Whose Job Is It To Fix Fandom?

During the first two weeks of January, I came across an exchange between two Star Wars fans who were absolutely holding on to the narrative that the Rey/Kylo shipping fandom was being burdened with false accusations of racism – two weeks into the fandom as a whole going off on John Boyega over separate comments he made on New Year’s Eve.

@enfysblessed – I’ll repeat it until I’m blue in the face. Fandom as a whole is racist because society is racist and scapegoating one wildly diverse, large group who have one thing in common isn’t helping anything and is actively making it harder to combat fandom racism

@bensvvolo – this is honestly the most baffling thing to me, people not realizing the racism they recognize is societal and, I’d argue, not even fandom’s “job” to “fix”.

Two things stand out to me about these two tweets.

First, there’s the idea that supposedly scapegoating a “wildly diverse, large group” (Rey/Kylo shippers) for racism they are either participating in or not stopping from their fandom… is “actively making it harder to combat fandom racism”.

As someone who’s been writing about fandom racism relatively professionally since 2015? (And casually, to an extent, since the time of the Sleepy Hollow and MCU fandoms’ initial antiblackness?)

It’s actually fans like those two that make it hard for me to have my work taken seriously and for other fans to recognize and work against fandom racism.

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Fuck Your Fake Woke

This is essentially a prototype – originally posted on Patreon ages ago – of WFRLL: Woke Points For What. It’s definitely a bit… spicier than that article. I fixed some spelling errors and comma placement but for the most part, this is the article posted on Patreon… whenever I posted it on Patreon.

Right about now, in fandom spaces, “fake woke” has all but replaced the GamerGator popularized “virtue signaling” when people want to get mad about the fact that some of us care about the delicate challenge posed by trying to get positive representation for marginalized people in fandom and media. 

The second that I see someone call someone else “fake woke” or accuse them of being interested in talking about or unpacking social justice in order to get some sort of social credit – via “woke points” (courtesy of the Reylo fandom who keeps using that specific phrase to discredit anyone that’s even vaguely critical of their ship) or “virtue signaling” or even the good ole fashioned “ally cookie” – I know to be wary. 

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[Stitch Responds To Feedback] Do You Know What True Antiblackness is?

I get a lot of weird ass messages and mentions, but this message, sent on the first day of Black History Month 2020, definitely ranks at the top of the weird ones.

In case you’ve missed it, January was a month full of Star Wars fandom criticism:

All of these were written/created in response to a fairly large amount of Rey/Kylo shippers showing up and showing their racist little asses over John Boyega’s initial “lay the pipe” comment (a single sex joke) and then over him dunking on their ship.

But it’s not actually about my feelings about the ship. Actually, the one thing I tried not to do was talk about my feelings about the ship because that’s not what any of this is about.

It’s bigger than ships. It’s about how this fandom has been antiblack on main for years and is finally throwing off the hood to show its real face.

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Stitch Gives Away Tochi Onyebuchi’s Riot Baby

Ella has a Thing. She sees a classmate grow up to become a caring nurse. A neighbor’s son murdered in a drive-by shooting. Things that haven’t happened yet. Kev, born while Los Angeles burned around them, wants to protect his sister from a power that could destroy her. But when Kev is incarcerated, Ella must decide what it means to watch her brother suffer while holding the ability to wreck cities in her hands.

Rooted in the hope that can live in anger, Riot Baby is as much an intimate family story as a global dystopian narrative. It burns fearlessly toward revolution and has quietly devastating things to say about love, fury, and the black American experience.

Ella and Kev are both shockingly human and immeasurably powerful. Their childhoods are defined and destroyed by racism. Their futures might alter the world.

It’s only February, but Tochi Onyebuchi’s Riot Baby is already of my favorite books of 2020. This novella is riveting, painful, and above all… full of familiar experiences. I started reading this book and couldn’t put it down even when it got tough. It’s just… incredible.

So I’m giving away two copies.

To enter, leave a comment on this post using a valid email telling me about a work of Black speculative fiction that has moved and/or haunted you!

I’ll choose the winners on the 29th and send you the kindle copies then!

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Stitch Watches Watchmen

Note: This isn’t a full review(in fact, I primarily focus on the first episode) because I don’t have the time for it right now! If you want to talk about specific parts of the show, drop me a comment and we’ll chat about some serious spoilers!

HBO’s Watchmen series leaves me just as unsettled as the end of Jordan Peele’s Us did.

