Finn – Looks Like A Cinnamon Roll…

In “Cinnamon Rolls, Sinnamon Rolls, and Capable Killers: How to Categorize Your Favthe author gives the following description for the “True Cinnamon Roll” (which falls under the “Looks like a Cinnamon Roll, Is Actually a Cinnamon Roll” part of the meme):

A true cinnamon roll really is as innocent and well-meaning as they appear. They can be completely naïve or somewhat sly, or may have the most common sense of the group, but most importantly they are more of a nurturer and healer than a fighter.

Throughout much of the Star Wars fandom in the wake of Star Wars: The Force Awakens male lead Finn (played by John Boyega) has been assigned the marker of the “True Cinnamon Roll”. Here’s the thing, I get where it comes from and as with Bodhi, I think that it comes from a well-meaning place but doesn’t bother to reckon with intersectionality or the reality of how Finn is treated by a significant portion of fandom both on and off of Tumblr.

Despite being the male lead of the film, Finn is not the most popular new male character in the fandom. He’s not the most respected. He’s not even the most written about. Right now on the AO3, Finn is the sixth most popular character represented in the fandom with 7150 appearances so far.

(Minor antagonist Armitage Hux (who only had about 3 minutes of screentime in The Force Awakens) has over 3000 more tagged appearances than that.  I’m never going to stop having a problem with that.)

Let’s look at that definition of the true cinnamon roll again.

At first glance, Finn being equated with a trope predicated on innocence seems pretty great because we live in a world where Black people are assumed guilty even in situations where they are the clear victims of violence. However, fandom doesn’t exist in a vacuum and what appears to come in good faith frequently… doesn’t.

Just because some people honestly view Finn as a cinnamon roll character while not forgetting his character from the film and related supplemental materials, that doesn’t mean the entire fandom does.

In viewing Finn as “a true cinnamon roll”, fandom ignores his actual characterization. Most frustrating, is that many members of fandom ignore that he is a complex character who is literally trying to find his place in the world. It’s a way to look like they care about Finn as an archetype (who is so pure, so perfect, and so put together, that the fandom simply must fall for “bad boy” characters like Hux or Kylo) without needing to care about Finn as a character.Read More »

Stitch on Fansplaining’s Two-Part Episode About Race and Fandom!

Earlier this week I got a chance to participate in an episode of fandom podcast Fansplaining that was all about race/racism in fandom and giving people of color a chance to speak about what they’d witnessed and experienced. It was amazing!

First, the cool content:

Fansplaining Episode 22A

In “Race and Fandom Part 1,” Flourish and Elizabeth follow up on the last episode’s questions about the impact of racism in the Star Wars fandom—and how it’s a microcosm of fandom at large. They interview Rukmini Pande and Clio, and they hear clips from Holly Quinn, Shadowkeeper, and PJ Punla. Topics covered include the historical presence of fans of color, space nazis, femslash and its discontents, and the Filipino perspective on the whiteness of media.

(Show notes!)

Fansplaining Episode 22B

In the second and final installment of our “Race and Fandom” episodes, fans of color continue to speak about their experiences in fandom. Elizabeth and Flourish interview Jeffrey Lyles and Zina (@stitchmediamix), then hear clips from Roz (@rozf), Traci-Anne, and zvi LikesTV (@zvilikestv). Topics covered include being Black and Jewish, Star Wars weddings, cosplaying characters of color, and why kink is never divorced from the real world.

(Show notes)

Under the cut is a bit of backstory (copied largely from some DMs I sent earlier in the week) about what sparked this anger at fandom (for me and several of the contributors this episode):Read More »