Apr. 18th, 2012

lazypadawan: (Default)
Okay, I'm not a fan of slash fan fiction. I don't write it, I don't read it, it has no appeal to me. I would not consider myself a slash scholar.

But then I saw this in an a new essay on fan fiction:

Star Trek provided examples of close male friendships (despite Kirk’s continual philandering and girl in every starport), and those friendships were transformed into K/S fiction in order to make this better future include the LGBT community (which, as of the 2009 Star Trek movie, this better future has still excluded).

No, no, no, no, nooooo.

If you care enough to track the history of slash fiction, I suggest the relevant chapters of "Enterprising Women" by Camille Bacon-Smith. There the author, who spent several years immersing herself in fan fic/zine culture, got to interview the fans who gave the world Kirk/Spock as well as slash based on "Starsky & Hutch" and "The Professionals." They weren't sitting around in 1975 saying to themselves, "You know what's missing from Star Trek? Gays! Quick, let's come up with some!" The rainbow flag-waving yay-diversity let's-be-inclusive mindset is recent. It began with mostly straight women who extrapolated from a friendship or what we'd now call a bromance an idealized romantic relationship. The reasons why fans like slash are complex and can vary from individual to individual. Obviously old school slash fans weren't opposed to or bothered by homosexuality but many of the more political ones saw what they were doing as more of a feminist statement than anything else. Personally, I think the way a lot of these shows were structured left female viewers searching for emotional connection and they found them among the male characters. Why? In order to keep the heroes insouciant and unattached, but to keep them manly, relationships with women were temporary and not terribly involved. The real lasting, emotional relationships were with the characters we all knew were coming back. Sometimes the chemistry comes from the "buddy" relationships instead of the "romantic" or sexual relationships set up on the show (said to be true of "Smallville," which some fans have called "Slashville" because of the chemistry between Lex Luthor and Clark Kent).

Things are different now and the only politics that come from slash are gay politics and some shows, like "Merlin," set up bromances on purpose. Last season, Guinevere was "banished" for several episodes. I would be shocked if NOBODY wrote slash about that show. But it's important to remember the world of 2012 wasn't the world of the mid '70s.

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