oh man yeah i have words for this involving how much i agree
in the mass effect universe humans don’t have much societal power in the first place, and ashley’s distrust of alien species is not because they are aliens, it comes from the prejudice against her family by aliens and humans alike due to her grandfather’s attempt at peaceful surrender to a turian fleet when he saw no way to win without extreme human casualties
ash tells liara that she’s had to work twice as hard in the military to be considered half as good because she’s a woman, and she’s had to work five times as hard because she’s a williams (while still being turned down inexplicably for positions she arguably was not only qualified, but overqualified for—and after watching the same thing happen to her father)
so she is not just going to be like WELL OKAY LET US WORK WITH THESE ALIENS WITHOUT QUESTION after seeing what happened to her grandfather and living with the repercussions of what he did since just about everyone involved decided it was an enormous mistake
meanwhile the mass effect fandom is under the misconcetption that tali is an innocent woobie waifu who would never hurt anyone how cute!!!!!!!!!!
she wants to commit genocide
if we are going to talk about racism in mass effect can we discuss garrus and wrex
garrus is a turian, turians are one of the most powerful races in council space, they control a large amount of the military, have a seat on the council, etc and not to mention have had quite a hand in writing and crafting history/literature/etc as it is
so what does garrus say to wrex, a krogan, who he has been taught by the turian government are all without fail a bunch of bloodthirsty monsters (and that’s why the turian government had to drop that sterility plague, it was for the best!)
“wow wrex!! you sure aren’t like those OTHER krogan. i thought they were all bad guys!”
This, all of the above.
Also, the majority of the time Williams DOES bring up other species, she has a damn good point. You work on a military ship that’s on an incredibly covert and dangerous mission that could decide the fate of humanity among others. Yeah, let’s bring on a krogan mercenary, a turian cop, a quarian kid, and an asari who’s mother works with the baddy. There’s no POSSIBLE WAY any of them could have turned out to be a mole or a traitor!
And like tuchanka mentioned, Ashley has reason to doubt. The first encounter humanity ever had with live aliens was a blitz attack that killed hundreds of humans, and only ended as quickly as it did through the intervention of the Citadel Council. Even after that, there is considerable grudge between turians and humans, batarians that prey on human colonies without any resistance from other species, the treatment of humanity as a kiddie group without any potential by some species, among others. Saren’s entire motive behind his dealing with the Reapers is to completely wipe out the human race.
So, yeah, Ashley’s views are not the most sunshine-happy of things, and she does have some sketchy lines. But there is a difference between outright prejudice and wariness that stems from seeing your people get stepped on over and over again.
I also hate how it seems only Ashley gets called out on her crap. Am I the only one who remembers Grunt talking pretty happily about implanted memories of pulling a turian’s skull apart? Or Garrus’ aforementioned casual quotes about how he expected all krogan to act a certain way? And, yes, Tali is in full support of completely eradicating an entire sentient species even as she works beside one unit of geth who repeatedly advocates peace between them.
I’m gonna be frank, I really feel that 80% of the Ashley hate stems from the fact that she’s a fairly non-feminine no-bullshit-taking grunt who can take care of her own damn self and is willing to call both Shepard and others out on their shit, instead of a quirky little girl who fanboys feel needs to be rescued and protected.
There’s a lot of misogyny (internalized as well) thrown around in the Mass Effect fandom at large, and bullshit comments levelled against Ash show this very clearly. Ashley (and dare I say even Miranda; I see a lot of women hating on Miri and I am like WHY) is considered a bitch and a whore and for what? Because she’s a no-nonsense badass who knows who she is and what she wants and can function on her own and formulate her own opinions? From what I have seen, the preference for Tali is because she’s cute and woobified and “oh I’ll feel bad if I don’t romance her because look how sad she will be! I need to make sure she’s happy!” It makes me sad how often I see this from men and I even see similar things cited as why women want their Shepards to be biffles with Tali instead.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Tali. She’s a badass in her own right… until Shepard comes along, when suddenly she seems to fall to pieces at times and it falls to Shepard to put her back together.
And I’m not even going to start on Ash is a racist but Tali is completely justified in her hatred of the geth! whut
I would like to express my love for all of you.
And I do agree that Tali’s hatred is justified, but, alas, the fact remains in the confession.
omg THIS SO MUCH THANK YOU
Ashley is one of the top biggest bros on the Normandy and fandom would do well to recognize.
See, a lot of Ashley’s comments on the citadel made me uncomfortable. “I can’t tell the animals from the aliens.” WOW! Gosh, really? There’s a dislike of aliens for their treatment of humanity, and then there’s outright insulting them in their home. She crossed the line there, but the thing is, she gets better through the game. So does Navigator Pressly. It’s what made them good characters.
Miranda, on the other hand… She’s a die-hard Cerberus loyalist blindly supporting their every action. You spent the entire first game cleaning up after Cerberus and witnessing their various experiments gone awry, and even after meeting Jack, who obviously has loads of trauma related to the organization… Yeah. I wouldn’t go so far as to call Miranda a bitch, but I will say that she’s ignorant to the feelings of others. Not to mention some resentment over her advice getting people killed later on. ANY BIOTIC WILL DO, MY ASS.