I'm serious. Check out the following panels of Uncanny Avengers #5:
In a word (two, actually), "Aw, C'MAHN!"
As the article notes, Marvel typically has used the term "mutie" as the derogatory derivative of "mutant" ... sort of like how "homo" is the nasty version of "homosexual." But using "homosexual" isn't viewed as negative, or "divisive" as Havoc (Alex Summers) says in the panels. It's the actual technical term for those who are attracted to the same sex. Just like "mutant" is the actual technical term for a genetic aberration of a standard human.
Further, consider what Havoc says: "We are defined by our choices, not the makeup of our genes." But ... the latter is precisely what homosexuals themselves claim. It is those who oppose the "gay agenda" (whatever that is, precisely) who frequently claim that being gay is a choice. And they're pilloried for it.
So, writer Rick Remender has tied himself into a ridiculous PC knot. We're told (in the real world) that gays are defined by their genetics, but (in the Marvel Universe) mutants -- who've typically been utilized as allegories for oppressed minorities like homosexuals -- should not be. Because it's "divisive." If Remender is trying to make a statement here, he's failed miserably. He just comes off as some sort of anointed, annoying (and confused) social commentator. A commenter to the article reminds us how Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision of "color blindness" has been utterly corrupted by the denizens of political correctness. Now, believing in this vision -- not acknowledging someone's skin color -- is viewed as "racist." It's truly (and sadly) remarkable.
Keep in mind, too, that Marvel's own term for mutants is "Homo superior," or, "Homo sapiens superior." The word "superior" already indicates a divisive aspect -- that members of this sub-species of humanity are "better" than the average joe. And doesn't the PC crowd consider any sort of claim of "superiority" to another person or group ... anathema?
UPDATE: Tom Spurgeon opines:
Marvel's use of X-Men related imagery and concepts as potentially valuable tools in getting at nuances of racism, classism, sexism and homophobia has a generated a couple of posts on other sites -- here and here -- and likely a lot of well-meaning, agitated comments threads of the potentially high-traffic variety. The only thing that pops into my head when I hear about stuff like that is that these are really broad metaphors at best, and a first-class ticket to the Land Of Stupid at worst.
I vote the latter.
Elsewhere, from the first link in Spurgeon's quote, which misses the actual point:
The idea that ‘mutant’ is an ‘m-word’ is comprehensively wrong. The idea that equality is reached via erasing differences is wrong. And the message this scene puts across is that minorities – for, of course, mutancy in the Marvel Universe is used as a metaphor for the struggles of persecuted minorities round the world, be they of a different sexual orientation, gender, race, religion – should want to become invisible and fit into their surroundings. It’s a message that minorities should feel ashamed of who they are, and seek to become, quote “normalised”.
Aside from ignoring the idiocy that "mutant" should be a pejorative, this writer, Steve Morris, seems to be of the crowd I mentioned in my post -- that of the MLK "revisionists" who see color-blindness as a societal negative. Be sure to read the comment thread there as the convo is pretty good from both sides of the issue.Posted by Hube at March 28, 2013 11:06 AM | TrackBack