incidentally, this is going on wordpress instead of tumblr because i don’t want to start a cat fight and would generally prefer to stay out of fandom wank whenever possible.
nevertheless i am an academic, and therefore feel like flexing my academic muscles to explain why every single point of both of these posts is 100% certified bullshit.
The Theory of Smut in Modern-Day Fandom
The first post in a what might possibly be a series for everyone’s sake i certainly hope not
So then I’ve been making a long list of theories on why fandoms slash and are so famous for gay porn art and writing. because that’s the only thing uninitiated observers such as yourself ever bother to notice, and the only thing the media likes to show off.
- It fulfills the sexual urges of the writer(s). Most people I’ve met in most fandoms are heterosexual girls. either a lot of boys and non-heterosexual girls have been lying to you or you’ve been talking to a self-selected group of fans. And I think a lot of the time what happens is they have a need to fulfill their own desires with two characters that they are attracted to. so your theory thus far is that heterosexual girls write slash fanfiction so that they can fulfill their sexual fantasies with fictional characters. For example, most people find both Sherlock and John really attractive, and you know how that goes. i do not, but it sounds to me like you’re making a pretty heteronormative argument, i.e., two attractive people are close to one another (or in the same room as one another) and therefore ought to be fucking each other. I don’t do any of the slashing myself, personally, but there was actually one time I was reading a comic that turned out to be slashy, and there was a moment where I was like… Oh mama. the loquaciousness of this argument is truly profound. So I think part of the reason it’s so popular is that it’s especially pleasing to write/draw. “pleasing” is possibly the vaguest word i can imagine using in trying to make a persuasive point; all fiction and art is produced for the same reason, because it is pleasing to the artist and the consumer, so logically by your argument all fiction and art should be equally popular.
- It makes the writer feel like a part of the social rights movement for homosexuals. I’ve seen people use their gay ship as a specific support for gays, and I think that for people who feel an active need to support that cause, it gives them some of that fulfillment. a person’s private ship preferences have no bearing whatsoever on the social rights movement for homosexuals, but in instances such as BBC Johnlock, the canonization of such a pairing could potentially have an impact, especially if it’s indicative of the future direction of BBC programming in giving non-hetero couples more visibility.
- Let’s be honest, it gives you more variety. Even though feminism is being seen more and more everywhere, female characters still have a tendency to be boring and stereotypical. i can sense that something is profoundly wrong with this statement, but i can’t quite put my finger on what it is. And even in cases when the character is brilliant after all (*cough*MaryMorstan*cough*) (mary morstan is a fucking sociopath), they often get viewed in a negative or misogynistic way because they either come in-between a gay ship or people are just being jerk wads. well-reasoned negative reviews of mary morstan originate from the fact that she shot sherlock holmes with intent to kill, lies profusely to and emotionally manipulates her husband john watson without showing any signs of stopping, shows no remorse for her actions, and behaves in a very self-centered and egomaniacal manner. Male characters, in my opinion, offer a far wider and more realistic range of characteristics and personalities. From a writing standpoint, it gives you a lot more chances for unique pairings, and you have a lot of different things to write about than if you did for the much-hackneyed heterosexual romance. heterosexual romances, too, can be made original and interesting within fanfiction, if the author has the sense of originality and inspiration to do so, just as homosexual romances can be made hackneyed and repetitive; this argument relies on seeing characters only at the barest surface level with which they are presented in canon and utterly disregards the potential of the alternate universe story theme.
- General lack of imagination when it comes to having close relationships between characters/ having two characters express affection for each other. People have an awful tendency, I have noticed in my short life, to equate just about every form of intimacy to sexual attraction. that is an interesting observation which suggests to me that you are greatly influenced by the media, which forces this impression on consumers. I’ll tell you now, this is a pet peeve of mine and probably not an objective reason. Writers/artists have a need, as most enthusiastic fans do, for favorite characters to express affection for each other. And our culture has taught us that the most valuable and fulfilling type of relationship you can have is a romantic/sexual one. so as i said, you’re influenced by propaganda; by saying that people have the tendency to view relationships in this way, you’ve subsequently also said that people [in general] have submitted to cultural pressure to do so, almost as though people are incapable of forming their own opinions about such things. It’s like no one can have two characters just care about other without wanting to shag. personally i prefer it when they don’t shag, or at least don’t do it “in front of me,” but that’s just my own perspective. So whenever people imagine their characters expressing affection, it almost always progresses to that mindset. now it sounds as though you’re matching romance with sexual attraction, which is a false equivalency. I, also, am guilty of this.
This, of course, is just what I have been able to observe and theorize so far. Since I am not actually a slash-person myself and therefore am not part of that movement, I suppose I can’t offer a truly accurate analysis of it. agreed, please don’t forget to close the refrigerator door and wipe your feet on the mat on your way out. However, I enjoyed being able to express my thoughts on what I think is a fascinating phenomenon and I thank my fellow fandom-members for giving me the opportunity.
Sorry if I offended anybody; that wasn’t the goal of this post. i’m not so much offended as hopeful you’re able to acquire some more accurate data and possibly be willing to accept that every one of your hypotheses is fundamentally and intrinsically flawed.
