mjj (flemmings) wrote,

Just to say

Let who will lay upon the stone
        of the run-over child a wreath
inscribed: Dei voluntas. I will not, for there is a mystery here
        not given to any, yet, to understand
The printed shadows of Hiroshima, do they
        point their evaporated hands at us
or you? How could it have been you?
        This is a thing so evil that
it could have come from nowhere save a mind
        capable of inventing the idea of evil.
        --George Barker, Anno Domini

If you read fandom meta, especially slash that's based on western live-action stuff, I suppose you must be prepared to find white female middle-class culture expressing itself. The sizable majority of slash fandom is exactly that- and one happy eyeopener at the first shoujocon was how unhomogeneous the fans were compared to yer average slash con. But the eyeopener now is how odd that view reads to me these days, because it doesn't apply within the context of Japanese-based fandoms. Suddenly what was common sense to me a decade ago looks like the most entrenched parochialism.

But if they are having sex, they are gay. That is the definition of the word, that's the label. It is what we are stuck with, in this less than perfect world. And there isn't anything wrong with it!

Yes there is. There's the applying of a label in the first place. Taxonomy is not the same thing as description: in the case of human behaviour it obscures it. The easy reassurance of a label puts a finis to the messy multiplicity of the human reality. It's like injecting formaldehyde into the veins of a living creature, and I can't think why people insist on doing it.

I am, for example, constantly surprised by the number of slash fics I encounter with disclaimers in which the author writes, "I know homosexuality is wrong... but I like to make the boys (or girls) kiss! *giggle*" And it never ceases to offend me.

Now when I was first exploring these waters I assumed that an interest in m/m must mean that the woman reader in question was gay, because surely only a gay person would be interested in gay sex. Well, one lives and learns. Now if the fandom in general could get over the impression that an interest in slash means the female reader in question is pro-gay, we'd be a lot closer to accepting the idea that fantasy is fantasy and, whether for good or ill, does not reflect reality at all.

Never thought to say I could get tired of liberals, but I am. I know that south of the border liberals may be the last best hope for common sense. But the view from here is that that construction of the world has almost as many limits as the conservative one; and what's needed is a post-liberal mindset that does a bit more considering of realities.
Tags: fandom, verse

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