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TW for discussion of abuse
This essay arose from my attempt to clarify my thoughts on Vriska, and how she is discussed and presented within fandom. As such it is not an all encompassing study, or a definitive analysis of all the discourse around Vriska. My fandom experience is primarily tumblr fandom, and within that, limited to the scope of my followers, and what they chose to reblog. So, please read the following text with this caveat in mind.
Man, there are a lot of good points here about how internalized misogyny affects the way we interact with narratives, but I have to say I am made really uncomfortable by the statement that “While for many people who feel themselves to have been in Tavros’s position, acknowledging fully Vriska as anything other than pretty-terrible-but-at-least-she-acknowledges-it is difficult - and moreover not doing it is a form of self-defence - though yes, they are entirely entitled to do this, it does become part of the great big vortex of Fandom And Its Vriska Problem.”
Because you know something? No. Nope! People who are too triggered by Vriska’s behavior to want to dig into her character are not part of fandom’s problem. People who (accurately) describe the things she does to her friends as terrible, and as the actions of a terrible person, are not propagating the insidious language of oppression that fandom is, indeed, full of. To clear-sightedly discuss Vriska’s cruelty while calling Eridan a martyr, or excusable, would be bullshit of the highest kyriarchical order, certainly, but that’s not what’s under discussion here. It is absolutely valid to be talking about how terrible Vriska is; it is valid to do that without digging deep into the awful abuse to which she herself is subjected. Certainly that abuse also deserves commentary and analysis: but it doesn’t have to happen in the same breath as analysis of and commentary on Tavros’ abuse at her hands. The issues are linked but separate. The fact that one of the ways Vriska expresses her agency is by depriving others of it is tragic, but it is just as tragic for Tavros as it is for Vriska.
And, honestly? Speaking from my own limited experience of tumblr, based on who I follow and what they link to, Vriska spends a lot more time in the spotlight than Tavros. People say things like “Vriska is a terrible person” and then they write about her life’s dramas and her pain and her hope, and around Tavros there is, often, a resounding silence. I say things like “Vriska is a terrible person” and then proceed to vomit unconditional love all over the place; I do not write about Tavros very often. His arc is an unforgiving and brutal one, and if more fans really do find it easier to step into his shoes than into Vriska’s, that might have something to do with the fact that a lot of fans are significantly oppressed by the same kyriarchy that fans unconsciously perpetuate!
Bluhhh, okay, I am getting too worked up about this to really be articulate, and so I am going to stop here; but… yeah. :\ I’ll probably come back to this in the morning to try and actually put my thoughts together like a responsible human, I guess!
ok so forget everything i said in that last reblog and read this because gogol just summed this up way better than i could
and i also agree with this???
oh god so many feelings right now
Wow, a really good, cool point. I think because Tavros is unconditionally a victim, it makes it easy for the unsympathetic to write him off as one more blameless woobie— and then ignore how he really is blameless for the hurts he accumulates, and it’s not fair, and of all the kids is it ever hard to be him— not Eridan, with his unthinking privilege and his utterly unlikeable self-absorption— him, Tavros, the gutterblood crippled kid who wants to have fun and believe in fairies, the gentle dreamer in a race of vicious soldier-children, it’s hard to be him. And then, when he finally, finally triumphantly rises up to try and claim justice for not only himself but everyone that Vriska has harmed— which at that point is literally everyone— she kills him for it. And easily. Then Terezi bops a dragon’s ass in his dead face. I laughed, the first time I read the comic, and then the second time I sat there and felt really kind of sick and sad.
I guess the problem with a cast’s buttmonkey is it’s easy to laugh at the ludicrous amounts of suffering they go through, but it’s a lot more disquieting to actually consider how much it fucking sucks to be them.
I just have too many feelings about all these kids.
all of this is good.
every part of it, including commentary
476 notes (via failuretoland-deactivated201112 & ragnaright-okay-nevermind)
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