After reading a whole lot of danmeis by several different authors, I find the difference mindsets on morality by three of the most popular ones sort of funny :
MXTX: actions have consequences and when ppl have power those consequences might be terrible even if the intentions are good. Still staying true in one's heart is important. Also, fuck mob mentality, social media and peer pressure, and celeb internet culture. Anonymous masses are vultures and they can both be terrible on their own or easily manipulated and weaponized. (this last part is really the metaphoric message of the novels, not a reference to any lead actor’s scandals...which makes the whole irl thing even more ironic...and yes I know I’m using it wrong but if Alanis Morisette can, so can I).
Meatbun: Okay, the protagonist is scum. Not just regular scum. Psychotic Genocidal Totalitarian scum (also very into BDSM). Do you think he's bad in the first chapters? Oh he gets worse. Do you feel like stabbing him yet? Good! Only he is the biggest victim of them all and he is now horrified with his actions and bc actions matter regardless of personal excuses, he's gonna suffer with that knowledge forever. Suffer along as the lead pines, despairs and crawls on his path of redemption and neither you nor the characters will ever truly emotionally recover. Conclusion: If you honestly repent then there is a chance at redemption no matter the crime (how very catholic).
Priest: Be Gay, Do Crimes, Have Fun Storming the Castle!, Murder Parties for all! No need to feel bad, or sorry. Just find a kindred ruthless bf, stir shit up and then retire together into a little cottage somewhere. The world is chaos, do what yo gotta do to survive, don't sweat it. The ends justify the means. Morality is optional, a strong sense of patriotism is advised (" For the Greater Good/ The greater good"), being utterly devoted to your loved one is mandatory tho!
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let’s talk about racism in the danmei fandom
alright so originally i wrote this for twitter, but i felt like tumblr could benefit from it too. today we're finally getting the long awaited "deconstruction of racism in the danmei fandom" post. and lemme preface this by saying- i'm chinese-american. i'm nblm. i do, in fact, have the cultural and historical background to know what i am talking about. so let's get into it.
this is gonna be a long post, because we have a lot to talk about. first, racism doesn't have to be as blatant as calling me a chink, or saying all asians look the same, or not wanting to consume asian media, or making ching chong jokes.racism can be as subtle towards asians as it can towards any other race. if you think i shouldn't have to say that, join the club, bc same.
second, racism towards asians, especially in the west, has a long history of being overlooked and accepted. now, let's talk about how racism dictates some of the takes you see in the fandom. firstly, what originally inspired this thread- the mxtx rumors and the jokes being made about her and censorship. now, obvs some ppl are gonna say that they were just jokes made in poor taste. and, sure. but they were jokes made in poor taste, steeped in racism. the jokes being made about mxtx going to jail happen bc ppl do not view her as a real person. not rlly. she’s an author, sure, the author of one of their favorite novels, but she’s not, like. a person with thoughts and feelings and a life. and that sort of casual lack of humanhood and agency given to danmei authors is rooted in the severely racist dehumanization of asians that’s prevalent in the west. this is something that can be seen other places, too- a good example being when parasite was notably nominated for every oscar category *except* the acting ones.
it's this lack of personhood, this lack of agency, that allows ppl to have takes like "censorship isn't actually bad, and here's why". yes, this is a real take that i saw. this take argues that the cql is better than mdzs, bc it is "softer and less graphic". in general, a lot of ppl have the take that mxtx's works in particular are too graphic, with problematic sexual elements. now, i've talked before about how that's a homophobic take bc gay relationships should also be allowed to be messy. but it's also deeply entrenched in racism. it's why white gays can have the take "this is Problematique and here's why" and claim it's not homophobic.
racism against asians has long since created a trend of sexualizing them- thinking asian men are sexy while also removing their sexual agency. asian men can be sexy, but they can't actually *have sex*. not explicitly. there's a historical, real world element to this. "not fats no femmes no asians" could definitely be seen on ppls grindr profiles, back in the day. asians can be sexy, sure. look at kpop boys. but they can't be sexual. they’re infantilized. they have to remain pure and wholesome, or they're dragged as problematic and homophobic and fetishizing, a word that's thrown around so often it's practically lost meaning. fetishizing is my ex-bf telling me i'm sexy bc* i'm asian, it’s bl/yaoi fans approaching a gay couple on the bus and gushing over how "cute and yaoi they are." fetishizing is *not* showing your 2 male main charas having explicit sex. if it is, then every white fan in danmei is fetishizing asians.
but i digress- back to the point about racism. the fact that ppl can argue about censorship shows that they, as a whole, aren't considering the ramifications of censorship on the literal country it exists in, and it's citizens. i, obvs, do not live in china. but i've got relatives who do, and who did. i've got relatives who fled china. not everything is about you and the media you want to consume. and then, of course, there's the casual racism. the everyday racism. the racism that lies in things like saying all the names are too similar and it's hard to keep track of them. the racism in saying things like "i'm just here to have fun,,,like sure, i'd persevere through dostoevsky, but this is danmei", as if danmei is somehow inferior, as if danmei isn't meant to be critically engaged with, as if danmei doesn’t tackle and critically explore some of the deepest and darkest issues.
asian media is often presented that way, from kung fu movies to danmei. there is a type of racism, of eurocentrism, that exists in the belief that western media has deeper, more engaging morals. asian media is more "fun". asian media is almost entirely based on morals and deep thought, it's just not based in western ones. for example, two of my favorite authors are haruki murakami and kazuo ishiguro. both are japanese authors, who's works i've heard westerners describe as weird and without a point, when in fact they are simply telling stories with innately eastern asian morals and teachings. it's the same type of racism that causes ppl to make jokes about asian food, to not view it as a craft the same way they do french food. it's asian- it must be "less than", be inferior, be inherently not worth as much.
casual racism about asians is normalized, which isn't a word i use often. it’s normalized to the point where ppl don’t even realize they have that sort of implicit bias, and we know ppl don’t rlly come on the internet to think critically. but unintentional racism is still racism. it still has an impact, still does damage. ppl need to think intentionally and critically in how they consume and interact with media not made for them, but they don’t, instead choosing to come in with their preexisting biases, and bc of that, it's easy for fandom members to dismiss the cultural concerns of chinese ppl within the fandom. it's easy, for example, to say "calling them martial brothers is incest apologism", ignoring the inherent cultural roots of martial brothers.
now, we're gonna get in to the current "drama". i do not ship chengxian. i think that even bears repeating. i Do Not ship chengxian. i have written them, in a modern au, as adopted brothers. but there is a real historical and culture relevance to the idea of martial brothers, of community, that westerners willfully refuse to hear, claiming instead that "you're disregarding adopted families!" no. that's not what's happening at all. what's happening is ppl are refusing to look at their own, western bias, and placing western values on an eastern idea. community raising of children, community family bonds without being adopted families, is important in east asian culture. there is a long history of community being whats important, and ppl don't get that you can be a "communal/community family" without being considered familial. jyl choosing to view wwx as her brother, bc he is a martial brother, and chengxian being in love, are things that can technically coexist. whether or not you choose to perceive them as such, refusing to acknowledge the real history of martial brothers, and scremaing "incest apologism" whenever someone tries to explain it, is inherently racist. it's you assuming you know my culture better than me. it's you assuming your western ideas are the only ones that exist. which is, at its core, the basis for most racism in the danmei fandom.
most racism in the danmei fandom comes from this idea that casual racism against asians isn't *really* racism, and therefore asians don't *really* get to have a say, and it shouldn't matter anyway bc we're lucky you're even engaging with danmei, with asian content, since it's shallow and inferior anyway. the racism comes from a place of moral superiority, of ownership, of this assumption that westerners are entitled to not just consume danmei but also bring their western lens and apply it to something that was never written for them in the first place.
