The complicated nature of racebending

When it comes to reimagining a white character as a character of colour, the need for representation is understandable but in some cases (especially among some fans) it risks running into racist stereotypes. Take Tim Drake for instance, he’s a white person in most media but he’s sometimes reimagined as Asian which goes hand in hand with him being a nerd or made more feminine both of which have negatively impacted Asian Americans. It’s surprising why nobody ever reimagines him as Native American, even though Native American geeks do exist and are a thing.

But it does go hand in hand with their racism, whether if they’re aware of it or not. So far in Titans, Tim Drake is black or at least part black. This is the only official racebent version of him that’s around, though there were some fans who imagine him as black before just not as popular as imagining him to be Asian which goes hand in hand with Asian stereotypes. On the other hand, why nobody has ever reimagined say Valentina Vostok to be Yakut (an actual ethnic minority in Russia) or Felicity Smoak to be an Indian seamstress is something not a lot of fans I know from experience ever bothered doing.

An Indian seamstress is unheard of outside of Indian media and is in some regards less stereotypical than say a Jewish geek, but there goes the problem with some fans who can’t let go of their identification with and projection onto her. Felicity Smoak could be Anglo-Indian at least, these do exist in India but an Anglo-Indian Felicity Smoak who works in the garment/fashion industry is too left field even if these people do exist. (Unconsciously because despite the prevalence of Asian Americans in the garment industry, people unconsciously stereotype them as either nerdy, feminine or good for sex if female.)

Unconscious racist stereotypes may be why you don’t see that many ‘headcanons’ of Tim Drake as Native American even if Native American geeks exist or for another matter reinventing Felicity Smoak as an Indian seamstress. I could be the only one who sees Felicity as Indian, Valentina as Russian Yakut or Tim Drake as Native American but this goes to show you that even if some fans do racebend they’re still affected by racist stereotypes on some level. Perhaps more deeply than they’d realise.

While an Indian seamstress Felicity is interesting, it’s something you don’t really see that often in Western media and fandom where if they do depict South Asians it’s going to be a stereotype. Maybe it’s not true for all of them, but it does exist on some level why you don’t see that much portrayals of Indians and South Asians as anything other than stereotypes. Or for another matter, why nobody ever bothered portraying Valentina Vostok as a Russian Yakut who’s also a fan of Motown music.

The Yakut are an actual ethnicity minority in the Russian East and nonblack-nonwhite people can enjoy Motown music (myself for instance but I’m generally a fan of oldies), so it’s something that’s barely ever considered either in canon or among fans. Racebending existing characters can bring diversity to the story, sometimes it happens canonically. But other times, especially when it comes to Tim Drake and canonically to Elizabeth Braddock racebending can risk running into racism.

Elizabeth Braddock should be regarded as a poster child for the problems with racebending in that she only became a ninja when she got bodyswapped with one. (That’s also poorly thought out and badly aged now that she’s back to being white again.) Likewise making Tim Drake Asian only to make him more feminine risks running into the stereotype that Asian men are feminine. (Sometimes it’s even at the expense of canon Asian characters.) There’s not a lot of people reimagining him to be Native American or Mexican American, I still think because they have racist stereotypes about them.

Racist stereotypes is the barrier to taking down stereotypes and seeing nonwhites as people, I know somebody who’s been around blacks and still has racist ideas about them. That involves othering people, even if they turn out to be not much different from us in some regards and aspects whether in bed or chaste. In the case with Tim Drake, while portraying him as Asian is noble it also others Asians a lot especially if it’s caught up in racist stereotypes that such a portrayal turns out to be demeaning.

A less racist version would have say Jason Todd be Asian in that his parentage is uncertain and Asian thugs do exist, even in the earlier Robin stories. There’s one fan reimagining of Helena Bertinelli as Korean, but it does make you wonder why there aren’t a lot of portrayals like this. Again it’s got to do with racist preconceptions no matter if that person spent time with nonwhites they still regard them as something other. That’s what othering does, even if you spend time with blacks (in my case) people still have racist ideas of them even if not all of them are like this.

It’s like saying all black people are into hip hop, regardless of the black people who like other things like rock music (I know one black Goth guy who admitted he’s not into hip hop) and there are black people who play guitars and violins. Or for another matter, thinking all Asians are good in math regardless of some who aren’t good at it (such as myself for instance). This othering is a barrier to taking down racist preconceptions of them, regardless if you spend time with them it still portrayals them as something else or other.

This is also why you don’t see that many headcanons of Tim Drake as Native American or Mexican even if geeky Mexicans and Native Americans exist, people still have racist preconceptions of certain people and other them in some way or another. Racebending characters is complicated, it can bring diversity and destroy stereotypes but it can also reinforce them. Especially if people have racist preconceptions of certain characters that others ethnicities in some way or another.

Echoes of early modern Europe

Early modern Europe is pretty much Europe from the Renaissance to the 18th century, though how it started and how it ended varies from historian to historian. So far in early modern Europe, there was a profound fear of and interest in witchcraft activities that there’s a wealth of texts about what witches do, who they are and why they do these things to people. Some of it’s in French, some of it’s in Latin and some of it’s in English.

But there’s a common thread with these texts is that there’s a fear of witchcraft as well as interest in understanding what witches do, in fact this belief’s also found in 20th and 21st century Africa going by similar documentations and texts. The fact that fear of witchcraft’s taken seriously in several African countries shed light on what went on in early modern Europe, perhaps far better than any historical reconstruction would do as it’s still believed and practised by people today.

As with contemporary Africa, the predominant witch animal in almost every European country varies wherever you go. In Britain, Hungary, Spain and France as with the Democratic Republic of Congo and a few other African countries (Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Uganda), dogs are associated with witchcraft or at least one of the animals associated with witchcraft. In Nigeria and Tanzania as with Sweden and Germany (I am probably wrong about this) cats are either the predominant witch animals or one of the witch animals there.

The fact that both early modern Europe and 21st century Africa are marked by high religiosity, even if not all people there are religious, should tell you about the cultural and religious similarities between the two. If you want an economic stretch, both early modern Britain and Nigeria are growing economies with an influence over other countries. The same can be said of Spain and Kenya to some extent.

Let’s not forget that Nigeria and Ghana have produced anti-witchcraft films, which can be used to deconstruct witchcraft hysteria fears in early modern Europe as they both come to this conclusion and have the same attitude and problem. Early modern Europe isn’t exactly like 21st century Africa but close enough that the only differences are the fauna, technology and race.

Geekdom and idealisation of countries

Admittedly, this isn’t unique to geeks as some people do have a habit of idealising certain countries. But the thing here’s that there’s a tendency for some anime fans to idealise and stereotype Japan as this anime loving nation, even if not all Japanese people necessarily care about anime and that’s practically just one facet of Japanese culture. (That could be me going to Japanese language websites to look up on stray and feral dogs, which do occur in the countryside.)

It misses the entire forest for one tree, one species of a tree to be specific. That’s not to say Japan’s unlikable as a country, but it does have its faults whether if it’s the racism or the tendency to discriminate against students who have a naturally different hair colour (and are even required to dye it black). Not to mention Japan actually has an ageing population with a declining birthrate, not that young people are nonexistent in Japan but there’s increasingly less of them these days.

There’s a habit of equating Japan with all things strange, which I was prone to until I started reading up on something like say stray dogs for instance which a different picture of Japan emerges. Likewise there’s the irritating tendency to associate Japan with all things anime, as if all Japanese like anime regardless of their actual feelings and that some Japanese simply aren’t into anime. But that involves seeing the Japanese as human, flawed and not always into what you like.

That’s the problem with idealising a country, it misses out the flaws including potential ones in favour of something that’s romantic. It can be by proxy, it can be direct. But one thing’s certain: it’s the tendency to romanticise and idealise a country regardless of its flaws and shortcomings. Some African American men idealise Brazil and go there to have sex with its women, but Marques Travae (the man behind Black Brazil Today)’s really into Brazil by not only depicting facts but also its flaws.

Now that’s somebody who really does care for Brazil and see Brazil as it really is, there are probably some Japanophiles who feel the same way around Japan but sadly some of the more vocal anime fans see it as anime land. That’s really a nearly two-dimensional impression of the country, othering it only instead of seeing it as weird and awkward it sees it as this glorious playground where everybody loves one thing. (This is like thinking Germany is this dog-friendly paradise, regardless of the fact that dog poisoning occurs fairly often in the news so some Germans hate dogs.)

Seeing a country for its flaws and virtues is the more mature way of viewing things, it’s accepting it as it is without exaggeration or idealisation. That’s not to say you should hate a country, it’s really a matter of accepting it as it is though it’s the harder way to do so. I did have a period of idealising Nigeria but the more I read up on its flaws, the more upset I got and eventually moved onto other countries in 2017. I did go to back to being interested in Nigeria, but it does make one wonder if there are any countries that live up to one’s expectations better to some extent.

Not that Ghana and Cameroon are entirely faultless, in fact Cameroon has had a problem with the conflict between Anglophones and Francophones but they do have more people tolerating cats than Nigeria does (this is also how I learnt not all African countries are interchangeable). Likewise, Poland and Italy have a larger number of dog owners than Germany does even though they still have problems with dog poisoners and hunters shooting dogs.

It’s really an odd fact that some countries might and do fulfill one’s expectations of their favourite country a little better, maybe not necessarily any better but somewhat moreso to an extent when it comes to certain faults both perceived and otherwise. While India might be closer to the West due to being a former British colony en masse, China has several languages nearly devoid of grammatical gender and while China does have those languages, India has more English speakers so they’re not without their own vices and virtues.

This is also true for Japan and also Britain when it comes to being idealised by geeks as far as I know about it and have experienced.

Can of worms

When it comes to heterosexual relationships, especially when it comes to surgery transsexuals may not always have the children the way they wanted and for transmen if their wives are unable to conceive and give birth to a child they will do it for them. However this gets trickier for those who’re in homosexual relationships where this brings into question about something; supposing if a transwoman (one who became transgender later in life) were to impregnate a lesbian or bisexual woman, also if the latter were say butch or masculine who’ll be the biological father of the child?

While there are some fish species that do change their biological sex/gender, most mammals can’t do that so inevitably and usually the male’s the one who impregnates the female. While ectogenesis can be viable to both gay men and transwomen who want a child real badly, in the case with relationships between transwomen and cis women if the former never underwent hormone blockers as a child this leads to a can of worms regarding whoever impregnated the latter. Technically both of them are mothers, even though the other one’s capable of impregnating her wife (something somebody with androgen insensitivity will never do).

Likewise for relationships cis gay/bisexual men and transmen (that’s if they never did bottom surgery), both of them are technically fathers even though the other man got impregnated and carried a child until birthing them. It’s not just a matter of biology but also semantics regarding who’s the father and who’s the mother, in homosexual relationships both characters are either mothers or fathers. But transgender people complicate matters where if either one of them can impregnate the other in a technically homosexual relationship, or if the other one got impregnated then it’s an interesting dilemma.

Albeit one where the other mother impregnated her wife or the other father got impregnated by his husband.

Differences between Japan and the Philippines

One difference between Japanese and Philippine attitudes to cats is that despite Filipinos also feeding their cats with plant and carbohydrate leftovers we don’t have much of a wealth of cat superstitions at least not to the same extent as the Japanese do. The Japanese have a wealth of cat superstitions, whether if it’s the cat with two tails, monster cats associated with prostitutes, cats turning into humans (especially one’s daughters) and cats associated with flaming carts.

