see the violence inherent in the system!!

BioWare’s unfortunate stumble: Orientalist problems in Dragon Age post-Trespasser DLC

As part of the fandom around Dragon Age here on tumblr and elsewhere on the internet, I’ve read a lot of the meta surrounding what the end of Trespasser means for the Dalish, what it means for the future of the series, what it means for Lavellan inquisitors etc. but I have come to realize that there’s actually a huge problem I haven’t seen discussed anywhere else so far (and perhaps I missed it).

Pre-Trespasser DLC gives us the Elven civilization of Elvhenan that, somehow, was forcibly, violently and forcibly conquered by the Tevinter (human) people through a long and bloody war. For the most part, ever since the elves have been a race that has been harshly discriminated against - whether as slaves, kept in alienages or forced into diasporic tribes wandering far from human civilization. The effort on subjugating them, on making them weaker is placed on Tevinter. Post Trespasser we learn that Solas essentially destroyed all of Elven civilization because of its own problems and Tevinter pretty much just walked up to the elves and took what was left of their magic, and subjugated them. In a sense, the story now is that the elves caused their own subjugation. Had Solas not created the veil he there’s no way Tevinter would have ever conquered them. Thus, it’s sort of their own fault they are where they are.

And many of you might read this and go “What’s the problem? It’s just a story, it’s just how magic works and the things that happened?” And to this I’d have to say that this unfortunately follows a long line of racist, colonialist, orientalist thought from Western intelligentsia -the idea that colonized cultures were conquered and enslaved due to weaknesses and flaws inherent in their own racial, cultural, religious or other systems rather than forcibly conquered and enslaved due to objective, technological, and disease-based (etc.) difference. This idea is dangerous because it sees the subjugation and violence in such relationships as something that is natural, explainable and above all else: inevitable. When the violent conquering of another culture is framed this way, it essentially says that the dominated are such in the present because they were already weaker, they deserved it, they just weren’t good enough to resist. It’s a form of victim blaming not unlike those used in rape or other problems that face minority individuals.

For a real-world, contemporary example (and forgive me I can’t find the link) there was even a paper published by the University of Chiciago’s anthropology department a few years ago saying that Asian cultures were conquered and ruled because their myths sometimes had foreign kings in them (which totally ignores say, the Roman civilization’s founding myth, and other western societies that also shared this myth) so it easy to say that this myth is sadly not dead. This same myth was the very same one completely deconstructed in “Gun Germs and Steel” a thesis not without problems but very clearly stated that colonization happened because of, well gun germs and steel - things that gave a very clear technological advantage, and yet were for the most part all happenings of random chance - due to geography, trade, climate etc. rather than some inherent cultural superiority. 

Tying this back to Dragon Age - we can see this in how the action that causes the fall of Elvhenan changed. It goes from all the effort being on the part of the human Tevinter tribe to instead placing the action on the elvish side. The subsequent subjugation of the elves is now simply seen as a consequence of Solas’ actions. And it can be inferred that he blames himself for the subjugation of the elves as well - which is why we learn he intends to restore the elves to their former glory. 

I really do love the Dragon Age games, but unfortunately the fact that the writers are all mostly white, cis men is really starting to show. And as a person who experiences marginalization on multiple spectrums it’s really disheartening to see such a long-standing, yet entirely disproven, and very harmful line of thinking come out in their writing. I love the Dragon Age series specifically because you can choose your race, and you can choose how the character interacts with the (albeit small, superficial) amounts of racism and sexism that they receive. Very few to no other games really do this at all, or ever. Most race-lock you, and others (like Skyrim) give you “races” and have lore of “racism” but the player character themselves are never truly limited or effected by it. It is also one of the few games that somewhat-realistically constructs diasporic culture (both city elves and Dalish) which I love to see. 

