we’re doing the whole “this show with literally no gay rep is the best gay rep in the world” thing again, huh
somewhere there’s a marketing meeting going on where someone is proposing that show writers don’t even need to deliberately gaybait in order to get LGBT audiences to watch their show, they just need to have 2 attractive male characters in the same vicinity as each other and the fandom will gaybait for them.
* one of them has to be white/light skin/easy to assume a white identity into
The impulse to call straight women consuming gay fic fetishizing has a lot more to do with their status as women and the obsessive policing, regulation and pathologization of women’s desire than their heterosexuality.
Not sure I’m buying that… we are pretty blatant about calling men consuming lesbian porn as fetishizing and no one disagrees with that.
I dunno where I fall on this argument right now, but it absolutely has merit outside of being a about women and their sexuality
That’s because we all understand that patriarchy works through the objectification of women. we understand the institutional power men hold. We understand the particular relationship of violent exploitation, objectification, and yes, fetishization that patriarchy cultivates between men and lesbians. We have all of this knowledge, evidence, to support claims of men fetishizing lesbians and particularly in porn.
This post is responding to a very particular discussion among tumblr blogs, in which people use the term fetishization to talk about straight women on tumblr reading gay fic and shipping male chars together. Fetishization just does not work here, it is inaccurate. there is no objectification of these gay male characters going on. If anything, I see straight women acknowledging all the wonders of being gay men, listening to them, and wanting them to thrive, the opposite of objectification. The way they talk about them is beautiful, affirming, so often in solidarity, and plainly does nothing to constitute fetishization.
This argument seems to be based off of the idea that straight women cant/dont fetishize gay men which is completely inaccurate. While there are ways for straight women to interact with gay ships without being fetishy, dismissing complaints of fetishization as unfounded is a bad way to approach the issue. It is dismissive and hurtful to take legitimate concerns and say that such concerns are sexist. Straight women are perfectly capable of being homophobic and often fandom interactions read that way. Referring to a gay ship as “sinful”, obsessing over characters sexual encounters, and using their sexuality as plot points for porn, these are just some of the things i have seen hppen in fandom.
gay men and lesbians and bi/pan people have all talked constantly about how straight women in fandom and slash fandom in general is alienating and uncomfortable and makes them feel awful but straight women still wanna decide for us that it’s not bad like there’s nothing “affirming” about people treating gay relationships like a kink
ops literally acting like being a woman automatically makes it ok. just because female sexuality is policed by a misogynist society doesnt mean you dont also have to take responsibility for your actions. its not sexist to for gay people to tell straight women they’re being homophobic thats just hetero bullshit
i dont want girls sexualising mlm relationships anymore. at all
i dont want them fetishizing our relationships bc they think it’s sexy
i dont care if its a “way for them to express their sexuality”. that aint right and its messed that they can say that they want men in the porn industry to stop fetishizing wlw relationships, only to do the same bc its “fandom”
can yall please reblog this actually ??
bc like. im a boy attracted to boys. and this is making me uncomfortable and i want it to stop
and im not the only one ? a handful of people have agreed with me and im sure there are more
please dont ignore this bc you want to keep writing/drawing/reading m/m porn…. or bc im a boy and you dont care what i have to say….. especially if you disagree with the treatment of wlw in the porn industry its a double standard and this is important to me and i dont want it to be swept under the rug
Add on: you can still write, draw and read about mlm without fetishizing them. By fetishization, OP means that you only see these relationships as sexy and sinful instead of just seeing it as average everyday relationships.
Nearly every girl I’ve met within fandoms with mlm ships has only focused on the men having sex or calling them ‘my nasty gay babies’ and that’s just gross.
I’ll have to agree. Like, you can think that a pair of men within a fandom’s personalities go well together and they’d make a good pair, but as soon as it’s only “Oooh yeah, sexy sexy. I want to see whoever overpower whoever-else” it’s a fetish. No longer respectful. Unpack why you like that fantasy enough to share it, for real.
THIS » “ ladies telling ladies that they’re allowed is a powerful thing.”
