WHO I AM AND WHAT I DO:
I’m Zina and I’ve been running Stitch’s Media Mix since March 2015. I created my site as a site for fandom and media criticism after being frustrated by my inability to find a safe, welcoming place where I could be a part of these conversations in the fandoms that I already belonged to. I love being in fandom and I love the act of being a fan, but I feel as though there’s room for improvement that is always being overlooked. I’d love to be able to change certain things about the overarching institution of fandom, but for now, I’ll settle for educating and snarking my way to change in my main fandoms.
Using my academic background (I have a BA in History and am getting my MA in Literature) and my experiences as a queer Black member of fandom, I try to tackle the media I consume and the fandom spaces I inhabit from a critical and faintly snarky angle. I use my website to host my writing: media critique, analysis of fandom tropes and trends, book reviews, and the occasional bit of original fiction.
My goal is to talk critically about the media we create and consume in order to urge fandom to become a more welcoming place for marginalized and underrepresented groups of people. I want everyone to be able to have a seat at the proverbial table without it being pulled from underneath them.
If One Tree Hill and basically any sports manga out there had a literary lovechild that grew up to be queer and was also invested in fencing, that’d be Fence.
Written by Australian author C.S. Pacat and with art by Johanna the Mad and colors by Juana Lafuente, this series got me invested by the end of the first issue. Heck, from the moment character design posts went up on Tumblr in the months previous, I was hyped. I was intensely invested in Western creators’ comics that were obviously inspired by their love of Japanese sports manga as well as their own experiences with sports in the United States and Fence seemed like it’d be my thing.
And it was!
Pacat and Johanna (who created the series together) come together to make a charming and absolutely engaging sports-drama with diverse queer characters right on the page. I love everything about Fence so far. Six issues in and I’m beyond invested in the way that character development is revealing more and more about the complex characters and their backstories. The art is cute and crisp, the characters are interesting, and the drama is never-ending. It is everything I could’ve asked for from such a series.
Legit, from the first issue I had favorite characters and even some light shipping going on. It’s a series that seems tailor-made for fandom and I hope it gets a good one!
If you’re like me and you love Ngozi Ukazu’s Check, Please, I’d suggest checking out Fence as issues 1-6 are available now on Comixology/Amazon.
Don’t forget to reach out to the creators if you enjoy the series!
(And come talk to me about the series too!)
Original Post: Nyota Uhura: One More Black Female Character Fandom Wants To Be Strong and Single Forever
White Feminism (as an institution) thinks that championing Black women as too strong and too independent to ever “need” a man in their lives is a good thing.
I’m not really sure how. Continue reading
I’m not Resistance. I’m not a hero. I’m a Stormtrooper. Like all of them, I was taken
from my family I’ll never know. And raised to do one thing. In my first battle, I made a choice. I wasn’t going to kill for them. So I ran, right into you. You looked at me like no one ever had. I was ashamed of what I was. But, I’m done with the First Order. I’m never going back.
— Finn to Rey in Maz’s cantina in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
I know that the Star Wars fandom – both the dudebro hubs and the supposedly feminist and progressive parts on Tumblr and Twitter – is racist as shit, but I still can’t believe the audacity of people calling Finn a coward and demanding he be killed off as like… a form of progressive protest on his or Rey’s behalf.
In her article “Star Wars: The Last Jedi Could Have Been Better If This Character Had Died” author Alessia Santoro goes above and beyond in order to “prove” that The Last Jedi would have been a better movie if only for one death – that of John Boyega’s Finn. She does so, of course, by completely crapping all over his character, problematizing his behavior and, wishing for his death because that’s the only possible way for him to matter to her.
Despite the fact that she – and many other members of the Star Wars fandom – claim that they really do like the character, there’s no bigger sign of disliking a character than by wanting them dead. Continue reading
A very dear friend of the family – she’s my mom’s best friend and her daughter and I grew up together – is trying to raise funds so that get to New York by the sixth of June in order to attend the funeral of her sister, who recently passed away.
I know money’s tight all over, but if donations aren’t a possibility (and even if they are), can y’all share this so that she can see her sister off?
FACEBOOK DONATION LINK
Out of all the things I said I’d do in May on this post, I’ve done… most of them? Well, for Patreon at least.
I didn’t get to do the “Worldbuilding Wednesday” post on Secret Societies or the post on Anita Blake #5 (in part because I still haven’t finished rereading it) for Patrons, but I’m going to slide those forward to June.
Aside from that, i finished everything on the Patreon and I’ve decided to scrap the grad school wrap-up in general (I’m uninterested in further commentary on grad school at the moment) and I’ll be posting book reviews and the “Life as a (Semi) Professional Hater” post next month.
