cygna_hime: (Default)
So, this thing with the Lambda Literary Awards. (For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, you're probably better off. If you want to know what I'm talking about, a lot of people have been weighing in all over the place.)

Trying not to take sides, except actually I totally am )

I want there to be safe spaces, for everyone. But you can't make a safe space retroactively.
cygna_hime: (Default)
So, I like genderbender fic. Both of the always-was variety and the spontaneous-change variety. I like it a lot. It's interesting to explore how gender informs our responses, and making characters switch gender is an interesting thought experiment, which makes it sound much more srs than it has to be. It's not an academic paper...but on the other hand, in a good story it involves some serious thinking about gender, sex, and whatnot. (In bad stories, it tells you a lot about cultural gender models of the authors, which is useful but not fun.)

But. Something really bugs me about a lot of spontaneous-sex-change fic I've read, including the one I'm reading right now.


What do I mean? Well, even in stories where the genderbent character (usually male) talks a lot about how he's still himself, just in a female body, which is weird and uncomfortable and kinda icky, in a lot of stories the narration disagrees. As soon as his body is female, the narration starts calling him "she", even while he's thinking about how much this body is wrong, sowrong.

This bothers me, because:

1)It's hella confusing. I keep wondering where this woman came from, and I'm not about to associate "her" with the man I've been watching for the chapters before the switch, and

2) It's wrong. No, seriously, no space for wiggle-room, it's flat-out incorrect. The character's sex has been changed, but there's no reason his gender should follow suit. And in my world, pronouns follow gender, not sex. Especially the narrator, which is usually more or less inside the affected character's head. While you're having him go "WTF did they do to me!!", it undermines the whole thing if he's switched pronouns in his head automatically.

I mean, really, we say "Character X was turned into a woman", but really, he's not a woman; he's been turned FtM trans. His gender is still where it was (assuming for the sake of argument that he was previous cisgendered, which is usually the case), but his sex has changed. As such, he's still "he", particularly in his own head. In polite company, people who think of themselves as male should be addressed as such. Particularly by the universe.

On that subject, this particular fic has a qualified mediwitch (damn HP fandom...) say that his (the victim is our poor Remus, bee-tee-dubs) sexuality should for some reason switch from heterosexual male to...heterosexual female?! No. No. Sexuality does not work that way. What is true is that if you were attracted to men in one body, that's unlikely to change. Duh. Because it was a physical change, not a personality rewrite. Also duh.

Now that I think of it, the really accurate thing to do, which I've never seen done, *would* be for a sexswapped character to be treated as having suddenly become trans, with all the inherent issues. Since, you know, that's what the character technically is. Suddenly, the character is inundated with cultural pressures that are not only inappropriate for his personality, but also freak him out, because he is not. a. woman, and would people please stop saying he is?!!

Damn. There goes another plotbunny. Anyone want?
cygna_hime: (Default)
Some day, since nobody else seems to be going to do so, I am going to write a book. A nonfiction book. And this book will be about fandom. It will be about the history of (Western) fandom, how it goes back much farther than we in the modern day think--since, after all, who owns Hercules? Where would Virgil be without Homer? Does Ovid have a copyright on Ariadne? Our culture makes distinctions between what is okay and fanfic, but these distinctions are false. They're covering up the actual distinction, which is that intellectual property laws changed the rules...and, of course, fanfic must be weird, because it's written by women and queers--and queer women! End of world alert! And I wish to investigate when exactly fandom switched from being respectable (done by men) to not (done by women). And then I wish to explain in short little words how we are not weird, we are not deviant, we are not new, we are tapping into a vein of creativity that's as old as Western civilization--upon which Western civilization was founded!--so there's nothing wrong with us.

