Thoughts on Wraith Personhood

An essay was published in late 2016 on Ecorazzi with the title “Selective Personhood Syndrome – It’s Terminal.”

Applying this concept to scifi settings, yes, biased selectivity is terminal there too.

There are xenophobes who want to scrutinize and divide scifi beings as “different,” from humans, and, so, in their eyes, mere objects and outside of the moral concern of killing when different races go to war.

Thankfully, there are fans who look for more similarities than differences. And, in SGA, it is the Wraith fans who keep the art and the fandom going, who are the most passionate, and who crowd out antiquated, xenophobic views.

In the show itself, the Wraith also see our similarities. Todd says to Carter in The Seer, “I believe among your people it is customary to shake hands.” Shawn says, as a Wraith to a human, “Our lineage may have diverged,” [italics added for emphasis of shared lineage]. Heck, even Ronon gets their pronouns correct and refers to them as people in Enemy at the Gate.

Though I see Wraith as human hybrids (all of them, not just Michael and his crew, and no matter how some Wraith such as the runner hunters may see themselves as separate or better), ultimately, I don’t care who gets classified as a person or not, or for what reasons, or by whom, because 1) others exist for their own reasons and define their lives on their own terms, not by humans, and 2) the category of personhood (or legal personhood) is not criteria for behaving equitably and respectfully toward others, here on Earth or anywhere. All from all species should be treated and met with goodwill and not objectified, not just humans or those with a silly arbitrary threshold of human DNA.

personhoodquote

Advertisements