A common proof of appropriation that I have seen is that slash fic is often unrealistic ("gay sex doesn't work that way!", "real gays wouldn't say/do that!", etc.). This is an unfair judgment. Not only because it ignores the motives behind the writing style, but because it assumes the hetero default, and may be forcing the wrong gender and sexual identity onto the author. Queer experience can vary greatly, and even when it doesn't, authors can have equally valid reasons to want to explore, or avoid, a particular experience. For example, hospitals and St Mungos are not uncommonly visited in Snarry fics, but whether it is Snape or Harry who is the patient, the other rarely has any trouble visiting or making health care decisions. This could reveal a straight fan's lack of awareness or lack of concern about the discrimination queers face in hospitals. But it just as easily could be something a queer person would write....
For the past couple of years, Bugland and I have been in and out of hospitals. Because of my transsexuality, we have navigated the same hospital settings being perceived as a queer couple, and at others times as a straight couple. Despite anti-discrimination laws and being in a "blue state", we are still treated very differently depending on how we are seen. A close friend we met through fandom, and who is also queer, seemed surprised by our experiences. He has yet to be in the situation of being in a committed relationship, perceived as gay, and needing emergency care. If he wrote slash fic that involved a hospital visit, his lack of experience would likely be reflected in his writing, but that lack of experience in no way invalidates his queer identity. Likewise, Bugland and I may write Snape and Harry being treated no differently than a couple perceived as heterosexual, because we need an escape from the reality we frequently deal with.
When it comes to slash, I have come to prefer the assumption that the creator is making a valid expression of their own sexual identity, rather than appropriating gay culture, unless they explicitly reveal otherwise. A queer fan might slash because queer characters are sadly lacking in mainstream media and they want to see more characters like themselves; a straight female fan might slash because she wants to celebrate her own sexuality in a way that the mainstream media's "male gaze" denies her. While their reasons may seem different, I believe that both groups are essentially doing the same thing: responding to how their marginalisation is revealed in mainstream media, and accusations of appropriation based on generalisations about slash and its writers misses this point.
And now, to brave the vast snow drifts to buy poor bug more broth and jello and then hopefully to write a bit.
I am uncomfortable with the comments that Ogi is so Ugly that no one would want to see him naked. Just because a person isn't someone else's "type" (which is perfectly all right), doesn't mean that that person cannot be anyone's type. ( Read more... )
I have made the following update to the last post with the (very NSFW) art:
ETA: based on some people's reactions if you find the depiction of rape fantasy triggery you probably want to avoid this image. (I'm sorry that I did not realise my original warnings/wordings were not clear enough for some people).
ETA 2: I was initially uncomfortable about posting this- about how people interpret it- because it is featuring subjects that I'm pretty sensitive about the portrayal of (for those who don't know me, I am in a nutshell; bi, trans, and crossdress (not for kink)...). There is nothing wrong or shameful about homosexuality, with trans*ness, with gender bending etc.. The "shame" I see in the image, is the fictional-ogi's internalised shame at what culture has taught him to believe about his own fluid sexual nature, ignored by favouring strict evolutionary biology interpretations; those shoved down desires come through in an unusual fantasy. My thoughts about this aside, I cannot control how others interpret it- a writer/artist must at some point let go, and I'm doing so now - I might clarify a very specific question directed to me here and there, but I'm not going to go thru replying/debating with those who comment. At a certain point, the creator is dead and all. But discussion in comments between others is still welcomed.
NOT SAFE FOR WORK
Pairing: Ogi/Sai :
Content/Warning(s): RPS, exhibitionism, cross dressing, tentacle porn, rape-fantasy
ETA: if you find the depiction of rape fantasy triggery you probably want to avoid this image (I'm sorry that I did not realise my original warnings/wordings were not clear enough for some).