So far the only known cat superstitions in the Philippines are either ones pertaining to black cats (bad luck) or the aswang (witch shapeshifter also associated with dogs), so it seems even if Filipinos fed cats the same way and Philippine cats arrived in the same way their Japanese counterparts did we Filipinos don’t have a wealth of cat superstitions. Well not to the same degree the Japanese did, which speaks to a difference between Philippine and Japanese attitudes to cats.

While not always the case (cats are associated with femininity in India and Russia but a link to prostitution’s nearly nonexistent, well as far as I know about it), one would wonder if either Filipinos were historically less timid towards cats or that the Japanese were historically not too fond of them. An answer could be found in Ghana and Nigeria where despite being West African countries, their attitudes to cats aren’t identical.

Save for Northern Nigeria, not too many Nigerians like cats and many associate them with witchcraft. Ghanaians also associate cats with witchcraft but they do the same thing with dogs when it comes to the ahoboa owned by witches, in other words a familiar. That doesn’t mean Ghanaians dislike both cats and dogs, but there’s a difference between attitudes towards certain animals that can manifest itself in either ownership practises or superstitions about them if at all.

One difference when it comes to the former’s that more Ghanaians own cats than Nigerians do, they commonly own cats as pets and ratters for places like shops and homes. That doesn’t mean Ghanaians necessarily like cats but more tolerate them than many, if not most Nigerians do. Interestingly, Koreans associate cats with witchcraft but the Korean cat ownership rate’s lower than in Japan. While Japanese culture does have rather conflicted feelings about cats, Korean culture’s more consistently negative.

Not that there weren’t any people who’re positive towards or tolerant of cats but they’re very much a minority, whether if they’re Confucian scholars or animal caretakers. But to return the differences between Japan and the Philippines, as far as I know about it, I could be wrong about the Philippines but the Japanese do have a wealth of witch and supernatural cats. Some are linked to prostitution, some are linked to monstrous witchcraft and others are good luck.

Is it activism or wish fulfillment?

When it comes to slash fanfiction, there’s a subset of characters who think that they’re providing gay representation by writing or going for homosexual pairings. It could be activism in the sense of wanting more queer characters to be represented so they pair them up anyways, but it could also be wish fulfillment. Sometimes it intersects with activism in the sense of wishing for something good to happen to change the world, but at other times it feels like wish fulfillment when you take other demographics into account.

Take this link for instance, most fanfiction writers and especially slash writers as female and a substantial number of them identify as bisexual. By contrast homosexuals and male writers are a minority so this means when combined gay men are a minority among slash writers, which means the late Minotaur’s one of the very few to do so. If gay men are underrepresented among slash writers and possibly male/male romance writers, wouldn’t that shed light on the possibility of some unrealistic portrayals of male homosexuality.

If I’m not mistaken, that’s been brought up on Reddit before but to elaborate if lesbian women feel alienated by most lesbian porn then at least gay men would be alienated by portrayals of gay sex in some M/M works (either professional romance or fanfiction). This is where I’m starting to think this screams wish fulfillment and projection, especially when you take certain factors and circumstances into account. A common school of thought in slash fanfiction is that male characters are slashable if they’re particularly close to each other or if they’re rivals.

In the real world, one could be in a romantic relationship but become distant over time for various reasons like mental health. One could be emotionally closer to somebody else, despite having sex with their spouse or lover. This closeness isn’t always sexual, especially if one’s spouse or lover has become withdrawn due to emotional problems. One could be in a relationship for years and a lack of closeness develops over time. That’s something that’s not commonly encountered in either romance or romantic fanfiction.

One can even grow resentful of their spouse or lover over time. So the friends turned lovers meme in fanfiction, while it can be true for some relationships, isn’t always something that goes the way it should in reality given some couples actually grow more distant over time if either one of them in that relationship has grown more aloof. Some grow resentful of each other, while it does show up in fanfiction it doesn’t show up to a large extent which makes me think many go for the wish fulfillment aspect whether if they’re aware of it or not.

