We Need To Talk About The Supergirl Cast At Comic Con

I don’t know how many of you heard about this, but last weekend at San Diego Comic Con the majority of the Supergirl cast hurt a lot of LGBTQ+ fans. Before all of this happened I actually already wanted to write about why I had stopped watching Supergirl, but boy do I want to get my feelings off my chest now. I wanted to write down my thoughts earlier, but honestly I needed some time to let it all sink in.

This is going to be a pretty long post, and I’m sorry about that. I usually try to not make my posts this long, but I need to get this off my chest. If you only want to know about what happened last weekend, feel free to just skip to that point!

Let’s start with why I stopped watching Supergirl

I haven’t watched Supergirl in a while now. I wasn’t really enjoying it anymore, since I didn’t recognise the show I fell in love with. It was supposed to be a feminist show, but it felt like it had become the Mon-El show instead of Supergirl. While in season 1 we had plenty of feminist messages, about how girls weren’t allowed to be angry for exmample, where we had actual role models for young girls to look up to and we had a lot of moments between the Danvers sisters, which is all gone during season 2.

They barely gave Karolsen, an interracial relationship a chance before they already broke them up when they barely even dated. James Olsen, an interesting, main and black character, was reduced to the background. Do I love the fact that they made him a superhero? Sure, but there have been episodes where he was completely absent. Also he was pretty much replaced by a white guy (who’s also a slave owner and mysoginist!!). J’onn, another black man, was barely present as well, even though he too is supposed to be a main character and had plenty of screentime in season one.

The best thing that came out of season 2 (I swear that pun was unintended lmao) was Alex’ coming out story. It was handled beautifully and Sanvers is a loving, healthy, but also pretty much non-existent relationship. Sure, it’s canon, but they barely get any screentime. On top of that, while I like Maggie as a character, she was supposed to be latina while her actress is not? I’m still really confused about this though, as there were also people saying that this wasn’t confirmed and that she may be latina after all?

And then there was Mon-El, my biggest reason for giving up on this show. I’m not one to give up on shows that easily, especially when I love the characters which I really did. I hated that some of my favourites were barely getting any screentime, but I was hopeful that the showrunners would listen to the fans and give James and J’onn their screentime back, just like I was hoping they’d actually make the show about Kara again and that Sanvers would be treated like the straight ships.

But the moment Mon-El and Kara got together, I just couldn’t watch it anymore. I couldn’t see if they would listen to the (legit!) criticism, because Mon-El and his relationship with Kara is very triggering for me. I don’t want to hurt anyone who likes Mon-El and ships Karamel, but Mon-El reminds me of an abusive man in my life, who’s the biggest reason I have PTSD and anxiety. So yeah, I definitely couldn’t continue to watch Supergirl anymore, because Mon-El was already giving me anxiety and panic attacks before they got together, but in the episode Mr. & Mrs. Mxyzptlk, in which they got together, things got a lot worse.

Honestly, while at first it really upset me that I had to give up on watching one of my favourite shows, I’m now so so so glad. I’ve been keeping up with what’s happening with the show on Tumblr, and it’s only getting worse. I don’t recognise Kara anymore. They’re continuing to romanticise abuse (again, I’m sorry if you like Mon-El and Karamel, but as someone who has watched her mother in a romantic abusive relationship for years and has been mentally abused for years myself, I just can’t help but see similarities). They’re continuing to shit on their characters who belong to minorities. Season 1 of Supergirl wasn’t perfect, no show is, but ever since it moved to the CW it has become sexist, racist and while Alex’ coming out was beautiful, giving Sanvers barely any screentime and only subtly implying that they’re having sex when Karamel had sex after only been together for one episode (an episode in which they fought the majority of the time), sending away the new black female character and thus also destroying a beautiful relationship between two black characters… And oh boy can I go on.

