Rename (alt titles crowner 7/9): Half Breed

Total posts: [80]
1 2 3 4
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
OK, so I already posted a thread about this, and it got locked and deleted. Nevertheless, after doing some research, I'm further convinced that this is a trope that needs fixing.

So what's the trope definition? 'Person with mixed ancestry faces inevitable prejudice'? That's certainly what part of the description suggests. 'Congratulations, you are now guaranteed to be despised by one or both sides of your family.'

There's two problems, though, if we accept that as our definition. First, there's a pretty huge pattern of misuse. Roughly half the examples on the page have no problem with their mixed ancestry, and when I ran through the wicks, only four out of the first twenty examples used that definition (with the fourth being a kinda-shaky 'subversion'). Second, we actually have a trope for that - the Tragic Mulatto, which, much like Magical Negro, has the benefit of being a pre-existing (if deliberately derogatory) term in literary criticism.

Instead, most people seem to be using this as our generic 'person with mixed ancestry' trope... which is problematic in itself, because as the article itself mentions, the trope title is a rather vile racial epithet.


edited 18th Mar '12 5:04:52 AM by Iaculus

What's precedent ever done for us?
2 Martello18th Mar 2012 06:00:51 AM from Black River, NY
Hammer of the Pervs
You say there's misuse. Where's the actual proof? List the wicks that are wrong, don't just claim many of them are.

And I don't know why you're claiming that the trope title being a "vile racist epithet" is a reason to rename. We've already set a precedent that "offensive" is not a valid rename reason. Also, the term is so outdated that I greatly doubt most people even know that it originally referred to half white, half Indians. To quote the Wikipedia article you linked, "The term half-breed was considered an impolite and rude offensive slur by almost everyone." So now I guess we're using secondhand weasel words.

See if you can edit an actual wick check into the OP as opposed to just saying you did one. Otherwise, if I don't holler it to be locked again, someone else surely will.

edited 18th Mar '12 6:04:53 AM by Martello

"Did anybody invent this stuff on purpose?" - Phillip Marlowe on tequila, Finger Man by Raymond Chandler.
I strongly suspect claim is correct, however wick check would help.

How to Do a Wick Check

edited 18th Mar '12 6:04:57 AM by Catbert

4 SeptimusHeap18th Mar 2012 06:04:17 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
Can you post some bad examples of the page and run a wick check? Otherwise, we'll holler again.
This is just from the examples on the page. I can't say for sure is the examples in fact fit the trope, however the example descriptions fail to specify whether or not the person encounters prejudice because of their status, not to mention being maligned by both sides of their heritage:

