Neither Comics Nor Librarian

Where in the world have I been? Life has gotten in the way! First, I’m not a librarian right now, which is a scene I am thinking of leaving temporarily or permanently. I’m also hiding out from the fandom community.

Comic Librarian, indeed.

I’m not sure if I’m disillusioned with the profession as a whole, or my last job. I still believe in the power of libraries to change lives. I believe that young adults deserve a level of service they seldom get in libraries. Libraries don’t value the presence of young adults because they’re loud, they’re mischievous, and sometimes get into trouble. That hasn’t changed.

But I think I’m tired of dealing with the constant pushback for now. I may be ready to fight the good fight again later. What pushback? Not only do you have to negotiate with other librarians, and library administration, but you have to often push back against the community, the perception of the library as not being valuable, and the round after round of library de-funding.

I get that that is the job. Library advocacy, advocacy for young adults, and the general stress that goes with library funding issues. That’s why who you work with can make or break a situation. I think I worked in an environment that broke it for me. And now I’m taking time off, without regret.

So why am I hiding from fandom? Isn’t that the other part of my street cred and appeal? If you’ve spent any time on the internet involved in fandoms, you know that there is drama. I remember there being drama in the Sherlock Holmes fandom in the 1990s (and really, what kind of drama could happen in a hundred year old fandom?) But still–the corner of fandom I was in was not fond of women, much less young women infiltrating. The Baker Street Irregulars, the most prestigious part of that fandom, had only start inducting female members. Good old boys club, indeed.

I ended up on a semi-date with a guy in his 30s who wore a deerstalker and a Doctor Who scarf, it got kind of weird, and I bowed out of the fandom, after spending years trying to prove myself to “not be like the other girls” and more like one of the guys in that fandom, which is toxic femininity. Trying to be taken seriously by men by trying to conform to the majority male interests and patterns is throwing your fellow women under the bus.

I’ve wandered in and out of fandoms before; Batman, Doctor Who, etc. All of them have had their own dramas. I remember another bout of toxic femininity/misogyny that revolved around the Doctor Who companion, Rose, and how horrible she was for loving the Doctor. Then came misogyny and racism that revolved around Martha Jones, the first black companion, and how allegedly clingy she was with the Doctor (and generally horrible).

With the advent of BBC’s Sherlock, I again slipped back into Sherlock Holmes fandom, this time in a corner with a focus on women bloggers and fanwork creators. It felt safer. But, alas, the drama found me again. Fandom follows real-life cycles of agreement and disagreement and fallings-out. But again I found myself mixed up in misogyny from female fans. This time regarding a male/male relationship that was never going to happen, and how horrible women characters secretly were.

There’s no point in fighting misogyny with people who will never listen to your opinion, much less consider it.

SO I suppose that is where I am now–tired of fighting the good fight, and taking a break. At some point I may rekindle my love for both librarianship and the sheer joy of loving a piece of media with other people who love the same thing, but for now, I am on hiatus. Perhaps I will have strong opinions next month.

Till then, if you feel so inclined, check out my Young Adult Sherlock Holmes novel from MX Publishing: The Twisted Blackmailer