I’ve never really been part of a fandom here on Tumblr, so while I’m aware of the problems with fandom and women characters, I’ve not really experienced it much with anything I’ve liked. But now ‘American Gods’ is a TV show, and seems to be getting a following from those familiar and unfamiliar with the book, which is great. But then you get Laura Moon, and whoo boy.
The amount of people who respond to Laura by calling her a bitch and say how much they hate her for cheating on Shadow and so on is very dispiriting. And it feels bizarre to have to say this, but she is not a real person, she’s a fictional character. As such, you don’t have to like her as a person. If she were a real person, I might not like her much either. (Although since I, like her, suffer from depression, I might like her after all.) You don’t have to like that she cheated on Shadow - who is also a fictional character and not a real person. As a character, the things she does do not have to be nice, and they are not necessarily things the text is saying are okay. Episode four has Audrey telling Laura over and over again that she fucked up. And because Laura is a fictional character, where she is now is not necessarily where she’s going to end up. She cheated on her husband (something that male characters always seem to be forgiven for more than women), and how she responds to that will be part of her development. It’s nice that you all love Shadow (and Ricky Whittle), but rather than yell about how much you want Laura to die (again) maybe you should look at her as a character. As an examination of depression and aspiration and belief. As someone who informs our view of other characters, especially Shadow. As someone with a part to play in the larger narrative and its themes. And maybe that characters don’t always have to be likeable to be valuable.
(As an aside, I find it kind of amusing that people have responded to Anubis chastising Laura with variations of “lol, he dragged that bitch” or whatever. Anubis may come across as righteous, but the gods in this series are not to be taken on face value. They’re petty, entitled and arrogant. Anubis is angry at Laura for not believing in anything because people who don’t believe are a threat to the gods. We saw how grateful Anubis was when he found a woman who still remembered him, and here we see the flipside; someone who worked in a place dedicated to his image who doesn’t give a shit about him. He’s less righteous than he is shitty.)
Can we talk about American Gods? We really have a dark-skin black woman playing a Biblical Queen and a Love Goddess. We have Black People portraying Egyptian Gods. The lead of the show is black. They have West African Gods being portrayed on mainstream media. Seeing black people’s mythology and history represented on screen by black actors is a big thing. People aren’t even aware of nor regard the several figures in Abrahamic religions being African. .
This is a Muslim home. Why does Anubis hold out his hand for me?
It is my thanks. You were once a girl with your own tita who taught you the ways of Egypt old. Of when the Nile was full and flooded. She told you stories of the wolf and the jackal, the red wind and of the child of Bast.