Is it a law that you have to be lesbian to write Femslash?

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Title: Is it a law that you have to be lesbian to write Femslash?
Creator: runetraverse
Date(s): Sep. 13th, 2007
Medium: online
Fandom:
Topic: Femslash
External Links: Is it a law that you have to be lesbian to write Femslash?,
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Is it a law that you have to be lesbian to write Femslash? is a 2007 Livejournal post by runetraverse.

Post

Okay, I know it's a weird title / subject / whatever, but it's something currently bugging me, so I figured I'd post and see what people thought. Not that I haven't wondered something to this effect for a while, but it came to a head as I read yet another rant on YouTube about "all you queers watching queers" in a Bad Girls vid commentary. (this post follows my usual reaction to said comments - lots of derogatory, insulting remarks about the poster and specific-finger-pointing at the monitor)

So is it some sort of unwritten law that one has to be bisexual or lesbian to write real femslash? And if not, how many straight people do write femslash?

As far as I'm concerned, it's the writer's ability to write and the realistic-ness that creates good fanfiction. Hell, I may not like Emma/Shalimar from Mutant X or the rampant SVU and CSI pairs, but I've happily devoured fics for said couples because the writing was spectacular. The same applies for music videos and such - if it's well done, I could care less what gender or sexuality the couple is. But I've noticed that the minute I mention femslash to anyone, the automatic assumption seems to be that only bisexual women, lesbians or sicko-men write that kind of thing.

I suppose I should clarify a few things before I start getting flames. Yes, I write femslash - Mirelle/Kirika, Rachel/Ivy, Xena/Gabrielle, Nikki/Helen and Barbara/Helena are my personal favorite pairings, and I've read good stuff for everything from Voyager to Murder in Suburbia and everything in between. And yes, I'm completely straight. As far as that goes, I could care less about a person's RL sexuality - as my best friend so memorably refers to it, I "may not be gay, but [I'm] definitely bendy." None of it bothers me. My personal reason for writing femslash (aside from loving the particular pairings) is because I can't write a hetero sex-scene without getting embarrassed enough to pass out. Femslash doesn't do that to me. xD

  • reads back over the post* Gah, it sounds like a rant, though I didn't mean it to be. I'm just honestly curious.

Comments at the Post

[geonncannon]:
I've never heard of such a thing! The vast majority of m/m slash - or so I've read - are straight women. And I've had a very nice career writing femslash and I'm a straight man.

So, no, the queers-watching-queers comment is just ignorance and bigotry, I think. Pay it no mind.

[djshiva]:
i don't personally consider it a requirement that one is bi or lesbian to write femslash. i just consider a requirement that the stories be well-written, interesting and cut to the heart of the matter, so to speak.

love is love, regardless of gender or sexuality.

i do, however, think that an understanding of the subtler elements of being gay in this society can have an effect on how true to life a story is, so awareness of these things is always a nice touch.
[anomalys]:
Something like this used to come up in the Xena fandom from time to time. Not usually in such an ugly way, but new fans on the scene would often assume that all Subtexters were lesbians. When in truth, a good many were straight women... not to mention more than a few men. It's just ignorance.

I'd like to hope that everyone can appreciate amazing chemistry and a great romance, regardless of their own sexuality, Even though I almost always prefer the girl love, I'm still a fan of certain het couples like Mulder & Scully, Angel & Cordelia... and going way back, Scarecrow & Mrs. King. (Plus a few that I won't name because it might get my toaster taken away from me. *g*) And, hey, two of my favorite lesbian movies were written by men. So... as long as there's love and respect for a story, that's all that really matters to me.

[alixtii]:
As a het male femslasher--and a het male femslasher who writes a lot of meta--I'd say one of the great things about the femslash community is the way in which it remains a community of women, by women, for women, about women, without becoming overly exclusive.