So here’s what’s up for June:
- WIP Snippets of: ” Too White Bread for This Shit: Race and Racism in Laurell K Hamilton’s Urban Fantasy Series”, “Urban Fantasy 101: Crime and Punishment”, the Misogynoir post, and WOC in the MCU: Mariah Dillard ($1 Tier)
- Worldbuilding Wednesday: Secret Societies ($5 Tier)
- Images for various blog posts ($1 Tier)
- Great Big Anita Blake Reread: Bloody Bones ($3 Tier)
- Finished Drafts of the Laurell K Hamilton post and the misogynoir one ($3 Tier)
- Reapproaching Social Justice and Fandom Racism ($5 Tier)
- Life as a (Semi) Professional Hater
- Untitled Rose and Finn post
- Where Are Y’all Getting Your Characterization From? Finn Isn’t A Coward, Or Selfish, And He Doesn’t Need A Damn Redemption Arc.
- Stitch Likes Stuff: Fence
- Untitled Black Panther/MCU piece on motherhood
- Book Reviews
While I’m here, if there’s any content that y’all would like to see from me this month (or any other), please let me know! I’m also extra open for writing or editing gigs!
As y’all may have noticed by the very lengthy threads about fandom racism I keep making on my twitter, I’m back in Florida.
I had a lovely time visiting my father and once hurricane season is over, I’m going to go back and visit him (or get him to come up here once airports are open and whatnot). I loved being in my childhood bedroom and getting to bask in a sense of community that I still don’t really have in Florida. Those of you who grew up in/have lived in small towns know how it is: everyone knows your business and your face.
It can be stifling if you’re there all the time, but when you come home to visit? It’s just delightful to realize how many people know you, love you, and miss you. I’m a pretty likeable person and I’m So Good at making friends, but there’s something about coming home and having your people literally embrace you with giddy joy when they see you walking down the street that’s just… something else.
As much fun as I had with my darling dad and being reminded that I’m just beloved by so many people, there was a serious purpose to me going back home too: I wanted to see what the island looked like eight months after Irma and Maria. Continue reading
The thing about the feminism on display in Jessica Jones is that it isn’t universally empowering or accessible. This is a series that centres the titular character’s pain above that of other people, and that treats the lives of people of colour—particularly men of colour—as accessories to her narrative.
As a show, Jessica Jones has represented peak ‘white feminism,’ centring white womanhood, from day one. Like Agent Carter, Supergirl, and Wonder Woman, it’s a narrative focused on white female characters in worlds where characters of colour are afterthoughts, sidekicks, villains, or background support. From Reva Connor’s death being used as a catalyst to jumpstart Jessica breaking free from the control of her abusive ex, Kilgrave, to the overwhelming lack of characters of colour in the series’ New York City, to killing off both of its black female characters in the second season, and to Jeri Hogarth filling the “Evil Lesbian” trope, this is not a series that cares about putting forward an inclusive or intersectional form of feminism.
However, one of the most glaring examples of this is in the way that the series treats its male characters of colour, particularly in its second season. Men of colour and their experiences (including their trauma) are never seen as important or as valid as Jessica’s trauma.
I got to write about Jessica Jones mediocre second season and how the season failed the three recurring male characters of color for Anathema Magazine last month. This season was even more awful about how it treated male characters of color and that’s saying something considering how the first season had Jessica stalk and sleep with Luke Cage knowing full well that he was connected to the woman that she’d killed on Kilgrave’s command.
If you’re interested in reading me at some of my saltiest, check out “Jessica Jones Doesn’t Care About Men of Colour” at Anathema Magazine!
(And if you like me at my saltiest, consider becoming a Patron today because oh boy am I salty over there!)
In a (now deleted) tweet thread from April of this year, writer and artist Kate Leth went in on superhero media for the lack of queer representation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The thread was fine and absolutely valid right up until the last tweet where she wrote that:
“There were queer characters in Ragnarok and Black Panther whose scenes were cut. Okoye was awkwardly made straight with a plot that went nowhere. Loki exists in subtext. It’s bullshit, pardon my french, that we’re just supposed to go “oh yeah of course, because of money”
You know what this tweet shows me?
It shows me that Leth might not be able to tell Black women apart from one another and that she doesn’t see the value in a character who chooses love of country and her faith in justice over the love of her life (after he sets himself against their country).
It shows me that while Leth knows the basics about the characters and the film (the cut scene with Ayo flirting with Okoye and the Ayo/Aneka relationship in the World of Wakanda comics), she doesn’t know enough to recognize that Okoye and Ayo (or Aneka) aren’t the same characters.
From Hannibal Lecter eating the rude across the northeastern United States to Loki’s attempts to subjugate the human race and Kylo Ren’s patricide and misogyny, fandom just loves to look at villains who have committed atrocities and decide that they’re in fact complex characters who just need a redemption arc to set them on the right track (because they have a good reason for what they did/the heroes of the series are in fact the real villain) …
But only if they’re white dudes.