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'Resistance Reexamined: Gender, Fan Practices, and Science Fiction Television'
Unformatted Document Text:  4 love which can exist only between equals...who are strong and share adventures as well as emotions.” These analysts also tout slash as liberating because its female writers re-work masculine sexuality in feminine terms, portraying the men “in each others’ arms, cuddling in the warm afterglow of sex...exchanging affectionate intimacies” (Jenkins, 1992, p. 192). But, do these fans only celebrate the feminine when it is performed by male bodies? Slash featuring women and penned by lesbians is comparatively unstudied, but has proliferated of late due to an increase in female-oriented fantasy series. For instance, lesbian fans of Xena Warrior Princess read Xena and her sidekick Gabrielle in terms of a romantic subtext that blooms into text in the stories some of them compose (see Helford, 2000b). Such slash is transparently resistive, but the analysis performed here does not apply to this or any case in which fans author or read same sex romances as a way of addressing their own homoerotic desires and/or the culture’s heteronormative bias. However, one should not so casually posit, as Cicioni (2000, p. 175) appears to, that support for gay rights is a mindset spawning the majority of male-centered slash written and read by straight women. In fact, in the same collection as Cicioni’s essay is another on slash in which the issue of homophobia is debated by participants (Green, Jenkins, & Jenkins, 2000, pp. 22-28). Many slash authors maintain that their protagonists are most decidedly straight men who can’t help but be sexually attracted to one another because of their shared experiences and abiding trust, and this “denial” of gayness can be considered homophobic by other fans (pp. 22-24). Moreover, as one slasher (Boal, 1990) protests: “Most people who are involved in slash fandom are hetero women....They thrill at the idea of two men doing it, and they see themselves as INCREDIBLY open-minded. But this sort of fan would be repulsed by the idea of two women doing it” (qtd. in Green, Jenkins, & Jenkins, 2000, pp. 22-23). This raises the possibility of interpreting many instances of “traditional” slash activity as having a motivation comparable to that associated with male-targeted pornography featuring “lesbian” encounters–namely, removal of the “competition” and the

Authors: Scodari, Christine.
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love which can exist only between equals...who are strong and share adventures as well as
emotions.” These analysts also tout slash as liberating because its female writers re-work
masculine sexuality in feminine terms, portraying the men “in each others’ arms, cuddling
in the warm afterglow of sex...exchanging affectionate intimacies” (Jenkins, 1992, p. 192).
But, do these fans only celebrate the feminine when it is performed by male bodies?
Slash featuring women and penned by lesbians is comparatively unstudied, but has
proliferated of late due to an increase in female-oriented fantasy series. For instance,
lesbian fans of Xena Warrior Princess read Xena and her sidekick Gabrielle in terms of a
romantic subtext that blooms into text in the stories some of them compose (see Helford,
2000b). Such slash is transparently resistive, but the analysis performed here does not
apply to this or any case in which fans author or read same sex romances as a way of
addressing their own homoerotic desires and/or the culture’s heteronormative bias.
However, one should not so casually posit, as Cicioni (2000, p. 175) appears to, that
support for gay rights is a mindset spawning the majority of male-centered slash written
and read by straight women. In fact, in the same collection as Cicioni’s essay is another on
slash in which the issue of homophobia is debated by participants (Green, Jenkins, &
Jenkins, 2000, pp. 22-28). Many slash authors maintain that their protagonists are most
decidedly straight men who can’t help but be sexually attracted to one another because of
their shared experiences and abiding trust, and this “denial” of gayness can be considered
homophobic by other fans (pp. 22-24). Moreover, as one slasher (Boal, 1990) protests:
“Most people who are involved in slash fandom are hetero women....They thrill at the idea
of two men doing it, and they see themselves as INCREDIBLY open-minded. But this sort
of fan would be repulsed by the idea of two women doing it” (qtd. in Green, Jenkins, &
Jenkins, 2000, pp. 22-23).
This raises the possibility of interpreting many instances of “traditional” slash
activity as having a motivation comparable to that associated with male-targeted
pornography featuring “lesbian” encounters–namely, removal of the “competition” and the


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