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For the thoughtful discussion of women, femslash, and assorted other topics
Pairing the Spares: Femslashing When There's Only Two Female Characters
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2012-08-27 10:03 pm (UTC)
This was an issue around fake news fandom for years. There was Samantha Bee, and...that was basically it as far as ladies went. (The Daily Show had other female correspondents before her, and often they even overlapped, but this was before early episodes were all available online, and the fandom was too small to have built up much of an institutional memory.) A couple of other women got drawn into the fandom's sphere of interest over the years, but they didn't interact with her in any way. The only f/f fic longer than a drabble that we managed to turn out was one I wrote, a couple of chapters, pairing Sam with a character (Charlene) who was never seen onscreen and existed only in mentions.
Finally we also got Kristen Schaal as a regular contributor...and I didn't ship it! I wanted the femslash, but as far as specific pairing dynamics went, it just wasn't clicking D:
And then we got Olivia Munn, and Olivia/Kristen
click in my head, and all was right with the world.
That's pretty much my only "major fandom with barely any female characters" story. Sailor Moon, Madoka Magica, Read or Die, they all have majority-female casts anyway. Slashers are the ones with the "there's nobody to ship!" issue in PMMM and R.O.D ^_^; Sailor Moon has such a sprawling cast that there are plenty of likely m/m couples; they're just far outweighed by the f/f potential.
Hellsing is almost hard to deal with, featuring only a handful of women, many of whom are in separate spheres and never get to interact. But even then the two female leads, Integra and Seras, have tons of screentime together and a rich relationship with interesting development, while the secondary cast includes an f/f duo, Heinkel and Yumiko (or Yumie), who are each other's most-likely prospects and intensely shippable. Also, the original TV series throws in sweet mentor/mentee potential with Seras/Helena, and the baobhan sith is a female antagonist with a deliciously creepy sexual obsession with Integra. So...you know, now that I've typed that out, it doesn't seem worth complaining about at all :/
And then there are some very enclosed fandoms where the focus is on plot or a certain trope/formula, where there's very little emotional energy in the character dynamics, and what there is is mostly focused on the bond between the two male leads. Jeeves & Wooster, Pet Shop of Horrors, Good Omens, that sort of series. Somehow it's never occurred to me to try to shoehorn femslash into those, any more than I'd put in the necessary effort to write an m/m Madoka fic. At some point it doesn't seem worth it, you know?
2012-08-28 06:37 am (UTC)
I think I would largely agree with
. It helps, though, that my main mainstream fandom is
, so even when you don't get two women sharing the screen a lot (*bows to your icon*) you can take advantage of the TARDIS as a giant plot generator and introduce your lone companion to someone interesting. Space, time, crossovers (I've written Amy Pond/Kaylee Frye, for example...). And lots of my fandoms do involve that sort of large, sprawling cast and action, so I don't come across that problem much.
Thinking about it, really my only fandoms where the cast is strictly limited to two female characters come in Shakespeare and opera, and where that's the case it usually happens that the pair will have a fairly close bond that you can do something with.
2012-08-28 10:16 am (UTC)
My first fandom that strictly has two female characters is Star Trek: TOS, and the two female character don't have much interaction between them. Then my next fandom Stargate: Atlantis initially for a period of time has two main female characters. Condequently for a long time I don't read much femslash. It's only when SGA introduces more female characters that my interest in femslash is aroused. My current fandom is Marvel comics fandom, which despite its many faults, has a large cast of female characters so I no long come across this problem.
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