amaresu: tegan and nyssa smiling at each other (doctorwho-tegan/nyssa)
[personal profile] amaresu posting in [community profile] fem_thoughts
I'm going to attempt to post these on a regular basis. Either weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly based on how much activity there is. Discussion prompts will be taken randomly from the mini-meta prompt posts.

Genderswapping AUs, etc. Genderswapping has a reputation of being a way to "avoid the gay" in male-dominated fandoms, by switching one character's gender to allow for a romance. Is there good lesbian genderswap out there?

Date: 2012-07-16 12:49 pm (UTC)
summerstorm: (av | pepper | business)
From: [personal profile] summerstorm
I've always thought of genderswapping as a way of including female characters in male-dominated fandoms. Which may sound naive, but all of the genderswap I've read I've read was written by people who also write m/m, so that's how I think of it.

Definitely don't read enough of it to have a great big list of recs (when I say 'all of the genderswap I've read' I mean 'these ten or twelve stories that didn't make me go "but there is this woman in canon who would work perfectly in this premise WHY AREN'T YOU WRITING ABOUT HER ffffff" on sight'), but I did read a lovely Pepper Potts/girl!Tony Stark a few months back—thirty-two flavors (and then some) by gyzym, still only on tumblr as far as I can see, alas.

Date: 2012-07-16 03:45 pm (UTC)
sophia_gratia: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sophia_gratia
I'm noticing this increasing tension in fandom between the position that we 'must preserve the gay', i.e., gay male relationships, and a desire to see more women represented in media and in fandom. The controversy over Lucy Liu as a female Watson is case in point. I'm pretty much always going to fall on the side of wanting to see more women represented – but I also share your view that if there are already female characters in a given canon, who are almost certainly underrepresented in fandom, why would one want to ignore them in favor of genderswapping a (probably already very well-represented) male character?

And thanks for that link! *bookmarks*

Date: 2012-07-16 04:43 pm (UTC)
summerstorm: (pll | spencer | close)
From: [personal profile] summerstorm
The controversy over Lucy Liu being cast as Watson is the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen, and possibly also the most depressing, because keeping Watson male doesn't preserve gay anything. There are so many complaints about it from BBC Sherlock fans*, who apparently do not realize that their Sherlock and Watson are, in fact, not gay? The show plays it up and denies it in the same breath, it's such horrible baiting. So if the options are, and let's be real, these are the options here, 1) a m/m friendship with homoerotic undertones that never go anywhere and b) a m/f(oc) friendship, with or without UST, I'll choose 2 every time, and side-eye any outrage at the idea. /sore topic

* Coincidentally, the latest story that made me go, "no, fuck you," was a girl!Lestrade fic—which I would have been fine with except for the fact that it was undertagged and from the metadata and summary you would have thought it was a Sally Donovan fic. (Thankfully knew about fic beforehand, was not disappointed, only vaguely annoyed.) And oh how I would have loved to read an account of the entire series from her POV. I get that Sally Donovan is "hard to like" (because she's antagonistic toward Sherlock but not the antagonist, who of course will get all the love even if he's boring as dirt, so long as he stays white and male) but come on.

This comment is so unpleasant, sorry about that.

Date: 2012-07-16 04:59 pm (UTC)
sophia_gratia: (scully wtf)
From: [personal profile] sophia_gratia
Yes. Yes, yes, yes. And also: anyone who believes that representations of male homosocial bonds are somehow under threat is straight-up delusional. What would really be radical would be a portrayal of a male and female colleague in leading roles who are intimate friends, and not trapped in a manipulative will-they-or-won't-they semiromantic narrative. And why can't we imagine the possibility of queer figures (whether canonical or in fandom/fanon) without necessary recourse to the erotics of male homosociality? THAT is what we should be asking for. (Warehouse 13 has, incidentally, come close to this in the characters of Myka Bering and Pete Lattimer, and Myka's relationship with H.G. Wells – I especially appreciated Joanne Kelly's recent remarks at SDCC to the effect that default-hetero-UST-plots are, basically, boring, and there's more interesting stuff to be done with what she calls 'fluid' sexuality.)

And as far as I'm concerned, no need to apologize for unpleasantness. I fly my own Humorless Feminist banner high and with pride.

... This has gotten a bit away from the topic of the original post. So I shall offer a rec by way of recompense. I'm not sure if it counts as genderswap exactly, but this very lovely Twelfth Doctor/Original Companion story, with its wonderfully rendered lady-Doctor, is extremely satisfying: Loyalties {ao3} | TigerDragon and TiaNadiezja | ~2,800 words | G.

Date: 2012-07-17 08:29 pm (UTC)
levitsa: (historical: smile more doctor)
From: [personal profile] levitsa
My only real fee-fee with regards to female Watson in Elementary is that they didn't maintain the veteran detail, from what I know (which is admittedly old info), which is a major part of the character for me. I feel that we don't have enough media about female veterans, especially in leading roles. Neither here nor there, though, just a matter of my personal interests & personal investment in women & military culture.

Date: 2012-07-16 03:17 pm (UTC)
wendelah1: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wendelah1
That was a great story.

