Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The lure of the new library, and also slashfiction

Rejoice ye, people of Knights Park for the day of the new library is upon us!

And isn't it just lovely and pretty and open and free. Even so, I'm kind of ashamed to say it, but the first thing I did was do a little round looking for anything resembling a cafe counter or a vending machine. I am an anti-capitalist, but I'm also a woman that enjoys sipping tea and munching on crisps if I study into the late hours. We have to, after all, take special care of ourselves when we put ourselves through the ordeal of academic betterment.

But it is a wonderful space and it is so much more suited for casual browsing than the old Knights Park library ever was. So I found myself wandering between the shelves looking at random books, absentmindedly browsing the different subjects.

My attention was tickled a couple of times, but then something finally caught my attention properly. A book titled "The lure of the Vampire". Or to be honest my attention wasn't fully secured before I rifled through the pages and found out how much of the book was devoted to fandom. It even had a sub chapter called "Fan fiction: Buffy as slash."*

*slash refers to writing a pairing that doesn't exist in canon and it's often as not man on man even if non of the men are gay in canon.

I used to be an avid reader of slash in my time, I'm not ashamed to admit it, it was just as much porn to me as any nudie pic can be. Save the fact of course that nobody gets directly exploited by fiction. I masturbated to it routinely in my late teens and early twenties, but then my interest dwindled, possibly because I began getting laid, or maybe because I began questioning my consumerist attitude to it :P

In any case it is still a subject that intrigues me for various reasons. Among those most prominently that fan fiction is one of the few big cultures where girls and women express aggressive, violent and exploitative sexuality. Therefor it was especially interesting to me to find a book where these subjects were discussed seriously.

We live in a world that seems to celebrate the fact that women have won the freedom to be sexual creatures, but which at the same time seems to gradually narrow down what it means for a woman to be sexual. It might not reflect the way we feel ourselves, but it most certainly does influence it, and it also influence the dynamics between men and women.

Fan fiction and slash fiction in particular seems to argue that there is oh so many more layers to what girls want asides from pink, hygienic orgasms. Slash to me is a proof of a deep seethed need in many girls and women to embody the masculine. I might be reading too much of myself into it, but I detect a genuine frustration here, at the idea that sex is something men take and women give. With which I imply that the women are using male on male sex to describe sexual situations they think would be impossible between a man and a woman because of the expectations and gender stereotyping.

Might read the rest of the book later and write a proper review.

But I like to end with saying that it would probably be interesting for anybody who likes either vampires, fandom or queer theory.

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