I would argue this extends from under 30 to 112.
If you’re under 30 and in a relationship right now, and you’re not head over heels, get out. You are way too young to be wasting your time with someone who doesn’t make you really happy to be with them every day. There’s nothing sadder than watching 23-year-olds settle.
I would argue this extends from under 30 to 112.
SOMEONE GIFED IT?!?!?!?!
Dirtbag mall heeeeiiiiissstt!!!!!
Think about some of the non-canonically supported ships that you know. Mycroft and Lestrade have been in one scene together in all nine episodes of Sherlock, but Mystrade is a huge ship. In Teen Wolf, Stiles and Derek are constantly shipped together, despite sharing very few canon scenes. Meanwhile, Allison and Lydia, who are getting a lot of screentime together this season, have barely five hundred fics on AO3. (Sterek has about twenty thousand.) I don’t mean to disparage one ship or the other—what I’m curious about is why fandom seems to have latched onto the male ship over the female one.
This disinterest in female sexuality can be seen even in everyday examples from our culture: female rape scenes in movies are okay, but female pleasure is not allowed; girls are taught that their first time having sex should hurt, because the person who gets pleasure out of sex is the man; there’s even been controversy over lesbian erotica being “too racy” to sell well, although gay erotica seems to do just fine. This focus on male pleasure over female pleasure can even be found throughout history: early translators of the poet Sappho, a woman who loved both sexes, deliberately changed the pronouns in the poems so that Sappho was waxing poetic about a man, not a woman. Culturally, the male gaze rules supreme—if a lesbian scene isn’t written by and performed for a male consumer, it most likely would not exist.
And yet fanfiction is an inherently transformative work which, by its very nature, strives to address or change some flaw that exists in canon, even if that flaw is “why isn’t there more of this thing?!” Fanfiction has addressed the lack of gay men by making straight characters gay; it’s addressed countless cultural misappropriations with wildly varying AUs; it’s addressed canon plot holes and timeline issues with fix-it fics and crossovers. Fanfic is the show your show could be like, if only you dared to dream.
But for all its transformative nature, fanfiction and fandom still suffer from a real dearth of femslash. Beyond the simple fact that very few girls exist in canon materials, the societal emphasis on the male gaze seems to have affected fanficcers’ creativity to such an extent that even in our own fantasies, we cannot give women a fair shake.
God dammit someone please send me that gif of the girl in Broad City lifting her hands to the sky in hilarious praise because I’ve needed it several times in the past week including now.
There’s something very uncomfortable for me about the tendency to gay male ship, and I’ve been trying to pick that apart, and this is an important part of it. Let me take it another, potentially controversial, place and ask, what are you finding unsatisfying about the male/female relationships in some of these series?
I agree VERY MUCH that we need more alternate sexualities presented in TV and film in a “normal” or common way (i.e. not hyper-sexualized or voyeuristic). HOWEVER. let’s take one I’m very familiar with. Sterek vs. Stydia. Here’s how I see it, in my admittedly biased way:
Stydia - Two relative strangers find themselves in a series of situations in which they need to combine their intellect and intuition to save their mutual friends and in doing so grow closer and develop a relationship based on trust and respect.
Sterek - I mean I don’t know but from what I’ve gathered it’s like happy, funny person undertakes the task of trying to fix someone who is deeply broken and mostly gets mocked for it but sometimes there’s angry sex.
I fully acknowledge that’s over-simplified, but here’s my point. In one of these we have a much more traditional gendered dynamic and it’s NOT in the heterosexual relationship. Sterek is downright Twilight-level unbalanced to me. In fact several of the gay ships I see on here involve one partner “fixing” or “opening up” the other (Sherlock/John, lately Steve/Bucky). What’s more when someone who fervently subscribes to a gay ship is approached with, “well why don’t you find Stiles and Lydia interesting?” I often see responses like:
It’s like the gay ship is developed to save the male character from being an a relationship fans see as unfit. Stiles doesn’t know her either in this interpretation, he theoretically thinks she’s a princess (I don’t subscribe to this, I think it’s very wrong, but that’s the theory). If he’s being a “nice guy” then he can masturbate alone, no? Isn’t that what we say? Why doesn’t Lydia get what she “deserves”? Why is the move to put Stiles in a situation where HE looks better, and Lydia is un-admired?
It’s so rare to see someone talk about a relationship - straight or lesbian - where one woman deserves another person. It’s like fans think the only person worth their favorite male character would have to be another man. We’re too critical of other women to bestow that honor.
If I were to say I rather see Bucky with Natasha (a relationship in which Natasha could be in a position of power, leading Bucky down a path of recovery she herself has walked down and Steve has not) I would probably get a million angry anons, and several of them would probably call me homophobic (I’ve run a 1D blog, I’m not unfamiliar with this process). But I’m not saying I don’t want Steve and Bucky together because ew boys kissing. I’m saying I think - given the contest between a man (Steve) and a woman (Natasha) - a woman is the more capable and deserving.
Hi, how are you? I’d like to talk to you today about Natasha Romanoff and having friends.
Friendship is kind of about two things - liking who someone is and trusting them enough to be who YOU are. The Winter Soldier obviously grappled with her inability to trust anyone enough to be herself with them. But it also demonstrated nicely via her selecting potential dates for Cap that she has the ability to like people, to consider someone nice and interesting enough for Steve to go out with. At the end of the day however, these S.H.I.E.L.D. agents all go grab a drink and play some pool (head canon involving Maria Hill drinking whiskey and taking everyone’s money) and Nat goes home alone.
It’s almost like she doesn’t understand why, and she doesn’t bother to think about it too much. Friends aren’t my thing. That’s fine. But her heart - dare I be that cheesy? - is so starved for affection that it acts on it’s own. Subconsciously, Natasha develops very serious affection and trust for a few people who have been instrumental in turning her life around - Clint and Nick. Her dedication to them is almost childlike the way Scarlett plays it. Didn’t that scene in the hospital kind of feel like Cap, Maria, and their kid? Childlike because it’s automatic, it’s instinctual, the way a kid loves her family. If you asked her who she trusted she’d say no one. And if you pressed - what about Clint and Fury? - well obviously them. Like the connection between “having friends” and having friends isn’t there for her.
Which is why I loooove her and Cap in The Winter Soldier. It’s like he’s teaching her the process of making a friend, showing her she can take control of this and form bonds intentionally and not just subconsciously in a way she doesn’t understand. As they become friends, Steve practically walks her through how they’re doing it - Would you trust me? I would now. - so that she has a guideline for it later. So that she can have agency in it. She’s the most powerful, capable one of them in so many ways except this one. And Steve wants to empower her in this too.
Okay, that’s it. Have a great day. And thank you for your cooperation.
It’s so hard because like they’re doing SUCH good work. Like Marvel Studios is gonna go down in history for this run and you’ll be a part of it but holy mother of god 9 pictures??? That’s like over a decade of your life! So like I feel equal amounts of bad for them alongside man be proud to be a part of this. You could have spent ten years on The Big Bang Theory.