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Slash Fiction, Feminism, and Queerbaiting

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by

Shannon Miller

on 22 April 2014

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Transcript of Slash Fiction, Feminism, and Queerbaiting

Slash Fiction, Gender Norms, and Queerbaiting
Origins
"Queering" Straight Media:
Fanfiction
The Good and the Problematic
Good:
subvert gender roles
defy heteronormativity
add diversity to portrayals of queerness
Video Editing
Art
Bad:
fetishize queer male sexuality
objectify queer men
reinforce negative/heteronormative stereotypes
Star Trek fans began selling fan fiction zines at cons in the 1970s

"Kirk/Spock"

slash
: comes from the "
/
" used to separate the characters being paired together
ffnresearch.blogspot.com
Unofficial 2010 Statistics published by FFN Research:
78% Fanfiction.net users are female
80% ages 13-17
Popularity of male/male pairings
Candace Moore,
Distribution is Queen: LGBTQ Media on Demand--
Problems:
Fetishization
Prioritizing gay readings of fictional characters over the actual battle for equality
speaking over queer people and derailing important conversations
Positive elements
resists patriarchal/heteronormative gender roles
defies stereotypes about female erotic interests
allows women to explore erotic content where female characters are not objectified or characterized problematically
allows women to express qualities they find attractive in men that are stigmatized by society
Involvement of Queer Women
Stacey Abbott,
The Cult TV Book
often overlooked by outsiders
allows queer women to rebel against heteronormativity
contribute to diversity of queer representation in fiction
past heterosexual relationships =/= heterosexuality
Significance of Mainstream Reaction
2 main reactions: mocking and queerbaiting.
Katharina Bauer, "Naughty Girls and Gay Male Romance"
slash fans characterized as: "faghags, immature teenagers, and ugly women"
erotic interests of women reflect on their character, desirability, and attractiveness.
Queerbaiting
Queerbaiting
: creators/producers of media recognize hit at queerness being textually developed in their work in the future, without any intention of explicitly acknowledging it in canon.
BBC
Sherlock
and Queerbaiting
Making queerness the butt of the joke.
More male/male fan works than female/female and heterosexual combined
Why is this?
captures queer viewership without alienating straight viewers
Suzanna Walters, All the Rage: The Story of Gay Visibility in America
Similar to the boom in advertising directed at gay markets in the 90s
"Tease then Trivialize"
Full transcript