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It's a very long meme.

Comment to this post, and I will list seven things I want you to talk about. They might make sense or they might be totally random. Then post that list, with your commentary, to your journal. Other people can get lists from you, and the meme merrily perpetuates itself.

I love these memes. So, this came from roseredhoofbeat, one of my Sherlock fan-buddies.

1) Slashfic and feminism
Whoo boy. This is a big topic. I have many varied and conflicting thoughts on this one. The biggest problem I have with slashfic is that--unless it's femme-slash, there aren't a lot of female characters featured. Despite the fact that I tend to create original female characters, they, by definition of the genre, tend to be relatively minor. (Okay, you could argue that Maggie in Defence Mechanisms is anything but minor given the pivotal plot role she plays, but... that's another story. Possibly an actual story, because really: who IS this woman and where can I find one?) So there's that.

It can also be the breeding ground for a lot of misogyny. The sheer levels of hate towards any female character with designs on someone's preferred pair is SCARY. (*coughIreneAdlercough*) And I know for some folks, the tendency to exoticize queer men is troubling. There's a LOT of very very unrealistic gay sex out there in slash-land. And a lot of strange ideas of what actually constitutes "sex". I just got a review on one of my stories today where the person said, "I'm glad they didn't actually have sex." And I thought, "Well what the hell did I just spend five pages writing, then?" But, in what is a pretty hetero-centrist mindset, if there isn't a penis penetrating something, it's not sex. Which makes me wonder what these people think women do together, but again, another topic for another day.

On the other hand, slash is a fantastic way to explore romance tropes without having to deal with the whole "Me Tarzan, you Jane" mentality so common in romance novels. I'm always bothered when a slash author feels the need to feminize one of the male characters (not gender-swap, that's a whole different matter), or equates certain sexual practices with gender roles. And as I've written about before, it's been very liberating for me personally. It's easier for me to write male/male romance than male/female. I think there's still a fear that if I write het romance, it'll be perceived as wish fulfillment from a fat single middle-aged crazy cat lady (whether it is or not). But if there's two men, well then. Any fear of perceived author self-insert is removed from the picture.

Annnnd, then there's the whole issue of the female gaze. I know not everyone who reads/writes slash is female, or even necessarily interested in men. But I'd guess that predominantly, that's the case. Venture somewhere like Tumblr (my favorite flavor of fandom crack right now) and there is SO much discussion about so-and-so's [pick a body part] it's not even funny. Well okay, I actually DO think it's funny. And much weeping and gnashing of teeth over how attractive various actors are. (Yup, I do it too, I'm--mostly--not ashamed. Have you SEEN the men in Sherlock?) There's also a strong component of "Yes, he's brilliant, he has a lovely mind, but can you please post that gif where he takes his scarf off again? I need to stare at it for a while." It's a very female-oriented community that talks a lot about sex, which is kind of novel for me.

2) BBC-verse fandom (Who, Sherlock, Merlin, pick one)
The BBC is a giant plot by the UK government to take over their old empire by inducing an utter lack of productivity in the rest of the world through the quality of their television shows. And also, they found Benedict Cumberbatch when his spaceship crashed at the foot of a BBC broadcast tower, because that man is not human.

3) Working in a shelter
It's honestly the best job I've ever had. I don't think I could ever go back to working in a strictly corporate setting again. Because I work on the fundraising side of things, I definitely see more of the good side of people than the folks who work directly with the animals, but the horror stories are hard to deal with sometimes. That's probably been the toughest realization, that no matter how good this place is (and I'd rate it as one of the best shelters in the country), you're never going to be able to save every animal, and you're never going to be able to educate every person. Once you get past that, it gets easier.

4) Your critters
I am a crazy cat lady. Right now, I live with four cats (Pooka, Rumpus, Neville, and Belle) and one dog (Maddie the golden retriever). Pooka was my first rescue pet, a tortico (her coloring is tortie with big white patches--see icon) adopted ten years ago. She's a little old lady now (at least 12, possibly older). Rumpus I also adopted ten years ago, but he was a tiny kitten. He's a 'fraidy cat who runs from everything. Likewise Neville the brown tabby, who was a foster cat that wound up staying. He runs from me every chance he gets, but will occasionally come and get attention. And Belle, my problem child. Two years ago, I was fostering kittens for the shelter, and it was a terrible year, for everybody. Orphaned kittens are fragile at the best of times, but that year every single kitten I fostered died. Except for Belle, and it was a near thing with her. She has been a pushy brat from the very beginning, and she stole my heart. When she turned out to be the only survivor, I couldn't give her up. (Incidentally, I haven't really fostered since. That was a TOUGH year.)

