neverending argument

anonymous asked:

Do you feel Marvel comic's hatred of Wanda is because she is perceived as "pre-feminist" and therefore fair game for leftist writers like Bendis and Spencer to kick? I cannot help but notice how "post-feminist" Carol, Kamala, Kate, Jessica, even the godawful America etc are treated with kid gloves and praised as "bestest ever amazing perfect!" while Wanda is "evil crazy bitch". Have you noticed how all the villain Avengers in SE are "Silver Age"? All the main "heroes" are around Bendis era.

Nick Spencer doesn’t hate Wanda. He’s doing the same thing Remender did in Uncanny Avengers: using her as a way of “proving” his story isn’t offensive. Because he can point at her and say, “Look, it’s a minority. Hydra aren’t Nazis, I promise.” He’s trying to have it both ways. Use Minority Street Cred™ to legitimize his story, while not using a minority that gets a lot of attention in American discourse.

All of this goes back to Wanda’s ambiguous status in terms of race. The Neverending Argument about what constitutes “white.” Because the Romani aren’t a part of American consciousness in a real, substantial way and because people love clear-cut binaries, a Romani character who usually (but not always) has the same skin tone as the generically white characters confounds a lot of people. Or they say she’s white and call it a day.

There have been writers over the past couple of decades who have exploited this. From Remender to the “The Avengers Are Too White” storyline in Avengers Volume 3 where it was obvious the protesters did not think Wanda “counts” as “diversity.” (One of them literally had a sign that said she is “not enough,” which, um???) There’s also Robinson’s awkward handling of Wanda’s Romani identity, coupled with him having another character call her white, and the takes on her origin story that emphasize racist violence and experiences of racism as being central parts of her life, only to imply – or outright state – that she isn’t Romani herself.

That last one is because people forget Magda exists, but that’s another story.

Similarly, Ashkenazi Jews have a very complex, confusing place in this attempt to make a racial binary, one that is complicated even further by people who keep saying, “But it’s a religion,” as if that is the end-all-be-all of Jewishness. That’s without getting into different concepts of race in different parts of the world and how that affects both groups.

All of this real-world complexity bleeds into Wanda as a character and along with her messy history, makes Nick Spencer think he can use her to make Hydra appear to be ~totally not Nazis~ without getting any mainstream pushback. And on that front, he’s not getting any mainstream pushback. People are more concerned that Black Widow is kissing the wrong boy.

Anyway, the mishandling of Wanda overall is the product of a bunch of factors, not the least of which are her convoluted history and the fact that she is written exclusively by white men who would rather contort her to fit their plot than empathize with or try to understand her culture and position and point of view. The major underlying problem is a lack of Romani perspectives in the offline American mainstream and at Marvel. (Unfortunately, the Jewish writers at Marvel tend to be Company Men with their own issues with writing women so we’re not getting any help there either.) If you’re not even allowed into the discussion, the people in charge don’t have to consider your concerns. Whether or not Wanda is “feminist” isn’t the problem. It’s the absence of Own Voices in charge of her narrative.


Bendis doesn’t hate Wanda either, for the record. He has one of those Tragic Unstable White Girl fetishes, and he thought he was doing us all a favor.

In Italian exists a proverb that translated is like “we’re talking about the sex of angels”. Since in Christianity angels are sexless, that is a way to say “the argument is neverending and pointless”.

…In the Silm fandom we could translate that in “we’re talking about Celegorm’s hair colour”.