Heh.

Jun. 22nd, 2007 08:36 am
alixtii: Mal and Kaylee, from Serenity the Movie. Text: "I Love My Captain." (iluvmycaptain)
[personal profile] alixtii
Part two of the Will Brooker and Ksenia Prasolova discussion on gender and fan studies has been posted to [livejournal.com profile] fandebate (as well as Henry Jenkin's blog). This discussion is particularly interesting to me because of the following statements from Will Brooker:
For a male fan or scholar to explain his fandom of a cult text in terms of “Claire Bennet is hot!” (even jokingly) would conjure up all kinds of negative connotations and sad stereotypes of a guy in a dark room with a screen full of cheerleader pics and a floor scattered with Kleenex. But it’s not unusual for a female fan or female fan-scholar to add, perhaps lightheartedly, “and it doesn’t hurt that the main characters are totally cute guys!” or admit that she writes slash because she’s turned on by the idea of those cute guys getting it on. I wonder how it would sound if I said I wrote stories about Claire and her hot cheerleader friends romping in the locker room. I don’t think it would be celebrated as an example of resistant fan creativity.
*whistles innocently*

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-22 12:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ithiliana.livejournal.com
For somebody who keeps yelling about how all the bad girls stereotype and over generalize, he sure makes a lot of general statements!

Since I drove by a billboard advertising 7 Hooter locations in Orlando yesterday, I think it's fair to say that only (possibly) in this very limited space are males discouraged from public expression of sexual appreciation of hot wimmin! I do not buy that as oppression.

I'm waiting to see if he response to any of my comments on the first part before taking the time to comment on the second....although that reminds me, I owe some responses back in Round Three...

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-23 02:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alixtii.livejournal.com
For somebody who keeps yelling about how all the bad girls stereotype and over generalize, he sure makes a lot of general statements!

Certainly true. And while I don't have a problem with generalizations qua generalizations (although some of his are bizarre, and others just plain wrong) I do have a problem with the way it completely steamrollers over queer experience. From his half of the conversation one wouldn't even have any idea that lesbians exist at all anywhere, yet alone in large numbers in fandom.

Now of course, not mentioning something isn't the same as ignoring it, but in the context of going on and on about whether one can or can't talk about whether a cheerleader named Claire is hot, the absence becomes conspicuous. (And in light of what you mention downthread about the Batman book, suspicious?)

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-22 12:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ithiliana.livejournal.com
p.s. I was also struck by his claim to have written slash to experience it (not because it's hot!?! how academic), but wanted to hear more, and (in case you didn't see) recommended he might want to talk to *you*! *G*

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-22 09:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alchemia.livejournal.com
Whats wrong with that? I do not write m/m fanfic because its "hot".

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-23 03:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ithiliana.livejournal.com
Presumably you derive some enjoyment from some aspect of it?

What I gathered from WB's description is that he wrote slash (and did he pretend to be female?) on some sort of board simply because he wanted to write an academic paper about slash: it smacks something of the "I must immerse myself in the primitive customs of this bizarre group in order to write my academic paper explaining the p.c.o.t.b.g."--very patronizing.

But then much of his commentary sounded very patronizing to me, so I may have misread it.

Do you write slash for any sort of enjoyment (intellectual? spiritual? physical?)?

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-23 04:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alchemia.livejournal.com
I'd say ultimately, I write m/m slash for the same reason I write f/f, het, gen, etc. It all feels the same. My joints unanimously agree it is not for physical enjoyment :-)

I suppose its really intellectual. But wasn't his reason also intellectual? Is intellectual a wrong reason, or does intellectual come in shades of grey?

Why does it matter if he presented as female (or avoided identifying, allowing others to assume, whether or not he knew they'd assume incorrectly)?

Do you think that a person could write slash once to write a paper about slash, without it being patronising? (if the presentation was entirely about personal experience of trying something new, rather than explaining the group, for example)?

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-23 11:20 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I'm not sure what you mean about joints, but I also don't share what sems to be your distinction between physical and intellectual enjoyment/pleasure--but that's just me.

He did not write slash once, and I am not saying his writing slash is patronising but his commentary on his reasons for writing slash.

I find his entire commentary patronizing to feminists, women aca-fan (he's more or less called two or my friends simplistic and reductive), and my entire area of scholarship, plus to slashers (did you notice how he's quite able to lay down his rules about who should be called a slasher with apparently very little experience--as far as I can tell from what he says which is little?)

And there's no point in all these hypotetical questions; I am not talking about *a* person. Most importantly, I am not talking about you (so why yo seem to be taking this so personally, I don't know.)

I am talking about this person, this text, this discussion of his experiences, in the context of both academic and fan values, and I found his tone, his reasons, and his commentary patronisizing. A lot of critism of ethnographic schoalarship by *outsiders* (and he apparently was one) is just what I said: anthroplogy got its start as "superior civilized men writing about 'primitive tribes.') Apparently from the discussion I am not along.

If you did not, that's perfectly fine with me.


ithiliana above

Date: 2007-06-23 11:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ithiliana.livejournal.com
Sorry, that's me above!

Should also note that anthropology as a discipline has generated much of its own self critique, and that there are movements not to define anthropology or ethnography as superior outsider/primitive culture, by studying groups w/in this culture (such as fandom) although as *many fans note* there are still issues about the studied group's response to the texts.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, there was huge critical work and angst over Friday Night Lights, a study of football in a small Texas town (done by a journalist, but using some of the same methods as ethnography).

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-23 05:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alchemia.livejournal.com
i have bad joints. Typing hurts after a while, but I still write a lot. (and I really don't understand some of the replies here- you asked if it was physical, intellectual etc for me, i said intellectual, and you disagree with my distinction? What distinction?)

i didnt pick up on a # of fics he wrote, i took it as one instance that could have been on one or several.

I dont know why you think i took it personally, i didn't. if i dont understand something, and see some similarities to something else in my experience then using that point of reference I'll ask whats the same/different to learn.

the hypotheticals were of interest to me because some of the things brought up in talking about him/this situation, like asking if he pretended to be a female, have periodically come up come up and caused conflict in fandom.

"...did you notice how he's quite able to lay down his rules about who should be called a slasher ..."

No, but as I told cathexys, i find the debates difficult to follow and i'm not entirely sure why (maybe its the different voices, the language, the volume of it all...?). IMHO being a slasher, a fan, queer, whatever, is about personal identification- anyone (even if they have been in the community for decades) telling others that they are or are not what they identify as, is, imho, offensive. Since I see that a lot anyway though in fandom (people writing meta on who is/isnt a fan or slasher) His doing that too would have blended right in, rather than stood out to me.


(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-22 01:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] glacierscout.livejournal.com
It's not just in the fanfic world (which I barely dabble in) but in the rest of the online world as well. I'm a member of an online Harry Potter community ([livejournal.com profile] hogwarts_elite), with members from all over the world. We occasionally have pic-spamming memes in our common room, and given the LJ population dynamics of 95% female, well-educated and young, a number of very attractive young ladies posted their pictures. They are free to comment to each other "You're hot!", or "I'd do you in a minute." on the other hand, I (a 53 year old, slightly overweight white male) would probably be banned as a pervert if I commented the same way. i probably couldn't even get away with it if I was their age.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-22 03:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alixtii.livejournal.com
Well, my main (albeit sideways) criticism was that his analysis applies to the rest of the online world much better than the fanfic world--a fact to which, as a het male who writes exactly the type of fic Will is talking about in the passage I quote, I can personally attest. There are quite a few het males writing femslash in fandom, and no one seems to be surprised or ever particularly upset by our presence. There's probably some justafiable suspicion, but in general we are judged by our works--[livejournal.com profile] teh_no deliberately causes wank and is disliked (by some; he still has a large readership, including queer females), I write radical feminist meta (as well as femslash of all types) and have never been anything but welcomed.

When you bring in the actual embodied fan members, rather than fictional characters or celebrities, it certainly does get more complicated, but Will didn't seem to be talking about that--just Clare and/or the actress who plays her.

(And I think I could probably get away with a lot more than you could, due to age.)

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-22 06:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alchemia.livejournal.com
how does femslash and slash parts of fandom compare on this issue? I know theres a few people who will argue that m/m slash is by definition by women. Maybe they are no longer surprised by others showing up from time to time but some do have an issue with it. Is this more common in slash fandom than femslash? If so, why might that be?

i also wonder if to what degree the fandom might be more accepting of your presence because of your being known to hold radical feminist views, than another guy who writes similar fic but doesn't identify that way, or does but doesn't discuss it in their fannish journal?

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-22 07:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alixtii.livejournal.com
how does femslash and slash parts of fandom compare on this issue? I know theres a few people who will argue that m/m slash is by definition by women. Maybe they are no longer surprised by others showing up from time to time but some do have an issue with it. Is this more common in slash fandom than femslash? If so, why might that be?

I can't speak for the m/m community but I've certainly never heard anyone argue that, say, a fic I wrote for [livejournal.com profile] femslash_minis wasn't femslash. Since I don't have your experiences in m/m (no one's argued that the fic I wrote for [livejournal.com profile] maleslashminis wasn't slash either, although I've only written a couple of m/m fics and a whole lot of femslash), I really can't compare or theorize.

i also wonder if to what degree the fandom might be more accepting of your presence because of your being known to hold radical feminist views, than another guy who writes similar fic but doesn't identify that way, or does but doesn't discuss it in their fannish journal?

Well, yeah. I mean, [livejournal.com profile] teh_no can have very anti-feminist views (and be a jerk besides) and people think less of him for it. Men in fandom do get judged, just as women in fandom will get judged, and the level of suspicion may even be that much higher (and I don't have a problem with that). But ultimately one gets judged on what one does and believes, not primarily on their gender (which can be hidden anyway).

The thing is, I'm assuming that all the males (and females) involved as formal interlocutors in the debates at [livejournal.com profile] fandebate are academic feminists (and so far, that seems to have been a safe assumption). So Will has the same tools as I do to establish cred, were he to want to do so.

And Will did mention his writing m/m slash in the debate, as having written slash.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-22 07:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alchemia.livejournal.com
Im not sure that its accurate to call gender "hidden" online- people almost always assume. And if they assume wrong, the individual may be the one blamed for "deliberately misleading" (or sock puppetry for attention). rather than being hidden (which would be very freeing), imho, it seems to be more comparable to being closeted or not, passing or not passing etc(which is more constraining to me).

But ultimately one gets judged on what one does and believes, not primarily on their gender

I'm not sure how to judge the degree to which such things happen in fandom- when I first found and got interested in meta discussions I encountered this alot- is it because this was a minority that was "loud" or is it that common? I've learned to avoid most of these people/places and stick to my own corner mostly- but how representative is that (likely not very). But comments like "You not a woman, you won't understand [slash subject]", "I'd never read/listen-to a slash fic if I knew it was by a guy", "men can't write slash, they write gay fic" etc are placing gender first, before the individual can even act to be judged.

"Formal interlocutors" means the people paired up for debates, or the people discussing in the threads?

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-22 08:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alixtii.livejournal.com
But comments like "You not a woman, you won't understand [slash subject]", "I'd never read/listen-to a slash fic if I knew it was by a guy", "men can't write slash, they write gay fic" etc are placing gender first, before the individual can even act to be judged.

Hmm, it'd really depend on what one ended up in putting into the "comments like those" category. People make generalizations about gender all the time, of course, but I think very few of them are intended as universal prescriptive rules rather than just descriptive (possibly over-)generalizations. When claims that gendered experience provide certain insight go over the line could be a fuzzy boundary etc. I never heard anyone say " "I'd never read/listen-to a slash fic if I knew it was by a guy" although of course that would be their prerogatve.

