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Some Further Thoughts on Realism in Slash - Mo's Journal
January 29th, 2007
02:00 pm


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Some Further Thoughts on Realism in Slash

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Date:January 29th, 2007 08:06 pm (UTC)

Bambi vs. Groomzilla

Just look at gay wedding expos. Even a jurisdiction that authorizes SSM or civil union or domestic partnership extends its degree of legal protection on the basis of a very simple civil ceremony. But that doesn't stop same-sex couples--or same-sex couples having commitment ceremonies that do not have any legal status--from having elaborate ceremonies and receptions. Hey, maybe some of them thing that Charles & Di would have worked out if only they'd had a *real* wedding. And in gay-tolerant neighborhoods, there are usually restaurants that specialize in cozy candle-lit dinners for same-sex couples. And I bet in a couple of weeks lots of guys will be in the doghouse if they don't pony up the chocolates and roses for their husbands or boyfriends. (But then again lots of guys will get laughed at if they *provide* the chocolates and roses.)

Dancing has been central to gay male culture for a very long time; but in addition to disco and post-disco dancing (where, in effect, the whole room is your partner) there's a minority interest in partner forms like ballroom and swing, because of the closer association between partner-dancing and courtship than, e.g., folk dances where a group of people dance together.

It's never possible to control the messages that readers will receive from a story anyway!
[User Picture]
Date:January 29th, 2007 09:16 pm (UTC)

Re: Bambi vs. Groomzilla

But do you really think that means that those romantic courtship rituals were invented by gay men and for gay men, as you asserted? Have you seen this: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/08/fashion/08gay.html?ex=1170219600&en=53d31c3f02908462&ei=5070

I wonder if the results are similar in other jurisdictions (e.g. whether there are more women in same sex marriages in Canada than men). And there are lots of reasons for having ceremonies even in the absence of legal recognition - romance is only one reason. As to candle-lit dinners in gay ghettos or same-sex social dancing, I think they are just indicative of gay men and lesbians wanting the ability to do what other people do and some things we can only physically safely do in our own space. Yes, there are gay and lesbian swing dancers or tangoers (is that a word?) but there's also the Times Squares (gay square dancers) and gay Scrabble clubs and Front Runners and pretty much any other activity you can think of, organized for gay men and lesbians.
[User Picture]
Date:January 29th, 2007 10:14 pm (UTC)

Re: Bambi vs. Groomzilla

I wouldn't exactly say that conventional romance tropes were invented by gay men for gay men, so much as that they're like vintners who export MOST of the wine but keep some.

Thanks for the article link, I hadn't seen it before. Girls certainly have a lot more wedding mythology than boys, and everybody varies in how much they want to go against dominant ideologies, including people who have same-sex partners.

Expressions of love are both idiosyncratic and influenced by both the wider culture and one's own subculture. I remember a 1970s reference to giving a brown leather bomber jacket to one's partner as "gay minks."
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