I’ll break it down— when I got into Marvel fandom I basically suffocated under the weight of Steve/Tony. There were more fics about Tony’s four-panel lady AU alter ego “Natasha Stark” than there were of Jan, or Carol, or Natasha or any of the obvious underlined female Avengers. It was obvious and uncomfortable. I didn’t like seeing my favs legated to the background of the Steve and Tony show that was the 616 circa Civil War, I didn’t like seeing that perpetuated in fanworks, either.
What I was told, was to write it all better, to be whatever change I wished to see in fandom, because it was unfair to blame other fans for falling into whatever they liked. It is true that under these criticisms of fandom’s focus on m/m slash and its side effects there’s often a lurking distaste for whatever teenage girls find enjoyable. I’m sure my bitter memories of those early days are turned by my own tastes, and that they are not entirely fair.
Yet we still write about our love of women characters, and how they are mistreated by canon, but less about the characters themselves, we see less meaning in the fall of their hair, their nervous ticks repeated in gifsets, less about the pain of their origins or the terrible specificity of their triumphs. There is just less written about female characters, on the whole. And I’m not really comfortable grinding my gears at canon while giving fandom a free pass. If being a fan means being critical of the source material, surely we have to watch ourselves, too. Being a fan is wonderful, but it is not sacred.
I was told to be whatever change I wished to see in fandom, and I’ve tried. I have made over 2,000 posts here, and maybe they are not all good, but I have tried. And I have seen this fandom grow and I have seen more and more enthusiasm about women characters. Bobbi Morse appreciation week! A new Storm ongoing! The #carol corps! And on and on forever and ever amen, I am grateful.
But for all this, the most popular post I have ever made is only popular because someone added cute spur-of-the-moment Tom Hiddleston tags to it, because tumblr used it to talk about Thor. And that is something worth thinking about.