Sadly, I don’t know how BioWare can conceivably fix this after such a large misstep, but I think this is important to point out. i hope that, for the sake of the series (and Mass Effect which has its own problems with race) they can, as the entire industry should, not just focus on representation on screen but also behind it in writing, art, coding and all areas. 

anonymous asked:

i hope you don't see this as an attack because i genuinely want to know. if female people aren't inherently second class, why are women in parts of the world oppressed? we agree that femininity is different in each culture and even before western colonialism, gender roles already existed. then is it just a coincidence that men oppress women in many cultures? historically what makes women so vulnerable to be oppressed? i'm sorry this sounds weird i'm not an english speaker

The root of women’s oppression is men’s desire to control women’s sexual and reproductive capabilities. This lies behind male supremacy across each culture and time period. Women’s reproductive systems do make us more vulnerable because of this so I see where you’re coming from. But the idea that our bodies are what make us “inherently second class,” as you put it, is the wrong conclusion. If the consistency and pervasiveness of male supremacy proves anything about the nature of either of the sexes, it is that men are violent and oppressive. Women’s bodies themselves cannot be blamed for suffering male violence and dominance; in order for a woman’s body to be a target of violence and dominance, someone has to want to do the violating and the dominating. Saying that women simply existing as we are is the reason we suffer misogyny (instead of the fact that men choose to enact misogyny) isn’t logical and cannot possibly lead to meaningful solutions about what we can do to combat misogyny. 

There are definitely options for women who want to make the most of their bodies and reduce the risk of male violence. Some women focus on strength training and self-defense. Amazon feminists believe that being able to physically fight back against men is crucial to achieving women’s liberation. Some also believe that men being stronger than women is a fact that’s culturally constructed, and that if women had equal opportunities to engage in physical fitness, sports, and strength training, they would be physically a match for men (and IIRC there are studies to back this up). Perhaps you’d be interested in artificial wombs. Some feminists believe that eliminating the dangers and difficulties of pregnancy and childbirth is essential to women’s reproductive rights and broader women’s liberation. I sympathise with that view considering the current state of patriarchal pronatalism and reproductive exploitation, and I am all for technology that could go a long way in improving women’s lives.

There have always been women who found ways to live outside of male control, and I think it’s interesting and helpful to look at what women have tried to make work in the past and compare that to new ideas. And that is much more practical and productive (and much less depressing!) than just thinking “oh what’s the point, we’re forever trapped by our biology.” That doesn’t have to be our fate and we were never destined for it.

Of women, I suspect INTPs are probably …

Most likely to laugh at Monty Python
Least likely to laugh at Adam Sandler

(Argument Clinic, Cheese Shop, The Holy Grail - “Now we see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help, I’m being repressed!” The shows and movie make me laugh every time. How does The Water Boy have 5 stars on Netflix?! Rates a solid 1 from me. Not a single laugh.)

  • Optimus Prime: I am your leader!
  • Megatron: Well, I didn't vote for you.
  • Optimus: You don't vote for primes.
  • Starscream: Well, how'd you become Prime, then?
  • Optimus: Primus, clad in the purest shimmering light, held aloft the Matrix from the bosom of the planet core, signifying by divine providence that I, Orion Pax, was to carry the Matrix. That is why I am your leader.
  • Megatron: Listen, strange deities napping in planet centers and distributing magic baubles is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical magic chest jewelry.
  • Megatron: You can't expect to wield supreme power just 'cause some all-powerful tart threw a pretty "rock of wisdom" at you!
  • Optimus: [grabs Megatron and shakes him] Shut up! Will you shut up?!
  • Megatron: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help, I'm being repressed!
Book Asks

Rules: Complete the qualities with books you’ve read or want to read (novels, plays, stories, etc.) then tag some friends.

Tagged by @amarguerite !

Almost But Not Quite Entirely French Romanticism Edition!

Book I Love:  Les Mis is perhaps too obvious, so Champavert, which is like “your actually funny and eternally high-key furious antifa friend starts doing the class reading and derails three lines in every time to expound on how this is really about the Violence Inherent in the System and why don’t we just stab Caesar  and OH YEAH the plot–” and I know that’s not everyone’s Idfic but lemme tell you it is mine and I didn’t even know it before I read that book, I love Champavert the way a lot of people love Jupiter Ascending, like wow this is a glorious overblown trainwreck but it is the glorious overblown trainwreck  of my soul. 

Book I Hate:  aaaagh Horace. It stands out to me here because I don’t think it’s a bad book!  I totally see where it’s Relevant to My Interests and Sand was Doing a Thing and oh help I’m probably going to have to read it again  but my god, reading that book was like swallowing mouthfuls of living wriggling worms whole. The Life and Times of an Abusive Shitlord, told by an apologist, what fun. Jean Laraviniere was the only thing that got me through that novel, my god.  

Book I Think is Underestimated: Mlle de Maupin, really. There is A Lot going on, there, and I think it gets largely buried under the admittedly very…there…discussions of theater and the general annoyance a lot of people feel towards d’Albert (WHICH IS FAIR, I hasten to say.) 

