Here’s some of the interesting commentary I’ve been reading about fandom, feminism and gender.
I wish the brilliance was louder than the insanity or hate or wank or anything else. I wish that, when people talked about fangirls and fandom, they didn’t have to explain or give excuses, or laugh, or roll their eyes, or feel awkward, or be forewarned. Because this the smartest, most exciting, most passionate creative engine I know of.
Walter’s motivation is his resentment that he hasn’t received his due as a middle-class white man, whereas woman are socialised to expect a life of under-appreciation and unfulfilled potential. Wallis White wouldn’t be happy about it, but she’d accept help from her wealthy ex.
These two musings about female characters dovetailed neatly with the research – Summer of Supervillainy’s complaints that female characters rarely have the depth and the freedom male characters do and aiffe’s apology to every female character for the fandom itself. Both are astute, and have excellent points (particularly SoS’s “I want to feel heroic. I don’t want to have to chew through a crunchy candy coating of sexism to get to the part where she saves the day.” and aiffe’s “But part of it…I can’t help but wonder if there isn’t this horrible, deep-seated idea that men have more personhood than women do. Men in fiction get to be people.“) but it is the juxtaposition of the two that is more interesting to me* and the way that de-canonising the ‘hate’ so to speak brings it right back to the canon’s faults in providing female characters of note but also our own reaction, as a fandom, to that. Not to mention the compassion fatigue of just not wanting to dredge through the junk portrayals of women in media. Except there is SO much that isn’t junky, so much that is interesting and well-done and not a dredge through sexism that to say ‘well, it’s easier to read about men’ seems self-defeating even as it’s self-protecting.
I am always interested in this research as well, about how women’s voices are perceived and how that relates to the objectively observed.
*This was interesting too:
Rule 63ing characters can be an interesting perspective-building exercise, and I recommend doing it for situations where you’re having a lot of trouble wrapping your head around the dynamics, but it is not an acceptable substitute for loving female characters. If you can only love and care about female characters when they’re 63’d men, you’re doing something wrong.
And apt for one of the more ridiculous Rule 63 fics I’m considering including in my thesis.