female characters of color

Some of the Philippines' most famous superheroes

Are DARNA, a  provincial girl who transforms into a warrior woman, based on the creator’s single mother (largely considered the Philippines’ greatest and central fictional superhero)–released in a time when everybody insisted that “a female comic book heroine won’t sell” (though the creator never gave up, considering the country itself a woman, and Darna its powerful and beautiful female spirit)

TRESE, a woman who is the head of their family and its responsibility over the streets of Manila and its supernatural relations (a mix of a supernatural crime boss and detective) whose fan following is enormous and growing and whose authority is unquestionable despite being the youngest of six living siblings and the only daughter 

ZSA-ZSA ZATURNNAH, a gay man and arguable transwoman (some gay men in the Philippines might in fact be transwomen who self-identify as gay men due to lack of knowledge about other genders, and Zsa-Zsa has expressed delight in being a woman) who, like Darna, can transform into a woman warrior and defend the world from outer threats while dealing with the more personal hardships of her everyday life as an effeminate gay man in a traditional Filipino community

and CAPTAIN BARBELL, a poor, disabled man who is abused by his siblings, who can transform into a strongman type hero who uses his powers for good and to help others in need like he was


So let me reiterate: The Philippines’ most famous comic book and TV show/film heroes are

A young girl, a woman, a gay man /  transwoman, and a disabled man. 

The only comics representation we really need is more people being interested in our comics, since our representation is a hundred tiers and dozens of years ahead of your average American brooding thirty something white man. 

i can’t get over how in season one it felt like all sun had was her dog? and her connection to the cluster primarily consisted of saving their asses. and suddenly she has her prison family, her teacher, even the fucking detective assigned to steal back her freedom, surrounding her with love and acceptance on all sides.

and from the holiday ep, the cluster converged, all for her. she’s not just Jean Claude Van Damme Korean Lady, the one who supplies physical labor for nothing but an occasional thank you. she’s precious to them. without a second thought, they save her from assassins, break her out of prison, put together a legit heist to end her quest for vengeance.

and all along they  tell her we’re here. we got your back. we love you and we’re not going anywhere.

it just makes me really emotional

We are supposed to be the most progressive and transformative community in pop-culture.

We who…

  • Hyper-focus on white, male characters
  • Contort these male characters into heteronormativity 
  • Marginalize and erase characters of color
  • Write out women and replace them with men, especially in shipping
  • Attack women for “getting in the way” of our preferred ships
  • Hold female characters to higher standards than male characters
  • Hold characters of color to higher standards than white characters
  • Latch onto any single excuse to marginalize female characters
  • Utilize any single excuse to demonize characters of color
  • Put women on pedestals and act as if we’re doing them a favor
  • Justify white and male abuses or dismiss them as “mistakes”
  • Use actual mistakes to denigrate female and non-white characters
  • Romanticize white, male pain and mental illness
  • Expect female characters to perform all the emotional labor
  • Expect characters of color to be perfectly mentally healthy forever
  • Expect everyone to subsume their own mental health for the white males’
  • Dismiss the traumas and experiences of characters of color
  • Minimize the achievements of female characters

And then we wonder why mainstream media is so regressive, especially compared to us. We all talk as if mainstream media creators are behind the times.

They’re not.

Fandom likes to imagine itself as being progressive because of all the slash - a mechanism of progress which conveniently boils down to extra attention on overwhelmingly male (and overwhelmingly white) characters. This form of progress is one which takes a minor deviation from the social norm (homosexuality), only to end up ultimately supporting or even amplifying the status quo, by virtue of over-focusing on male characters (and over-representing white ones in the process).

Strip back that gay window dressing, though, and you’ll see that at best, fandom is just as socially stagnant as mainstream media and mainstream culture - or even worse, by virtue of engaging in media that overwhelmingly sidelines several other marginalized groups in order to prop up one.

Professional women have long known the old adage, “Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought of half as good.” What no one seems to realize is that fandom is still doing exactly the same thing.

