a plus-side to being my friend is that you can come to my house in your pajamas and i will not judge you because i will also be in my pajamas
Neither Courage Wolf nor Calming Manatee were doing much to help my anxiety, but I knew they were both on to something.
So, I created Calmage Wolfatee.
This is glorious beyond my capacity to comprehend.
thIS IS EXACTLY WHAT MY LIFE NEEDS EVERY DAY FOREVER
How about you let people ship what they want to ship and don’t let it affect you. People have always shipped characters with who they wanted, regardless of sexuality.
Also would you please stay out of the DirkRoxy tag when all you do is telling people why what they like is bad.
People have shipped characters WHO HAVE NOT EXPLICITLY SAID THEY WERE GAY AND HAVE HAD IT BE A SIGNIFICANT PART OF THEIR CHARACTER ARC and no one gives a shit, as these characters’ sexualities are left ambiguous and Dirk’s is not.
Additionally, I would argue that (1) people’s reactions are to fiction are indicative of their attitudes in real life. And people’s reactions to Dirk’s sexuality are troubling to me. And (2), hate =/= criticism and there is no ship, panel, or aspect of fiction that is exempt from the latter.
This is a pretty nice John/Davesprite picture you drew. Good thing John’s so canonically homosexual, otherwise we wouldn’t be allowed to ship it, right?
See above point about ambiguous sexualities. I’m far, FAR less peeved about John than I am about Dirk, as even if he has stated something to the effect of his sexuality, it does not impact his character in a significant way the way it does with Dirk’s. Nor has John said anything to the effect Dirk has that is ignored as blatantly by the fandom.
Also, way to commit an ad hominem fallacy and dig up a months old piece of fanart about a ship I haven’t blogged about in months. Because people’s opinions or ships never change, ever.
besides, dirk never says explicitly that he’s gay
and also, they’re fictional characters from a comic, calm your shit love
Ha. Ha ha. AHAHAHA.
First, yes. Yes, he does, sweetheart.
TT: I guess the real problem is our clique was too small.
TT: Poor Jake was the only viable romantic target. I mean, considering our respective orientations.
Said by Dirk himself to Jane post-Trickster. url=http://mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=007698 « Read the log yourself if you don’t believe me. Notice especially THE ONLY VIABLE ROMANTIC TARGET for our RESPECTIVE ORIENTATIONS.
Also, the protest of “Dirk is bi/pan” or “his sexuality is never explicitly mentioned” do kind of jack shit for my latter arguments because if all this was true (it isn’t, by the way), why the fuck didn’t he just date Roxy? Jake was a dangerous prospect to begin with, and he clearly thinks she deserves whatever she wants.
Not to mention his later mentioning that if he were capable of being with a woman, he would be dating Roxy. But he isn’t. And rebuffed her overly forceful solicitations for an upwards of three years (more on that in a moment.)
Yeah, he’s gay. And I’m sick and tired of people denying that fact.
Secondly, I would wager that no, it is not just fiction. Because it is never just fiction, that is why fandoms exist. That is why we analyze fiction in English class. This is why we look to fiction to determine attitudes about the culture it is presented to (more on that in a minute). It is not “just fiction” when Steve Moffat is criticized for being misogynistic, homophobic, et cetera. It is not “just fiction” when Daenarys Targaryean is criticized for playing up to the “White Savior” trope. It isn’t “just fiction” when Orange is the New Black is lauded as an example of inclusiveness, of representation, while Supernatural is criticized for not doing so.
This is why we cry over dead characters, draw fanart, write fic, roleplay, analyze characters, and collectively throw two and a half million dollars at a Homestuck game. This is why we as a community write works dictating the romantic lives of characters.
By the act of shipping alone we interact with the work and elevate beyond mere fiction. IT IS NEVER JUST FICTION, DO NOT GIVE ME THAT EXCUSE.
You want to argue with me? Fine, I welcome debate. I will pull no punches, I will publish all responses. But bring me something better than “it’s just fiction”.
queer erasure doesn’t exist in fictional mediums
Ha. Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha.
Yes, actually, it does. It exists in all forms of media, fictional and non. Any underplaying of a queer person, fictional or non-, by removing their identity as queer is queer erasure. Anything reducing queer representation is a form of queer erasure.
And yes, taking canonically queer characters and writing them into a straight relationship, ESPECIALLY IF THEIR QUEERNESS HAS BEEN AFFIRMED BY CANON AND IS A SIGNIFICANT PART OF THEIR CHARACTER, AS IT IS WITH DIRK, IS A FORM OF QUEER ERASURE.
And now we get to the essay portion of this post that I promised, as criticism =/= hate. Let me begin with some caveats.