Listen up, Mary Haters. I’ve got a little speech for you
Dear people who continually call Mary a variety of creative derogatory terms: while you are obviously entitled to your opinion, I would like to ask: how exactly is she a terrible person? I mean, seriously.
1. She cannot help her past. except for the part where she’s the one who did everything in it, making it undeniably her fault, or, if you prefer, responsibility. If you disagree, then, well, I pity you and you need to rethink some things. like the nature of the progression of time? She had a past and she’s genuinely trying to move on. even if that were true, which i’m not convinced of, that doesn’t make her past something she “cannot help,” being that she conducted herself of her own free will the entire time (as far as we know). If Magnussen hadn’t been blackmailing her, it would have truly been a non-issue. magnussen is only able to blackmail her because she performed actions in her past which are viable blackmail material, and are you further saying that regardless of all she’s done, if magnussen had never brought it to light, it would have been acceptable for mary to go on lying to john about who she was and who she is?
2. If you have a problem with her being an assassin, just remember that the two main characters did virtually the same thing: took lives when they thought it was justified. nope nope nope; being a hired assassin means she killed people for money, i.e., murdered whoever the richest and most well-connected employers decided needed murdering, regardless of the reason. John was a soldier, additionally killing anyone who is a threat to Sherlock. yes, he was in the military, so it sounds here like the argument is that all military members are equivalent to assassins in terms of moral compasses, and he killed the cabbie who was attempting to force sherlock to poison himself to death, which is a very plain cause-and-effect series of events. Sherlock, we can be sure, probably killed people when he was dismantling Moriarty’s web, and has gotten plenty of people sentenced to death. we can suspect that, but i challenge you to prove it to me. Mary clearly has a sense of justice and right and wrong, and is not a soulless mercenary. what part of “killed people for money” is unclear to you, and on what are you basing this “[clear] sense of right and wrong”?
3. Shooting Sherlock, though it seems terrible and we hate it, was probably her best option. he was literally offering to help her get out of her situation with magnussen when she shot him for walking in on her about to shoot magnussen. I mean, if you think of something better, let me know. how about “take him up on his offer.” But anything else would have involved a) actually killing Sherlock and/or John, b) getting John and/or Sherlock accused of something. she did “actually” kill sherlock, as demonstrated when he flatlined in the hospital and the doctors walked away from the operating table, and if you understood her personality at all you would know that she would never hurt john unless she was bored with him and prepared to get him out of her life entirely (so-ci-o-path). Honestly, she deserves some credit there. for not shooting him in the head, i suppose.
4. Sure, she lied to John. and continues to do so, as mentioned previously, without a shred of remorse, and for her own self-interest, i.e., “i would lose him forever and sherlock, i will never let that happen.” But so did Sherlock. if you’re referring to the period sherlock spent pretending to be dead, those lies were for john’s protection (and perhaps ill-conceived, admittedly, but nevertheless with john’s very best interests at heart), and if you’re referring to the bomb on the train, that was to enable john to say the things he needed to (i.e., “i forgive you”) because he has trust issues and ptsd and having emotional conversations is very difficult for him under normal conditions. And in almost the exact same circumstances. how are those remotely the same conditions. Yes, it was a jerk thing to do. and continues to be, if you want to put it so mildly. But it protected her, as well as John, because the more you know the more danger you’re in. no, actually, it protected her and only her, potentially even putting john in more danger because she kept him in the dark as to the potential risks of getting involved with her. And while you may argue that’s not good enough, just remember Sherlock did and still does the exact same thing. but he doesn’t, though.
5. She genuinely cares about both John and Sherlock. she cares for john in so far as he is one of her possessions, and her care for sherlock, if any, evaporated the moment she realized he wasn’t going to be a placid pawn in her manipulations. Look at the way she looks when John finds her out – it’s so heartbroken. the important expressions are the ones she makes when she thinks no one can see her. Please stop making it seem like she connived to take advantage of him. she is lying to him to keep him close to her, how is that healthy? She could have killed Sherlock. she did kill sherlock. And look at the way she hugs him, look at the way she made sure John and Sherlock spent time together, because she knew they needed each other. yes, and that was before it was revealed what kind of person she really is, so she was not only pulling the wool over our eyes but theirs as well. Please stop making it seem like she’s trying to tear them apart. sherlock is the obstacle in the way of her possession of john, of course she’s trying to get rid of him.
Conclusion: If you still hate Mary, okay, you can think whatever you want. thank you for that permission. But keep those five points in mind. Personally, I don’t see what’s not to like. i weep for your logical reasoning capabilities. She strikes me as someone who had to hold back her tender, sweet heart for most of her life and only just now is getting to let it show; someone who was running from her past and was overjoyed to find love on the way. what kind of assassin has a “tender, sweet heart”? She’s got an edge, got her own story. again, where the fuck are you drawing these conclusions from?
And I think that’s great. you can think she’s a great character without thinking she’s a great person, and frankly i’m ready for her to be gone.
eta: aw. she deleted her tumblr.