Not sure where to put this, just want to ask...

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23623
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Not sure where to put this, just want to ask...

Postby 23623 » Sun Feb 12, 2017 3:15 pm

What’s the deal with slash? Why do people like it?

I've wanted to ask this question for a long time. Finally decided to post after my friend tried to introduce me to his favorite fandom yesterday. He showed me a fan-fiction of his favorite (slash) pairing. And after reading the whole thing I told him that I honestly thought the two characters were just friends. They were shippable but it just wasn't my first thought to “ship” them. And he did admit that it could be either way but for him they are definitely more than just friends. Maybe the problem’s with me because I know absolutely nothing about that particular fandom. But even in Les Mis I don’t ship Valjean/Javert, E/R or anything slashy. No offense to those who ship them, it’s just that I really don’t instinctively ship two same-sex characters. It’s possible that I could finally see the light someday – “oh, yes, they’re in love”, but that would definitely take a lot of education. :lol: My friend later explained that he didn’t consider “pairings” as only “romantic relationships”. He thought by “pairing A and B” it could mean any kind of special relationship between two characters that you find interesting, including friendship, sibling love, etc. Then I asked him “so do you think Elsa and Anna make a good pairing?” and he replied “yep”. Don’t know if you guys agree with his definition of pairings but it freaks me out a little. (Gee, I’d be a Valjean/Cosette shipper according to his definition!) And by the way…using fan-fiction to introduce someone to a new fandom is really really a ridiculous idea, especially when that someone has never read any, and is strongly against fan-fictions. :lol:

I also have the feeling that the considerable amount of slash fans is affecting the newer fandoms. Some slashy undertones are added to shows/movies/novels on purpose. :? I remember a Tanz der Vampire bootleg in which the fangirls were SCREAMING (like, really loud screaming) when Herbert knocked Alfred on the ground and tried to kiss him. I never expected that there would be so many A/H shippers. Isn’t it clear from the very beginning that Alfred loves Sarah? I’ve been thinking that Herbert was created solely to make slash fans happy since the day I got into the TdV fandom. He adds nothing to the plot. Sorry for the rant. Can’t stop talking when it comes to my second favorite musical. But really, this has been bugging me for some time.

Just to clarify, I’m not homophobic. I actually have homosexual friends in real life and I respect their sexual orientation. What I don’t get is why fans always get overexcited at slashy things (canon or not), or have the “instinct” to see things in a slashy way while they could have been interpreted as friendship or something else while still making perfect sense. Any slash fans here to enlighten me? :?:

*EDIT* fixed some grammar
Last edited by 23623 on Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Ursula_F
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Re: Not sure where to put this, just want to ask...

Postby Ursula_F » Sun Feb 12, 2017 3:26 pm

I can't speak for slash in general, but Valjean/Javert to me is obvious: they are completely obsessed with each other. Someone once said "The opposite of love is not hate; it's indifference." In other words, obsessive hatred is a very strong, passionate emotion, which easily lends itself to shipping. The relationship between Valjean and Javert is the most powerful relationship in the book - their entire lives revolve around each other and it's always at the top of their minds, and all their life choices are made with the other in mind - and it's the driving force of the plot.

My daughter once pointed out that the scene shortly after Valjean got Cosette from the Thenardiers, when Javert thinks he has Valjean cornered in an alley, is written almost like foreplay! I have to get the book to find the exact quote, but it's something like "Javert didn't rush, but held off, savoring the exquisite anticipation of the long-awaited moment when he would finally pounce on Valjean...that is, arrest him." It's hilariously obvious when you look at it through "slash goggles." ;)

For other fandoms, I'd say it's probably a result of two factors: first, that very often, the relationship between two friends is often written in a richer, more three-dimensional way than the romantic relationships. Friendships are often shown as a powerful bond between two people (especially if they're male), they would do anything for each other, they know each other better than anyone else does, they're the most important person in each other's life, etc. etc. So from there, it's a short jump to romantic shipping.