I haven’t seen the trailer for the third season that was released at Comic Con and I don’t want to. But I’ve heard (from interviews and people who have watched the trailer) that apparently Kara is done being Kara (‘being Kara Danvers was a mistake’) because (SPOILER FOR SEASON 2 FINALE) she lost Mon-El (he’s not dead, he just can’t return to Earth but it’s been heavily implied that he’ll return next season anyway) and in Melissa Benoist’s own words it feels like her world has been destroyed. Which actually happened to Kara at 13 when her planet was destroyed but yeah losing your boyfriend of a few months is just like that. Such feminism! Much progressive! Oh and they’re writing Maggie off and have no intention of bringing on another ‘gay ship’ and they’ll probably keep on pushing Mon-El in favour of their POCs

What happened at Comic Con

So I wanted to (sort of briefly because I have a lot more feelings and I pretty muched tried to ban this show from my mind so I think I forgot lots of stuff as well but that may be for the best because what I remember tires me out already and this post is already getting super long) talk about why I had already stopped watching Supergirl first, because I don’t want people to think that I only stopped supporting this show because of what happened at Comic Con. I am disgusted at people who were completely fine with the way POCs were being treated during season 2 and are only now yelling that the show is cancelled. I had already  given up on the show, but I hadn’t given up on the cast.

I mean, the reason I had given up on the show before was because of the writing, something the cast isn’t responsible for. The way they acted at Comic Con though? I want to make clear that I’m not talking about the entire cast here. Melissa Benoist, Chris Wood, Mehcad Brooks, Jeremy Jordan, Katie McGrath, David Harewood and Odette Annable (she’s a new cast member) were present at Comic Con, and the latter three are not the ones I’m upset with and disappointed in.

So if you don’t know, during an MTV interview the cast was asked to do a musical recap of the past season. Jeremy Jordan, who plays Winn, took the lead. He sings that Kara makes a new friend, Lena, and then starts yelling that ‘they’re only friends’ and that’s all they’ll ever be. Melissa Benoist joins in and honestly her ‘they’re/we’re (can’t make out which one she says) only friends!!!’ sounded like she  was offended that people would think her character was anything but straight. The way these two were yelling was disgusting and hurtful. Look, all of us Supercorp shippers know that it’s very unlikely that Kara and Lena would actually get together. We’ve been around for a while. You don’t have to yell at us that hysterically and laugh. It felt like they were mocking Supercorp shippers, who mostly consist of young LGBTQ+ women, who find happiness and hope in Supercorp.

I never cared much for Jeremy Jordan. But Melissa? She was someone I looked up too and did not expect this stab in the back from. Mehcad Brooks (James) is also someone I really liked and looked up to. But he got up and danced to the song and laughed along. Just like Chris Wood. Katie, David and Odette laughed as well, but looked very uncomfortable. Also, later on Katie stands up for the fans and says that anyone can interpret the relationship between Kara and Lena the way they want (it goes deeper than that but I don’t remember her exact words and don’t want to watch the video again – please don’t hate on Katie though). During which Chris Wood interrupts her and says something about how sexuality is actually how others perceive you. Look, he said he was being sarcastic, but it was still a really weird and shity thing to say? And why did he have to interrupt Katie like that? What did you add to her well-meaning, thoughtful words?

Chris also sang a song about what a cool place Daxam is and that if you want some fun you should come and hang out. Sure Chris, if I want go somewhere with slavery and sexism, I’ll go there! Gosh such a cool place.

Look, maybe you don’t find this hurtful. But a lot of LGBTQ+ fans, including me, felt really really hurt. And I don’t think that should be ignored. I’m not the only one who felt like the majority of the cast mocked us and stabbed us in the back. It’s especially troublesome since a lot of young sapphic girls watch Supergirl and look up to this cast. Yet here they are, making fun of them. It’s one thing to politely explain that Supercorp will never happen, but to sing it and yell hysterically?

To make things worse, Melissa Benoist has been quiet about it. Even though lots of fans have reached out. One fan wrote a polite, professional email to Melissa’s publicist, explaining that many (young) LGBTQ+ fans have been hurt and that this isn’t just about a ship (just to be clear, for me it’s not about the ship either). She got the most ridiculous email back, saying that this was defamation, that Melissa couldn’t be homophobic because she was on Glee and my favourite (yes the Glee argument is not my favourite): ‘There are gross injustices globally of the LGBT community. This was not one of those occasions.’ So a girl who’s PART of the community tells you that Melissa and other cast members hurt said community, and you decide that this isn’t a ‘gross injustice’? I won’t be linking to any of this, because the girl may get sued and I don’t want to bring too much attention to her and her blog.

