Azriel x reader
Authors note: Someone send help, I can’t stop writing fics about Az or Cass. 🥴 if you have other characters you’d like to read things for, send me prompts/ideas with characters from the following fandoms:
Otherwise enjoy some fluff with everyone’s favorite friendly neighborhood shadowsinger. 🥰
I landed straight on my back on the mat. Again.
“You have to engage your core. Your left side is weak, you need to watch your blind spots.”
Azriel had agreed to meet me early in the morning to train. I still hadn’t fully recovered from the last mission, when one of the warriors had nearly speared me like a kabob. However, I knew if I didn’t start training again soon, I’d never fully regain all my strength.
“I did engage my core! I even leaned left to try and brace for your impact!” I growled, hands over my face. “What more can I do?”
“Let’s take a quick break. You’re still healing, and even though I’m proud of you for getting back in the ring, you’ve gotta take it easy for a while.”
I smirked at the shadowsinger, “You’re proud of me?”
A low chuckle rumbled from his chest, “Don’t get mushy on me now, soldier.”
I set down my water, and walked towards him until I was standing toe to toe with him. I craned my neck to look up at him, poking one finger into his chest, “Oh, trust me. I’m definitely not the mushy one in this friendship.”
Cauldron boil and fry me.
I can’t pinpoint the exact moment where my feelings for Azriel had gone from purely platonic to something more. It happened like a summer storm - out of no where, full force. But I refuse to risk ruining the time we spend together over some silly feelings. He means too much to me.
“You okay in there?” Azriel tapped gentle on my temple, tearing my attention from my thoughts.
“Hey lovebirds! You mind if I take a turn sparing with your boy-toy?”
“We are NOT- “
“He is NOT my-“
We both stopped and glared at Cassian as a playful grin crept across his face. I grabbed my water and slid on my boots, bracing myself for the cold to come as I trudged back to the main part of the house.
After dinner that night, things got a little out of hand. It started with some ridiculous drinking game Mor begged me to play with her. She dragged all of us into it, and then I had the idiotic idea to challenge Cassian by saying I could out-drink him.
“I want to **hic** dance!! Azzie, can we dance, pleaseee?!” The strong arms that carried me away from the rest of the circle held me tighter.
“You can barely even stand upright, let alone dance.”
“Nuh-uh. I can **hic** totally stand. Watch. **hic** Put me down and I’ll walk in a straight line.”
“You’re full of shit and you know it.”
I smirk up at the shadowsinger, “Actually, **hic** I’m technically full of tequila.”
“If you want to be a smartass,” Azriel chuckles, “I can take us for a fun little flight and see how well you handle your liquor.”
My stomach lurched even at the thought of tumbling through the air, doing loops and turns…
Azriel gently set me down, keeping me between his arms as he opened the door to steady me. As we entered the dark room, I walked towards the bed and threw off my awfully uncomfortable shoes.
When I looked up, all I could see was those glimmering hazel eyes and incredible sapphire siphons illuminating Azriel’s face as he stood in the doorway.
“Stay,” I whispered, so quietly I wasn’t even certain he would hear.
He stood, still as a statue. The only sound was our breathing, and a muffled conversation from the rest of the circle in the living room.
“Stay,” I repeated, a little louder, a little more brave this time.
Those hazel eyes widened, and it took Azriel only two strides across the room to reach me.
He placed one hand on my cheek, the other tilting my head up to look at him.
“Fuck it. I can’t be your friend any longer.” He exhaled.
I tried to move my chin from his grasp and turn away, offended by his words. He held my face gently but firm.
“You’re so much more than that.”
And then we kissed. It was like, I was a star during Starfall, and I had finally found my way home. Like I had been waiting to find the missing piece of me, and it had been right there all along. I felt a tug in my chest as Azriel’s tongue swept over mine.
I gasped as he pulled away, feeling completely sober now, regardless of how many drinks I had downstairs.
“How long have you known?”
“A month. When that soldier had almost taken you from us. From me.”
I was completely in awe.
“While you were unconscious and the healers were working, I could feel the bond fraying. I tugged on it every now and then to keep you with me. I was a complete mess. You can ask Rhys or Cass -“
“They’ve known this whole time?”
