What makes a big femslash fandom? Alternately, what makes you interested in a fandom's femslash?

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Title: What makes a big femslash fandom? Alternately, what makes you interested in a fandom's femslash?
Creator: havocthecat
Date(s): Dec. 13th, 2013
Medium: online
Topic: Femslash, Fanfiction
External Links: What makes a big femslash fandom? Alternately, what makes you interested in a fandom's femslash?, Archived version
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What makes a big femslash fandom? Alternately, what makes you interested in a fandom's femslash? is a 2013 Dreamwidth post by havocthecat.


Because I have a habit of being interested in femslash, but not often femslash from the really gigantic (for femslashers) femslash fandoms, I'm wondering what makes a big femslash fandom - and a big yuri fandom, for the anime/manga fans among us. Or even what makes a femslash fandom in your mind, even if it's not a big femslash fandom for everyone.

I mean, what makes you want to write in a fandom, or watch it and discuss every single little details? Or create art - or even fanmixes.

For me, I don't necessarily need two women on screen to share a close emotional bond. It's not that I don't like that happening, but I don't expect it from my media. But I do need women on the screen whom I consider to be amazing, and then I fill in all the blank spaces where the women interact with each other. Which may explain why I write femslash in what ends up being primarily slash and het dominated fandoms. Also, I don't so much care about canon pairings, and will cheerfully ignore them in favor of femslash pairings. (See also: Natasha/Pepper from MCU.)

But that's me. That's not even always me, though, but that's one of the things that gets me into femslash in a fandom. I don't even need canon lesbians like in Orphan Black (okay, canon lesbian and also canon maybe-bisexual), though that's nice when it happens.

Sometimes I need women having a relationship with each other, not necessarily romantic, but just having a depth of feeling. For Leverage, the thing that got me into femslash was when women shared scenes together and had emotional intimacy. Sophie and Parker falling together in the harness in The Second David Job. Maggie and Sophie developing a friendship together. Tara and Sophie and all those years that we didn't get to see, or Parker almost killing Tara for thinking she'd betrayed them. (I didn't say it was always positive emotional intimacy, right?)

Honestly, though, sometimes I need two women to just exist in the same universe and never talk to each other (or maybe more than once), and I pair them up anyway, because, for example, why wouldn't Jill Pole and Lucy Pevensie be best friends who talk about scouting in the woods together and then Jill can try to talk Narnian archery with Susan, get rebuffed (for perfectly valid, non-Susan hatey reasons) and go to Lucy for comfort and then suddenly they have sex)? Right?

Comments at the Post

saturnofthemoon :
I...seem to be too stubborn to go watch the shows that other femslashers are into. (I think OUAT and Warehouse 13 are the two big ones right now.) I've seen the first season of Rizzoli & Isles, but I was turned by the show's insistence that the characters sleep with men in the S2 premiere to avoid being labeled a gay show. I still haven't felt the need to get caught up.

Generally, I go to shows with interesting female characters and if femslash happens, the more the better. At the moment I seem to be shipping f/f in tiny fandoms (Dracula, The Hour, comic books) or larger fandoms that are predominantly het or m/m (MCU, Star Trek, Fringe, ASOIAf).

alias_sqbr :
The vast majority of fanworks I create and consume (femslash or otherwise) are created within my main fandoms (Homestuck, Dragon Age, Mass Effect), which have big ensembles full of female characters, many of them queer. I can happily mix and match characters within one of these canons for kink memes etc even if they've never met but will tend to ship those with strong (if not necesarily romantic/sexual) feelings for each other in canon who hit my femslash buttons: rivals, bffs, scientists, AIs. I also usually ship my favourite female characters with each other.

All these fandoms have a moderate number of femslashers because of all the female relationships, usually focussing on the canon or almost canon f/f couples, and my tastes align with the zeitgeist as often as not (the main exception is Liara/femShep which I just can't get into for some reason)

Outside my main fandoms a couple has to really jump out to grab me, with a really strong canonical connection between the women and hitting my id. I pretty much never ship characters who haven't met.

I'm not a huge fan of crossovers, even between my main fandoms, unless it's a short joke drabble/comic etc.

samuraiter :
for the anime/manga fans among us

*pokes head in*

If there is more than one female character in any given anime / manga, the femslash side of the fandom happens on its own, though I would say this is most prevalent in shows with female ensembles (and, in particular, harem shows, where it's often more appealing to pair the female characters than it is to have to tap our fingers and wait for the milquetoast, blank-slate male lead to make up his mind).