Discussion in 'Communications' started by Harpalyce, Apr 18, 2015.
Perhaps we should adopt the term of "queer relationship fanfiction" for what I keep calling slash (queer as to include more than just homosexuality, but trans characters, agender characters, asexual characters, etc - the whole spectrum). QRF is more of a mouthful but perhaps makes things clearer. I'm sorry for the confusion, in the fanfiction circles I'm in slash fiction usually does mean QRF, which is why people continue using the term as, well, a term, not an insult, lol.
I guess that I have to circle back to a question I've asked before as well. What makes an AU where Luke is trans, or an AU where Luke kisses Han, that much different than an AU where Luke dies on Hoth, or Luke goes evil at the end of ROTJ? All of these things are contrariwise to canon, but that's the realm of the alternate universe, right? Why is writing one of these things not okay where writing the rest of them is encouraged or at least tolerated?
Nobody's asking you to read every single fanfiction out there - we all have our preferences, after all. Perhaps in another world I'd endeavor to charm you with my slash fanfiction as to help you understand what I mean when I say slash, but if that's not your preference, that's not your preference. You don't even have to support the idea that these rules need to be looked at by mods and repealed (although if you don't you might be getting left out in the cold shortly, given that the mods have already placed this under discussion and are apparently in favour of repealing things). We all have our personal preferences and that's okay.
I'm just asking that maybe we can hash this out politely and come to an understanding, even if that understanding is that we recognize a fundamental disagreement. Does that sound like a reasonable goal to everyone?
Yes, it's a reasonable goal. Hash away.
Is my post above regarding the framing of the issue reasonable to you?
I find white-knighting by allies detrimental to all progressive causes, which is why I'm really finding the "I'm speaking for my LGBTQ friends" disturbing and the "I know what LGBTQ people find offensive" even more so.
I'm going to assume you meant "keep Han with Leia."
I use the term "slash fic" in this context with a similar meaning as Harpalyce. I don't actually use the term often outside of this thread because for the most part I don't differentiate between fics where all the romances are between heterosexual couples and fics where there's at least one same-gender relationship, but I think it can be a useful shorthand. People do tend to have different definitions, though. (I recently got sworn at on fanfiction.net for not "warning for slash" on a story that had a non-heterosexual character, but no actual same-gender relationships, but that's a different story).
I also never said I was straight. I'm not. I'm asexual and aromantic, so I'm not claiming to come from the same place that a gay/bi/pan person would on the topic of same-gender relationships, but I'm definitely not straight.
Can the way some straight fans write about their favorite slash pairings be problematic? Sure, absolutely. But straight pairings can have similar problems - the fic 50 Shades was based off of, anyone? - and it doesn't matter what the gender of the participants are, explicit fics are banned either way, so what ends up on these forums is never going to be comparable to lesbian porn.
White-knighting can be a problem. But if this question was only being responded to by LGBT posters, it'd be a pretty empty thread - and I think that the fact that there are so few LGBT participants here, as opposed to other fandom communities, is in and of itself evidence of a problem.
I don't claim to know what all LGBT people find offensive, because yeah, there are probably plenty of LGBT people with different opinions on the topic. I am saying that I know that certain LGBT people find erasure offensive and/or this board's specific rule off-putting because I've seen them talk about it. Their opinions are more important than straight people's opinions on the topic, so of course I'm going to repeat them.
I'm sorry that it comes across as white knighting but as it is, it's the best I can do. As I said, most of my friends stay away from here because they find the rule so offensive. That's why I came and started raising some noise. Their solution is to simply stay away from TF.N and look down on its policies as backwards. I'd rather find a way to make it a better place.
I could try to appeal to them to post if you'd like but I'm afraid most of them, again, have never signed up with TF.N for the sake of these policies, so it would be an influx of newbies coming to post only on this topic. However, if that's what you'd like me to do, I can definitely ask and see who responds.
skygawker : Dammit. (I'm tired and I've been sick, that's my excuse.). But yes...keep Han with Leia.
Harpalyce : Instead of bringing in a bunch of people who don't want to be here anyway to explain why they find the rule offensive, it's probably better to explain why changing it would benefit the Fan Fiction forum.
I always thought the benefits were self-evident, myself. We get more variety of fanfic, we get more fanfic authors, and we get a more friendly environment for actual queer folk who want to come and be fans here. The more the merrier, and the greater variety of topics to be explored can only foster creativity.
