Why I #standforthe100
I’ve avoided wading into the ‘war’ that has been raging within The 100 fandom for the last few months. I’ve avoided it because, frankly, I sink into fandom for enjoyment - not for a fight. I’ve avoided it because, honestly, I’ve always known that getting involved would invite anonymous messages suggesting that I kill myself. Really, I’d rather those messages come to me than to others - because I know I have the capacity to roll my eyes and ignore them. But that doesn’t mean that I want them.
So, I’ve not waded in. I’ve supported the show that I love by continuing to enjoy it, by continuing to write meta and reviews, by continuing to love the characters and the relationships that I have loved since S1. The 100 is absolutely my favourite tv show of the moment, and one of my favourites of all time. It is made up of the most diverse case that I have ever seen within a Sci Fi/Fantasy show (I have not, of course, watched every show in existence). For that alone, it is incredibly important to me. It has also gotten better and better as time has gone on. There have been missteps, of course, but overall it is one of my very favourite things.
So why am I wading in now?
It seems apt that as the 'antis’ mount their (hopefully, but probably not) last big attack on the show, that I should really contribute to the counter trend - #standwiththe100. Because while I do not believe for one second that these people have the power to get the show cancelled, I do believe that they are spreading falsities about the show, and that is enough to anger me. I also believe that some people have been sucked into all the hate due to a sense of comradeship and loyalty, and do still have good intentions. To those Clexa shippers, those that are reasonable, I really hope you read this to end and can at least appreciate my perspective.
In my opinion more people should watch The 100 for so many reasons, and they should at least be able to make a judgement of the show for themselves - without being made to feel like they are committing some sort of crime by a very vocal set of ‘fans’.
I love and adore a lot about The 100. I clapped like a seal in delight when Clarke was revealed to be bisexual. Just as I fist pumped the reveal that Lexa was the Commander. I will forever fangirl over how the love triangle in S1 was handled…namely, both Clarke and Raven ditched Finn and became great friends instead. I will flail forever over how Bellamy destroys the alpha male trope. Similarly, I applaud how Lincoln was introduced as a menacing figure only to quickly be revealed to be one of the most peaceful characters on the whole show. More recently, I was delighted to see that Christopher Larkin’s wish to not be desexualised - as Asian men in media often are - was fulfilled.
I could go on and on and on about ways in which The 100 is fantastic representation. I could also go on and on and on about how transparent it is that nobody is fighting so viciously for any other show to be cancelled, even though most have committed equal to or worse crimes than The 100, but I’ll save that particular rant for now. Hopefully anybody with a brain can see the truth of that without me having to draw it out.
No, I’ll focus my attention on how grateful I am for Raven Reyes, and the bullet she took to the leg. Yes, yes. I know #RavenReyesDeservesBetter but do you know what? A lot of people in the world deserve better. Life is that you don’t always get what you deserve.
Countless people in the world are impacted by chronic pain or illness, by disability. I myself have had a chronic illness since I was 18 months old, and I am sometimes disabled by it and always in pain because of it. I’ve seen people like myself represented a few times before, but most tend to go as follows:
1. Person is magically cured, and goes on to have a happy life.
2. The story about the person specifically resolves around their illness/affliction. It is, perhaps, a realistic portrayal, but it is not the sort of story that one would watch for entertainment. (We are pretty much NEVER repped in sci fi/fantasy/adventure…because how can a disable person be part of an adventure?)
Raven Reyes is RAVEN FREAKING REYES. She is a badass, ballsy Latina that is one of the most popular characters on a SCI FI/FANTASY show….AND SHE IS DISABLED.
It is everything to me. I am so so grateful to S3 of The 100 for showing Raven deal with the REALITY of having an affliction that will be with her for the rest of her life. Because that is what I faced. I cried when Abby told her 'she could still be useful’ at the start of the season, and Raven stormed away - because that is my whole life. I sobbed buckets when she finally gave in and took the chip, because she just needed that moment of weakness - because I have moments of weakness all the time, when I’m alone and there is nobody there to see me be weak.
