Sigh. Okay, so I consider myself a relatively drama free blog. I tend to reserve all my rants to the tags. I don’t wade into parts of fandoms that stress me out. I try to keep fandom an escape rather than yet another source of stress. That said, there are just some things I need to get out of my system, and right now it is this, regardless of the response it might invite (I’ll admit, I’m scared).
The new episode of Doctor Who made me incredibly uncomfortable. The Doctor’s treatment of Danny Pink was appalling and more than a little reminiscent of his treatment of two others; Mickey Smith and Martha Jones. Of the many companions and companion-adjacent characters that have graced New!Who, three have been met with dismissive condescension or been made to prove themselves ~worthy~ of some arbitrary “Doctor standard.” All three of those characters have been people of colour.
Mickey’s presence on the TARDIS was tolerated rather than welcomed. That is when his presence was acknowledged at all and he wasn’t “forgotten” by the Doctor. Like an inanimate object. Even though he was, you know, A PERSON.
Martha right off the bat literally saves the Doctor’s life. She then goes on in general to be one of the most impressive, resourceful, intelligent and loyal companions he’s ever encountered (see: Martha Jones saves world). And yet she has to endure constant “Okay, you can come with me, but just this once!” passive aggressiveness. Comparisons to Rose. More threats about only travelling with the Doctor temporarily (until he decides that she’s ~worthy~ of a permanent spot, a test that I can’t remember any other companion having to pass). Never being taken anywhere for her own enjoyment or for fun. Being dropped for months into a time of blatant racism, alone, while the Doctor has amnesia and falls in love with a white woman (who he promptly invites to travel with him after he gets his memory back, just like he immediately took to Donna the first time they met in Runaway Bride, so apparently Martha is mysteriously the only recipient of the backlash from the Doctor losing Rose). All of this and she still mostly had to prod and coax and fish for even basic praise from the Doctor. He couldn’t even muster a “Sorry I made you feel that way, you ARE good” when she told him outright that she felt second best around him.
The fact that she and Mickey are thrown together bothers me for a whole host of reasons that I don’t even want to wade into right now. It often confuses me that the RTD era is romanticised by the fandom as some sort of holy grail of representation and social justice when I found its handling of race in particular to be extremely - yes, I know people have grown to hate the word, but - problematic.
Which brings me to the current era and Danny Pink. This was not simply an issue of the Doctor being protective of Clara. The Doctor’s inexplicably gross treatment of Danny preceded his finding out that he was Clara’s boyfriend. Finding out only intensified the inexplicable disdain. Even though the random white dude Clara talked to was deemed acceptable right away just because he wore a bowtie. All that Random White Dude had to do to get into the Doctor’s good books was to inadvertently cater to the Doctor’s ego. With Danny, however, the Doctor suddenly had specific “standards”. He suddenly needed to confirm that Danny was good enough for Clara even though the guy gave no indication that he was any more or less capable of being so than Random White Dude. I cringed. The episode made me cringe, and it only picked at old scabs for me with regard to race and this show.
And now with parts of the fandom insisting that Danny and Clara are in an abusive relationship because he requested honesty from her and called the Doctor out on his shit, I had to get this out. Mickey was called “useless”, Martha was accused of being “clingy” and “desperate” because she dared fall in love with the Doctor (something she was hardly the first person to do) and now apparently Danny is “controlling”. I feel tired.
(part 2) and I spend enough time yelling at them already. Plus I regularly check on SWW and anti-SWW blogs and I never see anything on these blogs that is as awful as any side says it is, all I see is people being really really rude to each other for no reason and making stuff up, and that happens just as much on this side than on the SWW one. Trust me, if I ever see actually SEE someone actually saying ‘racist, misogynistic, homophobic, rape culture bullshit’ then I would call them out on it.
First of all, I didn’t say “annoying”. I said I can’t stand them. I wouldn’t use a word like “annoying” when I’m referring to people I think are mostly cowards and/or enablers So yeah, no, not “annoying”..
No one is saying that being neutral means you like Ward. You can like Ward as a villain. You can even want to see a (plausible???) Nazi redemption arc without somehow (???) erasing his victims’ suffering and without shitting on women and people of color, and that’s okay.
It’s not about that. It’s about what goes on in this fandom. It’s about the Ward fandom spreading toxic opinions and trying to normalize racist/misogynistic/homophobic behaviour. It’s about people vehemntly trying to excuse the actions of an abuser. It’s about people wanting that a heroine of color ends up romantically involved in canon with the NeoNazi murderer who threatened to rape her.
