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you know, that sneaker slogan

The folks who worry about the whole "slash is the sound of white men fucking" are talking about a fandom-wide trend, not the personal preferences of one person. I've certainly written plenty of white boy slash. I've spent the past few years writing Ryan Seacrest/Simon Cowell rpf, and in the last year have become active in the Kirk/McCoy part of Trek fandom. And I read it--those three ships and lately Puck/Kurt of Glee. So this isn't a "if you write slash about white boys you're a bad person and should feel bad" post.

But there are also a lot of other people in the world, in the canons, to be written about. My first and main slash ship is Seamus/Dean from Harry Potter, and Dean? Not so much with the white. And there's the het, the Harry/Hermione and the Draco/Ginny and the Ron/Padma, and the Parvati femslash. And in Idol fandom I've also written femslash--Carly/Amanda mostly, but also Gina/Haley as a secondary ship. And there's the Kimberley/Anwar, het about black folks (during WWII). And in my planned writing there's a lot of femslash coming, and some girl friendships, and plenty of characters of color. (By the way, femslash fandom: you guys could be a little less lily white, too.)

So basically what I have to say about the entire "woe, for even though I say I want to write and read about ladies and nonwhite characters I actually never do" is, well, just do it. I honestly cannot understand what is so damn complicated about it. You watch some canons that aren't just about white guys, like Undercovers. You pay attention to some of the secondary characters, like Diana on White Collar (black gay lady, trifecta!) or Troy and Abed on Community or Chin Ho on Hawaii 5-0 or Esposito and Lanie on Castle or Mercedes and Tina on Glee. You become intrigued. You write. You know, just like any other fanfic.

Sure, if the way you operate in fandom is driven by always being in the white-hot center of the media slash fandom of the moment, if you discover new canons through the fic of your favorite writer, if you only really want to watch shows about boys driving cars or spaceships and shooting things, then doing the above is going to be more difficult. You might be writing a ship that only 100 people pay attention to instead of 2000. You might not see your fandom mentioned on metafandom. You might not be able to ride in on the coattails of a BNF along with a bunch of other fangirls and feel like a cohesive gang who all love the same things. And if that's true for you, then what I'm about to say will probably come off a little harsh.

But honestly? Maybe you should start looking outside that incredibly narrow definition not only of fandom but also of slash and see how enormous and varied fandom really is. It's easy, when you're in the middle of something pretty big, to think it's the whole of the fandom world, or at least the only part that counts. Well, Harry Potter fandom wasn't, and neither is media slash fandom. So if you really want to read and write about ladies and characters of color, then you might need to take a few chances and sometimes part ways with the fandom hoardes.

But, you know, your choice! Do it or don't, no one's holding you accountable here. But talking about how you're going to do it (or lecturing other people about how they should be doing it) and then later talking about how you didn't do it but really you're going to do it this time doesn't really push the conversation forward all that much.

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Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
emiliglia
Oct. 1st, 2010 09:25 pm (UTC)
I don't know what fandoms you're specifically referring to, and I'm not sure what posts your referencing, but there's a sad number of fandoms where this isn't an option.

Although your "just do it" makes me really want to go write the Jack/Sayid Lost fic for my hurt/comfort bingo that I've been trying to plan out in my head. And makes me wish Criminal Minds hadn't gone to shit because I'll miss my Hotch/Morgan and Morgan/Reid. :(
jlh
Oct. 1st, 2010 10:58 pm (UTC)
Are there that many, really, though? Where even the minor characters are all white men? I can only think of Band of Brothers/The Pacific, or old movies that let's face it no one writes about anyway. I mean, it's fantastic that ST fandom has made so much of Gaila, but doing that with a female minor character is so rare; doing it with a male minor character is super common.

But I mean, if that's all someone wants to do they can. All I was trying to say was, if you really want to write women and/or characters of color, it is not that hard and there are many options. (And yes, you should write that Lost fic!!!!)
emiliglia
Oct. 1st, 2010 11:10 pm (UTC)
Where even the minor characters are all white men?

I guess with me is I'm not usually someone who writes minor characters because I like to get more of a grasp of the character before attempting to play with them instead of trying to fill in the gaps like with minor characters. Star Trek, for example, I haven't tried writing Chekov/Sulu because I don't have a clue who they are in Reboot. I know there's tons of people who don't write like that, who like trying to create histories for characters, but this is me personally. I really want more of Sulu because the former Japanese major in me is just itching to play with that cultural knowledge base. And I facepalm a lot when people do it wrong. I mean I know there's no way to know what Japanese culture is going to be like in 200 years, especially to a Japanese-American who's is who-knows-how-many generations American, but I always see his botany interest played off as "weird" in fic. Which is like a) who can judge what interests are weird and what aren't and b) Japanese society has such a high respect for nature that I can easily see him in some San Francisco house or apartment with a little bonsai garden to get some nature in an urban environment and being raised to see that as calming and a sort of sanctuary and a great responsibility to tend.

...

What were we talking about again? LOL.
jlh
Oct. 4th, 2010 03:54 pm (UTC)
Right, and that makes sense. I was talking about fandom as a whole and, well, just look at Inception. Arthur and Eames are barely characters in that movie. So since fandom has proven that it's more than happy to write about hot white boy minor characters, why not write about the female or nonwhite ones as well?

Haha, from this, clearly you should be writing some Chekov/Sulu! It looks like you thought about it a lot! And I'm so glad to see you posted that Lost fic you mentioned! Yayness!
sistermagpie
Oct. 1st, 2010 09:31 pm (UTC)
What's funny is that you do often see fandom do this when it's going in the other direction. There's examples of people taking characters who are barely there at all and making them important or just getting interested in them. They just often do it to get more of the same--sometimes even overlooking bigger characters that are women or not white.

Which is why I love that NuTrek has apparently made Chappel and Gaila all-present characters when they're barely or not there in the movie. That's how it should be. If there's a character there at all fanfic has the power to just make them central or a bigger presence.

Honestly, look at what Inception fandom has apparently gotten out of Arthur and Eames, two characters whose entire relationship seems based on a few exchanges that show they don't entirely like each other. As opposed to even Dom/Saito who have an actual arc.
jlh
Oct. 1st, 2010 11:01 pm (UTC)
God, I mean, all that Bill and Charlie Weasley? Talk about barely there especially pre-book 5. At least Percy and Oliver, while minor to be sure, were real presences in the books.

Chapel, Gaila, even Rand is floating around. It's remarkable, truly. (Of course, I don't know what the Random Militants who all ship K/S are up to, besides writing around Uhura.)

Oh inception. I mean, and also oh aja.
sistermagpie
Oct. 2nd, 2010 02:39 am (UTC)
That reminds me--what happened in Ironman fandom? Did people write Tony/Rhody?
jlh
Oct. 4th, 2010 03:51 pm (UTC)
You know I don't know! I wasn't looking around, and the Tony shippers on my flist are all comics-based Cap/Tony types, nothing to do with the film.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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