"lgbtqia representation in media is important! You sound like a homophobe because you want to silence us!!" ~Some SJW

Okay, here’s the dilemma. You reveal a character’s homosexuality too early on or make it too obvious, the character becomes a token. I understand psychology, and apparently far better than most of you people do. Homosexuality is heavily advertised and stereotyped as “different” to the point that when the average reader identifies someone as homosexual, that becomes their entire identity.

Dumbledore stops being Dumbledore, and instead becomes “that gay wizard” in the eyes of people. Yes, yes, even in the eyes of SJW’s, I’ve seen it happen far too often. You put in a LGBT character, and that’s all they care about. They ignore the character development and all other traits of the character unless there are other ‘token’ traits. Even when the author tries to avoid this, people- SJW and not- automatically tokenize the LGBT characters.

Then when they’ve tokenized the character, all of their character development and story- if the tokenizers even acknowledge them at all- gets filtered through a biased view on homosexuals and everyone starts trying to re-interpret everything the character does, trying to find out what their ‘gay agenda’ for the action is, and rarely ever think that maybe, just maybe, the character did that thing because they wanted to or had to, not because they’re gay.

Let’s be honest, if Dumbledore was outed early, people would be screeching that he’s only nice to Harry Potter because he finds him sexy.

Then in turn people attack the author for making “token characters” even though it’s often their own fucking fault they tokenized the character despite the author’s attempt to build up the character beyond just being LGBT, and end up destroying the representation they begged for.

So people have been taking measures to avoid tokenizing- both on their own, and to force their readers to acknowledge the character beyond their token trait. It usually goes down one of three routes…

1. Vary the cast so much that it takes the attention away from the “tokens” and makes them no longer unique or special, so people focus on the character development rather than their ‘weirdness’ since everyone’s weird in one way or another to begin with. (not sure of any movies that did this, but El Goonish Shive did this, then retroactively parodied it)

2. Pile character development and traits on the LGBT characters but only reveal their being LGBT much later into the story, so when it gets revealed, the watcher/reader is forced to acknowledge all their other traits before the LGBT so that they recognize them as people, not tokens. Or else get outed as a -phobe. (Paranorman took this route)

3. Seed the story with a bunch of subtle hints about the character’s LGBT-ness without openly announcing it… then give it to ‘em straight if everyone completely misses all the hints.

Rowling chose the third route. She had the opportunity to go down the second route, but… Can anybody read the last couple books then tell me where he could have suitably announced his homosexuality without making it ham-handed? Not like he would be screaming it as Snape blasted him into the lake.

You say I don’t understand how the world works, yet you don’t seem to understand that nothing is as simple as you think it is… This isn’t your fantasy world, where everything would magically be fixed if there was more representation. You have to be careful with HOW you represent, because bad representation will only make things even worse.

So far, most SJW’s have earned a big fat F in representation, especially concerning trans- you are HURTING trans representation with immature cis hate, false transphobia accusations, encouraging transtrending, and genderspecial antics.

~Oogie Boogie

gedsparrowhawk said:

regarding poc representation in fantasy, a fantasy series i absolutely love that is almost entirely peopled with poc's (the majority of the cast is described as reddish-brown i believe) is Ursula K. LeGuin's the earthsea cycle. It also completely deconstructs the worlds established patriarchy in the later books.

Book one: A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula K. Le Guin

anonymous said:

I'm seriously confused. How is Apple's thing about her blonde hair racist? With most "popular girls" in media being blonde, not to mention how many popular blonde bimbos I had to put up with in high school, seeing blonde hair portrayed in a negative light is kind of refreshing.

I do not appreciate the use of the word “bimbo”. Do not call people or characters that.

Apple is not portrayed in a negative light. Everyone at EAH loves her. Everyone at EAH thinks she’s more beautiful than anyone else, especially for her blonde hair. She’s studious, patient, and helpful, and she’s one of the two protagonists of the franchise.

