autumnus: A woman looking down hands in pockets of the pants, a bit lost.  (mentalist)
I am still trying to follow up the conversation on the topic and I am very glad to see that this time the conversation is not easily dying.

This being said however it is very disheartening to see us walking the same vicious cycle again and again.

Somehow the conversation ends as "slashers vs others" and any criticism that comes out somehow gets generalized as "this person is talking against my right to write slash!" and the whole thing gets derailed (so far it is more like partially derailed since there are voices of reason still out there)

There is homophobia in fandom yes. Slashers are not the only one against homophobia. Not all slash fic is problematic in terms of gender (I have seen slash that does wonderful characterization of women, somewhat rare but it is out there), We do not say do not write slash. Not at all.

No what is being said is different:
1) Slash is not the only way to be progressive. Categorical demeaning of het and other genres is wrong and as dangerous as dismissing slash as a category. Slash snobbing unfortunately exists and is problematic.
2) Female characters are dismissed for reasons that are not realistic (too perfect, not interesting etc) when male characters equally badly written, or with problems (or with no screen time) is given focus and fixed in fandom. We expect a lot more (too much) from female characters. Why the double standard?
3) We do this to ourselves in real life situation too, this attitude is not because "it is simply fandom" or because "TV does not have good female leads". (Remember the Hillary Clinton bashing that occured during the elections. Think critically for a moment regardless of your political opinion how many of the arguments against her was objective concerns about her qualifications compared to the qualifications of other candidates)
4) We might even be influencing main stream media backward by our attitude (think of female leads and stories in late 90s compared to what came out in last 2-3 years. See a difference in female characterization? We went from Buffy to Bella as female heroine. Even then think of the hoards of Buffy bashing that exists in that fandom.)
5) Female hate and erasure finds a home in slash fanfic and gets mixed in/hides behind the legitimate defense of queer. Slash readers/writers need to be aware of this and it should stop.
6) Female hate and erasure is not limited to slash, it happens in many places in fandom.
7) Categorical defense of anything, even slash, is not being progressive. Questioning, reevaluating our cultural norms is progressive. Slash is one of those cultural norms. Identifying a limitation of a movement does not invalidate that movement. It just improves it.

Bottom line: write/read slash for right reasons and listen before going in defense I guess?
This is what I think, read and defend. Please do not put words to my mouth by saying I argue about something else. If there is a post out there that argues something else, I probably do not defend that either but don't use it as an argument to dismiss this conversation.
autumnus: photomanip that looks like a monster with tendrils coming out of face and yellow eyes (fire)
[personal profile] miera_c's  The list of excuses for debunking misogyny is thought provoking and there are several other posts made on the topic already. [community profile] metafandom has links.

Lets start by of some of the arguments from the list for not liking a female characters/het/femmeslash/gen

"I don't like female characters that are too violent/masculinized by being violent or physical."

"I don't like female characters that are too nice/passive/boring."

If male person said this to you in your work environment as a woman, what would be your reaction? Would you think that the person is just stating an objective opinion or preference or a fact about you or would you be thinking you are being discriminated against? 

Are we even aware that we use the same wording?

Continuing with some other arguments listed in the post:

"Why don't you just write what you like then and be happy?"

"It's not fair for you to judge me based on my fannish likes and dislikes."

"This isn't my problem. "

This is where the discussion gets scary. Some of these were actually in the comments to an earlier post. If these were written for a post about racism the people writing it would either not dare or would be quickly shut up/overwhelmed by replies, presented by bingo cards and generally yelled at. However same people who defend religiously against (and rightly so) race discrimination (or defend queer issues) stay mostly silent when the same arguments are used against talking about misogyny.

You want more proof that something is not quite right here?

Check how many people are even bothering to talk about the topic, the key part of it: the erasure of women in fan work. The het/slash is presented as a consequence/instance of a deeper problem, not as the problem itself. However if slash was not mentioned, would this have even made metafandom?

So what is the bottom line? Is it that it is okay to be liberal and defending against oppression in many forms but not gender discrimination?
Should we stop arguing, refining and criticizing further now that we are so open and progressive that we don't have faults?



and on a tangeant:  

Slash is not making us progressive. Slash is not making us not-progressive. The process of negotiating, questioning, critiquing social norms makes us progressive. Those social norms also includes our current culture of fandom and yes slash. Just because something is good does not mean there is nothing wrong about it (or vice-versa)

*waits for the yells in the comments*


autumnus: A purple monochrome portrait of Zoe from Dreamfall, with drawn stars in background and "the Dreamer" written on bottom. (Default)

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