Whats examples of fetishizing mlm
ugh, one of my least favorite things. basically what happens when people, usually straight (or occasionally bi) women treat their mlm ships as some sort of kink as opposed to, you know, representation of real, actual mlm.
examples of this:
•not caring about characters who are mlm outside of a sexual context (i.e. only reading mlm smut because they find the idea of two men together “hot” and not actually giving a fuck about the actual personalities or problems of gay characters)
•throwing two male characters that exist within the same universe together just because they will find ANY excuse to write about two men having sex. a lot of rarepairs start out this way. bonus points if they’re both white and neither character has ever shown any interest in men whatsoever!
•referring to mlm ships as “sin” or “the reason i’m going to hell” or whatever. no. gay love is just as wholesome, just as complete, just as complex, just as worthy of respect as any straight couple’s.
•alternatively, referring to gay men as completely nonsexual if they’re not actively engaged in sex, in which case they become completely hypersexual (uwu my precious little baby is so pure but is FILTHY in bed uwu). bonus points if the character isn’t white!
•treating female characters like trash or as obstacles to their OTP
as briefly mentioned above, there’s often a racial aspect to this as well. white men are overwhelmingly favored by fandom at the expense of characters of color, even if the characters of color are far more significant to the story than the white ones (looking at you, star wars fandom). in the rare occasions they show up, black men are either precious sin-free babies or are sex freaks (or both!). east asian men are infantilized. latinx men are hypersexual latin lovers. et cetera. et cetera. et cetera.
beyond making fandom a more uncomfortable space for both mlm and poc, this can have negative real-world applications as well. the racial and homophobic stereotypes often found in fic and fandom both come from and leak into the thoughts and attitudes of the real people who consume and create this content. there are plenty of stories told by real mlm on here about how many straight women in their lives want a gay best friend or freak out about their dating lives. it’s fucked up.
time and time again on here i’ve seen straight women and girls get called out for being homophobic but defend themselves with “but i have so many gay ships!” that’s not how it works. shipping isn’t activism. i’ve seen the same thing happen with racism in fandom from my fellow white people. “i can’t be racist,” says the white person, “i love this character of color!” and then they refuse to look beyond their base love of them to dig into the nuance of the content they create or consume, and how it may harm people of color.
this is not to say that no one on here can make mistakes. mistakes are inevitable. i’ve certainly made many myself. but the best way to remedy them is not to speak, not to defend, but to listen. listen to mlm (or people who are otherwise lgbtq) when they say you’re being homophobic or fetishizing them. listen to people of color when they tell you that something is racist. i know that i wouldn’t be nearly as aware of microaggressions as i am today without the guidance of people of color in fandom, and i know that there is still far more for me to learn. i will not get there by speaking out. i’ll get there by listening.