White Feminism Strikes Again: American Gods Edition

I can’t imagine watching a show like American Gods where Shadow Moon (played by Ricky Whittle) is onscreen and fantastic only to then writing an honest to god article about how his undead wife Laura was the actual star of the show.

I mean, erasing a male character of color for a white woman who’s hurt him is actual textbook white feminism right there. I’ve seen it happen with a TON of male characters of color getting passed over for a pseudo-empowering white lady character (who probably hurts or abuses him in their canon) in fandom.

But Shadow is clearly the star of the show.

I mean, for once I thought fandom would do the smart thing and be all over Shadow because he’s basically perfect. (But I guess I forgot the White Feminist response to Luke Cage – show and character.)

How do you make it through six episodes of American Gods and come out thinking that anyone aside from Shadow Moon is the main character?

Is it because ensemble casts with a clear lead confuse you?

Or, and I figure that this is the more likely option, is it that you’ve been conditioned to see tiny white women doing anything as super empowering even if they’re literal scum?

Look, Laura Moon is interesting in the way that watching gory accidents on YouTube might be interesting. She’s basically a human trainwreck right down to not giving a shit about anyone but herself and her needs. She’s a dick who cheated on her husband with his best friend (who was her best friend’s husband) and who, so far, doesn’t actually seem to feel remorse for any of that.

Despite Laura’s MANY flaws, she’s a cute little white lady with incredible physical power thanks to Mad Sweeney’s lucky coin so fandom just has to fawn all over her and claim she’s more important than she really is. I mean, that fawning Buzzfeed “article” about how she’s the so-called star of the show because ~she’s so dang empowering BECAUSE she’s an asshole and blah blah blah~ isn’t the only one of its kind that I’ve seen.

But that shit was on Buzzfeed.

Someone potentially got paid to show their White Feminist ass and act like a white woman in zombie-ish makeup being is the next best thing since sliced bread.



3 thoughts on “White Feminism Strikes Again: American Gods Edition

  1. I hate to spoil it for those who have not read the book. She ain’t the star of the series, and she dies in the book. I think the character is on a bit of a redemption arc in the book, in the show I’m not so sure. I don’t see how anyone can watch this show and come out of it with the belief that it’s about her.

    But then I guess these are the exact same women who walked out of SW:TFA and thought the movie was a character analysis of Kylo and Hux.These are the same women who watch The Flash, and think the star is Caitlin Snow, or who watch any show or movie featuring a lead character of color, and make that show about whatever white person happens to be in closest orbit to them.

    I have yet to understand the reason, for this kind of thinking, beyond racism.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for this insightful and interesting piece. You summed up my issues with forcing Laura into the role of primary protagonist while simultaneously sidelining Shadow. It’s something that happens all too often in pop culture because it allows the creators to claim that their show or comic is progressive.

    My partner also has an issue with the show’s portrayal of race relations. He views the show as fetishizing violence against minorities while never showing people of color as genuinely empowered. Again, this tricks viewers into seeing the show as progressive when in fact, it’s retreading the same narrative of oppression.


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