The fact the fandom reacts dividedly to her is because one part sees the above and another part sees how Apple is benefitted disproportionally (ie, how Briar constantly does things and nobody cares while Apple is immediately rewarded with affirmation, or how Duchess is explicitly juxtaposed as not as pretty in comparison to Apple to humiliate her) and doesn’t let her character flaws slide because of that disproportionate benefit.

And that’s ignoring that one part feels Apple’s blonde hair and need to wear glasses make her sympathetic, while the other part takes note that neither play a (negative) role in 99.5% of Apple’s narrative.

So, Apple is not portrayed negatively, just really… like Mattel is banking on her whiteness to get her past any criticism.

As for her hair, not only is she a white, blue-eyed, blonde girl, which is pretty much the standard white female protagonist formula, but she’s praised for her beautiful hair. Having “wrong” hair is a narrative that belongs to POC and that belongs to black hair way before it belongs to blonde hair (with the exception when it’s on a POC body and racists will claim its dyed and that the POC secretly wants to be white). The idea a white girl with softly curled blonde hair - the Eurocentric ideal! - can carry that narrative, which is based on pain created specifically to elevate her appearance, is racist. Plain and simple. And as said, the fiction can’t even maintain it. Apple’s maybe once or twice attacked for her hair in the books, but she’s praised and idolized for it across EAH fiction in general. Meanwhile, Blondie goes around saying her hair proves her royal lineage because only royalty could have luxurious golden curls like her and Poppy - the EAH hair expert - confirms this. Add to that that in the Secret Hearts Diary, one of the requirements listed for Princessology is “silky, smooth hair” - which is code for “you can take a hike if you have afro hair”, and the fiction both enforces real-life racism as it applies to hair, but also wants us to feel sorry for one of the main perpetrators for having idealized hair that she’s not even written as suffering under.

SwanQueen Is "Never Satisfied"

I’ve heard “SwanQueen is never satisfied” a few time so I’ll ask. Satisfied with what? SwanQueen hasn’t and probably won’t happen. Denied.

There’s still no LBGTA representation on the show. Denied .

We’re still treated as non-entities or frothing at the mouth attackers until premiers, sweeps or finales then we may get a couple comments with our ship name and the “we love all fans rhetoric”. Denied.

We asked for help condemning the rampant homophobia? Denied.

We’ve asked that we not be called delusional for recognizing the amazing chemistry and potential between Lana and Jennifer. Denied.

We ask for acknowledgment in competitions but instead we only see the hetero ships promoted and congratulated or general statements that ignore who won. Denied.

So I’m asking honestly why would we be satisfied at all at this point? Would you?

thewelltempered said:

I've struggled with my favs my whole life. My mother and I are HUGE fans of fantasy and Sci-Fi. I love videogames especially RPGs like Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy. I was a really creative child so I had to create my own worlds in which there were black people like me and my mom. Never seeing characters like myself or other black fans led me to hate my skin, my hair, all of myself. It took me years to undo that damage. I hope the videogame & Sci-Fi world know who their lifelong fans are.

This makes me think of that great Gina Torres quote about women in Sci-Fi, but also really points out that even within this genre, writers are too often restricting themselves to old ideas of gender and representation. In Fantasy, your world can involve literally anything, but still often ends up looking like the norm, only in space or with someone walking around with blue skin or whatever. 

I don’t think we can rely on an alternate-universe genres in and of themselves. Because really, it’s not the setting that we need to change. 

I like Holly O’Hair because redheaded Rapunzels are very rare, and Irish/Scottish characters are especially rare. Also her nerdy personality is cute when rivaled to the typical ‘pretty girl’ expectations. 

I like Apple because she is so obviously flawed in her expectations, and in complete denial of those flaws just like all of her followers. Also I like that her blonde hair (seen as perfect in our society) is actually seen as a flaw in her world because she should have black hair like her mother. I love the way they so accurately represented how hypocritical some people are in their societal expectations and judgements.

I like Cedar because she’s a dark-skinned character that hasn’t been influenced by horrible racist generalizations and how interestingly, her inability to lie is considered a flaw when in our own world, lying is supposed to be wrong- even though most people do it. 

I like Cerise because she’s fucking badass and is a complete contrast from the subservient and graceful image of the typical Red Riding Hood.

