This made me think about fanfiction and slash and why-the-fuck I'm still trying when there's no bloody point anymore amidst the bickering and the nastiness.
First of all, the entire article is hypocritical. The author contemptuously states :"The ones who are writing simply to please their own obsessions and fetishes often, quite boldly, proclaim, 'This is what I want to write and I don't care what anyone else thinks.'" However, she closes with this statement: "In the end, you wind up writing for yourself, hoping that maybe someone out there will give a damn." Sorry... but "writing for yourself" and writing to "please" your "own obsessions and fetishes" don't sound too different to these jaded (eighteen-year-old) ears. In fact, they sound exactly the same. Yes, gen writers have specific things that they like to write about as much as slash or het writers do. I persist in writing about rape and abuse, you just keep on writing about... Marty getting a puppy. Or whatever the fuck you gen writers write about.
I'm simply peeved that there seems to be contempt for all slash writers here. Violent contempt. Because apparently Mary-Sues are forgivable, but a kiss between two boys is not. The image of all slash being absolutely horrific really bothers me. Hi, stereotype much? There's good slash and bad slash, just as there's good gen and bad gen, good het and bad het. And certainly not all slash is explicit homoerotic sex with no plot or theme or thought put into characterization or symbolism. My own proof is in my pudding: Cold, Cold Wet Day is a subtle tribute to my own father that he'll never read or realize (and I certainly hope he never does). Not only structured around a classic poem, Love Song is also a sad paean to the lack of distinction between monster, love, child-molestor, and father. Bolero is about childhood and growing older and regret. God From the Machine is about mutilation of self and reactions of people around us. All are slash. None are above the rating of PG-13. All are my own attempts to think about characters and relate them to my own life, or to the lives I see happening around me. I make pained attempts to connect the romantic/sexual element to the original storyline that I'm stealing from. I want to write well and write about what I like.
So why do these people seem to think that I am unable to do that? I just don't get it. Don't like it, don't read, do your own thing and I'll do mine. Criticism of something you don't even want to take the time to understand is pointless and makes you look ignorant. For once, I'd like to be judged on the writing rather than the prejudices associated with the theme, both the good and the bad. This is my hobby. Shouldn't I enjoy it? Why does it just frustrate me so much?
The attitude of intolerance, not just for "alternative lifestyles" but for all people whose interests differ dramatically from those of the majority, makes me hesitant to move into a lot of things that I'd otherwise like to (this goes not only for slash, but for some aspects of my libertarian beliefs). There's a certain high and mightiness I associate with people who look down on slash writers (or even romance writers in general). But I have no particular vendetta against gen writers. I've read some of the good and the bad, but it isn't my particular interest much of the time. Why, instead of just accepting that there are a lot of people who like homoeroticism, do these people feel it necessary to accuse us of the entire breakdown of so-called "good" fandom? I didn't honestly expect the backlash I got when eeking into the well-established BttF group with my father/son incestuous kisses, and now, in light of all that, I hesitate to venture forth into other areas that have long interested me, in a sort of trembling cowardice brought on by being told how my lack of moral values essentially undermines all that is pure and good about fanfiction and the characters I choose to write about.
What people don't seem to understand is that my slash stories are as much a tribute to my love of a series as any gen fan's are. Mine just feature couples of the same sex.