Personally, I'd appreciate not feeling like there's this great gotcha hanging over everything I post on the fanfic boards just because I want to explore some headcanon or toss out an idea and chew on it. Then again I've got the distinct impression that you think I'm "part of the problem" being a dirty slash writer, so that may not mean much, LOL.
anakinfansince1983 Yeah, figured that was a typo. Now there's a pairing that's definitely forbidden!
I think the entire website would benefit from not being seen as backwards and homophobic, not just the fic forum, in terms of reputation and being attractive to new members. The fic forums specifically would benefit for the reasons that Harpalyce mentions, so I'm not going to repeat them.
That said, I don't think we should change the rule for the sake of TF.N's reputation. I think we should change it because it's ethically wrong to make that sort of distinction between same-gender relationships and heterosexual ones.
And what leads you to that assumption? Just because some of us don't wear our sexuality on a sign around our necks it doesn't mean we aren't here and participating in the community.
True! Perhaps I should have specified openly LGBT participants. I'm not talking about the personal choices of any one individual, but if there are fewer people who feel comfortable being open about their sexuality (particularly in a thread which badly needs some input from the group being discussed, which might make someone more likely to mention their sexuality even if there was no reason for it to come up elsewhere) than there are in most fandom communities, to me, that suggests something about the environment. Now, part of that is an age gap thing, I'm sure. But I don't think that's 100% of the answer either.
This thread has become (or perhaps it always was) a convoluted mess, but I'll toss in my last few credits (for now).
1a) I heartily dislike the idea that fan fiction has become more restrictive regarding SSR - it sickens me frankly.
1b) Fan Fiction has always a place for creativity - just because there was/is a ban on canon characters being involved in SSR's shouldn't be a dealbreaker - gender swap fics (IE Luke being a woman, Leia her brother etc) used to be all the rage after all.
1c) PG-13(ish) has been the standard for 13 years across the boards - it's NOT going to change.
2a) The Force.Net doesn't owe it to anyone to make itself 'more inclusive'. It IS a huge fan site that has something for almost anyone, from the Senate to the movies and so much in between - if 'you' can't find a place, it's not the responsibility of TF.N...
2b) Dingo put it quiet eloquently (as usual) - the only time a person's sexuality should be in question is if you are looking to be intimate with someone OUTSIDE of the BOARDS.
I guess that's one of the things we will have to agree to disagree on. I believe that if TF.N is going to make claims and aspirations about being the Star Wars website to be at, then we need to strive for a Star Wars website where all fans can be welcome - and part of this is making sure outdated policies against QRF are repealed. Then again I'm getting this odd idea that people posting here actually agree on a lot, it's just we've gotten this combative atmosphere going. For my part in that I apologise and I'm hoping we can move forward past it.
Well you learn new things everyday anyway I agree it should be overturned people should be able to write what they want as long as its nothing to Graphical.
Thank you Jedi Knight Fett. I agree. I'll reiterate, I'm not here to bring smut to the boards, I'm just here to get this part of a specific ruleset repealed. There's nothing inherently more dangerous about a fanfiction where Luke has a nice cuddle and cup of tea with Mara than if he has one with Lando. I'm not really sure where the idea that I'm insisting the PG-13 limit be raised comes from - not unless people think somehow queer folk are inherently scandalous? - so I guess I'll chalk it up to the confusion of the thread.
What's "white-knighting" anyway?
"Social justice-warrioring by people not part of the group they're "offering unprompted help" to"?
If so - I think the term, like SJW, seems a bit inflammatory and not conducive to civil debate.
People are conflating the PG-13 thing with this issue. They're separate, and the PG-13 rule is not up for debate here. A same-sex relationship is not inherently breaking the PG-13 rule, so there is no connection.
Sent from the World
Exactly. That's why I don't understand the fear that allowing SSR fic would turn the boards into a smutfest.
It's shocking since Hutts are hermaphrodites, so same sex relationship isn't quite the correct term
It is the assumption that people in a particular group or groups are not only able to fight their own battles, but are not even able to determine what those battles should be, and therefore need help from people who are not part of that group to decide which battles they should fight and why.
It is not strictly 'the defense of a particular group by those outside the group.' That defense is not only usually welcomed, it is also necessary. It goes further than that in assuming physical or mental weakness and/or a lack of intellect among those in a particular group.
In feminism, it's the polar opposite of "you're too sensitive, sweetheart, it was just a sexist joke"--but the viewpoint of women is pretty similar when someone says "you're not sensitive enough, sweetheart, you should be bothered by that, let me come rescue you even though you haven't asked to be rescued." Both instances involve telling women what to be sensitive about.
I think a LOT of people here are misconstruing intentions,and trying to box in everyone who disagrees with some negative label. "No, you!" arguments are always unproductive, and I credit Harpalyce for trying to move the discussion along despite the mud-slinging here.
Reiterating a misconception that is being repeated on this page: the assumption that anyone who wants the rule changed wants a smutfest.
I never assumed that at all.
I did ask if forum members wanted a shipfest. And from subsequent posts...maybe it already is? So repeating this one too: I stopped writing or reading fan fic several years ago when I stopped enjoying almost any form of 'shipping so maybe fan fic and 'shipping go hand in hand more than I had thought.
So instead of slinging mud and labeling other posters like a bunch of kids on a playground ("Smut writer!" "Homophobe!" "Perv!" "Dictator who wants to censor pairings you don't like!"), maybe we should sum up the argument?
"Luke/Lando fics should be allowed under the same guidelines that Luke/Mara fics are allowed. If the noncanon pairing Obi-Wan/Padme is allowed, the noncanon Obi-Wan/Qui-Gon should be allowed too."
...and hash it out from there. If the forum is already as full of 'shipping as you all have indicated, and active members are happy with that...I don't see how loosening the rule to include what I just described, would negatively impact it, so...carry on.
Maybe. But, like SJW, it's a label that IMO has a risk of stirring up resentment when it gets thrown around.
Okay, since we all seem to agree that SSR should be allowed in fanfic within the boundaries of the TOS, I tried to look up if Lucasfilm has an official policy about canon characters being involved in homosexual relationships. What I found was a bunch of stuff dating back to 1981 and has mostly to do with Lucasfilm not wanting any SW porn to be published in fanzines -- which is the standard on these boards, so I'll skip that bit (you can read the details here).
When it comes to homosexuality in particular, the short version of the story (details here) is that, in 1981, a fanzine submitted a fic to Lucasfilm for approval before they published it and that fic included a homosexual canon character. The director of the Official SW Fan Club initially rejected it but said that a story involving homosexual OCs would be acceptable. They later relented when the zine editor sent a letter of protest, arguing that 1. there was no graphic sex in the story, 2. by excluding homosexual fan fiction Lucasfilm would be discriminating against gays and lesbians. Apparently the Fanclub director's final reply was:
Of course all this dates back to 1981, so DarthBreezy you might have been referring to a later statement by Lucas himself? I googled around quite a bit and didn't find anything else, but that's not to say I didn't miss anything.
Also, I didn't check if Disney have a different position on the matter.
It isn't overly relevant what Disney do or do not say because a Lesbian Moff has happened in the new canon. That's before we count the gay Mandalorians from Legends, Sarn Shilds, and whatever the drama was about the Old Republic game last year.
Their policy is clear in their publications.
Sent from the World
Thank you Chyntuck for your research! That was extremely useful. My own googling had failed me when it came to the origins of this idea in fandom.
I think we can all agree on some key points:
The rules as they stand right now about queer relationship fiction and same-sex relationship fiction should be looked at by the mods.
The official position of canon at this day and age is that queer relationships exist in the GFFA.
The change in rules here has nothing to do with removing the PG-13 cap. Fanfiction will still be expected to be in good taste when it comes to romantic scenes etc.
"Luke/Lando fics should be allowed under the same guidelines that Luke/Mara fics are allowed. If the noncanon pairing Obi-Wan/Padme is allowed, the noncanon Obi-Wan/Qui-Gon should be allowed too." -anakinfan1983.
The fact that the moderators are looking into changing this rule (in due time, given that some mods are being attacked by Darth IRL at the moment) is a very good thing.
Is this an accurate summary?
What I'm seeing is that people are worried that overturning the rule will bring in an influx of graphic smut and Han/Luke fics.
I just want to be able to write two male OCs cuddling on the couch together while watching a movie.