- male character: i made a mistake
- fandom: oh you poor misunderstood soul
- female character: i made a mistake
- fandom: WANTON MISTRESS OF THE NIGHT, RETURN TO THE SHADOWS FROM WHENCE YOU CAME, THIS IS NO PLACE FOR YOUR SELFISHNESS PLEASE GO BACK TO YOUR HOME ON WHORE ISLAND
Because this is still on my mind even after sleep, shower, and food…
It makes me kind of mad how often female characters are invalidated or marginalized in fandoms. And by “kind of mad” I mean “sometimes edging on furious,” because it’s really not fair. It’s damn near impossible to write a likeable female character because female characters, much like real life females, are always going to be scrutinized too harshly.
If a female character is sweet, compassionate, loving, etc., then she’s judged as weak, as a doormat, as stupid.
By contrast, if she’s a tough, no-nonsense sort of gal who has a lot of power (physical or otherwise) then she’s a bitch.
If she doesn’t have much going on for her, if she’s sort of ordinary, then she’s boring, bland.
If she’s a badass mofo who can fly and shoot lazers from her eyes and is really good a playing the violin and painting and has a lot of money, then she’s a Mary Sue.
And no matter what she is, it’s likely she’ll be called a skank, a whore, a slut, etc. And now that I’m thinking about it, that “bitch” title is pretty versitile, too.
I’m a writer. I dream of writing novels and I have a thousand stories running around in my head, and most of them have female leads. And I’m worried about this. These characters are very near and dear to me and I think they’re wonderful.
But female characters are always judged so much more harshly than male characters. For every decision, every mistake, every action or inaction, every word. Anything a female character does can be taken negatively, and it often is. It’s like there’s no way out, no way to win.
It’s all very misogynistic and it pisses me off.
I don’t know where I’m going with this other than just trying to vent my frustrations. I think it would be nice if, instead of being quick to judge a character, any character, people would try to put themselves in that character’s shoes. You won’t always be able to understand them this way, because, even though they’re fictional, sometimes their experiences just differ too much from your for you to understand.
I know I’d like it if people would, when finding themselves disliking a female character, step back and ask themselves why, and if they would still dislike this character if she were male.
I’d like that a lot.
Why should we have to settle for “subtext” when it comes to queer characters? Why should it always just be “oh but we have fanfic for that, I don’t mind if it’s not canon! I was never expecting it to be anyway!” Why is that such a common theme I hear from people who are slash shippers? It’s either that or ‘but I don’t really think they’re gay in canon,’ or ‘this isn’t that kind of show,’ etc. etc. AD NAUSEUM you have all heard this from me before. It is never going to change unless fans make it clear that they aren’t gonna let this shit fly, because fandom has power. We shouldn’t have 100% power over writers and it’s ridiculous to think that we could or should or anything. But it’s a give and take relationship—writers should listen to fans but also decide what’s best for the story based on their intuition as a writer. But they should be way more aware of their biases than they are, which I think is a huge problem when you see a very specific demographic who are the writers on all of these shows.
Honestly, this shit has been said many times by people who are far more eloquent about the subject than I am, and I’m just frustrated and venting and blah.
Yes, yes there fucking DOES need to be a gay fandom for everything. Why? Because that’s all we’ll ever fucking get. Because no matter how much we want it to happen for real, the vast majority of the time that hope is all we have when it comes to queer characters on screen or in media.
Because gay characters are few and far-fucking-between and when they appear it’s more a game of ‘count the cliches and stereotypes’ than any kind of real representation. Because gay relationships in primetime are neutered and humorous because heaven forbid two men or women actually care about each other and show it. Because the fruity gay man trope who apparently has no libido of his own has been around since the 1920’s. Because there’s no such fucking thing as a ‘gay action movie’ or a ‘gay mystery movie’ because as soon as there’s a gay character in a major role? It’s just a ‘gay’ movie. Because every character that’s gay in a show/movie/book has to announce they’re gay from second one because that’s the be-all end-all of their character. Because people like you don’t view anything but male/female relationships as valid - because anything else is just ‘ugh horny fangirls’. Because there’s apparently no such thing as bisexual when it comes to…well, anything except people like me who maybe wants to pretend fucking Maverick is a little more like me so I can pretend I’m not just one person with an issue like I feel like sometimes because from the non-fandom viewpoint, that’s how I’m treated.
So, yeah, go be straight and fucking narrow elsewhere, in a world where - of all things - Top Gun is just a movie about dudes who fuck older chicks and fly planes, if this is what I can fucking get, I’m going to fucking take it.
some people are gay.
For real, yeah. It’s true. Some people are gay. Some people are bisexual. Some are pansexual, and asexual, and demisexual. Some people are bigender, and transgender, and agender. Some people are aromantic and some are polyamorous.
OH YEAH. THIS SHIT IS SHOCKING.
Some people know their identity from the time they are very young. Sometimes, it changes over the course of their lives. Some people never know they are anything but heterosexual until they’re fifty.
That is real life. That is the existence many people live. That’s why I hate the word minority so much. I think people hear it and think there are only five or six of us clamoring about, calling out privileged bullshit but that is not it. We are fucking everywhere. We are your friends and family, we are the siblings you think you know better than anyone but don’t know that we’re afraid to tell you about being gay. We’re your kids that hear your casual slurs about how people should conform to gender norms and never speak about being trans. We are your employees and co workers who cringe and hate going to work because you can’t fucking shut up about we are ruining society for whatever fucked up reason you justified this shit to yourself.
So fuck you when you say it’s not real life when gsm are protagonists. Fuck you when you say gsm are genre and writing gsm characters ruins tv. Fuck you.
You know what’s real life? That we live our lives like anyone else. That you probably hurt people every fucking time you open your mouth to talk about how gsm people don’t belong here, that something is to be protected from them.
You don’t get to tell us what real life is like. You don’t own reality, whatever else you may think. We don’t stop existing because you pretend we’re not real.
“Oh man these two male characters have a close bond.”
“THEY MUST BE GAY”
Seriously, why can’t two guys just be brothers by bond or some such thing?
Is that not allowed anymore? Was there a memo I didn’t get?
I’ve been thinking about this lately. There are three ways my mind has been approaching it.
Firstly: yes, I acknowledge fangirls (and fanboys, in the case of yuri) who fetishize homosexuality. Not cool. Bad fandom.
Secondly: people in the LGBT spectrum don’t have all that many couples to look to and ship. Straight people have all the couples in the history of ever whereas for the most part, queer people have to grasp at subtext. I see nothing wrong with that. One person saying “hey, I think they’re gay” doesn’t lessen the character. I’ve heard people complain about “messing up my fandom” and that’s just dumb.
Thirdly: I’ve never, ever heard the opposite. ”Oh man this straight young cis man and this straight young cis woman have a close bond.” ”THEY MUST BE DESTINED FOR EACH OTHER.”
For two reasons: one, usually because they are the canon ship that canon is forcing down your throat.
Two, because it’s normal.
Something to think about.