This is part one of a hybrid essay-rant series focusing on fandom (the collective community) and its intense race/racism problems. If you’re new to my blog and to this project, start here with the introduction post. Make sure to click the links and read the content because they’ll add further nuance to the essay here.
In addition to talking about race and racism, this post also mentions incest (with regard to how fandom interprets familial relationships to suit their shipping needs).
One thing that becomes overwhelmingly clear when it comes to the treatment of characters of color is the lengths that fandom is willing to go to in order to get them out of the way of their favorite white character ships. There are so many techniques that we could tackle, many of them framed subtly enough that it’s difficult to combat them, but for the purposes of this post we’re going to look at five of the most popular:
- Willful misinterpretation of relationships
- Theorizing that a character of color is really evil (and therefore shouldn’t be shipped/the relationship should be placed under suspicion)
- Deciding that a character of color in a POC/White Fandom Darling ship is actually asexual and/or a “strong [race/ethnicity] man/woman/non-binary person that don’t need no significant other”
- POC reduced to an agony aunt character to get white characters together