It’s no secret at this point that I enjoy the kinkier side of things. BDSM has always been something that has interested me because there is something especially enjoyable about the power dynamics. And I enjoy seeing those dynamics in the fanfiction that I read, even when the fanfiction itself isn’t strictly BDSM.
There can be issues with power dynamics, of course; for example, most romance novels have some kindof power dynamics between the couple. Usually, the male holds a good portion of the power. This doesn’t necessarily mean the female love interest is docile in any way, although it is often the case in some novels. It’s been my experience that fandom likes when the less physically and/or sociallypowerful person is strong willed and intelligent and doesn’t take any crap from their more powerful counterpart. However, they usually still ultimately need their more powerful love interest. Even classics like Pride and Prejudice share this dynamic. Elizabeth doesn’t take Darcy’s shit, but ultimately he has more power in society than her, and it’s only with his help that Elizabeth’s family is able to escape a scandal that would have ruined them forever. The problem with these dynamics is that in mainstream pop culture, we largely see women in the less powerful role. And even in fanfiction, which usually focuses on queer relationships, the power dynamics still come off as heteronormative at times.
I suppose that one of the things that drew me to BDSM is that those power dynamics are out in the open and negotiated before the relationship begins. Rather than deal with societal understandings of who should be the dominant partner (men) and who should be the submissive (women), BDSM allows people to discuss what frankly all couples, whether kinky or vanilla, should be doing anyway. Since BDSM isn’t considered a quote-unquote “normal” part of society, there are fewer preconceived notions of how a relationship should be. But what if BDSM was the norm? Fanfiction often has a lot of alternate universes that I enjoy, but none moreso than AUs where BDSM is the norm. However, they bring with them a lot of interesting and problematic issues.
We have talked about the poorworldbuildingin Teen Wolfbefore, but this problem really takes the cake. Recently on Tumblr I saw a transcription one fan did at a Teen Wolf convention called Wolfsbane 3, during a panel featuring Ian Bohen, who plays Peter Hale. I’m not always the biggest fan of Peter, but Ian Bohen tends to be hilarious. And his opinions on Peter often make the character seem more interesting than he actually is on the show. But it was one comment Bohen apparently made about Alphas that really threw me for a loop. Basically he pointed out that Laura Hale, Derek’s sister and Peter’s niece, who is killed by Peter at the beginning of Season 1, might have killed her mother, Talia Hale, in order to become Alpha. Since she isn’t a True Alpha like Scott, she would have had to have killed Talia, or at least some other random Alpha.
pic via neurowolf Seriously Ian Bohen is hilarious!
Because I can’t find the actual video of this panel, I am uncertain if Ian Bohen actually said this. But whether or not he did, on closer reflection I realized this has to be correct. In meta and fanfiction, the Teen Wolf fandom has always explained Laura becoming an Alpha as a hereditary thing. Talia died, and her eldest child, Laura, inherited her alpha powers. However, Bohen’s comment made me realize that this fandom theory has never been confirmed in Teen Wolf canon. You either can be a True Alpha, which is so rare in the show that most Teen Wolf characters didn’t think it was possible until Scott became one, or you kill another Alpha to take their powers. The show constantly tells us that lone werewolves and packs without an Alpha are not likely to survive. This would mean a whole society that is based on murdering your successor in order to keep a pack going and if most werewolf packs are like the Hales, then that would mean that they would comprise mostly of family members. So if you wanna be Alpha, then you have to kill grandma. …Suddenly everything in Teen Wolf gets a lot darker and more uncomfortable. It also sets up several issues in the storytelling, particularly in regards to which characters we are supposed to view as villains.
After a weird and kind of frustrating half a season, we’ve finally reached the mid-season finale. And although I got to get Cozy with Posey afterward on Wolf Watch, I don’t know if any number of puppies can me feel better about “Status Asthmaticus”.
Yep, that about sums it up. This week we hate Theo literally even more than we thought possible, Jeff Davis attempts to kill yet another one of my OTPs, and I wonder where the fuck all the adults are this season. ‘Cause I mean, seriously, how do we not expect things to go to shit when a bunch of seventeen year olds are in charge!?
This week Teen Wolf was much darker than I expected it to be. Not only did “Strange Frequencies” have murder and dead bodies everywhere, it also had a significant amount of gore—and it even showcased a scene with Parrish hallucinating making out with Lydia’s dead reanimated body. What the hell, Teen Wolf?
Hit the jump to find out my thoughts. Spoilers ahead.
Last week we ended on a hell of a cliffhanger—Donovan had been souped up with weird wendigo powers by the Doctors and was going after Stiles, and meanwhile Parrish was burning dead supernaturals’ bodies on the nemeton with no conscious knowledge of doing so. This week’s episode starts off tense, right where last week left off, and things only get worse for our pack from there.
Spoilers for the punnily titled “A Novel Approach” after the jump!
Another summer, another season of Teen Wolf for us to delight (or, more likely, despair) over! I wasn’t much looking forward to it coming back, and the episode wasn’t much to write home about, to be honest, but it was nice to revisit the pack (or, what of the pack is left) that I’ve come to love.
However, this episode wasted no time in jumping right into the most icky, disturbing Eichen House plotline possible, so consider this your trigger (for ableism, abuse, and general Eichen House terribleness) and spoiler warning right off the bat.