In case you’re new here or have no idea where to actually start with my posts, here are 20 of my most popular posts from 2015 until (now in order from most popular on down).
Some are popular because angry white people hopped on them to yell at me thanks to getting linked to my posts on reddit and fail fandom anon, others (like the Anita Blake post) are popular because a bigger blogger fish shouted me out.
At the end of the day, these are my biggest posts and the best way to see what kind of writer I’ve been and maybe where I plan on going next.
Thanks for coming on this journey with me, pumpkins!
Here’s a newsflash for you my fellow slash shippers: Your male/male ships that focus almost exclusively on white men aren’t as progressive or as rebellious as you think they are.
Especially when (not ‘if’) they come at the expense of women and characters of color who have significant intimate relationships with one or both of the two white guys you’re shipping.
Why are comic book fans so darn mad when a comic book character gets the racebending treatment?
For the most part, comic book fans are so very predictable when it comes to race.
Nothing pisses comic fans off more than a historically white character being racebent and therefore turned into a character of color or when a character of color takes over a legacy title (Like Superman, Spider-Man, or Ms. Marvel).
I’ve been reading Laurell K. Hamilton’s urban fantasy series – the necromancer-focused Anita Blake series and her sidhe political drama Merry Gentry series – since I was in high school and I picked up a copy of Incubus Dreams (Anita Blake #12) back in 2004.
In the fourteen years since I began reading the two series, I’ve noticed one constant in both of her series. Hamilton constantly attempts to talk about race in her work through a focus on (predominantly white) supernatural characters while characters of color in the series are reduced to stereotypes and tropes that have long-since went out of style. Simply put, Laurell K. Hamilton is awful at writing about race and racism.
Yesterday, internet gossip revealed that 12 Years A Slave actress (and all around adorable human being) Lupita Nyong’o was in talks to star opposite Chadwick Boseman in 2018’s Black Panther solo movie. One of the earliest (now seemingly refuted) tidbits of information about this potential role was that Lupita would be playing the female lead and specifically would fill the love interest role.
Almost immediately, the concern trolls came out of the woodwork.
Every time a nerdy piece of media dares to center a Black woman in some way, White Feminists in fandom show up to show how much they don’t care about Black women.
I’ve wanted to write this since September when I got my grubby little hands on the pilot episode of Fox’s Lucifer series that showed at San Diego Comic Con.
I’m a huge fan of the character. I got into The Sandman in middle/high school and then dove headfirst into Mike Carey’s run of Lucifer, the spin off that looked at Lucifer kind of concurrent to The Sandman. I also have read and LOVED the first two issues of the new Lucifer book that Holly Black is writing on. On top of that, I was a religious studies minor in undergrad (who spent a fair amount of time studying all things Lucifer).
So when I say I’ve got opinions on this new Lucifer show, I’m coming from a place of expertise and knowledge.
Earlier yesterday, The Raven Cycle author Maggie Stiefvater took to tumblr (in a response to a message sent from one of her fans) to announce that she had beef with the Star Wars fandom in the wake of Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
Why does she have an issue with the fandom?
Could it be because fandom insists on shipping Rey with Kylo Ren despite everything he did to her?
Could it be because of racist AUs like the ‘segregation’ AU someone saw floating around?
Or could it be because clueless and offensive people fandom have decided that Finn is the ultimate misogynist for – wait for it – daring to hold Rey’s hand at some point in the film?
On the first day of Black History Month, a random writer on Archive of Our Own gave to me… two separate stories that framed Shuri – T’challa’s brilliant baby sister in Black Panther – as a character that couldn’t possibly be as smart as the MCU claims and as a victim of child abuse by the Wakandan elite who are “taking advantage” of her brilliance.
Right now, on the Archive of Our Own, there are currently 12,236 stories tagged with “Slavery”.
Almost half of the stories with that tag are rated “Explicit” – most likely for sexual content and/or violence – with “Rape/Non-Con” making up a third of the stories’ warnings. While the stories are too varied to stand out with one or more particular pairing having the lion’s share of stories, in the relationship tab for that tag, the top pairings (with under 400 stories each) are primarily M/M stories focusing on white characters.
