Nov. 4th, 2011

All these years later, I'm still not sure if this is true: are people's preferences for bottoms in slash pairings directly correlated with which character they'd want taken care of? And if so, what does this say about feminism, ideas about gender roles, etc.

I totally get that feminism gets some stuff wrong-- stuff to do with stuff women do feel rather than should feel. It can be overly prescriptive on issues that are too hormonal/biological rather than simply cultural. This is also the case with other social movements (the didacticism), but only veganism and environmentalism seem on par with feminism in this sense. Somehow, believing in 'the right thing' becomes outrage at like, human nature, too easily. Not cool with me. But still.

It's never been natural for me to associate the character I'd like to bottom with infantilizing or identification, even, and I don't know how to judge my own freakishness. Reading (and enjoying) bottom!Kirk fics has especially brought this home to me. I prefer top!Kirk because I like the dynamic with Spock better, because it exposes aspects of Spock I find interesting (his emotional yielding to Kirk becomes manifested physically, yet also problematized). I find I'm ok with bottom/switch!Kirk if the fic explores similar issues with Spock anyway, though in my mind I also simply don't like the issues bottom!Kirk has (not interesting to me psychologically). Other people seem to focus on who's more 'in-control' emotionally (tops), who's more of a woobie (bottoms), who's prettier or skinnier (often bottoms), even. It's just kind of problematic in both characterization & feminist ways. Ironically, yaoi manga plays with these cliches a lot of times where the point is having a pretty-boy top or whatever, though I'm not sure that's ideal, but it's more than slash seems to do.

The 'realism' angle seems irrelevant, btw; like, I don't care if most gay men don't do penetrative sex, or if the focus on top/bottom itself is 'wrong' (and everyone should switch). That's too didactic/prescriptive. But there's so much predictability & rigidity in most people's preferences that that itself seems problematic somehow-- gender-roles, etc-- except I myself am so hardcore about top!Harry. Though honestly, this is definitely partly rooted in just the horrid characterizations of almost all top!Dracos. Honestly, he's just not dommy at all. The whole thing where he wants to take care of Harry or thinks Harry is a woobie in any way is just so groan-worthy it's embarrassing. And I mean, having Draco be 'cool' enough to top a badass Harry is just silly. I mean, if someone wrote a pathetic Draco topping a badass Harry, ok (if unsatisfying), but that pretty much never happened. Which is probably evidence for the psychological basis thing. *sigh*

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the one who stumbled

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