Sexualized Saturdays: Is Slash Fanfiction Degrading and/or Homophobic?

tumblr_leo5unpjjl1qzb8r6o1_500I have always felt that one of the biggest arguments against slash fanfiction is that it often takes gay romances and makes them heteronormative. In doing so, fanfic can become both degrading and homophobic.

There are a lot of issues to unpack here and for that reason this might end up being a topic I go back to again. Furthermore, this problem is tied to other issues I won’t touch on too much in this post because either I or one of the other authors have already addressed them in a different one.

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Sexualized Saturdays: Girl-Bashing in Yaoi Fics

Disclaimer: Hello, Ace here! Tsunderin and I wrote this post about fanfiction a while back, and for our content we like to pull quotes to help strengthen the arguments we make. Previously, we named both the authors and the fanfics in question that we used for the sake of honesty. We wholeheartedly believe that when something is published, it is subject to criticism. However, it should be noted that fanfiction writers are often young, and that fanfiction is done solely for fun. Critiquing a fanfic is not the same as critiquing a published novel. As such, I left out links in order to discourage our readers from going to those people’s pages—not because we believe ourselves exempt from criticism or backlash or that we don’t want the original authors to know what we say about them, but because we want to discourage any form of harassment against those authors.

Recently, we had a reader go to the site of one our our example authors and leave them a review. We are sure that this person was well intentioned, but this ended up being an upsetting experience for the original author and an eye-opening experience for us. The names of authors and fanfic titles have now been removed from this post as a result and we send our deepest apologies to the original authors.

This blog currently has over 3000 entries on it, and I am certain that we have other posts I’ve forgotten about that also give negative critiques on fanfiction work. We absolutely discourage everyone from going to pages of individual fan authors. Critiquing can be harsh, and having a negative review on top of finding out your years-old fic was used as an example for internalized misogyny on another website can easily feel like an attack. For now, this post is remaining up, although it is possible it might be removed in the near future. We apologize to everyone we have hurt with our insensitive words and will try to do better in the future.

tumblr_leo5unPJjL1qzb8r6o1_500MadameAce: I love fanfiction. Don’t you? Fanfiction has created a wonderful community where people can share their interpretations of a story. Share how they perceive the characters. Offer new insights into the narrative. Represent sexualities that don’t otherwise get represented. Fanfiction is a realm where people who are otherwise oppressed can come out freely through pre-written characters. There are very few places more sexually liberated than fanfiction. Fanfiction is wonderful.

Unless of course, you’re a female character in a typical yaoi or slash story.

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Sexualized Saturdays: The ‘Everyone is Gay’ Trope in Fanfiction

I first encountered this trope in Harry Potter fanfiction waaay back in the day, but it’s something that’s pervasive in many fandoms: stories that feature exclusively same-sex relationships. Harry wants to be with Draco, and that’s okay because Ginny is with Luna. At least Sirius and Remus approve of the matchup. Then Hermione stops by with Parvati to say hi on their way to Dean and Seamus’ house and… you get the gist.

A more recent fandom where this is very popular is the Avengers fandom, along with any spinoff crossover fandoms that include Supernatural or Sherlock. Steve/Tony and Phil/Clint and Pepper/Natasha (and possibly Thorki) with a side of Destiel and Johnlock? Par for the course, guys.

Let’s consider the good, the bad, and the ugly of ‘everyone is gay.’ Continue reading