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AngelofSnow's Journal - Everything is prettier from the outside
Fan Fiction, Fandom, Reviews, and a Healthy Dose of Squee
Colorblind Racism - Because it's one of those days when I am all into the academic discussion 
3rd-Apr-2007 06:18 pm
comic rogue
I enjoy reading meta because it raises what I consider a hobby to something worthy of intellectual discussion. Fandom is a hobby to me. I know not everyone sees it that way. But sometimes I want to get all "meta-y" about a hobby that's given me a lot of joy throughout the years.

Lately there's been a lot of wank over in the Stargate Fandom, which I know nothing about, over racism (sexism too). And although I can't comment on anything in Stargate fandom, the wank is actually an interesting discussion to read. The wank started over frustration that fic writers often wrote minority characters with menial jobs or lower status in their AUs. Although this was only a tiny detail in the stories, and no one intended to be "racist" about these minority characters, there was some subtle racism going on here.

The wank actually taught me a lot. Everyone knows the definition of racism in the extreme sense: Jim Crow Laws, slavery, internment camps, and segregation. And luckily these type of racists are almost non-existant in fandom. (I think we would stone them to death, wouldn't we?) But there's actually another form of racism called colorblind racism which is more subtle and which, unfortunately, people practice a lot. Part of colorblind racism is the 'white privilege' to just ignore racism as a factor in what you're doing, when it is. "Default assumptions, of course, are the things that you don't realize you're doing." - vito_excalibur

vito_excalibur explains the concept and the wank better in her post. And she also links to a much better definition of colorblind racism than I gave.

The discussion and the comments particularly, really awakened me to something. I ignore race and I think that's enough. I don't actively discriminate but I definitely live in my little white privilege bubble and think that race doesn't matter. It's not that I don't realize life can be a lot tougher for minorities in America. But I don't realize how often small, tiny actions we take can actually be a form of racism. Is the only African American character in that movie you just watched used for muscle or was he an athlete? Is he portrayed as not that intelligent? That's racism. Sure that seems like an easy example, but just think of how ubiquitous some of the stereotyping is. Think of how often white characters, more than any other race, are the popular characters in fic and fandom, to the point where minority characters never receive equal attention.

Or to bring this into the X-Men fandom: Where's the Storm love?

I've been wondering this question for a long time. Why are there so few, if any, Storm fans? I'll admit I have only a small amount of knowledge of the comics and have stayed mostly in X-Men Movieverse. I know in the movies Storm isn't used as well as she could be. She doesn't truly have a romantic interest, other than Nightcrawler whose only in the 2nd film. Her role and even personality changes drastically from the 1st to the 3rd film for no reason (other than Halle Berry's acting). She's not a character that many people come out of the theater saying: "I loved Storm!!!" *fangirl squeeing* the way someone might do the same for Logan or Jean Grey.

The character, regardless of race doesn't seem well-defined or compelling. Yet a part of me still wonders if fans shy away from Storm, subconsciously, because she's African American. I know the X-Men franchise is supposed to appeal towards blacks, jews, and gays, as Marvel so often points out. I like to think of X-Men fandom as the most accepting, enlightened fandom around. But this discussion really made me wonder about some things. Is believing in equality enough or do we have to work for it?

"In order to avoid subconscious racism, you must actively work towards fixing the racial problems around you." says one commenter, Sailorman, here
Thoughts & Comments 
4th-Apr-2007 04:13 am (UTC)
You should check out c_elisa--she writes good Storm :)

I don't think it's inherently a race thing. I think most comic fans found movie-verse Storm to be so completely different than her comics-counterpart that she doesn't get a lot of fic because her character really wasn't that interesting.

And comics fandom is so small! I think that is most of the issue there. Not a lot of writers, really. There are some good Logan/Ororo fics, and Gambit/Ororo, too, I believe.

And I have a great rec for ya, if you want one for movieverse Storm :)
4th-Apr-2007 04:21 am (UTC)
I'd love the Storm rec. I'm not sure I've read any Storm fic - at all.

I can see how Movieverse!Storm is very different than Comic!Storm. I didn't like how they used her character in Evolution. Although she made a good authority, pseudo-mother figure for the teenage X-Men, she never got to really interact with them since she was a mature adult while they were teens. I think a teen Storm would have been more fun to see.
4th-Apr-2007 04:28 am (UTC)
You'd probably really like her in Ultimate. She's a badass :)
You'd actually really enjoy that in general, that series.

The Busy Griefs by likeadeuce. This made me cry omg.

penknife's written some good Storm movie!fic.
I can look tomorrow for ya (off to bed now).

I've written one Storm fic, post X3, for femgenficathon. I actually sort of liked Storm in X3.

In comic-verse, she totally kicks Scott's ass and gets to be team leader of the Xmen (awesome that they settled it that way, yeah?) and she just married the Black Panther in comic-verse. Comic wedding! Was like soap opera, only better :)

::needs sleep omg::
4th-Apr-2007 04:39 am (UTC)
Haha! I am reading Ultimate right now! I have issue 75 open on my bed right now! I've been reading through the whole run slowly for about a month. Yeah, I like Storm's character more in Ultimate. The romance with Henry was cute and bittersweet. And I love how she chopped off her hair and became angry, violent Storm after his death. I like how, even 20 issues later, she's still angry about his death, and quick to attack in a fight.

And of course then there's the awesome Charles/Erik interaction through the early issues.

Oh, I have to read where she kicks Scott's ass. That will make me laugh so hard.
5th-Apr-2007 04:09 am (UTC)
And you haven't heard the fun part, she kicks his ass in a fight, 'after' she's lot her powers*g*

And I'm saying that as a (comics)-Scott fan*g*
5th-Apr-2007 04:14 am (UTC)
Do you know what comicbook and issue that was? I have to go pick it up.

Is it wrong that I am enthused just to see Scott get his hat handed to him in a fight by Storm?
4th-Apr-2007 04:29 am (UTC)
Oh! I downloaded a good Storm/Logan fanmix the other day, too. I'll see if I can find it again!
4th-Apr-2007 04:40 am (UTC)
Thanks so much. I'm addicted to fanmixes lately. I like listening to them more real albums.
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