Spock Does Mulder
|News Media Commentary|
|Title:||Spock Does Mulder|
|Date(s):||September 30, 1999|
|Venue:||SF Gate, the online arm of the San Francisco Chronicle?|
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Spock Does Mulder was an article written by Neva Chonin about slash fanfiction. It was humorous, well-written, and avoided many of the usual cliches and eye-rolling of similar articles.
I can hear your murmuring brains: Why do women write this stuff instead of doing needlepoint? Well, pundits offer many opinions. Some say slash is a form of sensual empowerment; others suggest that being freed from traditional male-female power dynamics allows better characterization and erotic exploration. Still others think slashers use their fiction to construct a fantasy of how they'd like men to be -- gruff but loving, committed but emotionally vulnerable.
Then, of course, there's the pragmatic theory that women write about men simply because entertainment media suffers from a dearth of strong, interesting female protagonists. And it's true. Most intriguing characters are still male.But these are academic mullings. For most writers and readers, the motivation is simple: Slash is nasty, wicked fun. It can also be very funny.
Reactions and Reviews
I really enjoyed it - I thought it was nicely judged, well and amusingly written, and showed clear signs of having done its research. (And isn't it satisfying to have an outsider see the point, as it were, without fuss or raised eyebrows?). But for all that, I was still shaken by the breezy openness with which slash is brought to the attention of the general public. It wasn't simply the tone of the piece: the article was dotted throughout with links to take a reader directly to any of a dozen slash sites. Not that I object... exactly... It just made me gulp a little. 
I particularly appreciated the Neva Chonin article, "Spock Does Mulder". Though the thought of personal exposure is worrying, it would seem increasingly more likely that there is safety in numbers and variety. I still feel the need to guard my own anonymity fiercely, however, with respect to the Internet and slash.