Fandom Social Justice

Fandom Thoughts #493183

October 23, 2014
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I just have a lot of fandom thoughts and how it relates to heteronormativity, homophobia, and queerbaiting.

I think we can all agree that a big part of what makes the collective “Superwholock” fandom (including its separate parts) problematic is the fact that many members are doing the classic straight-girls-fetishizing-gay-men thing. And that doesn’t even touch the source material, which is problematic in itself with how they deal with race, gender and sexuality especially.

So I think it’s healthy, honest and necessary to be thoughtful and honest in critiquing how fandom plays out.

BUT LET’S GET THIS STRAIGHT, Y’ALL:

  • The reason why romance headcanons are disproportionately queer is because heteronormativity means that queer characters are underrepresented in the first place.
  • The reason why race headcanons have to make more characters into POC is because there is too much whitewashing by both writers and fans.
  • The reason why gender headcanons have to include swapping genders—including making characters trans*—is because most original works are overwhelmingly cis and male.
  • The reason why fandom is disproportionately female AND the reason why fanworks disproportionately focus on sex is because in the Western societies the exploration of sexuality by anybody but cis men is taboo, regulated, and disregarded as unnecessary. 
  • Dude, and this doesn’t even touch the underrepresentation of characters with disabilities, the problematic way mental illness is written, and way more things that I am under-qualified to talk about.

Fandom is a phenomenon that happened because of a need for a safe space. Until the source material can also represent reality, we kind of have to do it in our own heads and with each other. But that also means that we have to work to make sure that we don’t fuck up the safe spaces for each other.

And as a final thought, on queerbaiting: it’s fucking frustrating that the exact same tropes can be used for sets of characters but (almost always) only the heterosexual couples become canon.

I’m biased obviously but I don’t see the difference between this:

And this:

In conclusion:

 

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1 Comment

  • Reply Yanthie May 23, 2015 at 3:03 am

    I just want to say that you will be missed. This was one of the few fanodm related blogs that I still read. The same thing that is happening to you is happening in the fanfiction writing community where UoEM and some other stories were taken down. There is just so much hate and grown women acting like complete idiots. I’m sure you did nothing wrong. A fanodm is supposed to be something that is fun to help you get through real life. When that thing that was once fun becomes nothing but stress, we want to bail. I wish you would stay, but I understand your reasons for leaving.I do want to say that pettiness, bitterness, hate, and bullying may win for a day, but it always loses in the end. I wouldn’t want to be these people when all this hate comes back on them.I love Rob, but there is a group of his “fans” who think they own him. They do a disservice to him. I hope that their hate and bitterness does not tarnish his future career. I am sure that if he read some of the things they write or say, he would be ashamed and angry. Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated. -Coretta Scott King

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