Also, anyone notice I've lost even the most basic ability to give decently organized thoughts? It's just sad.
It's not the most comforting part of my psyche to be aware of this, but frankly, until something touches me personally, I don't really pay attention all that much. Not that I don't sympathize with numerous posts I've read on this or that issue in fandom or this and that issue etc, but more, I don't really feel like addressing it myself unless someone gives me a reason. Like I need a casualty list or something. It's weird. I need someone to crystallize it for me in their experiences, someone who feels it themselves so I can feel it with them. Someone I can relate to, or someone I know, or someone I like. Usually the combination of all three.
I had this interesting conversation with a good friend, who isn't a slasher or a slash writer. She's het, happy with it, doesn't get slash, really doesn't want to. She's content, fulfilled, doing what she does, and she asked me, a little curious, why I fell for slash after so much time being really quite content in het. There are tons of standard replies to that, and God knows, pick a day and a time on LJ and someone is telling us Why Women Love Slash, or Why Writers Love Slash, and it's like, the most overexposed topic in creation. And I've read so many, and I still get caught by that question, because you know, every answer is true, but that doesn't make them the right answer for me.
I mean, yes, there's the entire subversive thing, but you know, in LJ? It's a hell of a lot more subversive to be het. Hell, it's subversive to write gen these days.
And yes, the hot guys thing, totally with that one. And I'm sure there are psychological issues abounding about power structure and feminism and women's rights and sexual equality, and honestly, I read those and at the time, go *yes*, that has to be it, because it gives me a reason that I can latch on to and use in conversation. And they're true, too, or as close to true as I think any statement can get. And yeah, there aren't enough strong female characters on TV, I've heard that one, too. And yes, it is fun to just think of how friends become lovers and how close buddies become intimate, and all that fun stuff.
But that doesn't give me the answer to me, and since this is my LJ, this is totally all about me. As the name might suggest.
So, she doesn't like slash. She writes and reads het. We were discussing normality and her reactions to what she's read have been--well, interesting. She said she felt *weird* and sometimes was treated weird. Accusations of homophobia. Accusations of being narrow-minded. She didn't get specific, but then again, I really, really didn't ask. I know the script. She's in LJ, which is, as far as I've been able to ascertain, a big communal slash playground.
Again, I only notice when it's a personal thing.
So, I tried to tell her why I went from being a Logan/Rogue, het writer with a side of light slash in St. John/Bobby, to a Smallville slasher and QaF slash writer. Partly because I could tell she was honestly curious, and the explanations she'd read in LJ didn't do it for her. And you know? Before I started writing it, they wouldn't have worked for me either. Because the things I started to say to her were said to me and they made no sense then at all. It was like explaining my sudden strong passion for Brussels' sprouts. One day, I'd never liked them and ate under protest. Next day, I'm soaking them in butter and popping them back by the score. I mean, I love them because they're green and sharp flavored and oh so tasty and adorable like midget cabbages and you know, that's all true, that's why I love them. What I can't figure out is why all these things didn't convince me I loved them when I was hating every mouthful before.
It's like this huge question of context. Every explanation works in context, but outside of that, does anyone who doesn't read/write slash actually understand why we first fell for it? It works for slashers because everything said above is true. And maybe for most of you, it's true all the way through--that *is* the reason why you fell for it. It's just not my reason. Hell, I wrote my first slash story in a retaliatory frame of mind that was not kind to slashers at all. My next two just because I wanted to be able to say I could write anything. And because, well, Seven and Janeway, even to my slashless eyes, was just so freaking OTP it was scary.
Hmm. I remember this conversation I had with a slasher, though, in Voyager, early on, when I first OTPed Paris/Torres and she was expounding on the wonders of Chakotay/Paris. And I remember this bit of conversation that sort of makes me laugh now.
Me: "But why?"
Her: "Why not?"
Me: "But he's not even canonically gay!"
Her: "Prove it."
Yeah. That's a pretty good way to stop me in my tracks. How the hell do you prove a negative? I still get gripey about that debate. She crowed for *days*.
But I tried.
Me: "He's dating B'Elanna!"
Her: "I'm dating
Her: "For all you know, he spent his entire Academy days fucking his way through the wrestling club."
Me: *blinks* "But now--"
Her: "Is now. That doesn't negate possibilty of something else before."
Or words to this effect. I actually think that may have been the first conversation about slash I ever had. In a really alternate universe way, this is so like me and my Brussels' sprouts. I still get hives about C/P, but that's 'cause I really don't like Chakotay. He's still asparagus. *shudders*
I could feel more comfortable with it if I had any interest in any het pairings anywhere, if it was just the pairing that pulled me in. I could go back and say, yes, I'm a *writer* who writes slash, because for some reason, that sounds better. But no. I'm a slasher who occasionally falls prey to weird het vibes. When I fell into SV, I fell into the concept of slashing characters, period. That means poor Pete got kidnapped for duty once, and God help my bizarre ideas of symmetry, Peter Parker got dragged in. That means, my first instinct these days on seeing any show is watching for the subtext. That's not just a change in thinking. That's a fucking rewire of my head, even weirder than Brussels' sprouts if I actually sit down and think about it, and she *made* me think about it, try to explain it in a way that made sense without context.
Sometimes, I overkill on the inner analysis thing. I just felt this intense need to get it out *right* to her. I pimp my fandoms and I pimp my pairings, and both of those I can do pretty well, but to explain them to her, I needed context and damned if I don't have it.
Er. Yeah. Anyone feel like popping up and giving me their explanation?
For those who volunteered to beta-look at the page I'm building, give me a couple of days. Katherine's working on an image theme for it, which is going to completely change the layout, and okay, css is *crack*. I keep wanting to fondle it and do subversive things with it. I'll post a link as soon as we've redone it. God, I hope this works.