Ways of anthropomorphising

While there are many ways to anthropomorphise something nonhuman, in this case nonhuman animals but to generalise the way Disney and Warner Bros do it can be very different. For instance, in the Disney comics and productions while there are animals that are anthropomorphic there are also animal characters that are practically human in behaviour and mannerism. Sometimes anatomy to an extent, especially with the dogface and catspaw characters as shown in stuff like the Donald Duck comics or Goof Troop.

The fact that Disney characters own animals despite being animals themselves makes me think while TV Tropes would see this as Furry Confusion, it seems like the Disney characters are practically human in every way barring their appearance. According to one 4Chan thread, while Warner Bros has its fair share of anthropomorphic animals the only anthromorphic animal that’s practically a human being is Porky Pig or at least one of the very few to do so.

He even owned a cat for a while and acts very human. That’s why some Disney characters come off as very human to me, they barely act like animals in any way. When Donald Duck and Gladstone Gander approach Daisy Duck, they don’t attack her while mating with her but rather fall into a love triangle where she plays with their affections and in Donald’s case even gets scolded a lot by her. That’s a very human thing to do, not what real ducks do.

It would be parsimonious to say that while both Goofy Goof and Pluto are technically dogs but Goofy’s practically a human being while Pluto’s just a dog, his son Max Goof has even said that he hates dogs so this reinforces my view that dogface characters are effectively human beings with an animal veneer. The Beagle Boys, despite being dogs themselves, even have a dog together. Again, they rarely if ever act like animals and tend to act more like people.

Minnie Mouse, despite being a mouse herself, gets scared of mice that it would be safe to say that the average Disney anthropomorphic animal character (especially outside of those with actual human beings) is very much a human being save for appearance. This is different from other stories with anthropomorphic animals like those of Warner Bros, Peanuts and Garfield where the anthropomorphic animal is still an animal especially when near a human being.

Actually even without humans, these characters would still be animal in some way whereas Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse are nearly indistinguishable from humans in terms of behaviour and mannerism. There are ways of anthropomorphising an animal, they could look very human and/or act very human (in the case with Disney characters) or be anthropmorphic but still animal in some regards as with some Looney Tunes characters.

Cats and dogs in the Christian church

Cats and dogs do have a place in Christianity, usually as either guards or pest control though there are saints associated with animals such as Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Agatha (who’s said to turn into a cat). The Ancrene Wisse is a text stating that cats are one of the cats allowed in monasteries and cloisters, though there are recorded instances of nuns having dogs. The best known example of a connection between dogs and monasteries is the Saint Bernard dog, which’s used in Swiss monasteries.

Even today, some monasteries and nunneries breed and train dogs the best known though Eastern Orthodox example is New Skete when it comes to their German Shepherd dogs. There are Russian monasteries that keep dogs for guarding and there’s one instance of an Orthodox monastery dog kept for pest control, though the role’s commonly taken by cats in many Christian churches and monasteries. Even today, some monasteries and churches keep cats for pest control just as there are churches that allow dogs in to guide the blind and there’s one woman who went to church with her puppy as I remember.

There are just a few positive examples of dogs in the Bible, one is the dog that guides Tobit (only canonical in some churches) and the other has dogs attacking the wicked Jezebel. Cats are only mentioned in some folkloric traditions, most notably the one Armenian folktale that mentions cats as God’s handkerchief and following Noah’s ark. I honestly feel as if Catholic and Orthodox monasteries are the places where you can find dogs used for guarding and that the Catholic and Orthodox churches have room for saints associated with cats and dogs.

Saint Julian of Norwich would be one example, though there are no surviving records of her owning a cat it’s inferred due to the Ancrene Wisse’s influence. The saint that became associated with cats, despite earlier contenders such as Saint Agatha (who’s even said to turn into a cat) is Saint Gertrude. She was associated with other things before, so it’s only now that she became associated with cats even though there’s a long-standing tradition of keeping cats for pest control in some churches and monasteries.

One saint associated with dogs is Saint Roch though Saint Francis is a contender and that there are monasteries that have dogs for guarding and pest control, but from what I know about the Eastern Orthodox church dogs aren’t allowed inside churches unless if there’s a reason for it is that they’re dirty but cats are permitted. As for the Catholic church, that’s due to the feeling that pets would distract people from the holy life even if nuns and monks owned dogs anyways.

Cats and dogs do get associated with witchcraft, though it does depend on the country where either both of them are associated with witchcraft or either one of them is. In Nigeria, it’s mostly cats that are associated with witchcraft but both cats and dogs are associated with witchcraft in neighbouring Cameroon and Ghana. This is also true for Europe before especially in the early modern period where depending on the country either one or both of them are associated with witchcraft.

The Bible contains a lot of negative portrayals of dogs, including one that mentions both dogs and sorcerers together though this hasn’t stopped Christians (both lay and monastic) from owning and caring for them as they’re still God’s creations. If you like cats and dogs then that’s fine with me. I still think Christianity does have a mixed attitude to and relationship with cats and dogs that alternate between positive and negative to generalise things. They can be used for pest control, they can be pests themselves which translates to an association with either witchcraft or against witchcraft.

(Actually there’s one Cameroonian superstition stating that cat meat can be eaten to avoid witchcraft and that cats and dogs are used to avoid witchcraft with one community.)

I still think it’s pretty mixed, though it does depend on the country to an extent.

A detached attitude

It seems like when it comes to geeks taking cues from folklore in their fictions, while there are those who adhere a lot to the folkloric form there are those who present a rather detached take on it. Detached might not be the best word for it, but it does make sense in that it seems rather detached compared to how it was believed before (or is believed by people in its superstitious form). Lycanthropy for instance has been detached from its roots in witchcraft in today’s fictions.

If it sounds strange that lycanthropy and therianthropy in general would be linked to witchcraft if you believe witchcraft trial documents as well as contemporary pastors and believers who still believe in this and fear witchcraft that’s very much the case. Same with vampirism where I’d go on arguing that the real reason why lycanthropy and vampirism are linked because they’re both associated with witchcraft but that’s something not noticed in some contemporary fictions.

Even if the connection’s still apparent to those who fear and dread witchcraft in the present day (this gives a good idea of how early moden European witch trials and beliefs were like). The fact that shapeshifting’s often considered a form of sorcery/witchcraft shouldn’t be missed out as somebody else still believes in this, being able to turn into an animal or somewhere in between counts as a form of witchcraft if you believe folklorists, historians and the superstitious among us.

However as a superpower in some contemporary fictions, it has been detached from it to the point where it might just be a superpower and not magical in origin as it was presented in early modern witch beliefs and trials. Shapeshifting as a part of witchcraft still exists in some fictions, but it seems at this point shapeshifting exists as a separate superpower in other fictions. It is detached in the sense that it’s been removed from its roots in witchcraft.

It seems in some contemporary fictions, lycanthropy and theriathropy in general’s presented as independent of witchcraft even though the connection’s there before and still is so among some people. This may not always be the case before, but there’s a strong connection between theriathropy and witchcraft that’s sadly missed out by many, if not most geeks (the sort of people who’d obsess over all things fantastical and intelligent).

What also makes it really detached might partly have to do with exposure, in that if people are exposed to depictions of werewolves and witchcraft from say movies and television rather than religious, academic and legal texts the way it is for both folklorists, pastors and believers alike then it comes out as detached from its superstitious roots. I could get the problems with superstition in that it’s not entirely true.

But at the same time, a good number of fictional portrayals of werewolves do get detached from their folkloric and witchcraft roots that it can be easy to miss out lycanthropy’s superstitious association with witchcraft.

TV Tropes, knowledge and relativity

TV Tropes is a website that has changed the face of geekdom in the sense that it uses trope to mean stereotype and cliche as used in fiction, though often fiction popular with geeks (there are TV Tropers who do read less geeky stuff but they’re in the minority). The problem with how they name the tropes is that it may not always be applicable to another culture, according to TV Tropes depicting Italians as the Latin Lover is going against the stereotype but in Germany it’s the stereotype itself.