Jeremy Jordan knew he had done something mean right away as he said ‘I think I’m going to get destroyed for what I just did. I just debunked Supercorp’ (to which Melissa replied that it was brave???? No it isn’t?? It’s a shitty thing to do?) so I’m honestly not buying his ‘I’m a good ally I have gay friends and I too am a victim here’ bullshit apology. He has apologised twice (because the first one really wasn’t well received) and I’ve seen him interact with some fans on his Twitter, but I have trouble taking his apology seriously. His comment after the song implied that he knew exactly what he was doing, and the way he was acting was just… I have no words. He also basically said in his first apology that we’re wrong and that what he did wasn’t homophobic. Listen dude, you as a straight guy don’t get to tell LGBTQ+ fans what is and isn’t homophobic. And just because there are also LGBTQ+ fans who are telling you that they didn’t think it wasn’t offensive and that they aren’t hurt by it, doesn’t make it okay. Because a lot of us were (and still are) hurt.

Here’s the video:

Jeremy’s apologies:

 

I want you to know how much I love you. Yes, you. Yes, you too. And you. That's all, kids. ❤️

A post shared by Jeremy Jordan (@jeremymjordan) on

U guys. I love u. I was wrong and I'm sorry. You're all amazing and valid. ❤️

A post shared by Jeremy Jordan (@jeremymjordan) on

Go to the comment section on this post for Mehcad’s reply:

Groucho the Gaucho. #sdcc #dcuniverse #supergirl #morelove

A post shared by Mehcad (@mehcadbrooks) on

UPDATE: David Harewood spoke out and tweeted the following:

I’m seriously disappointed with David because I thought he had looked uncomfortable during the song (others thought so too) but I guess I was wrong because he thinks our reaction is wildly over the top. I mean, people are hurt here, I’ve read stories about young sapphic girls crying but yeah our reaction is over the top, thanks David. Also what kind of bullshit excuse is ‘we were exhausted’.  What’s next you were hungry and needed a Snickers? ‘Personally I was very upset about this reaction’ – can you all please stop playing the victim here??? Also I hate that he says ‘the shippers’, implying that this is just about the ship. It isn’t. It’s about mocking LBGTQ+ fans and making them feel horrible. It isn’t just Supercorp shippers, it’s people who don’t ship it and even people who don’t watch the show who were disgusted and hurt as well
I’m really, really tired and hurt, so if you disagree, please please remain polite. I will not engage in any fights. How do you guys feel about all of this? Any shows (besides The Fosters and Shadowhunters) with LGBTQ+ rep that do treat their fans right? Also if you’re feeling horrible about all of this and need to talk, always feel free to DM me on Twitter <3 

The Discussing Hufflepuff: What To Do With Books You Didn’t / No Longer Like?

Living in The Netherlands, I don’t really have a great library where I can find all the books I want to read. The biggest one in Amsterdam barely has English fiction books, let alone YA, so let alone YA books I want to read. This means I end up buying books instead, which means it of course happens that I end up buying something I didn’t like. So what do you do with those books? Or with books that you used to like, but started to (strongly) dislike?

Maybe this sounds like a silly topic, but it’s something that’s been on my mind a lot recently, probably because I’ve been reorganising my shelves haha. Of course there are books that I’ve sold or given away, but there are some books that I didn’t like or no longer like, that are still on my shelves. Why?

Well, first there are some books that I no longer like, that I just feel nostalgic about. It kind of feels like betraying them if I were to get rid of them, which sounds silly, but aren’t we bookworms often silly?

Another important factor is prettiness. I think it’s safe to say that a lot of us bookworms love pretty books. I’ve got quite a lot of pretty or even beautiful books that I didn’t like at all or even loathed, but they’re still on my shelves because they look so pretty!

I’ve also kept some books as a reminder to myself as a writer. So that I can open them up again, see what I didn’t like about them and learn from them (also they’re usually pretty as well I’m so shallow omg)

Lastly, there are some problematic books I kept, kind of as receipts. I can’t always remember all the details, of why a book was problematic, so I’d like to be able to look it up so I can properly explain it to someone, whether they’ve read the book or not. Besides I’ve already bought it so in a way I already supported the author, so I can’t take that back. The least I can do is use as many examples as possible so that other people won’t support them.

What about you? What do you do with books you ended up disliking or no longer like now? Let me know in the comments!

The Discussing Hufflepuff: Am I Overreacting?

Something that I often think when I see something sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. is: ‘am I overreacting?’ This has lead to me not pointing these things out, not tweeting about it, not writing blog posts about it… Nothing.

Last week I wrote a post on The Feministas about sexist Dutch magazines, and honestly? Before I wrote it I wasn’t sure if I should. Was I making a big deal out of nothing? Was the way women are being portrayed in these men magazines the same way women’s magazines portray men? Even though my female friend was just as outraged, even though I discussed it with the other members of The Feministas first, I still felt like maybe I was overreacting.

Now this doesn’t always happen. I know my reaction as to what happened to Arden Cho on Teen Wolf wasn’t an overreaction. I know that when The Real O’Neals made a biphobic ‘joke’ I was right to be angry and hurt (if you missed it, the protagonist Kenny was afraid that what his new boyfriend was going to tell him would be bad news. He was like ‘what if it’s money problems or webbed toes. Or worse! Bisexual!’)

So why is it that often or not I feel like I shouldn’t say anything? Is it because I grew up in such a sexist, racist, homophobic etc. society? My mom always taught me to speak my mind and is very outspoken about these matters as well. Did our society, that is constantly trying to silence minorties, get to me anyway?

Or is it because of my PTSD, because I’m terrified people will get mad and yell at me?

I don’t know why, but it’s something that’s been bothering me for a while. There are so many things that I’ve wanted to discuss before, but I was scared. Scared that I was wrong, scared that I was overreacting. Scared that people would attack me.

But if I felt hurt, violated and disgusted at seeing the way women are being portrayed as objects, sexual fantasies and entertainment for men, shouldn’t that count? Shouldn’t it count that my friend, another woman, also felt this way? Shouldn’t it count that my fellow Feministas were also disgusted after hearing about it? Why did I still worry about it?

Do you ever feel the same way? Let me know in the comments.

The Discussing Hufflepuff: Being Clumsy is Not Cute

One of my blogging goals this year was to post a Discussing Hufflepuff every month, but since I failed to post one during February, March, April and May, I decided to post another one this month! Besides, this was bothering me a lot lately.

I’m sure we’ve all come across The Cute Clumsy Girl trope at least once. Being clumsy is usually the girl’s only flaw (except that she’s usually ‘too naive’ as well) and everyone thinks it’s ‘so adorable’ and they fall head over heels for her. Because such a clumsy girl has to be protected! !

Okay, I do need to be protected from my own clumsiness. But everyone around me needs to be protected from my clumsiness. The amount of times I accidentally hurt someone is not funny (especially my Mom, she’s my biggest victim. Mom if you’re reading this: I’m sorry). Is being clumsy a flaw? Yes (though it really shouldn’t be the only flaw a character has). I hurt myself, I hurt others. I break things, spill things, basically I make one big mess. So that’s definitely a flaw. But that’s not how being clumsy is often portrayed in fiction, especially when it comes to the ‘cute clumsy girls’.

Can my clumsiness be funny or even hilarious? Oh yes. My clumsiness has been the protagonist of a good, funny story at many family gatherings and I often crack myself up by thinking about my antics. But I also internally cry when I remember that I almost burned the house down (okay I make it sound way more dramatic than it actually was) when I tried to bake some bread or the time I threw my new jumper on a BURNING candle. And did I mention that I’ve hurt other people a lot? I’ve accidentally hit my mom many times. Or head butted her a few times too. And there are of course the times I fell down the stairs, slipped on pavement (okay that one was hilarious. But it did hurt), jumped into a pond (I know that sounds like it was on purpose, but it wasn’t. My friend and I were dancing on a bridge, jumping up and down and I just jumped backward more and more until BAM. Foot in pond. Okay that one was also hilarious. But also sucked, because wet sneaker), ruined books, broke precious stuff, somehow got sauce on the ceiling and boy could I go on. Point is, while it can be funny, it can also be disastrous.

And honestly, if you spend a lot of time with me, while you’ll find my antics hilarious, they will also annoy you at some point. A lot. My mom usually laughs when I do something clumsy, but that doesn’t mean she never gets angry. Because sometimes it’s exasperating, and I agree. I hate breaking and ruining things and accidentally hurt people (duh). So when I read or watch one of those ‘cute clumsy girls’ who never portray clumsiness realistic, it bothers meA lot. Especially when everyone falls in love with her because she’s ‘so cute!!’.

How do you feel about The Cute Clumsy Girl trope? Are you clumsy as well? Does any of this sound familiar to you? Let me know in the comments!

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The Discussing Hufflepuff: Stop Romanticising Abusive Relationships

No your eyes are not deceiving you, this is an actual Discussing Hufflepuff! One of my blogging goals this year was to post one every month. Of course I failed badly because the previous one was posted in January. 

Today’s topic is something I’ve wanted to write about for a while now, because it’s something that is very important to me. I’ve noticed for a while now that abusive relationships are often not described as abusive, by both the characters and the fans. Worse, they’re being romanticised.

I’m all for abusive relationships being portrayed in fiction. Hell, I encourage it. Because if one thing the romanticisation of abusive relationship does, it’s showing that a lot of people don’t recognise the signs, and fiction can help with that. But instead, fiction often romanticises abusive relationships, and this is very troubling. If we don’t realise that a ship in a book or tv show is abusive, how will we realise that our own relationship might be abusive? How will we realise that these abusive relationships are not something to strive for, but something we need to run away from as fast as we can? 

Writers need to stop romanticising abusive relationships, but maybe they don’t realise that the relationship they’re writing is abusive, because just like fans, they don’t recognise the signs either. So how can we stop the romanticisation of abusive relationships? By calling the writers out (gently, because like I said they might not realise it either) and helping them realise that as writers they have the tool to help their viewers and readers realise they themselves are in an abusive relationship or that someone close to them is, so they can get the hell out. That as writers they can help people in abusive relationship find the courage to break it off, to seek help. And most importantly, that if people continue to see abusive relationships portrayed as normal or even ‘romantic’ in fiction, they will believe that it is normal and romantic.

It doesn’t matter if the characters love each other. If they hurt the other (or each other), physically or mentally, it’s abusive. It’s not romantic when someone is overbearingly ‘protective’ to the point that they decide for you who you can and can’t see, that they decide your every move for you. It’s not romantic when someone keeps pursuing you, even though they say no. No means no. If they truly loved them, they would keep away. At this point it’s just unhealthy. If they make you feel like shit about yourself, even if ‘they don’t mean it’, get the hell out.

This topic is very important to me, because know the signs, but many people out there don’t. And how can they? No one teaches them, the media shows them that these type of relationships are ‘normal’ and ‘true love’. Please help me put a stop to the romanticisation of abusive relationships. It literally makes a difference between life or death.

Usually I have a question to ask you guys, but this time I can’t think of anything, so let me know what you think of this topic in the comments!

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The Discussing Hufflepuff: Do You Cast Your Characters?

Hey guys! Today I have a question for the writers among us: do you cast your characters?

When I start a new story, one of the first things I do is think up the main characters, but one thing I really suck at is describing their physical appearance. I have the same problem when I’m reading; I can picture the colour of their hair, eyes, skin and usually their clothes if they’re described, but their faces? What faces? Unless I can picture them as an actor or as a piece of fan art of the character, they have no faces. They are Slenderman. No, just kidding. Thankfully I don’t imagine them all as Slenderman, but the face is kind of blurry and not very detailed, so imagine describing that when writing a character. I find it so much easier to already have a detailed image in my mind and describe them. Plus, casting characters is really fun and I love the feeling I get when I find someone and think ‘It’s [insert character’s name]!’.

So this week I got a new novel idea and one of the first things I did when I started planning this (more on this in tomorrow’s wrap up) was casting them.

lovetrianglenovellol

Meet Yong Sun An (Ok Taecyeon), Andrew ‘Drew’ Lewis (Daniel Sharman), Reyna Vélez (Cierra Ramirez) and Hye Su Seung (Arden Cho), the main four of my new wip. GUYS. IT’S A CONTEMPORARY. NO MAGIC. NO DEMONS. NO ONE GETTING KILLED (probably). This is a first for me (not counting short stories).

Anyway, as I started writing it (someone kick me if at the end of the year I actually finished this but not The Army of Quermo) it was so easy for me to picture the characters doing things and describing them, as I could picture these actors perfectly well. It’s the same when I’m working on The Chosen Ones and my very vague, much mysterious project (I’m just going to refer to it like that from now on).

So my question is, do you cast your characters? Do you find it useful? Or just fun? (because I certainly do). Let me know in the comments!

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The Discussing Hufflepuff #5: ‘ANOTHER book set in that world?’

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVE! Can you believe it’s Christmas already tomorrow? I’ve got a Christmas post coming up tomorrow, but today it’s time for another Discussing Hufflepuff. Today I want to talk about something that has been annoying me for a while now.

Next year Lady Midnight is coming out, another book in the Shadowhunter Chronicles. Chain of Gold, also a Shadowhunters book, will hopefully be released in 2017. The Hidden Oracle, the first book in Rick Riordan’s new series The Trials of Apollo, will also be released in 2016. Now you may think: Michelle, where are you going with this? What do these books have in common?

All these books get comments, mainly on Goodreads, along these lines: ‘ANOTHER Shadowhunter book?’ ‘ANOTHER mythology book?’ ‘Can’t they write something else?’ and the infamous ‘they’re doing it for the money!’.

This really annoys me. You don’t have to read these, you know. A lot of us, including me, are very excited about these new series. Why does it bother you so much? The authors, and the fans, are not ready to let go of these worlds yet. They still have many stories they want to tell, they find them fun to write, and most of us find them fun to read, so what’s the big deal? Yes, they can write something else. And they have. Rick Riordan has written non-mythology books. Cassandra Clare is writing The Magisterium series with Holly Black. But if they hadn’t, what does it matter? They’re doing what they love, I say let them. As someone who loves to write, I’m sure not going to criticise them.

Also, how many people complained about Blood of Olympus? When I finished it, I figured there was going to be another series. I mean, spoiler: Apollo went missing for crying out loud. Uncle Rick couldn’t just leave it at that. I’m not remembering this wrong am I? I didn’t make this up myself, right? There were things left unresolved, and many more things we complained about that I won’t specify here to avoid spoilers, but if you’ve read Blood of Olympus and you’re part of the fandom, you probably know what I’m talking about. It sounds like all our complaints will be resolved in this new series, so why are we complaining? (when I say we, I’m obviously not including myself. I’m not complaining. I’M HELLA EXCITED. Remind me to never use ‘hella’ again please)

But what even irks me more, is that when authors don’t write another series set in the same world, people also complain (okay I’m guilty of this one). We whine and whine that there’s no book series about the Marauders. If J.K. Rowling announced that series today, would anyone say ‘another Harry Potter book’? And if afterwards she announced a series about the Founders, would anyone say it then? No, forget I asked that. Probably someone will. My point is, we often want more series set in these worlds. We’re often not ready to let go. And again, if you are ready, you don’t have to read this new series! No one will point a gun to your head and force you to (I hope).

And ‘they’re doing it for the money’? UM. IT’S THEIR JOB. WE LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE WE NEED MONEY TO SURVIVE. THEY NEED TO PAY THEIR BILLS AND BUY FOOD. HOW ARE THEY GOING TO WRITE WHEN THEY’RE DEAD BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF FOOD. Guys, I would KILL (okay, maybe not kill) to be able to write for a living. I know a lot of us are. They’re writing something they love, and they’re being paid that way. If a chef makes another pasta, will you go ‘NOT ANOTHER PASTA. CAN’T YOU COOK SOMETHING ELSE FOR A CHANGE?’ Please stop criticising authors for writing several books/series set in the same world. Unless there’s a really good reason to do so! If there is, please let me know.

So what do you think? If you disagree with me, let me know! I’m really curious to find out more about the other side of this ‘debate’. AND WHO’S ALSO EXCITED ABOUT THE HIDDEN ORACLE, LADY MIDNIGHT AND CHAIN OF GOLD?

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