Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the Chain of Command: getting it right in "Stargate SG-1" fanfiction

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Title: Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the Chain of Command: getting it right in "Stargate SG-1" fanfiction
Creator: Janis C.
Date(s): unknown date, though likely early to mid-2000s
Medium: online
Fandom: Stargate SG-1
External Links: online at The Comfort Zone; WebCite
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Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the Chain of Command: getting it right in "Stargate SG-1" fanfiction is an essay by Janis C..

It discusses Don't Ask, Don't Tell.


Stargate SG-1," as well as being an excellent fandom to work in, introduces a lot of concepts on which fan writers need to be informed in order to write well in that universe. The most significant complications in the SG-1 universe for character development (and fucking :-)) generally revolve around the military setting of the show. I'm talking of course about the infamous "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy of the military toward homosexuality in its ranks and issues surrounding relationships within the chain of command -- both of which are routinely severely misunderstood by fan writers. Typically, slashers overextend the domain of DADT, and shippers underestimate the significance of the CoC.

I'll treat DADT first, and then move onto the CoC.

It's also important to realize that, while there are many excellent armed forces around the world who do not have the proscriptions against homosexuality that ours do, there are none that permit romantic involvement within the chain of command. Absolutely none. Again, even two men or two women who are prepared to take their chances with DADT will not date within the same chain of command. The end result is that no pairing in the SG-1 team that features Jack is permissible in any way. It's also important to remember that while transgressing DADT would result in a discharge, as far as I know, having sex within the CoC results in a courtmartial.

Is this a problem? Shit, yeah. That's what fanfic is for. Who cares if Jack is out of action until he retires? Does this stop us from writing? No. Not me, anyhow.

We're all fantasizing. Every last one of us, shippers and slashers equally (yes, you read that right -- neither one is more or less legitimate or possible than the other). Everything I've written here is fantasy. "Awaken to Reality" is no more implausible than "Actaeon." Sometimes that implausibility gets in the way of a good story, sometimes the tension from it (as with "Animal Husbandry") creates the story. But don't try to rationalize. What we do is in the margins, every last one of us, shippers and slashers alike. Daniel need not fear getting beaten up in the showers, Sam and Jack will not consummate any interest they have for one another, and until he retires, Jack ain't gonna lay a hand on either of them.

After he retires, though ... Well, this is one ficcer who envisions all four of them -- Teal'c included -- living in polyamorous bliss, with a little sprinkling of Fraiser on the side.