One of the most frustrating things about fandom is how unwilling people are to look at how race, gender, sexuality, class, disability, etc. impact the way we respond to arts and entertainment.
It’s bad enough when it comes from people who flat-out deny that racism, misogyny, homophobia, etc. are real. But it’s a whole other ball of What The Fuck when we (and I’m including myself here) act like we are somehow immune to the toxic shit that saturates our lives. Yes, even those of us who are aware of oppression, have an anti-oppression analysis, and even work for social justice. How quickly we forget that internalized racism, internalized misogyny, internalized homophobia, etc. includes us too. So if I call a female/queer/Black character I don’t like or understand evil, crazy, stupid or whatever, misogyny or homophobia or racism suddenly have nothing to do with it. Because I am queer Black woman, and I know this and that and the other about oppression and how it functions, I cannot possibly be an agent of oppression or have unexamined shit I need to figure out.
I mean, let’s be real: it’s easier to talk about how fucked up everybody else is than to face our own shit and work on that. Don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot of fucked up shit that we need to call out. What I want to see more of, though, is honest self-examination. I want to see us including ourselves when we talk about the ways people perpetuate shitty patterns with race, gender, sexuality, class, etc. I want more of us to start saying, “This is what I understand, but this where I’m still struggling.”
Aside from being more honest, it also puts us at our growing edge so we can see where we need to grow and work on that instead of bumbling along and hoping we don’t show our ass.