I love Briar because she’s a dark skinned girl that talks like a valley girl (an accent usually reserved for preppy white chicks like me) and she doesn’t give a rat’s ass about what people think of her risky behavior. Also she’s the one in pink this time- not the token white girl.

I love Blondie’s curiosity and habit of crossing the line’s sometimes. I also love the way she, a blonde, blue eyed girl, is seen is a wannabe loser. Like that blonde wannabe Trixi Tang from Fairly Oddparents.

Maddie is weird as hell and doesn’t give a shit how people see her. I love it.

Mattel Does fuck up with representation of POC in EAH, but they do a good job of paralleling social norms too and they certainly make their characters relate-able. It’s not all bad.

(Lots of topics up ahead and I’m not entirely certain I’ve handled all of them well, statistically speaking, so please correct if necessary.)

I don’t want anyone to refrain from voicing what they like and don’t like about the new design of Duchess, but I would be highly grateful if we could all make a distinction between the changes in Duchess’s fashion and the changes to her face/skin. I am on average neutral about the fashion changes and would probably only complain on the lack of paint details on her new headpiece (and maybe the necklace) if that was all.

It is not all, though. Art!Duchess has changes made to her that whitewash her. And yes, Cupid and various MH characters (like Sirena) show that the art does not have to reflect the doll so in that sense there still is hope that the art can eventually be put aside as the odd one of the bunch, but that does not mean the art itself isn’t a bad thing on its own worth talking about (I am going to have to put it up as Duchess’s main image on the EAHWiki - not happy) and in general a really unpleasant surprise that at best unnecessarily creates worry for the doll.

So, I’ll be talking, splitting her whitewashing into her skin changes and her “eye” changes. I have a personal interest in Duchess’s old appearance because it reads to me as Caucasian or from near that region. My ancestry contains Armenian blood, and it pops up in various family members. I am more Indonesian-looking as far as my POC heritage goes, but my mother and siblings have traits from the Armenian side. Representation talk is usually about seeing yourself and could use more about wanting to see your family too, in a way that doesn’t make them one-sided villains, at least. 

Also, given some of the recent events, I’d like to make a slight detour here to add that Dutch-Armenian trade relations about started in the 13th century. The Netherlands and (Cilician) Armenia are a little over 3000 km apart, and it is just one example of POC reaching all the way into West/North Europe throughout history. But sure, POC didn’t start arriving in the Netherlands’ neighbor country Germany until the mid-19th century. And no, I never learned about this stuff in school either and I am actually reading up on the details on my own still. I can’t say I haven’t made the same mistakes as certain other people, so in that sense I understand, but I’ve taken my education when it came and never told someone to shut up about wanting representation. That’s just basic decency. There’s people in these fandoms who choose a different route when called out, and that’s why “be nice” is not any sort of solution to deal with them.

Anyway, skin. Without a doubt Duchess’s skin as shown so far has a range, but even at its lightest it was accentuated with brown and darker colors. The pink cheeks rather than the brown ones are off-putting, not to mention that just because it could doesn’t mean the lightest version had to be picked for the art.

I admit that when I first got a good look at Duchess with her olive skin and heavy facial features in a graceful, soft lavender dress, I didn’t know what to make of it. I didn’t dislike it, but I didn’t like it either. It was not something I had familiarity with. Which in turn made me recall a discussion at MHdolls (no, don’t try to wave this away with some bullshit “we’re better” claim I’ve occasionally seen made) about two years earlier regarding Daughter of Arachne and what fashion people’d like to see her in if she’d ever be released. The only thing about that discussion I truly remember is that gothic was readily dismissed because “dark colors don’t look good on dark skin”.

