eumelia: (rest and relaxation)
Title: Tendencies
Author: [livejournal.com profile] eumelia
Pairings/Characters: Steve/Danny, a few OC’s
Summary: Just because Danny wants to kick back and relax, doesn't mean Steve is going to make it easy.
Rating: PG
Content: Less typos :}
Warnings: N/A
Word Count: 2,418
Disclaimer: All Hawaii Five-0 characters herein are the property of CBS. No copyright infringement is intended. All characters engaging in sexual activity are 16 years or older.
Author's Notes: Written for [livejournal.com profile] kitmerlot1213, as part of the [livejournal.com profile] h50_exchange. Originally posted here.
Dear [livejournal.com profile] kitmerlot1213, I was not able to do everything that was in your prompt, but I hope this is fluffy and love sick enough for you, this was not an easy write, but I hope it’s a fun read. To my spectacular beta, [livejournal.com profile] perspi, this wouldn’t have been half of good without you, thank you times a million! To my lovely proof reader, [livejournal.com profile] tailoredshirt, thank you for wrangling all the commas, all the funny accidents and for making sure this was presentable to the public. To my beloved cheerleader, you know who you are (you're [livejournal.com profile] verasteine). *snuggles*. To the adorable mods, thank you, so much, for your patience!

--

Danny loves this place )
eumelia: (mystique)
Trigger warnings are not for naught.

We are vulnerable people, we live in a world that is structured around power and that breeds a broad culture of violence, that (more often than not) men perpetuate and (more often than not) women are victimised by.

The culture of violence is something we live and breathe, we cannot avoid it, not really. We can, however, do our best to live gentler, more compassionate lives. We can do our best to empathise with those who have suffered under the tyranny of power disparity. Those of us who have been traumatised by events out of our control, whatever they may be, deserve to be treated with respect and kindness, not with indignation and ever so slightly veiled scorn.

When I read The Illusion of Safety/The Safety of Illusion by Roxane Gay earlier tonight, that's exactly what I felt.

Scorn.

Reading her post, it's clear she's been through a lot in her life, that she knows suffering and trauma.

She writes a long and relatively literary account about why trigger warnings do not work. Moreover, that they are, as the title suggests, an illusion in the face of reality and the way reality is conveyed via the media.

I hope you read the whole thing, but I want to focus on this one paragraph, as it had me bristling:

There is also this: maybe trigger warnings allow people to avoid learning how to deal with triggers, getting help. I say this with the understanding that having access to professional resources for getting help is a privilege. I say this with the understanding that sometimes there is not enough help in the world. That said, there is value in learning, where possible, how to deal with and respond to the triggers that cut you open, the triggers that put you back in terrible places, that remind you of painful history.


Where is the understanding that we are, in fact, different from each other? Okay, so trigger warnings don't suit you, who are you to judge if they are suitable for anyone else! That is what I want to know, because you know something? I need trigger warnings.

Not because I have a painful history that rips me open when I have textual reminders of something traumatising.

Trigger warnings tell me that this person is respectful of the subject. That they know what it is they are writing. It tells me that they understand the ramifications of writing subjects that are to do with the violence in our lives.

The quote above is a very condescending way of saying: "You who need trigger warnings are over sensitive, I don't need them and I've been through shit, so why should you."

Telling her audience that "trigger warnings" and "safe spaces" are illusions, empties out precisely why those concepts are necessary to begin with; they are reprieves from the brutality that is reality.

I do not expect to be accommodated by the culture of violence at large. My triggers are so specific sometimes, that I generally know what I can and can't watch at any given time (because my triggers are visual and aural), but you're side-swiped and it doesn't matter if you thought you were prepared for what was coming, sometimes your brain signals things to your body you know aren't true, but it feels that way any way.

However, when you are an artist and your medium is your message, what you want to convey isn't removed from the culture at large. When we write, when we create, we are part of a greater picture from which we take and return with not quite equal measure.

Feminist art used to be (at times still is) specific challenges to masculine supremacy and a type of in-your-face radical femininity. Now, for me at least, a big part of feminist art is approach to subject, and approach to audience.

Feminism, as a political standpoint, should be rooted in compassion, in the knowledge and awareness that we navigate and negotiate an environment that is hostile. Trigger warnings are a way to navigate through art. Does everyone need them? No. Should they be required? No. Should we begrudge those who use them? No. Should we question why people don't use them? Yes.

Roxane Gay also wrote:
Trigger warnings also, when used in excess, start to feel like censorship. They suggest that there are experiences or perspectives too inappropriate, too explicit, too bare to be voiced publicly. As a writer, I bristle when people say, “This should have had a trigger warning.” I think, “For what?”


I understand the defensive stance. I don't, however, believe there is such a thing as an "excess" use of trigger warnings, considering the discourse that even bothers to even talk about them is fucking tiny.

If you feel censored by the request of trigger warnings, I would suggest you ask yourself why? Do you want to add your voice to the culture of unaccountability when it comes to violence? Ask yourself if the mere thought of thinking of the effect your art has, as opposed to affect makes you rear and cry "censorship" in the face of criticism, what exactly your aim was.

We do not write, create, react, interact in a vacuum.

Those of us who have triggers, who have been traumatised, who walk this world hyper-aware and "over sensitive" don't need to be condescended to about being reminded of our painful history. We carry it with us, always.

It never goes away.

Asking and knowing that others know this, respect this and honour this, is a tiny and temporary reprieve.

Telling me that that reprieve is a childish illusion, is to me a show of extraordinary lack of compassion, a defeatist attitude when it comes to pushing back and being critical of the culture that enabled and enacted our trauma in the first place.
eumelia: (compassion & kindness)
Title: I Give You Thanks For Receiving (It’s My Privilege)
Authors: [livejournal.com profile] eumelia & [livejournal.com profile] verasteine
Summary: Steve slips out of his cargoes and boxers, and he's off into the cool water before Danny can make his brain work.
Rating: NC17
Pairing: Danny/Steve
Length: ~2,385 words
Spoilers: none
Disclaimer: Characters belong to CBS, no infringement intended. Title from, "You Owe Me Nothing In Return" by Alanis Morrisette.
A/N: This was inspired by an evening of watching various disturbing news items unfold about Todd Akin, George Galloway, and Julian Assange until we couldn't take it any more and had to make ourselves feel better by writing porn. This is what we think sex should look like.