1. I do not have a problem with you personally if you ship DirkRoxy. I would obviously prefer that you not, or at the very least that you keep it away from me at all costs. But personally? I have nothing against you as a person. Just the attitude that taking this ship at face value, divorced from the context of canon, presents.
2. Obviously I can’t stop you from shipping it. I’m not asking you to. Just that you look at the media you are consuming in a more critical manner.
3. No form of media is exempt from criticism. That includes shipping.
4. See above rant on why fiction is not just fiction. Reactions to fictions represent attitudes in real life. This is why people are freaked out by, with the popularity of the Hunger Games (which I will remind you is a story about oppression and a tyrannical government FORCING CHILDREN TO FIGHT TO THE DEATH), the media chooses to focus on a love triangle that was hardly present in the books to begin with.
5. Related to the above, ALL Dirk/Female character ships make me uneasy due to the aforementioned subject of queer erasure. However, DirkRoxy makes me physically ill because of this and one additional reason I will get to in a moment.
A. DIRK STRIDER AND QUEER ERASURE; OR, DIRK IS GAY AND WHY THAT MATTERS
It’s kind of difficult to go anywhere on Tumblr and not meet people bemoaning a lack of queer representation in mainstream media. In this vein, Dirk Strider is a fucking godsend.
Far, FAR too many queer characters in media swing between two extremes; either being gay, and the stereotypes that accompany it, is their only characteristic (see Garfiel from Fullmetal Alchemist), or they are gay but it is a facet of themselves that exists seemingly in a vacuum, unacknowledged, as it would in a perfect world where one’s sexuality had no other influences on one’s character (See Cecil, from Welcome to Night Vale).
Obviously the second extreme is better than the first, but it still lacks something. Cecil, for example, exists in a world where being gay is no different from being straight. No one comments on it, no one hates on him for it, it just is. Now, for obvious reasons, this is a massively reassuring thing for some people. Welcome to Night Vale presents a world where people can be queer with no judgement, and for some that is a massive relief. But that sort of thing is rarely found in the real world.
Welcome to the real world, and meet Dirk Strider.
Before you argue that Dirk’s sexuality should be a non-issue, stop. Because it isn’t, and it never has been. It is only a part of his character, yes. His being gay has nothing to do with his shouldering massive responsibilities in being the quote-on-quote “big brother” of the group, trying to take care of everyone and prepare them for the game, to comfort and support them as best he knows how. To deal with the shadow of his elder brother whom he never knew. To cope with his lack of social skills over his isolated upbringing. To create downright genius works of robotics and programming like the child prodigy he is. THAT has nothing to do with his sexuality, and that’s great. He can still be a gay man and have responsibilities and characteristics, dreams and aspirations, that revolve outside of his sexuality.
However, that doesn’t mean his sexuality has no bearing on his character. It does.
His sexuality and his romantic interests have everything to do with the way he interacts with his friends. This most obviously comes across with Roxy, from whom he faces constant harassment and guilt over his sexuality, so he is constantly adjusting himself in subtle ways to be what she wants him to be.
TG: betcha ur responder would agree w me
TG: why cant your be more like him
TT: I am more like him.
TG: i mean MOAAAR like him
TT: You just mispelled “more”, causing me to suddenly understand jack everything.
TG: hes more in touch with his feelins
TG: which just makes me L my FA off since hes a bobot
TG: and he can actually loosen up sometimes
TG: kinda like u used to could
TT: I used to could?
TG: for 1 thing
TG: he doesnt insta shootdown a bip of frisky rp shenans now n then ;)
Then, right after that;
TT: She’s working through some problems right now.
TT: Really doesn’t want us to play that game.
TT: So I guess this was the insane stunt she whipped up to derail the inevitable.
TT: Kinda reckless for my tastes.
TT: One of the above statements is a fucking lie, are you gutsy enough a gumshoe to spot it.
Basically turning around to be “less boring” and “what she wants”.
Not going to go on about how Dirk and Roxy’s one log together is so laced with toxic and abusive behavior on her part it makes me physically ill. If interest is enough, I will pick that log apart at a latter date.
Even Hal acknowledges this.
HAL: I give her what you can’t, and that just drives you crazy. Just admit it.
TT: See, it’s lines like that which make it obvious your only intent is to jerk me around. Nobody actually says shit like that and is serious about it.
TT: It’s also obvious because you’re me, and I’m sure I would be constantly fucking with my own head if I were you.
It affects the relationship they have as friends and if you don’t think it would affect a romantic relationship that they have in a fanwork, if you do not at least ACKNOWLEDGE this fact, even in an AU, I will automatically judge it as subpar, because you are leaving out a very, VERY critical aspect of Dirk’s character.
