Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: First, Come to Your Conclusion

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  • Amy Gale, in reply to Tom Beard,

    do people write Gatsby/Nick slash, Murakami fanfic and Oulipo combinatorial erotica with the works of Calvino, Queneau and Perec?

    This is a fun game to play. Find a big fanfic archive, and search in it for instances of - anything. You can put restrictions on the measure you are trying to optimize. For example, compete on any of these:

    * most ludicrous crossover (personal best find: Sonic The Hedgehog + Casablanca)

    * TV show with highest ratio of adult-rated fic

    * for a given show, predict the most popular pairing

    * three characters whose pairwise slash counts give the severest violation of the triangle inequality

    Note that you don't have to actually read anything you find, although you don't have to refrain from reading it either.

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 451 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Tui Head,

    But I don’t get why you’re surprised that women are embracing Dean/Castiel, since fic-writing and manip-making fandom is pretty heavily dominated by women, particularly slash (although not, IMO, to the extent that some have presented it). Or do you mean you’re surprised by women being into slash generally? We don’t need to rehash that, I hope.

    Well, yeah, I am surprised by the involvement (or rather predominance?) of straight cis women who enjoy writing about/drawing nominally heterosexual fictional cis male characters having sexual relationships with each other. I’m not surprised in a judge-y way, it’s just one of those things (like watersports or foot porn) that I personally can’t get my head around, which I acknowledge is a failure in imagination on my part.

    I do think there are some interesting gender/sexuality issues involving the relationship of straight cis women with “queering” overtly heterosexual cis male characters and the possible fetishisation of male queerness, but I also don’t think I’m the right person to talk about these issues for a whole host of reasons.

    I don’t believe you about Tim/Damian though. Jason/Tim, Dick/Tim (the greatest scan on my dash today: work safe, if you don’t understand puns), sure. But Damian’s ten and, more to the point, everyone hates him.

    Everyone* likes angry sex too though! I follow some people who are jaded with the typical ships you mention, so I probably see more Damian-related stuff than I should, because they go out of their way to post things that are counter the prevailing opinions of the fandoms. And yet another thing I’m not going to touch with a batarang is the way in which paedophilia is fairly casually portrayed in a lot of these ships.

    * ETA - By "everyone" here, I don't mean to imply that people who don't like angry sex are not actually people, it just seemed like a pithy thing to say.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 846 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    And yet another thing I’m not going to touch with a batarang is the way in which paedophilia is fairly casually portrayed in a lot of these ships.

    To clarify, are we talking *actual* paedophilia, or US-style anyone-under-eighteen-constitutes-child-porn "paedophilia"? Because that word gets thrown around a lot more than it needs to be.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2092 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    To clarify, are we talking *actual* paedophilia, or US-style anyone-under-eighteen-constitutes-child-porn "paedophilia"? Because that word gets thrown around a lot more than it needs to be.

    Yeah, if we could maintain a distinction between paedophilia and pederasty, that'd be nice.

    I am surprised by the involvement (or rather predominance?) of straight cis women who enjoy writing about/drawing nominally heterosexual fictional cis male characters having sexual relationships with each other.

    I asked my friend Ryan about this once (though, bear in mind, she's not straight-cis, she's gender-queer) and she said something which I then ran across again in Russell Davies' Writer's Tale. The idea is basically that boy-meets-girl stories have been done to death. All you have to do to signal a straight pairing in a tv show is to have one character of each gender and stand them next to each other - because also, men and women can't be friends. With LGBT pairings, the stories are fresh and new.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4328 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Also, my blood pressure would drop considerably. I just… I DON’T get the weird acceptance of the idea that women don’t like sex. It makes no sense at all

    Hey, if it is good enough for Germaine Greer, surely it's good enough for Shelley Bridgman?

    [eta: to generalise about what women want, I mean, not to say we don't like sex.]

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    To clarify, are we talking *actual* paedophilia, or US-style anyone-under-eighteen-constitutes-child-porn “paedophilia”? Because that word gets thrown around a lot more than it needs to be.

    Age, as it applies to comic book characters is obviously pretty fluid, but a character like Damian Wayne is generally portrayed as a child of about ten, even in fan art. Tim Drake is generally portrayed about 17, but again I’ve seen younger and older versions.

    Without wanting to defend some of the creepier aspects of that kind of fan art, I feel like I need to make the point that as a rule of thumb it’s a lot less focused on infanitilisation than, say, hentai. The characters being portrayed aren’t used because they’re children, but because they’re recognisable characters. The artwork itself doesn’t overemphasize the youth of the participants in the same way that tentacle-demons-having-their-way-with-Japanese-schoolgirls does. The age of the characters is almost incidental for this kind of thing.