--

We need to get out of the city… )
eumelia: (wave dropping)
I still have fic to write, but honestly, that will have to wait for the weekend.

I do, however, am now attempting to get back into the groove of posting regularly. I thought the 100 Things Meme would jog my non-fiction posting, but no dice.

However, thanks to Officer Kalalkaua the Tablet, I have been able to watch episodes of Hawaii Five-0 on my commute and I've decided to do an entire rewatch of the two seasons that have been aired in anticipation for the third season coming in September.

As such, I intend on writing episode by episode meta commentary.

To my non-H50 readers, I hope this is of some interest to you. To my H50 people, I hope you enjoy!

I had missed out on the first season, having mainlined it over the summer last year, and so I had missed out on all the meta opportunity that I would have written, because omg, it's so rich!

I had intended to start yesterday, but my body rebelled. So, there will be more meta than intended.

Will be posting again, soon!
eumelia: (Default)
So, uh, it's been a week again, the fic I posted yesterday not withstanding, since I posted.

I swear, I don't want to be this person who only bloggs on the weekends and the rest of the week is reduced to 140 characters and inane tumblr reblogging!

But I am that person, as well.

Somehow, I have to get my groove back.

Now though, I'm getting ready to go to my nephew's birthday party.

He's 11.

I don't even know how that's possible.
eumelia: (compassion & kindness)
Title: Rainbows Have Nothing to Hide
Author: [personal profile] eumelia/[livejournal.com profile] eumelia
Pairing/Characters: Danny, Grace.
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Pertains to a few lines from 2.18 (“Lekio”). Set after the episode and during Steve’s absence.
Word Count: 2,385
Warnings: N/A
Disclaimer: This is a work of transformative fiction, created for fun and pleasure. No copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Notes: This is a fic written for [livejournal.com profile] queer_fest. Inspired by the prompt: “ Hawaii Five-0, Danny, Grace, Danny struggles with how to explain his bisexuality to Grace, or if it's even necessary since he's not dating a guy right now anyway”.
I’d like to give a big thank you to [livejournal.com profile] perspi, [livejournal.com profile] verasteine and [livejournal.com profile] tailoredshirt for the soundboarding and beta. Thanks for the spit and shine!
The title is from “The Rainbow Connection” as sung by Kermit the Frog , or Sarah McLachlan.
Summary: “How do you know when you’re in love?”

The hiss of the sizzling pan as he plops in the butter and the tell tale clink of the spoon against a mug are his favourite sounds in the morning )
eumelia: (flog it)
I would appear that I hadn't posted for two weeks.

The first week of June 2012 will forever be missing.

I've actually just been on other platforms where writing short sentences and re-posting pictures don't take up too much brain power.

I've also been writing fic, so a lot of my wordiness has been focused on those projects, which mean I've been neglecting these spaces.

Truth be told I don't know what to write about.

I'm feeling things rather intensely lately. "Lately" being since January, and this intensity is probably going to continue until I move out (again) to a place of my own (again).

I'm temporarily permanently back to living with my parents and yesterday, after a month and a half of living like a transient out of boxes I finally cleaned and tidied up my room. And when I say "tidies" I mean I threw out all the papers in my cupboards which I hadn't looked at in almost a year and papers I'd had stashed away since high school. There were papers in boxes I hadn't even seen in over ten years. One wonders what I was thinking at the time when I thought, "Nah, I'll keep it, I'll get back to it one day." You never do. I also found a bunch floppy disks, all of them decayed. Now that was humbling.

My room now looks great. It'll also make it easier to pack up once I move out.

I had considered staying with my parents, but I'm going fucking bananas and my grandiose plans of going to plumbing classes on the weekends will have to be postponed. Why? Because while I'm not living at the place, I'm still paying the fucking rent on that apartment. My lease did not work in my favour. Though [Sexy!Roommate] may have found someone to take over in July, in which case, that means I'll be able to actually save some money over the coming months and tuck it away for better grandiose plans.

Like traveling. I have two destinations in mind, I don't know when either will pan out, but they must, because I haven't had a holiday without my family in almost five years and I need to do things at my pace in a place where I can do what I want.

This usually consists of walking slowly, visiting a museum or two, eating and sleeping in the interim.

But my holiday plans are neither here or there, they are currently pipe dreams.

Today is a lazy day, I hope. There are circumstances which make this day a bit nerve wracking, but right now I'm sitting in my bed, writing and reading stuff, because I have two for [livejournal.com profile] queer_fest fics that are due next weekend, one is currently in beta, the other rather ethereal.

I've also signed up for the for the [livejournal.com profile] h50_exchange, which is exciting! Gifts for everyone!

I still have the "100 things" challenge to do, which includes various meta posts I have kinda-sorta planned.

At the moment though, I'm just really pleased my room doesn't smell of cardboard boxes.
eumelia: (diana disapproves)



{Take the 100 Things challenge!}


I've decided to go for bundles, ten posts about ten subjects over the coming months.

My problem, which subjects!? I already have two subjects I can expand on, but still. Dear readers, throw out your subjects, categories, notions and ideas at me! Some of them will probably stick!
eumelia: (oy vey)
Title: Our Horns Are Locked
Author: [personal profile] eumelia/[livejournal.com profile] eumelia
Pairing: Steve/Danny
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: 2.19 “Kalele”
Word Count 1,157
Warnings: n/a
Disclaimer: This is a work of transformative fiction, created for fun and pleasure. No copyright infringement is intended. Title from the lyrics of “Out is Through” by Alanis Morissette.
Author's Notes: 2.19 “Kalele” post ep and fill for the “shh… it’s a secret” square for [livejournal.com profile] h50bingo/[community profile] h50bingo. Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] verasteine for the late night beta and her infinite fucking patience.
Summary: Danny lays his hands flat on the table, away from his mug, the hair and anything else he can potentially destroy. “You are lying right now. “Surfing buddies”? Are you fucking kidding?”