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The Slash Ship Checklist

Source: Slash Shipping, Pseudo-Progressivism, and Reinforcing Patriarchal Standards in Fandom

Sometimes, when I see a white dude slash ship pick up steam across transformative fandom, all I can think about is how the ship seems like it exists just to check off boxes on an imaginary checklist that’s been shared across slash fandom spaces for the past forty plus years. 

Sure, sometimes the ships are populated by characters who have chemistry in some way. But often, it just kind of feels as if the fans are putting together elements to a formula in order to get the “perfect” ship. 

It doesn’t actually feel… organic

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Star Wars Fandom Racism Bingo 2020

Note: If you haven’t seen what I and John Boyega have been through with the Star Wars’ fandom’s shippy sides, check out my What Fandom Racism Looks Like installment on Weaponized White Womanhood.

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Urban Fantasy 101: Stitch Reads The Hollows – Dead Witch Walking Chapters 1-5

Part of officially deciding that I’d break away from the Anita Blake series was trying to figure out another series to focus on that did more interesting things.

I wanted to tackle a series that I had positive memories of, but also know I can criticize it solidly without losing it. Kim Harrison’s The Hollows series was another one of those urban fantasy series that I kind fixated on as a teenager and kept at it until I was a younger adult.

So, I have the positive memories, but then room to criticize it. 

So I’ll be covering the books five chapters at a time blending snarky sporking with the kind of criticism I wanted to return to but couldn’t with the Anita Blake series.

(Not sure how this is going to work? It’ll be something like the spork I did of “Shutdown”, but far less unkind and wordy because I’m not going to go through this book the way I did Shutdown. We’d be here all month.)

Let’s get started.

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What Fandom Racism Looks Like: Weaponized White Womanhood

Content notes: As with a majority of my pieces, this one focuses closely on antiblackness including the antiblackness inherent in weaponizing white womanhood to excuse dogpiling and slandering John Boyega as a misogynist, as a potential sexual predator, as a bunch of other gross and untrue things. I talk briefly about some examples of Rey/Kylo fics from the fandom’s past including non-graphic (I believe) mentions of sexual assault and include links to a recap of one and an image of the other.

White women have most (if not all) of the actual observable power in transformative fandom spaces.

White women are the image of the typical “fan” in Western transformative fandom spaces.

They are frequently the most popular Big Named Fans (BNFs) in online spaces, the people who dominate discussions about and displays of Being A Fan. If you’re in transformative fandom and you see a particular set of headcanons or a white dude slash suddenly get supremely popular out of nowhere, chances are that a group of white lady BNFs are behind it.

White women in fandom often get to “graduate” from fandom, dominating what we and outsiders think about transformative with staff writer, researcher, and professor jobs that they can tie directly into their experiences and time in fandom.

(Look at the overarching fan studies academic field for an example or fandom-focused journalism on sites like WIRED, The Daily Dot, The Nerdist, and CBR. Chances are that many of the names you know in these fields, if you know any names, belong to white women.)

With that much power already, it can’t be a surprise that many white women in fandom will do pretty much anything in order to keep the status quo level.

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Stitch on The James Bond Cocktail Hour: Die Another Day

(Part One)

(Part Two)

I love James Bond.

No shame.

Those of y’all that have been around from the beginning of this blog know that I spent half of 2015 writing about James Bond for The Mary Sue. That was incredibly challenging and endlessly fun.

When Hugh and Tim hit me up for this opportunity to chat with them about one of my favorite Bond movies, of course, I had to do it. This was a ton of fun and I really loved every single moment of picking at this film, poking fun at it –

And of course, being incredibly obvious about my deep deep thirst for Halle Berry in this film and forever.

If you miss the good ‘ole days when pretty much all I did was Be Obnoxious About James Bond, grab yourself a nice cocktail (or a mediocre can of wine) and prepare yourself for An Experience as I Die Another Day on the James Bond Cocktail Hour!

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Bad Rap – Better A Second Time?

The quest for authenticity in hip-hop features quite heavily across Bad Rap, a 2016 documentary following the career of popular Korean American rapper Dumbfounded as well as three other Korean American rappers popular in the scene – Awkwafina, Rekstizzy, and Lyricks.

(Other Asian American rappers like Jay Park, Traphik, and Decipher show up across the film in brief segments, but they’re not the focus.)

Directed by Salima Korona, the film opens with some necessary hip-hop history. One of the things I appreciated the first time I watched this documentary was the way it nodded to the impact that Filipino rappers had on the game and gave viewers an introduction to a side of hip hop history that many of us don’t know.