  • In Sora No Woto, it is implied that Rio is of mixed heritage [[ spoiler: since she lacks the Phenotype Stereotype looks of her blonde, green-eyed half-sister and her last names are Japanese/Slavic ]]. Most probably a very common thing in Helvetia and no one seems to care.
  • Cheshire (Vietnamese/French), a supervillain in The DCU, basically went insane.
    • There was also the character Mongrel, aka Josh Xan, who was half-Vietnamese as well. He died in Infinite Crisis.
  • Frank Hopkins from Hidalgo is a half Native American, and has a foot in both cultures.
  • Elvis Presley plays a man with a white father and an Indian mother in Flaming Star.
  • Oliza in Amelia Atwater-Rhodes' Kiesha'ra series is a half-snake shapeshifter, half-hawk shapeshifter. She has the forms of both a hawk, a cobra, and a combined form referred to as a wyvern. Her cousin, Hai, is half-falcon and half-cobra and suffers from unstable magic that allows her to see several possible timelines (making her a waif prophet) but leaving her starkly out of touch with reality. Oliza and [[ spoiler: Hai ]] are also both example of All Genes Are Codominant
  • A number of characters in J.R.R Tolkien's Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings are half-breeds: Luthien (half Elf, half Maia), her son Dior (half human, 1/4 Elf, 1/4 Maia), Eärendil (half Elf, half Man)...and their descendants. All seem to be well loved and respected by both sides of their respective families.
  • The na'kyrim of the Godless World. Also an example of Half-Human Hybrid.
  • Can't forget the Whateley Twins Wilbur and OH MY FUCKING GOD WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?
  • The Ysabel Kid, from The Floating Outfit novels of J.T. Edson, is half Kentucky Irish, a quarter Commanche and a quarter French-Canadian.
  • The Ewu in Who Fears Death, being born from the union of Okeke and Nuru people. Looking surprisingly like neither tribe, the Ewu are sand-colored, skin and hair, with light eyes, like albino Africans.
  • M*A*S*H had an episode featuring a Chinese-American who ended up being the special patient: the inner conflict of killing other Chinese guys got him to subconsciously want to do himself in for it.
    • Curiously European-Americans don't seem to have had anything like a similar problem in the European theatre of WWII, including the not insignificant number with German ancestry!
  • In Charmed Paige is a half-witch, half-whitelighter. She gains whitelighter powers such as orbing and healing without having to actually die though she has to learn how to use them while whitelighters know them automatically. Wyatt and Chris are also the same though stronger because their mother is a Charmed One.
  • The titular hero of Latigo, by Stan Lynde, was the son of an Irish father and Native American mother.
  • Azuri in The Desert Song.
  • One of the love plots in the musical South Pacific (also a film)
  • This trope is played up in the video game Red Dead Revolver, with Red, the main character, being the offspring of a white settler and a Native American.
    • And in the similarly themed GUN.
  • Final Fantasy likes this trope.
    • Final Fantasy IV, Cecil and his brother Golbez are half-human and half-Lunarian. They're the same as regular humans mostly, but Cecil doesn't know of his heritage for most of the game, while Golbez and Fusoya are both damn powerful mages.
    • Final Fantasy V, Bartz is fully human, but his parents hail from different halves of the world that existed as separate planets for centuries.
    • Final Fantasy VI, Terra is half-human and half-Esper. Mostly manifests as occasionally losing control of her powers and being controlled by a Superpowered Evil Side, as well as the power to use magic innately.
    • Final Fantasy VII, Aerith is half-human and half-Cetra. She's mostly normal aside from the fact she hears the planet speak to her, and can use magic without Materia.
    • Final Fantasy X, Yuna is the daughter of a human and an Al-Bhed, an ethnicity distinguished by their green eyes and spiral irises. The mixture manifested itself as Yuna's Mismatched Eyes.
  • In The Elder Scrolls, a book called "Notes on Racial Phylogeny" states that children of interracial unions typically resemble the mother more, with some traits from the father still persisting. In Oblivion, the Gray Prince, a champion gladiator is part human, part orc*. The entire race of Bretons descend from half-breeds between nedes (ancestral race of men) and Aldmer (ancestral race of elves), when the Elves took concubines. The Bretons are considered a race of men, but their elven ancestry manifests as having the highest racial aptitude for magic of all men races. A few aristocratic Breton lineages still retain a slight point to their ears.
  • Rehv, from the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, is half-vampire and half-sympath.

edited 18th Mar '12 6:38:19 AM by Catbert

6 Ghilz18th Mar 2012 06:24:20 AM from The Moon, Or Canada , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Fight it Out!
[up] Most of the Examples there don't involve prejudice at all. I know Hidalgo, all the Final Fantasy ones except VI, Silmarillion, Charmed and The Elder Scrolls don't involve the person facing prejudices

edited 18th Mar '12 6:24:42 AM by Ghilz

7 Martello18th Mar 2012 06:34:15 AM from Black River, NY
Hammer of the Pervs
That Whately Universe example needs cutting just for being one of the worst Zero Context Examples I've ever seen. ALLCAPS is also very bad.
"Did anybody invent this stuff on purpose?" - Phillip Marlowe on tequila, Finger Man by Raymond Chandler.
Here's a strange case. This one is thriving a lot more than the other tropes.

Tragic Mulatto: 38 wicks, 29 inbounds

Half Breed: 146 wicks, 528 inbounds

9 Ghilz18th Mar 2012 06:47:28 AM from The Moon, Or Canada , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Fight it Out!
If it's getting potholed for anyone who is half-something and half-something else, that'd explain it.
10 SeptimusHeap18th Mar 2012 06:48:59 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
[up]Exactly. Healthy usage stats only eclude underuse, which is not in the OP. It claims misuse, and that can be shown with a Wick check (and with a large wick number)
...Which doesn't explain the high inbounds.
12 SeptimusHeap18th Mar 2012 06:51:27 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
High inbounds exclude underuse much better than high wicks. They don't say anything about misuse. From the post a few steps farther up, it seems that the name is read as wider than the trope (e.g "anything that is half-X and half-Y" vs. "someone getting discriminated because of being half-X and half-Y")
But what percentage of those wicks are correct?

Given the misuse I've seen just on that page, I'd be willing to be that Half Breed is being misused a lot for cases of non-maligned mixed ancestry.

Half-Human Hybrid, Heinz Hybrid and But Not Too Foreign are also related tropes that I suspect this is being misused for.

Question: Do we need a supertrope for all characters of mixed ancestry?

Mixed ancestry is often not treated as a social disadvantage. Instead, it can also be simply used to add exoticism or diversity, justify the character being blonde in a society that normally wouldn't have blondes (such as blonde half-European, half-Japanese characters in Anime), provide advantages by having features from both sides of the ancestry, etc.

You can also have mixed ancestory of a purely non-human nature. Half-Elf, Half-Dragon would be similar in concept to Half-Human Hybrid, but because no humans are involved, it doesn't qualify for that trope.

edited 18th Mar '12 7:04:58 AM by Catbert

14 Ghilz18th Mar 2012 07:05:15 AM from The Moon, Or Canada , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Fight it Out!
Part 1 of a Wick Check

  1. Characters.Ah My Goddess
  2. Caucasia
  3. Child by Rape: Zero-Context Example, but correct, though technically it's a bad pothole to Half-Human Hybrid

  1. A Coffin for Dimitrios: Pothole for Half-Human Hybrid
  2. Alike and Antithetical Adversaries Pothole for Half-Human Hybrid
  3. All Genes Are Codominant pothole for any halfbreed
  4. Ancient Astronauts pothole for any Half-Human Hybrid
  5. VideoGame.Assassins Creed III No prejudice. Game's not even out.
  6. Bony Mentined as being fortunate so no prejudice.
  7. Characters.Demon Blade Pothole to Half-Human Hybrid no mention of prejudice
  8. Fallen Angel: Sink Hole
  9. Characters.Final Fantasy X: Generic mixed species. No Prejudice.
  10. Highlander: pothole to mixed lineage

Unknown/Zero Context

...Okay I'd be inclined to go to 50 but seriously, the misuse is so widespread it barely seems worth my time.

edited 18th Mar '12 7:06:50 AM by Ghilz

15 shimaspawn18th Mar 2012 08:40:47 AM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
I think it might be useful to have a supertrope about mixed ancestry. The misuse here does seem to be following the typical Missing Supertrope Syndrome pattern.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
16 SeptimusHeap18th Mar 2012 08:42:12 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
[up]I was thinking that too.
17 Ghilz18th Mar 2012 08:43:45 AM from The Moon, Or Canada , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Fight it Out!
Turn this into the Super Trope, and move the actual trope to Half-Breed Discrimination or something.
18 SeptimusHeap18th Mar 2012 08:48:12 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
That's an even better idea. We'd need to split this into incorrect examples (to stay) and correct ones (to be moved to the new name)
19 shimaspawn18th Mar 2012 08:49:21 AM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
We also need to compile a list of tropes this is supertrope to.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
20 SeptimusHeap18th Mar 2012 08:51:59 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
Half-Human Hybrid and (possibly) Heinz Hybrid are the first things that come to mind.
21 Ghilz18th Mar 2012 08:59:20 AM from The Moon, Or Canada , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
I think that simply Mixed Ancestry would suit our naming requirements for the supertrope fine.

Half-Breed Discrimination is likely unnecessary - we already have Tragic Mulatto - but if we do want an extra trope, I like Maligned Mixed Ancestry for the Added Alliterative Appeal, snowclone benefits, and lack of Unfortunate Implications, even if it is a bit clumsy.

edited 18th Mar '12 10:34:54 AM by Iaculus

What's precedent ever done for us?
Dragon Writer
In the meantime, Redirects Are Free.
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
[up]Doesn't fix our problems with a 50-75% misuse rate and a racial slur as our primary trope title, though.

edited 19th Mar '12 3:58:07 AM by Iaculus

What's precedent ever done for us?
25 BestOf19th Mar 2012 02:47:56 PM from Finland , Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
Crowner hooked.
Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.

Alternative Titles: Half Breed 2
9th Jul '12 1:42:29 AM
Vote up names you like, vote down names you don't. Whether or not the title will actually be changed is determined with a different kind of crowner (the Single Proposition crowner). This one just collects and ranks alternative titles.
At issue:
Previous crowner here

Total posts: 80
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