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…