“I didn’t intentionally tell Rhys, but when you were hit I lost all control over my mental shield and he could sense it. I told Cassian not long after.”
I stared up at him, completely at a loss for words. This whole time, he had known and continued to care for me out of fear of losing me.
He leaned down to kiss me again, but I took the opportunity to grab his wrists and twist him over onto the bed, pining him down.
“You need to engage your core, and watch your blind spots, Spymaster.” I smirked down at him.
His eyes were like burning embers, flaming with lust and desire.
“Oh, sweetheart, I’ll let you take me down anytime.”
221 notes · View notes
ACOTAR THINK PIECE: ELAIN ARCHERON, UNTOUCHABLE
This will be a long post.
Please take the time to read this post in its entirety and truly reflect on the message I am trying to send before commenting. My goal is to use my background in Gender and Women’s Studies to deconstruct the comments I have seen on Tumblr and Twitter and bring awareness to the ACOTAR fandom.
The reason I am tagging “Elriel” in this post is to call attention to the arguments in the Elriel fandom that: weaponize Elain’s femalehood to shame real life people for their opinions about Elain’s character and her relationship with Lucien; victimize Elain’s character in fandom discussions; and coddle Elain’s character, which limits fandom discussions about her narrative development and prevents the ACOTAR fandom from holding Elain accountable for her actions and inactions in the same way that the fandom holds other characters accountable for their actions and inactions. It is for these reasons that I WILL NOT remove the “Elriel” tag from this post because all of the above points contribute to the toxic discourse surrounding Elain’s character.
I urge those who use these arguments to understand their implications, why they are problematic, regardless of intent, and reexamine their contributions to the ACOTAR fandom. I WILL NOT tolerate anyone who tries to twist my words and say I am attacking people and their personal shipping preferences. In fact, I AM CRITIQUING THE ARGUMENTS THEMSELVES NOT THE PEOPLE USING THE ARGUMENTS.
Also, I highly encourage the Elriel fandom to read this post because it addresses how the concept of choice as an argument enables arguments to exploit social justice and feminist languge in order to vilify Elucien shippers, among other problematic things.
Elain Archeron is one of the most polarizing characters in the ACOTAR fandom. Though opinions about Elain vary, arguments in the Elriel fandom cite society’s perception of traditional female characters in comparison to non-traditional female characters as the reason behind the hate, and this belief is used to provide an explanation as to why other characters in the series are favored over her. In the series, Elain is portrayed in a wholly positive light and this image carries over into the Elriel fandom, painting her character as a good and kind female who has been unfairly wronged and a victim of circumstances that were out of her control. When arguments in the Elriel fandom oppose other viewpoints in the fandom, they fall into one of three categories:
Category 1: Weaponize Elain’s femalehood to shame real life people for their opinions
Maybe people who hate Elain are just jealous of her in a weird way similar to when someone hates the pretty, nice, and charming girl in school just because she is too perfect
Disliking Elain is misogynistic
What happened to feminism? What happened to women supporting women? What happened to she can say no? All of that disappears the second you force Elain to be with Lucien
Elain antis are misogynistic
All Eluciens are Elain antis
Antis claiming they’re feminists when in reality they hate on Elain and Feyre but love Nesta
Elain antis are such sore losers. Y’all were that bunch of people who could not get over being rejected from hanging out with the cool kids so y’all are projecting your hatred towards pretty people now to get validation
I don’t get how Elain’s love for gardening equals boring for some people. I’m sorry your misogyny finds traditionally feminine activities boring
Why are you attacking a female? What did Elain do? Where are your feminist voices?
