I took a look yesterday at the gomakemeasandwich blog. This place is apparently the stupid that keeps on giving. Currently, there are two posts about the "problematic" nature of the D&D 5E module The Curse of Strahd.
Now, I really don't want to spend the time to fisk two long posts, but I will go through the larger strokes, and try to consolidate things to one post.
First "problem": The Vistani
They are renamed gypsies. Roma, Romani, whatever. The first problem is apparently the stereotypical dress of them.We
Now, the author that I'm going against decides to play the Godwin card. Yep, literally Hitler killed 250k of them, neo-nazis in Canada marched against them(as blogged against by a Roma that shoved the TV stereotypes onto Irish Travelers), and the fact of a child was removed from legal custody from a Roma couple because she wasn't Roma.
The first is a laughable virtue card. The second is both a proper immigration issue, with projection and racism on the part of the author. The third is a tragic reality. Perhaps we should find some decent number of pertinent examples first.
Second "problem": miscegnation
We have the issue of mongrelfolk, and how race mixing laws were struck down as unconstitutional. That's the real world, this is fiction. Get over it. By the way, there's decent medical reasons against it. Bone marrow matches are harder to find if you're mixed race. I know that means organ transplants are likely similar.
Then our dear blogger goes into the portrayal of mongrelfolk in the game. First, it's a game, and a fictional story. Second, when you mix ogres, elves, dwarves, humans, orcs, kobolds, and who knows what else, you will get deformities, likely speech problems, and who knows what else, it's FANTASY.
The mongrelfolk are an "inferior subspecies". Well yeah. The reflection in the real world is mostly a false comparison. But, we already established a medical inferiority in reality. Then, our dear blogger goes on to address pre Civil War stereotypes used to justify slavery, and makes mention of the fact that James Watson stated in 2007 that Africans are less intelligent than Westerners. So, let's take a look at the map. Sure looks like there MIGHT be a link. And Mr. Watson was subsequently disemployed by the forces of SocJus.
Then our blogger mentions the One Drop Rule. Which is still the law regarding EEOC applications, as far as I can tell. So, do Quarter, Eighth, and Sixteenth Black lives matter or not? I'm confused by her lack of stating what she wants. Oh, wait. That's how to continually maintain outrage.
Third "problem": Strahd the entitled
So Strahd fell in love with a woman that loved his brother. Strahd made a deal with the Dark Powers of the region, killed his brother on the wedding day, drank his blood, and she killed herself. Ok, pretty standard villain origin, when dealing with Dark Powers. Now the girl's soul has been reborn, and Strahd supposedly thinks she belongs to him.
I haven't read the module, but that sounds like a decent story. He's the BAD GUY. He's not supposed to be kind, proper, generous, or humane. He's supposed to be a monster. Get over it.
Fourth "problem": Strahd as vampire and his "brides" as spawn
In which our dear blogger goes into how problematic it is that Strahd keeps his brides in the crypts beneath his castle. And bemoans their lack of agency. THEY'RE MONSTERS, and not even the full version, as they don't have the pact with the Dark Powers. And of course, there are two male spawn, one free, and the other imprisoned by his father. Her point being that they have more freedom.
Most people have more freedom than they can handle. They focus on their feelings instead of facts, feigned injury over real dangers and threats.
Fifth and sixth problem: Number of murdered children to be dark and edgy
You know what? I'm going to partly agree with our dear blogger here. Lots of murdered kids and raped and murdered women is lazy writing. That said, it has nothing to do with the Patriarchy, it has to do with bad writing. The women weren't murdered by male entitlement, they were murdered by a corrupted version of male power. Bad writing, check.
Seventh problem: Insanity
In two parts, our dear blogger goes after madness here. First, the mongrelfolk are all shown as mad, and kept in an asylum in horrifying conditions. It's objected to that the module states the mongrelfolk are irredeemably mad. I don't get why that's a problem, honestly. It's keeping things simple for the thousands of GMs running this in organized play. Did you want to team up with the demons in DOOM, dear blogger?
Second part, our dear blogger starts railing against the "gendered" madness issue. Of course, ignoring the fact that some women do go mad from one person being mean to them. Ignoring the fact that people in power are generally catered to, unless and until they present a danger to their realm. I'm not even going to go into brain chemistry.
Why not? It's a bit of a historical presentation of asylums. Partly inhumane, stereotyped as irredeemable, and written off in favor of people in power? Sounds pretty accurate.
Problematic final thoughts
Our dear blogger then laments the Gypsy stereotyping again, wants to see the mongrelfolk freed, and the victim count moved to parity. And then hypothesizes the Roma being absent.
Why not just remove Strahd while you're at it? He's just as "problematic".
Here's a radical idea: instead of focusing on modules, why not play the game for real. Write your own campaigns. Work for your characters and story, quit playing generic drivel. Make your own worlds, create, explore, make things different.
When you play Social Justice, the world loses.