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This week's featured article

Your Vagina is a Bigot; My Vagina is a Saint is a 16,218-word meta essay by Franzeska that was posted to the AO3 under archive-lock in 2016.

It sparked an extensive debate and also received a great deal of criticism from fans over the way it appeared to dismiss valid concerns about fandom racism and sexism, its defence of slash fans' white character-centric shipping choices and characterisation of the act of writing characters of colour as "joyless", the insistence that concerns over a perceived lack of femslash were unfounded because femslash was heavily present in certain fandoms, its framing of fandom history, and much more.

Author's Summary: Bullying and the Co-opting of Social Justice Activism in Fandom: A discussion of bias in fannish meta, m/m vs. other pairings, shipping of POC, vidding characters of color, what it means to ship, and problems in Stormpilot fandom.

Nominate and vote for more featured articles here.

News and updates

March 3, 2020

Upcoming changes to Fanlore's Pre-1995 Fan Name Use policy

On 10 March, Fanlore will be making some changes to its policy on Pre-1995 Fan Name Use in order to bring it in line with our broader Identity Protection policy.

In the days prior to the Internet, some fans who wrote in zines (or contributed to other fanworks) used their real names as opposed to a fan name. The expectation at that time was that fanworks would remain within the fairly closed community of fandom. With respect to this different environment and in order to protect the identity of fans, Fanlore created a policy stating that fanwork authors credited in zines and other fannish publications prior to 1995 should be identified with a first name and last initial (e.g. Mary R. as opposed to Mary Richards).

However, as time went by, it became apparent that a great deal of zine content containing fans’ full names and/or preferred names had already been online for many years, and on many established websites. Additionally, many fans writing prior to 1995 used "real" sounding pseudonyms that did not need to be abbreviated. The policy of abbreviating fans' last names has also caused a great deal of confusion over fan authors who share a first name and last initial. Different early print communities (such as science fiction zines) would often use a first initial and last full name to attribute authors, adding to the confusion.

Because of this, the Fanlore Committee has decided to bring the Pre-1995 Fan Name Use policy in line with the wider Fanlore policy on Identity Protection. Author names on fanworks made prior to 1995 will be recorded on Fanlore as they appeared at the time, but if the fan in question wishes to protect their identity, the Fanlore Committee will replace their name with a first name and last initial (e.g. Mary R.), with initials only (e.g. M.R.), or with a pseudonym of the fan’s choice (e.g. Unnamed Fan X). We are happy to work with fans to find an arrangement that they are comfortable with and that sufficiently protects their identity.

We encourage any fans who created fanworks prior to 1995 (and also fans writing in our "grey area" of 1996-1999) to get in touch if they are concerned about their full name appearing on Fanlore: we will take steps to either redact it, or ensure it is redacted if it is added to the wiki at a later date.

From 10 March onwards, the Pre-1995 Fan Name Use policy will be referred to as Pre-2000 Fan Name Use, in order to better encompass the period before the web was more "open", and will appear as a sub-section on the Identity Policy page.

Any fans who have already requested to have their identity protected on Fanlore do not need to do anything: the Fanlore Committee has kept a record of these requests and will continue to honour them to protect fans' privacy.

For more information on identity protection on Fanlore, please review our Identity Protection policy. If you have any questions about this announcement, or want to make an identity protection request, please reach out to the Fanlore Committee via this link and select "Identity Protection" as the message subject.

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