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The following is all copied and pasted from a couple posts I made on fedi.

tl;dr I gripe against dad-ification in media because I want to preserve an imaginary that has room for community and collective action/support systems.

I gripe about dad-ification a lot. Here is a (slightly longer than) toot-length crash course in what I mean by dad-ification:

It isn’t my term, it is a term used to describe when a narrative or game play mechanic is built around a central protagonist (usually older, usually male) stewarding or guarding another person (often younger).

The Last of Us is an easy and canonical example of dad-ification. Joel uses his skills and ability to enact (extreme) acts of violence to accomplish a task that is coded as caring.”

Dad-ification usually posits that the solution to a situation where a parent figure must care for or protect a child or child stand-in is overwhelming strength, and using that strength to force a very specifically shaped power dynamic.

Dad-ification erodes the possibility for communal solutions, and often wholly ignores, or undercuts any agency the child has.

In this way, Dad-ification is a stand in for a lot of neoliberal ideals; especially ideas like bootstrapping and self-sufficiency as being an ultimate goal/indicator for success.

If I was feeling inflammatory, I’d draw a direct line between folks saying vote” as a solution to a social issue and dad-ification.

I’d then dump more fuel on that fire by saying that the entire Fast and Furious franchise is a weirdly well-choreographed dance, skirting the edge of dad-ification, but by so powerfully centering family” it never lets itself get dad-ified…which I mean, come on…franchise is filled with folks who’s entire schtick is dad-ification.

It might be a masterpiece.