Excuse Me )
eumelia: (stripey art)
All the writing I've been doing is pretty addictive. It has been a while since I was this moved and inspired to expand on the fictional world and lives of a far away locale.

One of the facets I enjoy exploring, and this is likely no surprise, are the lives of characters as LGBT and Queer, with that being the focus of the story. I'm very happy I'm not alone.

[livejournal.com profile] queer_fest 2012 in on! And they are seeking prompts up until the 15th of March, after which the claiming of prompts will commence from the 19th of March up until the 2nd of April. For more info and such read the 2012 rules and FAQs post.

I think a pan-fandom fest like this is hugely important, as it bring into focus, celebrates and examines the lives of the people we write about with a clear social and political context in mind. Very often we, as a fandom, are very blase about the context in which we write in, because after all, it's "just fantasy".

I think we all know it's more than that. Even if these people are fictional, where they come from and where they go, is not and that? That is so awesome.

Speaking of the non-fictional, my fandom is a buzz and I've not been unaffected.

It has been a long time since I was this involved in a fandom and had so much love and affection to the actors who bring life to characters I identify with so much and inspire me with their lives.

And so I say; a speedy recovery to you, Mr. O'Loughlin. I'm so sorry you've been having a hard time, I hope this is but a rough patch through smooth sailing from here on out.

Thank you, fandom, for being so decent and understanding. It's amazing to be a part of that.
eumelia: (Default)
Title: Physical Humor (And Time Spent Alone)
Author: [personal profile] eumelia/[livejournal.com profile] eumelia
Pairing: Steve/Danny
Rating: NC-17
Spoilers: n/a
Word Count 1,016
Warnings: n/a
Disclaimer: This is a work of transformative fiction, created for fun and pleasure. No copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Notes: 1) A great many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] verasteine for giving me permission to make little snippets of conversation into a full fledged fic and for hammering out the kinks (the other kind of kinks). And a thank you to [livejournal.com profile] ellie_pierson, for the fresh pair of eyes.
2) This was written for the “Sealed With a Kiss” square for my [community profile] h50bingo/[livejournal.com profile] h50bingo card. 1 down, so many more to go!
3) Title from the Alanis Morissette song “Knees of My Bees”, which was my constant companion on loop while writing this.
Summary: Steve’s head is on the other pillow, mouth slightly slack in sleep, forehead smooth, and his bare back and shoulders are loose, without the weight of the world he schleps around on a regular basis.

When Danny wakes up, he feels the tickle of a soft breeze brush across his nose and mouth )
eumelia: (a face)
Title: Thousand Yard Stare
Author: [personal profile] eumelia/[livejournal.com profile] eumelia
Pairing: Steve/Danny
Rating: PG/PG-13
Spoilers: n/a
Word Count: 369
Warnings: n/a
Disclaimer: This is a work of transformative fiction, no infringement is intended
Author's Notes: Basically, this could not have been done without [livejournal.com profile] verasteine who gave me a prompt, held my hand and beta’d this. Thank you.
Summary: He follows Steve’s gaze and watches the ocean crash loudly onto the shore.

It's dusk when Danny finds Steve )
eumelia: (bollocks)
Hint: It isn’t a debate.

Trigger Warning: This post is about the narratives of dubious consent, non consent, rape, sexual assault, body autonomy (or lack thereof) in fanfiction and fandom, and what being triggered actually means.


Before I begin to dig into this issue, let me put one thing on the table; the only moral issue about sex between two or more adults is consent. Everything else is a matter of what floats your boat. My kink is not your kink and that’s okay – in fact, it’s great, because in fandom we share and learn and discuss these things to a greater degree of openness and detail that in the “real world”.

So, I read a fic. It is a good fic. It’s not perfect, but very few stories are. Much like life, I must say1.

It is a really good story, which, right off the bat, places the characters in a scenario known in fanfic as dub-con, a short hand of “dubious consent”.

Let me put something else on the table here. In real life, there is no such thing as “dubious consent”. Dub-con is a narrative device, it is a construct of point of view, we see and read the conflict of the person (say, Hermione of “Harry Potter”) whose autonomy has been breached and we know, along with Hermione, that she actually wants this happen, only she’s not sure about why, or how, or some other thing – she just knows, kind of, that she wants this other person (say Snape) to do what he is doing.

Alternately, we have Snape’s pov, he who breaches the aforementioned autonomy and magically (no pun intended) knows that this fine, that Hermione actually wants it. That this is sexy, even if Hermione says “stop” or “no” or says nothing at all.

I use this example from “Harry Potter”, because this type of narrative is so typical in this pairing it is practically a trope. But it is a narrative found in all genres and happenstances of fic, be it het or slash, hurt/comfort or fluff – it is there and frankly, I despair at having to actually talk about this.

In real life dubious consent can’t happen. It cannot. Not because we don’t often feel conflicted about doing something with another person in bed, or because there wasn’t enough communication and the sex ended up being more enjoyable for one of the partners over the other (or others).
It cannot happen in real life, because the narrative in our heads can’t be shared. We can’t know if our partner is conflicted, or not comfortable, unless they tell us. The opposite, of course, is the same.

Dubious consent alleges that Ianto (for instance) can and would fight against Jack’s advances and actions if he really wanted to, this is the context of Ianto being subordinate to Jack in the hierarchy of the “Torchwood” team and their age (putting it lightly). With that in mind, it is likely that this scenario wouldn’t actually be construed by fic authors as an issue of consent because it is happening between two men, in the case of slash.

Consent isn’t about Steve’s (for instance) physical ability to stop Danny from performing fellatio on him. Consent is about the fact that Danny doesn’t care to ask or wait for Steve to actually say what he feels about the idea of it happening at all.

