When Clarke kissed Lexa in The 100, thousands of people rushed to binge-watch the show in order to catch up with the last couple episodes of the second season.
Though the show had never gotten the deserved recognition for its Filipino male lead nor any kind of criticism for the blatant racism in it, suddenly a horde of white fans was rushing to hype it’s “amazing” sapphic representation before The Debacle or to criticize its biphobia/lesbophobia after it all went to shit.
When the first rumors of Alex coming out in season 2 of Supergirl started circulating, again, a myriad of fans rushed to marathon season one so they could catch up in time for the return of the show, and were quick to start stanning Alex, Kara and Maggie, though most paid no attention to James Olsen.
Funnily enough, when Kara got with Mon-El, the criticism from these fans wasn’t that James/Kara had better build-up and that writing decision was blatantly anti-black; but that Kara had better chemistry with Lena, a white woman who should have been played by a disabled actress and instead had her disability completely erased.
These fans don’t criticize the ableism in that choice, the racism in sidelining James or the issues with Maggie Sawyer being promoted as latina when she isn’t, yet praise Supergirl’s representation for (white, cis, thin, able bodied and neurotypical) sapphic women non-stop. The only criticism seems to be that Kara/Mon-El is happening instead of yet another white F/F ship.
Yet, though these and many other examples (Orphan Black, Jessica Jones, Agent Carter and OITNB are ones that comes to mind) show that Femslash Fandom™ is always willing to collectively flock to a new show as long as there are (white) sapphics in it, it doesn’t look like they (we?) apply the same to all media.
A common argument by white sapphics who refuse to watch racially diverse shows is that there are no sapphics in them (for example, The Get Down), or that they are treated badly (for example, Jane The Virgin). It is impossible to have a conversation about how important the racial representation in these shows is without a white sapphic jumping in to derail the conversation, so one would expect that the combination of racial diversity and sapphic representation would be a winning match for Femslash Fandom™. And yet…
As predicted by many black fans at the beginning of the season, Queen Sugar’s first season, though critically acclaimed, went almost entirely unnoticed by fandom. The show is led by a black bisexual woman and her siblings, and Nova (the lead) was shown to be kissing her girlfriend from the very first promos that aired near the beginning of 2016. The show doesn’t have homophobia, Nova is a fully fleshed character and her relationship with her female lover gets decent screentime, which is way more than The 100 could ever say about Clarke and Lexa. Yet the great majority of Femslash Fandom™ completely ignored it.
For two seasons now, fandom has also completely ignored Rosewood. From the very first episode we knew that the show had a main black lesbian happily engaged to a white bisexual woman, and the fans watching it made sure to publicize it on Tumblr and Twitter as much as they could. Yet, now in the second season and with Pippy and TMI only getting more development and screentime as time passes, I have yet to see a single Rosewood gifset crossing my dash, much less one in the many Multifandom Femslash Blogs™ I used to follow.
The first season of No Tomorrow is close to an end and, save for the tweets from my friend @tryingtosprinklealittlefairydust, I had not seen it mentioned it at all. It’s particularly strange, since it’s been almost a month since episode s01e06 aired, and one would assume that a badass, hilarious, hot pansexual Indian woman kissing a beautiful, sweet, charismatic Latina would have Femslash Fandom™ running to catch up with it before the next episode.
Now, with Kareema and Sofia happily engaged, I can’t help but wonder why there is only one gifset of them together in the entire #notomorrowedit tag, and a grand total of maybe fifty gifsets for the show at all.
I shouldn’t be surprised anymore, really. It seems like lack of sapphics is always a good reason for y’all not to watch a racially diverse show, yet non-white sapphics are never a good enough reason to begin one.
Following femslash blogs is an endless parade of racist white ships that exist only at the cost of black and brown men being sidelined in canon, abusive ships and content from awfully racist shows that are hailed as progressive because white sapphics get to feel good about themselves at the cost of everyone else and, the fact is, I’m often everyone else.
As a chronically ill, neurodivergent bisexual latina, I’m not content giving up every other part of my identity to feel like I can be part of a community that doesn’t give a shit about me or any other sapphic who doesn’t look like Alycia Debnam Carey or whatever over straight white actress y’all are stanning for playing a lesbian on TV this week.
idk if you’ve seen this particular excuse some white wlw use for not watching or otherwise supporting sapphic woc, but plenty of them claim that they have specific interests when it comes to the genres of media they consume, and somehow woc are rarely part of those genres. like lately especially, you have so many of them who are interested in genre shows, like say, the 100, agent carter, supergirl, etc. however if a white woman shows up on such a shows, apparently their lack of interest can be transcended in order to immediately ship the white woman with a woc on the show – like pitch, recently. despite being an actual feminist show, with a fully fleshed out black woman as the lead and a feminist premise, it didn’t even register on a lot of white women’s radar until cara showed up and they could ship her with ginny. i think it’s understandable that some fans were bitter that the show was ignored on tumblr until a white girl showed up.
Hello, love! I absolutely agree with you!
Pitch is a great example, specially given that Ginny has a great, very close and very intimate relationship with Evelyn that fandom could have easily latched onto, yet I barely have seen any content for them (or Evelyn in general). Yet, if you travel back through the Pitch tag to the days after the episode with Cara aired, everything will be Lindsey Fonseca’s face. Qwhite suspicious, indeed.
Another similar situation that gets my blood boiling is Jane The Virgin. When the show was first announced, White Feminist™ rushed to call it misogynistic and racist despite having zero (0) understanding of the premise, the genre or the telenovela it pays homage to. The pilot went completely ignored. Yet, when the second episode aired and Luisa Alver had her steamy hook up with Rose Solano, suddenly fandom paid attention. Like I said with Pitch: if you go back, back, back in the Jane The Virgin tag, you’ll find that the very first couple gifsets are of Luisa and Rose’s scenes.
There was no appreciation for the fact that Luisa is a latina lesbian and a recovering alcoholic. Instead, everything was about how hot Rose is, how beautiful she is, how, how, how. When it became obvious that the show was actually about the brown latina protagonist, and not about the white side character, suddenly these fans started drifting out.
I didn’t hear much more about JtV from mainstream fandom until Rose was “””killed”””, when Layne Morgan, the #clexa fandom and a bunch of white sapphics that had previously never raised their voices to comment how empowering, feminist and revolutionary Jane The Virgin is, suddenly all became enraged. There were calls for boycott and for the show’s cancellation, all because a white woman had been “””killed”””.
Also, remember that Daisy/Simmons in AoS was never a big ship despite being close friends and having great chemistry; yet when Bobbi was introduced fandom flooded with Simmons/Bobbi gifsets and fics.
Also, what you say about genre shows is so true! Fandom likes science-fiction if it’s Clarke and Lexa, but Killjoys has an Asian sapphic main villain and suddenly it’s “sci-fi? I’m not a fan!” A campy crime show about a badass woman (Agent Carter) is cool if it’s all white, but if the leads are a latina and a black man (Rosewood) suddenly it’s boring.