There has been many discussions and arguments over what is a mutant. The definition that exists in the Marvel Universe is different than what would be used in the "real world." Early on, the term "Homo superior" was used to describe mutants. Magneto strongly believed that they were different than Homo sapiens and destined to become the dominant life form on the planet.
Because people fear what they don't understand, mutants have long been the targets of attack and hate. Thought to be the next stage in human evolution, mutants are not seen as human but rather a different species altogether. This is a question that the X-Men have constantly faced over the years.
In a recent case of "life imitating art," this question is one Marvel's lawyers are actually discussing with the IRS. Whether or not mutants are considered human could have a big impact on the X-Men in both the real and comic book world. The question that has to be answered is, should mutants be considered human?== TEASER ==
While this isn't a new argument, a recent article was brought to my attention by a member of our community, Grim. According to the post, Marvel is trying to convince the IRS that the X-Men and mutants should not be considered mutants. The reason is, toys made in other countries and shipped into the US are taxed but figures of non-humans have lower taxes. If mutants can be classified as non-humans, they can save some money on X-Men figures.
In comics, William Stryker was one of the first to make the argument that mutants were not human. To him, mutants are monsters or abominations. Stryker believes we are beings of divine creation but mutants are an "affront to that divinity." It might not be the words Magneto or Professor X would use but they agreed that mutants and humans were different species.
If mutants are not considered human, that would mean they don't have human rights. A mutant's natural or legal rights could be called into question. Does this mean it's okay to put them in mutant concentration camps as seen in Days of Future Past? Should they be allowed to vote? Can they get a mortgage loan to buy a new house? Would it be okay for groups like the Purifiers to hunt them down and kill them for sport?
For the sake of the mutants in the Marvel Universe, it's important that they are considered human. It could be argued that they are human until the x-gene they are born with kicks in (usually at puberty). You could also argue whether or not a mutant is a mutant before that gene kicks in.
Mutants may have extraordinary abilities but it's essential that they are able to retain their rights. At the same time, they should also be held to the same laws and standards. We're reminded of the quote, "If You Cut Me, Do I Not Bleed?" It might be in Marvel's best interest to have mutants designated as non-human but for the survival of mutants in the Marvel Universe, they need to be considered humans. They're just humans that can do some pretty cool things.