|Willow (the_willow) wrote,|
@ 2011-10-30 20:41:00
|Current mood:||pissed off|
|Entry tags:||#social justice issues, games: mass effect, personal is political, thinky thoughts|
So I was watching the story of Mass Effect (minus the fighting etc) and the playthrough was Paragon (by the looks of it) and it irritated me SO DAMN MUCH. In describing it to a friend I realized what it is that bothers me, what I see, possibly because I'm a WoC with many other ism intersections. In the Paragon Path, Shepard has to be 3, 4 times better than anyone else, has to win and save the day, while never being believed, always being questioned, and on that path, also saves the Council. But the ending, really rubbed it in for me. At the end Humanity gets accepted to and given a seat on the Intergalactic Governing Council. And there it is; the model minorityness of it all the myth that stepping and fetching and following the rules, living within stricture, will lead to accomplishment and meritocracy winning out over institutionalized isms.
It's the whole nobility and leadership is in the blood. Mandate from heaven. Show your mandate from heaven in your actions and it will be recognized and you will be let into the club and handed things due you because of your exemplary nature. But the things due are basic respect. Privilege creates a system, where the ability to NOT be seen within the constant frameworks of stereotypes of your class, ethnicity, species, race, gender, ability status, what have you and being taken as an individual is a thing to be EARNED IN THE EYES OF THOSE WITHHOLDING SAME FROM YOU.
Gah, no wonder I can't stand stories where some peasant farm hand is automatically the best and right king or ruler due to BLOOD and not knowledge of political and economic systems and a quick mind and many well trusted advisor.
But still, if someone has the answer to this bullshit, I want to know. Tell me. HOW DOES ONE EARN THEIR WAY OUT OF OPPRESSION? When having you under their foot, and in their control gives someone else power and benefit, how do you become so exemplary, nay, how do you prove your entire SECT to be so exemplary, that those individuals GIVE UP their power and benefit and treat you as an equal.
I maintain it's bloody impossible. That it's a logical fallacy.
All the system does is allow individuals to prove they are willing to put everyone else under their boot, and on THOSE MERITS, be given limited acceptance into the club holding the power. Which is not equality, not even an equality for one. It's totally buying into the system, agreeing with it and claiming that everyone who isn't in the club, deserves to be where they are, because they don't have the whatever to keep others under the boot.
ETA: Maybe the fact that the storytelling goes along these lines is the true demarcation of why Bioware's Dragon Age writers are attempting (though often not very well) to address social justice issues and why Mass Effect has a supposedly ambiguous but very white looking male as their canon lead. Because white, cis, hetero, able bodied males can always show their exemplary status. Yes? But that would be giving the DA writers too much credit, I think.
PPS: I also think it's __ something, that the meritocracy myth ends bare seconds after the Council gives humanity a seat. There should undoubtedly be a list of qualified applicants for such a role, it shouldn't just be Udina alone or Udina vs Anderson. Instead, one individual, gives a hand into the 'club' for another individual and I'm left rolling my eyes. While at the same time pndering what I'll see about how the Elcor and Volus treat and are treated by humans after such a leap, bump, skip.