There’s a couple of ideas of what works on which bodies in society, with the big joke being that everyone is made to believe everything works on (pale) white bodies and that other bodies are restricted in what they can and can’t wear. Sometimes in ridiculous ways, like how bright colors are generally appreciated on dark skin, but only as clothes. Brightly colored hair atop dark/black bodies is “ghetto”. The idea that dark colors don’t work on dark skin is bullshit and simply a result of unfamiliarity because of organized erasure and exclusion. It’s the one thing about Raven’s appearance I don’t like, especially in context of Bobs & Buns. Yes, she doesn’t have the ideal-white look that makes me wary, but I am aware of the minor “gothic girl protagonist” thing used to “rebel” against the other kind of protagonist some fiction employs, only in a way that’s still white- or light-skinned-normative and sexist in the way it stereotypes. Like, right after Briar’s exclusion in the Selfridges handbag lineup, my loathing for the Selfridges deal comes from “I wanted to do something with a smashed mirror to show rebellion against her past and against the traditional norms of beauty.” in regards to the Raven-inspired handbag. Which technically brings us back to Briar’s exclusion: it’s nonsense to think white bodies - with the exception of cases that hit other -isms - are able to defy “traditional norms of beauty” because those norms have been designed to elevate them above everyone else in the first place. White beauty is part of white supremacy. Raven, on a meta level, defies nothing. Along with Bobs & Buns, she keeps a certain fashion aesthetic firmly in white hands. I’ve been wanting a dark-skinned goth in MH ever since the Daughter of Arachne discussion to prove it wrong, and since a while even moreso in EAH because the fashion range of EAH is more limited and “goth” has already shown up thrice in just one year and appears tied to villain-born characters. That means more are likely to follow and some of them need to be something else than white, preferably something else with dark skin.

The above considerations are old, and how they apply back to Duchess is that they are what made me realize Duchess’s beauty. Of course she’s not on the same level as someone like Wydowna, but she lies within the line(s) away from whiteness that precludes possibilities the further you get. I’ve never seen a character like her before: only ballerinas I ever saw in my shows were lily-white (not including anime because it needlessly would complicate this paragraph). Maybe there was a token POC ballerina among them, and hey, that’s worth something, but the thing with tokenism is that it prevents exploration of diversity. Like, I recall one person trying to argue that Cerise can’t be Asian because “if you look closely, you’ll see her hair isn’t black”. That person apologized, so no hard feelings, but it is indicative of a general problem with how definable people think races other than white are (I, for one, still have my own system to clean too). Duchess, whatever she is, visually approaches white but is removed from how generally white people are imagined to look like, yet still she is here, wearing a graceful outfit with a beautiful subtle color usually reserved for white-white and their preferential treatment. She’s something else. She’s someone for me. Her entire appearance asked me a question and my answer made me fall in love with her.

I mean, this is a thing I want to hand EAH. They’ve got way too few POC and treat them shittily, but Briar as both a brown girl and the primary pink girl and the constant emphasis on Cedar’s innocence while she is black are good things. Keeping my fingers crossed ice girl’s design is a-okay because non-pale women aren’t commonly associated with the winter theme either. And Duchess’s appearance also defies a norm: the paleness of elegance.

But all that I’ve just expressed in four paragraphs feels taken away. Seeing Duchess so white - so pale - is incredibly normative, and it reads like Mattel means it as a correction. It’s not inherently bad the art looks that way - it’s bad it looks that way after having been shown something else for a change. If she’d looked this way from the beginning, I’d likely never have bothered with her. It’s bad for taking away the reason of my investment, especially because I don’t have many characters to invest in given that white characters are both quantitatively and qualitatively favored.

As for the eyes, one thing about Duchess’s previous/usual design is that her eye area is very heavy. It’s a combination of her eyes being large, her eyes being dark, her using dark makeup, her thick eyebrows that go everywhere, and her flat bangs. All of that is taken away to create a face that’s pretty much Raven’s, or Poppy’s mirrored. The elimination of her eye-emphasis takes away much from her POC-reading, and unpleasantly reminds me of this story from a while back. As it reads on the bottom of the first page:

For most faces, the software made subtle changes, with the person’s essence and character largely intact. In the case of the woman pictured on the front page of this section, the changes were more striking, probably because her features, Mr. Leyvand said, do appear more ethnic than many of the other women and men he photographed. (The researchers have not yet created a program that would be designed with what they call a beauty estimator for nonwhite racial and ethnic groups.)