The fandom is misogynistic towards Elain
If people loved Elain they would ship Elriel
If you hate Elain it says a lot about your feelings toward women
If you hate Elain because she has no “development” then you must hate Azriel because otherwise you’re misogynistic
Eluciens are turned off by the idea of a woman that has the autonomy to reject a man for the simple reason that it is her choice
Eluciens are all about feminism and “it’s HER choice” until it comes down to females not wanting a male
Eluciens don’t respect Elain’s feelings when they ship her with someone that was part of her trauma and makes her feel uncomfortable
The way some Elucien shippers completely disregard how uncomfortable Elain is around Lucien is so hilariously not funny. Prioritizing being mates over Elain’s feelings is just regressive
It’s hard as a fan of Elain to see someone ship her with a person who makes her physically uncomfortable to be around. Wouldn’t you want both characters to be happy to be around each other
Imagine if SJM saw all the awful things her “stans” had to say about Elain
It’s true that we know comparatively little about her, but is she really boring or do you just not value stereotypically feminine traits?
So y’all are just gonna tell me you prefer Elucien over Elriel? Even though Lucien treats Elain as if she’s something that belongs to him? The only reason he wants to be with her is because she’s his mate, he doesn’t respect her, doesn’t treat her as his equal, even though that’s what mates should be? He doesn’t bother to look past what’s on the outside to see her for who she is. And Elain is obviously repulsed by the idea that she should belong to anyone or have no choice in who she can be with. Azriel is her friend and the only person who sees her quiet strength. He has so much faith in her, in her abilities; he’s the one who kept her company when no one else did, he’s the only one who bothered to see her for more than her brokenness. You’re going to tell me you still prefer Elucien over Elriel?
The more I see Gwynriels that ship Elucien out of their hate for Elain, the less I can understand Elain stans that ship Elucien. Pls Elain has made it very clear that she doesn’t want Lucien, why would you ship her with him? Do you hate her too? Smh
The real question would be, if you care and understand Elain why would you ship her with Lucien (where she canonically shrinks when he is near)?
People crying over Helion and Lucien’s mom not getting to be with each other and her being forced into a relationship she didn’t want, but also ship Elucien? Just say you hate Elain
When Elain’s book is out, Gwyn stans will look like clowns and I will laugh because they set her up by shipping her with Azriel just because they hate Elain. Watch them play the victims now because Elriels are clapping back the hate they’ve sent towards Elain
As romantic as wanting girl who is visibly uncomfortable around a guy who caused her trauma to end up with the said guy. Guess their standards for romance are in hell
Category 2: Victimize Elain’s character
Gwynriels only want Gwyn with Azriel because they despise Elain
Gwyn stans and Gwynriels are Elain antis
No one in the books dislike Elain, so why are there so many people who do?
Elain hasn’t done anything wrong or questionable to warrant the hate she gets
Not having Elain’s POV makes it easy for people to be swayed a certain way about her character if you already don’t relate to her in some way
It’s been years since this series came out and we haven’t gotten a lick of an Elain POV, but people still hate her for what? We don’t know her thoughts, dreams, or aspirations
We haven’t even had Elain’s perspective yet and people are passing these judgments off on her
Elain antis who say she’s boring are just cruel when she has obvious symptoms of PTSD like Feyre and Nesta
Gwyn is one of the most overhyped characters and that’s only because most people hate Elain and they couldn’t wait to find a random girl to ship Azriel with
Nesta was abusive to her sisters but Elain (who has only ever been kind) is painted as the villain
From the text we know that Elain is the epitome of feminine stereotypes (gentle, gardening, baking, non confrontational for the most part). Yet people still call her boring or deny that she has any interesting character traits?
You can’t love Nesta and hate Elain
People hate Elain because of internalized misogyny and lack of taste. All the girl does is tend to her garden and mind her business and they treat her worse than Tamlin
Does Gwyn deserve all this support? Of course yes! She is amazing! But where’s that support when Elain was in the same situation as she? Where’s that support for her right now? Why do they idolize Gwyn for her interactions with Azriel and hate Elain for having any interaction with him?
It’s not even a ship war anymore, they just hate Elain
People hate Elain for no reason
Some of y’all don’t like feminine traits and it shows
We know less about Eris and Helion but people don’t call them boring. Why would rejecting femininity make Elain more interesting?