That is the point. The disregard to one’s choice, one’s comfort and one’s own wants (and needs) when it comes to sex is endemic, because the idea that the onus is on the person whose will and autonomy is being violated is simply not true. In the fic I read, there was a clear description of someone wanting to say “No”, but didn’t get a chance to do so, due to the narrative dictating that the “No” or the “Wait a minute” didn’t count because the sex was just that good. Dubious consent hadn’t even been an option here, because this scenario was constructed in order for the inner conflict of “do I or don’t I want this” to be taken as a token resistance as opposed to assertion of free will.

This particular fic isn’t even the only time in “Hawaii Five-0” fandom that this sort of thing has happened. In the name of sexy, how many times have we read Steve or Danny say “wait” or “stop” and have the other guy say “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you” or “I know what you want/need” and continue to do what they were doing despite the “No”.

And yes, “wait”, “stop” or even non-responsiveness when action is taking place in sex is a big “NO”.

You cannot know why a person says “stop” or “wait” during sex unless you actually stop or wait. Possibly, this person has a cramp, or you’re digging your knee or elbow somewhere uncomfortable or maybe, you are doing something that is making your partner feel distressed and things need to change.

When you assume that Steve or Hermione can physically/magically prevent Danny or Snape from violating them, you are perpetuating rape culture2.

When you assume that knowing what a character is feeling or thinking when their free will is being disregarded by their sexual partner makes this disregard okay, and when you then normalize this behaviour in your fic, you are perpetuating rape culture.

And in the case in which there is clear non-consent going on when you assume that by removing the word “rape” from the fic magically fixes the disparity in power dynamics and that the violence perpetrated now isn’t sexual or gendered, you are perpetuating rape culture.

This is doubly so, when you don’t warn that these things actually exist in the fic!

It doesn’t make a difference what your intent was, I doubt authors are actively malicious, but when you have a character (major or minor) that is assaulted, whether “live”, or in a flashback or memory, or discussed, that is still a textual description of sexual and/or gendered violence. The assault, whether explicit violence, psychological coercion or disregard to another’s free will, choice and autonomy, is still written down and as such must be warned for, because the words you use are the same.

The thing is I don’t mind that dub-con exists in fic, as it is a fantasy narrative device and everyone has fantasies they wouldn’t want to actually happen in real life. This is why we have role playing and BDSM and actually talking to your partner(s) when it comes to making fantasies come true. In the name of full disclosure, I read fics that have dub-con, non-con and rape scenarios in them, because I like hurt/comfort and angst – I need to be warned for this, not because I have triggers, but because I need to know that these scenarios are going to be handled with the due respect and sensitivity that they deserve.

The respect and sensitivity should be awarded to the readers who do have triggers.

It is no secret that transformative art fandom (fanfic, fanvid, fanart and more) is made of a majority of women and/or female identified people and a significant amount of gender variant people, LGBT men and women, non-white people, disabled people and other social minorities who are all vulnerable to sexual violence, because our humanity and body autonomy is considered inconsequential.

The notion that a not insignificant part of your readership will have been through a traumatic experience concerning sexual consent, and sexually based and gendered violence, is not out there!

It is not only a courtesy to warn for this in your header, it will save someone from stumbling into a scenario that will make him or her feel less safe in their own lives, because their hobby and their creative community triggered their trauma.

But in the end, what I find distressing is that people do not recognise what they write for what it is, and in slash fiction it is particularly endemic, due to the fact that this happening between two men. Because rape culture dictates that between men consent isn’t an issue. Because rape culture dictates that men never say “no”. Because rape culture dictates that men can stop the coercion by virtue of being “strong” and physically powerful.

Dear readers, this is bullshit.

As a community of vulnerable people who often place characters we love in painful and violent scenarios that happen in real life to real people in a society that considers our trauma to be exaggerated at best and made up at worst, we have to consider the consequences of our actions and take care of each other.

One of the ways we do this is to know what it is we are writing and to warn accordingly.

Footnotes:
1) This post was triggered (no pun intended) by a particular fic and a discussion that followed, but it is not specifically about any one fic. This post is about a trend and a trope that is all too common in H50 fandom and in fandom as a whole, and I am using this fic as a way to exemplify and make clear my points.
Back to text.

2(For a clear and concise definition of what rape culture is I would refer you to Melissa McEwan’s post at Shakesville where she writes:
[…]Rape culture is encouraging male sexual aggression. Rape culture is regarding violence as sexy and sexuality as violent. Rape culture is treating rape as a compliment, as the unbridled passion stirred in a healthy man by a beautiful woman, making irresistible the urge to rip open her bodice or slam her against a wall, or a wrought-iron fence, or a car hood, or pull her by her hair, or shove her onto a bed, or any one of a million other images of fight-fucking in movies and television shows and on the covers of romance novels that convey violent urges are inextricably linked with (straight) sexuality.[…]

Back to text.
eumelia: (brilliant)
For the past month, I've written more fiction that I have in the past three years. Perhaps more, I recall the romantic sci-fi novel I wrote when I was 13 and the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fanfic Role Play my friend and I co-authored at the time.

Good times.

But over the past month I've written a 18K of an X-Men: First Class and am in the middle of writing a truly challenging Hawaii Five-0 fic, which is being cheerleaded, beta'd and hand-held as it is going along, because it is also the fic that will probably be going on-line soon enough.

It is challenging not only because of the subject matter (which has a huge potential of fail and will probably require fresh eyes of a certain perspective to tell me whether I stuck my foot so deep in my mouth is has come out of my ass), but because I'm writing to readers.

I want people to read me.

This is evident by the fact that I have a public blog and it has been going strong for nearly six years.
Sure it's petered here and there, but at this point, it's because I'm writing fic and writing takes time. I actually hope I manage to finish the first draft at least my mid-week next week because then I have to focus on my academic writing. Of which I still have 12K words to write out!

Oy.

