I have been busy and tired about it, but I have gotten a bunch out so far for September over at Teen Vogue. All of it, so far, has been centered around Rings of Power. I’m also about to talk about the series on my newsletter – which I’m a little behind on as well because life keeps happening – so stay tuned for that and also my She-Hulk hate (because wow I do not like that show).
Note: This piece references anti indigenous racism including the use of “savage” as a slur.
Spite-creation is normal in fandom. When people say “but you can’t ship that”, fans will ship the thing harder. When people see folks say that omegaverse is “gross”, they rush to double down with the slicky sticky content. I have written spite content, leaning in to things I like because someone said they hated it or that it was gross. I understand the urge to create to “own” someone.
But what happens when that urge to create content out of spite further infects fandom with bigotry?
Someone who writes or draws a racist fanwork because they’re mad a person of color – or even over-eager white allies – has spoken about racism in fandom… is a racist. I refuse to continue pulling punches and protecting these people by blurring the awfulness of their behavior.
If fans of color say “hey, making this Black character a big-dicked top with no interiority calls back to stereotypes about desire and threats inspired by Black male sexuality” and someone writes a massive story in the fandom doubling down… that creator is racist. They are doing this to hurt fans of color and to tell other racist and/or white fans “hey, do what you want because I’ve got your back”.
TL:DR – at least one person (twitter user @/GoodyBarwicke) maliciously edited my Fanlore page in August 2021 – I didn’t go to check because no one ever updated it, but once I saw it yesterday, I got extremely upset. That user used Fail Fandom Anon users and people who have been harassing me for years over their love of racism in fandom as “sources” to essentially fill my Fanlore page with a trumped up “Controversies” section that has no basis in truth, lies fully about my behavior, and doesn’t even engage with stuff I have actually addressed even before the “racists in fandom have been harassing me for years and escalated starting in 2019” shit.
So far I haven’t heard back from anyone associated with Fanlore but the article is in edits of some sort but I can’t check because I am violently ill every time I think about this and I just managed to eat for the first time since last night. As far as I know, the user who put the changes in originally is still doing their best to argue that their biased inclusion of hateful anons and reylo shippers who’ve spent years harassing me is relevant – more so than my work, interviews I’ve done, my whole thing about vore, omegaverse, and namjoon – separately of course.
Edited 9:00PM – The Fanlore Admin Team just got back to me. They’ve found that the piece contravened their “Plural Point of View” policy and are reviewing and researching to ensure the page will be balanced. I’m hopeful that they look to people actually talking about what I do, people who like my work or learn from it – even if we don’t see eye to eye 100% (we don’t even need to), and that balance should extend to more than just who I piss off by doing my own shit.
Almost every “reference” link on my @Fanlore_wiki page is a Fail Fandom Anon link and the entire “Controversy” section is misrepresenting what I do/what I write without any recognition of the multi-year harassment campaign I’ve been dealing with (fanlore.org/wiki/Stitch)
Like none of this is true? Not only have I specifically said what could be done at the bottom of this post from SEPTEMBER (stitchmediamix.com/2021/09/08/whe…) but that “stitch advocates for harassment” tweet isn’t even doing what they say and is taken out of its context?
These are my opening statements from earlier today on the FSN plenary. If you didn’t get a chance to see the plenary or you weren’t at FSN at all, here’s my opening comments. Please feel free to ask for clarifications and whatnot. Thanks.
My work primarily covers racism and race in fandom. It actively confronts whiteness and antiblackness – which, increasingly, becomes a multi-fandom bonding activity open to other people of color including Black fans.
Different from many fan studies scholars out and about, I’ve always been actively entangled with fandom on the ground, closer in real time to a reporter thanks to the speed with which I cover fandom practices or dustups. I screencap as second nature, download videos that I sense will be gone by the end of the day, and constantly archive webpages because of the way that modern day online fandom speeds on by.
What I wrote: Black characters get a specific kind of racist fanwork where it’s clear that the author is using fandom and their fanworks to abuse and torture them into place. Those are clearly racist fanworks and exist to harm. This should be something we can do something about.
