Laura Moon as a Litmus Test for White Femininity

By: Ashleigh Thomas

Laura is cold, quite literally because of her living situation (get it? living situation?), selfish, and unapologetic. I will admit, it is refreshing to see a female character who wasn’t really interested in redemption. But, I don’t see why blogs, reviews, and fans are raving about Laura Moon being the embodiment of feminism.

I don’t dislike Laura. She isn’t one of my favourite characters; she’s neither here nor there to me. What I do dislike is Laura being touted as the show’s “Strong Feminist Representation”. I’ve seen multiple fans say things along the lines of “if Laura were a man, everyone would like her “and “disliking Laura is misogyny”.

Yeah, she’s physically strong. Probably more so than anyone else in the show. Seeing her go toe to toe with Sweeney has its charm. But she has no redeemable qualities and she knows it.

Well, it’s certainly not all everyone is angry about. I’m pretty irritated that she’s got two entire episodes about how boring and miserable she is, while we’ve hardly seen Bilquis, nor do we really know much about Shadow’s background. It isn’t misogyny to say Laura’s very bland, boring, and selfish character—is just that.

I don’t see why she’s being called “scene stealing”, “show stopping”, and “the best part” of the show.

How often is it that we see characters like Shadow? He’s a sensitive Black man, who adores (adored?) his wife and just wants to keep a low profile after getting out of prison. His characterization is refreshing to me. I can count on one hand the amount of Black men in sci-fi/fantasy who are allowed to be as wide-eyed and honestly, just as precious as him.

Amoral, badass white women, on the other hand, are a dime a dozen. And they continue to be heralded as peak feminist representation.

My question to white feminists in fandom is this: does the feminism you want include white women being free to be generally shitty like their male counterparts?

I propose a Laura Moon test for fans of colour. Do you want to watch a show because of it’s cool POC lead, but are worried about that character being sidelined (either in the plot or via fandom) for a white character? Now you can find out before getting invested if this show passes the Laura Moon Test. Here’s the criteria:

Does the show have a main character:

  • Of colour?
  • Who is interesting and generally just good representation?
  • That isn’t overshadowed by a white, female counterpart?

If you answered yes to all three, congrats, your show failed the Laura Moon test, which is a good thing. Go ahead and get invested. Your faves will not be neglected for the sake of a Strong White Woman (or white characters in general).

Since the season ended last night, there’s no real way to tell if they’ll improve Laura’s tendency to make everything about her. Hopefully, we’ll see the show expand on Shadow’s motivations as much as they have Laura’s. Also, can we just see him smile a little more? #freeshadowssmile