Fleeting Frustrations #12 – Fandom Coverage Fails

I’m no stranger to having deeply critical views on a fandom in a moment when said fandom is publicly Going Through It on Main.

After all, I made a point of poking hard at Rey/Kylo fandom’s embarrassing public death throes and how it poured tons of hatred in John Boyega as a result of not getting catered to with a happy ending for their Pasty Prince Charming.

However, there’s a difference between me roasting a racist fandom that continues to dismiss and harass Black people they think are “opposite” to its goals on my small website… and someone randomly using their platform on a massive site like The Mary Sue to launch a dismissive and condescending attack at a fandom trying to make sense of a Bad Ending.

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What Fandom Racism Looks Like: Migratory Slash Fandom’s Focus

Note: The section on RPF and whtiewashing deals pretty plainly with real person fan fiction – where a real celebrity is treated like a character in fan works – but from the POV of “stop whitewashing them” rather than a judgement call on the fandom itself. I’d suggest skipping this section, scrolling down to the solutions section of the piece, and waiting a little bit for me to finish writing my actual RPF-focused installment of What Fandom Racism Looks Like later this year because it’s been in the works for a while and will tackle K-Pop RPF, Hockey fandom, and the One Direction fandom’s endless racism towards Zayn. 

The Fanlore page for Migratory fandom describes it as, “the most recent term used to describe the idea that slash fans are always on the lookout for the next shiny, new juggernaut pairing”.

First seen in fandom discussions across Fail_Fandomanon – one of many multi-fandom anonymous memes – the term is a reference to this idea that slash fans are constantly moving to the next fandom that’ll provide them their dose of slashy goodness. 

On the surface, there’s nothing even remotely wrong with moving to another fandom because the one you’re in is running dry on content. Honestly, I’m right there with folks because when a fandom I’m in is dried up entirely or the fan content it’s creating has been done to death before… I always feel like jumping ship at least for a little while.

So I get the motivation.

But this is “What Fandom Racism Looks Like” and you know that means that there is something I find frustrating about migratory slash fandom that falls under this series….

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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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