A question for the slashers

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Joanne Collins

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
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Subject:
A question for the slashers
Date:
Thu, 15 Apr 1999 20:45:04 -0700 (PDT)
From:
Joanne Collins <m7tra...@yahoo.com>
To:
as...@earthlink.net


I've noticed something, and I am *not* going to name names. If you
read this and recognise yourself, maybe you *do* have something to
think about.

I've noticed that most (not all) critics of slash for being too
'romance-novelish' and 'feminine' (in a bad way) are men who read
and/or write slash.

Why?

Not to be rude or anything, but what gives these men the right to
criticise the way women write anything? If the guys who write f/f
tried to tell a woman writing f/f what she was doing wrong, she'd very
likely blast him to a crisp (I can tell you that *I* sure would), so
why do they feel that it's their business with m/m? After all, if it
weren't for some women back in the time of TOS (gods, *why* does that
sound like history?), they wouldn't have slash to complain about in the
first place (you know what I mean).

It just seems that those who do criticise slash this way seem to be
men, trying to put their own stamp on it. I'm not saying that the men
don't have a right to do that with their own stories, but why do they
complain about the way women write? Slash is still a primarily
female-oriented genre, and there's lots of room for stuff other than
traditional romance if you hate that for whatever reason (although I do
often wonder what the people who profess to hating romance are *doing*
reading relationship stories in the first place), but if a writer wants
to write traditional romance, what's wrong with that? I know that I
sure as hell don't expect gay men to act like that, any more that I
expect myself to act like a Harlequin heroine. Not that there would be
anything wrong if I *did*, I just know damn well that I'm not going to
act that way because it's fiction.

Myself, I try to stay true to my perception of canon, and the
characters. To be honest, I'm not so sure that the characters on the
show act like men all the time. Not most of the men I know, anyway.
Then again, considering most of the men I know, that's a *plus*.

I just find it kind of annoying that these guys are coming in twenty or
so years later (yes, I know, I've only been into it two and a half
years) and trying to redefine the genre that women started . I'm sure
there's a little part of me that feels that way because I'm a woman and
I *like* slash as it stands, but I just don't like men making blanket
statements about women's writing. If that makes me sexist, hell,
*yes*, I'm sexist. But I'd feel exactly the same way if it were a
woman who said it, so I don't honestly think I am.

Also, I really resent the idea that romance novels and slash are
comparable. I've read large amounts of both, and I think I can say
that although some similarities exist, it's more in the realm of both
kinds of fiction being about relationships.

Thoughts?

Joanne.
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Ellen Lewis

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Apr 18, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/18/99
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From:
Arac...@webtv.net (Ellen Lewis)
Date:
Sat, 17 Apr 1999 15:35:23 -0700 (PDT)
To:
as...@earthlink.net
Subject:
Re: A question for the slashers


Joanne:

One comment only, from my lofty perch as the Chairman of the TSU
Classics Department. <g>

It *sounds* like history, because it *is* history! The first printzine
that I know of, "Spockanalia," volume one, was printed in 1969, while
the series was still on the air.

I didn't find out about zines until the early 1970s, and I didn't learn
about K/S until the early 1980s.

I have no idea how old most of the people on this list are, but I'd be
willing to bet that most of them were born after 1970. By the time most
of them found fandom, there was two flavors, TOS and TNG. (And, of
course, all the other shows' fandoms, once the Trekkers showed them how
to go about it.) I'm sure I'll hear from the Brits about the Dr. Who
fans, but I'm referring to American fandom right now.

Star Trek fandom has *always* been 95% female. The slash part moreso
than the gen part. I've rarely bothered to listen to the male point of
view regarding slash, because the guys don't understand *why* the women
are writing slash in the first place. For me, slash has never been about
the sex, entirely. It's always been more about the feelings and
relationships. I've discovered the joys of a well-written PWP, but those
are secondary to the stories about the relationships.

Sorry about the rant. Anyway, Trek fandom *is* history. Gene Roddenberry
did his damnedest to to keep fandom alive, and I'd have to say that he
did a great job of it. Do any of you remember the fan campaign to name
the first space shuttle "Enterprise"?

Trek has become a cultural icon, here in the US, and around the world. I
was rather stunned the first time I saw a bumper sticker that said,
"Beam me up, Scotty; there's no intelligent life down here."

If I am remembering the quote correctly, I heard one time that more
Americans knew who Mr. Spock was, than knew who the current
Vice-President was.

Sorry. I know that this is totally off-topic for what you were saying,
but you struck a chord in this "old-timer."

Arac...@webtv.net

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
The older I get, the less I trust technology.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Mary Ellen Curtin

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Apr 18, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/18/99
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From:
"Mary Ellen Curtin" <mecu...@alumni.Princeton.EDU>
To:
"Joanne Collins" <m7tra...@yahoo.com>, <as...@earthlink.net>

Subject:
Re: A question for the slashers
Date:
Sat, 17 Apr 1999 15:20:18 -0400


Dear Joanne: you wrote:
>I've noticed that most (not all) critics of slash for being too
>'romance-novelish' and 'feminine' (in a bad way) are men who read
>and/or write slash.

Whoa there!

Oddly enough, I haven't noticed this *at all*. For instance, most
of the people who have referred deprecatingly to the TupperTrek
universe are avowedly female: Jungle Kitty, Wildcat, Judygran.
And, I think, myself. I'm not sure who invented the term of opprobrium
"chicks with dicks," but I know I've used it, and Laura JV has said
similar things. And Robin Lawrie, too.

I hope that Judith, who *has* been a slasher for more than 20
years, has time to answer your comment. But she has said to
me in conversation that there has been a proportion of gay men
in slash all along -- less than 10%, but there.

Insofar as your statement might have any bearing on reality, I
am always interested in what people who have m/m sex
experience have to say about my writing about m/m sex. Just
as the males around here who have written f/f have benefited
from feedback from women. I might choose to ignore what
males have to say about the guyness of my characters, but
I'm still interested in their comments.

yours,

Mary Ellen
Doctor Science, MA
- - - - - - - - -
Good Book of the Day:
"The Colour Out of Space," by H. P. Lovecraft

Judygran

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Apr 18, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/18/99
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Date:
17 Apr 1999 16:40:35 GMT
To:
m7tra...@yahoo.com
Organization:
AOL http://www.aol.com
From:
judy...@aol.com (Judygran)
Subject:
Re: A question for the slashers


Joanne Collins hypothesized,

>I've noticed that most (not all) critics of slash for being too
>'romance-novelish' and 'feminine' (in a bad way) are men who read
>and/or write slash.

Well, I've been known to make this criticism about K/S slash in printzines, and
I'm a woman. Of the five fellow-fans that I've heard this criticism from most
recently, one is male and four are female. So I guess I can't answer the "why,"
Joanne, because I don't see the evidence for the premise. Maybe you could
share with us *which* critics you are thinking of?

It is remarkable to us "old-timers"--the TOS fans who've been reading and
writing K/S since The Time of the Beginning--how different is the aesthetic of
fan fic on ASCEM
from the aesthetic of fan fic in printzines. I won't attempt to characterize
the difference here because that might take us into treacherous waters, but I
do think that fannish writing on ASCEM is far less "romance-novelish" than the
fan fic I'm used to reading in zines.

I don't think there is anything wrong with writing-by-women-for-women, to use
Joanna Russ's term for K/S fan fic in her excellent articles on the subject. To
the contrary, I think the "feminine" qualities of slash fan fic deserve to the
celebrated to the ends of the earth. As Russ has pointed out, slash fan fic
broke new ground as women's erotic literature.

My own taste doesn't run to the "romance-novelish" variety of slash fan fic,
but that's just my personal cup of tranya.

Judith


Jungle Kitty

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Apr 18, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/18/99
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Date:
Sat, 17 Apr 1999 10:32:11 +0000
From:
Jungle Kitty <jki...@accesscom.com>
Organization:
SPOK (Society for the Preservation Of Kirkology)
To:
ascem <as...@earthlink.net>

Subject:
Re: A question for the slashers


Joanne Collins wrote:

> I've noticed that most (not all) critics of slash for being too
> 'romance-novelish' and 'feminine' (in a bad way) are men who read
> and/or write slash.
>

> Why?
>
> Not to be rude or anything, but what gives these men the right to
> criticise the way women write anything?

If you were asking about the people who condemn slash because "it's
wrong," I'd be with you all the way. But you're objecting to men
criticizing slash, and I have to question that.

I can understand and appreciate that you don't want to name names, but
I'm going to ask for specifics: Have they criticized it in terms of it
being written by a woman? In other words, is it implied or stated that a
man wouldn't make the same mistakes? Or are you just responding to the
fact that they are male, instead of responding to their criticism? Would
you find this criticism easier to take if it came from a woman or a
gender-nondisclosed person? Because although I am not anti-slash (hell,
I write it), I find much of K/S (haven't read enough of other m/m to
have an opinion) to be "girly." Does the fact that I'm a woman make my
opinion of this "female-oriented" genre more valid? I doubt it.

I also believe that feedback from men about m/m sex can be very
valuable. After all, it's an area in which we women have no real
experience. In fact, there have been posts from female slash writers
asking the guys in the group to tell them if this is how men think,
feel, and act during sex.

