Ten things I practice as a woman artist:
- Thank people who compliment my art.
- Agree with people who compliment my art.
- Avoid deprecating my own art (for example with self-hating language in hashtags like #mystupidart or #Imsuchtrash).
- Avoid apologizing for my art.
- Avoid defending my art to people who aren’t interested in helping me grow for my sake.
- Do not accept or internalize criticism that comes without my consent.
- Share my older art from time to time as a reminder of my growth.
- Celebrate accomplishments and milestones.
- Write and talk about my art so I’m more aware of my choices.
- Take my art seriously, even if I’m being silly. Always respect myself.
And other fanworks, for that matter, but let’s talk about fic: When AO3 was proposed, it was in response to Strikethrough and other similar events. Livejournal deleted a lot of accounts without bothering to distinguish between actual pedophiles, survivor support groups, and 100% consensual fantasy fandom activities being done by adults with other adults (most of which involved RP accounts for 16-year-old Harry Potter characters anyway).
I helped write the first AO3 Terms of Service and set up the Abuse committee. AO3 was always intended to be welcoming to all kinds of fic, no matter how dirty, sick, socially unacceptable, bizarre, or out of fashion. During those initial TOS talks, we specifically discussed grotesque RPF snuff porn as the test case for something all of us on the committee found distasteful but would nonetheless defend because, by defending it, we created a space where all of our own favorite things were protected too.
Policing fic content is a slippery slope. Even if you only police the “worst” stuff, you create an environment where the more sensitive authors and no few of the ones “shipping to cope” are no longer comfortable posting at all. Attacking people for posting fic about rape/abuse/etc. is demanding that all survivors disclose. No amount of whining and backtracking will change this fact. It is a disgusting behavior that drives people from your fandoms and creates needless misery while adding nothing of value to the community.
If you want to kick certain kinds of content off of AO3, you do not belong on AO3 in the first place.
No offense i didnt spend my entire childhood being made fun of for my interests, fear judgement all the way through my teens and early adulthood, and learn to love what i love free of shame so I could be made to feel bad for enjoying something harmless because “the fandom ruined it/made it cringey”
if you’re going to urge people to think critically about the media they consume, you must accept that they might do that and come to a different conclusion to you.
the phrase ‘think critically…’ all too often comes with an unspoken assumption of ‘…and you’ll adopt my opinion, which is the right one’ which is both arrogant and contrary to the initial suggestion.
let people come to their own conclusions. you don’t have to adopt, support, or even like them but you should respect them.
(also stop assuming that people haven’t already ~thought critically~ about the media they consume before you deigned to show up. condescending intellectual elitism is not a good look.)
A new follower summarized how I feel when I get cranky on here:
Well, unless you are going to only write stories in which nice things happen to nice people, you are going to write stories in which people who do not believe what you believe show up, just like they do in the world. And in which bad things happen, just as they do in the world. And that’s hard.
And if you are going to write awful people, you are going to have to put yourself into their shoes and into their head, just as you do when you write the ones who believe what you believe. Which is also hard.
I think that knowing what you believe, writing fiction informed by what you believe, and knowing that your fiction has a moral grounding (if it does) is the best thing for an author. And not worrying about what readers think of you, any more than you’d worry about what your parents or lovers might think if they read your fiction.
It’s something that I thought a lot about a long time ago, when one young man killed his lover, and then killed himself, and tried to frame Sandman (and me) for it. And the conclusion I came to was that you have to be good in your heart with what you’ve written. And beyond that, you cannot worry.
(For the curious: http://neil-gaiman.tumblr.com/post/54466572210/rebloggable-by-request-on-responsibility Is a link to the time I wrote about it here on tumblr. And https://nothingbutcomics.net/2018/02/26/sandmanmurder/ is a blog entry by someone else that gives more background and news links.)
not everybody has been exposed to what you have, or has seen what you’ve seen or felt what you’ve felt. so their priorities and abilities are different from yours. that’s why you can’t compare their accomplishments or their journey to your own. you don’t see the mountains you’ve conquered as mountains because the view you’re seeing is skewed. you can’t always trust your own eyes when they’re looking at yourself. you can only strengthen your mind; tell yourself that you’re different and your battle is unique. remind yourself that you’re winning your fight just by surviving.
What she says: I hate antis
What she really means: I don’t mind people disliking a ship for their own reason but the anti-shipping movement is driven by hate and bandwagon bullying to police what people are “allowed” to enjoy. They use fundamentally abusive and manipulative tactics on real people in the name of protecting survivors from speculative things in fiction. Antis want to act morally superior over ship wars and claim that to ship something problematic you must be a survivor. By doing this antis force survivors who may be uncomfortable with coming out with their status to out themselves and then hold them to impossible standards. Except when it does come to survivors who ship anti-deemed problematic things we are attacked, harassed, and then pushed under the bus anyway. Antis trivialize terms such as abuse, rape, and pedophilia by using them so often and out of place against a group made up of many survivors and minors– the people they claim to be protecting. They have bullied and suicide baited artists and other content creators they dislike in the name of “policing the bad ships uwu.” All antis are at fault for this, even if an anti claims not to send hate themselves they are still influencing this bad behavior because they are part of this hate group. The entire anti-shipper movement is a toxic cesspool that makes me feel sick.
hot take to end all hot takes:
objective quality of a media (show/game/anime/etc) has almost zero meaning compared to: what you go in expecting, what you need emotionally in that period of your life, and how you see it through the lens of resonant thematic elements specific to you as an individual.
“this ship/work of fiction could hypothetically hurt someone” is not an argument.
We don’t prohibit alcohol just because some people can hurt themselves/other people with it. People who can drink responsibly aren’t at fault for people who can’t.
You either believe in people to be personally responsible for themselves or you believe in a dystopia where all fiction is subject to censorship due to any possible cultural impact.