"Lecture people on their opinion on a fictional character". OKAY. "Lecture", that’s a nice word to handwave my anger at seeing racist, misogynistic and homophobic shit thrown in my face but okay, I’ll accept it. The thing is: How we relate to fictional characters reveals how we see the world. You don’t get a pass for excusing awful shit just because you are referring to a fictional product.
If you have racist opinions about a fictional character you have racist opinions.
If you have misogynistic opinions about a fictional character you have misogynistic opinions.
If you have homophobic opinions about a fictional character you have homophobic opinions.
This is not hard to understand. You don’t get a pass just because you are talking about a fictional character. What you say about media matters, because media matters a fucking lot.
"People being rude"? Because politeness is more important than dismantling unfair systems. What is up with the tone policing in this fandom, anyway. Which by the way, the SWW people looooooooooove to tone police me, because somehow me saying "fuck" invalidates my opinions on misogyny.
And believe me I have every reason to be “rude” (or adopt whatever fucking defense mechanism I want against people who perpetuate racism, misogyny, homophobia and rape culture) to them.
Thank you for suggesting that calling homophoic bullshit in fandom somehow prevents you from calling homophobic bullshit in real life, and not how the two are related. I will call homophobic bullshit in fandom precisely because I myself suffer from it in real life. It’s not mutally exclusive. Toxic opinions in social media are not somehow magically less toxic and thus the people behind them less acceptable. I’m sorry but yelling at homophobes in your school should be directly related to wanting books/films/tv shows to be less shitty about representation and it sure should have a lot to do with calling the fanbase of those cultural products on their problematic bullshit. Media shapes the way we see the world in an essential manner so changing media is also a way to fight those aggressions.
You are not the first person to accuse me of making shit up (a well known very toxic apologist tried that already and I wasn’t in the mood to provide them with links, because I couldn’t care less about what a Nazi apologist rape apologist thought about me, but since you are neutral maybe I can consider your request), by the way. Think what you want, I’m not here to convince you of anything. If you haven’t encountered any of the fucking bullshit i have encountered, good for your mental health, to be honest, but our side is not the side who said that Skye wasn’t a character of color because Chloe Bennet didn’t look Asian, or the side or the side that not two days ago told every rape survivor who enjoyed non-con fantasies that they were disgusting people, how about the side piece of shit enough to react to people of color and women wanting their own safe space in fandom by creating a counter blog about underrated characters they love so much they never thought of making such blog until women & people of color told them Ward fans were not welcome in their safe space. We are not the side who tries to use female characters and characters of color (repeatedly oh so repeatedly) to support or make a white male character look better, we are not the side who says “reverse sexism” exists and that Ward was justified in calling Maria Hill and Natasha eye candy because Hill insulted him first and she was emasculating him of some bullshit, we are not the ones making ignorant jokes just to try to invalidate Skye’s (our heroine’s, a woman of color’s) views on Nazism, we are not the ones who think hating a white character is racism and fail to fucking understand how racist that idea is and how racist it is to insist people are being unfair to Ward just because he’s white, we are not the ones going to a post made by an abuse survivor saying how unsafe they felt in fandom to explain how wrong they are about character interpretations thus confirming the very motives they felt for being unsafe in fandom, we are not the ones sexualizing the abuser’s abuse we are not the ones constantly trying to erase a rape threat from the narrative, we are not the ones saying Victoria Hand is as much of a villain as Ward (yes, villifying a queer woman to protect a NeoNazi dude, nothing to call out here). THE CONSTANT “IT WASN’T A RAPE THREAT!” BULLSHIT THAT NEVER ENDS AND NEEDS TO END (no need for links here, I’m sure you’ve seen this one; if you haven’t you must be inhabitating really nice niches of fandom or be willfully turning a blind eye to this toxic, harmful rethoric)..
Any of that is enough for you to stop being neutral? Enough for you to call out on anyone’s bullshit?
But really, I’m not sure how the side who wants to point out problematic things like racist, misogyny and homophobia always get the burden of proof. You can check my ward-apologists tag (it doesn’t have many links, but it has direct quotes & most of the time the posts are there and you can find them through google) while I’ve seen my very own words twisted constantly and nobody asked those people if they were making shit up.
And I’m going to leave aside the person attacked I’ve suffered, the months of harassment and stalking and bullying, because you don’t know me, so I understand you have no reason to believe me when I talk about what the SWW people have done to me, including spread a lot of lies which I hope you take with as much skepticism as you would my statements.
I feel sad when I see May fans who side with the SWW crowd or are neutral because the apologists have abused and villified May more than almost any other character in the show. She gets called a broken woman and the female equivalent of Ward and how she is abusive towards Ward and she went to far in their fight and how they should have all cared more about Ward’s feelings than about May trying not to get killed by him and how May’s influence is going to rob Skye of her soul, etc, etc, etc.