As to whether or not men 'belong' in this 'female space' ... Sigh. Some
of us just went through this a few months ago with the K/S Press. So
I'll say to you what I said to them: The two most important elements in
K/S *are* men.

The attitude that "slash belongs to women" is one that really disturbs
me, as if slash (or any part of fandom) *belongs* to anyone.

> I do
> often wonder what the people who profess to hating romance are *doing*
> reading relationship stories in the first place),

Maybe because they think there's more to a relationship than traditional
romance?

> Myself, I try to stay true to my perception of canon, and the
> characters.

So do most of the writers on this NG, but we all see canon differently.
As Mary Ellen says, we have different prescriptions in our eyeglasses.

> To be honest, I'm not so sure that the characters on the
> show act like men all the time. Not most of the men I know, anyway.
> Then again, considering most of the men I know, that's a *plus*.

Gee, a person who indulges in gross generalizations might say that most
(not all) women who enjoy slash that is 'romance-novelish' and
'feminine' (in a bad way) are women who don't have nice things to say
about most of the men they know. But That Would Be Wrong. <g>

Seriously, you're asking us to discount criticism of m/m slash if it
comes from men, but that's no more valid than asking us to dismiss the
opinion of women who like 'feminine' m/m slash because they've had bad
experiences with men.


>
> I just find it kind of annoying that these guys are coming in twenty or
> so years later (yes, I know, I've only been into it two and a half
> years) and trying to redefine the genre that women started .

Do the people who were here *first* own the fandom? Are the rest of us
just trespassers, to be tolerated only if we conform to the standards of
the 'original settlers?'

--
Jungle Kitty
http://www.accesscom.com/~jkitty

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He wears gold shirts, he's got tight pants,
And women by the score.
He thrills his many shipmates
With EVEs galore.

Oh, I'm a Kirkologist, and I'm OK...

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TiffAussi

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Apr 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/19/99
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Subject:
Re: A question for the slashers
Date:
18 Apr 1999 05:56:48 GMT
From:
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Organization:
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References:
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>Not to be rude or anything, but what gives these men the right to

>criticise the way women write anything? If the guys who write f/f
>tried to tell a woman writing f/f what she was doing wrong, she'd very
>likely blast him to a crisp (I can tell you that *I* sure would), so
>why do they feel that it's their business with m/m?

Joanne?
A very confusing choice of argument. Try taking your sentence and reversing the
genders in the argument.

"If the women who write m/m tried to tell a man writing m/m what he was doing
wrong, he'd very likely blast her to a crisp (I can tell you that *I* sure
would), so why do they feel that it's their business with f/f?"

Is that truly your major concern? You seem to feel that women writers should
be the experts on f/f, why shouldn't men be offered the same consideration?
Granted, as you say, this is slash as opposed to gay fanfic. Traditionally,
slash is predominantly female territory and most women do tend to write in a
different style to men. However, there are men that write some very soft,
romantic slash; but more importantly, some of the rawest, edgiest stuff that I
have ever seen has come from women.

I am not sure if you have personally been attacked and are hurting, but I
really haven't seen the plethora of anti-romance slash feedback that you are
claiming exists on the newsgroups and lists.

If this is regarding your own feedback, you might want to step back and weigh
the overall reception of your writing in this genre and see if a few
anti-romance emails are indeed worth worrying over.

TiffAussie

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Jon Andersen

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Apr 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/19/99
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Subject:
Re: A question for the slashers
Date:
18 Apr 1999 11:10:46 GMT
From:
jand...@mail.usyd.edu.au (Jon Andersen)
Organization:
The University of Sydney, Australia

To:
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Newsgroups:
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References:
1


Joanne Collins <m7tra...@yahoo.com> writes:
>Subject:

> A question for the slashers

>I've noticed something, and I am *not* going to name names. If you


>read this and recognise yourself, maybe you *do* have something to
>think about.

>I've noticed that most (not all) critics of slash for being too


>'romance-novelish' and 'feminine' (in a bad way) are men who read
>and/or write slash.

>Why?

Men are innatley more likely to criticise things they dont like I guess, as
out culture encourages men to speak their minds about things, while it's still
subtly expected for women to 'know their place'. Thankfully that attitude is
diminishing, but it's still there.

>Not to be rude or anything, but what gives these men the right to
>criticise the way women write anything? If the guys who write f/f
>tried to tell a woman writing f/f what she was doing wrong, she'd very
>likely blast him to a crisp (I can tell you that *I* sure would), so

>why do they feel that it's their business with m/m? After all, if it
>weren't for some women back in the time of TOS (gods, *why* does that
>sound like history?), they wouldn't have slash to complain about in the
>first place (you know what I mean).

Ah. Here I must fault your logic - if you say that a woman writing f/f has
an innate, um, I dunno, superiority of position say, over the men who write
f/f, then by that reasoning, men who write m/m should have that same
superiority of position over women who write m/m.

It's perhaps something of overused comment, but 'woman just don't know how to
hold it [the penis] properly' is heard just as much as 'only a woman knows how
to please a woman', and with that in mind, the people making the criticisms
feel entirely justified because, after all, they believe they know what turns
their own gender better than someone from the other team.

>It just seems that those who do criticise slash this way seem to be
>men, trying to put their own stamp on it.

Well, with women being encouraged left right and centre to put their own stamp
on things that have been traditionally 'male', it's only fair then for men
to be encouraged, and to attempt, to do the exact same thing on what has been
traditionally 'female'.

> I'm not saying that the men
>don't have a right to do that with their own stories, but why do they
>complain about the way women write?

Consumers are encouraged to let the producer know how they feel about the
product that is being consumed. If there was something you liked on the shelves,
but there was something about the way it was made that dissatisfied you,
wouldn't you feel like complaining about it if you thought the complaint might
change things?

> Slash is still a primarily
>female-oriented genre, and there's lots of room for stuff other than

>traditional romance if you hate that for whatever reason (although I do


>often wonder what the people who profess to hating romance are *doing*
>reading relationship stories in the first place),

Define relationship. Two people meeting for great sex is just as much a
relationship as two long term life partners whose sex drives have slowed right
down. Interestingly enough, when I wrote Return to Farpoint, a not insignificant
amount of the feedback I received was pleased that the relationship wasn't
the standard 'eternal love' romance thing, but rather about two people being
attracted to each other and acting on that attraction in a mature fashion (not
that romance isn't mature).

Thing is, we have this picture in our heads thanks to far too much cultural
stereotyping that "Men read Porn" and "Women Read Erotica", that men want sex
and women want love. This is despite mounting evidence that both genders want
both things. There are women who prefer the physical over the emotional, and
men who want the emotional over the physical.

People can't tell what stories do and don't contain something you have
defined as 'a relationship' and which contain raw carnality just from the
headers and story titles.

> but if a writer wants
>to write traditional romance, what's wrong with that?

Nothing. But at the same time, there's this feeling that if you're going
to write about gay stuff, you should do some propper 'research'. Depending
on who you listen to, one of the big gay things /is/ annonymous sex, is
being used for sexual purposes. And all this stuff is in people's heads, and
does inform their opinion when they read, even if it may or may not be true.

> I know that I
>sure as hell don't expect gay men to act like that, any more that I
>expect myself to act like a Harlequin heroine. Not that there would be
>anything wrong if I *did*, I just know damn well that I'm not going to
>act that way because it's fiction.

>Myself, I try to stay true to my perception of canon, and the
>characters. To be honest, I'm not so sure that the characters on the


>show act like men all the time. Not most of the men I know, anyway.
>Then again, considering most of the men I know, that's a *plus*.

>I just find it kind of annoying that these guys are coming in twenty or


>so years later (yes, I know, I've only been into it two and a half
>years) and trying to redefine the genre that women started .

I could say that I find it annoying that these women are coming in
thousands of years later and trying to redefine the genre that men started
(history).

You can't have this both ways. Either everyone is going to be equal or they
aren't.

> I'm sure
>there's a little part of me that feels that way because I'm a woman and
>I *like* slash as it stands, but I just don't like men making blanket
>statements about women's writing. If that makes me sexist, hell,
>*yes*, I'm sexist. But I'd feel exactly the same way if it were a
>woman who said it, so I don't honestly think I am.

Said what, that men should keep their noses and ideas out of the genre of slash
because they might make it change? That's the same argument the military
bigwigs use about women enlisting in the armed forcs (amongst otherthings).
Slash is like any other 'living' thing, it changes and evolves in response to
the environments in occupies and interacts with.

>Also, I really resent the idea that romance novels and slash are
>comparable. I've read large amounts of both, and I think I can say
>that although some similarities exist, it's more in the realm of both
>kinds of fiction being about relationships.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Now that's funny 8) All this going on about how Men Have No Right How To Tell
Women To Write Slash when it's the actual comparison that appears to be so
odious.


build high for happiness

Jon

-----
We are the people our parents warned us about.

Vana...@aol.com

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Apr 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/19/99
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Subject:
Re: [ASCEML] Re: A question for the slashers
Date:
Sun, 18 Apr 1999 08:53:58 EDT
From:
Vana...@aol.com
To:
as...@earthlink.net


> But I don't think
> guys need to stress, because what I've heard from a lot of female authors
is
> that they'll write or read one of these great sex scenes just to prime
> themselves a little and then go jump the hubby or boyfriend. So if it gets
> your sweetie in the mood, why worry? Don't make her give up slash or she
> might
> make you give up your Penthouse! <hears horrified gasps, sees guys eagerly
> pushing their wives toward the computer> Much better. :)
>
> Trilly-collector of subtext and smarm

Amen!

Vanasati

Keely...@aol.com

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Apr 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/19/99
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Subject:
Re: [ASCEML] A question for the slashers
Date:
Sun, 18 Apr 1999 09:27:28 EDT
From:
Keely...@aol.com
To:
as...@earthlink.net


In a message dated 4/17/99 12:15:46 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
m7tra...@yahoo.com writes:

<<
I've noticed that most (not all) critics of slash for being too
'romance-novelish' and 'feminine' (in a bad way) are men who read
and/or write slash. >>

To be honest, I have never seen this happen, certainly not to me, but if
someone did criticize me and my stories, I do have a few things to point out.

IT IS A STORY! And not only that, it is MY story and I will write it anyway I
damn well please. Not to upset anyone, but I'm writing to please myself, and
if other people are pleased along the way, then I am beyond thrilled, but if
a few people are critical about anything else than spelling or a few plot
elements, tough. If I want a romantic story, then that is what I will write.

Added to this, the fact that it is a story allows us to have characters do
things that normally people don't. For example, according to my friend, who
is gay, not all gay men have anal intercourse, for the same reason that women
don't like it. It hurts! But in slash, we can cheerful have them bugger
each other three or four times a night. Without lubricant. Ouch! Can't
tell me that is based in reality.Of course not. Why would you want to read
slash based totally on reality? Bo-ring. It is the veering away from reality
that makes the slash interesting.

I don't know about guys criticizing girls writing slash, but I think that
this would go for anyone who is critical. If you don't like it, write your
own story.

Keelywolfe

Robin Lawrie

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Apr 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/19/99
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Subject:
Re: [ASCEML] Re: A question for the slashers
Date:
Mon, 19 Apr 1999 00:03:26 +1000
From:
"Robin Lawrie" <rob...@s054.aone.net.au>
To:
<as...@earthlink.net>


Yes, I've used the term "chicks with dicks" on the odd occassion (usually not
family gatherings where mother is there though) <g>.

As for what guys with m/m experience have to say about me writing m/m sex,
here's a little anecdote.

I went out the other night to my fave gay pub, The Imperial Hotel, hoping to
see the Star Trek drag show. It wasn't on, but the other shows were just as
entertaining. After a few beers my companion and I were chatting to several of
the nice young men, and more than a few older ones, hanging about the front
bar. As it often seems to, these days, it got out that I wrote erotic fiction.
My companion pointing at me saying "She writes it too, and the hurty blokey
stuff at that!". Well the nice young man's eyebrows raised in a Vulcan like
hitch, he looked me over a couple of times then said "I can quite imagine she
does." Well he was quite interested in the details, and when I mentioned Riker
lying face down with his legs tied apart, this guy was almost drooling. Thus
encouraged, I may have bullshitted a little (er hem, this means "being
creative on the fly for the general purposes of amusing and entertaining
pleasant gay men"). All in all the *concept* of women writing m/m smut was
applauded, and the punters I talked to were all in favour of it.

There were some women there too, but I'm a little bit wary of the Sydney
Lesbians. They're kind of scary, a bit cliquey, and not the most approachable;
I dunno why </generalisation> (if there are some SL's out there that don't fit
this description, my apologies). I haven't really discussed my f/f stories
with any local lesbians, so I can't really give an opinion.

Robin

greywolf the wanderer

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Apr 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/19/99
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Subject:
Re: A question for the slashers
Date:
Sun, 18 Apr 1999 11:24:23 -0700
From:
greywolf the wanderer <grey...@snowcrest.net>
To:
as...@earthlink.net
References:
1


Mary Ellen Curtin wrote:

> Dear Joanne: you wrote:
> >I've noticed that most (not all) critics of slash for being too
> >'romance-novelish' and 'feminine' (in a bad way) are men who read
> >and/or write slash.
>

> Whoa there!
>
> Oddly enough, I haven't noticed this *at all*. For instance, most
> of the people who have referred deprecatingly to the TupperTrek
> universe are avowedly female: Jungle Kitty, Wildcat, Judygran.
> And, I think, myself. I'm not sure who invented the term of opprobrium
> "chicks with dicks," but I know I've used it, and Laura JV has said
> similar things. And Robin Lawrie, too.

For that matter, I use it myself. And I myself admit to occasionally
writing scenes where guys manage to cum more than once, despite the fact
that for myself, "once a king, always a king, but once a night is enough!"
;-)> Geez, I *wish* I was packin' a six-shooter! But hell, it's fun to
read, an' then ya go to bed and jump yer partner's bones, so what's the
harm?

But when I hear a comment like Joanne's, I kinda sit back and say, whoa
there, say *what*? Listen, lassie, whether you personally believe it or not
there have *always* been guys in slash. Not many, perhaps -- but there,
nonetheless. And women do not own slash any more than men do. *No-one*
owns it, and that's how it should be.

As for yer comments on those of us who diss romance fiction -- deal with
it. I write slash. I read, and enjoy slash. I have been subjected, on
occasion, to traditional romance fiction, and found it without exception to
be unrealistic and virtually unreadable. The women are brainless idiots,
the men are cardboard cutouts, the plots are hokey and stupid -- ewww. You
wanna read it, you go right ahead. Here. Have my share of it, ok? Yuck.
For myself, I find a story to be much sexier and more compelling, if the
characters are at least somewhat believable, somewhat like themselves. If
this makes me a chauvinist, well, oink. Tough noogies. To me slash and
romance fic have very little in common. Relationships are a vital part of
life itself; but other than that, I see few if any similarities.

I'll not comment on realism of male-written f/f because f/f bores me. But
hey, if it's yer cup of tea by god enjoy!! That's what ascem is here for,
for all of us to enjoy. But when I read a slash story where both characters
are crying, boohooing, picking out china patterns, or going thru horrible
guilt and shame over being gay, I usually yawn and move on to the next
piece.

In the early 70's it made more sense for characters, specifically K/S, to go
thru shame and guilt. I put a smidge of that in, now and then, myself. But
times have changed. We are not hiding in the background anymore.
Queerfolks are in Congress, in mayor's offices, in TV and radio. Ads are
beginning to notice our market. And I for one am very happy to live now and
not 50 years ago.
</rantmode off>

> I hope that Judith, who *has* been a slasher for more than 20
> years, has time to answer your comment. But she has said to
> me in conversation that there has been a proportion of gay men
> in slash all along -- less than 10%, but there.
>

> Insofar as your statement might have any bearing on reality, I
> am always interested in what people who have m/m sex
> experience have to say about my writing about m/m sex. Just
> as the males around here who have written f/f have benefited
> from feedback from women. I might choose to ignore what
> males have to say about the guyness of my characters, but
> I'm still interested in their comments.

Bless you Doc!

> yours,
>
> Mary Ellen
> Doctor Science, MA
> - - - - - - - - -
> Good Book of the Day:
> "The Colour Out of Space," by H. P. Lovecraft

Greywolf the Wanderer, queer as a three dollar bill and damned proud of it.

Kaki

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Apr 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/19/99
to
Subject:
Re: A question for the slashers
Date:
Sun, 18 Apr 1999 12:56:38 -0600
From:
Kaki <ka...@ipass.net>
Organization:
iPass.Net
To:
alt-startrek-creati...@moderators.isc.org
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References:
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Mary Ellen Curtin wrote:

> From:
> "Mary Ellen Curtin" <mecu...@alumni.Princeton.EDU>

> To:
> "Joanne Collins" <m7tra...@yahoo.com>, <as...@earthlink.net>

> Subject:
> Re: A question for the slashers
> Date:

> Sat, 17 Apr 1999 15:20:18 -0400
>

> Dear Joanne: you wrote:
> >I've noticed that most (not all) critics of slash for being too
> >'romance-novelish' and 'feminine' (in a bad way) are men who read
> >and/or write slash.
>
> Whoa there!
>
> Oddly enough, I haven't noticed this *at all*. For instance, most
> of the people who have referred deprecatingly to the TupperTrek
> universe are avowedly female: Jungle Kitty, Wildcat, Judygran.

I guess I should point out here that I'm female, too. No question. My
parodies of TupperTrek were indeed written in response to some of the
really blatant "feminizations" of K and S that I've read. However, the
feminization that I object to occurs when the guys are more-or-less
simpering, not just when they seem more female. I try not to separate the
genders so strongly as "this is male and this if female." But stories
where Kirk whines or Spock is so insecure he can't function really irk
me. OTOH McCoy can whine and it will feel in character (especially about
transporters).

I do also get bothered when sex scenes are wrtitten that I do not believe
could happen due to the geometry of the human body or what little I know
about human tissues. But it bothers me equally to see two people whose
mouths have to be at least a foot apart kissing as it does to see men
lasting forever or having anal sex to the point I'd think they'd have
major tissue damage. Not a feminine issue per se as much of this can have
been experienced by women, but perhaps innocence (or possibly my lack of
knowlege). I like to think the gay guys get this part right more often
than the women, but with the genderless identities around here, it is hard
to tell.

That said, I am curious about the statements indicating that slash has
been insulted by men. I haven't noticed that here. Have I missed
something?

I do agree that we should all be allowed to write what we want, but we
should all be allowed to comment as we want too (flames excepted).

I do hope the gay guys will give the rest of us feedback, especially in
those areas where we need help.

Kathleen

Judygran

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Apr 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/19/99
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Subject:
Re: A question for the slashers
Date:
18 Apr 1999 19:31:14 GMT
From:
judy...@aol.com (Judygran)

Organization:
AOL http://www.aol.com
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References:
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As Jungle Kitty wrote, some of us have been discussing << whether or not men
'belong' in this 'female space'>> with K/S printfen, as well as the related
issue of to whom fandom "belongs." I think the two issues are related because
of the challenge posed by the recent flowering of K/S on the net to the small,
homogeneous community of women K/S printfen.

As Mary Ellen mentioned, I've been a K/S fan for almost 21 years (a
generation!) and I've seen many changes in fandom over the years. Personally, I
believe that fandom goes through cycles of expansion and contraction and that
these cycles affect the aesthetic diversity of slash fan fiction. During a
cycle of expansion, new people with new ideas are coming into fandom and
stirring things up. The boundaries of fandom are more permeable and aesthetic
diversity is the rule. During a period of contraction, fandom becomes more
ingrown, more tightly bounded and the fannish aesthetic tends to be more
homogeneous.

Slash fan fic, at least in its K/S manifestation, was first published during
the period of tremendous expansion in TOS fandom that occurred during the late
1970s. This expansion was fueled by TOS re-runs and the anticipation of the
first movie. I think it could be argued, in fact, that slash itself was a
product of the creativity and synergy of this expansive phase and that it might
never have emerged in a smaller, more homogeneous fandom.

Most of the early K/S stories appeared in general "adult" zines rather than
than dedicated K/S zines. Thus, their readership was much wider than K/S
fandom alone, and certainly it included men as well as women. Critics tended to
judge these stories by literary standards that were common to slash and "gen"
fiction alike. Even after the emergence of zines for K/S fan fiction only, K/S
continued to be published in zines like NOME, which included Kirk/Spock
"friendship" stories as well as K/S.

>From 1979 to 1982, fandom went through a period of contraction, and then, after
TWOK was released in 1982, it began to expand again. K/S fandom really exploded
in the mid-to-late 1980s. Many, many new K/S zines appeared; they varied wildly
in quality but the degree of aesthetic diversity was reasonably high. K/S fans
held their own cons, which attracted hundreds and hundreds of fans (T'Rhys can
give more accurate data about the numbers than I can.)

After 1991, when the TOS movie cycle ended, fandom began to contract. Several
zineds stopped publishing, either for lack of submissions or lack of readers.
While at the height of K/S print fandom in the 1980s, some zines had a
circulation of about 1,000, most contemporary K/S zineds are happy if they can
sell 125 copies of a zine.

Obviously, we are in a period of expansion again, with so many new people
coming into fandom through the 'net. The net fans have new and often very
"different" ideas. They tend to be younger and less heavily female. It's only a
hypothesis at this point, but I suspect they tend to be better-educated and
more professionally accomplished.

Anyway, this is a long-winded way of saying that I disagree with the premise
that the "romance novel" mode of K/S is necessarily the dominant style within
K/S fan fiction. To the extent that it has been the dominant aesthetic in a
particular era in fandom, I think that's a reflection of the problematic of
that era, rather than necessary characteristic of slash fiction "in general."

Judith

Agincourt

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Apr 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/19/99
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Subject:
Re: [ASCEML] Re: A question for the slashers
Date:
Sun, 18 Apr 1999 18:36:00 -0400
From:
"Agincourt" <Agin...@erols.com>
To:
<as...@earthlink.net>


>Conversely, I don't think I've ever
>found a really well-done f/f piece by a guy. They tend to read more like
>really bad porn.

ok, now I'm offended ;-)

-Aggie

Wildcat

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Apr 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/19/99
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Subject:
Re: A question for the slashers
Date:
Sun, 18 Apr 1999 16:15:54 -0700
From:
Wildcat <wildc...@yahoo.com>
Organization:
InfiNet
To:
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References:
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Joanne Collins wrote:

> I've noticed that most (not all) critics of slash for being too
> 'romance-novelish' and 'feminine' (in a bad way) are men who read
> and/or write slash.

