Just in case it is not being believed that Fandom racism and misogyny is one huge, connected hot mess, here are some more examples, posts and theories. There’s just so much wtf*ery to choose from. All of it springing from the same place.
<Warning: Descriptions/discussions of violence, rape, general acts of racial hatred. If you’re feeling especially vulnerable today, you may want to skip all this.>
*Racism against Finn from Star Wars:
I think by and large the film serviced him well. We know that he’s intelligent, strong, brave, and skilled because we were shown that in the film. I think there are two major things going into people’s inability to see that Finn is an incredible hero: racism and hyper/toxic masculinity.
As to the racism, it’s been scientifically proven over and over again that white people have significant difficulty empathizing with Black people in real life and on screen. Also given rampant media stereotyping, it’s difficult for people to see Black people outside of basic stereotypical boxes. So even when confronted with a multidimensional and incredible character like Finn, all they see is “comic relief” or “sidekick.”
This is why it’s really important that writers understand that you can’t just write a Black character in the same way as you would a white character. More work has to be done to play up their goodness, heroism, and complexity otherwise people will rely on stereotypes or throw away lines (i.e. how Finn once worked in sanitation when he was a trooper in training and stationed on Starkiller base) to erase all of that. For example, this is why the slow burn relationship build up with Black female characters isn’t successful…folks will just see her as the “strong friend/sidekick who don’t need no man” and won’t see the build up and then will act surprised when it happens. The media needs to spend time just showing Black women being loved and valued and romantic interests and after that settles in the mass consciousness, then we can do the slow burn (or at least both at the same time…bc the will they or won’t they thing alone just isn’t working).
As to the hyper/toxic masculinity, folks aren’t used to male heroes like Finn. Finn is vulnerable, acknowledges his feelings and fears, and is compassionate and empathetic. A lot of men (of all races) I’ve talked to who didn’t like Finn and claimed he was useless kept bringing up “he never won a fight” and “he was unconscious at the end” as “reasons” why he was “useless and weak.” They also always make mention of how Rey, “the girl,” defeated Kylo when Finn “couldn’t” (not taking into account Kylo’s injury, Rey tapping into the Force, and the fact that Finn wielding the saber and injuring Kylo at all w/o consciously using the force is huge). All of that is rooted in the idea that male heroes need to be invulnerable and kill and win all the time and “be better than the girl” by whatever metric they set (note: Finn & Rey are obviously equals and anybody insinuating otherwise has a problem). Finn’s subversion of hyper/toxic masculinity is so important. But that kinda adherence to toxic masculinity keeps people from seeing that Finn is literally the catalyst for the entire film, the reason the plot keeps moving forward, the emotional center of TFA, and obviously on his own hero’s journey.
I mean, it’s a trilogy ffs. Neither Finn nor Rey have reached their full potential. John already told us “Finn ain’t playing no more.” But somehow people think that because Rey’s force sensitivity was made more obvious in the first film that somehow Finn is less important or not a lead or whatever nonsense and it’s all truly ridiculous and rooted in problematic shit that people need to work through.
tl;dr: racism and toxic masculinity are a hellavu drug and white writers don’t understand the extra work they have to do with Black characters to mitigate the effects of those isms on how Black characters are interpreted.
*Racism against Morgan from The Walking Dead, which parallels the treatment of both Finn and Scott McCall. Find a prominent character of color in the canon and you will find hundreds of fics where theyve been sidelined, erased, and villainized, along with having all their positive character traits ascribed to the fandoms white fave. Again this is not about one person’s personal preference, but something seen across thousands of fanfics, making fanfiction an unsafe space for fans of color who identify with these characters.
Here’s a thing – fandom racism is not just about hating a POC character for no apparent reason and wishing to see them dead as soon as possible, it’s not just about hating on an interracial couple and actively anti-shipping it. Yes, all of that IS racism, without doubt, but it should be pretty obvious without saying.
Fandom racism is also when one is completely unable to see a moc character as the main lead of an episode that centers HIS story.
I just went through the entire Morgan tag to see what people have been liveblogging about yesterdays episode, and half of the posts there (aside from blatantly hating Morgan and whining about this “boring, useless” episode) was people caring more about the freaking goat or the random redshirt couple than about Morgan’s story. People acting as if Morgan was some irrelevant sidekick to Eastman, and Eastman’s story.
Don’t get me wrong I love John Carroll Lynch and do agree that he deserves all the awards, but Eastman’s story was there to back up MORGAN’s character development, not vice versa.
I can understand why the grand majority of the fandom hated this episode, I disagree, but I canunderstand this pov…
But here’s a little comparison – despite the fact that the Governor wasn’t the most beloved character of the show (and that episodes featuring him are still the most hated within the fandom), I don’t remember people massively acting as if Lily, Tara, Martinez, or whatever other side characters from his episodes were more important to the narrative [of those episodes] than TG.