Head on over to Teen Vogue to read my latest Fan Service installment “On Fanfiction, Fandom, and Why Criticism Is Healthy” where I look at the ways that fandom’s instinctive pushback against criticism affects fans in fandom – not just external critics who maybe don’t “get” nuances of fandom cultures.
It’s not censorship or bullying to point out that there are issues in different fandom spaces that require some updated approaches. For example: “Don’t Like, Don’t Read” and “Your Kink Is Not My Kink” are phrases used in fandom to let people know that they should take care of themselves by not reading content they find objectionable based on a matter of different taste. But neither of those phrases are good responses when fans come up against bigotry in fanworks. Telling someone to “just ignore” transmisogyny, ableism, or open antiblackness in fanfiction isn’t just unhelpful; it’s unkind.
I love critique as a mode of expression and meta fandom works are among my favorite outside of well… literally anything to do with Omegaverse. February’s first column was born out of a deep desire to get people thinking critically about why fandom isn’t down with criticism even from people inside of it. Not every critique of fandom is in bad faith or an attempt at censorship/controlling the average fan and assuming they all are – especially when marginalized people are talking about things in fandom that harm us on purpose or accidentally – isn’t a good way to go about things.
Anyway, please go check out the latest installment of Fan Service and feel free to share the piece with interested friends and fans!