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.
I’ve been thinking about the AO3 controversy a lot, and how pointing out racism is so often categorized as “purity wank.”
AO3 prides itself on its transparency, its warning labels making it so, in theory, no one will be caught off guard reading something triggering.
If there is no intention to cut racist fanwork on AO3, there should be a “racism” content warning, and it should be something readers can flag, not just something the author chooses (because then it would only be used in fics where racial slurs are used and nothing else).
I know the chances of AO3 allowing (especially) Black people to tag fics as racist to inform other fans is below zero. AO3 will never prohibit racist fanfic, and it will never warn readers of racist content – unlike things like sexual assault, which they strongly encourage authors to warn readers of so “everyone” can have a safe experience.
I am 100% in favor of this idea (a racism content warning, and other bigotries while we’re at it).
I was confused, because most of the fics I’ve seen with racist content are tagged, but realized those are tagged as the character or era having racist viewpoints. And from what I’ve seen, people do a good job of warning for period/fandom or character racism.
Then I realized “the writer is and of themselves racist, and posting racist content,” might be meant. Is that the case? (Because it seems like that would fall under abuse.)
Few of the racist stories I’ve seen in the archive were tagged because the author didn’t see anything racist about what they’d written.
And purposefully writing racist crap should fall under abuse but here’s the thing about that:
If the author doesn’t think what they’ve written is racist or the abuse team doesn’t think it’s racist, who’s going to take it down? Why would they?
There are truly racist stories on ao3 that will never be taken down because people with power to do anything in the archive won’t/don’t seem them as racist.
Much of the racist content on ao3 doesn’t ping as such to the author or abuse team. These include stories where characters of color are portrayed via racist stereotypes, sexual objectification, subject to racialized misogyny (look at how many black female characters in fandom are treated when fandom deigns to write them).
It’s not as obvious has hate speech inserted directly into the narrative and that’s another thing fandom is way behind about learning to recognize. Especially because it’d change the way they had to look at fanworks.
replied to your post “I’ve largely been approaching the various “don’t censor fandom/the…”
Personally, I Thing an AO3 for PoC is a helluva great idea! I honk we should do it because ain’t nobody gonna take care of us but us, and we need to quite asking White people to be decent, (they’re never gonna be anything but burning racist trash,) and we need to quit begging to join in their shit! If they cry about us making our own, my attitude is “fuck ‘em!”
I mean, this is all true.
I’m just like… weirdly stuck on how messed up it is that instead of going “wow, this whole group of people in fandom feels uncomfortable by this thing/things fandom does so we should rethink doing the thing” folks are like “well sweatie, just make your own since you’re so bothered”
And I need to get unstuck fast, i guess.
The 14yo was fine and was like “I cried exactly three tears” and I forgot that the 12yo is a soft and tender dumpling who feels things like I did when I was her age so…
Not only did I ruin her day with TLJ, I shattered her faith in Marvel with Infinity War. All within the past like five hours.
I have failed at aunting.
I know! I saw! I’m MAD.
The MCU is currently dead to me for putting out a year of really decent films with diverse and lovely characters like [SPOILER] and then following them up with the grimdark nonsense that is… That Movie.
replied to your link “Five Things I Want From Amazon’s Eventual Lord of the Rings Series”
I can’t think of a series that I want less of, but if they insist on foisting this on us, can they at least not make it so white???
That’s my first point!
(Also technically my second because diversity behind the camera counts too!)
replied to your post “It’s interesting how “caring too much” or being a good guy is like… a…”
But there are legitimately fans who dislike Cap and Superman because they’re “goodie two-shoes” or “so nice it’s boring” ??
A) When people say that, they’re seen as wrong. It’s not typical or normal for folks to dislike those characters based on their heroic attributes. It is when the characters in question are brown, hence my post.
B) I’m going to be honest, this is a super unhelpful response because I’m making a point about fandom racism and you slide in with a “well actually” that doesn’t help or change anything. Please reconsider this sort of response in the future.
I’ve been seeing a lot of people ask that we don’t make Black Panther about race and like… That’s such a weird statement considering that so much of the character and his country could only exist because a bunch of comic writers decided to make a Black superhero whose home country in Africa and race are super important to his character (and as always, show me a white superhero whose identity actually hinges on their whiteness and I’ll show you a white supremacist…)
How would you even keep from making Black Panther about race, anyway?
Would you refrain from talking about how it took Marvel a decade in the MCU to get a Black hero his own movie (while all of the heavy hitters they have are done with their first trilogy)?
Would you simply not mention how the Black women in this film largely have natural hair?
Hm…maybe you’d gloss over the fact that Wakanda as a country is a “what if” about what an African country untouched by slavery and colonization would look like and that that’s part of why they’ve been able to advance as much as they have.
Or would you just not mention Ryan Coogler being a shining example of Black Excellence, directing Black Panther in his thirties?
Of course you could stuck your fingers in your ears and walk your way to commentary on Black Panther that doesn’t “make it about race”, but why would you even want to?
I admire your ability to be calm about this, because it makes me FROTH WITH RAGE.
So coincidental that we’re only ever asked not to make it about race when it has to do with black folks.
Honestly, while I’m definitely angry at the fact that we keep having to justify supporting work that centers us, my primary emotions when I see those weird “don’t make a movie about one of the first black superheroes about race” comments are… confusion and amusement.
Because racists are so bad at original thinking that they literally can’t break from their script (“don’t make black Panther about race”, “just let T’challa be a hero without sjw issues”, “the liberals/leftists are ruining a good non political superhero”) that I just… don’t know what to so except laugh and worry vaguely about the fact that they’re applying the same script to BP that they did to people complaining about whitewashing and white prioritization in Doctor Strange.
But with absolutely ZERO self-awareness when it comes to adapting their sad anti-social justice script to fit the situation.