And not only does it affect him and Roxy, but there is also Jane, whom he later admits to in his post-Trickster log with her to have built up a sort of competition over Jake. That has to do with his sexuality.
There is also his ENTIRE GODDAMN RELATIONSHIP WITH JAKE. From how they interact with each other, to Brobot and Hal and how they interact with Jake (and Dirk, in the case of the latter), and how Dirk’s insecurity over rejecting a boy he perceives as uninterested in other guys leads to his nebulous needling and testing of Jake’s reactions. To say nothing of HOW THEIR ACTUAL ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP AFFECTS BOTH OF THEM, with the wear it brings to both their self-esteem and self-confidence and where that plays into their arcs. If you honestly say that sexuality has nothing to do with either of their characters, I will shit a brick out of pure, inarticulate rage.
Dirk’s being gay is a fact that wears on him and contributes to his insecurity as he faces rejection from all three of his human friends (who, plus Calliope, make up his entire social circle and his entire world. So, being romantically interested in another boy might literally cause him to lose 75% of both of those). Yet his insistence on being true to himself causes him to soldier on and stick to the fact that he is, in fact, homosexual. He refuses to date Roxy out of that need, and the fact that he cannot genuinely love her romantically and it will leave them both unhappy and hurt. He declines the label “gay” when Roxy brings it up out of not wanting her to define him by the stereotypes that accompany it, because that isn’t him.
TT: Come on what?
TG: LE SIGN IS UNIVERSALLY UNDERSTOOT TO MEAN TOO BAD HES GAY YOU DELIBERABLY OBTUSE DUNDERFUCK
TT: I mean, yeah, that’s what I thought.
TT: It would just be cool if you’d refrain from tossing about such antediluvian terms.
TG: antediulivan waht
TG: me sayin ur gay u mean
TG: ok but terminology aside i dont think im off base!
TT: I don’t see how it has to be a thing.
TG: i rly think its an actual thing bro
TT: How is it a thing?
TG: its a thing beaucase if it wasnt a thing then u wouldnt be all like………..
TT: All like what?
TG: well wantin nothing to do w me 4 starties
TT: Don’t be ridiculous.
Even though he later admits to Jane that, by Jake being the only romantic option for him in their social circle, yes, he is gay, and it is their mutual interest in Jake that led to a perceived contest between them. It is because of the guilt he feels over being unable to make Roxy happy and for being a bad boyfriend to Jake that he feels like shit during the later parts of Act 6.
This doesn’t just affect Dirk and Roxy, this affects ALL the Alpha kids. DO NOT TELL ME DIRK’S SEXUALITY IS NOT A PART OF HIS CHARACTER, OR UNIMPORTANT.
And at the risk of copy-pasting the above response, yes, Dirk is gay. At the risk of making a personal attack on the hypothetical readers of this post, open your eyes and LOOK at what you are reading. THINK about it.
B. OOC AND IGNORING CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.
Look, everyone gets a little pissed off when they see their favorite character acting violently out of character. This is why “wweh nyeh buckets” is an insult in this fandom. This is why people make posts or roleplays scorning “fandom” characters, or fandom interpretations of those character. WE LOVE THESE CHARACTERS, AND SEEING THEM PRESENTED AS ANYTHING LESS THAN WHAT THEY ARE PISSES US OFF.
The same with Dirk and his sexuality, as we’ve established already that YES, he is gay. YES, that matters to his character. And YES, that matters in his interactions with Roxy and her development.
To ignore this is to make him out of character.
To ignore this is to make her out of character.
As a writer and roleplayer to whom characterization matters a very great deal, it pisses me off to see people not think how sexuality affects a character, like because of shipping it is a taboo subject, when we’re so eager to pounce and criticize a fanfic for being “OOC”, but not a ship for being almost inherently out of character. Or, at the very least, being out of character when it doesn’t acknowledge that, in the case of Dirk, YES. HIS SEXUALITY DOES MATTER.
C. ON THE SUBJECT OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE; OR, WHY I HAVE IT OUT FOR DIRKROXY ESPECIALLY.
I get the feeling I’m going to get hate mail for this. And I say, bring it on. Alternatively, there’s a small button at the bottom of this post that says “block”. Click it and continue on your merry way if you don’t like what I’m saying.
Otherwise, bring it on.
Homestuck is a rare webcomic that takes relationships between adolescents realistically and entirely seriously. That is, that they have problems and dysfunctions and don’t always work out. Some problems are solveable, others are not. You shouldn’t be shy to embrace these, they make for way more interesting subjects of study than the same domestic fluff/smut over and over again. And generally, the fandoms are pretty good at calling characters out for their shit.
Vriska, for her constant harassment of Tavros.
Cronus, for just being a general creep.
Eridan, for his self-righteous attitude.
Dirk, for being underhanded.
Even Kanaya is not exempt, as there are posts pointing out how she suddenly and violently froze Vriska, who was her moirail at the time, out, out of jealous and resentment after observing Vriska kissing Tavros (something Vriska was not aware she had seen, by the way, and presumably she never gets an explanation why Kanaya suddenly cut her off).
Yet somehow I have never seen a character get away with so much shit as Roxy Lalonde.
GG: Am I an awful friend?
GG: I’m not so sure about that.
TT: Well, before you go taking a massive sad crap all over your friendship credentials, consider this.
TT: Only she could manage to blow up your computer with a nasty deathloop virus and somehow make YOU be the one to feel shitty about it.
GG: You’re right.
Call Dirk manipulative all you want, but at least fucking acknowledge how Roxy *nearly killed her best friend and this is never brought up again*.
Also fucking acknowledge the fact that, I will reiterate, Roxy, DESPITE KNOWING FULL WELL THAT DIRK WAS GAY, UNINTERESTED IN HER ADVANCES, UNCOMFORTABLE WITH HER FLIRTING, AND FELT BAD OVER BEING UNABLE TO RECIPROCATE, CONTINUED THIS BEHAVIOR FOR THREE YEARS.
Don’t even tell me it’s not her fault because she was drunk. People are held accountable for actions taken while intoxicated all the time (disorderly conduct, DUIs, et cetera).
Roxy even admits that she was in the wrong for doing so.
TG: and i had no excuse i always knew he was just
TG: SUCH a gay dude
TG: and i guess maybe hitting on a guy who dont like girls once or twice maybe is alright or even flattering but after so long it was probably just pissing him off or messing with his head or something
TG: it def wasnt what he wanted to hear from a friend
TG: let alone day in and day out through garbled drunktexts
TG: so when i fuckin harassed him into kissin me…
Bolding mine, for emphasis.
Why do I file this under the hot button term “emotional abuse”? Notice the last part of the capslocked sentence. She made Dirk feel guilty over not being able to date her.
If I have to explain why causing someone to feel guilty over their sexual orientation is a shitty thing to do, then my faith in humanity has taken a great toll this day.
Before you reach for your comment boxes, allow me to posit this; what if the situations were reversed? What if this was a man continually hitting on a lesbian, and wishing she’d “ungay” so he could date her?
Again, if I have to explain why most of the readership would collectively set his genitals on fire faster than you could say Bob’s your uncle, then my faith in humanity has taken another buster upside the head, landing it in a coma in the hospital.
I could go on in the reasons I have a severe distaste for Roxy (her extremely selfish way of thinking, how that and her actions counterbalance her attempts to be a good friend, her casual dismissal of Jake’s sincere issue of feeling like he is now unable to love in order to go on about how she’s in love with Dirk, et cetera that I will probably go on about at a latter date), but the fact that she continually gets away with these things and is never reprimanded, not in context or out of it, makes me feel severely revolted towards her and towards this ship.
And all in all I get tired of people insisting that Roxy is perfect and that Dirk isn’t gay for the same reasons I get tired of people insisting Dirk is a brony or an otaku, or that John is an angel-faced goody-two-shoes. Because they are not. I’m sick of seeing these misconceptions, and I’m sick of this particular one go uncriticized because of the taboo nature of criticizing ships.
Again, I have nothing against DirkRoxy shippers personally. Just the ship, and the horrendous apologism it stands for in its uncriticized state.
I’m not asking you to change, only to think.
I don’t make a habit out of posting out and out hate in the tags and I don’t plan to start. However, I would argue hate =/= criticism and no aspect of this comic is exempt from it. Though I will definitely make any future posts I make on the topic (and believe me, there shall be posts) distinctly more critical in tone, though likely no less inflammatory.
i fucking hate when people say that john green books romanticize depression and stuff like no have u ever actually picked up a john green book depression isnt made to seem like a cute personality quirk its made out to be what it actually is so dont say shit like that unless u know your fucking facts
I may or may not have just had an argument over this and I may or may not still be fucking livid oops.
I really dont like the argument of “well jake probably would have dated JANE first if she had asked!!” because im not really sure thats true? Jake was already very interested in dirk and preparing himself to date him and i think he just would have tried to avoid dating dirk if jane had confessed her love out of fear of hurting her.
People erasing Dirk’s sexuality for the sake of shipping him with Roxy
- Do not.
- Do not contribute further to queer erasure.
- Do not continue to glorify toxic, emotionally abusive, and fundamentally broken relationships.
- Do not pass go, do not collect $200.
for fuck’s sake if they aren’t lesbians then you can carve ‘fancy that’ on the side of my dick