Author Topic: Misdistribution of Criticism  (Read 81 times)

Darien Fenner

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Misdistribution of Criticism
« on: July 03, 2014, 04:05:29 PM »

[size=9]Senior Columnist: Alexis Laurent[/size]

Misdistribution of Criticism: Idolizing the Moral Foundation that Isn?t
July 3, 2014

Fact: There is no such thing as a RhyDinian feminist.

I can say this with absolutely no suspicion to the contrary. Feminism is itself the act of advocating for the rights of women on the grounds of social, economic, and political equality to men. But while women in RhyDin have been compared as vastly unequal to their male counterparts for the better half of a decade (or as far as my research has taken me), it may not be in precisely the way you think. More accurately, it may be argued that women have no grounds for comparison at all to the opposite gender, for one reason, and one reason only: women in RhyDin are ignored.

This is not to say women do not have the capacity to be the center of attention. Beltane and its annual Queen-crowning is one of the most anticipated festivals of the year, and Jewell Ravenlock doubtlessly received more nominations for this year?s position than Waterhouse Accounting has received in the last four gubernatorial elections. As far as image goes, Koyliak VanDuran-Simon and Elessaria DeVabriel remain ever RhyDin?s favorite treat for the eyes. The action-oriented Morgan le Fay and Ellisa Morgan are both considered excellent pillars of strength in the dueling community. And of course, one needs only to click on the radio to have one?s opinion handed to them (or screamed and cursed to them) by the predictably unpredictable Seirichi.

Even so, I can count on one hand how many women I respect in RhyDin, and none of them are included.

These women, while noteworthy, are not memorable. For while they offer much in the way of words, they offer little in the way of impact or change for the city. These are women like Fionna Helston, who, for all her arguably groundless public praise as one of RhyDin?s best governors, did little else but hold monthly chats about nothing, offering little to RhyDin as a whole even when it was clamoring for it.  

And then there was Scathach.

?Scathach is the goddess of war,? Isuelt DeRomiano told the Post in an interview recently. ?She champions the people, defends the defenseless and aids the oppressed.  Her warriors are? molded in her likeness, so to speak? Scathachians are not supernatural, nor do we boast magical abilities.  We are simply women who want to make a difference in this world to help those who cannot help themselves.  Think of us as righters of the odds.?  

Bring us your tired, your poor, and permit us to bury poverty with a pummeling of fists. But how many do-good vigilante ?righters? in RhyDin have come and left? If righters left, what?s left is wrong ? by which we mean the whole gigantic catastrophe that is this city, nigh impossible to correct.  But that, apparently, will not stop them from trying.

?The innocent is who we seek to aid,? continued DeRomiano. ?Those who are taken advantage of, those that are powerless to stand up to their bullies, their oppressors. We want to save them from the bad guys.?

For all it stands for, the Scathachian order seems to be exactly what RhyDin needs: selfless, strong, and willing. Then again, perhaps it is unfair of its spokesperson to be putting morality in a box when her beginnings before RhyDin were anything but black and white. According to second- and third-hand accounts recovered from citizens there, DeRomiano?s stint in the land of Lorquis - where she lived before RhyDin - involved shady, criminal dealings pervasive enough that most Metro City folk begrudgingly refused to comment. Moreover, her association with Scorpion Wraitharan, whose name brings wariness even here in RhyDin, was verbally and unapologetically confirmed. This is the kind of woman we trust the protection of the less fortunate to?

It would be ? and is ? easy to tear down the Scathachian image because of that. One could question the overall morality of the order itself, the dedication of its members, the quality of their integrity, or the effeteness of their efforts. But heroes are not forged in daylight; they are forged in darkness.

Isuelt DeRomiano is anything but a hero, but the acknowledgment of her past and of her own mortality and fallibility embodies more forward action than twenty women in RhyDin combined. And while the Scathachian order is flawed and not quite the moral foundation it claims to be, occasionally a wanderer in RhyDin will find himself with a new roof over his head. While that will never be a form of pardon, it is as much being done for a people that has nothing else. It is a disappointing assessment, to be sure.

?The title of ?champion? or ?hero? isn't always a good thing.  It makes you a target? It's a lonely life, I guess.  Self-isolating.  It's a way to protect those you love.  To never say it, to never really show it.  Lest they become a target too.  ? [But] RhyDin needs its heroes.  There are far too many people willing to do her ill? To 'sell you' on the Scathachian Order, I have only to tell you that we are not going anywhere.  And we've been in service to the people here, totally... freely... willingly, for years.?

As every group of the sort before them doomed itself to dissolution out of frustration or apathy, the permanence of the Scathach order remains to be seen. For now, I will leave my respect with the men.

