I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of seeing any kind of analysis or critique of marginalized characters (particularly women of color) focus on why someone likes them or hates them, or why they’re good or bad.
Honestly, it’s so bland, and having had my community organizing goggles readjusted, I realize that it’s not nearly as important as how systemic and institutional oppression are reflected, reinforced, and/or subverted in the story.
I know that not everybody does that. Hell, even people I find to be usually on point seem to deflect or ignore this shit, especially when it comes to characters are sit on the intersections of marginalization (race and gender, disability and sexuality, etc.).
Rather than talk about why this is or isn’t fucked up, let’s unpack it. Let’s figure out what’s going on when even the people who have an anti-oppression analysis fail to apply it when it comes to shows they watch, specifically in the case of characters who are marginalized in ways that we aren’t.
For instance, as much as we may want to deny it, there’s a reason why Sansa gets a lot of hate while Tyrion is beloved by so many that have less to do with Sansa or Tyrion themselves and more to do with the things we’ve been taught about gender. Even the way we frame our analysis of these characters is a reflection of the things even us smart motherfuckers like to pretend don’t affect us. And so it goes with characters in every fandom.
Now, I know it’s tempting to talk about other people and how fucked up they are, but let’s not do that, shall we? Let’s turn inward and reflect on why even us smart motherfuckers forget our smarts when it comes to analyzing how systemic and institutional oppression plays a role in how we are encouraged to identify with some characters, interpret a story, analyze a character, and so on.
I don’t care what fandom you participate in. I want you to dig deep and share.