We expect female characters to be twice as good for half the acclaim, we expect characters of color to be three times as good for a third of the acclaim, and we let white, male characters be only a quarter as good for four times the acclaim.

Mainstream media is keeping up with the times and with social progress just fine, it’s us who’ve deluded ourselves into believing that we, as a community, are more progressive than we actually are.

“And what was the name you were given at birth?” asked Gwyn.

“David,” said Diana. “David Lawrence Wrayburn.”

Gwyn looked puzzled. “I do not understand.”

“I am a woman,” said Diana. “I always have been. I always knew I was a girl, whatever the Silent Brothers told my parents, whatever the contradiction of my body.”

-Lord Of Shadows (pg. 565)

2

A tinny ping! sounded in the cramped confines of the mako.

“Shepard–SHEPARD!” Garrus yelled. He didn’t shriek, of course.  He just…yelled.

Behind him, Wrex gave a long, drawn out snrrrrrrk. “Heh. Never heard a turian make a noise that high-pitched.”

Shepard ignored the both of them in favor of checking the new message on her omni-tool. 

The types of ship-haters you will encounter in any fandom:
  • Type 1: Chooses to ignore the romantic tension and will classify the relationship as “brother-sister”. May not actually have a sibling if they are this type.
  • Type 2: Disapproves of the white, female character getting together with the man of color, no matter how decent of a person they are. Doesn't like being called racist but may intentionally or unintentionally say something racist to make their point.
  • Type 2a: also works in reverse. However, the people who don't like women of color getting together with the lead white guy are much more vocal than the typical type-2 people.
  • Type 3: Will argue that straight pairings suck and will make arguments that (insert female character x insert female character) or (insert male character x insert male character) have better chemistry.
  • Type 4: shipped one of the less popular ships on the show. They are typically nice people since even though their ship isn't happening, they knew what they were getting into.
  • Type 5: "Did the writers have to put the (insert female character) in a relationship? Why couldn't she be a strong, independent woman?"
  • Type 6: "This ship is TOXIC AF. Here, read my dissertation on why this character and this character should not be together".
  • Type 7: Will argue that the chemistry and romance are forced and the writers suck for forcing this upon us.
  • Type 8: Will argue that one of the characters in the ship is boring. This usually means the character is decent, is not a complete mess, and is actually a good fit for the other person in the ship. Will also argue that the angsty, unstable, dangerous character is "exciting" and "fun".
  • Type 9: Will ignore the canon ship because for some fucking reason, they think the main villain has better chemistry with the lead female / male character. Even if they're presented with facts that the lead character HATES the villain, they will still dismiss the canon ship in favor of their bizarre crackship. Will also make excuses for the villain's behavior.
  • Type 9a: To add to the previous point, it doesn't have to be the villain. As long as they're unstable and dangerous...and a cis, straight white male.
  • Type 10: "I don't care if it's based on a comic book / book / video game / insert other medium, I still don't like it and I think the adaptation should make some changes."
  • Type 11: Will argue about the age difference, which is typically not a problem unless it's like a 20-year gap.
  • Type 12: Will voice their displeasure through memes.
  • Type 13: Will voice their displeasure through gifsets / photos / fanarts / manips
  • Type 14: Will voice their displeasure through really aggressive fanfics.
  • Type 15: The Newcomer ("Hey, I'm new to this fandom but I really hope this character and this character don't end up together. Maybe my opinion might change in the next few episodes / chapters"). By default, these people either turn into shippers or remain as haters.
A few characters that need defense squads more than Tony St@rk:

James “Rhodey” Rhodes

I’ve rarely seen Rhodey brought up outside of what he does for Tony (not who he is to Tony…). What I have seen is fandom moving goalposts so the bantery moments that make them ship Steve or Clint or Bruce with Tony are just signs of a deep and totes platonic brotherhood for Rhodey and Tony. I’ve seen fandom repeatedly ignore that Rhodey is just as intelligent as Tony (they met at MIT, you fricks) in order to paint Tony as a benevolent saint for slumming it with someone so clearly inferior. Rhodey is unimportant to Tony’s life unless he’s saving it and even then, if he’s not “nice” about not wanting to watch his best friend self destruct, he’s abusive. This is still characterization fandom holds on to after deciding that Rhodey was an awful, aggressive Black man who didn’t deserve their precious Tony~

Iris West 

”Fans” of the Flash have been championing the characters’ death and recasting since Candice Patton got the role. Her character is often subject to aggressive misogynoir (that’s what happens when anti-black racism and misogyny collide) and Candice receives racist hate so frequently that she’s had to address it in interviews. People cut Iris out of scenes in her own life (her intimate moments with Barry and conversations with other characters about the WestAllen relationship). They tell Candice how much they want Iris to die because she’s a “damsel in distress” when we’ve seen Candice kick actual ass and save herself multiple times. Oh, and they call Iris useless even though Barry said that without her, there wouldn’t be a Flash.

Sam Wilson 

Where do I start? First of all, fandom thinks that he exists to be a perpetual and literal wingman for Steve and Bucky. When they deign to give him romantic relationships with either of them, the focus is rarely on Sam as a character but on what he can do for Steve or Bucky. Then there was the “oh Tony couldn’t be a Hydra member because they killed his parents (despite him not knowing that and having a history of bad decisions), but Sam could” nonsense that so many folks cosigned following Winter Soldier. Oh and how about in the wake of Civil War, fandom has decided that T’challa is going to be their new Mammy figure for the Avengers since he’s rich and started portraying Sam as actually abusive to Bucky in fics and meta??

Finn (The Force Awakens)

Between the dudebro fans that threatened to boycott the franchise and transformative fanwork folks erasing him from his own narrative in order to give his personality, backstory, and potential ship to Kylo… I mean… shit hasn’t been easy. Finn has been called a misogynist and sexual harasser for grabbing Rey’s hand at the start of the film. He’s been reduced to a big black cock in fan fics (because fandom apparently can’t get that size kink extends beyond the penis). Oh and there’s this huge piece of meta going around basically calling him a beta male to Kylo’s alpha (which is dudebro redpi||er language, but from the supposedly “good” side of fandom)???

Nick Fury

Fandom literally sees him as a villain more evil than the actual bad guys in the MCU… Because he tells it like he is while not spilling his secrets to the lowkey incompetent people that make up the majority of the Avengers. #NickFuryLies is a thing that trended and that people see as an integral but negative part of his character. He was the head of a freaking covert intelligence organization, folks. His job is literally about keeping his secrets close to the chest. But no #NickFuryLies and Steve and/or Tony should never ever trust him. Also, as a Black character, when not vilified, he’s another Mammy figure or benefactor for the Avengers. Because Black characters are disliked until they’re useful.


I could keep going and at a later date, I just might because there are SO MANY characters of color and/or female characters that fandom as an institution treats HORRIBLY all in the process of defending white male characters like Tony St@rk (who does not need a defense squad protecting from fandom unless it’s his own because they’re the ones basically writing trauma porn and using his fictional pain against people…)

S.I.T.S. Page 3
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“Secrets in the Shadows” will be following a amnesiac Hobbit, an outcast hypnotized Elf, and later on a Wraith who desires to find more meaning in his life. They are following Bilbo Baggins and the Dwarves to be a part of the treasure. Sometimes they are directly a part of the group, other times they are following behind secretly.


Stay tuned for more!  Please Reblog Artist’s Hard Work!

