Amy (such_heights) wrote,

Activism, solidarity, and My Stuff

This is related to but not directly about recent fandom conversations about a racist AU and problematic approaches to hurt/comfort fic

And, as always when particular conversations come up in fandom, the same few reactions start to appear. 'Mob mentality', 'K, bored now', etc. Which has been addressed far more eloquently than I could hope for by ephemere.  I also like what furiosity had to say. The following is based on comments I've seen around, not made by people that I know personally.  

Here's the thing. Sometimes, there's stuff in fandom that infringes upon My Stuff. My identities, the things that shape my life offline and cause me to experience particular kinds of prejudice and disadvantage. And, you know, having misogyny and ablism and homophobia turn up in the middle of the things I do for fun is less than ideal. So, sometimes I talk about it, in the hope that it makes it less likely to happen again. Sometimes (more often) I decide it's not worth the emotional energy/spoons, and I leave it, or rant over email or something. And no one else, not even other people with equal and valid and totally different experiences of My Stuff, gets to decide what's worth my time/energy/spoons for me. (What, of course, you always get to do is call me out when I'm being offensive or faily, and i'm thankful to all that have done so.) 

Why is it that when it comes to anti-oppression issues that people suddenly get grumpy about things being all over their flist? I don't complain when my reading list is full of nothing but pictures of people's cats. (Disclaimer: I love looking at pictures of people's cats, it's a hypothetical example.)

When something comes up in fandom that affects me, I am always very grateful that there are other people who can give my feelings voice where I can't. And I'm also grateful to the people who signal boost, who linkspam, who chime in their agreement that what's happening is wrong, or call out problems in the framing of the discussion. The support is directly felt and directly impacts my experience of fandom. 

As other people talk about the problematic potential of some kinds of h/c, for example, I feel less alone. (I totally believe disability and abuse issues can be written respectfully even when one is 'writing the other'. I also know that it was very jolting to see a bunch of My Stuff in a list which initially had no real context or dialogue around it. /2 pence.)

And thus, it seems only fair play to offer the same support on other issues that don't have a personal impact on me. Not to mention that I think it's important to take advantage of the wealth of material that members if fandom provide in the interests of self-education. So, no, I don't believe that I'm contributing to a 'mob' when I post about the hot *ism/fail topic of the moment. Sometimes it's important for me to speak, sometimes it's important for me to listen and point towards where others are speaking. (Emphasis on the *for me*) 

Also, a note: there is a big difference between not engaging for whatever reason - there are many reasons why people don't engage with these issues, and that's valid and understandable - and acts of silencing and attempting to shut down conversation. It's kind of a jerk move in a lot of contexts - in conversations like these, it's even more of a problem.

Or, more simply put, I post because I want to do better. I'd like fandom to do better. This little journal here is a spanner in my toolkit, and I'll continue to make use of it.   

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