Race/Gender Swapping: Why Not Just Create New Characters (or focus on old ones)?




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In fiction, race/gender swapping occurs when an established character’s race or gender is changed. For example, the original Nick Fury character in Marvel is a white man, but this character was changed to a black man in the Ulimates and in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As another example, the original Dr. Smith in Lost in Space is a man; the Netflix reboot made the character a woman. As would be expected, some people get very angry when a character is race or gender swapped. Some are open about their racist or sexist reasons for their anger—they are clear that they do not want females and non-white people in certain roles. Other people criticize a swap by asking why there was a swap instead of either creating a new character or focusing on a less-well-known existing character. For example, a critic of the He-Man reboot might be angry that King Grayskull was changed from white to black and raise the critical question “what about Clamp Champ?”
Such questions can be asked in bad faith; the person asking them makes it clear that they are angry that minorities and women are allowed to take traditional white male roles. As such, it is not that they want new women or minority characters or more focus on existing characters, this is just a cover for their racism and sexism. These questions serve very well in this role since they are not overtly racist or sexist. In fact, when raised in good faith, these are reasonable aesthetic questions. Unfortunately, these questions are now well-established as dog-whistles and allow people to hide their racism and sexism from “normies” while sending a clear signal to those in the know. The fact that other people do use them without racist or sexist intent helps maintain their innocuous appearance. Someone using them as racist or sexist tools can claim, in bad faith, that they are just asking reasonable questions. And then go on to rage against the “SJWS” ruining everything by compelling these race/gender swaps and forcing diversity.. . .

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News source: A Philosopher’s Blog



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