To me, it’s almost like Duchess has been run through the same program (might be me, but the woman spoken of also appears more pink-ish in the “beautified” image). And mind, while the people in the article are kind enough to emphasize the software is not infallible and that beauty is subjective, the software still serves the function of reaffirming “traditional” beauty within the larger context of neocolonial Eurocentric beauty standards. Heck, the reason I know of this software is because it was used by a known racist to argue that white beauty objectively is the one true beauty.

So, as an aside, let me be clear that the people who say they think art!Duchess looks better than previous/usual!Duchess (few, fortunately) are full of toxic bullshit.

On top of Duchess’s own changes as far as her art-self goes, there’s the matter this comes after a series of unpleasant developments. There’s the implication all nominees - who are all white - will win Thronecoming, which only makes the exclusion of WOC candidates that much more egregious because they haven’t just lost a chance to win, but the win itself. There’s Melody’s blatant exclusion from the yearbook for no discernible reason while it does contain the Crumbs and doesn’t do anything for my hope they won’t be pseudo-Nazi stereotypes at least outside the books (at least they’re not pan-canonically blond, I suppose). There’s that Mr. Cottonhorn is not one of Lilly-Bo’s sheep. And there’s the recent sort of addition of Lizzie to the Apple-Briar… thing that is really not doing anything to improve Briar’s situation. Rare pros are Spinmaster Flax (would’ve favored Spinmistress Flax. Seems more Briar to me) and, apparently, the treatment of Cedar in the third book. Not going to be thrilled by either anymore. Months ago I made a positive comment for once on the then-webisode and that I was looking forward to the rest and then the next several months were shit webisode after shit webisode. I tried to be positive about SDCC and you know. I tried to be positive about Spinmaster Flax and then no Melody and whitewashed Duchess. Not doing positive anymore as long’s irony hanging around.

That’s about all my feelings on Duchess, with a few bits of related topics woven in for context and/or because they needed to be addressed to. It’s been two days since Duchess’s card reveal and I’m still shaking. I’m not sure what I’m hoping for from the franchise anymore at this point, because it just keeps doing gross things and I’m out of energy to keep my hopes up. Not leaving or stopping or anything, but dealing with EAH is pretty much flowing along now, which is nothing like the rush MH provides.

Scott McCloud [x], Making Comics

You bet your ass that when I first read this book and saw this panel, I noticed that both writer and artist were drawn as women, and that simultaneously surprised me AND made me feel more welcome in the medium.

Little stuff like this makes a huge difference by helping restore the balance. I don’t know if McCloud did it intentionally, if he had to think past ‘draw two dudes or at least one dude and one girl’ before making this image, or if maybe he didn’t even think about it at all. But I’m glad this is what he drew.

My thoughts about Trans Fenris

I just found out today that there is a lot of drama surrounding the Trans!Fenris headcanon. Some users felt so harassed they even left Tumblr over it. And that’s not okay. Don’t like the headcanon? Stay out of the tags. Blacklist the terms. Unfollow a user. Don’t send a person hate or disparage their fan art and fan fics.

I am not trans, so I don’t know how valuable my comment will be. But I can imagine it must be difficult sometimes for trans people to know when to tell their potential partners-which I’m finding is a common premise in a lot of the trans Fenris fics on AO3. Unfortunately in my country and many others, sometimes that reveal is met with derision, abuse, or violence. For you tumblr folk that have never experienced that particular brand of discrimination or the nervousness that accompanies a “first time” with a new partner, you and I will never comprehend that fear and body dysphoria that many feel.

Obviously, Thedas is different from our world. But I still think it’s important to have this explored, both for trans people who currently lack respectful representation in the media and for non-trans people like me who perhaps could stand to have a little empathy.

If any of you recently dealt with pushback from the DA fandom about your headcanon-I’m sorry. And I will say that not a single shred of Trans!Fenris hate has crossed my dash-which means I follow some nice Dragon Age fans. But I’m very angry to learn that some of my followers received hate.

If you write or make art for this headcanon-bravo. It takes time and effort and skill to make it. As with any art or fic, it also takes courage to post it publicly-and doubly so with the risk of encountering transphobia. I can’t imagine how horrible it must feel to have that effort of yours trampled by the very people who share your love of the game.

