Ladyslash

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Mailing List
Name: Ladyslash
Date(s): 1999 - today
Moderated:
Moderators/List Maintainers: Hth (founder), Raichel (since February 2009)
Founder(s):
Type: fanfiction, discussion
Fandom: Multifandom
Scope: femslash
URL: Ladyslash (Yahoo!Groups)
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Contents

Ladyslash was the first multifandom femslash mailing list.[1] It was founded by Hth on April 4, 1999.

ladyslash • This is a fanfic and discussion list for female/female relationships in all television and film fandoms. Appropriate for 18 years and older members, though not all relationships discussed must be sexual in nature (i.e., slash); primary, intimate f/f friendships are also on-topic.

The Name

The dominant term for female/female fanfic in TV based fandoms was f/f slash in media fandom and alt or altfic in the Xenaverse. ScullySlash was the term used in X-Files fandom and the stories were usually either Scully/OFC or Scully/f crossovers that paired Scully with female characters from other shows, like for example Scully/Miss Parker in Hth's Pretender crossover Thank You For Not Smoking.[2] There were other character specific terms (the rare Highlander f/f story was usually Amandaslash) but these depended on the fandom. The term femslash probably existed[3] but was first mentioned on the list half a year after Ladyslash was created and the first mention of femmeslash was more than a year after creation. Whether intentional or not, "ladyslash" wasn't so much a new term as it was an umbrella for all those FemaleCharacterNameSlash f/f stories in all those different fandoms. Despite a Lady Slash WebRing that was created in 1999 and a Lady Slash Site, the word "ladyslash" didn't impact the f/f slash terminology. The mailing list simply offered femslash fans a place where they could connect, share their f/f fanfiction, and discuss the f/f subtext of their favorite shows. However, ten years later the term is still occasionally used, see for example the ladyslash Dreamwidth community for fanfic about queer female characters.[4]

Discussions

The list wasn't very active compared to other lists, but there were some interesting discussion about topics such as books with f/f content, why strong women make a general audience uncomfortable, or the differences between m/m and f/f slash, but these often turned into discussion about male privilege and the tension between male f/f readers/authors and a primarily lesbian community. Some of the most memorable contributions to these discussions were by Sharon Bowers who came from Xena fandom and wrote novel length f/f slash in other fandoms as well.

References

  1. In Hth's own words: I got tired of hoping someone else would do it <g> (First message to the list, 4 April 1999)
  2. Hth. Thank You For Not Smoking, originally published 25 June 1998.
  3. The original ScullySlash list was founded June 25, 1998 and the title read: ScullySlash • dedicated to FemSlash in The X-Files.
  4. ladyslash - Community Profile, founded 17 June 2009. (Accessed 21 November 2010)
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