My cheerleader/beta/hand-holder has told me more than once that I'm improving, that I'm learning and that I take criticism very well.

Well, once you've spend four years looking at the Red Pentm telling you where you went wrong, why, you tend to not view it as a personal failing, but rather as a challenge to prove that Red Pentm that you will do better every time.

So, yeah, I'm becoming awesome under tutelage.

And even if the fic that is teaching me to become a better writer has to be shelved due to fail, it will still probably be a seminal work for me.

So, here's to hoping my Hawaii Five-0 mojo doesn't destroy me!
eumelia: (dandies)
"Slash, drug use, torture..." in the Warnings section of the header of a Sherlock fic.

I have the story open in a different tab and I'll probably read it later on, but damn, I contemplated not bothering with it.

As I write this, a few other stories have appeared on my list containing the warnings "M/M Kiss" and "There will be slashy sex"

I know, that it appears petty, possibly insulting, to equate Slash fiction with Queer lives. But I can't separate the two issues, especially when it is so acute with regards to a text (BBC's Sherlock) that I find to be one of the few actual canonically queer texts out there at the moment.

[livejournal.com profile] rm said it best in her post:
The queering of Sherlock. By which I do not mean that I see Sherlock as gay, bisexual, omnisexual or ace. I don't know. In fact, if the show presented me with a heterosexual Sherlock, and did so credibly, I could get on board with that too, without a problem, because it wouldn't make Sherlock any less queer in the literary sense.
[...]
There is an inherent "other" about him in regards to his instinctive presentation of whatever his sexuality may be, and it is recognized by people who see him, both in the audience and in the narrative. Even a theoretically heterosexual Sherlock is, in this presentation, still queered.

I really couldn't agree more.

What happens in non-fictional situations that actual queers live through is that this Otherness is an inherent part of our lives. I'm not even talking about the over exposure to violence and the fact that our lives are considered forfeit in many ways. To stay on topic, our representation in culture is minuscule (and demographically skewed to begin with) and when it appears it is often vilified.

When I was a kid and I began reading Slash, I discovered alternative narratives and stories based on stories I already loved. Many times, these narratives weren't even "alternative" just, you know, another way of explaining a dynamic.

When I was a kid and understood myself to be bisexual, I watched shows with the knowledge that what I saw wasn't everything there was to get. That within the lines spoken, an entire world of meaning of hidden or coded and all I had to do was expose it, or crack it.

My Slash goggles have been a major tool in my studies of literary theory, even if I was forced to remove them, they were still a part of my interpretative machine.

Slash is not just a genre (it may not be one at all), it is, as I've said before, a conscientious dynamic that manifests a homoeroticism that already exists in the canon texts, whether it's more sub-textual or less (or totally overt, like in Torchwood), because tension between characters is what happens when there's interaction.

When one writes Slash, you're writing an overt homoerotic and potentially queer event, whether there is explicit sex or not. Because a dynamic between characters, is a dynamic of identities.

When one writes Slash, you're writing about identity, you're writing about literary identities that can and do, exist outside of fiction.

"Slashy sex", i.e. Sex between two male characters, i.e. sex between two men, surprise! It happens in real life.

Not only does it happen in real life, people have been punished for it and moreover they are still punished for it, we are still paying the price of the stigma that is placed on people who commit sexual acts that are considered... wait for it... unnatural.

The connection between warning for Slash (as a dynamic of identities in fanworks) and the experience of homophobia by gay people is connected. Not only is it connected, it cannot help but have a negative effect and affect of queer people who are consumers and producers of culture.

Sherlock is a queer text, because it deals with and manifests dynamics of marginalised characters - Sherlock specifically (and obviously) and John to a lesser effect, but still, John, as a veteran of an unpopular war and a person who has experienced war-fare and trauma, those experiences also marginalise him, but we as a culture, have better tools with which to understand John as human.
Sherlock, not so much.

When you warn for Slash, you're warning for Queer. When you warn for Queer, it is implicit that Queer identity and dynamic is dangerous to those identities that are habitually considered "normal" and "safe".

Just like 30-40 years ago, when Slash zines were more marginal and underground, we as consumers and producers of text and textual dialogue, were also marginal and underground.
Gay liberation and Queer culture have come a long way in terms of visibility and in many ways perpetrating and perpetuating homophobia is worse today because we are no longer invisible and we can't be ignored and we have shouldn't be vilified and told to "wait for change".

Things have changed and to see this kind of ignorance of the meaning of the word "Warning", the implications of putting Slash there and ignoring the fact that deciding to ignore queer persepctives on Slash and fandom in general is pandering to homophobia (at best).

I'm not asking for a safe place. I don't consider fandom a safe place nor should it be. But alienating those who want to participate and don't bother to fix a problem that is really so easy to fix, because "other people's feelings will be hurt" is disingenuous.

I may talk about this some more, later.
eumelia: (Default)
I have severe writer's block.

The past week, during which life sucked and I spent time feeling sorry for myself, has not contributed anything to my abilities to express myself in writing.

I think I need to simply ask y'all for topics to write about and be done with it, yeah? And see what happens.

So dear readers, don't let me bore you, what would you like me to write about? What opinion of mine on various subjects would you like to read?

Don't be shy, please, I really am looking for topics.
eumelia: (leaving)
I am still not a huge participant in Inception fandom, I comment little and read much, but I read practically everything there in my preferred characters (which honestly it's almost all of them, so I end up reading a lot).
But I lurk, it's easy to lurk and avoid the fail. Of which there is lots let me tell you, of the sexist kind, the hetero-normative kind, the constant use of Magical Healing Cock, dear god and... the racist kind.

However, there is a lot to chose from and as per usual I tend to skip stories I perceive as to be written when the characters are OOC - Out of Character - as in, do things I don' think they'd do or do things I'm particularly uncomfortable with.