9

It was wonderful to be given the opportunity to explore such an iconic character who is so loved by comic book fans. I don’t think that I approached it as being on the side of the superhero as much as looking at it as a woman trying to seek out justice for her community and the people who deserve it. It was a joy to do because you don’t necessarily see those types of female characters and characters of color on TV. – Simone Missick

a comprehensive list of my favorite things abt the update

-my doofus son derek nurse handing out fliers to “managerial” types
-william j. “soft same” poindexter
-WHISKEY MY DUDE. YOU ARE LOOKING HELLA FINE
-um, you don’t go to Samwell????? (she doesn’t even go here 2.0)
-hell fuckin yea a brand new gorgeous funny female character of color LIKE sign me the fuck up
-lardo. lardo listen to me. im you. im you.
-RANSOM FACING HIS EMOTIONAL ISSUES AND DISCUSSING HOW HIS CULTURAL EXPECTATIONS ARE IMPACTING HIS LIFE
-ransom and holster aka my Large and Loving boys
-DEX’S EYES IN THAT PANEL WITH ALL THE FROGS U KNOW WHAT ONE I MEAN (that boy is lopsided)
-chowder, less commonly known as my Aesthetic (he’s my sweet sunshine smiley boy and i lov him)
-i just really loved this update and HOLY the panels were all so busy?!!! imagine the effort all hail literal goddess ngozi

5

12 days of Rave: Day 11 - Most Heartwarming Moment

Nagisa’s rescue


We don’t know anything about you. Not even your name.
But there are people that will cry for your sake.People that will get angry. It’s mysterious, isn’t it? Even though they’re strangers…No… they’re not strangers, are they… When people meet, from that moment they enter the same circle. And the circle, growing bigger in that way… I think everybody wants to treasure it. One day… in order to make a circle that will connect the whole world. Though I don’t know the exact details… Don’t think of dying…

Because you have the strength to live.

Female-Driven Genre-Fiction Wishlist:

  • Girl teams, all girl teams.
  • Female characters of color who actually represent their culture.
  • Less self-sacrificing, martyr girls more girls and women who do things for themselves without feeling bad about it or people judging them for it.
  • Mothers who do things other than parent and cook.
  • Mother and daughter characters who don’t hate each others guts.
  • No more “I’m not like the other girls”.
  • Girl characters who are good at math and science.
  • More poor female characters, who come from nothing, and exploring how that effects their heroism. And I don’t mean like middle-class poor, I mean, like having to chose between food and paying bills poor.
  • Girls who don’t like each other, but can still respect each other.
  • No more girl heroes/villains whose tragic backstory is getting raped.
  • No more female characters of color dying or sacrificing themselves for white female characters.
  • More fat girl characters in fantasy and other genre fiction who are the ones kicking-ass and taking names and being haled the hero. That are defined by something other than their weight.
  • More girls of various body-types other than “lean.”
  • More disabled characters in stories that aren’t necessarily about their disability.
  • More unattractive girl characters.
  • Girls that are not looking for relationships or losing their virginity.
  • More non-binary female characters.
  • More LGBTAQ+ female characters.
  • “Strong” female characters who actually do things other than fight all the time and have a personality.
  • More “strong” female characters whose “strength” is something other than fighting.
  • No more stories sold as “feminist” in which only the leading character is female and everyone else is man, and only other female characters are minor or antagonists.
  • No more using “like a girl” or being a girl as an insult.
  • Stop making female characters be “bitches” just because. Unlikable characters are still supposed to be likable, meaning: love to hate, hate to love. Just look at Scarlett O’Hara, she’s a godawful awful person, but she’s a fantastic character.

Feel free to add yours.

During a question-and-answer session at ComicCon in 2016, then-showrunner Bryan Fuller said that the inspirations for centering the show around a female lead and a character of color were the actress Nichelle Nichols (who played Lieutenant Uhura, the only black character and the only woman in the main cast of the original series) and the astronaut Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space. Sonequa Martin-Green, the actress who was eventually cast as this character (Lieutenant Commander Rainsford) is the first black actress to be the lead in a Star Trek series. Martin-Green also has in common with Mae Jemison that both women were born in Alabama: Jemison in Decatur and Martin-Green in Russelville.

If y’all sleep on Star Trek: Discovery I will murder each of you individually because. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT.