such_heights: amy and rory looking at a pile of post (avatar: lin [wtf])
[ profile] f_march_madness has started up again, and the preliminaries are filled with people who seem to fundamentally not understand how fandom works, and the errors in argument involved are really frustrating me.

So! In the prelims, ie when people vote for a character from each fandom to go forward into the main competition, there's a theme in some of the major fandoms where a minor or former character will end up being selected, which seems disingenuous when five minutes hanging out in the fandom on tumblr, LJ, AO3 etc will make it apparent that, say, Jo Harvelle is not the most popular character in Supernatural. Some people over at the comm say that the fact she wins is just posturing by people trying to make themselves feel better about their choices. Which demonstrates a total lack of understanding about what's going on when people vote for these things and it's aggravating.

From this year's post comes the ever so charming: 1. Vote for your FAVORITE character in each poll. Stop playing. This is an Internet Competition™, not your grand stand against the patriarchy.

Excuse you, FMM mods. Everything I do is a grand stand against the patriarchy! *Night Vale voice* Everything.

And then there's this comment (contains gifs, is nsfw, may make your head explode) which includes the line FMM is not about pretending we are all better social justice warriors than we are, it's about a Deathmatch of favorites.

And I'm so annoyed because that's not even what's happening. You're not polling each fandom for their favourite character on the show, you're polling all of fandom to pick characters from a bunch of fandoms that will include shows that they have never seen or actively dislike. And that's where the voting for minor characters comes from.

With mega fandoms like SPN, and particular in the days of tumblr, although not everyone voting is an actual SPN fan, most people probably have an opinion of some kind about the show and a sense of who the characters are, and particularly with massive fandoms I think it's quite common for people not in the fandom to get invested in underdogs and the characters that the people in the fandom are terrible towards - see Martha Jones' strong polling in Doctor Who or Sansa Stark for Game of Thrones. So for any given poll, I'd argue that a decent chunk of the people voting aren't even active in that fandom, but they think that this one woman seems pretty great via tumblr.

FMM isn't a vote of fandom favourites within each fandom, it's a vote of fandom favourites via fannish osmosis. I've never watched Arrow but I'm charmed by Felicity in the gifsets. I don't particularly care about BBC Sherlock so I'm unlikely to vote for the leads, but I've seen enough to believe that Molly Hooper is a perfect human being. I really liked Peggy in the half a dozen Mad Men episodes I watched. Etc, etc. Obviously pretty much all my favourite characters are women anyway because that's how I role, but even with people who aren't quite so primed that way the point holds.

And I absolutely think that there's a larger point to be made about how all of these fantastic female characters earn very enthusiastic and fun fan campaigns during this contest but that same enthusiasm isn't reflected in the fanworks that people make, consume and rec, but jfc FMM commenters seem to be very obtuse this year. Don't make me come over there!
such_heights: amy and rory looking at a pile of post (hp: hermione [magic])
Well, it is [ profile] f_march_madness time again, always a mix of excitement and horror.

Actually, it's been interesting to watch this year - it's been dominated by female characters, and the chromatic character count has also increased due to the introduction of new fandoms like The Wire and Avatar:tLA. Both of those things please me.

We're now down to the final four, which is Hermione Granger vs. Leslie Knope and Donna Noble vs. John Watson. Donna is soaring to victory in her poll, I'm so proud. <3

Hermione vs. Leslie is basically a 50/50 split atm, it keeps swinging back and forth and is nail-bitingly tight. Now I've finally started watching Parks & Recreation I 100% agree that Leslie is a fantastic character and if she goes on to win the whole thing I'd be delighted because she's amazing.

But this is the part where I suggest voting for Hermione if you're remotely a swing vote, because she's been my hero since 1997 (side note - on June 30th it'll be 15 years since the first book came out, omg) and I love her.

Here's the LJ post and here's a direct link to the poll if you want to avoid all the gifs and comments and clutter. Polls close today between 1 and 2 EST.

Vote Hermione, guys. And I tell you what, Leslie would totally want you to.

If it is a Hermione vs. Donna final I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'LL DO AHHH. Also I really love that two of the final four are played by actresses over 40, eee.

Compare previous years: Spike vs. Dean Winchester vs. House vs. Barney Stinson in 2009, Sheldon Cooper vs. Temperance Brennan vs. Buffy vs. Veronica Mars in 2010, Sherlock Holmes vs. Eleventh Doctor vs. Troy Barnes vs. Veronica Mars in 2011. I like that we seem to be getting better at recognising a greater range of characters for being awesome in a greater range of ways.


such_heights: amy and rory looking at a pile of post (Default)

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