What Fandom Racism Looks Like: Fandom Wank

Labeling the posts that fans of color make about racist fanworks (from accidental issues of representation to purposeful content created to harm) and racism from fans (again ranging from “I didn’t know this was an issue” moments to sustained targeted harassment) as “wank” or “drama” actually does contribute to people writing off what we’re talking about and experiencing. (Contrary to the “talking about racism in fandom makes it harder for folks to care about Real Racism” stance…)

If you don’t use “fandom wank” to refer to (for example) a fan creating really racist art of a Black character because they were accused of whitewashing them, but you do use it when talking about the people calling that out…

Well.

At the end of the day, if you use “fandom wank” or “drama” as your tags or terminology when you’re talking about folks talking about racism in fandom, you’re actively contributing to a culture of fandom that ignores that real harm is happening to fans of color in fandom because of the different levels of racism here. 

It’s not something I expect to see change anytime soon because this is something I’ve seen done for at least a decade and folks do love their familiarity, but – 

Consider that what’s wank and drama to you in conversations about racism in fandom – and why you tag and talk about it as such – is actually serious for many fans of color who are frustrated to see their experiences dismissed as “wank”.

2 thoughts on “What Fandom Racism Looks Like: Fandom Wank

  1. Dismissing analysis of racism in fandom as wank or drama was being done well before Racefail ’09 — I remember major debates on Fandom Wank about whether or not conflict about racism belonged on the community or not — and Zvi_Likes_TV (I hope I am remembering correctly!) coined the term “imbroglio” to use as an umbrella term for these sorts of conflicts. (I can look it up on some of my presentations from those years when I’m not running around frantically getting ready to move!).

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