Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Harassment is okay as long as you have a moral imperative

This is disturbing and sadly not at all shocking anymore:
It all started last week when a fanartist going by the name Zamii caused a scare on Tumblr when she posted an apparent final note to her Tumblr, then disappeared for three days. When she re-emerged, it was to post a tearful video she claimed was being filmed at a hospital where she said she was getting the help she needed.

Prior to Zamii's alarming initial farewell, members of the Steven Universe and Homestuck fandoms had reportedly created more than 40 critical blogs and other social media accounts directed at her because they believed she was purveying problematic depictions of many of the characters she drew. During her time in fandom, Zamii had been accused of a litany of flawed portrayals of characters, including perpetuating "racism/stereotyping, transmisogyny/transphobia, apologism, incest, pedophilia, fatphobia, and ableism" in her art. For example, when Zamii drew a Japanese character from the popular anime Yowamushi Pedal, she came under fire for giving the character yellow skin and slanted eyes; when she drew a black character, she came under fire for removing her Afro and giving her blonde hair; when she drew a "Native American Fluttershy" from My Little Pony, the response was mixed and often critical, pointing out that she had further stereotyped the character.
I think most people would agree that being bullied to the point that suicide is an option is an awful, awful thing to happen to anyone, but I've looked at the drawings, and I fail to see anything that would even merit a mild call-out, let alone a full-on witch hunt.

I'm old. I think I has a pretty thick skin. I generally don't care if someone calls me wrong or stupid, but hearing stories like this one makes me second guess myself every time I post something here that might not adhere to ideological standards. Every "wrong" tweet. And it shouldn't have to be this way.