Made rebloggable by request!
Alright, time to go in!
Queer baiting - Bait and switch in TV shows where the writers put just enough wink wink nudge nudge that if you’re looking for it (and sometimes not very hard) you’ll find subtext that would indicate or allude to the fact that these two characters are romantically involved or at the least have romantic/sexual, rather than platonic, feelings for each other. This is considered borderline because it allows a show to basically have these “moments” but be able to scream later “AHAHA BUT NO HOMO AMIRITE??”. It’s not progressive, because no matter how much subtext you throw at your audience, it’s not going to make the characters queer. It doesn’t commit, and therefore does nothing for visibility or representation of queer characters. Often is played for laughs too, which you know, isn’t awesome.
Fan service - what it sounds like, making your fans happy by titillating them with shots of the actors half nude/in sexy clothing (like panty shots in manga). This can go into queer baiting when the fan service revolves around putting two aforementioned decidedly not gay characters in compromising positions that’ll enthuse the shippers. Can be problematic when the show is being gratuitous, and again goes right back into the problems present in queer baiting.
Slashwink - sounds very similar to queer baiting to me. It’s like queer baiting and fan service rolled into one, when a show just really caters to slash fans by putting the characters in as many positions as they can that could be interpreted as shipping/romantic/sexual moments.
I’m not a huge fan, I’ll be blunt. I think it’s pretty cowardly. They don’t want to commit to actual queer relationships, but they want to cater and excite the slashers, and that goes into really murky waters when a lot of actual queer people feel entirely unwelcome in these kinds of fandoms because to them these ships don’t feel authentic authentic, and they feel like there isn’t a place for them - I mean none of these slash wink/queerbaiting couples are actual honest representations of these kinds of relationships. I don’t think that’s clever or funny.
I’m not saying ANYTHING about the actual practice of slash, or shipping gay couples, absolutely not. It’s a great way for people to explore their sexualities, to have fun, and in some cases for queer people themselves to be able to actually participate in something they can identify with - but the problem with queerbaiting is that that’s not real, or a representation of queer people. Two white dudes leaning close to each other during a scene isn’t progressive, you know? Either make them kiss or get off the horse tbh
I just want more actual queer relationships on TV, and sometimes I feel that this practice makes people think that it’s okay, that it’s “enough” for the time being and makes everyone happy, but I just disagree.