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snowynight: An Asian doctor who's also Captain America (Default)
Hurt/comfort is a genre that involves the physical pain or emotional distress of one character, who is cared for by another character.  It's a very popular in fanfic. I enter hurt/comfort as keyword in del.icio.us and gets 14441 results. However, the trope is not highly represented in femslash. Using AO3 as an example, there're only 269 story tagged as hurt/comfort which contain femslash pairing. Why the disparity?

I don't have concrete answers. But I have hypothesis.

1. Hurt/comfort usually requires adding and extrapolating the hurt endured by a characters. Unfourtunately, in most of the canons, the female characters suffer, lose their power, are deprived of their agency too many time that we don't feel comfortable writing or reading additional hurt piled on the female characters.

2. Because our canon don't necessary pass the Bechtel's test with flying colour, there's often no other female characters that are reasonably available at these points of the hurt character's life to provide comfort. It can be bypassed, but there're effort.

3. As a lot of femslash writers are identified as female, there's not much distance between the hurt on the characters and the writers themselves. It's easier to identify with the character being hurt and thus harder to fetishizes the hurt.

4. In popular narrative, women are supposed to suffer. As their stories're considered not so important by the society, we're less likely to be trained to acknowledge and expand on the woman characters' suffering. 

Take me as example, if hurt /comfort exists along on a spectrum, I 'm more inclined to hurt the characters and withhold the comfort because I enjoy characters who stoically and bravely endure the bad things in life. However, for some female characters I love, their life basically are bad. Marvel superhero Carol Danvers experienced enough rape as drama, depowering, addiction problems and such that I admire her for being a surviver, but it hurt me to read the canon myself, not to mention creating fanwork based on it. It's harder to provide comfort because Carol's female friends are often not literally available. I'm also less likely to indulge in hurting female characters  because it makes me guilty, as if I were joining the canon writers in depowering the female characters.

It's my hypothesis. What's your opinion?
snowynight: An Asian doctor who's also Captain America (Default)


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snowynight: An Asian doctor who's also Captain America (Default)
Intersectionality is a concept often used in critical theories to describe the ways in which oppressive institutions (racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, classism, etc.) are interconnected and cannot be examined separately from one another.(1) In the case of writing femslash, I would like to share the joy, conflict, and struggle in trying to incorporate intersectionality in writing femslash.

My background: I mostly write in Marvel comics and Disney Princess fandom. I identify as Hong Kong Chinese. When I look back at my work, I write 9 out of 24 femslsh stories with characters of colour as protagonists, and 4 out of 24 with disabled characters as protagonists, 1 out of 24 is labeled with class issue.

The first thing about intersectionality is to aim for diversity in general as well as gender-balance and women-friendliness in particular. On AO3, there're 507 femslsh out of 3048 work labelled with characters of colour, 42 work out of 627 with disabled characters labeled, 8 out of 75 work labelled class issues are femslash, so people are writing, and conscious enough to label them.

When I started writing less than three years ago,  a friend of mine introduced me to Misty Knight and Colleen Wing in Marvel comics. Misty is an ex-New York cop with a cybernetic arm. Colleen is a samurai in United States. Together they fight crime. They have a relationship that transcends beyond friends or sisters, and in one issue Misty's love for Colleen is strong enough to break free of mind control. It's great shipping materials. But back then on the AO3, there was only one drabble featuring both of them. I surfed the Internet and could only find two fic on LJ. A google search shows 3 work with Misty Knight on fanfiction.net. Simply put, they may as well be invisible. The reasons seem to be clear: They're not in  a major comics series, do not star in movie or TV or animations. I hate to speculate, but that they're female characters of colour may play a strong part in their being ignored by Marvel and the fans.

So I write.

There is joy, simply because I have materials to read about them together. Judging from the hits and kudoes, they 're read by people other than me. There's frustration and challenge. Because I'm not them. Colleen was raised in Japan and received samurai training. Then she moved to US. I don't have the relevant background to understand all these impact on her. Misty is a Black ex-New York cop. What does she experience because she's a Black woman everyday? I can't say. Looking back I think I go for the canon route, to write about them s superhero, as lovers, but to downplay these kinds of issues.  Even if I were a Black disabled woman who lived in New York, we might not share the same experience.   I can do research as best as possible, but the distance 's always here, and I need to respect it.

Another example is Belle/Esmeralda (Disney), which is inspired by a fanvid. They live in a dangerous time for love, and Esmeralda's raised as a Romani. The cross race relationship brings the factor of power in. I want to say that I handle the issue well, but in fact I evade it by writing AU for them. It's Disney, and they deserve a happy ending.

And I want to tell you  my bad example of doing it wrong. Destiny/Mystique is a canon bisexual couple in Marvel comics, and Destiny's blind. When I write a certain story bout them and reread it, a scene comes out totally wrong: I totally forget that Destiny's blind when writing that scene. This's my privilege and lazy writing showing.

When I write the characters, I try to ask myself some questions: Do my characters avoid to be stereotypes? Do they have agency of their own? Do they live in a world that reflects the diversity of the reality? I try to achieve all of them, and I can say I do my best in them. But is it enough? I don't know.

The benchmark of Bechdel's test is "...Plenty of female characters, with stories told from their POV, and stories that are not entirely cliche, and with agency in those storylines that is not usually taken away from them, and have relationship with other women..." (2) and I just want to add one thing: let the female characters be outside the able-bodied, white, or other privileged norm.


(1)http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Intersectionality
(2)http://ivanolix.livejournal.com/199285.html

snowynight: An Asian doctor who's also Captain America (Default)
Misty is a Black former New York cop turned PI with a cyborb arm. Colleen is a mixed-race last Samurai. Together they fight crime!

Misty Knight and Colleen Wing art linkspam:
http://awyeahmona.tumblr.com/post/4901302540/image-fanart-of-misty-knight-and-colleen-wing: Colleen and Misty roller skating
http://stormseye.livejournal.com/37908.html: Misty and Colleen in action. I like how strong they look.
http://duskflare.deviantart.com/art/Colleen-and-Misty-207743353: Misty and Colleen as roller derby queen. Lovely colour.
http://daughtersofthedragon.tumblr.com/post/5122678864/misty-and-colleen-by-ming-doyle: Misty and Colleen sketch by Ming Doyle
http://chiroptophobia.tumblr.com/post/3353409194/inexcusably-bad-damnit-schoolwork-o: Another lovely Misty and Colleen art work
http://germanacviana.deviantart.com/art/Daughters-of-the-Dragon-2-198312906 Daughter of te Dragon fanart
http://fuckyeahlongbox.tumblr.com/post/2865881275 Misty and Colleen in wooden colour
http://daughtersofthedragon.tumblr.com/post/2621428479/by-tony-salmons Misty and Colleen by Tony Salmons

NSFW
http://daughtersofthedragon.tumblr.com/post/3315105387/source Misty/Colleen, chair


May. 11th, 2011 07:00 pm

Idea.

snowynight: An Asian doctor who's also Captain America (Default)
When I'm discussing the lack of femslash in fandom, I'm enabled to hold a fest celebrating relationship between female-identified characters in canon. Well, it's very meaningful but......

ETA: I started [community profile] female_fest, a pan fandom fest celebrating female relationship. It's quite empty yet, but hopefully I'll add on tonight.

Do appreciate signal boost and help.
snowynight: An Asian doctor who's also Captain America (Default)
How I get into tabletop rpg.

I discovered tabletop rpg on my own on the Internet. The game is Top Secret S.I., a 80's spy rpg game. It's my first love - I plays with the character generation for minute. My first game, though, was a super game that I played with my brother using rock, scissor and paper to decide on result. I was GM then, and the trend continued.

generic or specific system?

Both have their place, I think. It depends which one is suitable for the setting I'll use

Fantasy or sci-fi?

Sci-fi. Because I like to explore the future and technology in games.

random or point-buy character generation?
I like to have some control in the character, so I prefer point buy. But random power for superheroes can be fun too.

crunchy or rule-light?
I'm lazy so I appreciate anything without much prep-work.

Style or substance?
I am know to be lured to RPG with good layout, but I also happen to think the brievity of GURPS book is a great style, so.

Narrative or simulationist?
I prefer narrative more because I can wing more things easier.

GM or Player?
I want to be simply a player, but so far I can't find people to GM for me.
snowynight: An Asian doctor who's also Captain America (Default)
Some anecdotes

I love Sherlock Holmes, so I can't resist the lure of the 2009 Sherlock Holmes film. It has Mary and Irene in a greater role than in the book, but the movie's never about them, never told in their POV. They pretty much respond to the action. I return from the cinema with a vague thought that I would like a gun-swinging Mary partnered with Irene in a steampunk Victorian London, but I don't really get the characters enough. Because the movie doesn't give me this.

When I watch the earlier season of Stargate: Atlantis, there are only two female favourite characters. They are shown as friends, and the fandom pretty much pair them as the spare. Later in the season there were more female characters introduced and filmed interaction between Teyla and them. While the amount of fic produced is not much as far as I know, Teyla launched several ships, Teyla/Kate, Teyla/Keller, Teyla/Sam.  While the canon is not good enough, it at least gives a starting point to write and passes the Bechdel's test in some episodes.

My hypothesis about the lack of femslash little black dress is thus:
There're just not enough female characters. Even nowadays a show can be without one female major character. Supernatural, for example  is a big offender.

When there are finally some, the writers often screw up on the female characters. The stories are often not about them, the story not told in their POV, they often go without agency or sacrificed for some dramatic effect. These combined don't encourage fans of female characters. When the show finally pass Bechdel's Test, there are usually no multiple female relationships, not to mention multiple female friendships.

And when there are such examples, people don't know about it.

In conclusion, with the current trend, we're less likely to see femslash little black dress.
snowynight: An Asian doctor who's also Captain America (Default)
I'm doing it out of order.

Day #29: Your favorite series you would suggest to read

Marvel Adventures: Avengers - great fun, characters as heroes and friends, interesting villains, good plot. I love it.

Daughters of Dragon: a series packed with action and woman kicking ass.

White Tiger: Great characterization and development plot

Ultimates vol. 1 and 2. The characters are harsher, but good reading.
snowynight: An Asian doctor who's also Captain America (Default)
People to follow
[personal profile] boundbooks: I like her book review, concise and to the point.
[personal profile] coffeeandink: Same as above
[personal profile] oyceter: Same as above

Community to follow:
[community profile] asexual_fandom: great discussion about asexuality.
[community profile] fanart_recs: For the pretty fanart.
[community profile] fem_thoughts: Femslash meta
[community profile] forkedtongues: Language and translation always fascinate me.



snowynight: An Asian doctor who's also Captain America (Default)
I made a crhomatic Marvel comics icon post and a Sailor Moon icon post to a challenge.

Do you ever participate in writing challenges? Which ones?

Yes. Yuletide, remix redux, Junetide cap-ironman winter exchange and two bigbang.

Out of all the characters you've ever written, which one is your favorite? Which one has surprised you the most?
Xi Yue. She's just fun to write. Ult. Steve surprised me most because I'm told that I get his voice.

Do you use unreliable narrators? Why or why not?
I did, when I'm writing horror. It enhanced the atmosphere.

What do you like most about writing? What do you dislike?
I like it when a good idea comes through. I dislike it when I need to scrap my word count.

Give some examples of how various story ideas have come to you. What forms did they come in?
Sometimes I read others prompts and just obsess about it. Then I elaborate it, mold it until it became a new one. Sometimes I put the characters into a new setting to see what'll happen.

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