(part 1) ur gonna roast me for this but im legit curious why mafia AUs are so bad? im asking in a non confrontational way, i get it romanticizing mafia is wrong, but i also believe that 1)most mafia AUs are a really toned down type of mafia;2)they do make for some interesting kinds of dynamics with fanart and with fics; 3)in a fic specifically u can create your own world and call something mafia and still make it so they don't kill innocent people but only idk members of other gangs or sth
(part 2) plus theyre a way to put ur charas in a completely diff context and see what theyll do. i mean i dont believe that writing ships in a certain context (like mafia) equals romanticizing that context. mafia AUs arent even my fav things to read (in fact i almost never do), im sure many ppl romanticize it and i obvs dont agree with that but im just trying to udnerstand bc i believe fandoms are a way to explore things that we normally wouldnt.
I’m not gonna roast you don’t worry xD okay wait let me check if I replied to this already if yes I’m gonna c/p because it’s half past midnight otherwise I’ll just go at it again wait *checks tags* fff obviously I don’t have a general post but anyway pls read this after you’ve done with my post and then this which is also choke-full of links. plus for a (not nice) laugh: here. AH WAIT I FOUND THE POST.
okay, so, let’s have it out of the way: I have nothing against mob aus or crime aus. I have a problem against calling them mafia AUs because in the US mafia = organized crime at large, in Italy mafia = ACTUAL EXISTING ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE ACTIVELY HARMFUL. now that I introduced the topic I’ll c/p you the reply I gave to another anon who while discussing the issue pointed out that most writers don’t even know Italian mafia is a thing, which is pretty much on the same discourse so…
*The thing is - in the US it might not be enough of a deal anymore and I honestly do get why people make the mafia = regular mobsters, since the mafia was the first foreign organized crime being exported to the US via italian immigrants (sorry if this sounds horrible in English but I just woke up and I still didn’t have coffee) so I understand that mafia became the umbrella term.But the thing is that - as you said, these people don’t even know that there’s a mafia in Italy anymore or where the word comes from.
I’m going to link to italiansreclaimingitaly’s tag about the mafia and its perception outside Italy because they posted about this extensively and it’s an excellent resource, but meanwhile I’m gonna do a very short bullet point list and about the topic:
- Mafia might not be a big deal in the US, but it still is here. We have the beauty of four different mafias (Cosa Nostra - the Sicilian one, camorra which is the one in Campania but has tendrils spread everywhere, the ‘ndrangheta which is in Calabria and the Sacra Corona Unita in Puglia) which are all active [especially camorra and 'ndrangheta] and whose actions have direct impact (negative) on our economy and on our society. Actually mafias are one of the main reasons we’re currently economically fucked up, and if I start talking about how mafia culture keeps some areas literally backwards I could talk about it for three months.
- There are still people who are killed for standing up against them. These days the most prominent personality is Roberto Saviano who is a writer who dared to put together a book documenting minutely the way camorra works and he’s been living under protection for years by this point. Like, they want him dead because he wrote a book. And I’m sorta sure that he was talking about leaving Italy and going to the US after years of sticking with it here because he can’t take it anymore but I don’t know if it was a taken decision or if it’s still debating it.
- It wasn’t even thirty years ago that we had the stragi di mafia - in english it’d be something like the mafia slaughters, basically around the beginning of the nineties there were a number of bombs planted by the mafia targeting people who were trying to oppose it including judges Falcone and Borsellino, actually the anniversary of Falcone’s death is like… tomorrow. And they’ve killed people for way longer than that. Here is a list of only Cosa Nostra victims including the ones from the eighties/nineties. And people are still dying because of it. The slaughters I’m referring to are just the ones in the nineties which are enough of a number.
- They also perpetuate a culture where if you testify against your mafia-employed relatives you’ll be shunned forever. There are women who testified against their families and couldn’t see their children anymore never mind that they weren’t automatically considered a relative anymore the moment they sided against the mafia. Some people have committed suicide after becoming witnesses also because our police force/justice system can be terribly non-supportive in this kind of situation so they got left on their own. Never mind that back in the day - it was the beginning of the nineties? - I recall at least a particular story of - I think, correct me if I remember wrong but I can’t remember the names for the life of me - where this guy testified against the local mafia when he either used to work for them or was forced to pay them the pizzo and in retaliation his six-year old (or five? Anyway he had a son younger than ten for sure) got kidnapped, killed and thrown into acid to dispose of the body. That happened in what, 1993? 1994? It’s pretty much yesterday. And now the camorra is doing the same - there’s a list here of camorra victims among which accidental passerbys that got killed because they were in the way which I can tell just by glancing is not complete. And I’m not even going into the 'ndrangheta. That is to say, here mafia still kills people and cripples our country.
Now, I get that it’s a word, but the point was: let’s say that instead of the Italians the Japanese came to the US first and the umbrella word for organized crime was yakuza rather than mafia and let’s say yakuza was still what it was originally in Japan while in the US it stopped being a big deal and people write yakuza!AU instead of mafia AU. Let’s say someone Japanese gets angry at that and goes like 'listen the yakuza is a real deal it does this this this and that and it’s a plague in our country so can you please at least look it up before writing your fanfic’, which is what had happened way back then when this whole mafia and fanfic thing blew up. A bunch of people told us to get over it because it’s just a word and if it’s a problem in Italy it’s not in the US so why should they care? Now, if we had been Japanese (or Chinese or Russian or Mexican) would they have said the same thing? Considering the general tumblr attitude I’m pretty sure they would have received either an apology or 'this is an important deal let’s keep that in mind’ with signal boost reblogs and stuff.
