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Politically Correct Villain

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A villain who is oddly keen on being modern and progressive in his villainy.

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
Baeraad555 on Aug 15th 2017 at 11:11:29 PM
Last Edited By:
Baeraad555 on Aug 18th 2017 at 12:36:07 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

This odd counterpart to the more common Politically Incorrect Villain sees no problem with killing, plundering, double-crossing and handing in his library books too late... but he's very concerned with it all being done in an enlightened, progressive manner, without falling prey to racism, sexism or other despicable attitudes. He will insist on Equal-Opportunity Evil, and sternly rebuke any of his fellow villains who fail to do the same.

The trope can be played in a few different ways:

  1. For horror, showing that the villain has such Skewed Priorities that he honestly thinks that using a racial slur is worse than the gross bodily harm he routinely inflicts on people, and that he's generally insane and unpredictable.
  2. For humour, portraying villains as behaving very much like regular people, with what they do for a living not being a hindrance to them having political opinions of whatever sort.
  3. In Lighter and Softer works, to highlight that Even Evil Has Standards, with the world-conquering supervillain being above such things as petty bigotry.

When played for laughs, will often be shown indulging in Political Correctness Gone Mad. Polar opposite to the Politically Incorrect Hero and Noble Bigot, who don't give two craps about being modern and sensitive, but are very firmly against more blatant and unambiguous acts of evil. May blend into Well-Intentioned Extremist when the villain's goal is to create a world where everyone is as open-minded as he is. Compare and contrast Enlightened Antagonist, who also combines "good" beliefs with "bad" actions, but whose "goodness" is of a more cosmic and timeless kind.

Note that a villain who simply isn't prejudiced does not qualify for this trope - that's just regular Equal-Opportunity Evil. The villain must actively take a stand against prejudice. Nor is it enough for someone to be politically correct and portrayed in a bad light for it - that's just a Straw Liberal. The definition of this trope is a character who is some sense a villain, but who is still oddly concerned with being politically correct about it.


Examples include:

Comic Books

  • Empowered has a few.
    • Wet Blanket is so called for his ability to nullify the superpowers of heroes... and also for his habit of constantly whining about how his fellow supervillains are being too crude and sexist.
    • Mechamamba sees nothing wrong with literally buying a captured superheroine like a piece of meat and then killing as many civilians as it will take to make her go along with his demands, but he considers voting Republican to be beyond the pale. note  His Republican-voting partner Zappatista might be considered a libertarian version, as he tries to mollify Mechamamba by claiming that he's "not a social conservative" and also justifies his voting choice as a principled stand against high taxes.

Literature

  • Kurtz from Dreamcatcher, upon learning that one of his soldiers have refered to The Grays as "space niggers," shoots the soldier in the leg and then gives him a passionate lecture - while the soldier is writhing in agony on the ground - about how while they are certainly going to exterminate the aliens, they are going to do so in accordance with the army's established standards of racial sensitivity.
  • At one point in Otherland, two minor villains - a General Ripper and a Corrupt Corporate Executive - are discussing their plans, and the general asks what the boys in the executive's tech branch has come up with to help them. The executive playfully berates the general for being so old-fashioned, pointing out that many of his techs are in fact girls.

Video Games

  • While Zachary Comstock in Bioshock Infinite is a Politically Incorrect Villain when it comes to race and just generally an awful person, he has apparently also preached against the evils of misogyny and told his followers that it's one of the sins of "the Sodom Below." It may or may not be self-serving, though - since he plans to have his daughter succeed him as ruler of Colombia, he has practical reasons to not tolerate any sexist nonsense.

Web Comics

Feedback: 8 replies

Aug 16th 2017 at 1:44:44 AM

Compare Well Intentioned Extremist, whose motivation can be bringing social justice.

Aug 16th 2017 at 1:47:10 AM

  • Changed * to # to auto-number a list.
  • Examples section
    • Added a line separating the Description and Examples section.
    • Added media section titles.

Aug 16th 2017 at 8:18:09 PM

Night Shade 96: That was my first choice, but there's a TLP with that name still lying around from 2012, so I couldn't create another one.

Aug 16th 2017 at 10:19:59 PM

Politically Correct Villainy sounds like the acts of villainy are somehow politically correct (e.g. by targeting privileged groups only). Isn't it possible to delete that old TLP and rename this to Politically Correct Villain?

Aug 17th 2017 at 2:41:05 AM

Snicka: I think that it can't currently be discarded because no one voted against it (no one voted for it either, hence its five-year state of limbo). I'm guessing if enough people went and bombed it, we could throw it away and rename this TLP?

Aug 17th 2017 at 2:48:04 AM

^ I bumped it so that it can be bombed.

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