Fandom Misogynoir Bingo Card

It’s been a while since we had a fandom racism bingo card. Last time, it was my partially tongue-in-cheek one about the fandoms for Korean pop and hip hop with a heavy tilt towards cultural appropriation and antiblackness. This time, like it says on the label, it’s about misogynoir in fandom.

As always, I do look towards my fannish past with this, and I recommend people learn their fandom history about the nature of bingo cards to deliver understanding of/clown on tough topics… like this one about racism in the immediate aftermath of racefail 09. It’s not an inherently “anti” thing unless you’re one of the extremely fandom-minded individuals that believes criticism of fandom at any any level or with any sharpness is automatically “anti fandom” in action and if you think that… well.

Anyway, one statement that lives in my mind on the regular comes from a speech Malcolm X gave in 1962 at Ronald Stokes’ funeral where he said that

“The most disrespected woman in America, is the black woman. The most un-protected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America, is the black woman.”

Fandom, especially when it comes to antiblackness, is not exempt from the issues that plague the wider world.

In fandom, misogynoir is accepted as a thing people do and it always has been acceptable in fandom at large regardless of how much people claim fandom as a space for women. Despite the perception that queer/women’s fandom is super progressive, it’s become increasingly clear to Black fans in particular that that’s far from the case. Misogynoir – aimed at Black fans, celebrities, and characters – is an acceptable norm in fandom and something that isn’t just defended, but that has become a bonding activity on a level that even sees other Black people partaking in it to build and maintain community bonds, not just non-Black people.

Hot on the heels of Candice Patton and other Black CW superhero actresses talking about the misogynoir they experience from fandom and behind the scenes of their respective shows is… me talking once again about misogynoir: a form of anti fandom that no one but Black women/femmes seems capable of clocking or interested in stopping.

NOW BEFORE WE GET INTO THE EXPLANATIONS, PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU’RE SENSITIVE AND NEED PEOPLE TO BE NICE WHEN COMPLAINING ABOUT RACISM THEY SEE AND EXPERIENCE, THIS IS NOT THE POST FOR YOU.

Read More »

Stitch @ Teen Vogue: “iCarly” Fan Misogynoir is Part of a Larger Fandom Pattern

Mosley isn’t the first to be harassed because people in a given fandom assumed she was replacing a white actress (Javicia Leslie’s Ryan Wilder on Batwoman) or because she was playing a racebent version of a “historically white” character (Anna Diop’s Starfire on Titans). And she won’t be the last, because fandom is not a space that protects Black women from misogynoir. Misogynoir, a form of anti-Black misogyny present in the ways that Black women and femmes are rewritten and dehumanized in order to excuse the way we are treated (no matter how much power we have), is alive and well in fandom spaces across the internet.

I write a lot about misogynoir in fandom. It’s something i feel strongly about because of how much it affects a wide range of fans in fandom, Black women and femmes who aren’t seen as part of these spaces. Fan entitlement is huge and we know that aggressive fans truly don’t know an end to their nonsense… but there’s a very specific way that these fans will attack Black women (fans, celebs, and journalists) that needs to stop.

There’s nothing on this earth that can excuse how iCarly fans treated Laci Mosely or how different superhero fans have treated Candice Patton and Anna Diop over the past few years. Black women deserve better treatment in fandom and from fandom.

Full stop.

Head on over to Teen Vogue to read ““iCarly” Fan Misogynoir is Part of a Larger Fandom Pattern”! Don’t forget to share it with your different social media accounts!

Stitch @ Teen Vogue: What “Falcon and the Winter Soldier” Teaches Us About Fandom Misogynoir

Fans identifying with characters and applying their understanding of social justice-oriented issues to them isn’t inherently a bad thing. But there’s a catch: fandom’s activism and desire to push back against problematic portrayals (or endings) tends to work on behalf of white characters (like Lexa and Castiel, and now Bucky) at the direct expense of Black and brown characters.

If there’s one thing I’m really good at, it’s talking about misogynoir in fandom. (I have an entire mini-series about it here actually!) Fandom has always been primed to believe the worst of Black women – be they characters, fans, or even the performers themselves. What we’ve been seeing since Friday when episode four dropped, is a solid example of misogynoir in fandom and how it’s often done in defense of a white male character.

I love me some Bucky, but the way his standom has been acting about Black characters and now, specifically about Ayo and somehow Shuri) since the start of the show has left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Because this is the fandom pattern: come up with a valid complaint (in this case, the ableism they clocked in the one scene) and then use it to do something super invalid… dismiss and dump on a Black female character.

Ready to read more about this latest round of misogynoir in fandom? Go check out “What “Falcon and the Winter Soldier” Teaches Us About Fandom Misogynoir” now!

Stitch @ Teen Vogue: Meghan Markle’s Critics Are Using Internet Troll Tactics to Perpetuate Misogynoir

However, nothing about this is new or shocking to Black women anywhere, especially in Britain where misogynoir is a major problem. This behavior — escalating harassment, people accusing us of being bullies when we’re firm, lies that blame us for harm done against other people — is part of the online troll ecosystem’s historical approach to Black women with even a single ounce of power or visibility. What’s happening to Meghan Markle is targeted racist harassment and trolling that uses misogynoir to try and shape public perception of Black women.

I’ve been a Meghan Markle fan from the Suits days and she’s the only reason I even remotely cared about Prince Harry.

Watching the British press, public, and the royal family go after her from the moment that she and Harry announced their relationship has been horrible. It is also unsurprising because this is the reality for Black women (and queer femmes who don’t ID as women). We get slandered, harassed, mistreated, lied on, and blamed for genuinely awful things that we didn’t actually do.

It’s racist harassment, but it’s also trolling. The people doing this don’t see themselves as racists, villains, or even bullies. They’re having fun harming Meghan and they have fun harming other Black people. But because none of them lay hands on the people they’re harming – and some of them have convinced themselves that they’re doing a necessary duty by harassing Black people for years.

No idea what tonight’s interview will bring Meghan and Harry or the viewing audience, but I hope it’s juicy.

[Video] Black Women, Hated: Layers of Misogynoir in Fandom Spaces – PCA 2019

Abstract Black Women, Hated: Layers of Misogynoir in Fandom Spaces As fandom spaces become even more active in asking for and creating positive representation about underrepresented identities (i.e., disabled people and queer people), one notable weak spot in fandom representation politics revolves around the reception towards and portrayal of Black women in fandom. Black female […]

What Fandom Racism Looks Like: Misogynoir – Black Actresses Under Attack

Don’t forget to check out last month’s post and the introduction!


wfrll - misogynoir - black actresses under attack

  • U simple bitch. This is why comic book fans hate Hollywood. The criticism is not b/c U R an African actress but that ur 3 personas look too human wearing cheaply made costumes . U didn’t even care enough to Youtube the animated series and actually research the characters. (a comment sent to Anna Diop on twitter by user @Walter_Stylez on 4/13/2018)
  • I’m grateful you made starfire hideous and ugly, you are her first adaptation that looks less exciting. I’m sure this will make people choose batgirl over starfire now cuz she’s more prettier of a love interest. Dickbabs all the way!!! Thank you Anna for propping up my ship!!! – From twitter user @dickbabs3 on Twitter directly in response to Anna Diop posting an image of herself in a suit on 12/11/2018

Name a Black actress in a popular nerdy franchise and I’m pretty sure I can find you proof of people claiming that they:

  • Are too ugly
  • Aren’t talented enough
  • Are too “ghetto”
  • Don’t have enough chemistry (with the nearest white person)

To play the role they’ve been cast in.

Angel Coulby didn’t just have to deal with people claiming historical anachronism for her casting because Guinevere stems from a Welsh name that means “fair/white and smooth” in a show full of historical inaccuracy and sorcery.

She had to deal with a ton of “I’m not racist, but”s claiming that she was a terrible actress, that she wasn’t attractive enough to play Gwen, that she wasn’t young or refined enough… you know the drill.Read More »

What Fandom Racism Looks Like: Misogynoir – Black Women in the Way

Don’t forget to check out last month’s post and the introduction!


wfrll - misogynoir - black women in the way

I may later eat my words because I haven’t seen more than season 1 of ToS or any of the movies but I hate that Uhura in the reboot is just a love sick puppy that follows Spock around. Like she doesn’t even resemble herself and she feels less of a character. (A tweet from twitter user @meganbytetweets from 2/4/2018.)

That sucks i just really hate iris and barry idk i rather ship him with linda, patty or caitlin lol (A tweet from twitter user Amber_G27 from 4/6/2018.)

Few things inspire more misogynoir than a Black female character that fandom thinks “gets in the way” of a ship involving two white characters.

When Zoe Saldana was cast as Nyota Uhura in the 2009 Star Trek reboot film series, fans were fine… until it was revealed that Saldana’s Uhura was also in an established and committed relationship with Spock.