Anyway-I just found out and I’m sorry I wasn’t aware before now. I’ll read your fics and appreciate your fan art. Send it my way.

anonymous said:

Okay so we've gone from raising awareness of how EAH is lacking POC characters to hating on all the white characters and people who like the white characters. Nice. You're right you're absolutely right, you and everyone else are allowed to be angry about the lack of POC representation. But just like people shouldn't police your anger also means you can't police what characters other people like.

If you want to like the white cast, fine. Be my guest! Enjoy when you’ve got something to enjoy!

But do not try to make lack of POC characters about how the poor white characters have problems too. Do not give me metaphor nonsense like every piece of shit fiction does to get the narrative of marginalized without actually having to bother with marginalized people. That kind of appropriation does not flow with me.

You want to write about how great Apple, Blondie, and Holly are? Do that. But be conscious of how their whiteness is their reason of existence and influences the narratives they get, and that some narratives they get simply don’t belong to them. And don’t pretend to be talking about POC representation when you are talking about them because that is fucked up and hella racist. 

Okay, Tumblr, let’s make this go viral. You all know that representation in the media is desperately needed, and this game is delivering what many of the big-name games haven’t. Pumpkin Online is made by a development team headed by an African-American woman and they’re aiming to make this game as inclusive and friendly as possible. This is a farming/romance sim mixed up with an adventure MMORPG and made incredibly diverse.

You want to play a non-binary character? You got it! You want a range of races in your NPC neighbors? Done! Clothing choices and body features not restricted by gender? It’s in there! Relationships in no way affected by gender or lack of gender? Yes, that too!

Let’s get this thing going viral and help promote the Kickstarter (link in the article) so that everyone gets the chance to play the character they want to play. Reblog buttons, do your thing!

And then I saw that Melissa Fumero had been cast as Amy Santiago on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and I felt my guts roll up into my throat and try to escape out of my mouth. Omgomgomgomg that’s it then. There’s no way in hell a major network is gonna cast two Latina actresses in such a tight ensemble show I AM SCREWED.

And then next day my agents called and told me I’d booked it.

I couldn’t believe it. I had been saying to my boyfriend the night before how there was JUST NO WAY. Normally, The Latina is a singular element of the ensemble she is working in. She’s there to provide contrast, or sexuality, or humor. Or she’s there to clean the floors and/or steal your man. There are some serious stereotypes very much alive in film and TV today, and The Latina is one of them.

Here’s the thing though. The world is changing. Slowly but surely, television is changing. The character stereotypes are changing, or being turned inside out by some fantastic writers and actors (I’m looking at you, Orange is the New Black, Scandal, and The Mindy Project). People of color are on TV playing roles that are fleshed out, complex, human. And yes, some of those characters are maids. Some are sexy heartbreakers there to steal your man. Some own BBQ joints, while some are Chiefs of Staff. Some are prisoners, and some are cops. All are real people with hopes, dreams, ambitions, fears, and all the other vast human emotions and desires…

…This is important. Because young women are watching TV, and they are getting messages about who they are in the world, who the world will allow them to be. And in big important steps, television is showing a reflection back to those young women that YOU CAN BE WHATEVER THE HELL YOU DAMN WELL PLEASE, and that two Latinas on one show is NORMAL. I think that’s a win for everybody.

Seriously though, if you don’t think asexual representation is important, you need to get educated, because it is really hard to live in a sex-centric culture and not be interested in sex. 

I have seen so many posts about finding out about asexuality after joining tumblr and you know what word almost all over them have in common? Broken. 

And that’s fucked up. 

I want to see fat women portrayed as desirable & sexually autonomous

I want to see trans women portrayed as desirable & sexually autonomous

I want to see women of color portrayed as desirable & sexually autonomous

I want to see women with disabilities portrayed as desirable & sexually autonomous

It shouldn’t be considered a favor to be found attractive, & it sure as hell isnt a compliment to be fetishized. I want more fucking media that acknowledges that. fuck.