Such a story exists and it is currently the topic of debate in this monster of a baby fandom.
The fic is Metaphores as mixed as you can make them by [livejournal.com profile] halflinen, which is about, according to the Author's Note summery: Eames tries to incept Arthur. A story of forgiveness, family, fancy suits, and ~feelings.
I didn't read it, because I don't think or I am uncomfortable with the idea, that Eames would ever do something like that to Arthur.
My perception of Eames doesn't fit with his characterisation in this fic and so I didn't read it.

Another thing that apparently happened in this fic is that Eames is casually racist towards Yusuf - one of the only two non-white characters in the movie - and well, readers have said so to the author.
And have expanded upon what they said to the author
There's another example of a different fic (that I liked) that has begun to be discussed, but it's somewhat different as it isn't a character being racist towards Yusuf, but more a use of the stereotype in the narrative to make a joke about something else entirely, but because it is tied to Yusuf and his Desi heritage it can be construed as an unfortunate combination in the material of the text.

Sorry, I went literature student there, be thankful I did say an "unfortunate metonymy".
There is Meta and a Point! )

And so my unpopular opinion is thus: exchanges, characterisations and textual proximities may be written in a casually racist way, but they too can be interpreted in a manner in which it actually suits the characters, narrative and don't necessarily mean that the author's ass is showing.
Critique of fic is necessary, good and should be a bigger part of fandom. The writing of issues race, gender relations, gender identity, sexuality, physical, mental and cognitive abilities is also necessary, good and should be done with more thought, rather than regurgitate the old stereotypes, however, things tend to be interpreted differently depending on one's standpoint and that also needs to be taken into account.

Now, after all that, I'm going to read some fic.

Edited to Add: I just found an older post of mine that discusses this topic (during the terrible incident of the Haiti SPN story) and I have found that I've contradicted myself in this manner.
So I'll add that I think there's a difference between writing a story framed in a manner that serves as nothing more than a convenient background for the written fandom at hand and thus appropriates and disenfranchises other characters (and the people reading) which are marginalised (holocaut fail comes to mind) and an incident of characterisation and narrative in a particular story.

Again, the line is fine and this isn't a pass/fail thing, none of the criticisms I linked above do that, but is can easily turn into one and that's my fear when critiques begin to deconstruct fics in this manner - not because the critics are being over sensitive or because I'm "all about the art", but because I sometimes feel there is no space left for ambiguity.
eumelia: (dogma snape)
Will wonders never cease.

No, this isn't the Eames of Inception meta I've been threatening, alas, that will probably be on hold until I have my own copy of the movie so that I can analyse every scene he's in - because dude, it's all about the clothes, mannerisms and his turn of phrase and... yeah.

Any way, ever since I saw Inception I've been going over other movies I've missed due to having awful Hollywood taste and skipping a bunch of indie flicks that had Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page in them.

The films I'll be mentioning are: "500 Days of Summer", "Mysterious Skin", "Shadowboxer", "Smart People", "Whip It", "RockNRolla" and "Bronson".
This post may contain spoilers regarding some characters, but I'll be doing my best to keep plot out of it.

Don't say I didn't tell you!

In which I go on about Joseph Gordon-Levitt )

By the way, Joseph Gordon-Levitt covers songs by women and listening to him singing "Express Yourself", "Bad Romance" and "Natural Woman" is just fucking grand.
The man is scarily talented.

Watching all those movies made me appreciate him a whole lot more - There's barely an audience here for Indie Cinema and the Cinemateques are not very close by to me and I generally miss screenings and had no idea these movies even existed until I see a mainstream movie, go to IMDB and find out that whoa! These people are prolific!

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is awesome y'all!

Ellen Page is lovely. She really is. Obviously I'd seen Juno, because everyone had seen Juno and I saw her as Kitty Pride in the third X-Men movie and she was very sweet there as well.
I've yet to see Hard Candy and yes, I know, it's a huge cavern in my film viewing arsenal, but I saw other movies instead!
Now Ellen Page! )

Tom Hardy is a curious case. As it happens, except Bronson (which I will get to), I'd actually seen most of the feature films he'd been in! (he's acted in a few British mini-series and drama shows, which I've yet to see). Like Layer Cake - I've seen that a few times, because of Daniel Craig and Burn Gorman! And there he is on IMDB, Mr. Eames!
Not to mention Star Trek: Nemesis, which really, let's not mention it.

And Rock N Rolla the underrated (and also not as good as previous) Ritchie film. The first Guy Ritchie film (correct me if I'm wrong) with a canon gay character! Tom Hardy, I knew thee before I knew of thee! )

Getting back to Rock N Rolla for a mo'.
When I saw it all those many moons ago I expected to go online and find a whole slew of fanfiction! A canon gay character! A canon gay character with a crush! A canon gay character in the same 'verse as Jason Statham! (*wink-wink nudge-nudge*)
And 'lo, there was none. Or more to the point, barely any.
What with Tom Hardy's sudden popularity, the movie is getting rewatched and there were at least ten new fics I've found since I'd seen Inception back in August.

I find that interesting. I'm not really all that sure what to make of it. Especially considering that Eames, as a character, most definitely put ambiguous vibes sexuality and gender wise, there's nothing in the actual text to suggest that he's queer in any way - he's just got excellent chemistry with everyone.

Handsome Bob (Ritchie, you love your Statham*, don't you?) played by Tom Hardy is very much not ambiguous, seeing as he comes out to the audience and protagonist early on and would appear to have been out to everyone else since before the events of the movie!

I'm wondering if it's because of this lack of ambiguity and the very real reaction that came from the character to whom Handsome Bob came out that there were barely any takers. I have a few fic ideas, but it takes me forever to write and I'm not very prolific, so don't expect anything from any time soon.
The more I think about, it really could be the fact that there was a reaction to the fact that here's a masculine bloke who likes the romantic and erotic company of other blokes, and the other blokes in the movie make it clear that being gay isn't as good as being straight in various and sundry ways - most of them are ambiguous in their malice, as in, clearly the actions were homophobic but it's unclear how much of it came from actual hatred of gay men and how much of it a part of macho gangster life.