At the very least, it will keep the feminists out of RhyDin.
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Darien Fenner

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Re: Misdistribution of Criticism
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2014, 04:07:07 PM »
Isuelt DeRomiano interview transcripts are available by written request to The RhyDin Post offices.

Post: Thanks for meeting with me today, Ms. DeRomiano. The Scathachian Sanctuary has been in the news quite a bit in the last year, but it seems as though we can never know enough about it or what role you and your associates play in RhyDin. We appreciate the time you're taking to set the record straight.

DeRomiano: Of course.  I'm am, as ever, in service to the city and its citizens.  Anything that I can help with, well...it is my lot and my pleasure.

Post: DeRomiano is a pretty unique surname. If you don't mind my asking, where are you from originally?

DeRomiano: Actually, no.  I am from a small village in Lorquis, called Po'ert Soun.  Humble beginnings and all that, I suppose.  My mother was a weaver, my father a miller. Youngest of five and only girl.

Post: And yet here you are, known throughout virtually all of RhyDin city as a steadfast guardian and protector.

DeRomiano: I was ushered to the Island of Shadow at the age of eight, where I trained and lived... and was raised... by the Scathachians until I was twenty. It's been a long, winding path, but I eventually landed here and stayed because I felt that my services were needed.

Post: Not an untrue assessment, and we'll get to that. But let's go back to the Scathachians first. What else can you tell us about that? Many people know the name, but not the story behind it.

DeRomiano: Of course.  Scathach is the goddess of war.  She champions the people, defends the defenseless and aids the oppressed.  Her warriors are all female, molded in her likeness so to speak.  Though... there was one man she trained.  But he is an exception and is divine in and of himself.  We mortals are just that: mortal.  Scathachians are not supernatural, nor do we boast magical abilities.  We are simply women who want to make a difference in this world to help those who cannot help themselves.  Think of us as righters of the odds.  

Post: So am I to understand this order extends well beyond RhyDin?

DeRomiano: Oh yes.  The Scathachians have been training young girls and sending them out into and all over the known world for hundreds of years.  

Post: So far your story seems to be a rather romantic one where you triumph in adversity. Out of curiosity, though, what does a woman of your training and stature doing making an acquaintance with Scorpion Wraitharan?

DeRomiano: Scorpion Wraitharan?  He's uhm... he's an acquaintance of mine, yes.  Has been for quite some time.

Post: And the two of you met outside of RhyDin, correct?

DeRomiano: Metro City, yes.  

Post: Dangerous place, that.

DeRomiano: So's RhyDin. I was in Metro for more than a decade.  A lot of work to do there.

Post: The same kind you're doing here?

DeRomiano: In a manner of speaking.  

Post: In one sentence, what would you say it is you and your associates do in RhyDin?

DeRomiano: We keep them safe from the forces that wish them harm, as well as keeping them safe from themselves.

Post: That's quite a broad mission statement. Any exclusions come to mind?

DeRomiano: Oh a few. The innocent is who we seek to aid.  Those who are taken advantage of, those that are powerless to stand up to their bullies, their oppressors.  We want to save them from the bad guys.

Post: Approximately how many of you are here in RhyDin?

DeRomiano: Presently it is myself and ten others.  Though our exact number fluctuates as we are called away to aid other outlying areas.  I've come to make RhyDin our base of operations for these western states, so to speak.  Since our home is quite far from here.

Post: You sound like a seasoned Watch officer. Seeing as it seems to be back in vogue, ever consider putting on a uniform?

DeRomiano: No.  Too many rules there I'm afraid.

Post: We realize that the Scathach doors are always open, but there are many vigilante groups in RhyDin that boast about defending the weak. At the risk of sounding flip, sell me.

DeRomiano: RhyDin needs its heroes.  There are far too many people willing to do her ill.  We welcome these groups, and want to work together with them.  The ideal would be to mesh with these vigilante groups and the Watch, to cover the city and her citizens under a blanket of guardianship.  We hope that the vigilante groups observe a sort of order, otherwise they could become the sort of sickness that we fight to save the city from. To 'sell you' on the Scathachian Order, I have only to tell you that we are not going anywhere.  And we've been in service to the people here, totally... freely... willingly, for years.  

Post: And RhyDin thanks you for it. Is there anything else you'd like to add?

DeRomiano: Yes, actually. As you said, there are more and more people in the city seeking to right the wrongs that they see.  And while that is commendable and noble, I wanted to warn them.  To make sure that people understand that the title of "champion" or "hero" isn't always a good thing.  It makes you a target.  And if one is not ready for that sort of heat... well...  It's a lonely life, I guess.  Self-isolating.  It's a way to protect those you love.  To never say it, to never really show it.  Lest they become a target too.  

Post: Duly noted. We'll forward the sentiment, and end on that note. Thank you, Ms. DeRomiano. We'll be in touch.

DeRomiano: Thank you.
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