I’ve seen a couple of stories and a couple of posts that say that dog jokes about werewolves “racist.” I wasn’t sure why it was bugging me, so I’ve been turning it over in my head a little bit. Here’s what I’ve come up with:
I wouldn’t call itwrongto say that dog jokes about (white) werewolves are racist, per se. Still, there’s something off about it to me.
A really good read. I particularly like trying to parse out exactly what kind of Other Teen Wolf is shooting for - honestly, fucked if I know; I find most Monster-Human dichotomies are drawn more clearly - but seropositive status was one that I grappled with and it’s interesting to see that other people have too.
On the other hand, while it’s definitely unacceptable and gross to refer to Scott or Boyd as a dog or an animal - the website’s description was the most unbelievable thing, and I agree that there’s a racist layer to joking about a werewolf POC - I can understand why fic writers would make that parallel with all werewolves? Not just because Kate Argent used dog/bitch/pet jokes and language, and the other Argents have also drawn dog parallels by calling werewolves rabid and similar, which sets something of a precedent in tone, but werewolves are literally a different species in the world of Teen Wolf. Even though they’re mostly ‘in the closet’, to borrow True Blood’s vernacular, there are people who know about werewolves, and people who consider them subhuman, and I can see the parallels between werewolves living in a human world and any group given substandard treatment against the white/male/cis/het/seronegative/’choose your non-Other’ mainstream, even if Teen Wolf’s metaphor itself is a little muddled.
Part of my take may be that I don’t believe I’ve seen this used as a joke, though - more often as ‘hey Stiles, this joke? actually offensive’ serious moment.
ETA - also, I would disagree (agree with what you’re saying) that dog jokes about werewolves are racist. Racist is not the word I would use, and I think that’s inappropriate.
Sinsense has brought up seropositive status before as a possible Other they might be aiming for, but yes, the metaphor is very muddied.
The Argents’ views on werewolves is what I think informs fandom about how to tackle this and I agree that ‘racist’ is not the best way we could get that across. I’ve always thought ‘bigot’ was a more useful term, but ymmv.
I’ve seen a few fics that actually call hunters speciesist through the Stiles filter, which I’m not sure how I feel about.
We start to tread the biological divide then, and I’m not certain how different werewolves are supposed to be. Is the child of a werewolf and a human infertile? Can a human and a werewolf have children? Are the children of were/human pairs always human?
Are werewolves a subspecies? A different branch entirely that still evolved with bipedalism and all that jazz?