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Any chance we can move on to the 21st century here? [Sure!]

Discussion in 'Communications' started by Harpalyce, Apr 18, 2015.

  1. Harpalyce

    Harpalyce Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2010
    I try to be a good and pleasant forum member, but there's one issue that has persistently stuck in my craw (and continues to do so) - and that's the no-slash rule.

    With the advent of Ep. 7 and several more confirmed queer characters, I think it's high time we took a look at that rule to see if it still holds water. If we can't even keep up with the inclusivity of our series we're fans for, what good are we, really, as fans? The rule sends a pretty clear "straights only" message not just to fanfiction writers but to fans at large. Being told your very existence is taboo is a stark blow to be dealing out on a daily basis to our fellow fans who happen not to be straight.

    If hands are tied because the owner of the servers has decreed this to be a rule, it may be time to look into a patreon or kickstarter in order to actually create an environment for all fans instead of just the straight ones.

    At the very least, if the above is true, I think there needs to be substantially more noise made about the subject in order to potentially change minds.

    I'm heartened to see questions of racism and sexism being addressed on the boards. Now it's time to follow through and make things accessible for our fellow queer fans, too. I mean, come on, it's 2015. It's high time that we started making a place for ALL fans, not just the straight ones, right?
     
    V-2, Darth Ukendt, tom and 10 others like this.
  2. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2010
    From what I understand, this is a rule set by the site owner and Mod Squad has no say in the matter. Your proposal to do a Kickstarter or something along those lines would basically mean completely abandoning TF.N, and all the influence it's built up over the years, and trying to start from complete scratch somewhere else. And that's just not practical.

    If you want the rule changed, you're better off addressing your complaint to the site owner, however, I'm not even sure who that is or how to contact him/her.
     
    Goodwood likes this.
  3. Harpalyce

    Harpalyce Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Is something like a petition on the forums the more practical solution?

    It just seems excruciatingly dumb to sit around navel-gazing about making things better for female fans and fans that are non-white while still leaving anyone who's not straight out in the cold. (Not only that but actively telling them that they are so shocking that mentions of their existence are banned.)
     
    Seagoat likes this.
  4. JoinTheSchwarz

    JoinTheSchwarz JC Head Admin & Community Manager star 9 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 21, 2002
    I'm very interested in hearing everyone's thought about this. It's been discussed internally, as well.
     
    PrincessKenobi and jcgoble3 like this.
  5. Cushing's Admirer

    Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Jun 8, 2006
    I like it just fine. The rule I don't see as a denial of existence at all simply a personal choice. Slash doesn't need to be everywhere.
     
    Jarren_Lee-Saber and Docgeo like this.
  6. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011
    There is always the option of not reading it if it does not appeal to you.

    I agree with the OP.
     
  7. Dandelo

    Dandelo Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Aug 25, 2014
    From what I understand, this is a rule set by the site owner and Mod Squad has no say in the matter
    --------------------

    according to jointheschwarz...obviously not.
     
    Emperor Ferus likes this.
  8. Cushing's Admirer

    Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Jun 8, 2006
    I don't. Not the point.
     
  9. Shira A'dola

    Shira A'dola Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 4, 2012
    I think it should be included, tbh. I agree that denying people to express their own sexuality through creative means is rather short-sighted and oppressive. I've talked to a few of the mods about it and heard that the site owner doesn't agree with it and that's why. But if the rules can be changed according to this, I think it should be. Like anakinfan stated, if people don't agree with it, they have the option of skipping over it.
     
  10. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Um, yeah, it is the point.

    Maybe because it's getting too close to Banned Books Week that this is especially bothering me, but the idea that reading material should be banned for everyone because some people do not like it, does not sit well with me AT ALL.
     
  11. Harpalyce

    Harpalyce Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Let's look at it from another perspective. Completely shelve the idea of "but I don't want to read slash." (I don't want to read heavily contrived heterosexual romances either, but those happen in spades, yeah?)