And then? I continued to cry, but I also screamed and cheered, and rolled about on my bed when RAVEN CHOSE HER PAIN. I punched the air when Raven’s friends saved her, and she had her pain back. I sobbed buckets all over again when, at the end of 3x12, Raven acknowledged that her leg would slow her down BUT IT DIDN’T MATTER BECAUSE HER BRAIN IS WHERE IT’S AT AND SHE CAN STILL BE USEFULLLL.
And I absolutely cannot wait for her to be a hero in the finale, and then on into S4. Disabled people don’t get to see themselves be heroes, because how can a person without a fully functioning body be heroic? Well, Raven Reyes says fuck that noise.
So now, I am - for the first time - going to directly address the people that are behind the 'boycott’ of The 100. Only a select portion of you though - those that genuinely think what you are doing is right.
(Those of you that spread lies, that only adopted #minoritiesdeservebetter when Lexa died and had previously been calling Jason ‘Daddy’, those of you that trvialise abuse, those of you that are racist, those of you that are biphobic, those of you that abuse and harrass the cast if they do not ascribe to your way of thinking. those of you that seem to think that oppression is the best way to fight oppression?.You can all send me your hate so that I can laugh and block you, because you’re ridiculous and disgusting and I won’t be bullied by you. Because let’s not forget, and let’s also not tiptoe around the fact, that a portion of the people that are so virulently determined to destroy The 100 -despite the fact that pretty much all of their claims have been disproven (all bi girls end up with men? False) are only doing so because of the ship war.
Yes, I said it. They are so angry that they lost Clexa, that they are determined to eliminate any chance of Bellarke happening.)
But, of course, not all of the people behind the boycott are of that ilk. And so I am faced with the fact that people genuinely believe that getting rid of the show all together is the best course of action. I struggle with this, obviously, but I have to accept it.
In which case, I want to ask…why?
Why is it okay to take away the representation that means so much to me, when you clearly know how much it hurts?
Why is it okay to bulldoze the countless others that are telling you the same thing?
Most of all…why are you approaching the issue with hatred and anger?
I understand that having a diverse case does not automatically mean that a show is good representation…but it’s a good step in the right direction. Take 3x08 for example…there was only ONE straight, white male character in that episode (excluding background characters bc I didn’t count them, sorry). The rest of the characters were women, LGBT+, or PoC. And none of their storylines were ABOUT being women, or LGBT+, or PoC. That’s…amazing?
Why are you fighting to cancel a show that has shown it is willing to not only have token LGBT+ characters, but to have them in prominent roles? To have them be warriors and leaders that are NOT defined by their sexuality?
Why are you fighting to cancel a show that has shown it is open to including minorities of all kinds?
The newest craze is to act like The 100 is offensive because it is violent and dark, but it has always been violent and dark (this argument is transparent too by the way) and you know what? Watching the characters overcome that darkness and their trauma is important to a lot of people. Stories like this are important and inspiring. Jasper’s PTSD arc this season has been crafted wonderfully. Sure, I’ll be disappointed if it ends in his death…but that doesn’t take away from the fact that S3 has allowed Jasper to truly feel the impact of what he has been through, and at no point has he been demonised for it - which is IMPORTANT.
Why, most of all, are you focusing on destroying the show, when they have proven time and again that they are willing to listen to fans and make changes?
A lot of you joined the fandom because of CL, and you weren’t around during S1. So let me fill in a little bit of fandom history. Before Clexa became a thing, the Bellarke fandom was hugely dominant. People either shipped it, or didn’t mind it. There were some Flarke shippers (sorry guys) but it’s an accepted fact that the majority of the fandom was made up of Bellarke shippers.
And guess what? WE ASKED FOR LGBT+ REP ON THE SHOW.
Do you know what else? WE CHEERED WHEN CLEXA KISSED. Many of us multishipped to some degree, because we were happy to see that representation.
This often gets brushed aside by the crusade to make out that every Bellarke shipper is a homophobe, but Clexa in S2 was met with a wave of positivity.
(Quick note: I know that the Bellarke fandom has its share of absolute douche canoes as well, and would never deny that. If the situations were reversed and Bellamy was dead, I suspect that a number of people on this side would also be super gross about things - but that doesn’t mean we should all just sit back and accept it)
And do you know what we all did together? We asked for MORE LGBT+ representation. AND WE GOT IT.
