[size=9]Senior Columnist: Alexis Laurent[/size]Misdistribution of Criticism: Idolizing the Moral Foundation that Isn?tJuly 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.