Book I Think is Overvalued: Okay I GET that it was a Moment in Literary History and certainly I love the architecture and printing essays and Pierre Gringoire is a wonderful failure of a person, but Notre Dame de Paris has been Vastly Improved by every major adaptation I’ve seen, largely because the book is, and I say this only after lots of consideration, not very good.  It’s so much easier to make it better (give Esmeralda some agency! remove even some of the antizyganism!  Stop whatever you’re doing with Fleur-de-lys , just…yeah.) that I think people actually remember it as being  better?? is my only explanation for some of the commentary I’ve seen about it. 

Book I Want to See in A Movie Version:….Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States. Or maybe I want to see it in a miniseries. Either way. 

Last Book I Read/In Progress: Count of Monte Cristo!:D  It’s fun! I’m excited to see where it goes! I could do with 90 percent fewer gratuitous mentions of sexual assault! I’m really worried about Albert, who is a bit of an utter goober but doesn’t deserve whatever the Revenge Sandwich Man has planned! Tension!

Book or Saga I Want to Finish: Journey to the Orient! I always enjoy reading it (unexpectedly, tbh, because I mean….look at the title, I was ready to be appalled and disgusted, but Nerval is just so…Nerval) but it’s proving to be a very Installments read. 

Book or  Saga I Don’t Want to Finish: Discworld. I’ve got Shepherd’s Crown sitting on the shelf and I just….I don’t wanna. I’m not ready for it to be Over. 

Next Book: Probably Toilers of the Sea! Or maybe 20k Leagues, since I’ve got that open in my Kindle reader…

The Worst End:  …I’m still super bitter about Ninety Three. >_<  Like just….everything that happens after Gauvain goes into the cell. All of it. No. I totally get what Hugo was Doing and Going For and N O P E. No! No. I feel like I can’t say more without super spoilers but: No. 

TAGGING IS HARD, uh, @vapaus-ystavyys-tasaarvo, @spacestationtrustfund, @mayleavestars, @soilrockslove , anyone else who might be interested please do! 

  • Republic Citizen: Listen. Strange women sitting in temples distributing lightsabers is no basis for a system of government! Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical mystical ceremony.
  • Jedi Knight: Be quiet!
  • Republic Citizen: You can’t expect to wield supreme power just ‘cause some silly tart threw a lightsaber at you!
  • Jedi Knight: Shut up!
  • Republic Citizen: I mean, if I went around saying I was an emperor just because some magic bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, they’d put me away!
  • Jedi Knight: [grabs citizen] Shut up! Will you shut up?!
  • Republic Citizen: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system!
  • Jedi Knight: [shakes citzen] Shut up!
  • Republic Citizen: Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help, I’m being repressed!

So let me guess, there will be this big draconian push from the GOP to act like they’re all martyrs, and liberals, the press, and anyone who disagrees needs to be shut up and barred from government. Because all it takes is one republican congressperson getting shot to send up the red flags that ‘something needs to be done!’ but the school shootings, attempts to kill Democrat congresspeople, and the Republican rhetoric that hinges heavily on the dehumanization of entire swathes of the world population are definitely not worth noting.

How many months? No, years, will the GOP milk this as a symbol of their persecution complex.

What? A single elderly gunman has the GOP all riled up with ‘the media and democrats made this man!’ and not ‘our entire party is based on the disenfranchisement and abuse of the constitution and the public at large.’ Come see the violence inherent in the system you fucks. You shot your own congressman with your approach to governance.

  • Liberal: We'd have a much better country if the working class actually got out and voted! They lack education and they're just so so racist and backward!
  • Leftist: Do you think it's that, or do you think it's because we have a system that lets them down by default? And they realize that no amount of liberal-sounding jargon about ending poverty and ending structural violence amounts to anything materially? Do you really think a democrat politician could "fix education" beyond surface changes? Like all other peddlers of social ideology, our education system is designed to keep the gears of the economy turning -- seeing as the economy is controlled by the capitalist elite, the social institutions (education, politics, etc.) are inherently subordinated to those elite interests. Much of the working class understands this on some level, it's just that an isolating culture and propagandized media drain their potential and influence.
  • Liberal: Shhhh Hillary's giving a speech!! Yaaassss Queen!!!
Queering Sizism: An interview with Ashleigh Shackelford on Fatness, Blackness, and Survival.

