What’s that saying? Hell hath no fury like a doña de fuera whose Tumblr has been deleted?
Feral is pissed off. She slouches morosely in the shade of a poorly maintained boxwood shrub. She absentmindedly stretches and contracts her claws in the dirt while she scrolls on her phone, pressing and double-tapping on the touch screen so hard that her pointer finger drums a soft, angry rhythm on the glass. She’d been preparing for this moment since Tumblr announced two weeks ago that they were banning sexual content starting December 17. There was some cruel commentary embedded in that message: dear sex workers and NSFW weirdos, on the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, you will cease to exist on our platform. So long, and thanks for all the clicks.
The doñas de fuera are motivated by spite and revenge, which has made their centuries old, Spanish Inquisition-era Sicilian culture blend in weirdly well with 2010’s Tumblr. They also love a thirst trap and a weird outfit, something that compliments their wings and animal feet and won’t get too wrinkled in an orgy. Suffice to say, their outfits trend towards cloaks over halter tops and booty shorts. Though their moniker means “ladies from outside,” they aren’t all ladies but they sure as hell are all queer femmes: brazen, cranky, ready to party or mess up a foe (preferably both), well versed in which eyeshadows have the best pigments and which mascaras hold steady after a good cry.
And that’s where Feral is at on this December 17th. She has been making a living these last few years – imagine that, a 512 year old fairy witch who is conjuring her magic to exist under capitalism – selling custom photo sets online to horny furries and anime fans. Her now-deleted Tumblr was both a marketing tool and a social outlet, where she could a share few pics from her latest photo set that made her look like a forest creature when she was really posing under manicured bushes in a New Jersey suburb. She was generous with likes and reblogs, had picked up contemporary internet slang and praised all the babes: doñas de fuera, human, and everyone else. A snek in a hat? Fire. Pic of a person with a foam fox head and thigh high glitter boots posted with a long screed about SESTA/FOSTA? High key valid. A video of her sibling Fickle doing burlesque in a martini glass, wearing well-placed sequined lily pad pasties, showing off their webbed frog toes? She stans that.
She opens Signal and messages Fickle: Babe, this is too much. How we gonna live? I wanna make a mess. You in?
Fickle immediately messages back the pic of disaster girl, a little white girl in the foreground slyly grinning at the camera over her shoulder while a house is engulfed in flames in the background.
Let’s haunt David Karp, she types.
The dancing woman emoji, with a red dress, pops up as Fickle’s response. Feral loves this about her sibling: they are always ready to rumble.
Does it matter that Tumblr’s floppy haired wunderkind founder David Karp sold the company five years ago and resigned from his role last year? It does not. In Feral and Fickle’s minds, he is solely responsible for this mess, for building a platform that encouraged sex workers and queers to be early adopters, built an entire business around the traffic they generated, and then became a billionaire who would sacrifice them all to the anti-trafficking people and the fear of being held responsible for naughtiness. That little dweeb is the most visible representation of Tumblr. They need a target for their rage, and he’s an easy one.
It’s a little over 8 miles from Feral and Fickle’s stomping grounds in Bayonne, New Jersey to David Karp’s loft in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, as the fairy flies. They hold hands as they fly because some traditions are just made to last. They buzz around Lady Liberty a little bit because she’s on the way, and perch on her crown for a few minutes to take in the view and down cans of Red Bull. The doñas leave their empties rattling around in a visible spot that is unreachable by humans, and they laugh about it as they continue on their way.
David Karp is home, hanging out in his loft’s living room on a custom sofa, industrial style piping holding up tables and bookshelves all over, the hardwood floorboards wide and blond. Though they can be documented in photos and video, doñas de fuera are invisible to the naked human eye. So Feral and Fickle don’t even really have to sneak up on Karp, they just dive right in. Fickle ties his shoelaces together. Feral pulls a handful of his hair out, he jumps up and falls over. The two fairies laugh hysterically and high five each other. They back off for a while, practice balancing on his flat screen television, a game Feral easily wins because her cat paws are much more agile than Fickle’s frog feet. They zoom back in and spill Karp’s glass of water into his lap. He is beginning to freak out, and the siblings relish in it. They buzz around him until he rushes out of his apartment, screaming and swatting at the air.
Fickle heads to the fridge, swings the door open, and starts nibbling on things. “Well, Feral, do you think we taught him a lesson?”
Feral cackled. “He doesn’t know who we are or why we’re here, but he’s a billionaire so I’m sure he knows he’s done something wrong.”
The doñas laugh together and continue eating bites out of everything in the fridge, to ruin things just enough. Sweeping, systemic justice for sex workers isn’t something that centuries old fairy witches can conjure. These petty, spiteful acts are extremely satisfying.
Audacia Ray (she/her) is a queer femme whose essays and stories have been published in The Rumpus, The Guardian, Necessary Fiction, and Stone Canoe. She was an editor of $pread magazine and its respective best-of anthology published by Feminist Press. She spends her time in Brooklyn and also lives part time in the Catskill Mountains in a cabin that has a labyrinth in the front yard.