The amount of male/male slash fiction floating around out in the aether of the internet grossly outnumbers the amount that features two ladies. We’ve grumped about this fact before, but recently, annoyed with this trend, people have decided to take action. This February has dubbed “Femslash February”, and writers and artists are using this month to focus their efforts on creating stories and artwork that focus on queer female relationships.
I knew that I wanted to write about femslash today, but I was having trouble finding any really great fics in my bookmarks. Part of the reason I think femslash is so rare comparatively is that it’s rare enough to see shows or movies that pass the Bechdel test, let alone have enough female-with-female interaction to base a pairing on. And although I love my Supernatural, my Marvel Cinematic Universe, my myriad action-packed anime, and even Les Mis and Tolkien, they’re all hella problematic when it comes to female representation and portrayal.
So I buckled down and subjected myself to the truly *ahem* laborious and unpleasant task of reading tons of femslash in order to bring you some Femslash February recommendations.
My current femslash OTP is Mulan and Aurora from Once Upon A Time. OUAT has a really diverse and interesting female cast, and so the show is a godsend to femslash shippers (and people who like cool pairing names—seriously, Swan Queen? Sleeping Warrior?) Both of these fanfics feature Mulan/Aurora as the main pairing; I couldn’t decide which one to rec, so instead of picking I’ve brought you one short and funny fic set in canon, and one long, dramatic, romantic AU. Emma Swan and the Totally Unacceptable Fact that Everything is Lesbians by anamatics is the former. It’s set around the beginning of Season 2, during the time that Emma and Snow are trapped in Fairy Tale Land with Mulan and Aurora. It’s from Emma’s POV, and and follows the quartet for a few brief scenes as Emma tries to get Mulan and Aurora to resolve their unresolved romantic/sexual tension. anamatics really does a great job making Emma’s inner monologue hilarious, and whether intentionally or not, lampshades the common “everyone is gay” fanfiction trope as Emma finds herself speculating on the sexualities of all the women around her and concluding that “everything is lesbians.” It also has some mentions of offscreen Swan Queen if that’s more your style.
a story, a tale by maleficently is the latter. It’s a 27k AU that imagines what would happen if Maleficent had cast the curse instead of Regina, targeting Aurora instead of Snow. It jumps back and forth between the stories of Mulan, the captain of Phillip’s guard in Fairy Tale Land, and Lieutenant Riley Chen, a discharged Special Forces member who stumbles into the town of Storybrooke and encounters a mystery waiting to be unfolded. maleficently did a tremendous job in making Mulan and Aurora and Riley and Dawn (their Storybrooke counterparts) very similar, but just different enough to be separate people, in the same way that Mary Margaret and Snow White were different people, which really helps make it feel like the original OUAT canon. The build between Mulan and Aurora in Fairy Tale Land and the mystery and tension surrounding Riley and Dawn in Storybrooke are also written excellently, giving me my full quota of angst over it-can-never-be, unreciprocated feels before closing with a happy ending.
I can’t recommend either of these stories enough—go check them out, and get your femslash on! And if you have other femslash recs (in this or any fandom) feel free to drop them in the comments!