EDITOR’S NOTE: Enjoy this July 4th Double Feature editorial on the recent Fire Emblem controversy.
So with the gay marriage Supreme Court ruling came the usual whining. We got the Facebook rainbow image filter that should never be used by straight people (according to SJWs). And of course, the Shieldmaidens of Tumblr have sunk their claws into another victim. This time it’s the not-even-released in the West yet Fire Emblem Fates…the same game which a week prior had them foaming at the panties with it’s same sex relationship ability.
Alas, all things must be problematic, right? Fates is no exception. A bit of awkward (likely due to shaky translation) writing and we got GAY CONVERSION THERAPY. Yes, that’s right. Apparently one of the male romance-able characters is totally a converted lesbian. Oh wait, no she’s not. She’s a girl who idealized her father so much she tried to interact as he might. Or she’s doing this as revenge against her father. As no professional translation exists, it’s sort of all speculation at this point. Swap the genders and her male self would be torn down as a sexist womanizer. But it’s totally okay when women are overly flirty. After all it’s not tumblr/feminism without a big piping hot cup of double standards.
So the gist of the issue is the character Solieri presents herself as a strong woman in the eyes of cute girls. However she has a bad habit of fainting on the battlefield, so a powder is given to her to help her see women as men. It’s kind of an awkward concept, but nothing extreme. It’s not presented as a means to change her. Only help with the fainting. This leads to the character falling for the male lead as he is. Is it kinda odd? Sure. Is it spitting on those who’ve died due to the horrors of conversion therapy? No. But that’s what Tumblr’s for, to take any who can’t speak for themselves and speak over them.
Details in the link here on the somewhat confusing story.
But of course Tumblr has their own response to anything.
The saddest part of this is no one is defending the writing. Just about everyone is calling it out for being awkward. But they aren’t turning around and screaming like it’s taking a shit on gay women. That’s all the SJWs. As a lesbian leaning woman myself, I see it as a poor writing, and so I’ll just refrain from romancing the character. I mean let’s face it, I’mma be romancing all the ladies as a female so I don’t have to deal with the character anyway.. Unlike the Op of the Tumblr post, which was used as the source for the original articles. (link here: https://archive.is/YHkSM) I’m not going to trust scans that I’ve not made. Nor am I going to make a THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED bit and claim it as truth. All the while, completely leaving out the scans that show the powder is being used for her fainting. The character can be bi, or even a straight woman. I don’t know as of now. She’s a fictional character and holds no bearing on reality. Just don’t tell Tumblr that.
GUEST EDITORIAL by Zap
Some guy with a hat once wrote a book (about journalism and in it was the phrase “A lie can go around the world before the truth can get its boots on.” Seems appropriate enough.*
Well, anyway, story time. Fire Emblem If (also known as Fire Emblem Fates) is currently out in Japan and groups are working on translating it into English before it actually is released here. This being a fan project, things don’t always transfer well.
Two nights ago someone translated a support conversation between one of the new characters and the player avatar. It involves magic powder, seeing women everywhere, and other Anime weeaboo standards.
Someone on Tumblr decided it equated not only to date rape but also gay conversion therapy. It was long, it was emotional,
And it was completely out of context.
But too late! The story had already been picked up by International Business Times who naturally wrote a loaded headline. They have since amended it to add that the character in question is “bisexual,” but no mention that perhaps it’s not the best idea to just go off a Tumblr post for your research.
The fandom is currently in flames but that’s not so bad. Maybe everyone will get it out of their system. In the meantime someone tried to mitigate the damage by posting a better explanation of the actual issue only to get told they were part of GamerGate and therefore irrelevant.
My point isn’t whether the original poster was or wasn’t right. My point is that too often these so called “social justice” people are repeatedly falling into outrage and emotionally-charged rhetoric over the tiniest things in order to “educate” the masses. Not only are these posts often lacking context but it’s alienating when you’re constantly trying to stay on the sidelines and can’t speak up for fear of supporting the wrong “side.” I can get behind the idea of social justice and equality for all but the blogosphere and people involved in fandoms nowadays are just toxic. The best way to engage people and get them on your side isn’t to reach for the worst scenario imaginable or to write impassioned Tumblr posts to an echo chamber about “problematic elements” over a 2D sprite. We didn’t get to gay marriage in USA from blog posts about positive diversity – we got it through litigation and on-the-ground activism. And the kneejerk circle-wank press that knows nothing about a subject probably need to stop too.
* and by that I mean Terry Pratchett and the book is “The Truth” and you should read it.