Elain has had a lot forced upon her
The main reason I believe most people love Gwyn so much is to get Azriel away from Elain. It’s not a secret that Elain has been a widely hated character for years so suddenly we get a new female who has a minimal amount of interactions with Azriel and BOOM. New ship that once again doesn’t make sense (just like Azriel x Emerie after ACOFAS)
Elain hasn’t done something so terrible for her to get this hate. At this point some of you are just being misogynistic and you don’t want to accept it. Don’t call yourselves feminists and then say bs like this, it’s embarrassing. She’s pretty and everyone agreed to hate on her
Just a personal feeling, but I feel like a lot of the Elain hate stems from internalized misogyny. That to be a strong female lead, you need to pick up a sword and fight. That to be strong, you need to adapt traditionally masculine traits
Elain is feminine. She is beautiful. She loves to bake and garden. She is docile, quiet, observant, and a people-pleaser. All traditionally feminine traits. Yet for some reason, she’s like the worst in these people’s eyes?
I think also maybe a lot of people can’t relate to her femininity? That her being so beautiful and quiet doesn’t allow for the people who dislike her not to self-insert? Most of the hate stems from people not wanting Elain to be with Azriel. It’s mean, but maybe the people who hate Elain literally just can’t self-insert if they have a story and that’s why they’re vehemently against it?
Poor Elain. The Cauldron dealt her a bad deal. Upon emerging as Fae, she is immediately declared by Lucien as his mate, never mind that she was already engaged to a prick. Her love life is not good
It blows my mind how they really think that they can compare all the shit that Elain gets with some dumb jokes about Gwyn on Twitter (and yes, the “hate” towards her started mostly because Elriels are clapping back, it was bound to happen)
I would think of it as anti-feminist with Elain and Lucien because she has consistently stated that she does not want him so if she was forced to embrace the bond that would be taking away her right to have a choice but with Az she feels comfortable around so if they were mates then Elain would be happy and feel safe which again should be the priority for women to feel safe in their relationships with anything and to not be forced into any type of situation aka the mating bond in this
Category 3: Coddle Elain’s character
Elain has value the way she is, in all her domestic girly glory. Not every character has to be badass
We don’t speak of Elain’s flaws frequently because everyone else already speaks badly of her, mainly in an unfair way
There is definitely something deeper going on with Elain but by no means will she ever be evil or any less feminine. That goes against everything we already know about her
It’s ok to critique Elain because she needs growth but y’all keep forgetting the shit her and her sisters went through
The last “bad” thing Elain did in ACOTAR was not help Feyre when they were impoverished and I’m tired of people acting like she’s a terrible character when it was their father’s responsibility. It happened 4 books ago and Feyre has forgiven both Nesta and Elain
Elain’s character and the evil Elain theory are a great example of the trend where people only consider female characters interesting if they reject femininity
We don’t know enough to hate Elain
Many people want Elain to turn evil (which in my opinion seems to come from a place of internalized misogyny)
However we don’t tend to talk about her faults, at least not publicly, as that has been, and still is, done to death, and I--personally, at least--find it much more fun to theorise about potentially interesting aspects of the overall plot, than dwell on negatives
And ultimately, I would be shocked if Elain has a more karmically-charged story than Nesta, considering that Elain’s “wrongs” are so much less severe and bad than Nesta’s, and Elain has already apologized for them (or paid the price in other ways, like through what Graysen did)
I guess I also think Elain has suffered and been punished enough. I hope her story is about finding hope in terrible situations, and learning to love her new life, and choosing her own path after everything that has been done to her. I don’t think she needs to be punished anymore or face any additional trauma
Also, why is she being judged on her decisions as a human at all? Fae are monsters to humans! They enslaved them for thousands of years, and the Wall was erected to keep them out
Like I’m sorry, but think Elain would want to leave her ONLY FAMILY AND FRIENDS for the Spring Court where she has no one because--oh look, lots of flowers!--is the craziest thing I have ever heard