We got Niylah, who is clearly going to pop up again.
While we didn’t exactly get Minty (I still believe) we did at least get Briller.
And, yes - I’m going to say it, IF Clarke ends up with Bellamy she is STILL bisexual and that is still great representation, because a bi woman ending up with a man is NOT lesser (nor is it the norm, as is so often spouted).
And looking beyond LGBT+ rep?
We asked for Raven to get her own arc dealing with her disability. WE GOT IT.
We asked for Monty to get his own arc aside from Jasper. WE GOT IT.
I understand that the writers messed up and hurt you. I also still cannot get my head around the way they wrote Lexa off the show in 3x07, and was highly critical of their choices in my 3x07 review. But mistakes get made. Rather than tearing shit down, why not ask for them to do better?
I assume that the response would be 'we don’t trust these writers to do it well’, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least ask them to try/give them the chance. They HAVE heard you (who hasn’t, honestly) and THAT is what positive change is about.
And fine, if you really can’t do it. Then WALK AWAY. Similarly, if the show is too dark and upsetting for you, WALK AWAY. Feeling either of these things does NOT give you the right to say that the entire show should end.
Because there aren’t many shows out there that would be so willing as The 100 to embrace diversity.
Personally I am desperate for Octavia and Niylah to become a thing. So why not campaign for that? Why not campaign for Niylah as season regular? Why not campaign for MORE, instead of trying to tear everything away from everyone?
I can’t help but think, personally, that the reason you don’t want to do any of the above is because this isn’t actually about #LGBTDeserveBetter…it’s actually about Lexa, and Clexa.
It’s fine and understandable to be hurt and upset at losing that character and that relationship, but I’ve not seen a good reason why that means the whole show needs to be torn down.
You raised a ton of money, which I donated to. You trended some great trends, which I contributed to. But since then you have gone down this path which is gross and horribly upsetting.
I #standforthe100 because it means a hell of a lot to me, and to others. I stand for it because of the efforts of the cast and the crew. If you hate the show, stop watching. But if you TRULY believe that #minortiesdeservebetter then there are better ways to expend your energy.
I would LOVE to hear a good reason why taking away everyone else’s rep is a better outcome than asking for, and probably getting, Niytavia (it even has a super cute ship name!) or some other new f/f ship/s?
I would genuinely be more than happy to discuss this with you, even if you steadfastly stand behind the cause to get the show cancelled. We might never agree, but I am always happy to discuss things respectfully - to learn and to gain understanding. So please, drop me an ask.
If, however, you drop me an ask that is nothing but hate/an attempt to 'drag’ me…I shall simply laugh and block you.
At the end of the day, The 100 is a tv show that I love. I am forever grateful to the writers, to the cast and to the crew for making it what it is. I don’t want anybody to be hurting or sad, but I don’t understand why the answer to your pain in to cause pain to others. I sometimes tell myself it’s because you’re all very young, but then I know from experience that age really has nothing to do with maturity.
One final thing that I will say is that you have done good, and I will always stand by the importance of Clexa and the reaction to them (even though I don’t ship it myself). Things have taken a not good turn, and hey…maybe we won’t see the outcome of all of this anytime soon. But do you know who HAS seen what you’ve been saying? Do you know who HAS seen the reaction and the discourse?
The writers of tomorrow. And, hopefully, that includes me. Social media is full of the next generation, and through social media the writers that are only now beginning to hone their craft will take this experience on board. Hopefully, the writers of the future won’t need to be asked to include more diversity. It will just be the norm.
Despite the negativity that I will continue to fight, you guys have had a positive impact on me. You’d made me that much more conscious of the choices that I make regarding my characters, including the LGBT+ ones, and of how important those characters.
Thank you for that.
I only ask that you find a way to channel your passion and your energy into positive change, even if that positivity moves on to other shows and you personally drop The 100, rather than this misguided cause.
I’m not naive enough to believe this post will make a difference. I’ve seen countless fans of The 100 echo my exact feelings, in direct response to hate, and far more eloquently - and it has no impact. However, I figure that today was the day to at least make my stance clear.