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What Does It Mean to Say that Slash is (or isn't) Subversive? - Mo's Journal — LiveJournal
January 22nd, 2007
05:12 pm


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What Does It Mean to Say that Slash is (or isn't) Subversive?

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[User Picture]
Date:January 22nd, 2007 11:46 pm (UTC)
I love your poll. I ticked "It's not that bad" on the last question though I was tempted to tick one of the funnier responses!

My answer to number one is related to my answer to number three, so I thought I'd explain: to me, part of why NC-17 slash is subversive is because it's mostly written by women, and I think it's a commonly held belief in our society that women don't like porn, aren't interested in porn, and would never ever actually write porn. I suppose that NC-17 het fanfic would also be subversive in this way, but I don't see very much of it (maybe because I don't look for it).

Non-porny slash is subversive, too, but for different reasons.

I think executrix makes a good point when she says that subverting the will of TPTB is, by extension, subverting the expectations of society as a whole (at least, I think that's what she's saying). Subverting a couple of writers on a tv show somehow seems a lot less thrilling to me than subverting the notions of a culture, so maybe that's why I think of the culture as a whole and not a few tv writers when I think of slash as subversion.
[User Picture]
Date:January 23rd, 2007 12:09 am (UTC)
The individuals in TPTB (writers, directors, producers, etc.) are not only unconsciously shaped by their culture (and how this turns out is easier to see with Old Skool stuff, because we have a little distance from it) but, as profit-making enterprises, have every incentive to suck up to advertisers, and in turn to do whatever they think they need to become popular. As amateurs, we don't have those incentives.

It's certainly not true of every fanwriter, but in some cases writers do buy into "euwww, girlparts!" and "good women don't HAVE desires" ideology, so it does take some doing to find sexually explicit hetfics that show appreciation for female bodies and women with powerful desires.
[User Picture]
Date:January 23rd, 2007 01:20 am (UTC)
I do think you're right that women taking control of their sexuality is always subversive in a society where men control women's sexuality. I think slash is challenging to compulsory heterosexuality, as I said elsewhere, because it takes away the firm belief in male characters' heterosexuality that limits the possibilities. I think it also challenges compulsory heterosexuality because it is largely a women's pursuit and one where women are writing in large part to provide sexual stimulation to other women - even with most of the women on all sides of this identifying as heterosexual, that challenges heterosexuality.

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