"Formal interlocutors" means the people paired up for debates, or the people discussing in the threads?

The people paired up.for debates.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-23 06:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alchemia.livejournal.com
that people make such comments "all the time" I think is concerning - its so accepted and so 'natural' people are unaware of their doing it or how it reinforces their opinions about others. We wouldn't be so dismissing of comments like "you're a girl, you wouldn't understand [sports subject]" or "I'd never see a movie with a [person of certain ethnicity] in a lead role".

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-23 06:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alixtii.livejournal.com
Well, when I talked about generalizations that get made all of the time, I wasn't just talking about statements like that (which in my experience are in the minority) but also ones like "Women make less cents on the dollar than men" and "Most low-paying jobs are worked by ethnic minorities and teenagers" and such. And sometimes the two types of generalizations blend into each other with a fuzzy boundary in between.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-23 10:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alchemia.livejournal.com
ok, the context confused me, sorry.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-23 03:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ithiliana.livejournal.com
I'm no longer sure that all males and females in this project dare acadedmic feminists (though I'm not sure what you mean by that). In my terminology, that means someone who not only identifies as a feminist (as Henry does) but who consciously and deeply integrates feminist/gender theory/ideas into hir scholarship. For example, I asked Henry about the lack of gender analysis in his current retrofuture comics analysis.

I can give you the names of several males who write feminist sf criticism who are feminists: Mike Levy, Robert von der Osten, Brian Attebery (all of whom I know, and whose work I know). Peter Fitting has written very good stuff on feminist utopias but I haven't met him.

I in no way see WB as a feminist by any definition of the term.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-23 01:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alixtii.livejournal.com
My usage of "academuc feminist," here, to Alchemia, is deliberately broad, probably much broader than I'd use the term in other contexts, and deliberately keeps open the possibility that one can be a bad academic feminist (as may be the case with HJ more recently). How deeply feminist theory is integrated into Will's work is extremely suspect, but he does seem to be using the tools in some conscious fashion.

If nothing else, it's probably a good thing to give an interlocutor the benefit of the doubt.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-23 04:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ithiliana.livejournal.com
WB seems to assume that any behavior is interpreted exactly the same in every context--i.e. false universalism--so that he probably never realized a male could do what you do in the communities you do because of that assumption. Fond of his own generalizations!

I also note he posted a long response on Henry's blog explaining why he cannot be bothered to respond over here! Did you see it (apparently comments are going through a bit more quickly over there)?

I did go looking and found the following review of his Batman book with this interesting paragraph: Brooker attempts to frame this excessive exercise in academic nudging and winking in postmodern terms: all texts are subject to different but equal interpretations, so long as there is evidence within the texts themselves to support those readings. But by making the point that there are so many reasons to support a queer reading without actually endorsing one - he tells us emphatically that he is straight straight straight - Brooker in fact commits the crime he defends Wertham against, but without Wertham’s excuse of working in a homophobic age. Yes, a queer reading of Batman is as valid as any other, but without a solid commitment to the theory Batman Unmasked is basically a collection of clever observations run amok, little more than a batch of prurient snapshots. If the discussion had been limited to defending Wertham, it would have made a solid conference paper or scholarly article. Bloated to encompass the whole of the Batman intertext, the book hasn’t enough steak for a decent sizzle.

*oh, snap*

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-23 01:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alixtii.livejournal.com
WB seems to assume that any behavior is interpreted exactly the same in every context--i.e. false universalism

He really seems to be falling into the same trap as the Writerly Responsability people. I'm starting to feel like a broken record saying this, but context is everything!

I also note he posted a long response on Henry's blog explaining why he cannot be bothered to respond over here! Did you see it (apparently comments are going through a bit more quickly over there)?

I went to look at it after I read this comment. Un-satisfying, naturally, especially after I realized then when referring to Brett Anderson/Kylie Minogue (written, unlike his slash story, because it was hot?), he was presumably talking about this Brett Anderson and not, as I first assumed, this one.

