Here are four things I did that went up in the past month (including today!). Thanks for reading and sorry for not having separate posts for each one!
Sure, if you press these “fans” on the reasons behind their bad behavior, few will say outright that jealousy fuels them. They won’t say that they believed they really had a shot with the celebrity or that they’re mad that the opportunity is no longer open to them. Instead, they claim that the potential partner isn’t good for the celebrity, that they’re using the celebrity, or that they’re ugly. They’re not willing to say that they think the celebrity should be with them or, in the case of a partner that’s a woman of color, a white woman they can layer themselves and their desires onto almost like a reader insert.
Most egregious, to me, are the number of people (largely white women) who have decided to implicitly connect Will Smith to abuse, suggesting or even outright stating that he is a domestic abuser and a danger to his wife or daughter. They claim that the slap and subsequent yelling triggered them, that it reminded them of experiences with abusive fathers or partners. Even though they are not even remotely the targets of Smith’s ire, they’ve decided to make themselves main characters anyway. It’s giving “Bernie Sanders’ yelling in Congress triggers me,” and it’s honestly just as ridiculous.
However, it’s also incredibly dangerous and part of a historical trend in which white women weaponize themselves and their reactions to Black people, reframing our neutral states or our valid anger as threatening to them.
How do we critically engage with complicated, even toxic, fantasy fandoms? In our longest episode yet, we talk to Stitch, a Black fan, writer, and critic, about their history with fandom, writing & working in different spaces, and their advice for those who are new to fandom.
The concept of the anti has gained a great deal of traction in fandom over the past few years, but it has not yet been the subject of sustained scholarly attention. What it means to be an anti, or who gets called an anti, and by whom—as well as the definition of the opposite side of these debates, known as the anti-anti or the proshipper—are at once highly contested and carry significant weight in contemporary social media debates about fandom despite the lack of consensus. These debates around the anti cover a great deal of conceptual ground, including questions of taboo sexuality, policing of sexual and ethical purity, and concerns about the harms of representation, particularly racist representation. Some argue that this range of topics, appearing as it does under the sign of the anti, conflates very different issues; others argue that there is some degree of continuity between them as instantiations of domination. This roundtable, organized by Mel Stanfill, brings together a group of thinkers (Alexis Lothian, stitch, Anne Jamison, and Sneha Kumar) with expertise in different facets of this complex phenomenon to explore what is happening and what it all means in hopes of both providing some context for those unfamiliar with these debates and helping spur further scholarly attention by tracing and extending some of the key tensions and conflicts around the anti.
Anyway, I think… that’s everything I had go up elsewhere? If I’ve forgotten something, my bad… I’m just too tired and busy to think!