Her sisters are in the Night Court. Her nephew is in the Night Court. Her closest friends (Nuala and Cerridwen) are in the Night Court. Her love interest is in the Night Court. Her extended family is in the Night Court. Her home is in the Night Court
SJM isn’t going to keep two sisters together and split up the third. Especially not keep Feyre and Nesta together and separate Elain. They were either all going to end up in separate places, or together. Not 2 here and 1 there
Compared to the other female characters in the series, Elain is the only character whose femalehood is at the center of conversations; this is because arguments in the Elriel fandom fixate on it when discussing her character. While Elain, Feyre, Nesta, and Mor are all representations of white womanhood and white beauty, Elain epitomizes the most fragile version of white womanhood. It’s easy to blame society’s perception of traditional female characters in comparison to non-traditional female characters when it comes to the discourse surrounding Elain’s character because it: falls in line with the fixation on Elain’s femalehood to silence opposing viewpoints; is a simplistic explanation that fails to tackle the underlying issues with Elain as a character, the same issues that are downplayed in-universe; absolves Elain of her wrongdoings; prevents the ACOTAR fandom from holding Elain accountable for her actions and inactions within the series; and diminishes the impact Elain’s actions and inactions have on those around her. It’s not that Elain is hated in the fandom because she’s a traditional female character; it’s the fact that arguments in the Elriel fandom deflect a critical analysis of Elain’s character because she’s a traditional female character who embodies the ideal white woman in need of protection. White fans and white-aligned fans of color, especially white women, have a tendency to vehemently defend, gatekeep, and coddle white female characters in fandom; this makes it difficult for other fans to engage in critical discussions about these white female characters because they’re viewed as flawless and all around perfect characters despite evidence to the contrary. Since Elain is viewed positively by the other characters in the series, it has rendered her character untouchable to any perceived slight or criticism in fandom discussions because those negative opinions challenge what has been said about her character thus far. And as a result, her character has been placed on a pedestal and implicitly hailed as the epitome of white womanhood; and when she’s criticized, it’s seen as a direct attack against white womanhood. Arguments in the Elriel fandom: exploit feminist language and perpetuate white feminist tactics under the guise of defending Elain’s character; center Elain in conversations about female oppression in the ACOTAR world and uphold white feminist ideologies in their critique of ACOTAR’s patriarchal society; and use the fragile white woman narrative to victimize Elain in Lucien’s presence, playing into racial biases that are associated with white supremacy’s defense of white womanhood.
Feminism is a social movement that seeks to promote equality and equity to all genders, and feminists work toward eradicating gender disparities on a macro-level, in addition to challenging gender biases on a micro-level. As feminism became more mainstream, a flat and oversimplified version of feminism emerged: mainstream feminism. The mainstream feminist movement is meant to represent all women, but rarely does it center conversations around issues that concern most women. The problem with mainstream feminism is that it’s just a popularized version of white feminism. White feminism has relied extensively on an individualized understanding of women’s oppression, exclusively from the lens of privileged white women. White feminism only focuses on the oppression experienced by white, able-bodied, affluent, educated, cishet women; and it views gender as the key mode of privileged white women’s oppression, isolated from the privileges granted by their other social identities. White women can be and are oppressed under the patriarchy but only because they are women; their identity as women does not exempt them from the privileges granted by their whiteness. The term white feminist does not mean any feminist who is white, but refers to feminists who prioritize the concerns of privileged white women as though they are representative of all women. However, the term is not exclusive to white people. Because white feminism is so pervasive, people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds often buy into white feminism, believing that if they work hard enough, they may be able to reap its rewards.
