Readers, life is great! The Rogue One trailer was cool, Captain America: Civil War was awesome, and there is a brand new set of Splatoon based Amiibo. Included are a set of the Squid Sisters who are very adorable, and a recolor set of the original girl, squid, and boy. Imagine my excitement when I saw that the new palette for the boy was a Black Inkling! I was incredibly hyped. But then as I looked back at the girl Inkling, I made an unfortunate observation: there is a striking lack of women of color in a lot of our media.
I’m not the only one on this site excited for the new season of Game of Thrones, so I’m in good company with people who understand my burning need to see a new episode as soon as I can
. You know, before Tumblr spoils me on everything in convenient gif format. There’s a lot to look forward to this season: more Jaime and Brienne, more Joffrey getting slapped, more Tyrell ladies being badasses. However, something that caught my attention straight away—and something that didn’t escape the watchful eye of the internet—was the appearance of House Martell. Before any trailers, the character of Oberyn had already been making waves due to fandom crying foul over whitewashing the Dornish prince. And while people were rightfully put off by the ethnicity swap (despite reassurances from author George R.R. Martin), it seems another issue could rise; an issue that, in the same vein, has everything to do with the television adaptation and not so much the novelization. That is, of course, Oberyn’s bisexuality.
Being one of the many who only has enough drive to watch the show and not hunker down to read the massive tomes, I’m at a distinct disadvantage when considering whether or not parts of Oberyn’s sexuality were changed to make it more palatable to Game of Thrones’s audience. Also, being bisexual myself, I feel that despite the former “not reading the books” thing, being the latter still allows me a pretty good say in how said sexuality comes across. And what did I think? Well… it was adequate representation.
Things in the Teen Wolf fandom are, admittedly, almost always an unbearable shitstorm of hate, with fans doing everything from using offensive slurs against cast members to calling for their rape and murder. This is not representative of everyone in the Teen Wolf fandom, but I will not lie when I say the best advice that I can give to someone new to the fandom is: find a few cool people to follow on Tumblr and then stay the fuck out of the tags. There is nothing but hate there. But while this sort of bullshit tends to be the norm in this fandom, the past few days have been utterly unbearable.
What caused utter anarchy to fall upon the Teen Wolf fandom? Simply this: an interviewer decided to ask Tyler Posey, Tyler Hoechlin, and Holland Roden yet another tiresome question about the Sterek pairing, and Posey gave a honest answer about his feelings toward the ship.
His comment about Sterek begins at 1:29.
Since then, Posey has received a deluge of hate and even death threats from shippers who were hurt by what he said. But what really grinds my gears is that
what started out as a crack ship has gained so much power that the Teen Wolf Powers That Be have chosen to support it over their lead actor, Tyler Posey. And that is so far beyond the pale that I cannot even contain my rage.
Love triangles are by no means something that’s unique to the stage—they’ve been part of popular storytelling tradition for centuries. And if you’re anything like me, you’re starting to get sick of being asked which “Team” you’re on every time you consume some new media about a group of three people of differing genders. There are some very famous musical love triangles, though, and I’d like to look at a few of them and discuss why they’re problematic and why they almost always end up being unfair to the women involved.
[tw: discussions of transphobia in anime]
Also known as Trans Equals Gay, Anime Edition. Let TVTropes explain it for you better than I can:
In Real Life, being gay and being transgender are entirely separate, as they relate to two different things. Being gay relates to sexual attraction, and means being attracted to others of the same gender. Being trans relates to gender identity, and means identifying as a different gender from one’s assigned physical sex. This can be expressed (in a heavily oversimplified way) as being “a woman trapped in a man’s body” or vice versa. However, this distinction is all too often overlooked by straight cisgender writers wanting to insert a little LGBT-ness into their stories.
The root of this confusion is probably the heteronormative cultural attitude that “boys like girls and girls like boys” as a rule, and anything else is an “unnatural” aberration. Faced with the existence of gay people, using this assumption some might think the two are linked: “Well, the only reason these boys like other boys is because they want to be girls”. Similarly, in trying to understand transgender people, they might think “The only reason these boys want to be girls is because they like other boys.”
Japanese culture has a complicated relationship with queer characters in anime and manga to begin with. This is something I’ve touched on before. QUILTBAG anime characters tend to be smushed into a one-size-fits-all stereotype, where trans* and gay and genderfluid and bi and every other kind of character, especially if they present male, will act the same flamboyant way. Perhaps this is an attempt to force traditional gender roles on non-hetero characters and relationships; perhaps the writers just don’t know the difference. Either way, it’s the opposite of good, and has lead me to assume that like 90% of the queer male-assigned characters in anime are just gay guys written by writers who think gay equals trans. (For examples of this outside the characters in this post, see Leeron, Nuriko, Charlotte Coolhorne, that one gay character in InuYasha who they dubbed with a female voice…)
To add to that, fandom doesn’t help—the characters who do seem to be trans* are constantly misgendered by fandom in discussion, meta, fanfic, etc. Let’s look at these two characters from very popular shows. Continue reading