"My response to the “I am not a feminist” internet phenomenon….
First of all, it’s clear you don’t know what feminism is. But I’m not going to explain it to you. You can google it. To quote an old friend, “I’m not the feminist babysitter.”
But here is what I think you should know.
You’re insulting every woman who was forcibly restrained in a jail cell with a feeding tube down her throat for your right to vote, less than 100 years ago.
You’re degrading every woman who has accessed a rape crisis center, which wouldn’t exist without the feminist movement.
You’re undermining every woman who fought to make marital rape a crime (it was legal until 1993).
You’re spitting on the legacy of every woman who fought for women to be allowed to own property (1848). For the abolition of slavery and the rise of the labor union. For the right to divorce. For women to be allowed to have access to birth control (Comstock laws). For middle and upper class women to be allowed to work outside the home (poor women have always worked outside the home). To make domestic violence a crime in the US (It is very much legal in many parts of the world). To make workplace sexual harassment a crime.
In short, you know not what you speak of. You reap the rewards of these women’s sacrifices every day of your life. When you grin with your cutsey sign about how you’re not a feminist, you ignorantly spit on the sacred struggle of the past 200 years. You bite the hand that has fed you freedom, safety, and a voice.
In short, kiss my ass, you ignorant little jerks.”
Why is LJ putting subject lines in comments a big deal?
Sure, why not! I was there! I can mostly answer this.
First it’s important to understand that they’re not simply putting subject lines into comments, they’re putting them back.
Second, let’s backtrack a second here.
There’s a quote going around tumblr that I love. About how fandom is the most technically rigorous test you can ever give your product.
Because fandom is actually fairly large, we’re smaller than some people think, but we’re larger than most assume. AND most of online fandom makes heavy use of interaction. We don’t just create output (fic, vids, gifs, etc), we don’t just ponder meta to ourselves, we don’t just wonder in our shower if that really WAS a monster cock under those tailored trousers. We go online and ask for second, third and twelfth opinions. We bounce ideas, squee, glee, anger, sadness, righteous fury, EMOTIONS, we bounce emotions and ideas off each other in ways I think other groupings don’t.
The question that comes up often is “why did fandom nest here and not there?” Well. A lot of it is what’s available at the time. Freely. (There can be paid options as well, but there needs to be a decent network of free services and capabilities.)
Fandom is incredibly adaptive. They don’t need (or at least have historically not gotten until recently) places designed exactly for their needs and unique forms of communication. Fandom is usually pretty happy with a 60% - 80% overlap of features originally implemented for the platform’s original use and what fandom wants from its platforms.
Fandom can adjust, adapt, test the limits, break it and then come back and go “okay we can do X, but only until Y and then we have to do Z” and we can make it work for us.
What happens is, options that fandom uses are not always considered vital options. Or cause maintenance issues that the maintainers of the product never expected and don’t know how to handle, or just don’t want to.
THEN invariably, an option disappears. Maybe the product is attempting to update for the times, maybe they have new management and want to go in different directions, maybe there really is a very small hint of ‘oh god get the porny weirdos out of our hair before the buyer comes in and kicks the tires!’.
BACK to the original question now.
On livejournal, subject lines were incorporated into the workings of many fannish pursuits because they were a way of being upfront about the content of the coming comment. Subject lines could include things like: fandom, pairing, rating, word counts, kink and/or meme prompt, trigger/content warnings. THESE were all especially helpful for active posts because eventually conversation threads were collapsed to save space and loading time. Fanfic memes meant to respond in comments became easier to search on your own. Etc.
When LJ took the subject lines away it was in the middle of a series of decisions that were very alienating to fandom already, from what I recall there was no warning and the reasoning was along the lines of ‘facebook doesn’t do it’. It’s what finally caused one of the larger mass migrations off LJ to other social networks and certain memes that had been born within the structure of the LJ comment page either came up with style work arounds that were pretty imperfect, rules to help compensate which were difficult to get right sometimes or they just moved entire because they liked the format they already had.
Basically when comment subject lines were removed, it literally broke about 1/3 of the fannish infrastructure.
As usual, there were thousands of comments asking why (from what I could tell the answers never really got better) and for opt outs or reversing it, but LJ staff remained firm that it was for the good of the Empire or whatever (yeah I’m getting pretty sarcastic here, LJ was being especially empty headed in some of its decisions at that point.)
This all happened before I completely dropped out of fandom for a while, so, YEARS ago. The reason why it’s so hilarious is it’s just a bit of too little too late and it’s fairly easy to imagine that a platform designed for interaction making it HARDER and then taking this long to figure maybe that’s not a great idea.
“Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it. And by doing it, they’re proven right. Because, I think there’s something inside of you—and inside of all of us—when we see something and we think, ‘I think I can do it, I think I can do it. But I’m afraid to.’ Bridging that gap, doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that—THAT is what life is. And I think you might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that’s special. And if you’re not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself. Now you know. A mystery is solved. So, I think you should just give it a try. Just inch yourself out of that back line. Step into life. Courage. Risks. Yes. Go. Now.”—Amy Poehler (via poehlerfey)
Imagine being in a relationship in which you are treated like an equal, consciously and unconsciously, sexually, emotionally, socially, romantically, without being bound by gender expectations, without risk of pregnancy (or having your reproductive rights taken away from you), without feelings of inferiority, without being mistreated or neglected because men don’t understand your body and can’t be bothered to learn how to give you pleasure (or that you even deserve pleasure). Imagine having a reciprocating relationship with someone who knows how to touch you and how to talk to you, who will never abuse you or take away your consent. Imaging feeling powerful, safe, like the default rather than the specific or second-class. Imagine not requiring special handling by awkward, inconsiderate men who were never taught any better. Imagine being allowed to touch and enjoy and indulge without apprehension. Imagine being able to trust your partner. Imagine knowledge and understanding, someone who sees your depths and treats you the way you’d treat yourself if you hadn’t been told from birth that you weren’t worth it.
Girls aren’t “making them gay.”
Girls are fantasizing about being equal.
I have wondering about this in fandom for many years and reading this just made me tear up. I figured this was a big reason, but breaking it down to this extent made me so extremely sad. I realized a long time ago that even if I met the nicest guy in the world, I still have to battle all those things mentioned above. Just being friends is hard. I don’t have a happy history in this area like a lot of women and I have major trust issues with men and I wish somehow that wall could be broken down and we could all truly be seen as equal…as people with value. If you have all of the above with someone of the opposite sex then you are really lucky. See women are expected to give all those things listed above and settle for not getting them in return. I believe it’s a rare thing if you have it returned. Like I said, if I was with the nicest guy in the world I will always doubt myself, think he see’s me as different, talk to me different… Why? Because that’s our experience. This world raises us to believe we are worth absolutely nothing. The idea of being equal is one of our greatest fantasies.
It’s sad that it has to be a fantasy.
It’s totally sad.
But on the other hand, slash writers are some of the most empathetic people I know. And they’re great educators, too, probably in ways they might not expect. A good slash fanfiction writer can help women understand their desires and overcome some of those feelings of shame and worthlessness.
Think about how many girls have learned how to masturbate thanks to slash fanfiction.
Sometimes just knowing that we’re all reading and enjoying the stories is an immense comfort. People will tell you that slash is trash, that fangirls are desperate and pathetic, but ladies telling ladies that they’re allowed is a powerful thing.
Yeah, oh man. This is. Yeah, this is a lot. I especially feel the taboo surrounding female sexuality to the point that even though I’m Pretty Gay myself, I’m uncomfortable with my own sexuality (not as in orientation) and also dealing with the sexuality of other women. Like in some ways, I am always hesitant to appreciate sexiness in women because we are almost never shown female sexuality in a safe, respectful, and equal way and it still freaks me out.
I will never forget — and I wish so *badly* I still had a copy — the essay one of my exes wrote before she gafiated, in which she talked about how the act of writing slash and being part of the slash community in general had allowed her to “write herself back into her body”.
To, essentially, take off some of the blinders and filters western culture had put on her, all the things that had convinced her that, as an “overtall, fat, awkward, anxious, and altogether unattractive” person (she did have some anxiety issues, but none of the rest was true by any measure but all the lies we’ve ALL been told), she deserved neither happiness, nor romance, nor anything resembling sexual parity or satisfaction.
We met through fandom — she later told me she’d been quietly lurking on my mailing lists and around my websites for two years before she ever actually spoke to me — and we had four good years together before our relationship started to fall apart.
And, while not all of our happiness — together and separately — can be laid at the feet of the various slash goddesses, quite a lot of it can be.
Slash wrote *me* back into my body, too — several times, in several ways. Slash connected me to genders I never could’ve imagined, or could’ve imagined being *worth* connecting to in the days before I really understood the possibilities inherent to taking the media I had been given and *transforming* it.
We are *here*, and our pleasure is worth it — our pleasures, plural, are part and parcel of our identities.
And, you know, some of us, after we’ve been writing slash for a good, long while?
Find new ways to express those pleasures when women are there, new ways to understand those aspects of our sexualities — our *identities* — which include *hetero*sexuality.
It’s a journey. A process. A continuum. A spectrum. A *multiverse*.
What is 50 shades of grey about? And what's so bad about it?
50 Shades of Grey was originally fanfiction based on the Twilight series, which was then published as a novel (along with 2 subsequent books). It sold over 100 million copies around the world and topped best-seller lists everywhere. It’s about to be adapted into a film, set to come out early next year.
It follows a college student named Ana Steele, who enters a relationship with a man named Christian Grey and is then introduced to a bastardised and abusive parody of BDSM culture.
While the book is paraded as erotica, the relationship between Ana and Christian is far from healthy. The core mantra of the BDSM community is “safe, sane and consensual”, and 50 Shades is anything but. None of the rules of BDSM practices (which are put in place to protect those involved) are actually upheld. Christian is controlling, manipulative, abusive, takes complete advantage of Ana, ignores safe-words, ignores consent, keeps her uneducated about the sexual practices they’re taking part in, and a multitude of other terrible things. Their relationship is completely sickening and unhealthy.
Basically, “the book is a glaring glamorisation of violence against women,” as Amy Bonomi so perfectly put it.
It’s terrible enough that a book like this has been absorbed by people worldwide. Now, we have a film that is expected to be a huge box-office success, and will likely convince countless more young women that it’s okay not to have any autonomy in a relationship, that a man is allowed to control them entirely. It will also show many young men that women are theirs to play with and dominate, thus contributing to antiquated patriarchal values and rape culture.
50 Shades of Grey is a book about romanticized abuse. It is not a depiction of any healthy relationship, BDSM or otherwise. It glorifies and romanticizes a rich and powerful man sexually assaulting a woman. It is not cute, it is not fun, and it sure as shit is not romantic. Please do not be fooled. This book is not what BDSM is about, and it is not what a romantic relationship should look like. Sincerely, Lilykep
so yeah schools coming up and that sucks but you know what else is coming up? ugly sweaters and scarves and PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES AND HALLOWEEN AND CUDDLING BECAUSE ITS COLD AND FALL LEAVES AND HIKING IN THE BRISK AIR AND THEN AFTER THAT SNOW AND HOT COCOA AND MALLS DECORATED FOR HOLIDAYS AND FRICK SCHOOL ALL OF THIS IS WORTH IT WOWIE