“Enter the players. There were seven of us then, seven bright young things with wide precious futures ahead of us, though we saw no further than the books in front of our faces. We were always surrounded by books and words and poetry, all the fierce passions of the world bound in leather and vellum. (I blame this in part for what happened.)”
The idea that kids don’t notice representation and lack thereof in media is fucking bullshit. As a little kid I was a skinny, blond haired, blue eyed white girl (I’m currently a skinny brown haired blue eyed white girl) and I fucking loved how I looked. Wanna know why?
I looked like a princess. At least half the princesses I ever saw looked like me. And not only that, most of the heroines I saw looked like me. That made me feel great! I doubt it made the girls who didn’t look like me feel very good. Those girls looked like the best friends and he enemies of heroes. They looked like second best or straight up villains. That’s pretty fucked up.
And in a way later on it stopped doing me good. I freaked out when I started growing up, when I started getting just slightly less skinny, when my hair and my eyes got darker, when my facial proportions changed and my nose wasn’t as princess-brand minuscule. Obviously this isn’t as serious as what girls who aren’t skinny, cis, able-bodied, white gentiles have gone through, but it was and is wholly unpleasant.
Like kids, they notice his shit. I got bored of all my Barbies looking exactly the same when I was five. I knew why Obama was important when I was eight and why Tiana was important when I was nine. If me, the one being included, could pick up on these things, then you should believe the people who were and are excluded when they say they noticed too.
Prolly made him a tad bit too shiny, but in my defense I’m still getting used to new markers and I was referencing a bunch of oiled up muscles images and it’s certainly not because I need to see him flexing every 5 sketches
Mary Watson wakes in a white room, sitting in a plastic chair. She’s surrounded by girls and women, some of whom are drinking heavily. There’s a banner hanging overhead, which reads Female Characters Anonymous. A redheaded teenage girl pats her on the knee.
“Don’t be frightened. We’ve been expecting you.”
“Where am I?” Mary asks.
The girl raises an eyebrow. “You don’t know?” She spreads her arms out. “This is the place where good female characters come to die.”
Mary frowns. “Oh, because I died in my show?”
“Honey, I wish!” A woman with dark eyeliner calls out.
“Ignore Lexa. She’s still angry about the bullet thing.” The teenage girl looks Mary up and down. “Then again, you would know something about that, wouldn’t you?”
“Oh, you know. Being killed off for drama. Or in your case, man pain.”
“Don’t get me started on that,” a woman to Mary’s right grumbles. She’s got bright red hair and a shirt that says Supernatural: Was it ever a good show?
“That’s Charlie. She had a good run until the writers didn’t know what to do with her.”
Mary, who’s starting to get an idea about where she is, shakes her head with a little laugh. “No, you must be mistaken. I was a good, strong character. I don’t belong here”
A few chuckles at that. Someone mutters, “I’ve heard that one before.”
The teenage girl gives her a sympathetic smile. “Have you taken a look at the fandom lately? They hate you. Always have.”
Mary frowns. “But–”
“I know it must be hard to understand at first, but let’s face it. You were an imperfect female character. You had flaws and a dark side, which would have been fine, if you hadn’t posed a threat to the Main Ship.”
A cold wind passes through the room. Everyone shudders.
“Johnlock. The ship of an era.”
“Oh, that,” Mary says with a smile. “That’s perfectly fine! There’s no reason to hate me just because you ship Johnlock.”
“No, it’s not that. Some of the fandom, certainly not all of them, hate you because in their eyes, you’re the thing that’s blocking them from easy access to their ship. Trust me, I have experience with this.”
Mary squints at the girl. “Who are you?”
The girl smiles. “I’m Ginny Weasley.”
“Oh. Oh, dear.”
“Yup. I’m a bit of an old-timer around here. Boy, I cannot even begin to tell you the number of Drarry fanfics wherein I either cheat on Harry with Dean, turn into a monstrous bitch, or simply disappear altogether.”
“Don’t forget the ones where you start dating Neville for no reason!” A woman shouts out.
Ginny laughs a bit. “Those are usually alright. I have to go somewhere, right?”
Mary is starting to panic a bit. “I…I don’t think I understand.”
Ginny nods. “Don’t worry. There’s someone whom I think you should meet.” She pulls Mary to her feet and leads her towards a dark corner in the room. “This girl hasn’t been here for as long as me, but she’s certainly suffered worse. She not only got in the way of a Main Ship, but a canon Main Ship. And a straight one, at that. She’s been shat on, villainized, ignored, pretty much everything in the book. A true warrior of her time.”
Mary starts to get nervous as they approach this girl. She’s seated at a bar, head down on the counter, twirling a paint covered finger around a whiskey glass.
When they’ve reached her, Mary clears her throat. “My name is–”
“I know who you are.”
“Oh. Well, who are you?”
After a moment’s pause, the girl downs the whiskey in one gulp, and slams the glass on the counter. She slowly turns to fix Mary with a battle-hardened stare. “My name, is Rachel. Elizabeth. Dare.”