Heteronormativity, Gender Construction, and Nonverbal Signalling in Intercultural Communication: A Comedy

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Title: Heteronormativity, Gender Construction, and Nonverbal Signalling in Intercultural Communication: A Comedy
Author(s): Mad_Maudlin
Date(s): 20.12.2008
Length: 35228
Genre: het, poly
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
External Links: Heteronormativity, Gender Construction, and Nonverbal Signalling in Intercultural Communication: A Comedy (on the AO3) Heteronormativity (original post on SGA Santa)

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Heteronormativity, Gender Construction, and Nonverbal Signalling in Intercultural Communication: A Comedy (in short: Heteronormativity) is a SGA story written by Mad_Maudlin for SGA Santa 2008. It is set in the Mensaverse and its main pairing is John/Teyla.

Author's summary: In which Teyla may be plotting something, Keller may be delusional, Ronon may be cheating and John may in fact be the girl. No pudding cups or Marines were injured in the production of this fanfic.

The title comes from the fact that the story plays with gender cliches and stereotypes: John doesn't want to be called "girlish" or be "the girl" in his relationship with Teyla, but being recognized as manly is even more difficult in a city where the male military commander knits pink sweaters, the scariest soldiers are female, and half of the population has a different cultural background and completely different concepts of manliness.

The story was praised for its characterizations, its Mensaverse worldbuilding, for providing a fresh look at a possible relationship between John and Teyla, and for being a lot of fun. It won first place in the category "Stargate Atlantis stories: ship" in the Stargate Fan Awards 2008.

Recs and reviews

  • "INSTANT REC!!! I had such a blast reading this story. I laughed out loud more than once at work! reading this story. I loved the descriptions and the character voices and how similar they are and yet so different from the guys from our SGA verse."[1]
  • "This is so made of awesome I don't even know where to begin. Just...it was hilarity INCARNATE, dude. Ronon and Melina trying to get clueless geeky Keller to join them in a menage a toi! Rod and Katie as the most sexless couple in Atlantis! *snerks into drink AGAIN at the thought* The Athosians treating the Atlantians like the social retards that they are. The Genii being the ones to wake the Wraith. Crazy knitting Sumner! Zelenka the pervy pigeon lover! And awkward, girly,clueless yet lovable John flailing about while Teyla attempts to court him. Wonderful! Just wonderful! *hands you internet in your favorite color* You win!"[2]
  • "DO NOT read at work because it is literally laugh-out loud funny, possibly one of the funniest SGA stories I've read. The comic timing is note perfect and there's crackling chemistry between the characters. (...) The author took the few scraps of character information about their other selves that were given in the episode (...) and spins a marvelously well-developed, thoughtful and yet completely cracked-up, screwball and comedically gold new universe to play in.
mad_maudlin does an incredible job fleshing out the dead-on characterizations. No matter how different things are in this AU, the essential core of each person is still the same. I adore the very strong John Sheppard POV and how she perfectly captures and satirizes Sheppard's cluelessness, inability to talk about emotions and general "never see it coming" attitude. His terrorizing of Eldon and his other assistant, his indulging of his geeky and dorky side (even a shout out to his Nintendo DS Lite addiction), John's running feud with "pigeon perv" Zelenka, his wandering gypsy childhood, his loving to fly all seem perfectly John despite being so different from the canon universe's Sheppard.
There's many fascinating and original possible changes in this AU: the Athosians are imperialists (30 colonies and counting), gender role reversals (hiding under the glorious comedy is a biting commentary on gender roles), Satendans are polyamorists (wait until you read Keller's reaction), Sumner's obsessed with knitting, Teyla was a Runner and is in the "Sex, Blood, Bombs and the City" gang.... I just can't praise this story enough and have too many favorite parts to list so I can only beg the author to please, please, please write more in this wonderful world."[3]
  • "I think I'm in love with this neurotic, understandably screwed up Sheppard who never developed our John's veneer of cool (or learned to hide the fact he's an uber geek). He's fully aware that he's different and screwed up, and openly admits, "I don't do people. I do math." I think she had me with:
John offered her his hand. "Hi. Dr. John Sheppard. I like football, Ferris wheels and anything with an explosive yield over two hundred kilotons."
Yet underneath his neurosis, Dr. John Sheppard is somehow sweeter than ours, maybe because he never learned to kill. And I believe why Teyla in the Mensa universe is uncommunicative: she was a runner, not Ronon.
With such a meaty core, you'd never think this would be mad fun. But this is mad_maudlin, so it has spit-take lines like, "For your information, Colonel," he declared, "I am getting a little bit tired of being called a lady by somebody who is currently knitting a cowl-neck poncho out of hot pink Fun Fur!" -- and -- "Well, it might help to start by explaining what the squirrels that power your brain were doing during the whole adventure." "[4]


  1. 17.1.2009, Merlin and Stargate Atlantis Recs by amothea, accessed 16.10.2011
  2. 21.12.2008, comment by seekergeek, accessed 16.10.2011
  3. 3.2.2009, rec by asugar on stargateficrec, Heteronormativity, Gender Construction, and Non-Verbal Signalling... by mad_maudlin, accessed 16.10.2011
  4. 11.1.2009, SGA rec: I don't usually go for Mensa AUs or Het. And yet.... by icarusancalion, accessed 16.10.2011