Ashleigh Shackelford’s writings have blessed the internet through a variety of popular online blogs including Buzzfeed, Everyday Feminism, For Harriet, and Black Girl Dangerous, in addition to gracing other social media platforms such as Facebook and Tumblr. A self-proclaimed queer Black fat femme, Ashleigh Shackelford’s articulate and beautifully unapologetic writings and videos bring to center topics such as anti-Blackness, fatphobia, cissexism, and other marginalized experiences shaped by our white supremacist patriarchal society. 

I had the opportunity to meet Ashleigh this year in Chicago while at a national LGBTQ conference, and in hearing them speak was, for the first time, overwhelmed with the desire to accept and embrace myself unapologetically; my Blackness, my queerness, and most importantly, my very much validated anger at society. It was a really transformative moment for me that has been extremely healing and empowering for me, both in my social justice work and my personal life.

I was fortunate enough to have the chance to ask Ashleigh, a self-proclaimed hood feminist, a few questions about the ways in which anti-fatness and sizism as a form of systematic, societal, and institutional oppression has influenced the ways in which they navigate the survival of being Black, fat, queer, and femme, check it out below:

 What are some ways that anti-fatness/sizeism as a form of oppression intersects with other identities that you embody?

In navigating being fat, my Blackness affects how my beauty, desire, worthiness, class status, and humanity is seen. I am dehumanized at every intersection because my body, my race, and my perceived gender (read as a cisgender woman but not respected like a thin woman). Often, I’m denied sympathy because Black fat femmes are not seen as innocent, worthy human beings deserving of love and care. In my navigation, I’m constantly fighting to have my agender identity recognized because my fat body represents fullness that emulates the idea of womanhood, while also emulates an anti-Black trope of a mammy. This is also complicated by how my body represents de-sexualization due to this idea of my body representing mammy characteristics, while also layering the reality that my Blackness and fatness have skewed my age/ perceived age of consent by men who view my body as too woman-like/ too old when I was a child. My queerness is often denied as well within the intermingling of these components because my sexuality is ultimately queered through the lens of fatness representing layers of sexualization and sexual violence based on the gazer - I’m constantly proving and naming myself in spaces against what my body is codified as.

How do you see fat folks of color represented in media, and how do these representations play into larger systems of power and oppression?

Gabourey Sidibe is such an important person and representation for how fatphobia is inherently anti-Black, classist, and transphobic. Gabby is a dark skin Black woman who does not represent an acceptable fat body (non-hour glass shape, pronounced double chin, big arms, big features, big belly, etc.). The commentary around her representation and her body is similar to how Serena Williams is attacked with anti-Black transmisogyny but with the queering of gender through fatness and dark skin Blackness. Gender is queered by fatness because ultimately body politics are skewed outside of white supremacist thin beauty standards. Often, anti-Black transmisogyny is hurled at fat, dark skin Black women because they’re not seen as innocent, beautiful, or as “real women.” They’re considered a masculine counterpart that is not inherently equal to a cisgender straight man, but is too masculine and too ugly to be a woman yet can be violated sexually and physically.

Her character Becky on Empire sparked conversation when there was a sex scene in which Gabby haves sex with a thin, muscular light skin visibly able-bodied Black man. There was a meme with a picture of the scene saying, “Damn some of you people can’t even get a text back.” People will mock dark skin, fat Black women having sex or being loved as as way of affirming that dark skin, fat Black women are the most hated, ugly, and dehumanized people on earth. Love, sex, and happiness has been codified and capitalized upon as something exclusively accessible to thin, beauty standard acceptable people.

What are some of the ways in which you personally engage in self-care, and why do you feel this is crucial to fat folks?

My self care involves eating unapologetically and twerking to trap music at any given opportunity. Self care comes in different forms for everybody but often as a Black fat femme, my body and my performance is policed so heavily that I have to take space at any given opportunity to center myself and to protect myself from a world seeking to destroy me. Eating unapologetically is a personal revolution because often my body is site of voyeurism and violence. Twerking to trap music is a layered form of self care that allows for my Black fat disabled femme body to challenge the limitations often codified upon my body. Whether it be the anti-Black misogyny that limits my body autonomy and sexual agency, or the lack of space I’m given to dance and be free as a fat disabled person - it is a challenge and a revolution to use dance, music, Black culture, and my body as tools for self care.

How have you seen sizism/fatphobia play out in movements of liberation for other marginalized communities? (queer, Black, trans, etc.)

Fatphobia is often ignored in larger movements, especially within the Black Lives Matter movement. Often, conversations around body politics are limited to gender and sexuality - yet when size comes up, it becomes a conversation dominated by health and size policing. Within the Black community, size and weight only become an imperative issue if we’re discussing fatphobic types of food justice or addressing “childhood obesity.” Fat bodies deserve to be centered and protected without our bodies amounting to an issue of “choice” or “unhealthiness.” Every Black body is under attack by this system and fatness is not inherently a health related attribute. We deserve to talk about what body positivity looks like when we incorporate how fat Black folks are denied health care, denied sympathy and therefore mental health platforms, denied sexualization or body autonomy therefore also denied sexual/ reproductive health care, and are often paid less for jobs. We need to be at the intersections of all marginalized identities - i.e. the fight for the minimum wage, the fight for disability justice, the fight for trans and gender nonconforming identities, and the fight for queer bodies.

Monty Python Memes
  • "Bereft of life, it rests in peace."
  • "Always look on the bright side of life."
  • “My philosophy, like color television, is all there in black and white.”
  • “Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.”
  • “It's funny, isn't it? How your best friend can just blow up like that?”
  • “Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Know what I mean?”
  • “I don't think there's a punch-line scheduled, is there?”
  • "Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help! I'm being repressed!”
  • “Tonight, instead of discussing the existence or non- existence of God, they have decided to fight for it.”
  • "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!"
  • “And now for something completely different.”
  • “No it can't! An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.”
  • “The Castle Aaahhhgggg - our quest is at an end.”
  • “Of course, it’s a bit of a jump, isn’t it? I mean, er… chartered accountancy to lion taming in one go… You don’t think it might be better if you worked your way towards lion taming, say via banking?”
  • "He's not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy!"
  • "I'm Brian, and so's my wife!"
  • "Oh, it’s ‘blessed are the meek’. I’m glad they’re getting something, they have a hell of a time."
  • "I’m sorry to have kept you waiting, but I’m afraid my walk has become rather sillier recently."
  • "Well you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you."

Emily: I am your empress.

Bottle Street Thug: Well, I didn’t vote for you.

Emily: You don’t vote for empresses.

Thug: Well, how’d you become empress, then?

[Bone charm singing noise intensifies…]

Emily: The Outsider of the Void, his fingers adorned in the most powerful mystical rings, held aloft the Heart of a Living Thing from the darkness of the Void, signifying by dark magics that I, Emily, was to carry Corvo’s sword. That is why I am your empress.

Thug: Listen. Strange men living in voids distributing hearts is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the rat swarms, not from some farcical black magic ceremony.

Emily: Be quiet!

Thug: You can’t expect to wield supreme power just ‘cause some shady squire threw a heart at you!

Emily: Shut up.

Thug: I mean, if I went around saying I was a king just because some sinister bloke had lobbed an internal organ at me, they’d put me away!

Emily: [grabs the thug] Shut up! Will you shut up?!

Thug: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system!

[Two lighting bolts of awareness appear over the nearest CIty Watch Guard.]

City Watch Guard: What in the void was that?

Emily: [tries to choke the thug] Shut up!

Thug: Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help, I’m being repressed!

Emily: Bloody generic enemy!

Thug: Ooh, what a giveaway!

clenster  asked:

🔥 Feuilly??

Aside from not shipping him with Bahorel?:P 

… oh gad I have so many Unpopular Feuilly Opinions.

I think this is may be getting back into Actually Unpopular time , but: I don’t think he’d be generally embarrassed about his class position or have any touchiness about help or gifts from friends, or about his class generally unless he’s in a situation where he’s being specifically harassed for it. Probably not even in modern era, but def. in canon. 

I mean, Feuilly’s a skilled worker, self-sufficient,literate, educated and a connected political organizer, you know? Feuilly’s a pretty powerful guy for his community!  I think in general when he deals with people in other political groups, or with friends from other backgrounds,  it would be mostly as someone with the internalized self-image of community responsibility.  (and like, check him out at the barricade, he takes charge of situations just fine and without hesitation.)  I do believe he’d be personally a little awkward and not self-aggrandizing, but I think his general approach to the world is “ cosmopolitan enthusiasm”  and “righteous indignation over injustice”  rather than focused on personal Anything, but especially not shame.

and uh okay this turned into me having Feelings About Class and Labor History so it gets a little long

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