Something’s been bothering me for quite a while, and it’s the treatment of OCs in fandoms.
Attitudes have seemed to get somewhat better, but I still notice that creators of OCs are usually not terribly welcome, and when OCs are made in fandoms, they tend to be ignored, in favor of the canon characters. Most of the time, pictures and OC fics will go without any feedback. Reblog, like, sometimes even views.
I personally never understood this, and I still don’t. Maybe I’m biased, after all, I have more than 100 OCs, as of my last count, so of course I’m going to be more sympathetic towards, as well as side with the OC creators in fandoms. But in the same respect, it bewilders me how someone can hate OCs so much.
I realize, since I absolutely refuse to put this under a read-more (it’s too important, people need to see this, read it, and take it to heart) that people will probably scroll past this and roll their eyes, but just think for a second.
Without OCs, all the shows, movies, video games, and books you like wouldn’t exist. It’s a creator’s dedication to their Original Characters that makes a series. Without this dedication, nothing you like would exist.
Let that sink in.
OCs, which most of you seem to discriminate against, make up every bit of media you consume.
Would you bully Alex Hirsch and tell him that Dipper and Mabel are pointless? Would you look Rebecca Sugar in the eyes and tell her the Crystal Gems are stupid? Would you walk up to Walt Disney and say “Mickey Mouse is the stupidest fucking thing I’ve ever seen in my life, stop drawing, your character is a waste of time.”?
Of course you wouldn’t.
So, fandoms, tell me, why do you do this to people on the internet, who are brave enough to share their OCs, which I should mention are literal pieces of their souls, with all of us? Do you have any clue what it’s like to bare your soul to the world, only to have it treated like garbage, and like it’s worthless, and doesn’t matter?
It really fucking sucks, I can tell you that.
Another problem is, well, probably the worst case of victim blaming/silencing I have ever seen in my life.
OC creators don’t have respect in fandoms. We honestly don’t.
But when we point that out, we’re met with “but I don’t hate OCs!”, or “some people don’t like OCs!!”, or worst of all, the dreaded “I had a bad experience with an OC once and now I have a problem with all OCs”.
That right there is invalidating our feelings, as creators, and silencing us. All because we wanted attention and recognition for our hard work.
In any other context, this would be unacceptable, there’d be an outcry.
But in fandoms? No one bats an eyelid. No one.
Fandoms are stacked against OCs, for no good reason.
And there’s probably many roots to this problem, heck, it’s probably a feminist issue, if you bring into account the dreaded concept of “Mary Sues” (sure, they can exist, since the only way to learn, is to make mistakes, but…)
A majority of OC creators are female, and a majority of OCs are female. It’s a statistic.
The whole concept of “Mary-Sues” came from a Star Trek fanstory from the 70s, but led to the biggest amount of fandom gate-keeping I have ever seen.
We all talk about how male geeks gate-keep, with their annoying quizzing, but do we ever talk about how fandoms as a whole gate-keep?
Usually, when a creator makes an OC, the fandom shuns them. Sometimes it’s not intentional, but it still happens.
And how do I know? Well here’s how they shun us:
Ignoring all of our contributions to the fandom
Which includes contributions that don’t involve our OCs, as well
Leaving us out of things, such as:
Fandom specific fanfics sites or groups
Fandom chat groups
Fandom activities as a whole
Criticizing our characters without really looking at them (Note: not constructive criticism)
Sending us hate
Saying that OCs are “ruining” the fandom
Coming into safe spaces for OC creators and saying the OCs suck
Acting like OC creators “have it lucky” or are “part of a secret club” even though they created the unwelcoming environment that made us have to create these OC safe spaces in the first place
Doesn’t this sound terribly familiar? Almost like…oppression. Yes, I’m going there.
I think fandoms oppress OCs.
After all, the fan groups tend to limit our creativity to “canons only”, with the assumption that, by default, all OCs are bad. (It’s gotten to a point where people have to say “not all OCs are bad”, which really, really sucks)
When you assume all OCs are bad, you’re, therefore, killing creativity.
OCs are important. For many reasons, I could list, but as it is this rant is long enough.
I really hope this made you think.
Maybe, just maybe, I changed someone’s mind about OCs. Maybe I didn’t.
I just, really, really, really want fandoms to think about this.