    Think about what that rule says to the fans among us that happen to be not straight. "You're so unwelcome here that we have literally censored your existence. We don't even allow people to write about characters that represent you in canon, much less allow people to give you more representation at all. You are so hated and unwelcome that we don't want to acknowledge you exist."

    OUCH, right? It's high time I think we need to all have a discussion about how unacceptable it is to treat fellow fans that way.
     
  12. JoinTheSchwarz

    JoinTheSchwarz JC Head Admin & Community Manager star 9 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 21, 2002
    No, it's completely true. The rule comes from the owner and we have no say in the matter.
     
  13. Harpalyce

    Harpalyce Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Which is why I'm in favor of something like a petition. At least making some noise to ask if it can be changed. People change their minds, it's a real possibility, especially if we can show people genuinely unhappy with enforcing the rule. (At least I've always gotten the impression that this is a rule moderators accept begrudgingly, and not really with open arms and full-on french kisses. I may be wrong. Who knows?)
     
    Darth Ukendt and Seagoat like this.
  14. Darkslayer

    Darkslayer Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Does the site owner actually post here ever? Just curious.
     
    jcgoble3 likes this.
  15. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2010
    JoinTheSchwarz: How do people contact the site owner directly with their opinions? Because I get the feeling that if people want the rule to change, that might be the method most likely to be effective.
     
  16. JoinTheSchwarz

    JoinTheSchwarz JC Head Admin & Community Manager star 9 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 21, 2002
    He has a public email address listed at his RebelScum website, I think.
     
  17. TrakNar

    TrakNar Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 4, 2011
    A formal letter and petition might be a way to appease the site owner. If we address it as looking for equal representation in fanfiction, we might be able to get an audience. I, for one, want to see the rule overturned.

    And if the rule is overturned, it doesn't necessarily mean that suddenly everything will be the dirtiest and most graphic slashy smut possible, Cushing's Admirer. We just want to be able to write a nice relationship between characters of the same sex. If you don't want to read that, then simply don't read them.
     
  18. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Or, in case of those who would not pair two het characters, write proper LGBTQ OCs.
     
  19. Boba Nekhbet

    Boba Nekhbet Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2014
    While I'm 100% in favor of this proposal and have been disappointed with the site's anti-slash policy for years, this is really unnecessary. Progress isn't zero-sum and you don't have to tear down discussions of racism and sexism and call them navel-gazing to make a point about the importance of homophobia and homophobic policies on the boards.

    Also I'd make the distinction that banning gay relationships in fan fiction is pretty distinct from discussions of direct sexism and racism experienced by members of the boards from their peers here. There is definitely homophobia on the boards to at least the same degree that we have these other problems, but the solution to that is to have the same discussions we've been having about sexism and create policies related to that, lifting the slash ban isn't going to solve the problem of queer fans "feeling left it in the cold." (Especially to the extent that slash fiction is often written by straight women exoticizing and exploiting queer sexuality.)

    That said, we also can't solve homophobia on the boards with such a clearly wrong policy in place and I do hope it is lifted. Mod Squad has, in the past, made some really poor decisions about how to go about resolving problems with owner policies which were often vestiges of owners who no longer have any stake in TF.n. (See: several years of the WTF saga and the literal genie solution we ended up with for a while). I hope the current policy decision making will be resolved with an appropriate and diplomatic sensitivity and understanding of how much the current owner does or doesn't care about day to day policy minutiae about a minor section of his investment in TF.n.
     
