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And now let’s deal with Scarlet Witch’s “Mutants don’t have a shared experience” claim.  Remender has Rogue offer a very undetailed response about persecution and then has Wanda dismiss it by saying lots of groups face persecution.  As far as I can tell, Remender seems to believe that persecution is some vague nebulous thing, and that all persecution is the same, and you can’t develop a shared identity and experiences from the specific kinds of persecution that your group faces.

Also, he doesn’t seem to think that there could be any other lived experiences that Mutants might share outside of a vague “persecution.”  Besides the ones that Racialicious mentioned, you don’t even need to get into the big giant genocidal events that have happened to the Mutants in story to imagine what types of shared experiences Mutants might have.

This isn’t in any way supposed to be a comprehensive list by the way, just me listing some examples I can think of off the top of my head.  So here are some common lived experiences that Mutants may have had in their lives:

  • Developing your powers suddenly around adolescence
  • Having your body change overnight, waking up a completely different size, or looking completely differently, maybe not even “human”
  • Looking at themselves in the mirror and thinking of yourself as a freak
  • Being thrown out of your house by their parents, having your parents mistake you for an intruder and attack you
  • Being attacked at school, being kicked out of school
  • Being homeless and not having any shelters that would accept you
  • Feeling body dysphoria from your mutation, thoughts and feelings related to that
  • Guilt over having hurt or killed somebody by accident when you developed your powers or when you couldn’t control their powers
  • Being overwhelmed because suddenly they can read everybody’s thoughts, having a mental breakdown over it
  • Wanting to kill themselves
  • Wanting to self harm, mutilate yourself to remove the parts of your body that have changed
  • How you found clothing that fit you, how you developed your own style from this
  • How you eventually began to learn to harness your powers
  • Being hunted and chased by Sentinels
  • Being afraid that your powers may flare up and kill somebody whenever you’re out, or reveal that you’re a Mutant and then you’ll be hunted by Sentinels
  • Being captured by Sentinels
  • Having to use your Mutant powers to do illegal things to survive
  • Being feared for being a Mutant, being called slurs
  • Being exotified by creeps wanting to sleep with a Mutant, being sexually harassed by people who find your Mutation exotic or sexy
  • Being unable to function in society because your mutancy needs an assistive tool that doesn’t exist, or that requires you to spend money you don’t have
  • How it felt when you first met other Mutants and weren’t alone
  • Being unable to get medical care because nobody understands your biology, or they refuse to treat you
  • Having paramedics stare at your body rather than treat you in an accident
  • Being refused housing because of fears you’ll hurt your housemates or destroy the house/apartment
  • Being terrified whenever you’re in public, being terrified in general
  • How it felt when M Day happened and you lost your powers and your appearance changed overnight again, body dysphoria related to that, feeling vulnerable suddenly without powers you got used to, other issues related to sudden power loss and body changes
  • How it felt when you suddenly got your powers back again
  • How you felt watching Havok on TV tell you that your differences don’t matter and discrimination will go away once you stop seeing yourself as a Mutant
  • Having to buy a new TV to replace the one you just broke

And, as I said, that’s an incomplete list, but it sure sounds like Mutants have more than enough shared experiences to me.  They may not all experience the exact same things, and some may experience more of one than the other (as is true of all marginalized groups), and it’ll be different depending on other marginalized identities they may have, but it’s certainly not this “there’s no experiences whatsoever any of us might share” construction that Wanda constructs.  Heck, one of the shared experiences (and probably a lot of thoughts, feelings, and experiences that came from that) was her fault.  The whole dialogue comes off as a very superficial view of what it means to be part of a group marginalized and oppressed by society, and how that might affect one’s life experiences.

Discrimination is not just some abstract concept that will go away if we just stop thinking about differences.  Its effects on marginalized people aren’t just “oh people don’t like you.”  There are real life consequences to institutional oppression, and it shapes every aspect of our lives, whether we’re being hurt by it, hiding from it, trying to fit in around it, being terrified of it, or just generally trying to survive it.  These experiences are a part of us, and they can change us, and can give us a perspective on life that people who haven’t experienced them or had to worry about experiencing them don’t easily get.  Discrimination may be a social construction, but the consequences are very real, and the specific experiences that people in marginalized communities share are very real too.

(Scans from Racialicious)

174 notes

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  10. jamesgf reblogged this from northstarfan and added:
    I agree with everything you guys are saying, and that “m-word” speech hit me like a slap in the face when I first read...
  11. northstarfan reblogged this from happyharbor and added:
    Ha! Noooo…not holding my breath for that. Like I said when that awful “m-word” speech came out, there’s a genuinely...
  12. happyharbor reblogged this from northstarfan and added:
    In a way, Remender is also making a brilliant meta-commentary on how marginalized communities interact. Wanda is a woman...
  13. megalocera reblogged this from northstarfan
  14. twbasketcase reblogged this from northstarfan and added:
    I think you are right about that, actually. It’s been years and years since I read his run in full, but I do think you...
  15. betterthanlegos reblogged this from hawthornetaylor and added:
    oh my god i fucking hate rick remender
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  20. ronchronchronch reblogged this from northstarfan and added:
    In addition to the excellent commentary above, Wanda claiming that there is no shared mutant culture flagrantly...
  21. evenigetboardedsometimes reblogged this from zapzaparchives and added:
    idk i mean wanda’s family line is also jewish and i know she doesn’t really identify as jewish but she does identify as...
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