January 17th, 2008

running, bomb tech

Daily randomness of Miss Lunatic

  • 05:15 There is a shipping notice! Whee, BPAL!!! #
  • 05:21 They are resurfacing our parking lot, so I get to play "let's find my car". This is why I'm up early this morning. #
Automatically shipped by LoudTwitter
fangirl, _schools4303

Fandom == female space? What what? (A ramble.)

I guess I'm baffled by the idea of fandom as an overwhelmingly female space. Granted, the Fandom I grew up in was not necessarily the Fandom that many of you young'ns grew up in.

The fandom of my youth is the almost eerily egalitarian ranks of the Bujold fandom. The nature of that fandom makes it well-nigh impossible to be gender-blind, even with the best intentions. The source series has strong male and female characters, working in and out of local gender roles, not to mention strong hermaphrodite, strong neuter, and strong transgendered characters. It makes the fans far more aware of gender issues in the local universe, and a fan sympathizing with Elena's wish to be a soldier on male-dominated Barrayar can hardly be consistent if trying to say "You, wrong gender, out of my fandom."

But LJ fandom is heavily populated by the strongly female-centered slash fandoms. We don't really have a 'boys keep out' sign put up, but once the slashers have set up camp, it's no longer easy to be male in that environment. I don't imagine that it would be necessarily a comfortable experience for a woman to enter an environment populated with men who have made it publicly known that a) they watch porn, b) they, er, *enjoy* porn, c) they prefer woman-on-woman porn, and d) they're proud of all of the above. Some women would be perfectly comfortable with that, but it would give no few women pause about entering that space. (The comparison isn't entirely equivalent, because I don't think a man would necessarily have to consider the thought that he would be physically assaulted and harmed upon entering a female space, and a woman entering a male space does often have to consider if it will be physically safe, but I don't imagine it's an entirely comfortable situation for either.) The rules are a little different for gay men visiting -- I don't know what they are, but from my perspective as a reader and very occasional writer, it's like they're honored guests and consultants -- like the celebrity guests of honor who helped make there be a show to start with so there could be a fandom, but now the fandom has taken the ball and run with it, and they're standing there bewildered by all the fuss and not hip to it. (Gay male slash readers, what say you?)

Somehow, when we weren't looking, we put up doors of lovely male/male porn around some fandom space and started raising young'ns in it. Collapse )