Slash Philosophy

From Fanlore
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Journal Community
Name: Slash Philosophy
Date(s): March 16, 2003-August 1, 2006
Moderator: aegeus, the community maintainer
URL: Slash Philosopy, Archived version

Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Slash Philosophy was an open, moderated Livejournal community for discussion and meta regarding slash fanworks and topics.

It began in 2003 and was most active for about three years. The last post was in 2016.

As of 2017, the community had 89 posts; 1,578 comments; and 395 members.[1] LiveJournal's new Russian terms of service in April 2017 prompted many users to delete their accounts, which after 2010 or so(?) included the option to delete every post and comment made to the entire site, so some posts may have been deleted. In addition, several of the deleted posts may have been by Laura Hale after Hale's later conduct in fandom.

Some of the posts to this community ended up becoming posts at Fanfic Symposium.


From the Livejournal home page:

What are the political and social intentions and consequences, if any, of slash fiction?

This community is for writers and readers of slash fanfiction (m/m and f/f), who are interested in discussing the relationship between slash, gay issues, gender, and personal and group identities. In the Harry Potter fandom, slashers have been having discussions about this for some time now. On March 16, 2003, a chat in the Armchair Slash chatroom got so involved and complex that we realized we needed a separate forum to discuss these issues with the thoughtfulness they deserve, and slashphilosophy was born.

Please see the community's introductory post for a more detailed description of the group, and examples of some of the many questions we hope to tackle here. Questions from "What is the difference between appreciation and objectification?" to "What is the importance of an authentic queer voice in gay fiction?" to "What is a slasher's place in the queer rights movement?" And many more.

While we don't expect necessarily to reach a consensus, and know that we're likely to raise as many new questions as we answer, we feel that this community is an important part of discussion in the fandom and amongst slashers as a whole.

This community is here for discussion and learning from each other. Some of our discussions may be emotional, and people may end up sharing very personal things, so an atmosphere of mutual respect is essential. Flaming and personal attacks will not be tolerated. [2]

The first post:

We had an amazingly deep political discussion in the Armchair chatroom today. So deep, so complex, and so full of potential that it has spawned an LJ community just to continue that conversation - and to bring in more perspectives from the slash community as a whole. The conversation was sparked by several recent discussions on LJ and elsewhere, but truly, the niche for a discussion of this kind in our community has been growing for some time.

The issue: the relationship between slash, gender, queerness, and identity. The vast majority of slash, at least in the Harry Potter fandom, is written by women about men. Many, though definitely not all, of these women are straight, and even for those of us who are queer, we know that the social and cultural experiences of gay men in our societies are very different from the experiences of women, and vice versa. A conversation that began by examining how slash can sometimes objectify men grew much broader and deeper, and we started to come up with all sorts of questions, many of them rather controversial:

What are the political intentions and consequences, if any, of slash fiction?

What does it mean to be, as a large number of slash writers are, women writing about the sexual experiences of gay men?

At what point does writing about another group's experience become appropriation and co-optation, rather than honest and sincere exploration and celebration? Can someone who is not a member of a culture or subculture ever know enough to write from the perspective of someone who is? Can slashers be part of the queer community, regardless of whether they identify as queer themselves?

When does a woman's appreciation of the aesthetic of two men in love - or in lust - become objectification? Is this something endemic to all pornography of any type, or is it a specific issue with the co-optation of queerness to satisfy heterosexual desires? What about the empowerment of women through unleashing historically oppressed female desire?

What do our preferences in the fiction we read say about ourselves and our relationships to our own sexualities? If slash fiction is an integrated part of a person's sexuality, does this give them the right to speak from some kind of queer perspective?

How important is it to "write what we know?" What does it mean to "know" what a particular kind of experience is like? Is it true that a woman can never "know" what a man's experience is like enough to write about it, and vice versa? And what does this question mean for those of us writing fiction from the perspective of another gender? What do we need to be careful of? What is the importance of an authentic queer voice in slash fiction, and how do we decide whose voices are authentic, and why?

When is writing slash simply about pleasure, and when, if ever, does the slash writer have an obligation to the community they are portraying?

What is a slasher's place in the queer rights movement, and what are the connections between the queer rights movement, the feminist movement, and the sex-positive movement? Is there anything radical in a woman's writing or reading gay male smut? And even if there isn't... can there be? Should there be? [3]

Example Posts

Journal Archive


  1. ^ Wayback Machine copy of the profile page, 23 September 2017.
  2. ^ Profile
  3. ^ Welcome to slashphilosophy!, Archived version post by dancingrain in slashphilosophy, March 16, 2003.