ETA 2: I was initially uncomfortable about posting this- about how people interpret it- because it is featuring subjects that I'm pretty sensitive about the portrayal of (for those who don't know me, I am in a nutshell: bisexual, a post-op transsexual/intersexed, and I sometimes crossdress (not for kink)...). There is nothing wrong or shameful about homosexuality, with trans*ness, with gender bending etc.. This is something I normally wouldn't create (the RPS, the cross-dressing in this type of situation/pose, etc), yet in this one particular situation it seemed the best way to try expressing my thoughts/feelings I had to this situation. I was initially pretty upset, like a lot of fen! once i knew what I was going to draw though that faded. The very last thing i worked on was the handwritten answer, and I felt sad when writing it, like I was writing the end of an unrequited love fic.
I replied a little more in comments, and wrote a follow up post about some of the responses this art received over here: alchemia.dreamwidth.org/11383.html (LJ x-post: alchemia.livejournal.com/409840.html). But at a certain point, the author is dead- I can't tell people what to think. People will and should have their own interpretations and feelings. Speaking of which, some responses have been posted elsewhere, with some good discussion (and this makes me happy):
ETA 3: For those that do not know, Dr Ogi has been a contestant on multiple game shops. My fanart is manipulated, in part, from his appearance on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. I would not have included exhibitionism as part of this work, if he did not have a history of television appearances, both game shows and talk shows (to promote his book etc). I also wouldn't have made RP-art of him in the first place, if he wasn't already in the public eye.
ETA 4: when making this i knew nothing of the two people's ethnic backgrounds. Ogi is human because there are photos of him in the public sphere on gameshows that come up right away when i did a search at the time. Sai was the tentical creature (which i agree after feedback would have been better than 'monster', the two words were just the default link from past times i encountered tentical creature pr0n. As Sai was not on tv game shows, making himself out as a mini celebrity, it felt inappropiate to put him in the role I put Ogi in. i'd never consider 'realpeople' fic or art showing the face of detailed human description of someone who did not glory in being in the public eye. any race issues were coincidental.)
Dr Ogi hestitated before answering the survey question about which slashy fan-fic story he would most like to live out.
"That one where Sai was the show host and he turned into a tentacle monster..."
While I support promoting fandom as a feminist space (which, imho, in its purest form, is inclusive of and benefits people of all genders), I strongly disagree with fandom being a women ONLY space. That perpetuates the same heteronormtive binaries and negative stereotypes which fuel cultural sexual and gendered discrimination, internalised *-phobias and a host of other unnecissary harm tht we should instead be standing up against together.
Someone asked a while bck if I thought that the female space of fandom was enforced, rather than female space that was welcoming to anyone who wanted to dabble in something alot of people recognised as a feminine interest.
Yeah, well there's a current example, emphasis is mine:
"I'm all about the women! It's why I'm here--when I write slash, hello, I'm a woman; when I read your slash escapism, hello, you're a women! Slash is all women!"
"I've gotten interested in podcasting, and I HATE the idea of a male voice on the podcast! Slash to me comes from a woman's voice, even if it's about male bodies..."
Every so often someone says something about how there are NO men in fandom at all- and then on the sidebar of their LJ, they have links to favourite fics and there's at least one if not a few on it that are written by guys, or people who don't identify within the binary. I don't "hear" what I read in a voice (I see images only), but I know many people read that way- and as long as they don't know the author's gender, they can read the fic in a voice that supports their belief/desire that their fandom is 100% women. A podcast or video though would prevent a reader forcing gender on a writer to support their desire/belief about fandom being 100% women.
It makes me want to see all the guys on my flist make recordings of drabbles or short fics, and host them together. Not people's husbands or friends, but to have the actual writers read their work (or readers reading something by a favourite author).
The unfortuante thing is, alot of people would get all angry about assumed "male privledge" and their space being invaded. I've tried and just can't get my head around that POV. If the ideal is for equality between the sexes, it makes more sense to me to celebrate when there's overlap in either direction, and encourage that overlap to grow into other areas of life, rather than to draw lines to define whose allowed in which space and in which direction overlap is 'allowed' to go.