Life-in-the-Fandom

I̩̼͙̥͈̫̞̦̲̫̳̥̣̙͍̝͎ͦ͒̑̋ͤ̋͋ͨͦ̊͌̏͋͊ͩS̰̜̦͇̜̬̦̤̬̣̭̘̝̥͐̓̎ͭ ̜̝̫̯̩͇͙̤̞̍ͦ̓̏̿̅̔͆̅͒̾ͯ̿̈̄̚I̺̩͚͎̼̠̟̜̲͖̰̰̲͈͔̺̪͉ͪ̿̓ͤȚ̙̺͉̫̠̠̞̂͆̃͒ͅ ͚̤̱̦̳͚͇̣̣̺̖͉ͥ̔̃͂ͥ̒̀ͨ̔̒Ț͍͚̫̦̞͉̾͂ͬ̀̎̊̾͐Ḣ̳͖̻̬̺͎͚͈̜͇̯̥̐͂ͯ̅̐̽͊U̙̜͙̤̖̲͕̘̰͔͍̥͕͉̙̯͇͔͈̍̔͐ͥ̌̎R̞͇̮̩͇̱͇̠ͫ̃ͯͭ̅ͪ͌̐ͤ̂̒͛͋͒S͇͖͙̥̟̻̜̙̮̺͙͖͉͖̰͑ͨ̎̃̌̾ͨ̎̿̚Ď̥̫̪͉̟̣͙̗̬̖̣̈́̓̅̈́ͯ̋̋́Ã̫̺̘̹̹͔̻̖̪̪͕̄͑̾̃Y̞̘̤͖̥̻̺̥̘̪̠ͩ̆͑ͨ͋̏̑͂ ̤̠͚̞͔̣̿͂̐͒ͣ̃̂͗̉Y̫̗̻̗̮͉̞͍͚̟̞͖̖͉̦̪̪ͬ͛͊̓̊̚E̦̹̻̫͓̝̘̊̒̈́̆̏̍͂ͪ̋ͣ̈́ͭͨͫȚ̥̗̘̆ͩ̓ͩͥͨ̈́̌ͭ̄̍̂̃̐̈́ ̖̦̥̪̜̤̬ͦ̔ͯ̅̃ͫ͆̑̃ͭ̄̍ͨ̑?͙͍͙͖̏̂ͯ̓͐ͨͮͥͥ͒̒!̜̪̲̝̫̦̪͛́̓̋͐́͗̓͛ͯͨ͋̆ͨ̅͛͗̚

anonymous asked:

Hey chris what do you think about straight girls shipping mlm? My friend who's straight believes its not bad but i said to her its problematic because alot of straight girls fetishize gay men. Not all straight girls ofc but definately a lot. Some of them are v homophobic or only care about imaginary gay people but not real gay people. Imo straight girls are just as bad as straight guys who fetishize lesbians but i don't wanna overgeneralize because there are some allies you know? idk,.

What’s with all the questions about queer stuff?  I’m not a “discourse blogger” or anything like that (and I really don’t want to be, I get enough “discourse” in my life).  Are you sure you don’t want to talk about stunts or favorite flavors of ice cream or something?  Well…

In a nutshell I think that’s very complicated.

First of all, re: fetishization, I really wish people would stop carelessly throwing around cute, “academic” and “intellectual” sounding terms like “fetishization” to make ill-defined arguments for wokeness™ brownie points.  It dilutes the usefulness of those concepts and leads to dangerously oversimplified arguments.  It’s no good to just diagnose everything as “problematic” or “unproblematic,” or “good” or “bad,” and not think about the complicated and contradictory dynamics behind them.

It frustrates me when people automatically dismiss the practice of women shipping M/M, or to use your terminology, MLM (men loving men, not multilevel marketing) ships or even being interested in real MLM relations as “fetishization.”  We already know that straight men routinely hypersexualize and fetishize lesbians or WLW (women loving women).  Can and do women fetishize queer men?  Oh yes, definitely.  Sometimes I just hop onto Tumblr or Twitter or whatever hellsite I happen to be on at the moment, and within five minutes I am rolling my eyes and shaking my head at the painful un-self-awareness and casual homophobia that proliferates among these (in this case, overwhelmingly straight) women.  The worst is when it comes from self-identified “feminists” and wannabe “woke” folk who seem to not understand that, yes Debbie, straight privilege and entitlement are indeed a thing.

But is there more going on to women’s interest in MLM than fetishization or backhanded homophobia?  Yes, and I think that’s important to take into account.

Let me start with a story.  Once in a class for media studies, I did my in-class presentation on fanfiction.  I admit that I actually chose it because I was absent on the day we chose presentation topics and that was one of the only ones left.  (It was that or sports journalism, and I don’t read sports journalism, so fanfiction it was.)  It really intrigued me that most of the fanfiction that I found was MLM and seemed to be mostly produced by women and/or queer people (when the writers identified themselves).  When we discussed it in class, the question of who in there actually consumes MLM fan works came up, and nearly every single woman there said they did.  Even the professor did.  That was probably about 20 women.  There were plenty of women of all sorts—white women, black women, Latina women, Asian women, even women who self-identified as lesbians!—who said they enjoy consuming materials of MLM.  Some of them admitted it as if it were “embarrassing,” but a lot of them were very enthusiastic about it.  Some of them said they disliked heterosexual stuff and almost exclusively preferred MLM (some of them, also WLW).  So then the question of “why do you like MLM?” came up.  The answers were also varied, and some of them were homophobic and pretty disturbingly lacking in self-awareness (oh man…I’m having flashbacks now of the straight nonsense that was on display in that room…LMAO!), but some of them were really thought-provoking.  I learned a lot from that.

I think the common denominator of the more interesting motivations behind these women’s MLM consumption was that it was a way for them to imagine sex, romance, relationships, etc. away from heteronormativity.  A lot of the women said that when it’s two men, instead of a man and a woman, it’s free of the bad baggage that comes with heterosexual relations.  (Not like MLM relations don’t have their own baggage, including baggage that comes from heteronormativity, but fair enough.)  A lot of them said that they felt that MLM relations were more “real” and more “pure” than heterosexual ones for that reason, and however accurate or inaccurate that was, or however much unpacking that needed, the point is that shipping MLM couples and/or admiring real MLM was a way for these women to step outside of heteronormative strictures.  (This is sometimes an explicit feature of “shipping” subcultures, e.g. yaoi production and consumption by fujoshi (yaoi fangirls) in Japan is often self-presented as anti-mainstream.)  Which included being able to identity their roles as women in heteronormativity, and being able to identify what about it was a problem or somehow dissatisfying.  I don’t think that’s something that should be thrown away or discounted—especially since the point of generalized sexism and heteronormativity is that they are presented as “normal” and therefore not something that should be pointed out or questioned.  If shipping fictional MLM or admiring real MLM gives women a lexicon for understanding normalized structures of sex/gender for themselves, I think that can be a good thing.

I also think one of the more interesting and thought-provoking points that was made was that MLM allows women to step outside of dissatisfying and otherwise common representations of women.  Unlike the way it might be for POC or queer people, there really is no lack of women’s representation, strictly speaking.  There is just a lack of women’s representation that isn’t somehow sexist and obnoxious.  So when the problem isn’t necessarily that you don’t see representations of yourself, but rather that you see plenty of representations of yourself and they are mostly terrible, distancing yourself from that is not so unreasonable.

I don’t think the sexual aspect of MLM shipping/admiration should be dismissed either.  Can it feed into homophobia by being fetishistic, hypersexualizing, or objectifying?  Can it treat queer men like cute fic fodder or zoo attractions and divorce them from very real oppression?  Definitely, and that deserves to be criticized.  But also consider that no one is grilling straight men for being attracted to women.  And women (and queer people) are taught not to have any ownership over their own desires and are shamed for having them.  If MLM allows women to explore sexuality, attraction, etc., including their own—especially in a safe way that takes women out of the equation if the overwhelming deluge of typical M/F representations out there make them uncomfortable—then I don’t think that in itself is bad.

The last thing I would say is that hopefully MLM shipping/admiration teaches these women literacy in queer men’s issues, especially if they are straight.  As I have said and witnessed countless times before, there is definitely a lot of straight privilege and just plain alarming levels of homophobia running amok amongst (mostly straight) women who are fans of MLM.  But I do think that some women can learn something about homophobia and queerness from it.  While in general I do not give an everliving fuck about some random straight person’s opinions about queer life, I am invested in getting straight folks thinking and talking about heteronormativity, homophobia, transphobia and other problems that affect queer people, especially in getting them to think about how they fit into that.  If MLM shipping/admiration is some women’s entry into serious considerations of those problems (and not just merryweather posturing or just reduxes of homophobia in the guise of benevolent consumption), and if their starting point for considering those problems is their own struggles with sexism as women, then I think that shouldn’t be dismissed out of pocket as “fetishistic.”

Those are my thoughts on it.  Basically: yes, women’s MLM “shipping” practices can be a homophobic mess, but they can also be very productive and that shouldn’t be invalidated.

Hey my babes, I reached my first follower goal and thought I would do a follow forever ​♡ I want to thank all of the lovely people i have met on here who have made my life 10x better, all through different fandoms and random meetings~ I love you all~ (☞゚ヮ゚)☞ ☜(゚ヮ゚☜)

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I don’t need negative comments on stuff that I post.  I’ve had a shitty week already and it’s only Wednesday morning.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but you certainly don’t see me commenting on every freaking post you put up.  Leave me alone, I have too much shit to deal with.  I welcome people discussing the topic I post about/or pretty much ANYTHING but negative/ridiculously unnecessary comments.  Anyways, I hope everyone has a super day because I sure know I’m won’t.

Okay so I LOVE Doctor Who, but I don’t really like 12. At some points, I hate him! He acts like the most important person in the world (not in a “heroic” way like the other Doctors) and he told a girl she wasn’t special! I know the Doctors change, but if I remember correctly, the 10th Doctor had said in the past that “In all my years of traveling I have never met someone who wasn’t special” or important. Something along those lines and 12 completely destroys that quote! That’s just one reason…

Tagged by @sherrisscribbles

Rules: List your 5 favourite OTPs from 5 different fandoms then tag 10 followers to do the same.

  1. Arthur/Eames from Inception. Because there’s no way I can’t list the first ship I ever became a serious part of on here.
  2. Dean/Castiel from Supernatural.
  3. Kaidan/Shepard from Mass Effect.
  4. Cullen/Dorian from Dragon Age.
  5. Sole Survivor/MacCready from Fallout 4

tagging: @some-radical-notion, @stillarobyn, @captain-amoruca, @ribbonsandnightshade, and anyone that wants to?