Episode 692 - Benevolent racism and other isms!

Jun 17, 2024

Benevolent racism, sexism, ableism, and whatever other “isim” is an interesting aspect of those otherwise negative things. It's not as obvious in its negativity, it's well-meaning and yet quite misguided. So what is it? The term “Benevolent” makes it seem nice and harmless and that IS how people mean it, but that's because they're a bit clueless and ignorant. Benevolent sexism, ableism, and racism is basically using a “positive” stereotype to characterise someone based on their ethnicity, gender rather than as a real person etc, like “all black people have natural rhythm”, or “women are more sensitive and in touch with nature”, or “blind people have all their other senses massively heightened”.

Topics and Show Notes

So why is that a problem, you might ask? Because a stereotype that characterises an individual based on an assumption about their gender, their ethnicity or any other group they belong to is STILL a stereotype, it's still false and has nothing to do with them as an INDIVIDUAL person. What people really do when they use these benevolent stereotypes is to keep that person “other” from themselves, preventing them from relating to that person as a fellow human. It also puts the person in an awkward position, having to fit into or live up to standards that have nothing to do with them, i.e. “I'm an Asian so that means I have to be amazing at maths, a doctor, expert at martial arts, and constantly doing spiritual Buddhist ceremonies…”

Anything that prevents us properly relating to people as fellow humans is a problem whether it's openly negative or seemingly positive. The argument in favour of benevolent stereotypes is to combat the negative ones and in that it has a place, a limited one but a place nonetheless. Think about the old “noble Savage” idea, native people used to be universally looked down upon but then this idea developed that they had a “nobility” of their own, free from the constraints of civilisation, they were in touch with the natural world etc. For black people it was the “magical Negro”, an older black person who's only trait seemed to be that they were friendly and there to offer wise life advice to white people. For south Asian people it was unarmed martial arts expertise, spirituality, and ceremony. For gay people it was “the gay best friend” who would give sage love-life advice to a female main character, do her hair and pick our her shoes and look fabulous. These stereotypes served the purpose of combating negative images and making a place for these groups in the mainstream. They had a place, but their time has passed.

Examples are legion and usually very silly. Can you recognise them when you see them? Have you experienced them yourself? Do you use them yourself? What are some you can think of? One I hate the most is when bad stand up comedians tell us the “differences” between men and women, and it's just a list of stupid stereotypes.


This week Gunwallace was under the weather so we reissued - Space Repair Garage The Comic - Groove into this easy-going, saucy space symphony of high tech bleep-blooping cool! You’ll be carried along on a flaming column of power as it slowly ramps up to epic proportions, and then be left alone, coasting in space as it suddenly cuts out. (from Quackcast 415)

Topics and shownotes

Links


Featured comic:
Drunk Duck Awards 2024 - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2024/jun/11/featured-comic-drunk-duck-awards-2024/ />
Featured music:
Space Repair Garage The Comic -
https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Space_Repair_Garage_The_Comic/ - by Ninja_bait, rated E.

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Gunwallace/ />Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean />Kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei />Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/ />Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/ />

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Episode 691 - Thirst Trap

Jun 10, 2024

2 likes, 0 comments

Thirst trap is the topic of today's Quackcast! What is a thirst trap? It's basically someone presenting themselves as very sexy in order to get attention for some sort of reason, rather than just happening to look attractive. So it's usually used for some sort of advertising purpose, to sell their OnlyFans, to get a date, or more conventional advertising. Today we're talking about it it terms of comics :)

Episode 689 - One Big Passion and Influence

May 27, 2024

4 likes, 0 comments

What was one significant inspiring piece of pop-culture that a massive influence over your creative endeavours? All of us have had many, many different influences over the years but that's certainly NOT what we're interested in here, what we're talking about is that one thing you can remember that had a huge effect on you, why, how, and when.

Episode 676 - Baby it's cold outside, cultural context

Feb 26, 2024

2 likes, 0 comments

Oh baby it's cold outside… That's a tricky song, well it's not really but a few years ago the silly pop-culture warriors on Twitter started acting as if the song was all “rapey” with the male in the song trying to pressure the woman into sex. The problem was they were absolutely ignorant of the correct cultural context in quite a misogynist way.

Episode 671 - Art Vs the Artist

Jan 22, 2024

2 likes, 0 comments

Art VS the artist! Can you infer something about the creator from their creation? Do you think the art is an accurate reflection of the artist?

Episode 652 - Physical traits that set characters apart

Sep 11, 2023

2 likes, 0 comments

Our topic this week is making your characters individual, distinct and setting them apart through physical traits. In many mainstream superhero comics or manga the only difference between most characters is their outfit, hair, and skin tone. There are a few reasons for that but a big one is that it saves time if the artist doesn't have to change to much when they're drawing different characters. Professional arts work hard and have to work fast so things that make work faster and easier are needed.

Episode 649 - Gendered clothing

Aug 21, 2023

3 likes, 2 comments

When you're drawing people in a webcomic one of the common ways to indicate gender is by outfits, but why are clothes gendered at all and is that a constant?

Episode 625 - Designing Women

Mar 6, 2023

3 likes, 1 comment

Character design is a fun process but not without its challenges. Do you design the character or their story first? I've followed both of those approaches, they have pluses and minuses. On one hand when you create the character first that can make it a real passion project, you make a cool character and then create a story for them to live in and be themselves. But that can also lead to Mary Sues, wish fulfillment and self inserts, which makes for a weak story. Creating characters to fit a story can sometimes lead to using a lot of stereotypes and ending up with fairly generic and bland characters, which can make for a dull story. So it's best to use a bit of balance and judgment.


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