I am very pleased at the outpouring of response to my post about gay subtext and heteronormativity.
And the thing is, you can't talk about hating the heteronormative tropes of mainstream media without facing up to the fact that having this conversation within the context of slash fandom is, well, profoundly hypocritical.
Because what 2 things do heteronormative tropes reinforce, again and again:
1) the idea that there's a gender binary and that men and women fall into strict gender patterns/roles within it; 2) the idea that this is the only realistic and "right" way in which healthy normal relationships can be formed and stay intact.
And then we look at slash, predominantly male/male pairings, and what do we see:
1) the idea that there's a gender divide and that men and women fall on strict sides of it, unless gender patterns are deliberately being subverted in ways that ultimately promote male/male hegemony; 2) the idea that the male/male pairings are the only "right" readings of the texts we are slashing, that women are not invited to this party, that if women happen to be canonically involved with one half of the m/m pairing of your choice, they are going to be shunted aside, dismissed, overlooked, badmouthed, maligned, ridiculed, and generally subjected to all the misogyny you and I have been subjected to all our lives, simply because we're women. Only we're, of course, doing it to other women. Fictional women, but still women.
I hate this. I hate that I feel like I can't legitimately talk about how much I love certain female characters, because (like Elizabeth from White Collar), it's seen as just trying to "politely include the women for the sake of political correctness." because of course everyone knows how much we want the men to fuck at the exclusion of all else. I can't talk about how much I love Whip It because no one cares. I hate that I can't talk about how much I love the Devil Wears Prada fandom without feeling like I only love it because Andy/Miranda is a substitute for a m/m pairing that isn't present, or legitimately ship Gwen/Morgana without worrying that i'm just doing it to get them out of the way for Merlin/Arthur.
( And it's true.Collapse )