Just like white feminism, mainstream feminism only recognizes the identity of being a woman, assumes that all women share common experiences of gender oppression, fails to address other social identities in relation to overlapping systems of oppression, and disregards privilege in relation to various social identities. Just like white feminism, mainstream feminism is palatable because it doesn’t seek to challenge the systems in place, instead its goal is to succeed within them. Essentially, mainstream feminism and white feminism are extensions of performative feminism. Performative feminism is a type of performative activism that’s used to describe feminist views that are surface level and solely for the benefit of one type of person. It’s a pretense which often has nothing to do with genuine activism. Arguments in the Elriel fandom normalize and promote performative feminism because the topic of feminism is only referenced when discussing Elain. This indicates that these arguments are engaging in disingenuous discourse to push a personal agenda within the ACOTAR fandom, and it becomes more apparent when they use white feminist tactics to shut down opposing viewpoints:
White feminists weaponize and exploit feminist language to silence the opinions of other women, especially when they’re called out for their problematic behaviors
White feminists use the phrase “Women supporting women” to defend other white feminists who exhibit problematic behaviors instead of holding them accountable
White feminists weaponize phrases like “Women supporting women” and “You just hate women” to attack other women who disagree with them on any given topic
White feminists use phrases like “All women face challenges” and “Stop pitting women against each other” to sidestep conversations about privilege
White feminists divert conversations away from privilege and towards the Trauma Olympics to equate their struggles to the oppression of marginalized people
White feminists skirt around the realities of other forms of oppression and discrimination, downplaying the experiences of marginalized people
White feminists diminish or ignore the ways in which gender oppression affects other marginalized people
White feminists paint those they harmed as aggressive, mean, or divisive when confronted with the ways they have harmed a marginalized group
White feminists deflect criticism by focusing on the anger or emotions being expressed rather than the issue that is being discussed, invalidating the concerns of marginalized people
White feminists speak over marginalized voices in an attempt to sound “woke”
White feminists get defensive and insist there’s no way they could be a part of the problem because of what they’ve done to help marginalized groups already
White feminists say they don’t see color in an attempt to obscure racial issues that need to be addressed
White feminists center and victimize themselves in conversations about racism, which derails necessary conversations from taking place
White feminists who are white weaponize the intersectionality of their race and gender to avoid accountability
Feminism is not meant to be approached from an individualistic perspective nor is it only about addressing the experiences of privileged white women, it involves addressing the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, (dis)ability, and other social identities as well; and it involves addressing how these social identities relate to privilege. Moreover, feminism is not about women upholding complete loyalty to other women because of a shared gender identity, and to claim that it does implies that women should be held to different emotional standards than men. If men are able to dislike and criticize other individual men, real or fictional, without their characters being compromised, why aren’t women granted that same privilege?
It’s clear that SJM set up the ACOTAR world to mirror a patriarchal society, and that the imbalance of power between males and females stems from sexism. Arguments in the Elriel fandom analyze the ACOTAR world through a feminist lens to show how ACOTAR’s patriarchal society, to which the mating bond is innately tied, contributes to female oppression and limits their agency. When choice and free will are emphasized as part of Elain’s arc, they imply that Elain, through the mating bond, experiences female oppression under ACOTAR’s patriarchal society because of her identity as a female with that identity being the focal point of her oppression in the world. Elain is one of the most privileged characters in the ACOTAR world: she’s High Fae; she’s the sister of the High Lord and High Lady of the Night Court, which gives her access to wealth and political influence because of that connection; she’s able-bodied; she was magically blessed by the Cauldron; and she lives in Velaris, a place that grants females autonomy and power because of the beliefs of Rhysand and Feyre. Arguments in the Elriel fandom trivialize female oppression in the ACOTAR world because they disregard the fact that Elain’s privileges prevent her from experiencing female oppression in the same way that other marginalized females in the world do. The mating bond being one such example because those around Elain are not forcing the bond on her, instead they’re allowing Elain to reach a decision about the bond for herself; a privilege that other marginalized females in the world probably wouldn’t have. Just because Elain has endured hardships in her life and is a female in a patriarchal society, they do not erase the privileges she holds within the ACOTAR world. The failure to include Elain’s privileges in discussions about Elain being a female in a patriarchal society feeds into white feminist ideologies because white feminism operates from a very narrow perspective; it doesn’t take other intersecting identities into account when it examines gender oppression, leaving no room for discussions about privilege (or lack thereof) in relation to those intersecting identities. When discussing oppression in hierarchical societies, it’s imperative that privilege is also included in the conversation because privilege and oppression are not mutually exclusive; they equally affect the ways in which people navigate those societies through their social identities.
Rather than attributing Elain’s uncomfortability to her new life as a Fae female or the mating bond itself and her trauma to the Cauldron, the King of Hybern, or Ianthe, they’re placed on Lucien to cast his character in a negative light. Moreover, fandom discussions portray Lucien as a possessive character to further emphasize Elain’s discomfort despite the inaccuracy of this characterization in canon. Arguments in the Elriel fandom play into racial biases when it comes to Lucien (a male character of color) because they mischaracterize his character in order to victimize Elain (a white female character), placing her character in the role of the white damsel in distress. In Western society, the concept of womanhood has been conceptualized from a Eurocentric perspective with femininity and feminine attributes favoring white women. It’s the idea that a certain type of femininity is only inherent to white women as they are seen as the embodiment of an ideal womanhood. White womanhood has been a symbol of innocence and purity, and white women have been viewed as fragile beings in need of protection. The reason white womanhood functions within white supremacy is because it’s the same idea that has motivated white men to kill and beat black and brown men. The so-called protection of white women has been used as a justification for the horrific violence committed by white men because black and brown men were stereotyped as aggressive and seen as a threat to the virtue of white women. The white damsel in distress trope considered white women as worthy of protection because of their perceived innocence and purity; women of color were not granted that same treatment because they did not fit into the ideal image of womanhood. Over the years, this trope became a means for white women to exercise limited power in a patriarchal society with white women weaponizing their status as the damsel much to the detriment of black and brown men. It’s through the white damsel in distress trope that white supremacy sustains its dominance in Western society. The misrepresentation of characters of color in fandom, the dismissal of their importance to the overall story, and using them as tools in arguments centered around white characters are the foundation of fandom racism; they’re examples of how racism moves silently in fandom spaces. Instead of examining their behavior and taking constructive criticism from fans of color, white fans will often double down on their bigotry and center their uncomfortability in the conversation when confronted with their complicity in fandom racism. White fans expect fans of color to swallow fandom racism in its many forms in order to not ruin the experience of fandom, dismissing the fact that racism is prevalent in nearly every aspect of society. This mentality ensures that no one is held accountable for the harm they caused and alienates fans of color in fandom spaces.
To reiterate what I mentioned in my first think piece: terms like “oppression”, “the right to choose”, “feminist”, “feminism”, “anti-feminist”, “anti-feminism”, “internalized misogyny”, “misogyny”, “misogynist”, “sexist”, “sexism”, “racist”, “racism”, “classist”, “classism”, “discrimination”, and “patriarchy” are all used in specific ways to draw attention to the plight of marginalized people and challenge those who deny the existence of systems of oppression. Yet these words and their meanings can be twisted to attack, exclude, and invalidate people with differing opinions on any given topic. When social justice and feminist terms are thrown around antagonistically and carelessly to push a personal agenda, it becomes clear that these terms are being used to engage in disingenuous discourse and pursue personal validation rather than being used out of any deep-seated conviction to dismantle systemic oppression. Being an ally, activist, or feminist is not an identity, it’s a practice. It requires: ongoing self-reflection; holding ourselves accountable; listening to marginalized people; educating ourselves; dismantling implicit biases; challenging those around us who are exhibiting problematic behaviors; and action behind our words.
It’s important to be aware of the language that is used within the fandom when defending or critiquing characters and ships. It’s also important to question how an argument is framed and why it’s framed the way that it is to critically examine the intent behind that argument: is it used as a tool to push a personal agenda that reinforces problematic behaviors, or is it used as an opportunity to share, learn, enlighten, and educate?
Tagging: @spell-cleavers @bookofmirth @m0bulidae @ilya-boltagon
296 notes · View notes
Here’s my fic for @heloisedaphnebrightmore’s writing challenge! I actually wrote one the other day that I wasn’t 100% happy with. I might edit it and post it separately later. But this was so fun to write!
Congrats on 3.5k @heloisedaphnebrightmore!
Azriel x reader - Prompt: When it’s a slow burn, and the characters just look at each other like “Fuck it, I’m done with this.” and they finally kiss.
You could feel the beat of the music blaring from the speakers in your bones as you downed another shot with Cassian and Mor.
“Hell yeah!” Cassian yelled, barely being heard above the noise, “I fucking love it when you guys actually agree to go out.”
Mor cackled, “I always want to go out, it’s y/n that is a homebody!”
You pouted as your friends continued to talk about how you only wanted to sit at home and read. You really hadn’t wanted to go out tonight, but after overhearing a conversation between Rhys and Azriel, you needed to be anywhere but the House tonight. You had nearly fallen to the floor in tears as you heard Azriel confess to Rhys that he had feelings for someone besides Mor for the past 20 years. You hadn’t caught her name, but your heart broke as you fled down the hall to your room.
So tonight you were doing shots. And dancing. And anything else Cass and Mor did on a wild night out. Anything to forget that one of your best friends was in love with someone else.
Mor dragged you to your feet. “Come on!! Let’s go dance!”
“Mor, we’ve been here for 3 hours dancing!! My feet hurt!” You whined, feeling the sudden effects of the last two shots of whiskey you had taken, per Cassian’s request. As you moved to sit back down, a presence clouded in darkness joined your table.
“Fine, I’ll go.” You jumped at the chance to go off with Mor before Az could even question you about what was going on.
He stood there, puzzled, next to Cassian, trying to figure out exactly why you were there in the first place.
“What did you guys do?”
Cassian chuckled, “We didn’t do anything! This was all her idea.” He gestures towards you as you moved to the beat, letting your hair down.
Mor twirled you around the dance floor, and when you stopped in front of her she smirked.
“So what’s the deal with you and Az?”
“Wha-what do you mean? There’s nothing with Az! I mean I don’t know why you’d think there was anything with Az. What are you even-“
“You’re cute when you’re flustered,” Mor laughed. “I just know you’ve been avoiding him for the last two days. You’ll have to talk to him eventually you know.”
You glanced longingly in the direction of the Shadowsinger.
“For now, I just want to keep dancing.”
You all had gone back to the house around 2 in the morning. And while the rest of the group fell asleep the moment they got to their beds, sleep escaped you. You tossed and turned, thinking about what an idiot you were to fall for your best friend.
After sulking, and tossing and turning for nearly an hour, you carefully snuck down the hall to the kitchen to make some tea.
“Why are you avoiding me?”
“By the CAULDRON! Azriel! You cannot come out of the shadows like that! We’ve been over this! You nearly gave me a heart attack.”
He reached up to rub the back of his neck.
“Sorry. I heard you leave your room so I followed you down here. I really thought you knew I was here.”
You smiled sheepishly at him, turning your attention back to the boiling kettle.
“So…why have you been avoiding me?”
You sucked in a deep breath through gritted teeth, unsure of how to tell your best friend you have fallen in love with him when he’s clearly in love with someone else.
He took a step toward you, cornering you between the counter and him. He towered over you, but his eyes showed nothing but gentleness.
“Please talk to me,” he whispered.
“Fuck, Azriel. I can’t do this.” You pushed past him, trying to clear your head.
“You can’t do wha-“
“I know you’re in love with someone. I heard you talking to Rhysand the other day, and I’m so happy for you. Truly I am.”
Tears brimmed your eyes as you looked up into his.
“But I’m in love with you. And I don’t expect you to do anything about it. I want you to be happy and I don’t want to get between you and whoe-“
You blinked away the tears forming in your eyes.
“I was talking about you. With Rhys.”
You stood there, still as a statue. Not sure if this was real, or just a cruel, drunken dream induced by the tequila and whiskey.
“I told Rhys I was in love with you, because I had no idea how to tell you. I was asking for advice.”
He approached you and gently took your chin in one hand, cupping your cheek with the other.
“It’s always been you. I’m in love with my best friend.”
You stood up on your toes to press a gentle kiss to his lips. He moved his hands down to your waist and hips, sliding them under your thighs to lift you into his arms. You let out a moan as he swept his tongue along your bottom lip, giving him access to deepen the kiss further.
“AHA! I knew you guys liked each other!”
Azriel gently set you down before stepping back from you, both of you breathing heavily from the kiss.
Mor and Cassian stood in the doorway to the kitchen.
“You owe me 10 gold pieces, Cassian.”
“I told you I wasn’t betting on shit anymore! I always fucking lose!”
You and Azriel chuckled. As an argument started between Mor and Cass, the two of you slipped out the opposite door of the kitchen, taking the back stairwell to your room to pick up where you left off.
237 notes · View notes