Just a few thoughts of mine that I tweeted after leaving the theatre after watching X-Men: Days of Future Pasts….a few typos here and there so forgive me. If we understand mutants to metaphors for marginalized peoples such as persecuted people of color or members of the LGBTA community then it’s ONLY logical to see sentinels as tools, weapons used to hurt, kill and obliterate these said marginalized groups peoples.
Sentinels will always grab my attention, always. Because if you think about it…there’s a ton of “real life sentinels” targeting people now whether or not people see them and acknowledge them as such.
So please don’t tell me comic books are “just for kids”. Don’t tell me comic books don’t contribute to social commentary and/or that they don’t have any significance, just don’t.
Zeng Jing (曾晶) - Chinese plus-size model
"I think someone needs to stand out and demonstrate our beauty because it’s not easy to be appreciated by society. And I think I can be the one."
Can I also say this is especially important because East Asian women are so often touted as “naturally thin/ petite” etc which masks the impact of internalized racism, mental illness and eating disorders in our communities.
Why do black people straighten their hair if non-black people can't get corn row/ box braid/ whatever you consider a "black" hairstyle
life, incogneeco Answer:
why do white people always try to make this non-point false equivalence when they know these are two completely different realities that don’t compare on any plane whatsoever
white people not only make black people hate their hair at an individual emotional level but literally at a systemic level in which black people are and have been for the last century unable to get jobs, attend colleges, enlist in the armed forces, etc. because of the treatment of their natural hair. there literally is nothing white people have to compare…
white people are not getting box braids because they feel pressured to, or out of fear that they won’t have access to a job or anything, but instead because they know it’s an “edgy black people thing” that they’re doing to be counter culture and subversive. there is literally no pressure on earth for anyone INCLUDING BLACK PEOPLE to worship or utilize Black hairstyles or Black hair in its natural state and you fucking know it. It’s literally the complete opposite for white hair. grow up
white people are not gelling down baby hairs for social mobility or financial security or comfort or assimilation.
- why do black women feel the need to wear weave?
- credit to black—lamb
History Lesson: History Lesson : Why Women Of Color In The 1800s Were Banned From Wearing Their Hair Out In Public
“Did you know that in late 18th century Louisiana, black and multiracial women were ordered to cover their hair in public?”
12 year old Vanessa VanDyke is being threatened with expulsion from Faith Christian Academy in Orlando unless she cuts her natural hair.
- A 7-year-old Tulsa girl was sent home form her elementary school because her dreadlocks were too much of a distraction, Fox 23 News Tulsa reports.
- visual-volume forced to cut locs
Read the ads
"MEN WHO GO PLACES" "WAS IT HER RESUME OR HER RELAXER?" white people don’t have ads telling them "you will not be successful in life unless you have cornrows and box braids with gelled down baby hairs" because that isn’t the case. address this in the context of reality, maybe???
I have dreadlocks and I dare a bitch to cut them off
That moment when you get caught taking car selfies…
coming out to your parents
If you try for one second to tell me the X-Men isn’t an allegory for the gay rights movement, I will smack you. They weren’t even remotely subtle about this.
The mutants have always been an allegory for anyone that didn’t fit in to society. The folks who drew the comics made a point of that early on.
It’s not just the gay rights movement, its not just kids trying to “come out” to their parents. Its people being mistreated by the government, put away, forced to pretend to be “normal”, systematically oppressed, even killed for who they are because the powers that be cant control it. It’s an allegory for blacks, gays, the disabled (mentally and physically), women, and anyone really who isnt a white man at the top of the food chain.
Seriously guys… Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr are Professor X and Magneto. Legacy virus is HIV. X-men is a flawless comic.
Flawless commentary is flawless
Meh. Not this again.
People never get tired of reminding us of the allegories of the X-men and civil rights. I personally don’t care for allegories that consists of 2 powerful white men leading an ensemble of mostly powerful white people. I’m a comic lover and I understand the point Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were making. I enjoy X-men for what it is, a fantasy. I’m not going to use it for deep social commentary, despite the idealistic intentions of the creators.
I can see and listen to actual marginalized people. I’m on the margins myself and so is everyone around me and in my community. Allegories like this are for people who aren’t paying attention or listening to communities on the margins. I can’t imagine a Black lesbian for instance being excited about the X-men as an allegory for her life. I’ll make an educated guess and say that the only people who view allegorical narratives like the X-men as profound are probably white. I’m definitely not impressed by all powerful white characters used in place as allegories of systems put in place by real life powerful white people i.e. white supremacy.
The day when a white man shooting lasers from his eyes and an angry, furry dudebro with retractable adamantium claws start shedding light on my experiences as someone on the margins is the day when pigs fly.
Also, the allegory of Professor X as MLK Jr and Magneto as Malcolm X feeds into the dichotomy of one guy being respectable and the other being violent and ruthless. It is deeply flawed. People continue to promulgate this simplistic narrative of MLK Jr and Malcolm X and it’s dangerous. Magneto is a mutant who wants to destroy humankind (allegory for white people?) because he thinks mutants are superior. He is filled with hatred and contempt for humankind. He leads the “Brotherhood of Evil Mutants” (allegory for the Nation of Islam?).
Magneto’s sole purpose is ridding the world of humankind. That’s a horrible allegory of Malcolm X. That isn’t Malcolm X. That’s a white man’s interpretation of Malcolm X misrepresented as Magneto and his followers.
If Stan Lee and Jack Kirby wanted to really make a statement, they should have made the five original X-men Black since Black resistance to white supremacy was the preeminent struggle that inspired them. Forgive me for not giving a shit about their allegories when their inaugural champions of justice and vanguards of truth were white people. Even when inspired by Black resistance and Black suffering, the end result was still whiteness.
*Sips* BLOOP BLOOP.
Everyone has a right to feel how they feel, but I will never let anyone belittle the effects of having such a heavy allegorical comic series be such an epic success and be such an obvious social commentary. And I think not having the entire main cast be black is important because at the time, they would have been shoved into a ‘black comics’ niche section and the consumers who needed to receive the message would never had gotten it (read white people).
Think of it this way: your mom tells you, “Child, quit jumping out of the tree or you’ll hurt yourself.” You ignore her because up until now you haven’t hurt yourself so you don’t empathize. Well, the day happens, you hurt yourself jumping out of the tree. You can now use that empathy to stop doing the thing. You understand the pain because the thing happened to you, where you ignore her before, you can now listen.
The X-Men comics are similar. Black people, for the better part of a century had been telling white people that the way they were treated was inhumane and dehumanizing. White people didn’t listen because who wants to be told they’re a bad person, who wants to take blame, and also, ‘we ended slavery so it could be worse.’
So Stan Lee and Jack Kirby put up a mirror up to nature, they said let’s show white people how it is, but in order for them to receive it, we have to do it in a way that doesn’t blame them or otherwise they won’t fully consume it and take it in. So, they took our world, using people who looked like the consumer and completely fantasized it, all while telling the social commentary and it was a huge success and opened a lot of eyes.
You can’t tell me that a team of all Black mutants AT THE TIME would have had the same mainstream success. It would never had reached the audience it needed to.
Edit: Also, do you read X-Men? The whole point of the X-Men is to show that no one is inherently evil or inherently good. Everyone thinks they’re doing the right thing or the end result will be the right thing. Magneto wasn’t out to end humankind. He was out to give mutants true freedom/end mutant oppression by any means necessary (sound familiar?)
Furthermore, Xavier and Magneto found themselves working together more often than not, with Xavier going as far or further than we’d expect him and Magneto showing more humanity than the professor. There was no respectability dichotomy between the two of them.
In fact, the point was to show that they are two necessary sides of the same coin. That for one to succeed, they’d need the other, much like the Civil Rights Movement.
Don’t get me wrong, I hear you. Some times allies swoop in and make matters all about them, overshadowing the real issues, and inadvertently making things much worse rather than better, but X-Men is not one of those times. X-Men is not one of those examples.