(Makes me think a good number of TV Tropes are either American or majority Anglophone, which would explain its bias but surprisingly nobody has named a trope after this.)

Let’s not forget that when it comes to calling a woman a fox (or vixen), it can be derogatory in other languages such as Spanish where it means either ‘bitch’ or ‘slut’ (the older definition of vixen used to occupy this territory too) especially the feminine form of the word. That’s not to say there aren’t any Hispanophone TV Tropers, they do exist but it seems a good number of the tropes/stereotypes they enlist and describe seem to only encompass what’s relevant to Anglophone speakers.

(When it comes to the word for she-wolf in Spanish, it means an attractive woman which’s what Shakira was going for in one of her songs since she’s a native Spanish speaker herself.)

Let’s not forget that in some African cultures (most notably Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo) dogs are associated with hypersexuality, so thus sensuality though it’s not covered by TV Tropes even though Nigeria’s Anglophone and probably has people frequenting the website as well. I recall one Nigerian post where somebody with the spirit of the dog is said to be promiscuous, which again does point out to a possible cultural difference between Nigeria and America or other Western countries.

(That doesn’t mean Nigerians hate dogs, many Nigerians like dogs more than they like cats but there’s a degree of difference between them and Westerners.)

It also manifests itself in the meaning of the word, in fact in some languages like German, Yiddish and Spanish the word for dog doubles as the word for jerk. TV Tropes doesn’t seem aware of this, which makes me think TV Tropers aren’t that well-read or at least most of them are. Well-read in the sense of knowing how one culture sees the other (in this case Germans stereotyping Italians as sensual and romantic) and zoosemy (animal metaphor and simile).

In French, the idiom avoir du chien means the woman has sex appeal so it’s there in some languages and cultures to an extent. Let’s not also forget that in the German language there’s a connection between foxes and having a cross temper in the word ‘fuchsteufelswild’, so it means hopping mad in English. That’s one connection Anglophone Tropers seem to miss, which makes me think many Tropers tend to come from the Anglophone world.

Not that well-read Tropers don’t exist but rather most of them aren’t exposed to a lot of other things which explains why they see things the way they do. There are some Tropers aware of different languages, though not to a big extent when it comes to zoosemy in other languages and cultures. Especially non-Western, non-Japanese ones like Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo for instance. They do to some extent, but it’s not as extensive as say either Anglophone geek culture and pop culture or the Japanese counterpart.

Which’s saying and telling when it comes to the things they obsess over, but that also involves missing out what else something can be viewed and regarded in other cultures. TV Tropes doesn’t have a big breadth and depth of what else is seen and regarded as in other languages and cultures, which involves being open to different things instead of the confirmation bias it often does. (I am guilty of this to some extent.) It does to some extent, just not as extensive as the stuff its users (read Anglophone nerds) are more familiar with.

A link between dogs and sexuality does exist in some languages and cultures, but it’s a detail missed out by Tropers possibly because it doesn’t fit their observations and confirmation bias. So is the English idiom ‘dog-tired’, which has a basis in scientific fact. Unfortunately, despite English being the first language of many Tropers it’s another missed out detail even though it does occur in spoken and written language. It’s not that TV Tropers are stupid, but not a lot of them are that well-read in other things.

As I realised, one could be smart with one thing but ignorant with another. I know the differences between each African culture and country but I’m in the dark about dog breeds, TV Tropers might be the same or similar. They know nerd subculture and pop culture well but are in the dark about foreign, nonwhite non-Japanese cultures to a large extent when it comes to other things.

I’m probably wrong here but it does make sense why there’s not a lot of TV Tropes pages about Philippine comic strips other than Pugad Baboy and Kenkoy. Why there’s no TV Tropes page for say Bogi Benda, which’s a popular Kenyan comic strip. TV Tropers aren’t necessarily stupid but they are ignorant in other things, which’s why I do see the userbase as less well-read in other things.