The second factor is simply that people often enjoy pairing up good-looking people. Just like many straight men are turned on by the thought of two hot girls making out with each other, many women are turned on by two gorgeous guys making out. So in TV and movie fandoms, I think that's a big factor.

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Re: Not sure where to put this, just want to ask...

Postby Acaila » Sun Feb 12, 2017 3:48 pm

Also, unfortunately, in so much of media, male characters tend to be more frequent, prominent and developed than female characters. So it's not surprising people don't ship female characters as much when in so many fandoms they are just hot cardboard cutouts :(
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Re: Not sure where to put this, just want to ask...

Postby Ursula_F » Sun Feb 12, 2017 6:03 pm

That too. :(

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23623
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Re: Not sure where to put this, just want to ask...

Postby 23623 » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:00 am

Does "slash" mean "same-sex pairing" or just "male-male pairing"? :shock: I was thinking about same-sex because that friend of mine was into female-female pairings, lol.

So this has just happened: I was explaining Hamilton to my roommate...no scratch that, I haven't even started the actual explaining yet. I was just showing her two pictures of the musical, one was Alexander Hamilton, which I'm using as my avatar somewhere else, and the other was Lafayette, which my best friend is using. And then my roommate, who, by the way, didn't even know who these people are, immediately screamed "Wow! There's chemistry between these two!"

For the first time in my life I feel...so glad that someone doesn't know about Les Mis. She would no doubt be shipping everyone with everyone if she read the book. Sometimes the way slash fans think is really a mystery to me. :lol:
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Re: Not sure where to put this, just want to ask...

Postby Acaila » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:08 pm

It didn't even used to mean same sex exclusively for same sex relationships. The term came from the way pairings were expressed in fic summaries e.g. Enjolras/Grantaire, Han/Leia, Hermione/Ginny. But it usually is used for exclusively male/male now, whereas the female equivalent is "femslash" and the male/female relationships are "het".

As for Hamilton, I think there's quite a big ship between him and Laurens? Using real life evidence?
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Re: Not sure where to put this, just want to ask...

Postby CC21106 » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:35 pm

And all this time I thought it had to do with knives and was some sort of nasty violent fanfic.
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Re: Not sure where to put this, just want to ask...

Postby Prisoner 24653 » Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:01 pm

Slash pairings have been a thing for quite a while -- even before the Internet really took off, "Star Trek" fandom was filled with folks who shipped Kirk with Spock. But as with so many other things, the Internet probably intensified it and made it a more common thing. (Naturally, there's Rule 34: If it exists, someone has made porn or other explicit content for it. :lol: )

I do wonder about Herbert in TdV. Certainly, the character existed in the original "Fearless Vampire Killers" film, but he was pretty much just a one-note gay joke there. As LGBT folks became more socially accepted/acceptable over the years and by the time the musical was being created, perhaps that helped the character to have a somewhat expanded role -- whether the creators intended it or not, he certainly has with the fandom.

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Re: Not sure where to put this, just want to ask...

Postby 23623 » Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:11 am

@Acaila: Thanks for the clarification! Hamilton/Laurens = :shock: Haven't found any Hamilton fan community (any recommendation btw?) but I already have a feeling that Alex/Eliza shippers like me are actually the minority, lol.

@Prisoner 24653: People have been shipping Kirk and Spock for...like decades? OMG... :shock: :shock: :shock: Haven't watched the original movie (I'm a bad TdV fan, I know, :oops: ) but for me the whole Alfred/Herbert thing is so obviously intentional. What I really never get though is why their plan to entertain slash fans actually succeeds. I know people tend to ship slash pairings if there's a lack of interesting female characters, but why are TdV fans still shipping Alfred with someone who is only on stage for like only 10 minutes and has no personality besides being gay, as if Sarah never existed? Why? If I could make one change to TdV, it would be cutting Herbert from the show. Really, no one had thought about this when they were busy cutting Sarah and Alfred's lines (especially That Line After "Gier")? Such a pity. :roll:
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