Tag Archives: slash

But pink is a linkspam’s colour (13th October, 2010)

  • Our regular commenter Jenni wants to share a new geek feminist group blog she’s writing for: Bad Reputation. From the first post: Our strapline is a feminist pop culture adventure. We’re named after a Joan Jett song for a reason – we want to be a good first route in for people just starting to become interested in gender issues, and we also want to reclaim some of the inspiring, rock “n’ roll energy that characterised the feminist movement in previous generations..
  • A prologomena to all future blathering about gender on the Internet: I am proposing a new maxim: those who wish to argue from personal anecdote that a certain character trait is dictated by evolution should endeavor to advance the argument beyond 1792.
  • K. A. Laity on Joanna Russ on Slash Fiction: Laity highlights some of Russ’s analysis of slash.
  • Oh goody: bodies presented in cinema will be even less attached to the real appearance of humans. Software to slim actors on-screen
  • Art in the roller derby medium: BUMP flesh bump data -> live art units: For Bloodbath, the packs also have a virtual life, from robust wireless sensors (wiimotes) installed on the heads of players, collision, speed and rotational information is sent to a server and from there, on to data driven artworks. The artists are making their artworks live on site, in real-time, and these are projected as the game is played out.
  • Pat has begun a series of posts on feminist readings of the Achewood comic.
  • Women helping women get into tech: Girl Develop IT, an educational effort [Sara Chipps] helped start, is introducing women of all ages to programming.

If you have links of interest, please share them in comments here, or if you’re a delicious user, tag them “geekfeminism” to bring them to our attention. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links in comments and on delicious.

On LambdaFail, women writing m/m erotica, and the queerness and/or misogyny of slash fandom

This won’t be news to anyone who moves in fannish meta circles, but I thought it warranted a post for those who might not have encountered the discussion before now.

Back in September, the Lambda Literary Foundation announced that henceforth their awards would be restricted to authors who identified as GLBT, rather than (as had previously been the case) anyone who was writing GLBT-oriented works. This excluded, in particular, a growing segment of the book market consisting of male/male erotica written by (presumably straight) women.

Discussion ensued as to whether such fiction was appropriating gay male culture and offensive to gay men, or whether the backlash against m/m erotica written by women was just another instance of women’s sexual expression being policed by men, as it so often is. A round of Oppression Olympics ensued, with women on one team and gay men on the other; both groups are in the right, being similarly subject to the kyriarchy and privileged (or not) on different axes, but few commentators approached the debate from this perspective in the early rounds.

Recently, the discussion has spread to slash fandom on Livejournal, Dreamwidth, and elsewhere, and this (IMHO) is where it gets really interesting, because that crowd is nothing if not introspective, verbose, smart, and well practiced in massively hypertext discussions of complicated issues.

Slash is m/m erotica written (usually) by women about (usually) male characters from TV, movies, books, etc. Many of the most popular slash fandoms are geek staples such as Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Buffy, superhero comics, and so forth. Unlike the professional m/m erotica market, slash writers are generally working with existing characters, often from fandoms that don’t pass (or barely pass) Bechdel in the first place. Many slashers use their writing/reading to explore sex and gender in a relatively safe online environment that might not otherwise be available to them. And, it turns out, many or most slashers are themselves queer, despite stereotypes about “straight housewives” and the like.

So, fandom being fandom, and things being always more complicated, the discussion coming out of this is pretty crunchy. Some of the questions/themes I’ve seen covered include:

  • Does romance/erotica ignore or erase difficult issues (eg. discrimination, oppression), and should we care? Or does escapism get a free pass?
  • Do fanfic writers have a duty to write the other respectfully and realistically when the “other” in question is gay men/MSM? How do we do this?
  • Why do fanfic writers write about male characters so much more than female characters, anyway? Is this internalised misogyny?

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re interested in reading up on some of what’s been posted, take a look at the linkspam and metafandom communities, which have been collecting links to interesting posts on the subject.

A vindication of the rights of linkspam (13th January, 2010)

If you have links of interest, please share them in comments here, or if you’re a delicious user, tag them “geekfeminism†to bring them to our attention. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links in comments and on delicious.