Lot of great conversations happening about antisemitism in worldbuilding, but one thing I want to emphasize is that it's not as simple as "don't do X creature" or "don't do Y magic"

You have to understand the historical context behind these tropes, understand what they represent
So everyone knows now that Rowling's goblins are super antisemitic. But the takeaway shouldn't just be "goblins are antisemitic".

If Rowling called them fnarfs and made them towering gold robots, they'd STILL be antisemitic because they're a race of shadowy underground bankers
On the flipside, one of the most beloved Hannukah books of all time is all about goblins! They represent the forces trying to destroy Jewish traditions, and they're defeated through cunning and faith! It rules!
It's the same with "blood magic". Blood magic is not INHERENTLY blood libel, and many works have blood magic in ways that are fine. But blood magic *can* reflect the blood libel. It's all dependent on the context, the representation, the framing.
My worry is that a lot of people will come away from these conversations with "okay, no goblins or blood magic" and then go on to just create the exact same antisemitic tropes under another name
This is what we mean when we talk about how interwoven antisemitism is through European folklore and culture. It's much deeper than just a simple trope. It's foundational to whole genres of storytelling (conspiracy theories and secret councils, shadowy sacrificial sects)
If you want to avoid antisemitism in your worldbuilding, you need to dig deep. Research the history. Read Jewish authors. Hire sensitivity readers.

And don't name any characters Adonai. What the hell.

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More from @Shvartacus

7 Apr
This. Antisemitism is profoundly interwoven through European history, folklore and myth. It's built into the very DNA of modern fantasy (see Tolkein's comments on dwarves).
And part of the problem is that it's so interwoven and ubiquitous that people, even progressive people who care about representation, don't realize what they're perpetuating.

Like, The Witches is GROTESQUELY antisemitic, but so many people in book world were praising it!
And the ways we discuss it tend to hyper-focus on some specifics while missing the larger problems.

Like with JKR's goblins, a great deal was on their appearance, because it's so awful, but the real and even bigger issue is a race of subterranean powerful bankers
Read 4 tweets
7 Apr
One thing I've been thinking about is how we use the term 'friend' to describe so many of our casual relationships on here, and how in a lot of ways it's misleading and creates real problems when things go wrong and people act badly
Because the thing is, in real life? I DO know my friends deeply. I've shared real vulnerabilities with them, and they've shared them with me. I do feel a real responsibility to tell when they fuck up, and I expect the same of them for me. There is a weight there.
But on here? Most of us are not friends... not really? We're colleagues, acquaintances. We work in the same building, we wave to each other in the halls, we chat about Wandavision by the watercooler and gripe about our shitty boss
Read 7 tweets

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