That “if you start censoring x in fandom, all of these other non/less problematic or awful things will also be censored” argument around the Ao3 conversations I’ve been seeing is like… totally terrible because:
My 2¢: I don’t think anything should ever be censored because of nsfw content or strange/“horrifying” kinks. Some people write to cope with trauma. We don’t know what an author might be going through— and frankly it’s none of our business. But even if they’re not dealing with abuse or the like, fiction is a healthy outlet for expressing desires that aren’t otherwise acceptable. There’s research that shows the availability of porn decreases the frequency of sexual assaults (I don’t have a citation offhand, unfortunately). Provided content is tagged appropriately, I am strongly against censoring anything just because someone finds it depraved.
On the other hand… racism, bigotry, antisemitism, etc. is a whole ‘nother can of worms. Past a certain point I don’t think hate speech should be protected. I don’t have a definitive answer for where that line should go. Personally, I think public speech like rallies should be more restricted than it is in the US, but as for writing on Ao3… I’m ambivalent. I don’t think it’s okay to, say, use the Archive as a free hosting platform for a horribly racist manifesto that includes a link to a neo-nazi recruitment website, or something. But if someone just wants to write bigoted fiction that perpetuates harmful stereotypes? I mean… that’s terrible, and I wish there was a way to make people like that experience the harm they’re causing firsthand. But I do actually think they have a right to post their vile, abhorrent stories. And I don’t think Ao3 should be in the business of policing their content for “acceptable” material, outside of banning works that directly advocate violence or otherwise constitute harassment.
I realize that as a cis white woman I’m speaking from a place of privilege. I don’t claim to speak for marginalized groups that I’m not a part of; there are probably perspectives here that I haven’t considered. Make of that what you will, I suppose.
I’m not even going to get into the fact that you’re essentially lecturing me and missing the point of the post I actually wrote but like… you sat there and wrote the following words to a Black person in fandom with no sign of awareness that you were in the wrong.
I don’t think it’s okay to, say, use the Archive as a free hosting platform for a horribly racist manifesto that includes a link to a neo-nazi recruitment website, or something.
But if someone just wants to write bigoted fiction that perpetuates harmful stereotypes? I mean… that’s terrible, and I wish there was a way to make people like that experience the harm they’re causing firsthand. But I do actually think they have a right to post their vile, abhorrent stories.”
That is seriously messed up that you sat there and wrote these words without thinking about the fact that people of color exist in fandom and that our right to exist in fandom without being subject to racism trumps other fans’ “right” to write and post racist ass fanworks.
They may not be as big a deal as rallies and shit TO YOU because you’re a white woman and all, but it’s still actually and actively harmful to people of color in fandom and our right not to deal with racism in fandom trumps racists’ “rights” to write racist shit.
Geez and cheese, I know I should tackle everything else you’ve said in your response to me but like I can’t get over the fact that you (hopefully) read all of what I wrote and probably saw my Black ass face in my sidebar/icon and still decided to pull a Britta-from-Community on me with regard to racism in fandom.