  20. Seagoat

    Seagoat PT/ST/Music Section Moderatator star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jan 25, 2013
    That isn't the problem though

    To begin with, the fact that "slash" in itself is considered different from a "normal" romance in a fanfic is absurd. I wish for a world where someone can just say "I have feelings for (insert person here)" and, regardless of that person's gender, nobody questions it. There shouldn't even be a thought of "holy crap, that person is gay?!" or whatever. As such, I don't think that's a thought that should even be considered when making rules about fanfiction pairings

    Basically, this means that people who fall under the LGBTQ category are specifically singled out in the mind of whoever the hell came up with this asinine rule and given the middle finger. There's a complete lack of logic here

    Bleh, I can't even think straight. It just pisses me off
    (Edit: Uh.... don't misread that last part. I meant that as in "think clearly." No intended pun)
     
  21. Harpalyce

    Harpalyce Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2010
    I apologise if I'm coming across as unduly harsh, but it just seems to me that one cannot champion feminism while still leaving out a good percentage of women (queer women, trans women, etc.). I'm happy those things are getting addressed - these are all conversations that need to happen in fandom, all types of fandom, especially when we live in a world where things like Gamergate can thrive - but the issue is incomplete unless we're talking about a space where all women, and all people of color, are welcome.
     
    Rew and Frank T. like this.
  22. smoothkaz

    smoothkaz Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 25, 2014
    I agree 100%. I wasn't aware of the no slash rule, but it's bull. I'd definitely be down for a petition or mail campaign.
     
    Seagoat likes this.
  23. VadersLaMent

    VadersLaMent Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Apr 3, 2002
    I personally could care less, the no-slash rule could be removed and it's not going to bother or affect me. The "if you don't like it don't click on it" idea is one I tend to follow though I may take part(and have taken part) in many political or religious debates.

    But I am not the person you have to deal with. So, if a big petition goes out and the owner simply replies with "No", will you just accept it and move on or call him a bigot? Is there not a rule in the fan fic forums that only constructive critcism is tolerated and will that be enough if the no-slash rule is removed or must "if you don't like it don't click" become a mod enforced special rule? If the rule is removed will said fan fic be SW first or or are you more concerned with making sure homosexuality is the defining factor in the story which you can do elsewhere in droves?

    These will be some of the questions you will have to deal with.
     
  24. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011
    I haven't been in the fan fiction forum in several years, although I was pretty active in the initial discussion on this subject in the early 00s. I thought original characters could be paired with whoever the author chooses, but any explicit scenes were prohibited due to it being a PG or PG-13 board? Authors just are not allowed to write, say, a Luke/Han or Anakin/Obi-Wan fic?

    Feminism is pretty broad, feminists disagree with each other all the time and we all have different aspects of the cause that are more important to us. My personal focus is on empowering women, respect for us in society and ensuring that all choices are open to us. Yes, that absolutely includes queer and transgender women, the only part I disagree with you on is the idea that it's impossible to champion feminism without this focus.

    But maybe this is a better discussion for the feminism thread itself.

    On the policy, Dani is right, if there is an issue with homophobia on the boards that is not being solved by the new hate speech policy, allowing slash fan fiction is not going to solve it. This particular policy should probably be addressed under artistic expression, and the fact that other non-canon pairings are allowed, than a way to include homosexuals.
     
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  25. Boba Nekhbet

    Boba Nekhbet Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Um, yeah, sure, it would be nice to live in a utopia where no one sees homosexuality as different or lesser. But we don't. You can't just wish away homophobia by stating that it shouldn't even exist. When you're trying to create change, you have to acknowledge the constraints of the broken system you're in.

    Precisely, I totally agree with you, which is why I think it's a problem to start this discussion off by denigrating those other discussions. They should all happen in concert with each other, not in opposition to each other. For the record, to the extent that I've followed discussions of sexism on the board, they have been intersectional and homophobia has been, at least laterally, addressed in some ways. It hasn't been the primary focus of the discussion, but none of the feminists on the board fighting to end sexism that I've seen have done so at the expense of gay posters. Again, though, the way to talk about a space where LGBT fans feel welcome is not to lift the slash ban and end the discussion there, and, in fact, doing just that could end up being unproductive, the same way that repealing DOMA and legalizing gay marriage nationwide isn't going to end structural discrimination of gay people in the US.