    I feel really unqualified to comment on this topic, by the way, this is just what I’ve picked up from my completely superficial interactions with the comics fan fic/fan art communities. Feel free to assume that my comments are wrong/stupid/etc

    ETA - Reading my earlier comment upthread, it might sound like I'm tarring all fanfic communities with the same brush. That's not my intention at all, I guess this is just another one of those moments where my attempts to understand something from the outside have turned into sweeping statements. With a bit of time, I could probably come up with a more nuanced comment, but basically I think that the few examples of this that I've seen have convinced me there's probably a lot to talk about.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 846 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I am surprised by the involvement (or rather predominance?) of straight cis women who enjoy writing about/drawing nominally heterosexual fictional cis male characters having sexual relationships with each other.

    Well, in the context of yaoi manga you’ve got to be highly sensitive to the social and cultural contexts Japanese women (and female manga creators is what’s still an enormously sexist industry) exist in. It’s way too easy to bring a thick wad of privilege bingo cards to the table – and all too often, frankly creepy levels of man-tronage where Japanese women get scolded about not expressing themselves as Euro cis-males (both gay and straight) think they should.

    Personally, it gives me a headache rather than a hard-on but unpacking your privilege is like that.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11786 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    cis?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to 3410,

    Cis - born with your physical (external) and mental (internal) genders matching, as opposed to trans*.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4328 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to 3410,

    cis

    "individuals who have a match between the gender they were assigned at birth, their bodies, and their personal identity". As opposed to "trans".

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan,

    Hah. Snap.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    It’s way too easy to bring a thick wad of privilege bingo cards to the table – and all too often, frankly creepy levels of man-tronage where women get scolded about not expressing themselves as white cis-males (both gay and straight) think they should.

    Absolutely. This is one of those topics where I acknowledge that I'm the outsider here, and that it's really inappropriate for me to be making judgements about what other people should and do enjoy. It would have been nice if Mr (?) Ogas had thought the same-although we'd be poorer one of Emma's threads if he had, so maybe things worked out for the best.

    I do think it's a really interesting (though possibly futile) intellectual exercise to try and understand the whys and wherefores of kinks in general, which might sometimes come across as patronising, so if anyone has been offended by my comments (I realise we obviously have a fair few lurkers here on PAS) I can only apologise for that. Ultimately I'm motivated by curiosity, not judgement.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 846 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    Age, as it applies to comic book characters is obviously pretty fluid, but a character like Damian Wayne is generally portrayed as a child of about ten, even in fan art. Tim Drake is generally portrayed about 17, but again I’ve seen younger and older versions.

    See, that's....a little unusual, in my experience. It's not that characters who are pre-pubescent in canon aren't the subject of shippy/erotic work, it's that it's usually set when they're, you know, post-pubescent. But, hey, could be I hang out in the wrong fandoms. (For which, in this case, I am extremely not sorry.)

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2092 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    See, that’s….a little unusual, in my experience. It’s not that characters who are pre-pubescent in canon aren’t the subject of shippy/erotic work, it’s that it’s usually set when they’re, you know, post-pubescent. But, hey, could be I hang out in the wrong fandoms. (For which, in this case, I am extremely not sorry.)

    I'd say that the stuff I've seen is probably the exception rather than the rule, thankfully. One of the quirks of engaging with fandoms primarily via Tumblr is that it all gets jumbled up in one feed, and it's easy for something to be presented out of context or misread as having a different context from what was intended. There's also a levelling aspect, where "serious" fan blogs with dozens of posts a day are brought to the same level as one semi-troll who has spent the day surfing the "erotic art" section of deviantart and decided to post something they thought was "funny".

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 846 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    shippy?

    Is there, perhaps, a kinky glossary somewhere?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to 3410,

    Shippy, from shipping. And I believe we're building that glossary right here.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4328 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to 3410,

    The Wikipedia glossary article is long, but it's a good reference document.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 846 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    Thanks to that article, I discovered this:

    Possibly the first modern RPF (predating the term by a considerable margin) was written by Charlotte Brontë and her siblings, who beginning in 1826 created a lengthy series of novels, poems and short stories based on the imagined adventures of the Duke of Wellington and his two sons, Arthur and Charles.

    Brilliant.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    from Tom Lehrer:
    Who needs a hobby, like tennis or philately?
    I've got a hobby: Re-reading Lady Chatterley

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2008 • 633 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Megan Wegan,

    The Brontes carried the Duke of Wellington fantasy trope further, using a group of wooden soldiers they owned - Bramwell wrote "The History of The Young Men", and Anne Bronte also detailed the relationship between the Bronte siblings and their soldiers.
    A century or so later, Pauline Clarke continued that story with "The Twelve And The Genii."
    A bit off-thread, but fascinating to see stories sparking off other stories before the advent of teh webz-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Islander,

    A bit off-thread, but fascinating to see stories sparking off other stories before the advent of teh webz-

    I wonder what would have happened if the Brontes were alive now?

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Megan Wegan,

    Somewhere in the world, a tiny cloistered group of children is, even now, making up the stories and songs that will...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to 3410,

    The thing about this thread that strikes me is the enormous gaps in my knowledge.

    Some of those gaps are disturbingly filled now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3221 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Indeed, Bart.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Some of those gaps are disturbingly filled now.

    I have seen gaps filled in ways I never dreamed possible.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 846 posts Report Reply

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