This really made me stop and scratch my head. What series are you
referring to? I don't *think* it can be TOS, because I know most of the
other TOS folks who hang out on the ng and I follow the TOS threads
pretty closely, and haven't seen this at all.

If anything, I know several females (myself included) who don't care for
the so-called "girly" Kirk and Spock. The Kirk and Spock of those
stories are denizens of a mirror universe known as the Tuppertrek
universe, and have nothing at all to do with the two guys I recognize on
screen. Of course, many people enjoy that type of story and that's
fine--I'm simply saying that *I* don't. I guess my point is that these
types of comments are the closest I've seen to anyone stating a like or
dislike about slash stories.

I know you don't want to name names, but I'm really curious now. Did
this happen over, say, TNG or VOY stories, neither of which I tend to
read?

> Myself, I try to stay true to my perception of canon, and the
> characters.

I try my best as well, and I'd say that everyone else does, too. The
fact of the matter, however, is that there are as many different
perceptions of canon and characters as there are different writers, and
it's sometimes hard for me to distinguish between a writer who needs to
work harder on hir characterizations and a writer who is simply being
true to a perspective that differs from my own. That makes it really
tricky to offer feedback. Were the comments that prompted your post of
the mean-spirited variety (you know what I mean--"if you don't write the
type of story *I* like, you're writing crap") or were they offered in a
more well-intentioned vein?



> I just find it kind of annoying that these guys are coming in twenty or
> so years later (yes, I know, I've only been into it two and a half
> years) and trying to redefine the genre that women started .

I'm still wondering who the guys are and where they've been hiding.
Since you mention that they're coming into this twenty years later, that
would *imply* TOS, but I'm afraid I just haven't seen it.

> Also, I really resent the idea that romance novels and slash are
> comparable. I've read large amounts of both, and I think I can say
> that although some similarities exist, it's more in the realm of both
> kinds of fiction being about relationships.

I guess that sometimes slash can be comparable to romance novels, but
that's just a matter of the writer's style. I agree with you that
generally speaking, they're two different beasties altogether.

Wildcat

Joanne Collins

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Apr 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/19/99
to
Subject:
Re: [ASCEML] A question for the slashers
Date:
Sun, 18 Apr 1999 20:16:45 -0700 (PDT)

From:
Joanne Collins <m7tra...@yahoo.com>
To:
Speed...@aol.com
CC:
as...@earthlink.net

--- Speed...@aol.com wrote:
> In a message dated 4/17/99 12:15:45 PM Eastern
> Daylight Time,

> m7tra...@yahoo.com writes:
>
> << I've noticed something, and I am *not* going to
> name names. If you
> read this and recognise yourself, maybe you *do*
> have something to
> think about.
>

> I've noticed that most (not all) critics of slash
> for being too
> 'romance-novelish' and 'feminine' (in a bad way)
> are men who read
> and/or write slash. >>
>

> Hmm. If perchance you are talking to me, I would
> like to say the following:

First of all, Speedo, I was not talking to you at all. I apologise if
you thought I was.

I saw a comment on the web (I'd rather not identify it exactly) that
was about this. It got my dander up and I posted. Maybe I shouldn't
have done that. If so, I apologise again.

Joanne.
_________________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
Get your free @yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com

T'Rhys

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Apr 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/19/99
to
Subject:
Re: A question for the slashers
Date:
Mon, 19 Apr 1999 16:46:01 GMT
From:
tkn...@ix.netcom.com (T'Rhys)
Organization:
Netcom
To:
alt-startrek-creati...@uunet.uu.net
Newsgroups:
alt.startrek.creative.erotica.moderated
References:
1


On Sat, 17 Apr 1999 09:03:43 -0700, Joanne Collins
<m7tra...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>Subject:

> A question for the slashers
>

>It just seems that those who do criticise slash this way seem to be
>men, trying to put their own stamp on it.

This is nothing new, really. The male institution (not "men" - the
body of laws and tradition that favors men in this society) has been
trying to remake female sexuality in its own image and for its own
convenience for centuries. It's a control issue. Anything that
deviates from the concept of a woman's sexuality as a means to
pleasing a man is a threat to this institution and will be attacked on
that level. Since K/S fic tends to cater to what pleases the woman who
writes or reads it, it will come under fire as being 'unrealistic' by
those individuals who have bought into the myth when what they should
be doing is taking note of it as a valuable insight into the female
psyche. If they can't do that it really isn't our problem.

Personally, whenever I get the "real men wouldn't" type of comment, I
just ignore it. What the individual making that statement is really
saying is that *they* wouldn't act that way, to which I say fine. I
wouldn't act like a Playboy bunny (their fantasy), either, so we're
even.

LL&P
T'Rhys

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