not "this guy has a twisted worldview, but because it's HIS worldview he thinks its legitimate. After all, villains are always the heroes of their own story."

The whole message of racial/sexual tolerance is to affirm the fundamental, underlying humanity of every individual, and to recognize that race/sexuality is merely one descriptor of a human being. Written succinctly, the message is, "We are equal." And these stories go, Well actually one of these groups has deadly magic powers. They're basically born with a gun strapped to them. Uh, good luck dealing the that power disparity!

What part of magical powers makes oppression be legitimate?

Regulation is not oppression and it's pretty messed up to suggest that's an apt metaphor.

Harold Fjord
Jan 3, 2004



Ccs posted:


As opposed to real world oppression where a powerless group is enslaved] and then the oppressors start to get nervous


Seems a bit contradictory and I think it's just fundamentally incorrect to call them "powerless".

I kind of understand when you your coming from but doing harrison bergeron over and over sounds boring.

Harold Fjord fucked around with this message at 01:23 on Apr 8, 2021

killer crane
Dec 30, 2006


Jaxyon posted:

Regulation is not oppression and it's pretty messed up to suggest that's an apt metaphor.

I mean... removing access to legal abortion, and limiting marriage rights are regulations.

Jaxyon
Mar 6, 2016
boring as hell and also can be low-key racist

killer crane posted:

I mean... removing access to legal abortion, and limiting marriage rights are regulations.

What about forced sterilization, rape, murder, and child abuse?

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




Jaxyon posted:

What part of magical powers makes oppression be legitimate?


What the...

I keep repeating "it does not condone oppression. It just breaks the metaphor because now thereís legitimate fear. "

Fear of the deadly magical powers. That exist in these fantasy universes. Black people are not a threat to white people. Queer people are not a threat to straight people. Immigrants and refugees, no matter their skin tone or religion, are no threat to countries they immigrate to. Wizards who could choose to cause a massacre with a thought are a threat.

The sad thing is its a trope in so many franchises I like! Attack on Titan has some great characters and fight choreography and takes its protagonist on a really interesting journey from typical shonen action hero to crazy maniac. But it makes the mistake of having the oppressed group (who are coded as Jewish, wear arm-bands to show they're part of the oppressed group, and live in ghettos where they're indoctrinated with false history about past crimes) be able to transform into giant man-eating monsters with exaggerated facial features. If it was all false history and this group was oppressed because they were a convenient scapegoat for their rulers due to some obvious physical difference, and then their rulers injected them with a serum that would have turned any human into a monster, it would have solved this problem. But Attack on Titan wants to be about the oppression and reaction of a specific ethnic group. And thus this monster power is limited to them. It's not about the masters inventing a fiction to oppress people who can then be used (which maps better to real world racism), its about the masters having a fairly legitimate fear of these people who can transform into monsters, and then instituting unjust oppression and finding a way to further exploit them. It should be obvious why I don't think Jewish coded characters should be able to transform into violent monsters?

X Men also runs into this problem all the time when they try to extend the metaphor. Xavier's team can be read as positive, peace loving people who are unjustly maligned. But then you've got the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants running about proclaiming their superiority and killing humans! But we don't want to imply that if the oppressed wanted to they could easily do a genocide and rule the world, right? Especially not if we've coded our mutants as real life oppressed groups! In fact the current discourse in comics is about how the metaphor is kind of incoherent and the series needs to focus more on intersectional issues instead of always coming back to the oppressed mutants well.

Ccs fucked around with this message at 02:11 on Apr 8, 2021

Apparatchik Magnet
Sep 25, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Jaxyon posted:

They are just lumped in with the dangerous ones, in much the same way that black people/jews/roma/undocumenteds are viewed as dangerous criminals despite having at most the same criminality rates as their oppressors and usually substantially less.

Say what now? I mean this is right for two of those categories, I guess, but hilariously and obviously not for the other two.

Apparatchik Magnet fucked around with this message at 02:05 on Apr 8, 2021

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Harold Fjord
Jan 3, 2004



how are you measuring 'legitimacy' of fear?

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