The Ironwood disability thing reminds me of propaganda comics in WWII. Making caricatures of Hitler? Fine, he was the worst. The issue is when the caricatures and criticism of Hirohito were highly racialized. When we critique them, we’re not saying “how dare they make violent imperialist Hirohito look bad!” We’re saying “regardless of this man’s actions, his identity as (in the US) a marginalized person shouldn’t be what we’re highlighting in showing he’s evil.” (1/2)
(2/2, Hirohito ask) So even laying aside that Ironwood isn’t real and the writers actively chose to make him disabled and his motives be a result of his trauma, even if Ironwood was a real, disabled person who was absolutely evil, framing his disability as the symbol of his villainy is *wrong.* It’s not acceptable on any level. “But he’s an evil member of [minority group]” isn’t an excuse to use that minority status ITSELF as a shorthand for evil/inhumanity.
yes, this is absolutely it. i have no issue with ironwood being a villain or antagonist — so long as it was written well — but that's just the issue. it wasn't written well, it actually came quite wildly out of nowhere & it went against his established characterization without any justification in text for this wild change of personality & motives.
& above all, it pushed some very harmful ideas about the groups ironwood is part of, as a disabled man, an asian man & a man with ptsd in the military. all three parts of who ironwood is has been taken out of context, demonized & reflected just how ableist / racist this fandom can be when they deem it acceptable to be so. this isn't the first time either, we've seen ableism towards cinder & tyrian in how the heroes should exploit their disabilities in order to humiliate them because their villainy excuses that treatment.
when mkek said in the commentary that ironwood gaining a very dark, unnatural, evil looking prosthetic as a shorthand for his loss of another part of his humanity, i felt sick. & when i saw people excusing this by " ironwood chose it & chose to amputate his arm instead of waiting, this shows his downfall !! " like, no.
one, ironwood didn't choose anything, he's not real. mkek chose this as a shorthand to show how far he has fallen & in turn, in all of them being able bodied, reinforced negative & harmful tropes about disabled people, especially those with prosthetics.
& two, ironwood is not the only one we see their ableism reflective in, for those saying that their writing of ironwood is not reflective on their real life ideals. it's shown in how maria & pietro have been written off without even a thought, even from the people meant to care about them. it's shown in how yang sees her own prosthetic as not part of herself, an extra piece to be replaced at any turn & how they, in real life, released merch of yang with her prosthetic on the wrong arm & said they would only change it when the original batch of merch sold out. it's shown in them misappropriating the severe disorder of did to give it to klein, a background character, & have it be treated as a joke with his switching between alters being inaccurate & laughed at by weiss. this is only scratching the surface, we didn't even get to characters like ozpin, mercury, tyrian, cinder, etc & we didn't even touch on the ableism from the fndm either.
to rwby's fans, please stop excusing this. from two disabled people; i was at risk of losing my leg & having to get a prosthetic. we are both severely hindered in our movement & have suffered ableism in various ways. we are telling you that this is harmful & the amount of able bodied people in the fndm i've seen defend these able bodied writers is disgusting. this way to take ironwood's character using that type of shorthand in representation of his prosthetics was disgusting, & is only the tip of the iceberg in how rwby handles it's disabled characters overall.
Jacques: I already told you, I didn't order any damn cookies!
Mercury: Look, pal, I ain't paying for these chocolate chips! I'm not exactly financially stable right now! So you better open up, or else I'm gonna keep ringing this-
Jacques: (Opens the door) Fine, I'll take the cookies, but I didn't order-!
Ruby: I know you didn't. (Pulls out Crescent Rose, Points it at Jacques) I did. And you, get in here! (Grabs the bag) Peanut better and chocolate chip, right?
Ruby: Burnt at the bottom?
Mercury: N-No, of course not!
Ruby: (Groans) I specifically told them to burn! The damn! Bottom! (Sighs) Whatever. (Bites into a cookie) Mm! Yeah, is good, but it'd be better if they- y'know?
Jacques: Uh, if you don't mind me asking, but why are you here, in my house?
Ruby: Hm? Oh, I'm an assassin, here to perform a contract kill.
Mercury: That... That is cold! You break into this guy's house, order cookies, and you're gonna off him?! That's just-
Ruby: I'm not here for him, Mercury Black.
Ruby: (Points Crescent Rose at Mercury) I'm here for you.
Mercury: B-But why?!
Ruby: Blake Belladonna. Name ring any bells? Let me refresh your memory. Back in high school, when you were all Mr. Macho Captain of the Soccer Team Super Jock Dickhole, you started a particularly heinous rumor about her. A rumor with no basis in fact. That rumor was so awful, her boyfriend, Sun, who was a great guy, by the way, dumped her immediately. None of the other guys wanted to date her, and none of the other girls wanted to be associated with her!
Jacques: I'm sorry, but what was the rumor?
Ruby: It was, uh, well come here. (Whispers into his ear) ... and then there was this cat ... and then she used those, like, weird claw things in the doctor's office ... and then there was this other thing with an onahole involved ... and then...
Jacques: ...You, sir, are a fucking asshole!
Ruby: I... I have to agree.
Mercury: That was, like, eight years ago!
Ruby: That rumor haunts her to this day. People still talk about it behind her back. At the book store! At the aquarium! No decent person wants her, and the guy she settled for is a total loser no one else would take, and his kids are worse than their dad! You ruined her life, Mercury!
Mercury: I... I'm sorry, but that bitch needs to get the hell over it!
Ruby: She's about to.
Ruby: (Urp!) Come on, man! I just ate!
Jacques: S-Sorry! I just... that guy, totally deserved it. I promise, I won't get the police involved. I mean, I will eventually, but I won't tell them I saw you.
Ruby: Thanks! Uh, so you live here alone?
Jacques: No, I have a wife and three children.
Ruby: Where are they?
Jacques: They're... at our other house in Mantle.
Ruby: (Whistles) Two places? Wow! Me? I'm broke, and that kill just now? That only put about three hundred bucks in my bank account. And even that isn't-
Jacques: You could... rob me, if you'd like. I won't fight it.
Ruby: Eh, not really my style, but for you? I'll make an exception.
A fic where emerald is dying and mercury is holding her close telling her that he’s gonna take her home and she will never have to fight again and they can live a happy normal life and all she has to do is keep breathing and help is coming and she will be okay just so she isn’t panicking and dies with a happy thought in her mind while he is being ripped apart over the fact that he couldn’t save her.
This is what I made this tumblr for but it’s too emotional and I cry when I think about it so I can’t write it.
absolutely love it, & honestly makes a lot of sense with that one scene in tukson's bookshop. ik my friend made mercury dyslexic in a red eyed ruby & i adored it. also it's just a subtle form of disability rep that isn't immediately in your face.
I know you've stated that the fandom has fetishized rape head canons (and not in the YKINMK way), so how would you handle the topic of rape in a Mercury fic while being respectful and true to his character?
i think it'd definitely apt to examine why you're writing rape into his backstory, if you choose to do so. my issue with so many fics that choose to give certain characters is that they do so for two reasons; that the abuse they already suffered wasn't " enough " in the writer's eyes or that they want cheap, easy drama.
rape is an easy way to manufacture drama because it's so widely abhorred & hated by people, for obvious reasons. if you throw that into someone's backstory then it becomes incredibly hard to criticize them or as some writers assume, should make them automatically relatable. when often times, for me at least, it does the exact opposite because you can very easily tell when someone is writing rape in an exploitative way just for cheap drama.
the other slant is a common one i see with characters like blake, weiss & mercury. that the abuse they suffered from their abusers wasn't enough, so their abusers must now also be rapists in order to truly validate them as victims / make their abusers into hate sinks — which with characters like adam can come with it's own problematic connotations — & it's overall a very insensitive way of thinking. the abuse these characters suffered already, emotional, physical & financial, is more than enough. rape really doesn't have to be tossed in just as a cheap garnish to a shit salad that is their abuse, y'know?
now i'm not saying these characters can't be written with that type of background — i've done it with weiss in making love in the dark — but it should definitely be given a lot more thought & care than some of the fics i see unfortunately.