And Maddie. My 8 year old baby girl, you can read all about how she wound up with me here.

5) Turning 40
Which I am doing in about 3 and a half months. (July 7th!) I'm kind of excited about it. My thirties have been full of a lot of suck, but mostly, the kind of suck that results in personal growth in a major major way. I'm hoping that in my forties I'm able to start taking advantage of all this growing I've been doing. I'm a little sad that turning 40 makes some things less likely (the idea that I'm ever going to settle down and have a family is growing more and more distant), but overall, I'm pretty optimistic.

6) Size acceptance
Here it is, something rarely seen: Glam!Lisa. That fabulous o... on Twitpic
Oh god. Quite possibly my salvation. Some time in my 20s I discovered the size acceptance or fat acceptance movement through an email list. I have been fat my entire life. I think I started getting chubby around the age of 4. My mother dealt with it in THE WORST possible manner, and as a result I spent most of my childhood on diets and hating myself, and have wound up with a serious eating disorder. The discovery that there were a WHOLE GROUP OF FAT PEOPLE OUT THERE, and that they didn't hate themselves, and that they didn't spend every day wishing they were someone else--that was pretty revolutionary for me.

It's been about 15 years, and if I'd never stumbled on to the crazy notion that I deserved love and respect regardless of my weight, I don't know that I would have come as far down the path of healing as I have. It's still difficult. I am a very large person, through a complex combination of genetics and mental illness and addiction and poor habits. Other people are varying sizes for their own complex set of reasons. Just accepting that, and accepting that it is NEVER as simple as "well you should just walk more" or whatever the latest line of diet bullshit is, has brought a lot of peace for me.

7) Being a fanfic author
I love it. I unabashedly love it. My brain still tries to tell me sometimes that I should be writing "real" stories, and that I CERTAINLY shouldn't be wasting my time/talent/whatever writing SLASH (the brain says snootily), but mostly I'm past it. I get nothing but pure JOY from telling these stories. The fact that I have a growing audience is still blowing me out of the water. It makes me squee and dance around my apartment. The only time I got anything approaching this kind of charge writing original fiction was if I got a rejection letter that didn't suck quite as much as the others (or the couple of times I got an acceptance). Seriously. The one rejection letter that I got that was written by the head editor of a magazine as opposed to his assistant? That was pure gold. :)

But with fanfic, I post stuff, and people like it. I mean, I'm sure there are people that hate it, but they've been quiet so far. Yesterday, someone actually asked me if they could translate one of my stories into Chinese, so non-English speakers could read it. CHINESE. A couple of people have been clamoring for artwork based on that same story. ("Perchance to Dream"--shamelessly short and schmoopy.) I'm approaching 'somebody pinch me' levels of glee. Because it's not quite real.

This entry was originally posted at http://roane.dreamwidth.org/923325.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 21st, 2012 04:41 pm (UTC)
I want in on this... I need to write more, both here and other projects... *peering at Open Office document just waiting for its ending...*

[Also, yay, July! Yay, Cancerians!]
Mar. 21st, 2012 04:56 pm (UTC)
1) Being a librarian
2) Tell me about what RPGs you're playing right now.
3) Books
4) Married life
5) Girl geeks
6) TV show--pick one
7) Belly dancing
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 21st, 2012 05:38 pm (UTC)
:) Does that mean you want a list too? :)
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 21st, 2012 05:57 pm (UTC)
1) Singing
2) Sherlock
3) Early childhood ed (did I mention I used to teach at a Montessori preschool?)
4) Pansexuality
5) Fibromyalgia
6) Fandom
7) California
Mar. 21st, 2012 05:08 pm (UTC)
Love the thoughts on slash & fandom! Important things that people need to be aware of. I didn't know you worked at a shelter, aw man. So much respect. During those rare times when I have money to set aside to donate, it's usually to my local shelters.

Your cats have the best names ever.

Hooray for size acceptance! And I am quite glad you're a fanfic author too :D

You're free to give me a list if you want! I HAVE MY LAST FINAL SOON! :D

Edited at 2012-03-21 05:08 pm (UTC)
Mar. 21st, 2012 05:37 pm (UTC)
THEN YOU CAN GO READ! :) Seriously, good luck on the final. :)

1) Relationships
2) Sexuality
3) California
4) Sherlock
5) School
6) Favorite color
7) Music
Mar. 21st, 2012 05:48 pm (UTC)
Ooooooh basically all my favorite things :D yay

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )