I’m not sure why, but I’m getting more pokes, links and hits on my m/m fiction and slash tag again; I think I’ve been linked somewhere again, I don’t know. Either way, my inbox is getting a definite uptick on stuff related (including an inordinate number of book recommendations, many of which are… questionable to say the least).
Anyway, people are asking opinions (read the tag, I’ve pretty much said everything and don’t see why repeating it will matter) and trying to push me to various discussions. I’m not sure why, maybe because they want my take, maybe because they and their friends want to play ambush or maybe because they want to use me as a weapon in their own personal little grudgematches,.
Look, I really don’t want to join any discussion, debate or musing on slash and/or m/m fiction on any forum or blog or whatever because too much of this whole debate, genre, fandom, category are places I don’t consider safe spaces for gay men. Sure there are some safe spaces out there, but they are the minority and I don’t want to dip my fingers into various pools to figure out which ones have piranhas in them
But if you really think there is a debate, discussion or musing on slash (involving men, rather than femslash or slash involving women) and m/m fiction that you really want to tell me about then please check it against these 2 questions first (these aren’t the only questions I have before I consider a place safe, but these are the first hurdle).
1) Is anyone saying “these are not aimed at gay men” or “these aren’t for gay men” or “these don’t involve gay men” or something similar without being dogpiled with giant ant-eaters?
If so then uckies – that’s objectification right there. Gay and bi men are objects, tools, things to this place, not people in our own right. Objectification is one of dehumanising elements of fetishisation. I’d rather stay away
2) If this is a discussion/debate/busy comment thread, etc does it contain a significant number of gay or bisexual men? If there are a number of people involved discussing this, how many of them are gay or bi men?
If the answer is “none” or “a teeny minority” or “a very small proportion” then I’m going to stay away as well. The idea of genre entirely based around a marginalised identity constantly being analysed by groups of people that exclude (or include a few small tokens) the people being written about is always something I’m deeply uncomfortable about and usually means I don’t want to be anywhere near the place. I generally have the same opinion of any context – if I went to a convention (unlikely but still) and there was a panel on “Writing about X minorities” and the 6 person panel were all from people who aren’t X and the room was overflowing with people who aren’t X, I’d be dubious.
Frankly, I’m unlikely to appreciate any attempts to drag me into any forum or group on the subject because it causes me no shortage of grey hairs – but if a group/discussion/forum/etc fails either of these tests, then I’m doubly unwilling. Not only that, but if you’re pointing me towards such a group without at least a disclaimer then I probably don’t want to discuss m/m fiction and slash with you either.