Because someone in fandom, someone who is one of us, someone who understands, needs to write the seminal text on fanfic before some (straight, white, male) outsider does one that looks at us like crazy people or bugs on a slide, above all like others. Because we're really not, and I may not know a lot about psychology, but I've got a smattering of gender theory (okay, more than a smattering, but by people-talking-about-gender-theory standards, it's assembled from bits and bobs all over) and I know a lot about storytelling.
cygna_hime: (Default)
Because for a kerfuffle that seems to me to be so damn obvious, it sure is going on for a while. ([ profile] metafandom has links to most of the relevant posts, if you've been fortunate enough to miss it.)

So, to warn or not to warn? )
cygna_hime: (Default)
Dear Amazon,

You are stupid, and therefore wrong. Seriously, removing dozens of books with GLBT content (defined as "characters, discussion, or author") from rankings lists? Not cool. Not cool at all. Especially since you can still search for and find volume upon volume of explicit heterosexual fiction, Playboy, and sex toys, but not some nonfiction books on homosexuality, transgender, and related issues. Ill played, Amazon. Ill played.

Icon!Vexen disapproves of these shenanigans, on the principle that you are denying people knowledge what is WRONG with you?!!!! You don't want to know what Zexion thinks about this. Let's just say that there's a reason he's not in the icon.

At least Amazon Rank is now a new and nifty verb. (For reference, Smart Bitches is aiming for a googlebomb of that phrase. Feel free to contribute.) Amazon Rank is such a nifty new word, don't you think? And Amazon Rank is applicable in so many situations. Plus, Amazon Rank just flows off the tongue. Amazon Rank...
cygna_hime: (Default)

You Are 12% Girly

Um... you're a guy, right? If not, you're the most boyish girl in the world.

And for you, that's probably the ultimate compliment.

No. Not really. I'm a girl who doesn't like shopping and who more or less successfully resists the beauty cult foisted upon women in today's society. Why the fuck would dying my hair make me more girly? Or having a ridiculous number of beauty products that have no actual purpose? Or getting a fake tan? What the fuck are you on? How stupid do you have to be to buy into the idea that feminine necessarily equals fake?

So yeah, after looking at the questions I do consider a low score a compliment, because the only things it measures are things I would rather eat my own eyes than become.

cygna_hime: (Default)
Not that this particular stupidity is in any way unique to Final Fantasy X, or Final Fantasy at all, but two FFX fans have advanced this argument to me in the course of a week or two, so it feels like it is.

"[Character Name] cannot be gay because he is too masculine!" is not, and never will be, a valid argument against writing slash about [Character Name]. Never, do you hear me?! Never!

I'm sorry, but...what? Okay, I lie. I'm not sorry. Since you're clearly too stupid to work it out, I must tell you that:

A gay man is interested in having sex with other gay men, who are also interested in having sex with men. Thus, being "masculine" is not a bad thing if you are a gay man! No, really!

*commits acts of serial stabbitydeath on stupid people*

Also, your argument is not improved by your refusal to use the shift key and wanton disregard for the apostrophe. The atrocious spelling is just icing on the cake.

For future reference, the following are respectable arguments in support of a dislike of slash featuring [Character Name]:
  • He has always struck me as irredeemably straight.
  • He's so in love with [Character of Opposite Sex], it would feel wrong to split them up.
  • He has so many issues, I can't see him ever actually *doing* anything about any feelings he might have.
  • I don't think of him as extremely interested in sex with anyone.
  • I can't see him with any of the other male characters.
  • I prefer not to read every single relationship as sexual.
  • Bad slash has made me extremely wary of any slash at all.
  • It just floats not my boat.

    The following are NOT respectable arguments:
  • He's too masculine to be gay!
  • It's icky and gross!
  • But he was married/in a relationship with a woman!
  • He's not pretty enough!
  • He's too attractive to women to be gay!
  • You're sick if you like that stuff!

    Fanbrats of the world, take note.

    (This argument was advanced about Jecht and Auron, by separate people and in separate fora. And then I laughed myself sick. O di immortales, some people are stupid.)
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