I did go looking and found the following review of his Batman book with this interesting paragraph:

I've ILL-ed the Alice book (since that's a particular interest of mine), but judging from the table of contents provided by the catalogue I wonder how it could possibly perform the immense task it seems to have taken on.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-28 12:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alixtii.livejournal.com
The Alice book arrived today, apparently (I'll stop by the library tomorrow to pick it up, I guess), so we'll see what I think. (OTOH, I've been waiting for [livejournal.com profile] kbusse's book to arrive for weeks!)

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-22 02:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] executrix.livejournal.com
Apart from the much greater risk of sexual violence by men against women than by women against men or against other women (and the way this shapes women's attitudes toward risk and sexuality), if a woman says "I'm attracted to you!" she usually means it as a compliment and bases it on good qualities of the object of the attraction. But sometimes male attraction contains a component of "It's your fault for tempting me, you filthy slut"--a message that the recipient is understandably not too thrilled to get.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-22 03:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alixtii.livejournal.com
Well, yes, I agree with all you say here, although I'm not quite sure how it relates to Will's comments or to my own.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-22 05:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] executrix.livejournal.com
Because of the asymmetry between Female Fan's gushing about how hot Jensen is vs. Male Fan's gushing about how hot Hayden Panettieri is.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-22 07:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alixtii.livejournal.com
But our lusting over celebrities (or fictional characters) isn't a message to those over whom we are lusting, so I don't see how it could be construed as a compliment or as saying "It's your fault for tempting me, you filthy slut." If Hayden Panettieri were reading [livejournal.com profile] fandebate, maybe that would be an issue for Will, but even then I think as a celebrity it's really her burden to expect to be objectified by both men and women, same with Jensen.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-22 08:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] executrix.livejournal.com
I think objectifying practices, too, are gendered.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-22 08:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alixtii.livejournal.com
Very probably, but the objectifying practices Will was afraid to engage in were ones which within fandom we typically gender as female.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-22 03:38 pm (UTC)
ext_9613: (Default)
From: [identity profile] flamewarrior.livejournal.com
Is he serious?

He is?! ::headdesk::

I suggest he look up some simple phrases - like 'privilege' and 'dominant group' and 'target group'. ::grinds teeth::

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-22 04:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alixtii.livejournal.com
My main criticism is that he claims that doing exactly what I've been doing for over a year now is getting to get him chased from the room (presumably by people on my flist), but yeah. He goes on to insist:

Anyway, I’m not complaining “girls do it, so why can’t we guys talk about how we get off on fit girls” – I’m just examining my own self-censorship here.

But really, he does seem more than a little whiney, as if he doesn't really get why the double standard is there in the first place. Which, I mean, talk about cluelessness--the very cluelessness the discussion series was set up to address in the first place, really.

*uses icon of naked hot girl*

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-22 04:26 pm (UTC)
ext_9613: (Default)
From: [identity profile] flamewarrior.livejournal.com
Anyway, I’m not complaining “girls do it, so why can’t we guys talk about how we get off on fit girls”...

o.O

bzuh?!

Is he seriously inviting us to believe that there aren't abundant places where guys can talk about how they get off on fit girls?! Wow. I must go and read the whole discussion now...

(no subject)

Date: 2007-06-22 08:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alixtii.livejournal.com
It's not so much that he doesn't recognize that places where guys can talk about how they get off on fir girls exist:

men’s magazine discourse, the sort of magazine that would run a soft-porn pin-up section on Hayden Panettiere with carefully-chosen quotations from her interview like “I often kiss my girlfriends” or “Some nights it’s just too warm to wear pajamas” splashed across the pics.

It's more that he wants to have his cake and eat it too--he wants to be able to be able to say it and be considered a good feminist by the academic community.

Yes, I'd be very glad to hear your thoughts on the discussion and/or see you join it yourself.

January 2014

S M T W T F S
    123 4
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031 

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags