What Fandom Racism Looks Like: Weaponized White Womanhood

Note 3/31/21: Are you here because you googled “Jenny Nicholson racist”? Did a Twitter user link this to you to explain why ~people~ don’t like Jenny in the replies to a tweet calling out a breadtube user? Let me clarify a thing for you:

THIS POST IS NOT ABOUT JENNY AND IT IS NOT ABOUT WHAT SHE MAY OR MAY NOT SHIP. She’s mentioned in one segment in the article and over like 4-7 tweets (out of over 100) in the supplemental PDF/thread. It is literally not about her or about my beef with what other people ship in the Star Wars fandom but about white women and BIPOC who ship Rey/Kylo who tried to say John Boyega was a danger to Daisy Ridley over an IG comment about REY. Please learn to read and think critically and then GO AWAY. Thanks!


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.

Read More »

Luke Cage – Looks Like A Cinnamon Roll…

Note: This piece largely revolves around sexual racism and the sexual objectification of Black male bodies. There are references to sexual assault, descriptions of objectified Black bodies, and a link to an article on the “Brute Caricature” that includes images of lynchings.


Looks Like a Cinnamon Roll - Luke Cage (1).png

Fandom seems to think that Luke Cage “Looks like he could kill you, but is actually a cinnamon roll”.

To them, Luke may read as a threat, “but is actually a cinnamon roll” because they see that he has tender and sweet moments throughout his appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As a result, fandom sanitizes his character so that it can fit this super narrow archetype about what he should be – all while assuming that he was a threat to begin with.

I’m assuming that most, if not all, of the nuance written into his characterization in Luke Cage just went right over their collective heads because a huge chunk of Luke’s arc in his solo series revolves around him trying to figure out how to effectively use his body (rather than having other people use it).

At several points, the series actually addresses Black masculinity and how Black men are inherently seen as violent threats just by existing. And yes, Luke is one of the heavy hitters of the MCU, but he doesn’t want to hurt people: he’s just constantly backed into positions where he has to use his strength to hurt people in order to protect the people in his life.

I’m also assuming that the people who look at Mike Colter and immediately go “wow, this guy looks like he can kill me” haven’t watched the news in a while to see what many killers these days look like. They also have zero common sense because Mike Colter hardly looks like he could hurt a fly.

Saying that physically powerful Black characters such as Luke Cage and American Gods‘ Shadow Moon (played by biracial Black actor Ricky Whittle) “look like they could kill you” prior to calling them cinnamon rolls seems harmless and endearing, but can be linked back to the fact that their bigness and their Blackness are what cause white audiences to view them as threats in the first place.

It’s only after these characters prove their value and their softness (usually in a way that appeals to whiteness), that they’re revered for cinnamon roll status.

But it’s rather clear why fandom does this.Read More »

Totally Anecdotal: Stitch’s Brush With Racism in Education

I wanted to start my review of Jason Reynolds’ Miles Morales: A Spider-Man Novel with a slightly relevant anecdote on an experience I had as a teenager.

As an adult that was once a Black kid in the US education system (in Florida, natch), one racist teacher can make your school life a living hell even if they’re not part of a creepy (but absolutely plausible) plot to disenfranchise and subjugate Black people. So I wanted to talk about that.

But this got long and no one wants to read this sort of thing literally on top of a review so…

Separate post!

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Ten years ago I was a senior in a mediocre charter high school. I was sixteen and had just skipped a grade (taking 11th/12th grade English at the same time) so that I could graduate early. Up until this point, all of my teachers were aware that I had “Bored Genius Syndrome” and that if they didn’t keep me engaged in the school work, something else would.

So they kept me busy.Read More »

What It’s Like Being Fandom Critical While Black

What It's Like Being Fandom Critical While Black (1)

If we adopted Scientologist terms in fandom I’d probably be deemed as a negative influence or suppressive person because of the way I talk about the things I’ve seen and experienced in fandom spaces.

I’ve had my opinions invalidated, my analysis responded to with condescension, and my inbox invaded by assholes. I even wound up linked on Tumblr In Action once for my racebending post (and boy was that a bit terrifying because we all know how bad things can get on Reddit) and I frequently have people talk down to me about fandom history and culture.

People regularly write me condescending and long essay responses to my posts, letting me know just how inferior they think I am and my opinions are. I’ve been insulted to my face and behind my back (sometimes by people I thought I was friendly with).

I’ve been called a fascist for talking about Hux getting an unreasonably huge amount of attention despite only having three minutes of screentime in The Force Awakens.

I’ve been told to kill myself, called a homophobe for talking about the racism in slash fandom spaces, a misogynist out to police women’s sexuality for talking about intersections of kink, sex, and shipping in fandom, and constantly have my thoughts on antiblackness and racism in fandom dismissed because I’m black in the US and there’s apparently no “skin-tone based racism” anywhere else but here.

I get a lot of shit and it’s still not even a third of what some of my friends in the same position do despite having anon on because I believe in the preemptive block and embarrassing the hell out of racists that message me or reblog my posts.

It’s tiring, but I refuse to stop.Read More »

Urban Fantasy 101 – Allegory Overuse (ft. Laurell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake series and JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series)

Content warnings: this installment of Urban Fantasy 101 contains very brief mentions historical acts of oppression (largely in vague terms), sexual assault and pedophilia in Laurel K Hamilton’s Anita Blake series, as well as more indepth references to anti-Black and anti-Native racism in the same series.


Allegory Overuse

There’s nothing wrong with a good allegory.

At all.

Unfortunately, there’s this thing that happens where writers use an allegory that mimics or calls back to real world oppression that constantly rubs me the wrong way

Keep in mind that I actually don’t mind the use of allegories in fiction. In fact, I think they can be useful. Some of my favorite works of speculative fiction focus on supernatural figures dealing with oppression due to what they are, after all.

However, many writers who use allegories then kind of overuse them at the expense of portraying nuanced representations of actual or “real world” oppression.

Whatever your reasoning, chances are that if you’re a paranormal romance, urban (or general) fantasy, or science fiction author, you’ve used an allegory that mimics or calls back to an instance of real world oppression.

However, there’s definitely a lot to be said about the very many authors who think that that supernatural form of race-based oppression is the only thing they have to do. They don’t think deeper.Read More »

Things About Fandom That Stand Out to Me

Originally written in April 2015 for the blog Womanist Glasses, I felt that a repost was timely and necessary as I prepare to talk about fandom and blackness in a couple of posts I’m set to post.

I still believe that everything in this post is a sad part of what it means to be in fandom when you’re a WOC, especially if you’re a Black woman and outspoken on top of that. My fandom experience hasn’t been easy and in some ways, it’s been very upsetting to know that a safe space for some isn’t necessarily a safe space for me.


As an outspoken Black woman in fandom who has had truly terrible experiences in what is supposed to be a safe space for me, I’ve noticed a few things about fandom and how it treats WOC as a whole. I’m coming from the DC, Marvel, and Teen Wolf fandoms so while I try to keep things vague, I’m not always good at that.Read More »