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[personal profile] reenka
Sometimes I feel weird about all the appropriating I do with like... characters and stuff, slashing them, and trying to tie that feeling to relating to gay men in real life unconsciously before I screech to a halt and just feel weird and a bit alienated and confused. I dunno. Does anyone get what I mean?

There's this intense intimacy and level of empathy & understanding I have with gay characters in slash & yaoi... a level of comfort and ease that is hard to reconcile with the total reinforcement of queer as Other (even now) in the media and just my real-life lack of experience or participation in that culture as such. There's a weirdness even in positive portrayals sometimes (emotionally, for me) like the gay ghosts in Phaedra Weldon's urban fantasy, 'Wraith'. Of all things, the weirdness comes from the lack of romanticization-- I mean, it's actually a good portrayal, but they're nothing to squee about; they're just (quirky) side characters. Ordinary people, obviously, but in a much less intense/personal way than fanfic/yaoi makes them; they're part of a particular social group with its specific identifiers in Atlanta (where the story takes place), say, but I have no particular interest in them. What the hell am I saying.


Sometimes I read yaoi and the romanticization/obliviousness to these social mores and circumstances the characters would normally live in bothers me; the pretense bothers me and I feel oddly alienated, like I see through the illusion and I feel like my fangirl romantic/squee response was always so emotional and subjective and easily subverted/challenged. I think, though, that if it -was- inclusive of social circumstances, things would be repetitive and even alienating on an emotional level in a different way (ie, emphasizing our differences of experience rather than fixating on all the ways we're similar the way yaoi does with its basic heteronormativity).

It's just like I'm peeking behind the curtain of my fangirl squee, where, y'know, it's all sorta... nothing to do with me, nothing special in reality. I dunno. Does that make sense? It's not even true because I myself am queer, so... but I mean, my personal experience is still very different. There are moments I really feel the barrier between 'me' and 'them', and the otherness is staggering for no good reason except perhaps my off and on receptiveness to 'real world' majority perceptions. Appropriating and meshing mine with theirs, projecting romanticism, even placing myself in male bodies with smut and at some points even gay porn (the fantasy is a powerful thing)-- it just feels weird at times. Like waking up sober and going, 'who the hell is this with me & where the hell am I?' That sort of thing.

I really think maybe the fantasy & separateness of its little world is necessary to keep up the emotional punch of slash/yaoi for me and probably a lot of other fangirls, much as I obsess over emotional realism.
    I mean, I was watching [livejournal.com profile] mamoru22's Die Hard slash vid and I think it captures that feeling of the sort of semi-mindless excitement that could get punctured with 'realism' real fast, y'know?

I had a weird conversation about gender roles with two girls around my age recently which may have started me thinking me about this-- about how even these days we may be more comfortable knowing what those roles are & the social niceties of behaving accordingly (ie, men who know to hold the door and pull out chairs, women who know where they stand with them by details of behavior or body-language), and the small confusions of treating men as 'just people' no different from us in how they operate when they are, in fact, different. I dunno.

Maybe it's just that I mostly know total geeks or I just don't want to play the game in the first place, but this just depresses me. I think it's that thinking of men as 'Men' that got me on this whole semi-alienated mood with slash, weirdly enough. I celebrate infinite differences (in infinite combinations), but at the same time... my love of slash is deeply rooted in personal identification and some level of projection which assumes we aren't that different where it counts. Some part of me wants to say that's not 'romanticization' and is actually not just(!) my stubborn idealism; I want to say emotion is universal, I want to say people are transparent to those who open up their hearts to understand that character; I just want to keep my Harry and Draco and all my favorites close to my bosom, and I want to pretend this is in any way relevant to real life.

In the end, this is more about my own relationship to any character than to 'men' or 'gay men' or whatever; and then there's the sad fact that I feel closer to most characters than most people anyway. You know. Hahah. *facepalm* And also the fact that I relate to anyone through empathizing with their heart or emotional center, where there is no gender and no real socialization, so it's difficult for me to hold any kind of social distance with that in order to separate between 'us' and 'them'. If I do consider anyone to be part of 'them', the separation is painful and total and scary; my default strategy is to appropriate people's experiences in order to understand them, in other words, which might even be seen as offensive by some on my part, I guess.
    Regardless, the thing is that far from being reassured by a return to social niceties and polite gallant gestures between the sexes, I'd be constantly alienated and shut off from my most vital way of understanding anyone's motivations. Well. But the thing is that most people are different from me in this regard, so. ><;

Anyway, I probably wouldn't have angsted about this if I could've verbalized any of this during the conversation at hand, but I'm never very articulate in person and everything I could've said comes to me in dribs and drabs over the following days, heh. And yet I love talking to people in person, just to soak up & listen. :> I'm sure I don't make the greatest impression. :P It's hard for me to talk about complex subjects in person when the other person is convinced of their position and I'm just thinking it through, especially. Gah. heh.

I like my little fictional world where I get to empathize and identify with anyone, including gay boys, and I don't even care about the 'real world' half as much anyway, so who cares, right? Eh. I know that sounds messed up. I just can't make a good argument for the 'real world' so I don't try.

I don't want to imply I always want queerness romanticized or made heteronormative and 'understandable'; just that, y'know... eh. I wallow in my inter-subjectivity. Sort of like subjectivity that tries to eat the world. :>
~~

In other news, I really love Wil Wheaton's blog. :>

And, um, if anyone cares, I really am working on my write-up of my notes from the Prophecy con (♥!!!) & finishing up my fics and such before the month is over ><;;;

Date: 2007-08-16 12:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amalin.livejournal.com
I am deleting all my journals but amalin and clearing amalin out. I haven't decided about still following the f-list yet! I don't know :| I do not think I want to follow my whole f-list because the point of leaving is more about me leaving than LJ's new policies, but there are some people I don't want to do without :| I thought about creating a little journal just to follow a couple people but that seems so counterintuitive seeing as I'm leaving LJ! I don't know :(

And I still want to follow seventynine of course :|

Date: 2007-08-16 06:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
Wah. :S Well. Lurking is leaving, in a sense, but then lurkers don't comment, so... ^^;;; I guess if you made a tiny watcher journal, most people -would- think you'd left? Er?? ^^;

I may have to get y!m, clearly, except no one is ever on when I'm on :>

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