So is no one going to mention the fact that slash fandom is extremely misogynist, biphobic, transphobic, racist, and full of rape and abuse apologism? Young girls, especially young queer girls, aren’t focusing on white cis men in all of their fanfic because they want liberation. They’re focusing on white cis men in all of their fanfic because they’ve been taught their whole lives that white cis men are the only people deserving of their attention.
If you’d asked me when I was fifteen why I wrote slash, I’d have told you that it was because women were annoying and they ruined the romance/sex. Most of my female friends in fandom would have agreed with the statement. I can’t tell you the last time I got into a slash ship and didn’t find character-bashing fics of the canon female love-interest of at least one of the men. If you’d looked at what kind of fic we were reading back then, you’d have seen abuse and rape as far as the eye could see, with a dash of incest here and there. Abuse in same-sex relationships is not a footnote to discussions of slash. It’s one of the first things we need to discuss. I spent YEARS unlearning the self-hatred and the abuse and rape apologism I learned from slash fandom. I need people to take off their rose colored glasses and realize that slash fandom is not a healthy place to learn about your sexuality. It hasn’t been since I entered it ten years ago.
And let’s talk about this focus on “men,” by which you actually mean cis white men. Between 2007 and 2013, I wrote 28 stories which are still available (which is to say that there were once more, but I later removed them because I developed moral objections to their content—none of these fics would have changed the numbers I’m about to present). Do you know how many of them feature PoC as a main character? One. In six years and 28 stories, I have *one* with a PoC protagonist, and it’s 500 words long (which is the shortest thing I wrote back then) and the PoC is not the POV character. I also distinctly remember writing it because I was just becoming aware of racial issues and I felt guilty about how white fics were. In other words, it was a token to soothe my own conscience. Not a single one of them featured a trans protagonist. I don’t think I have *ever* seen a story with a trans protagonist unless I went looking for it. And then there’s the rampant bisexual erasure in fandom. Granted, the white-washing issue doesn’t hold true in anime fandoms, where characters tend to be Japanese, but those have their own issues that I won’t get into because I’ve never been heavily involved with them.
Are young girls fantasizing about being cis white men in relationships with other cis white men (who are, of course, the only people whose love really counts)? Obviously. But this has nothing to do with fantasizing about “equality.” This is a power fantasy. It’s fantasizing about being the oppressor, and that’s why misogyny is so common in these fics. If you can fantasize about being a man in a relationship with another man, you can fantasize about liberation, especially when you have literal magic and/or a revision of most of human history at your disposal.
Feminists really need to move away from the idea that women have achieved liberation when they become like men. That’s not liberation. That’s not even equality. That’s seeing oppression from the other end. There’s nothing feminist about that. It might feel good in short bursts, but that doesn’t make it good in the long-term. (On a related note, young girls learning how to masturbate is great, but it’s still worth scrutinizing if they’re learning how to masturbate to rape and misogyny.)
And last but not least, I really need slash writers to recognize that when they have these “Slash is so feminist!!11” conversations, they are having them at the direct expense of femslash writers, whose work is far more liberating but who get a fraction of the credit for it. In fact, we get vilified for it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen queer women femslash writers get compared to straight men jacking off to lesbian porn. We get told that we’re tools of the patriarchy for daring to create spaces in fandom where queer women exist and are the center of attention, while straight women (I am not saying that all slash writers are straight. I know damn well that they aren’t. I’m a queer slash writer myself.) are held up as feminist icons for encouraging queer-baiting and disproportionate focus on cis white men. We get told that the stories by us, about us, and for us are “male gaze-y” and “objectifying” because apparently there is no reason why we would admit to our own existence except to please men.
Honestly, the difference the in reactions I get on my femslash fics and the reactions I get on my slash fics are stunning. Slash fics? Everyone is happy, yay boy love, boys boys boys. Femslash fics? Let’s reduce them to “friends” repeatedly, call them lesbophobic slurs, and if there was even a hint of an m/m pairing happening anywhere within a mile radius, let’s ignore the f/f pairing that the fic was actually about and demand that the writer focus on the m/m pairing instead. Let’s talk about how “gay” Supernatural and Sherlock and Hannibal are without ever once mentioning the canon lesbians on those shows, but let’s never apply that word to Orange is the New Black. That tells you a Hell of a lot about where fandom’s priorities lie.
And I OT3, multiship, and write open relationships like Hell, so I know what happens when you try to let a woman in on the fun that slash fandom had decided is only for men: That bitch. He would never (even if he did in canon). This is an insult. It’s so degrading for him to be touching her. Who would sleep with a woman when they had a willing man? Why is he even pretending that he loves her as much as he loves him? He couldn’t possibly love her as much as he loves him. She’s not a man. Ew! It ruined the fic for me that you had him sleep with her! He needs to just break up with her already so that the two men can be together all on their own. Let’s bash this woman in every fic, on every fandom confession page, and on every blog because our favorite white male soiled himself by touching her. It doesn’t even matter if he was the one who pursued her and if she turned him down. If he fell in love with her, it’s her fault and she’s the slut because she got in the way of our perfect white man slash ship. And if she loved him? That’s even worse. Women have no legitimate feelings, so we’ll make her abusive and evil in hundreds of fics, and we’ll call her useless and dismiss everything she’s ever done that makes her a good female character. We’ll hate her for being rude one time but forgive the man she’s in love with for committing genocide. Especially if she dared to compound the offense by not being white. How dare women of color have feelings? I guess it’s maybe okay sometimes if they have them for men of color, then we’ll just ignore them because we don’t care about men of color anyway, but white men? Only white men deserve white men.
Look, I’m not saying that slash is anti-feminist, because it’s not and this need some people have to divide everything into a strict “feminist” and “anti-feminist” binary is ridiculous, but I also need more feminists (especially white feminists) to stop pretending that slash is inherently feminist and start being honest about the many, many problems in slash culture and the unfortunate things that the prevalence of slash actually says about how modern women view themselves and their own worth.
I know this is old, but it makes the point very well.
This is great and I agree w 95% of it but as a qwoc can I just say that “I also need more feminists (especially white feminists) to stop pretending that slash is inherently feminist and start being honest about the many, many problems in slash culture” can equally apply to femslash bc everything in this post abt racism in dudeslash culture applies there too and I’m tired of white femslashers pretending it doesn’t. A lot of femslash I see is ultimately no more liberating for me to read as a bisexual black woman than the dudeslash I see tbh and it gets frustrating to see white wlw constantly juxtaposing femslash against dudeslash as the morally superior option when I see a lot of the same troubling & hurtful issues at work when it comes to female characters of color
I wish that folk would turn the same critical eye on both spheres
I was a TeWo multi shipper so I had my fic writing/reading hands in all the ships (well… None of the ones with Peter because he’s horrible and I hate him) and the one thing that stood out to me was how the fandom made a lie out of their own claims that they were pushing $terek for queer representation by how they dismissed Danny.
Danny. Precious, gorgeous, brilliant, and gay. Dude had chemistry with Scott from episode one and had a Canon love interest or two. And yet fandom only used him as a way to make Derek jealous or to get in your daily dose of “no homo” with Jackson.
I remember when the hotel episode was about to air, how a bunch of $terek shippers actually were like “boycott the episode” because Danny and his boyfriend were going to get horizontal. You know, because representation doesn’t count until it’s two white guys fucking.
There were literally people pissed about how Stiles/Derek “should’ve been” the couple on the show to have sex. And like… They’re not a couple on the show?? At all??
They planned to boycott the show and were freaking out all over because the “wrong couple” were going to have sex.
(In the same vein, see all the Sp!rk shippers who responded to the Sulu reveal with outright anger because the “wrong” character" was gay. Like they did that shit.)
If the desire here is for slash fiction to pave the way for queer representation, why are canon queer characters rarely centered (especially if they’re characters if color)?
Why is it that femslash isn’t more popular (and its not because y’all are so worried about replicating the male gaze so shut up with that nonsense)?
Why is it that multiple times in RECENT fandom history (within like 2 years) we’ve seen huge slash shipping fandoms get ridiculously angry over gay characters of color being canon or showing their relationships in canon instead of the more popular noncanon white dude slash ship?
If it’s all about representation, why weren’t Hikaru Sulu/Ben or Danny/that Twin ever popular main ships?
Why isn’t Queen Sugar with a queer Black woman as a main lead getting held up by these slash activists who claim to fight the good fight for representation?
Riddle me that.