What someone conveniently ignoring what I’m literally and CLEARLY saying got out of it: Stitch wants all stories with violence against Black characters taken down because she is an ANTI
Original thread here for those of y’all following me on the locked main & lightly edited for clarity and to input some explanation at the end.
I would genuinely like nonblack people in fandom to think about how antiblack fans devote months and even years of their time to hating Black characters… Usually over shipping in canon or fandom and how that NEVER counts as “anti shipping” while Black fans’ pushback always does.
There’s an interesting twitter thread called “The Fascist Infiltration of Subculture” and it’s something I find very interesting because of how people who can reference the infiltration of other fandoms or online communities… stall out when it comes to realizing what is active and present in their fandom spaces.
And believe me, there are a lot of fascists and bigots in fandom spaces outside of things like G@merGate or Comicsg@te or even the Brony and furry fandoms. Transformative fandom spaces are actually a space with its own issues that allow bigots to plant their seeds and grow fruit.
Think about it: fandom is a place where anything goes as long as it is clearly fiction or in defense of fiction. People are encouraged in this post-Voltron Legendary Defenders world to push back hard against anything they see as censorship in fandom or of media that fandom likes… and that has, increasingly, come to include anti-racism in fandom.
I love a tol and a smol and if you’re in fandom… chances are that you do too.
There’s something supremely thrilling about size differences in a pairing. I know people who’ve gotten into their ship of choice specifically because of the huge height difference between the pairings. Hell, I got into Devilish Joyspecifically because the lead pairing has almost a foot difference in height between them when she’s not in heels. Even before you get into macro/micro content, a lot of fandoms and different internet subcultures are pretty positive towards size differences and body differences.
Now, what does that have to do with fandom racism?
It’s a recurring theme that I am somehow silencing other BIPOC fans by… having and using my own website, twitter account, and the rare external platforms I’ve been offered across the past six years.
I am silencing others, you see, by having work out in public that people read and share because it is accurate and speaks to experiences that they have had or witnessed in their fandoms. I am silencing BIPOC in fandom, you see, just by existing and talking about what I experience and witness in fandom in a relatable way.
Let’s talk about racism in The Archive – again. Not just the AO3 but the idea that archives are judgment free and therefore bias free and everything SHOULD go and be hosted/archived… Including objectively harmful and RACIST content.
Recently, @dhifantasy posted about how the latest AO3 update was about image embeds… When everyone else is at least once again pretending to care about moderation and racism in User Generated Content and their TOS.
For the purposes of this thread/post: fandom = generative/transformative fanwork creating spaces including the hybrid music fandom spaces of idol fandom AND to a lesser extent gaming/cosplay fandoms which are seen as Outside Communities
CAN WE TALK ABOUT RACISM IN FANDOM AFTER A COUP ATTEMPT IN THE US?
Because while the people involved WERE racist, connecting their online radicalization with the radicalization possible in fandom spaces is WRONG and trivializes real issues. After all, it’s not like there are real racists in fandom who seem to enjoy harming POC in fandom… They’re not looking to recruit or anything… Right?
If you’re on social media, I’m sure you’ve seen people show their support of Black Lives Matter as a movement while making it clear that they don’t give a damn about Black people in “their” spaces.
The folks in fandom with #BLM in their bios or in their display names who tweet snide and shitty things about Black people in their fandoms. The folks who use their – or their celebrity or political favorite’s – donation to charity to say that they care more about Black people than… Black people do. Fans, businesses, and celebrities known for literally making Black people stress out from how they talk about us all were performing anti-racism and professing to be ready to unlearn antiblackness.
Even SM Entertainment got into the swing of things when they released a statement in June about how they were “new to the conversation” (despite hiring Black people to dance, write, record demos, etc for them for decades).
You’re not going to convince me that any white person who is super hostile at the mere idea that fandom is racist by default and design (especially the folks who just love to tone police fans of color and call us mean/bullies for being done with racism in fandom) is an ally or that they will be any actual help in the horrifying future we’re heading towards.
No one who frames fans of color talking about racism in fandom as bullies, ideological purists, haters, cops, antis, etc actually cares about people of color (outside of their sometimes treasured tokens).
People who think that harassing people because they talk about racism in fandom will NOT be using their privilege or visibility to fight racism online or offline.