I don’t think folks get how little I want to have (largely white) people telling me that they totally get what I’m saying about racism and the Ao3 and fandom only to turn around and like…

Splain the platform to me and continue to argue that the best (only) solution is hiding content from “people who might be offended by it” because removing offensive (in this context, racist) infringes on some right to write that literally ignores the fact that maybe it’s not that people of color find racism ~offensive~

but that fandom is actively harmful and that Ao3 is full of content that is racist as fuck and none of y’all have any idea how to handle that beyond “don’t like, don’t read 2.0” or telling folks to make their own archive

Like I’ve been checking the notes that have cropped up on my one post since NK Jemisin reblogged it (bless her, she is amazing) and I’ve got a bunch of white folks kind of completely missing the point of what I’m saying

(that in my experience as a black person in fandom, telling people to make their own x – archive or otherwise – doesn’t end well because white people literally won’t let us have things that are our own even in fandom)

in order to deliver commentary that’s still pretty darn close to “you can hide the content you find offensive, but the ao3 isn’t going to do anything about it”

And remember folks, my post is about racism towards and alludes to racist fanworks about black people

Which folks are essentially defending as free speech right on their reblogs as they rush to splain how the archive works/why it works the way it does.

If that’s all these folks have got to offer as their two cents, let me get them some refunds because I don’t want or need it.

hi, if you don’t mid me asking, what is going on with ao3? if you don’t feel like getting into that’s fine. have a nice day

Many people have been talking about how the AO3 is basically kind of terrible because of the hands-off approach to archiving and how anything is game on that site.

Many folks having these conversations are focused on criticizing the way that erotic/sexual stories involving underaged characters – either underage in canon and the story or adult in the canon and de-aged for the story (and generally written by adults, let’s be real here) – are super present in the space and how that’s just… not cool to them and probably shouldn’t be a thing we allow in fandom willy nilly.

(Several different people have created posts asking for people to report the site to the FBI because of the prevalence of this content and that’s one of the things other people are bringing up when they go to other people about AO3/fandom being censored/no longer free. I don’t think that’s going to work the way they think it will, but I’m not an expert on reporting websites to the FBI or anything.)

And a lot of people are like shouting censorship, worrying about a nonexistent slippery slope where “women and queer people will have to deal with losing their freedom”/all nsfw content will be shut down and literally saying stuff like “well this may be offensive and it makes me physically sick but i will fight for their right to write it” like I’ve seen at least two authors with a huge fandom presence outside of their own work actually share defenses or or write their own commentary on this content.

And like… my things are:

First: Why are y’all so focused on protecting people’s problematic desires in fandom instead of listening to people who are frustrated or upset by something being regular in fandom? 

Next: Why are people acting like underage characters getting boned in fic is like a necessary thing to keep fandom functioning? 

(I’m not talking about aging characters up to adulthood or teens writing teenage characters because I think that’s part and parcel of aging in fandom as a creator/consumer, like half the stuff tagged with “Underage” is like… A Lot. And yet folks aren’t allowed to get upset by how prevalent it is and how so much of the stuff tagged with “Underage” on AO3, especially once you set the rating to mature or explicit, is um…obviously for erotic purposes?)

Then there’s that whole “it makes me sick but its their right to create it” nonsense. 

If something makes you sick because it’s so offensive and hurtful to you, why are you defending its right to exist in spaces you also exist in? Like there was this Jewish person the other day who actually said to me that:

I’m Jewish, and seeing antisemitic stuff and the word Nazi make me sick to my stomach. But I still think an alt-right extremist has the right to express themselves, even if that means writing horrible stereotypical stuff on Ao3.


(And PLEASE don’t engage with this person. I saw that part of their response and like my soul left my body. I stopped engaging at that. So please, just observe without interacting with them.)

But like… you realize that something is horrifically awful and actively harmful TO YOU and your first instinct is “well they get to say that”?? No they actually don’t and this “well i’m going to defend their right to write awful shit” is how we wound up with all those dapper fucking nazi posts last year. 

Oh but I forgot, fandom, reality, and fiction have NOTHING IN COMMON APPARENTLY.

And like, I want to follow this up with like folks are out here like screaming about censorship and rushing to protect the AO3 from those nasty SJWs trying to shut it down and the people going “straight up gut the AO3″ in these convos are the minimum compared to the people going “we would like to know why fandom is like this and we’d also like it to stop being like this”. But even if they weren’t? 

Why is it that some women, some queer people, and some trauma survivors are the only people whose desires and trauma matter in these conversations and only when they’re saying that they don’t mind/care?

Also, NONE OF THESE PEOPLE ARE THINKING/TALKING ABOUT RACE AND RACISM IN FANDOM (or any form of bigotry that you can find, unexplored and potentially eroticized in fandom spaces and fan works) but like… Franzeska’s whole racist ass was two years ago and fandom has gotten increasingly racist and hostile towards fans of color that don’t support the happy go lucky, “don’t like don’t read” mentality many folks have fostered.

Lastly, look, I use the AO3 as a reader and have used it as a writer. I’ve written some of the very content that people are really not okay with. I have written fucked up crap to cope and I’ve written fucked up crap because it got someone off. 

However, at the end of the day, as much as I hate being told what to do or how to do something because I am a TODDLER, I recognize that even if I’m not sure how I feel about ALL of the conversations happening or how they’re happening, the ONLY people I’m seeing being actually silenced or censored (but like… not because none of this is how censorship works) right now for this specific set of conversations about the AO3 are the ones trying to talk about how fandom is an unsafe space for them and the AO3 isn’t a great place for young fans considering some of the content.

Why does some people’s desire trump like… everyone else’s thoughts about fandom? Why aren’t people interested in talking about the ways desire can be harmful in and out of fandom?

Why aren’t we listening to other people?

I’ve largely been approaching the various “don’t censor fandom/the ao3″ conversations through a lens of race because many of the people arguing in favor of what’s essentially a free-for-all because desire is like sacred also don’t get that some of the stuff fandom desires leads to the erasure, objectification, or dehumanization of characters and fans of color

and i just saw this long ass “if you don’t like the ao3, make your own it’s open source” post and it reminded me of the fact that well… what happens when fans of color make our own?

We get accused of alienating white fans, reverse racism, and of causing drama.

Black people focusing on Black self-inserts/reader inserts for Black Panther? Black writers were literally accused of being racist to white readers for not having white OCs hook up with the Black characters in Wakanda. Nevermind that the majority of self-insert stories focus on white women and writers generally don’t make an attempt at inclusive writing/representation. When Black women wrote themselves into Wakanda and emphatically told white women “this is not for you”, they were accused of reverse racism.

How about whenever fans of color do events focusing on characters or creators of color? We’re always told that we’re cutting white women out and minimizing their access and blah blah blah. 

Consistently, if you see fans and creators of color say “this thing is for us, white people step off and return to your thing which is very white and super alienating” we get accused of alienating them as if we don’t have a very white history of fandom erasing us and diminishing us at every turn.

If a bunch of BNFs of color decided to put their heads together and make an archive of our own centered on characters of color being treated respectfully by creators of color, you know what the immediate fandom response will be right?

“You’re trying to steal the AO3′s shine/thunder/idea” despite being told to create our own.

“This is just going to be boring because you SJWs/antis don’t like anything interesting” 

“Why can’t I submit stories here? This is racist against white people”

And on and on and on.

And we know this because this is what always happens when people of color are told to make our own content/sites/safe spaces: white people refuse to let it go and even get mad at us for doing it.

(And, I’m going to say straight up that while many discussions about different kinds of marginalized people aren’t interchangeable or don’t apply well across marginalizations, this one I think is/can because in these conversations we’re seeing different people with different backstories being told that “if you don’t like the way x is, make your own” and like… I think that’s messed up) 

Like if your solution to “hey i think the AO3 needs to do better about the fact that there’s some serious fucked up shit on that unmonitored website touting itself as an Archive and no one seems to care that the AO3 isn’t always coming across as accessible or safe for many members of fandom” is a snotty “make your own”, you can go jump in a lake because that is just dismissive as hell and definitely doesn’t take the reality of what happens when we do create our own spaces… 


Fandom spends so much time making sure that we understand that not only is Kylo the real victim of The Last Jedi (typically because of LUKE, not SNOKE in the wake of The Last Jedi) and a survivor of childhood abuse at that, that they kind of just… make shit up in the process in order to make sure that Kylo is seen as a sympathetic character. Even though… he’s not really.

Let’s be very real here: This sort of steaming hot take is only possible because he’s a “handsome” white male villain and fandom loves a white male villain they can redeem and claim isn’t responsible for his own actions.

When White Villains Get Woobiefied: Kylo Ren Is Just A Monster In A Mask

Fandom spends so much time making sure that we understand that not only is Kylo the real victim of The Last Jedi (typically because of LUKE, not SNOKE in the wake of The Last Jedi) and a survivor of childhood abuse at that, that they kind of just… make shit up in the process in order to make sure that Kylo is seen as a sympathetic character. Even though… he’s not really.

Let’s be very real here: This sort of steaming hot take is only possible because he’s a “handsome” white male villain and fandom loves a white male villain they can redeem and claim isn’t responsible for his own actions.

When White Villains Get Woobiefied: Kylo Ren Is Just A Monster In A Mask

Whenever someone self identifies as a fandom elder to someone else (which I keep seeing when they need to condescend about fandom to someone younger and browner that’s talking critically about fandom…) I always picture like an ornery old wizard who lives life on the outskirts but still has loud but wrong opinion about the world that’s since moved on without them

(Also, there’s a difference between the older folks who go “oh sweaty, you don’t know how good you have it now so stop complaining about fandom” and the ones who are like “I first watched star trek/star wars back when they aired, wow I’ve been in fandom for decades”.

I think it’s absolutely valid and amazing to see people talk about growing up and aging in fandom and fandom as an overarching thing IS a space for all of us weirdos to come together. Like there should be room at the table for all of us.

Using your age to shut down criticism or commentary about the ways fandom stresses or fails young people currently in fandom – especially younger queer adults/teens and people of color dissatisfied with aspects of their fandom experience – is like… So not a good look.)


“anti-anti” or in laymen’s terms someone against feminist criticism : fiction isn’t reality 
bell hooks : “It’s scary to me now, because, particularly in issues around erotica and sexual violence, people want to deny the direct link between representations and how we live our lives. I think that it’s possible to embrace the knowledge that there’s a direct link between representations and choices we make in our lives that does not make that link absolute, that does not say, “oh, if I look at a movie in which a woman is fucked to death,” than I will go out and think I should let myself be fucked to death by any man who wants to fuck me. I think that’s an absurd sense of a direct link, but that is not to say, that if I watched enough of those images I might not come away thinking that certain forms of unacceptable male violence in coercion in relationship to my female body are acceptable. It’s frightening to me now when people want to behave as though certain images don’t mean anything.”