That kind of ambiguity is rare. So often, you see a polarised split in reaction, not to mention the gay characters themselves are usually so stereotyped it's hard to watch... but in this film, the performances felt... friendly... a dangerously awkward moment in which I feared there would be yet-another-dead-queer-on-screen... but ended up being sweet and touching, throughout the film.

I think the fact that there was this reaction existed on screen, jostled the slash goggles a bit.

Your own thoughts on this?

Footnotes
* In case you weren't aware, Jason Statham played a character named "Handsome Rob" in the 2003 remake of The Italian Job, where he plays a fast driving British lady's man. Handsome Bob, is also the driver for the East End gang he's a member of - he's also referred to as a "lady killer" at a certain point... only, he's a gay man. Yeah.
Back to Text
eumelia: (bollocks)
Via a comment on a different journal, I read that the mod of the My Chemical Romance Bandom com on LJ wrote a response to what has been going down with the aforementioned AU H/C Bingo fic, in which a depiction of the Holocaust, the camps and the treatment of gays during that time was used as a backdrop for angst of two US soldiers.

Yeah, I read the story.

It makes me fingers itch. I want to grab a red pen and mark and correct and fucking rip that story inside out until something resembling "adequate" comes out of it.

The mod, has this to say:
The story was properly disclaimed, and with plenty of warnings with regards to the themes it dealt with, therefore any comment that is not related to any possible literary criticism, should have been left alone.
I chose not to read it at first, because I am uncomfortable with the themes dealt with, and that could have been the choice of all of those people who thought, at first glance, that they were going to find it offensive.
I am not going to ban this type of stories, because I still believe in freedom of speech and because I believe that if we ban stories that refer to that particular chapter in history, we need to ban stories about incest, about BDSM, torture, rape, and in one case necrophilia.

We write FICTION.

WE WRITE FICTIONAL STORIES.


These stories are not historically accurate, these stories ARE NOT just written for sexual gratification.

These stories express part of who we are, what we feel, what lives inside our heads and our hearts.

I hope you will agree that RESPECT for your feelings as readers, should find a corresponding level of RESPECT for the writers.
Emphasis mine
In the words of George Carlin: Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, Tits.
You know what I did there?
I executed my right to "free speech", are you offended?
Maybe.
You know what you have a right to do now?
TELL ME ABOUT IT! AT LENGTH! HOW I OFFENDED YOU WITH MY WORDS!
Yeah, really.

I find it utterly, utterly despicable that criticism of offensive material is considered more offensive than the actual subject discussed.

I hate getting personal about it, but it has to be done, because honestly, it's the only way to get it through people's heads.

I am a Queer Jewish Person.

Depictions of gays and Jewish people during the Holocaust matter to me, on a personal level. You know why? Because whole branches of my family tree were eradicated! An entire Queer European Culture was erased!
After the camps were liberated, gay men were sent to other prisons because homosexuality was still illegal regardless of Nazi legislation!
Yes.
Seriously.

Just to put that into perspective for you.

The story in question depicted horrors which happened. That is not the problem, the fact that it was used in a cavalier manner, disregarded the actual lives that lived through it, didn't bother to check the facts of what went on in concentration camps, the fact that American soldiers were sent to POW camps and of course putting the picture of the Gates to Auschwitz in order to illustrate the story.

Yes, these stories are fictional, that doesn't make them "untrue", that doesn't mean that the you can use the material available to you without considering who it affects and what it might mean if you use it. If you wanted to explore the themes and torture committed by the Nazi regime onto gays, you might want to find out what actually happened to these men, who they were, why they were persecuted and where they were sent to.
Let me give you a hint, none of them were captured POW experimented upon, mainly because non-Soviet Ally POW's were treated with the Geneva convention in mind.
Just, FYI.

Fiction does not mean "free for all". You do not write in a vacuum. You cannot say "Don't like, don't read", that's like saying "Shut up, your problems are meaningless".
Fiction, all art, is a dialogue.
You want to dialogue with history via fanfiction, by all means. That doesn't mean you, dear author, are immune from criticism when you are writing a story that depicts a period of time with gross inaccuracy and decides that any and all critical reaction to said story is illegitimate because it was "just a story".

Nothing, is "just a story".

We do not live in a vacuum, what you write will be reacted to, fiction is not a vehicle of self-expression, being accused of bad writing and bad taste is not a personal attack, it is a challenge to one's preconceived notions of what good story telling can and should be.
Good story telling does not continue the dehumanisation of people that happened during that period of time, it does not use Arbeit Macht Frei as a code for free speech (it doesn't mean what you think it means!) and saying that people should "be nice to each other" is silencing and derailing and basically tells those of us who are affected by the depictions of our history to suck it up!

When I see a story that treats a subject matter that is close to my heart for historical, personal and identity related reasons treated with utter DISRESPECT I will call on it. I will say that this author does not care, does not think about and is not informed about the subject zie is writing for "just a story", for "self-expression", for the sake of "fiction".

To conclude, if you're going to use free speech as a silencing mechanism for critical reaction of a piece of fiction that depicts controversial material... you're using it wrong.
eumelia: (exterminate!)
Things always hit you harder when they are closer to home.
Always.

I had a race fail a few days ago, in which I basically preached to a woman of Japanese descent why the casting of Avatar: The Last Air Bender was racist.
I was called on it.
And I apologised and I was told it wasn't a problem.

Still, the shame continues to linger, because my privilege fogged the way I viewed this person and the way I discussed the issue with this person.

However, you live and learn right.

Well, no.

If history teaches us anything is that we would rather forget, or even not know and you basically need a very strong lobbying group in order for things to be remembered.

The past month or so has seen so much fail in fandom, the Race!Fail, the Trans!Fail, The Abelism, I'm quite sure there were more fail I'd forgotten and seriously, even though I commented only briefly I was outraged and saddened by all of these incidences. People can (and have) asked me why do I put so much energy into issues that don't have much to do with me (yeah, I know), I mean... why get so worked up on something that doesn't directly affect me.

