Pygmies, Stereotyping and all that.


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Post Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:36 pm

Re: The "How to do Oldhammer" Thread

Erny wrote:Different to hobbits and dwarves by so many degrees, nobody ever oppressed and enslaved fat short bearded white men and used there physical appearance to prove, "scientifically", and socially that they were different and deserved their treatment.


You know Tolkien based his dwarves on Jews?

Sorry, that was a bit short (pun intended), there's some illumination of it here:

http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=s ... .vink.html
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Post Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:05 pm

Re: The "How to do Oldhammer" Thread

Zhu Bajie wrote:You know Tolkien based his dwarves on Jews?

Sorry, that was a bit short (pun intended), there's some illumination of it here:

http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=s ... .vink.html


I've really hope my employer subscribed to that database so I can read the rest of it, that was pretty interesting.
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Post Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:18 pm

Re: The "How to do Oldhammer" Thread

Zhu Bajie wrote:
Erny wrote:Different to hobbits and dwarves by so many degrees, nobody ever oppressed and enslaved fat short bearded white men and used there physical appearance to prove, "scientifically", and socially that they were different and deserved their treatment.


You know Tolkien based his dwarves on Jews?

Sorry, that was a bit short (pun intended), there's some illumination of it here:

http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=s ... .vink.html



Intriguing, I never made that connection.

I had read your article before on the Pygmys Zhu. It's a very interesting read.

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Post Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:25 pm

Re: The "How to do Oldhammer" Thread

Erny wrote:Nastiness doesn't have top be meant. Godfrey Bloom didn't mean offense when he used the term Bongo Bongo land. It still was offensive. These pygmies fall into the same category as Bongo Bongo land and golliwogs to me. No offense necessarily meant but still offensive IMHO.

I know many people feel differently on this and I don't want to start a fight or alienate other people but after having read the subject I cannot say nothing. Please feel free to discuss as you like, post pictures as you like but in the knowledge that at least one person and likely more here find them offensive, we will just have to disagree.


Pretty much this

But I should never have opened my big mouth. I don't think anyone here was trying to be offensive. Apologies
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Post Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:29 pm

Re: The "How to do Oldhammer" Thread

This is a very interesting subject. Totally off topic and the topic doesn't deserve the sustained derailing that is happening. Perhaps we should start a new thread.

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Post Wed Feb 12, 2014 5:02 pm

Pygmies, Stereotyping and all that.

To avoid the further derailing of the How to Oldhammer I've opened this up here. Hopefully the mods can split the "racism" part off and add it to this thread?

Regarding the idea of dwarves being Jewish caricatures, the earlier article was a resoponse to an article "Dwarves are not Heroes" by Rebecca Brackmann, which can be read in full here.

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/%22Dwarve ... 0227196960

So if we accept this idea (which I do, btw, if not Brackmanns full theory), and that this may have been knowingly* or unknowingly replicated into post-Tolkien fantasy, then there isn't really any difference to the stereotyping of Pygmies.

*I think there is an argument that the Assyrian "Big Hat Chaos Dwarf" is directly a Semitic reference, largely because of the beards, not the hats, and shows a knowingness about the Semitic origins of the Dwarf but maybe not
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Post Wed Feb 12, 2014 5:19 pm

Re: Pygmies, Stereotyping and all that.

Thanks for posting the full article Zhu!

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Post Wed Feb 12, 2014 5:46 pm

Re: Pygmies, Stereotyping and all that.

Hi all

Just so you know, I've moved the posts I think were related (including some of the kind comments as regarding the painting) to this topic here, as requested by Zhu. I appreciate there might be a bit of a context break for new readers, which is why I thought I'd post here - just to let you know that some posts have been moved from the How To Do Oldhammer thread to here.
Regards,
Gaj

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Always interested in contacting any gamers interested in Warhammer Fantasy 3rd Edition!
Also interested in any old 80's Citadel figures you may want to get rid of.

http://warhammerforadults.blogspot.com
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Post Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:09 pm

Re: Pygmies, Stereotyping and all that.

This isn't the original article Zhu posted, the original article was a rebuttal of this article (making it the actual original article).

I'd need to read the full article and rebuttal but it would certainly appear that as Tolkien worked out a culture for his creations, originally inspired by Norse mythology, he found himself leaning on Jewish stereotypes revolving around diaspora, craftsmanship, money lending and otherness.
I don't know if the article goes into the Dwarven origins as being created not by Illuvitar but Aule but that would also fall in line with anti-antisemitism if Tolkien regarded Dwarves as Jews and was saying they were not of the one true god. The question is did he see them as archetypal Jewish figures or was the Jewish experience one of many inspirations to the homogenous whole he ended up creating. It isn't anti-Semitic after all to point out that European Jews did have to form their own communities, were regarded as outside Christendom and often for good reason had to maintain a more secretive culture. He did use Icelandic names for them so clearly there is some cross pollination of ideas going on.

What I don't see in dwarven miniatures is anti-semitic caricatures of facial features directly analogous to the big lips of the pigmies, this is exactly how racist societies drew black African tribes. I don't know of any examples where the Jewish people have been drawn as rotund, bearded viking dwarfs. I don't want to dismiss this idea purely because I love fantasy dwarves and find the thought uncomfortable. Equally I don't want to accept it on the basis of one little known paper.
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Post Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:30 pm

Re: Pygmies, Stereotyping and all that.

Regarding the dwarves/Jews thing, I dare say you could find something offensive to someone if you looked long enough and hard enough.
You only have to glance at the pygmies to see the problem however. I don't buy the idea that they can be 'recontextualised' based on a WFRP scenario, no more than a alternate/hypothetical range of c30 amazons that wore nothing but thongs with gravity defying tits could be redeemed by some supporting fluff that they were all in fact learned academics.
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