It’s the fact that we should get over people not knowing that it’s still a real problem for us and that they can’t take five seconds to google it that is the problem imo. Especially when instead of mafia au you can just say mobsters au or tag it as organized crime and everyone is a lot happier, mostly because as the tag above explains romanticising the mafia is a good thing for them because it means they can act outside Italy with less stigma because everyone thinks that the mafia is dead or not relevant anymore, if I’m explaining myself. (And it’s active outside Italy - like, there was a mafia kill in Germany in 2007 where six people died (sorry the link is in Italian but there isn’t an English wiki page, if you look the city up you’ll find something probably) and it was because of the 'ndrangheta.
I’d really like to not get worked over it because it meant it was a thing of the past y'know, but the problem is that it isn’t and I’d rather spread some awareness in hope some of these writers look it up (because it’s a good thing that people know what mafia is since as stated they have tendrils everywhere - if you read Saviano’s book the entire first chapter is about how camorra regularly deals with Chinese import/export in Italy for one) than shrug and figure that since they’ll think everything is good for fanfic then it’s not even worth my time.*
Now, ^^^ that was the c/p-ed reply that should answer most of your doubts. What I didn’t address was:
im sure many ppl romanticize it and i obvs dont agree with that but im just trying to udnerstand bc i believe fandoms are a way to explore things that we normally wouldnt.
aaaand as we say here in Italy, this is where the donkey falls (sorry we have weird sayings), because in theory there’s nothing wrong with that… except that in 99% of the mafia aus I’ve seen around the thing is that they’re supposed to be cute.
like, I see a lot of shit with TINY MAFIA BOSS STEVE ROGERS with RUSSIAN ENFORCER BUCKY (????? bucky isn’t even russian???) and the yoi thing I saw before had the japanese character being the leader of a russian mafia gang which is… like… guys it doesn’t happen it really doesn’t, and a lot of them re-use wrongly terminology taken from the godfather without context or knowing what the hell it means, and it’s always from the criminals’ pov and they’re somehow seen as criminals doing justice where the police can’t (???) and like… no. mafia bosses/enforcers/employees are bad people period, and at least here if you try to leave or repent they kill your family in retribution. like, not even ten years ago there’s been a woman who used to belong to a mafia family (or one colluded with the mafia) who testified and her entire town/family shunned her and she couldn’t take it anymore and… killed herself drinking acid if I don’t recall wrong. it’s not even special cases. this shit is not funny, it’s not cute, it’s not adorable and it’s not good fodder for your imagine your otp scenario (srsly I saw one like.. let me find it,
LIKE. just look at this shit. in a regular context, the enforcer goes to the show owner to force them to pay a monthly sum to their boss lest they destroy their shop and their lives and their family’s life never mind that mafia culture is deeply homophobic so the mafia enforcer flirting with the shopkeeper is like completely fucking out of the question. I mean, people here like to shit on the sopranos but that show was actually excellent representation of Horrid Criminals Who Were Never Supposed To Be Good People and the small arc that happened when one of tony’s friends turned out to be gay (closeted) was REALLY well done. btw, it ended that when they found out he was gay most of the crowd rejected him and thought badly of him until I think they killed him also for other reasons, but that spiraled from finding out he liked dick. and that’s american mafia that they actually based on well-done research of the culture in Italy it came from, I assure you that here it doesn’t work that differently. like. the shit above is so inaccurate and frankly offensive, it’s like… I get people romanticizing problematic stuff but the thing is that when you tell them that it’s actually offensive you get brushed off as ‘ah well you’re being too sensitive it’s just a word u__u’. now, I’m all for exploring shit we wouldn’t be into, but not like THAT, because that’s like mafia romantic comedy and that’s not how it works. now, you wanna do a fic where the mafia characters are deeply flawed and bad people and the police tries to catch them? fine, great, go ahead. you wanna do a fic where the enforcer above deals with dunno an entire life of internalized homophobia when he finds the shopkeeper attractive and feels conflicted over having to con money out of him and doing horrible shit for a living and maybe understanding that crime isn’t worth it and then he actually collaborates with the police and gets shit from about everyone he knows and loves for that? okay, awesome, go ahead. nothing bad in that.
but the shit above is not exploring things we wouldn’t/writing darkfic, it’s THINKING THAT A CRIMINAL ORGANIZATION WHICH IS STILL A THING IN OUR PART OF THE WORLD IS CUTE AND ADORABLE. and that only plays in their favor because it takes the bad aura out of the word and we really should not let that happen. like. that is what is bad about mafia aus and mafia discourse, that people don’t realize the mafia is alive and well and thriving and not a thing that doesn’t exist or a generic word for organized crime.
you wanna write the shit above? okay, CALL IT CRIME AU or mob au, not mafia au.
btw, add-on: idk if I mentioned it in the above post or not, but in case I didn’t, I said that people would balk at the idea of a mexican cartel au. sadly since then I’ve found out a fandom where not only there is one but it’s also extra cutesy and people apparently love it and it has a bunch of kudos/comments and idek I’m not even touching that with a ten foot pole but like… I’ve avoided it and everything that author wrote because to me it’s just… nope. like, nope. if you do mafia aus don’t make them fucking cute. (also: in the same fandom I had to mute a v. famous fanartist whose art I actually liked but did cutesy mafia aus and.. like… haahahhaahahahahaha nah sorry. can’t go there. nope.)