Well, for one, despite the fact that I'm not in the disenfranchised group of non-white people, trans people and disabled people, these issues affect me mainly because the fact that those groups are disenfranchised I can safely go about my day not thinking about it.

But you know why I really take the time to give a damn and cracks my heart wide open? Beyond it being the right thing to do and being in an ethically sound position.

I want to be safe.

I want my body and mind to flourish, and the body I currently inhabit may have a lot of privileges associated with it, but its history is also bloody, by virtue of it being cis female, queer and Jewish.

My Jewish body is very weird thing. On the one hand it is Israeli Jewish, meaning it is the default body of superiority where I live, on the other, it comes from generations of bloodshed, exile, pogroms and genocide.

The history of this genocide, like most genocides oddly enough, is well documented. The violence was recorded, photographed, duplicated and triplicates by well meaning bureaucrats who kept the train tracks clear.

The genocide of my people even has a special name, The Holocaust1, and like all historical events which linger in the collective memory of a people, a nation, a community, we tend to treat it with a deference of some kind. Even as I make Holocaust jokes, and sing "Springtime For Hitler" and make cracks about Germany blitzing its way though the Mundial and yeah, I'm waiting for Germany to serve up Spain's ass in the upcoming Semi-Final...

Still.

The Holocaust is an event that continues to shape my life and inform me of who I am, as a Jewish person in Israel and Palestine, as a queer person and as a feminist woman.

It does not, however, as a historical event, exist to be a backdrop to an AU Fanfic about American Soldiers and their love affair. What? The Battle of the Bulge was too tame?!

Yes, someone wrote a story, which has since been locked, but luckly there exists a Screencap (H/T to [personal profile] allchildren). I have not read it. I do not intend to.
I did read the Author's notes though; the warnings read thus:
Beating, abuse, non main character death, scientific experimentation, starvation, physical and emotional damage
Oh and the added disclaimer (after "nasty comments" began to appear) the gist of which is that this piece of work is NOT meant to be historically accurate. Accompanied to this Author's Note is a picture of the gates of Auschwitz, you all know the one, the one that was stolen and returned and reads Arbeit Macht Frei - "Work Makes One Free".
The... writer... of this AU fic stated that they added the picture, not for itself, but for the slogan, the meaning of the words upon the gate.

I've said it before. I'll say it again. I will probably say it for the rest of my life.

Context matters. Context, much like money, makes the world go around. That slogan cannot be removed from the gates it is attached to. Those words do not mean what you think they mean. The work they are talking about is not craft and the liberation they symbolise is not freedom.

A story, does not need to prettify history in order to make palatable for the readers. On the contrary, history should be shown in its grittiest form, it should be shown to be true and it should be portrayed with verisimilitude.

So, when you use a historical backdrop, in which you, dear author, feel the need to excuse yourself that by writing this you are no different from anyone who writes about rape, incest and domestic abuse, then you do not understand what fetishisation means.
You do not understand what treating subjects (people and events) with respect means.
You do not understand what this writing about history means.

You do not understand what context means and beyond that making you a disrespectful, blinkered and privileged fool, it also makes you, no matter your style, no matter how well written the characters are, a really really bad writer.

Personally. I blame Hollywood. And you know, bad education, entitlement and plain good ole' dehumnasation and antisemitism.

Also. No. Just. No.

This Nice Jewish Grrl needs to lie down now as she can't believe fandom sucks so hard right now.

ETA - 09/07/10: The story that is screen capped above is "1945" by [livejournal.com profile] slashxyouxup and is now unlocked. I'm not holding my breath though.

Footnotes
1) Even though we were not the only targeted people. The Roma people and other Gypsy groups were targeted and experimented in the same manner, homosexual men were castrated and murdered and many others. Still though, when you've got an entire country (Poland) set up to be an extermination station, while special Commando forces, Einsatzgruppen, are sweeping though Europe targeting Jewish Communities, you're going to feel that this is the Pogrom to end all Pogroms... in a way... it did...
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eumelia: (Default)
Eumelia

June 2015

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V and Justice

V: Ah, I was forgetting that we are not properly introduced. I do not have a name. You can call me V. Madam Justice...this is V. V... this is Madam Justice. hello, Madam Justice.

Justice: Good evening, V.

V: There. Now we know each other. Actually, I've been a fan of yours for quite some time. Oh, I know what you're thinking...

Justice: The poor boy has a crush on me...an adolescent fatuation.

V: I beg your pardon, Madam. It isn't like that at all. I've long admired you...albeit only from a distance. I used to stare at you from the streets below when I was a child. I'd say to my father, "Who is that lady?" And he'd say "That's Madam Justice." And I'd say "Isn't she pretty."

V: Please don't think it was merely physical. I know you're not that sort of girl. No, I loved you as a person. As an ideal.

Justice: What? V! For shame! You have betrayed me for some harlot, some vain and pouting hussy with painted lips and a knowing smile!

V: I, Madam? I beg to differ! It was your infidelity that drove me to her arms!

V: Ah-ha! That surprised you, didn't it? You thought I didn't know about your little fling. But I do. I know everything! Frankly, I wasn't surprised when I found out. You always did have an eye for a man in uniform.

Justice: Uniform? Why I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about. It was always you, V. You were the only one...

V: Liar! Slut! Whore! Deny that you let him have his way with you, him with his armbands and jackboots!

V: Well? Cat got your tongue? I though as much.

V: Very well. So you stand revealed at last. you are no longer my justice. You are his justice now. You have bedded another.

Justice: Sob! Choke! Wh-who is she, V? What is her name?

V: Her name is Anarchy. And she has taught me more as a mistress than you ever did! She has taught me that justice is meaningless without freedom. She is honest. She makes no promises and breaks none. Unlike you, Jezebel. I used to wonder why you could never look me in the eye. Now I know. So good bye, dear lady. I would be saddened by our parting even now, save that you are no longer the woman I once loved.

*KABOOM!*

-"V for Vendetta"

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