Why Jean Grey Needs an Ethics 101

Everybody’s going on about the shock outing of an X-Man in ‘All-New X-Men #40‘.  But nobody’s stopped to think about the weirdness of it…

Let’s start with the X-Men’s enemies – you know, the anti-mutant ‘bigots’ who so hate mutants.  From a logical standpoint, their motive is often painted as fear that mutants will abuse their powers.  That the girl who can walk through walls will steal from a bank; that the Master of Magnetism will commit genocide; that the telepath will read your mind and know your darkest secrets.

And then you have Jean Grey casually taking a friend aside and telling him she knows he’s gay because she’s read his mind.  And then, well, you’ve heard of being subtle as a sledgehammer?  Imagine being on the receiving end of this dialogue, as Iceman discusses his future self:

No longer on Earth

Now, maybe to you your sexuality isn’t that big a deal.  And that’s fine.  But the very same book establishes that Iceman has been overcompensating for a long, long time, and that suggests his sexuality is a big deal to him.  And she’s just walked him aside and confronted him with it, having read his mind.

You could argue that Jean’s just being a friend.  She’s gotten tired of hearing Bobby’s thoughts of self-denial, and she hurts for him and wants him to deal with his issues.  To which I have two counters:

  1. She’s supposed to have been learning to stop reading her team-mates’ minds.  She caused enough of a mess when she read Beast’s mind and learned he was in love with her.
  2. What gives her the right to do this?  Does that mean anyone who hangs around Jean Grey too long will be forced to face their psychic secrets?  If so, that’s a pretty scary role she’s trying to play, and it would soon become pretty hard to be her friend.

Sorry, Jean, but I am not impressed.  In this one act, you’ve proved you’re in real danger of becoming the poster-girl for the anti-mutant bigots.  I happen to think you’re treading a very, very dangerous path, and you need to get off it quick.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Marvelboy1974 says:

    Oh come on… Jean Grey is not going out of her way to ruin people’s lives by forcing them to face their biggest secrets. Her adult self may have done it with Emma during the affair with Scott, but this instance is purely out of love and concern for her friend. And in this case you don’t even need telepathy. If any of young Bobby’s close friends were openly gay, they would notice his overcompensation and call him out. It was done to me before I came out by my own mother and I’ve done it to other gay friends who I sensed were afraid to talk about it before they came out. This whole let’s blame Jean Grey for invading others thoughts has turned into a crucible. It would have been unethical had she done it to a complete stranger but that obviously wasn’t the case. And I’m willing to bet ALL telepaths have invaded others minds at one time or another without permission. Teen Jean isn’t perfect and this isn’t the same as when she mindwiped Warren to change his mind. She learned from that mistake.


  2. Jean needs to look up this word in the dictionary: boundaries. Unless she has permission to crawl around in someone’s head, she needs to stay out. A mind is one of the few things that is truly private and if someone had the ability to go inside there than that would honestly be scary.


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