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henlo sir m'am uh i wanted to ask if you'd be kind enough to give me a summary on what "2ha" is about? i've seen it around and have wanted to get into it but i'm a wuss and don't like jumping in blindly ; u ;
yeah of course!!
what is 2ha?
so 2HA aka ER HA aka THE DUMB HUSKY AND HIS WHITE CAT SHIZUN is a m/m chinese fantasy novel by meatbun (that’s the author’s handle) clocking in at about 300 chapters. it has lots of warnings associated with it which can be found at the start of various chapters. before i go on, here are links to the google drives where you can read it:
translation from 1-117
mtl from 117-321
it’s going to be made into a live action titled IMMORTALITY and all the art in this post is official concept art from that adaptation. the author also refers to the novel as “this venerable one has been reformed” which would probably make more sense as a title since the novel is not at all what the common title suggests.
what’s it about?
it’s basically a time travel fix-it story. the premise is that the evil emperor of the cultivation world, mo ran, dies and is transported back to his 15 year old body before the events that lead to him becoming the worst person in the world. he realizes he has a chance to stop the death of his friend, shi mei, that lead to his descent into evil the first time, and there’s our story–but don’t be fooled. the person he blames for that death is his shizun, chu wanning, and that is the other half of our main pairing.
in their original life, after mo ran made himself emperor and started terrorizing the world, chu wanning was the only cultivator powerful enough to defy him. he took responsibility for mo ran’s descent as his shizun and thwarted him three times before he finally fell to mo ran, in dramatic fashion. he’s an ascetic in all ways, beautiful and cold, purer than pure and without emotion other than being short-tempered (or so it seems). after he fell in the first life, mo ran made him his prisoner and took out both his anger and his lust on his once-shizun, and that’s where most of the warnings for dark content come into play. i’ll let you fill in the blanks.
of course, nothing is as it seems, and the truths mo ran built his previous life begin to fall apart under fresh examination. the most devastating? chu wanning never hated mo ran, and will give anything to protect him–literally–and those stakes couldn’t be higher. we soon learn this redux life isn’t going the way mo ran’s previous one went at all; someone else is getting a chance at a redo, too, and whatever they want, the danger to the people mo ran cares for is vast. he’ll have to get stronger fast to protect the people he needs to–and he’ll have to figure out who that is before it’s too late.
tl;dr and gentle warnings
tl;dr: take an evil emperor forced to relive his teens and twenties who spent much of his previous life exacting revenge on the world in general and chu wanning in specific, a cold shizun who actually feels 800 emotions a day but is too awkward to show any of them, and then throw in a lot of ghosts and demons, epic love, sacrifice, dire misunderstandings, incredible settings, fun side characters, a big mystery, and you’ve got 2HA.
anyway i would be remiss at this point if i didn’t warn a little bit: mo ran really was horrible in his previous life. nothing about this story is sanitized, but it’s also not gratuitous. this is basically character growth: the novel, and both mo ran and chu wanning have to go through hell first to get there. if you like hurt/comfort, you will love this. i actually really enjoyed reading those vignettes on who mo ran used to be and how compelling and yet deeply screwed up his relationship with chu wanning was then. it makes the payoff even better. also, some may find the initial age gap uncomfy since cwn is of ambiguous immortal-beauty age and mo ran starts as a 30+ year old in a 15 year old’s body. i didn’t care or find it distasteful since nothing happens until mo ran is well out of his teens. honestly, i feel like the only thing that really needs to be warned for is the fucking incredible amount of thirst that the main characters go through from chapter 140 on. i never read pining until i read this.
you will like it if…
you like the trope where one half of the pairing disdains the other half and blames them for something that wasn’t their fault and then the person being blamed does something self-sacrificial and the blamer realizes how wrong they were and tries to fix it, if you like character growth, if you like hurt/comfort and fluff, if you like fantasy, etc.
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