Fan Service #2 @ Teen Vogue: On Fanfiction, Fandom, and Why Criticism Is Healthy

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!

On Fanfiction, Fandom, and Why Criticism Is Healthy



2 thoughts on “Fan Service #2 @ Teen Vogue: On Fanfiction, Fandom, and Why Criticism Is Healthy

  1. I’ve noticed that even if you leave constructive criticism on a fic on AO3, without even insulting the author at all, your comment gets deleted. Even on the heyday of FFnet and the flame wars, people at least had to read what their detractors were saying. AO3 does provide a nice platform for people to publish their works, but it doesn’t seem to extend that way to those who comment on it. Nowadays, people – mostly white, mostly non binary – want to VET criticism and consent to it. It’s an absolute joke.

    I don’t even share the same politics as you but I noticed that the slash fandom migration and the culture around it is written by women and non binaries who despise white men – and racism, apparently – yet do not write about black men or brown men at all. They just love that white dick. Masculine dick. No trans people there.


Comments are closed.