So like, I feel weird posting this since Viria’s beautiful genderswap!marauders drawing is going around, but I’ve been working on this a few days, and it’s finished, so up it goes.
A bit of a rant/explanation of “why femstar” is under the cut, so read if you like, but please bear in mind that as an artist, words aren’t my thing, and I really haven’t talked about gender in academic-discourse-y terms in like 8 years, so bear with me.
I felt compelled to drawing some femstar after reading all the interesting discussions about genderswap/femmeslash/representations of women going on in and around the wolfstar community (in particular, dama’s amazing rant/article), and realized that I, too, am complicit in a system of marginalizing women by shifting female characters aside and focusing on men even as a I claim to love me some strong women types. I feel like we live in a society/media culture where healthy relationships between women (whether romantic or platonic) are rarely represented and we as an audience and members of society are taught to dislike other women instead of seeing each other as friends and allies. Women in media are so often reduced down to stereotypes that we don’t even question why it is that we don’t identify with these women characters and instead gravitate to male characters.
Well, we ought to question this. We should also, as fans, address this. The time has come where fan contributions are taken seriously by content creators, and we have the authority to make lasting changes to both canon and fanon. We are also the content-creators of the future, so we should be conscientious about the things we create, and not perpetuate the stereotypes and injustices that we’ve had to contend with.
I realize that this and that are totally different things, that feminizing male characters doesn’t constitute proper representation of women in any way, shape or form, but it does highlight the fact that relationships between women don’t have to be any different from relationships between men in terms of representation/presentation.
I myself, with all the cultural baggage that I carry, have a hard time imagining what realistic, non-stereotyped female characters with strong relationships with each other would look like. I think gender-bent universes are a nice place to start, for those of us who are trying to come to terms with all this cultural baggage. But we should also bear in mind that this is not the destination, unless, of course, genderswap is your thing, in which case, party on.
So this is me saying that I’m making a commitment to do my share in improving the representation of women in media and fandoms. And if you’re still reading this (bless you!) and have a femstar fic that you think needs some fabulous art, or just a femstar art request, or any other genderbent or femmeslash ships that you feel are under-represented, hit me up! I’ll listen, my ask box is always open. More than anything, I want my art to do some good in the world, and this is certainly not a bad place to start.
Anyways, I’ve ranted on long enough for someone who is terrible with words, so this is nisie signing off.