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'Resistance Reexamined: Gender, Fan Practices, and Science Fiction Television'
Unformatted Document Text:  18 After probing fan practices in their specific contexts, it appears that broad generalizations about the resistive character and potential of textual poaching and similar phenomena are only so conclusive. Fans motivated by Mary Sue and/or slash propensities can sometimes oppose producer goals, but this can happen even if the goals might be considered counter-hegemonic, as in the case of Stargate fans who decry the show’s greater emphasis on its only female hero. They might ratify the hegemonic, “lone male hero” mindset embraced by creators, as in the case of X-Files fans who safeguarded Mulder’s independence from an “unworthy” Scully (Scodari & Felder, 2000). Similarly, Aeryn’s challenge of John on Farscape is regarded by many fans just as producers intend–as justification for the hero to entertain opportunities with other women in patriarchal fashion. In each instance, the question of whether specific desires and/or their underlying motivations are hegemonic or counter-hegemonic has been confronted. It is understandable that early scholarly treatments of slash would find the phenomenon intriguing and, on its surface, rebellious, especially in light of texts that did not provide central female protagonists. However, now that there are science fiction vehicles which, however imperfectly, offer “strong” female counterparts such as Aeryn Sun, Samantha Carter, and Dana Scully, the priorities of straight female fans adopting Mary Sue- and/or slash-based subjectivities in interactive fandoms become problematic. Many women likely to become ardent enthusiasts of science fiction television appear more apt than others to occupy subject positions vis à vis the text just as authors of earlier male- oriented vehicles hoped, even if their particular tactics are unorthodox. If adulation of a male character and/or the actor who plays him is the primary catalyst for their fandom, then any disruption of that enticement and/or instrument of subjectivity becomes a deal- breaker. However, other avid fans and, certainly, average viewers, are not confined to such an instrument. In fact, what scholars such as Jenkins (1992) assume to be passive, uncritical reception of texts can be counter-hegemonic if, for instance, it encompasses enthusiasm for a greater diversity of representations of female characters rather than

Authors: Scodari, Christine.
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18
After probing fan practices in their specific contexts, it appears that broad
generalizations about the resistive character and potential of textual poaching and similar
phenomena are only so conclusive. Fans motivated by Mary Sue and/or slash propensities
can sometimes oppose producer goals, but this can happen even if the goals might be
considered counter-hegemonic, as in the case of Stargate fans who decry the show’s greater
emphasis on its only female hero. They might ratify the hegemonic, “lone male hero”
mindset embraced by creators, as in the case of X-Files fans who safeguarded Mulder’s
independence from an “unworthy” Scully (Scodari & Felder, 2000). Similarly, Aeryn’s
challenge of John on Farscape is regarded by many fans just as producers intend–as
justification for the hero to entertain opportunities with other women in patriarchal
fashion. In each instance, the question of whether specific desires and/or their underlying
motivations are hegemonic or counter-hegemonic has been confronted.
It is understandable that early scholarly treatments of slash would find the
phenomenon intriguing and, on its surface, rebellious, especially in light of texts that did
not provide central female protagonists. However, now that there are science fiction
vehicles which, however imperfectly, offer “strong” female counterparts such as Aeryn
Sun, Samantha Carter, and Dana Scully, the priorities of straight female fans adopting
Mary Sue- and/or slash-based subjectivities in interactive fandoms become problematic.
Many women likely to become ardent enthusiasts of science fiction television appear more
apt than others to occupy subject positions vis à vis the text just as authors of earlier male-
oriented vehicles hoped, even if their particular tactics are unorthodox. If adulation of a
male character and/or the actor who plays him is the primary catalyst for their fandom,
then any disruption of that enticement and/or instrument of subjectivity becomes a deal-
breaker. However, other avid fans and, certainly, average viewers, are not confined to such
an instrument. In fact, what scholars such as Jenkins (1992) assume to be passive,
uncritical reception of texts can be counter-hegemonic if, for instance, it encompasses
enthusiasm for a greater diversity of representations of female characters rather than


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