Thread Collection: Escapism Would Be Great (1/18/2019)

Originally posted as a thread on Twitter January 18, 2019.


I saw a tweet that I’m… not gonna touch but:

Escapism in fic and fandom is great, but as a Black person, I find it impossible to escape into fandoms and fanworks that treat Black people (fictional and real) as burdens to be left on the side of the road and complained about.

I’d love for fandom to be a space where I can leave isms behind and just focus on the squee but as a Black person?

FANDOM WON’T LET ME.

To ignore isms, I would have to make an effort to ignore antiblack fanworks and the mistreatment of other Black people in fandom.

I can’t.

I shouldn’t have to worry about that shit. No fan of color should.

It would be great if I could just scroll through the Ao3 and read quality fan fiction for the fandoms and characters I love WITHOUT getting slapped in the face with antiblackness at every turn.

But I can’t.

And so fandom becomes (/has actually always been) a place where I can’t just squee with my friends.

I can’t just celebrate Shuri or Candice Patton or Into the Spiderverse… Because there are racists who are in my fandom spaces trying to ruin them/shit on them all the time.

I can give you examples of the horrid things folks IN TRANSFORMATIVE FANDOM ALONE have said/written/shared about Finn from Star Wars, Shuri from Black Panther, and Candice Patton on the Flash. I share them on the regular because y’all don’t seem to actually get what fandom racism looks like.

That’s literally why I made the #WhatFandomRacismLooksLike hashtag: so I could collect some of the stuff.

But y’all can search my tweets.

Easily.

It’s great if you’re a WOC in fandom and you don’t think you’ve witnessed racism in fandom/that your fandom isn’t racist. You’re definitely wrong and possibly ignoring it but… power to ya, I guess.

I’m glad you have missed the experiences a lot of us have had. Pointing out that fandom is racist as hell – flat out – shouldn’t infringe on your escapism unless you’re unwilling to let other people have their squee too.

And personally, it’s awfully hard to squee when other people in fandom are explicit about how little Black people matter.

I’d love to “just” write fanfiction. It’d be great.

But I am intensely aware of the (lack of) value fandom places on Black people and like… Talking about how THAT impedes my ability to squee successfully is how I manage to keep going in fandom.

A lot of other POC in fandom spaces use themselves/allow their POCness to be used as a shield. They don’t think x fandom/ship/kink/trope is racist. They don’t think we should talk about racism in fandom/that there can be racism in fandom.

If they’re the only ones you listen to when it comes to (not) talking about race in fandoms… Well… No wonder fandom’s still sucking at acknowledging race.

It would be wonderful if our race/ethnicity didn’t matter in fandom/as part of being a fan.

I’d fucking love being able to be “just” Stitch.

But again…

FANDOM WON’T LET ME

Not talking about isms? Is NOT the answer. That’s shit tier escapism bcuz WE can’t actually escape.

About Zeenah

Zeenah writes about comics, nerd history, and ridiculous romance novels when not working frantically on her first collection of short stories and complaining about stuff. One day, she'll settle down and write that novel.
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