These are rappers that probably WON’T be showing up on Netflix’s big hip hop history documentary series – which sucks because it’s a history we don’t talk about and don’t focus on – despite needing to.

So off the bat, I appreciated the look at these pioneers of Asian American hip-hop and I want to learn more about them. What are they doing now? What do they think of current rappers? Are their flows still fantastic?

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[Signal Boost] Boyega Brigade Boost for Theatre Peckham

From the GoFundMe:

“I admire Theatre Peckham’s continued mission to increase diversity in the creative industries, inspiring young people like myself to be the change we want to see in this industry.” — John Boyega

Hey, fellow John Boyega stans! John put his heart and soul into bringing the amazing Finn to life in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Many of us who never saw ourselves in major sci-fi franchises found a champion in Finn’s journey from slave to hero. John told us from the door that he lives, breathes, and bleeds Finn, and his dedication to the role and to his fans have been a high point of the entire series.

In honor of his fantastic portrayal of Finn — and the effortless cool, poise and sense of humor he maintained offscreen — we’re raising money for something near and dear to John’s heart — Theatre Peckham, the South London-based training theatre company where he was a featured player from ages 9 to 14, and of which he became a patron in 2016. The group recently unveiled a mural  of John, and as a patron, he has helped TP kick off its 2020 fundraising drive to celebrate “talent that has come from Peckham and looking towards the future of those who will become.”

All money raised here will be sent directly to Theatre Peckham in aid of its programs and its mission of building a diverse talent pool for creative industries. Since 2020 is the year that John brought in with a bang, we’ve set that as an initial target.

(TP takes donations in pounds only, so this will work out to about 1600 GBP depending on currency exchange. If you feel most comfortable donating directly to TP’s donations’ processor , that’s cool too!)

Please consider donating to this worthy cause if you can. Thank you!

Boyega Brigade Boost for Theatre Peckham

For me, John Boyega’s performance as Finn changed the game.

I wasn’t a die hard Star Wars fan before the sequel trilogy. I’d liked the franchise, sure. But I was well in my teens before I saw all of the previous films. I didn’t have opinions on favorite characters or any of that. I saw a cool space opera and that’s about where it went for me. I wasn’t invested.

And then John Boyega, my Attack the Block bae, gets cast in The Force Awakens and I pretty much got sucked into further fandom-ing for him – but also for Finn. Finn remains a character I adore and who I would love to write some day. I’ve seen myself in him and I know many other John Boyega fans and Black people in the general (non-nerdy) audience did too.

Like Em says in the description for the GoFundMe above, “Many of us who never saw ourselves in major sci-fi franchises found a champion in Finn’s journey from slave to hero.”

As far as I can remember, there are only four Black people playing human characters in Star Wars. John is the first to be a main character. That he’s playing a character with as much power and potential as Finn – who broke his own conditioning and rebels against the fascist First Order that took him away from his parents…

I get chills thinking about it.

I am a huge John Boyega fan and that’s why I want to ask that my friends and followers alike donate whatever they can to this GoFundMe and share it with anyone that might be interested! This way, we can all show our appreciation to John by can supporting the place that helped set John on his path to stardom.

Let’s help light the way for future generations of actors to find themselves and practice their craft at Theatre Peckham!

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[Stitch Talks Ish] Episode 2: Stitch Talks About The Rey/Kylo Fandom and Weaponized White Womanhood

Episode Notes:


(Incoming, I need someone to transcribe it for me. Let me know if you’re interested because I’ll pay!)

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Introducing Authenticity (Mini-Essay #1)

I sound like a Barbie doll most of the time.

Or Daria.

If you heard me on the phone without knowing anything about me or without seeing my profile picture, you’d probably think I was a sure front runner to play Elle Woods in the musical adaptation of Legally Blonde.

For all intents and purposes, I “sound white”.

I’ve sounded like this my entire life, even when I was a child growing up in the Virgin Islands.

Out of all of my siblings, I am the only one without a recognizable Caribbean accent. If I’m around the right people – my friends and family from the islands or other Black people from other islands – sometimes I sound similar but, it doesn’t happen all that often.

All my life, I’ve struggled with authenticity.

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2020 Patreon Plans

In this video, I cover:

  • what’s coming up over the future of this account 
  • what content you’re guaranteed to get at the different tiers
  • the future of my content period


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