Fanthropology - The Study of Fandom
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Wed, Feb. 2nd, 2005 06:47 pm (UTC)
Wow, Craig Parker certainly was a good sport about the doofus who gave him the fic, wasn't he?
I do think HP and LotR are making things more visible - it's the convergence of extremely popular movies, good-looking actors, and a huge number of people online playing with them. It'd be hard to ignore...
Thu, Feb. 3rd, 2005 03:53 am (UTC)
A good point on the convergence. Insanely popular series becoming insanely popular movies with a good cast. A kind of Perfect Fandom Storm as it were. That brings in EVERYTHING, including slash, and its more public.
It makes me wonder if any other perfect storms are out there as well, and what they'll bring. The next convergence as it were.
Oh, and I love your icon ;)
Wed, Feb. 2nd, 2005 07:12 pm (UTC)
I don't exactly remember the fandoms discussed (Probably X-Files?), but some years back a Canadian newspaper ran a similar article on slash fanfic, too. (It was similar in tone to this one, too -- silly.) I personally don't think LotR or HP have made slash more public, really. Maybe to people who are in fandom to begin with, but not to the general public. That's more the doing of licensed BL manga, at least where I live.
Wed, Feb. 2nd, 2005 08:48 pm (UTC)
It's not the fiction as such, it's the whole deal. Everything that goes with slash fandom. It's hard not to notice the slash fans if they're squeeing at the front row in every con. Grossly exaggerating, of course, but I'm trying to point out that slash in general is no longer 'in the closet', but features more prominently in the public sphere of fandom. (For example, just yesterday I watched a video clip where Michael Shanks of SG-1 fame was asked about slash in a panel discussion, and from the hoots in the audience it was clear that, yes, slashers were present.)
And that brings to mind - the fact that the actors/directors/authors/etc. seem to be aware of the existence of slash fandom, and in some cases are fairly benevolent towards it, goes a long way in making slash more mainstream, through making it more acceptable, even hip. ;)
Thu, Feb. 3rd, 2005 03:40 am (UTC)
I think fandom itself has gotten more acceptable and accepted. Therefore other elements of it will get accepted by default - to an extent.
I suspect LOTR slash could play a role in making it more accepted. Hell, The Advocate discussed subtext in LOTR and interviewed Ian McKellan. As I understand it, even the movie staff joked about subtext and had a "slashy" music video at one of their parties.
As for Harry Potter . . . I don't know. I feel its brought fanfiction and fandom into th spotlight. But stories with sexual content in HP fandom probably won't go over as easily with the public due to the age of some of the characters.
Of course homosexuality, despite the efforts of some, is getting more accepted. Slash in general probably seems less shocking and even more acceptable - or relevant - now.
Thu, Feb. 3rd, 2005 04:46 am (UTC)
This isn't exactly slash
persay, but I noticed that the predominently heterosexual female fandom of Queer as Folk
got quite a bit of attention as well. I've seen plenty of articles written by astonished journalists who can't quite figure it out. Since slash has been around since the '60s at least, this always cracked me up. ^_^
Thu, Feb. 3rd, 2005 01:07 pm (UTC)
OK, how is it that the idea "all straight guys love watching lesbians" is common, yet "two women can like two hot guys together" produces confusion?
I have come to suspect that some of this is because a lot of people put very little thought into what women find or can find attractive.
Thu, Feb. 3rd, 2005 02:55 pm (UTC)
That, and the idea of a woman being entertained by sexual fantasy must be contrary to a lot of people's ideas of what it is to be female. I suspect that women's taste for stories, rather than just images, is considered odd by some men, and the fact that a lot of us prefer our love stories to be void of women must be downright mindboggling. I've always seen it this way--I like men, therefore a story with two male protagonists falling in love gives me twice as much to enjoy. ^__^
Thu, Feb. 3rd, 2005 03:02 pm (UTC)
There does seem to be this odd break in at least some Western culture - that A) guys want women to be raging sluts (towards them) and B) somehow they can't concieve of women having fantasies, desires, etc. It's really, really an odd disconnect.
I think it's due to several factors:
A) A history in the culture of not thinking of women's issues about feelings, desires, etc.
B) Ideas of what it's like to "be a lady" that discourged sexual fantasies and ideas.
C) Finally, I think that there are people uncomfortable with women having their own independent fantasy lives - it's not ladylike, it represents a "secret" they didn't know of/don't get, and it represents independence. Or to put it bluntly - I think some people can't deal with the idea of a woman having her own mind.
Weirdly I'm a striaght guy who enjoys some slash/yaoi because in many cases it gets deep into the feelings of men and their relations. I mean forget the amount of genders involved, at least I get to see guys with feelings! To compound the irony, this I find myself relating to gay men or men portrayed as gay.
Thu, Feb. 3rd, 2005 05:06 pm (UTC)
That's so cool that you, as a straight man, can not only enjoy slash/yaoi, but also can own up to it. But you've hit the nail on the head regarding the emotions in slash that aren't so much explored elsewhere.
Do you read manga? There's a whole genre of men's/boys' romance that deals with male emotion in a heterosexual way--I think it's the most refreshing stuff ever. It's a genre mostly untouched by American manga translators, but in the spring Viz is launching a title called I"s
that is one of the best out there.
Thu, Feb. 3rd, 2005 05:09 pm (UTC)
It makes me wish the Gravitation dub wasn't so lame (well at least one character) - its a gay romantic drama/comedy that has INTERESTING male charactes. I'd argue in fact its two male leads represent different facets of the male psyche.
I read manga and watch anime myself, an erratic mix of mainstream stuff, things my friends find, and oddball one-offs - which I enjoy as it's different than a lot of American media. So you're saying there's a straight male romance title coming out?
Fri, Feb. 4th, 2005 02:53 am (UTC)
Yep. It's really good too--one of my favorites. I think it's slated for an April release. You should watch for it. ^_^
Thu, Feb. 3rd, 2005 03:15 pm (UTC)
That question comes up at every yaoi panel I have ever attended or been on. I think it's a holdover of the old-fashioned attitude that women *don't like looking at sexual things.* I remember, when I was in college, hearing the old saw that "Playgirl is really a gay men's magazine disguised as a women's magazine" over and over. Well, I knew quite a few young women who had those so-called "gay" centerfolds on their walls. (Including one hilarious incident when a girl whose walls were *papered* with the things had an unexpected visit from her parents . . .)
Thu, Feb. 3rd, 2005 07:16 pm (UTC)
So who's going to write Harry Potter/Han Solo?