Then it became a problem.Read More »

What Fandom Racism Looks Like: Misogynoir – Convenient Excuses

If you’re new here, start at the introduction!


wfrll - misogynoir - convenient excuses

A 2011 article on pop culture website Oh No They Didn’t entitled “Fandom and its hatred of Black women characters” opens by asking readers “What do Martha Jones, Tara Thornton, Guinevere, and Mercedes Jones have in common?”

The short post details the various ways that fandom goes out of its way to diminish the awesomeness of Black female characters, but for this section, I’d like to look at the excuses fandom gives for why they don’t like –and frequently, actively hate – Black female characters.

Livejournal user flint_marko, the author of the ONTD post, provides a handy list of insults that fans use to excuse their hatred of these female characters that includes:

  • They have an attitude problem.
  • They’re lazy.
  • They’re mean.
  • They’re stupid.
  • They’re ungrateful.
  • They’re selfish.
  • They’re sluts.

When I say that fandom hates Black women, this sort of thing is a prime example. All of the examples that flint_marko gives are things that fandom has used to excuse disliking or hating Black female characters throughout the years.Read More »

What Fandom Racism Looks Like: Misogynoir – Introduction

wfrll - misogynoir - intro

The most disrespected woman in America, is the black woman. The most un-protected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America, is the black woman. – Malcolm X, from a speech he gave May 5, 1962 at the funeral of Ronald Stokes.

Fandom hates Black women – real and fictional.

Fandom can’t stand Black female characters, the actresses that play/voice them, or the Black women who go hard for characters that look like them.

Misogynoir is alive and well in fandom spaces and few people seem willing to acknowledge it or listen to Black women talking about this specific form of racialized misogyny in fandom.Read More »

[Video] My Comic Book Girlfriend Has To Be a Redhead: Misogynoiristic Reactions to Racebending Iris West and Mary-Jane Watson

Abstract Recent adaptations of popular comic book series have taken the step of diversifying their original storylines by racebending (Gaston and Reid 2012) key characters – for example Iris West (played by Candice Patton) on DC Comics and The CW’s The Flash television series and Mary Jane Watson (rumored to be played by Zendaya) in […]

Bio & Backlog

Bio

Stitch is a freelance journalist and rogue fandom/media studies scholar in Florida. Since 2015, she’s run Stitch’s Media Mix, a digital culture and arts publication focusing on real, down to earth critical analysis of international pop culture and the Western arm of the fandoms they spawn. On the site, their work looks at queer sub/text in superhero comics, performances of anti/Blackness in Korean pop and hip hop, gender and race in urban fantasy, as well as race and racism (primarily antiblackness) in fandom spaces. They have publication credits in Fireside Fiction, The Mary Sue, Strange Horizons, ComicsAlliance, Teen Vogue, and Women Write About Comics.  You can find her at Stitch’s Media Mix and on twitter as @stitchmediamix

Published Pieces

Teen Vogue

Fan Service

Interviews and Features

Polygon

How we got to ‘report accounts’ and the latest Taylor Swift controversy

Joysauce

Chasing Black Cool

The Verge

K-POP’S FANDOM PLATFORMS ARE CHANGING WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AN IDOL

Slate

Turning Red Shows Fandom at Its Most Unrealistic

I-D Vice

K-pop activism makes headlines but Black fans’ experience is more complex

“Bond Girl” @ The Mary Sue  (Bond Girl page on my site)

@ ComicsAlliance

How It Feels To Be “Cute For A Black Girl”

Women Write About Comics

Strange Horizons

Stitch @ EatKS

Anathema Magazine

EFNIKS Magazine – Now ColorBloq

Meme-ing For A Reason #17: No Critical Engagement, Just Compliments

The “No Take, Only Throw” meme where the dog (representing fandom) first asks people to “Please engage meaningfully”. When A hand reaches out to take the ball/engage meaningfully, the fandom-dog says “No critical engagement! Only compliment!!”

There’s a tweet blowing up right now that asks people to “talk about arbitrary things in fics that make you not want to read them”:

Read More »

Link Catch Up

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!


On Tom Hiddleston & Zawe Ashton, Misogynoir, and Why Fandom Should Stop Punishing Black Women

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.

Read More »

[Thread Collection] Goalpost Shifting With Sarah/Bucky

Original thread here from May 2021. Collection edited for clarity.


Some long thoughts on misogynoir in fandom:

A) this person won’t admit it but [the reason] they feel like they need to loudly criticize this ship (with the claim that “they should’ve met earlier” knowing full well they don’t mean it) is because of the admission that the flirtation is canon

Read More »