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.
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.
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