Back in the day, I used to write Sleepy Hollow fan fiction.
Here’s what I have left over from way back when:
Declaring the problem a ship war wasn’t so much revisionist history as wishful thinking: fans like to consider fannish space utopian, and racism doesn’t belong in utopia— therefore the problem wasn’t racism, it was ships. This line of thinking was white privilege at its finest (or lowest), with POC fandom as its casualties.
From “Not So Star-Spangled Examining Race, Privilege and Problems in MCU’s Captain America Fandom” by Cait Coker and Rukmini Pande in The Darker Side of Slash Fan Fiction
Time and time again in fandom, it’s been proven that the easiest way to stop people from taking the critical thoughts of fans of color seriously when we talk about racism in fandom spaces is to reframe it all as “just” a ship war.
If criticism of racism can be dismissed as “just” jealous shippers lashing out at a supposedly better positioned or more liked ship, then no one has to wrestle with what we’re actually talking about:
That time and time again in fandom’s shippy spaces, fandom actively chooses whiteness. Fandom constantly chooses white characters, whitewashed characters of color, white experiences, and white fans over people of color – real and fictional.
If you reframe it as “just” a ship war where petty babies are out to police fandom because their ship isn’t doing so hot in the charts –
Who’s going to listen to us?
Why would anyone listen to us?Read More »
Originally published on my Tumblr September 17, 2013. Seriously, it’s been five years of me talking about misogynoir in fandom and with shipping and things have gotten way worse instead of better. (Also, lightly edited for clarity.)
Dear Budding Sleepy Hollow Fandom,
Don’t do the thing.
Don’t do the thing where you go in deep to act like shipping a woman of color in a hetero relationship (with a white dude) is somehow helping the patriarchy.
Don’t do the thing where you constantly bring up how “it’s a preference” when the only people you don’t ship with the lead are the women of color holding court and kicking ass right with him.
Don’t be like the Skyfall fandom that put maybe 5 minutes of interaction between Q and Bond over everything with Moneypenny. (Ignoring how their relationship actually works and their attraction to each other…)
Don’t be like those people that say that Spock/Kirk is more progressive than Spock/Uhura will ever be. (Because it’s not like when the original series was on air, when we had so little in the way of canon interracial anything on screen to serve as representation).
Don’t act as though wanting to be excited about a dark-skinned black woman as a lead and also wanting to ship her with her co-star is playing into the patriarchy.Read More »
Back when Sleepy Hollow first started, it was basically everything I wanted in an TV show. This was a few months after I’d officially given up on Supernatural as a show so not only did I need a new Urban Fantasy series, I needed one that wasn’t so white from the get go.
And Sleepy Hollow delivered.
At first.Read More »