This is just a small snapshot of what slavefic in fandom and how slavery is portrayed in fandom looks like.
One thing that becomes overwhelmingly clear when it comes to the treatment of characters of color is the lengths that fandom is willing to go to in order to get them out of the way of their favorite white character ships. There are so many techniques that we could tackle, many of them framed subtly enough that it’s difficult to combat them, but for the purposes of this post we’re going to look at five of the most popular:
Willful misinterpretation of relationships
Theorizing that a character of color is really evil (and therefore shouldn’t be shipped/the relationship should be placed under suspicion)
Deciding that a character of color in a POC/White Fandom Darling ship is actually asexual and/or a “strong [race/ethnicity] man/woman/non-binary person that don’t need no significant other”
POC reduced to an agony aunt character to get white characters together
Yesterday, the Captain Marvel teaser trailer broke the internet.
Today, I saw a tweet about said trailer from Shakesville.com’s Melissa McEwan from the night before that reminded me that when it comes to feminism and fandom, people of color are always stepped over on the path to (white) female empowerment.
What could be worse than proposing during your friends’ wedding?
How about… pushing your way into their impromptu ceremony, turning it into an unexpected “double wedding” and stealing the spotlight from them (even stopping them from saying “I do”?
If you were to listen to a certain group of Dick Grayson fans on the internet, you’d probably come to the conclusion that comic book fans are frighteningly intense and that the Grayson series (written by Tom King and Tim Seeley with pencils by Mikel Janin and colors by Jeromy Cox) is rife with orgies and plagued with issues of consent on every single page as Dick is forcibly separated from his friends and family to fight in the war against SPYRAL.
If you were to listen to that weirdly vocal group of fans, you’d also be just as wrong as they are.
So this installment of Urban Fantasy 101 is all about the different weird and worrying tropes that urban fantasy authors, showrunners, and creators imbue their lycanthropes with in order to tell what they think is a good story.
I’m talking lycanthropy as a stand-in for sexually transmitted diseases, in-universe racism that frames (typically) white werewolves as victims of racism even as characters of color are nonexistent in their respective series or subject to unquestioned racism, and the signs of the heteropatriarchy inherent in the genre’s general idea of a werewolf pack.
Fandom seems to think that Luke Cage “Looks like he could kill you, but is actually a cinnamon roll”.
To them, Luke may read as a threat, “but is actually a cinnamon roll” because they see that he has tender and sweet moments throughout his appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As a result, fandom sanitizes his character so that it can fit this super narrow archetype about what he should be – all while assuming that he was a threat to begin with.
I think that much of fandom (the institution) has time and time again tried to insist that shipping two white dudes in a slash ship negates any social responsibility to you know… not be a jerk about female characters and characters of color in the source media.
M/M shipping with two white dudes isn’t on its own misogyny or a symptom of it.
Exclusively shipping ships with these white dudes and then actively not using or erasing female characters in the narrative is.
Sam Wilson. Abigail Mills. James “Rhodey” Rhodes. Eve Moneypenny . Joan Watson.
What do these characters all have in common?
Well, they’re all characters of color in popular films or television shows.
They’re all shippable with fandom’s white dude darlings (Steve Rogers, James Bond, and Sherlock Holmes for example).
And oh yeah –
Fandom constantly desexualizes them and removes them as valid canon or fanon love interests for said white dude darlings so that a white character can swoop in and fandom can have fantastic ships.
My big issue with all of this “after the fact diversity” that we’re seeing around JR Rowling and the Harry Potter series is that she’s getting so much credit for doing basically nothing with regard to representation.
More care has gone into fabricating a sobbing wreck of a backstory for Kylo Ren where he’s been dealing with childhood abuse (that is supposed to explain why he’s somehow the most interesting/compelling character of the sequel trilogy) than has gone into showing any empathy or interest in analyzing the one character in the sequel trilogy who does have that backstory, but gets none of the empathy: Finn.