keiramarcos: (Default)
[personal profile] keiramarcos

I could spend a whole year talking about the fetishizing of men in fandom because it is wide spread and it leads to some truly ugly behavior on the parts of fans. It breeds contempt for show creators and sometimes obsessions with actors that can and have gotten dangerously out of hand. Actors sometimes get melded with the characters they play in a fan’s mind, and that can lead to the fan believing they know them in very intimate ways when it simply isn’t true.

One of the most distressing things I see in fandom is the objectification of the real people who play the characters we love. I can’t really do anything about the problem but I notice it, and it’s often utterly appalling. I want to just lose my shit sometimes and point out—hey, that’s a fucking human being you’re talking about there. He’s not some puppet you can play around with like a goddamned toy.

You probably think it doesn’t matter what you think in your head or what you put on Tumblr regarding an actor or actress. You think it’s perfectly okay to write a fic about Joe Flanigan and David Hewlett cheating on their wives/girlfriends/families because you’re just writing fiction. It’s not hurting anything. Except they both have children and one day one of those kids might stumble across your fucked up little short story about their dad cheating on their mom, and of course, because you’re an asshole you’ve made sure to insult and degrade their mother as much as possible to justify the cheating. I’m sure that’s going to be a fun conversation for everyone involved.

Explicit sex in fan fiction plays a role in objectification, and I acknowledge this. I’ve always known that there is a subset of people who only read my work for the sex. They make it clear in their comments and in specifically in the parts of my stories they remember. I once saw a “find a fic” request on an LJ community that outlined five sex scenes and not a single plot point. All they remembered was the sex. It wasn’t my story they were looking for, but more than one person suggested that I might be the author of this missing fic. I’m glad I wasn’t. I felt let down and terrible for the author it was though because one person after another on that thread would comment about having read the fic. Not a single one of them mentioned a plot point or a bit of characterization that wasn’t sex.

I knew the story they were looking for—it was a beautiful piece of work with excellent characterization and an engrossing plot that was utterly breathtaking. I never commented on that thread with the answer because I wanted no part of the conversation. I think it took six or seven weeks for someone to provide a link. I don’t want to discuss the title or author here because it’s not fair to her or her work. That thread on that fic finders community wasn’t fair to her work either. But it did highlight something I’d noticed about a few readers on my site. The sex stood out for them. Specifically, the gay sex stood out for them, and nothing else was really important.

Early on, I had to figure out where my hard line was regarding objectification in my fandom work. I decided that I would write about characters, not actors. I don’t read or write “real person fiction” as a result. For example, John Sheppard is a character—a fictional person who exists in the Stargate fandom that I know well. Joe Flanigan is a real person—he has a family and a personal life that is none of my business. I don’t know him at all, and honestly, I have no interest in knowing him. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but I’m not here for Joe Flanigan. I’m in the Stargate fandom for John Sheppard.




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Date: 2017-08-31 12:30 pm (UTC)
albinobee: (Default)
From: [personal profile] albinobee
Honestly, before this post I wasn't even really aware of RPF. I mean, I knew it was out there, that it existed, but it ever impacted me. I'm in a fandom for the story and the characters, I read a fanfiction for the plot. I enjoy the wonderful worlds or interpretations of authors like you who really care about what they're putting out there in the world. That's why I pretty much reread your entire body of work every year or so, you have a story that I want to take in.

For me fetishizing the actors takes away from every part of a fandom. I don't want to think of the actor, I don't care about them beyond they're ability to bring a character to life. They are a vessel, nothing more or less. Once you focus on them or bring their lives into things they're a little less that beloved character and very much a real person. No thanks. Keep the appreciation for an actor's talent and for characters separate. It's a shallower reason than some of the other commenters here, but it's how I feel. I never hated it because I never understood why it existed and had zero interest in it.
Edited Date: 2017-08-31 12:32 pm (UTC)

Amen to that.

Date: 2017-09-03 04:53 pm (UTC)
elikiros: (Default)
From: [personal profile] elikiros
I believe that what you have said should be written in a "Poster for the perfect fan": enjoy the character and respect the actor, because they are two completely different and distinct realities, in fact many actors are very good at interpreting personalities completely different from oneself, personalities with which they sometimes do not share anything in terms of values or beliefs ... how is it possible to confuse / merge the two things?
About the rest: I prefer to read stories with a stunning plot and a good job of deepening the characters, sex can be an added ingredient in a successful blend - as in your stories, where sex is never an end to itself - otherwise it's just pwp, and some of these stories are really well written, no doubt, but the "plot" ends there ... I can't believe one can read a story of over 500 pages to remember only sex scenes!

Date: 2017-09-03 08:15 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] legessa27
I just don't understand some people, and really with shit like this who wants to know how these people's brains work. There's no denying I like having a visual of the person I'm reading about, it's really helpful for OCs or the lesser known characters of a fandom. It helps let me know where the author was coming from because let's face it who continually wants to stop the flow of what they're reading for an aside that comes down to, oh he was 6'2" and had dark hair that came down to his shoulders and blue eyes and a really built body. No it's much easier to say this actor was who I chose for the character's appearance, now on to the fic. Why would you want to blend the actor into the character. That's like saying well I saw that person eating a booger so naturally the character in the story eats boogers. It's a disgusting example I know but that's what it comes down to.

Date: 2017-09-18 03:12 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] marmaladeo_o
I also by no means read fics only for the sex, well you do write wonderful hot steamy smut but personally I really enjoy the plots points, subtle foreshadowing and people getting what's coming to them! I have never understood rpf, I think the closest I've ever come to reading one was this bizarre slash fic about John Stewart and Steven Colbert - but even then it was about the personas they portray. While I love reading mature fics what I find I really look for are LONG fics. The authors that tend to write 300k fics generally put a bit of spice in them, but not all. I also find the authors who have the wonderful ability to pen such works are also phenomenal writers. While it's regrettable that people are arseholes, that doesn't seem likely to change anytime soon, but I think it's always good for a reader to try check themselves on what exactly they're reading/ chatting and how it's being portrayed so they don't fall into dangerous, demmeing, degrading, or just plain trolling.

Date: 2017-09-18 03:20 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] marmaladeo_o
P.s. I actually really hate having visuals for characters. I much prefer written discriptions because even for fics based on visual mediums so my mind will personalize the characters for each enviroment, i.e. Sherlock as a serial killer looks far different than in a sentinel fic for me. But then I've always had a problem connecting actors to the characters they play......

I was 14 before I realized Hon Solo, Indiana Jones, and the President from Airforce One were all played the same actor....... 😖
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