once again someone has noticed that a lot of slash is written by straight (white) women, and that a lot of slash is appropriative and fetishistic, so once again there is much hand-wringing and many desperate attempts to justify taking over sites like afterelton.com in order to complain about how homophobic russell t davies is for killing off fandom's woobie (weirdly enough, no one tried similar tactics after bisexual toshiko was killed, i can't imagine why), as well as the writing of stories where RTD is hit by a bus, or subjected to homophobic abuse, in order to put him in his place
. meanwhile other parts of fandom are setting up straw man posts such as, "should women be allowed to write slash??" as if anyone has ever seriously told them the answer is no. people are horrified that slash might be the equivalent of girl on girl porn made for straight guys, because... er, i'm not sure why. because that erases all of the completely imaginary gay activism that straight slashers think they've indulged in by liking boysnogs? who knows. but apprently that meant the hunt was ON for something new to compare slash to!
so now slash is just like drag
? seriously? i'm no expert on drag, other than having gone to a few shows (which is probably more than many of these "omg THIS!" commenters have done) and yet somehow i know that drag is a very complex practise with hundreds, even thousands of years of history behind it, that is enacted differently in every culture, that has roots in performance, ritual, and the arts, as well as purely "gay" culture. yes, those kirk/spock zines your aunt used to collect are pretty old, but it's not quite
the same! and yet someone has written the following:My standard line in this argument is comprised of two words: drag queens. Which I expand thus: women (most women) understand that (some) gay men have created a really distinctive and important form of cultural expression, saying things they couldn't say otherwise, through the adoption of female avatars from popular culture. And it seems to me that gay men should understand that (some) women have created a different and yet equally important form of cultural expression, saying things they couldn't say otherwise, by adopting male avatars. As a woman, I have been mostly--but not always and entirely--welcome in gay male spaces, and I think that women should mostly--but not always and entirely--welcome gay men into their spaces. So I think the parallel isn't to lesbian porn, but to drag (even the power relationships are more parallel, and I think drag better demonstrates the power of the alliance between women and gay men.)
aaaaaaand of course the comments are filled with "oh god, this parallel is PERFECT because now i don't have to worry about thinking about appropriation anymore. thanks!!" even though all drag is not about or from "gay" culture ("gay" seemingly standing in for modern, western, male, cis, white, homosexual culture, of course) let me just say (more to the people so eagerly jumping at anything that will let them off the hook of having to think about the realities of intersectionality and appropriation than the original poster, whom i think is wrong, but seems thoughtfully wrong, at least): way to attempt to appropriate even more gay culture for yourselves, slashers. oh, by the way, fuck off.
in all seriousness, why are people still arguing that slash is inherently about women using men to tell women's stories? am i in a coma, mad, or have i travelled back in time? is it crazy for me to write/read slash because i want to write/read about the two characters, and not shitty author avatars? being a female writer means a woman will probably always write with certain awarenesses or experiences that have been informed by being female, not that they're always writing about women in disguise.
obviously, in professional fiction men are the default and so harry potter
has to have a male protagonist if it's going to become a "universal" phenomenon, but frankly the same market forces are not at work in fandom, because we're not selling anything. obviously the same cultural forces
ARE at work, since so many people seem to think that a story about women can only be interesting if the women have cocks, but hey, we knew that. people just need to stop using thinly disguised internalised misogyny as an excuse for why slash is just "inherently" more interesting and own up to the fact that they like to get off (emotionally or sexually) on boysnogs. there is nothing morally wrong with this until people start declaring that the fact that they like to fetishise said boysnogging means they are true liberal activists/feminists/performers of important cultural expression. boysnogs =/= important cultural expression in and of themselves -- it's the stories you try to tell with them. and guess what? good stories are usually about people, not fetishised objects.
tl;dr: soz if the thought that much of slash really *is* the equivalent of girl on girl distresses you so much, but it is. most slash is like some unholy combination of girl on girl porn and the movie shoot 'em up
, except the slash version of shoot 'em up
would replace the paul giamatti character with one played by jason isaacs, and would replace the scene where clive owen fucks monica belluci in the middle of a gunfight with a scene where clive owen fucks james mcavoy in the middle of a gunfight. and yes, i would watch this.
ps: am going to utah tomorrow to visit family and finally meet my baby nephew, so if i'm not around for a bit that's why. pls to not be burning down the internets in my absence. <3