Date: 2012-07-16 03:22 pm (UTC)
erinptah: Madoka and Homura (madoka)
From: [personal profile] erinptah
It's been a while since I've heard that reputation for genderswap! Most of the time I see it written by people who also write queer relationships plenty, and are using it to play with gender roles, often with trans* issues thrown in.

The main criticisms I've heard recently are (for m-to-f swaps) "you're trying to get points for writing about women, without actually paying any attention to the real underappreciated female characters," and (for f-to-m swaps) "what, do you have to make female characters men before you're interested in them?" Sigh.

Here's a handful of always-a-girl-AU or surprise-sexswap f/f recs:

Getting Settled (Doctor Who, Martha/girl!Doctor)
A TARDIS Of One's Own (Doctor Who, Rose and girl!Doctor)
The Weaker Sex (Red Dwarf, Rimmer/Lister -- note that this series has a canon genderswapped AU)
Impossibly Delightful Flesh (Buffy, s5 canon pairings -- including some Willow/male-bodied!Tara that works pretty hard to be respectful of Tara's gender identity)
Various short fics (Fake News, girl!Jon/girl!"Stephen")

I have a few more involving trans!female or genderqueer/genderfluid characters, if those are on topic :)

Date: 2012-07-16 05:13 pm (UTC)
sophia_gratia: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sophia_gratia
I should also say (ahem) that before I got distracted by my desire to rant, my first thought was: thanks so much for posting this, and for the promise of more! I'm excited to see this comm more active, especially since I haven't been writing (or reading) as much meta as I'd like. Looking forward to more of this discussion and recsfest!

Date: 2012-07-16 11:23 pm (UTC)
salinea: Two woman dancing together "dance with me" (dance with me)
From: [personal profile] salinea
I mostly know of the lesbian genderswap!!

Two Xavier/Magneto genderswapped fics:

Je vois la Vie en Rose by [personal profile] lilacsigil

Bittersweet by [profile] alara_works

Date: 2012-07-20 12:18 am (UTC)
lyssie: (Paulla loves guns)
From: [personal profile] lyssie
I'll just second that first rec, as it's got some amazing bits and bobs, and swaps pretty much the entire canon (of First Class), and also deals with some of the difficulties/sexism of the time.

Date: 2012-07-17 01:22 am (UTC)
sqbr: Nepeta from Homestuck looking grumpy in front of the f/f parts of her shipping wall (grumpy)
From: [personal profile] sqbr
I get really annoyed when I search for femslash and all I can find is genderswapped m/m, especially when the writers are so proud of themselves for actually!writing!femslash!omg!

I do think a lot of interesting things can be done with genderswap and other messing about with gender, I haven't seen or read any femslash that's done much of it but intend to check out the recs other people have made.

Date: 2012-07-17 06:41 am (UTC)
cest_what: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cest_what
I've never seen genderswap written by predominantly het writers, but that's a really interesting idea, actually - that avoiding the gay could be a compelling enough reason to undermine a character's gender, for some writers? I tend to assume that homophobia and gender essentialism usually come from the same place, ideologically.

But, yeah, as everyone else has commented, I've only seen it written as a means of exploring ideas about gender or a character's identity, or more commonly, because a writer wants to write femmeslash or het or just something girl-focused, but also wants to write a pairing that they and their readers are already into. Which I don't think is a reason to criticise the writer, but if the genderswap fic massively outweighs the fic about canon girls, that's a fair criticisim on the fandom.

Anyway, here's a bunch of recs :)

L.O.V.E. by sunsetmog (Bandom, Ashlee Simpson/g!Pete Wentz, really awesome high school AU)
My Baby Loves Me (Just the Way That I Am) by stephanometra (Bandom, g!Ryan Ross/g!Spencer Smith, really darling pre-band fic)
Dear Gravity, You Held Me Down in This Starless City by mahoni, (Bandom, Lyn-Z Ballato/g!Spencer Smith, DCU fusion in which Lyn-Z is Batgirl)
First Verse, Allegro by shihadchick (Bandom, g!Brendon Urie/g!Spencer Smith, think this may also have been a high school AU?)
About a Girl (Bandom, g!Brendon/g!Spencer, bandfic)
All We Need (Is a Little Bit of Momentum) by fictionalaspect (Bandom, Greta Morgan/g!Brendon Urie, kind of gorgeous clothes kink)
Get to Kiss That Twisted Mouth by Nokomis (Bandom, Lyn-Z Ballato/g!Gerard Way, bandfic)
Space Where We Meet is Different from the Rest by lyo (Bandom, Alicia Simmons/g!Mikey Way, all-girl boarding school AU)
Freighthopping by charactereyes (Bandom, g!Gerard Way/g!Bert McCracken, visceral messy adorable fic)
Given Time We’ll Find It Strange by skoosiepants (Bandom/Disney RPF, g!Mike Carden/g!Kevin Jonas, really charming bandfic)

This is (Probably) Perfectly Normal by netgirl_y2k (Doctor Who, Eleven regenerates as a woman, genish but River/Doctor flirty)

Lambda Session Notes by gloss (Homestuck, g!Dirk Strider/g!Jake English, really charming)

Date: 2012-07-20 12:28 am (UTC)
lyssie: (Sam and Kara are not canon)
From: [personal profile] lyssie
I am so... all over the place when it comes to gender-swap.

1. I keep hearing about "one dude is swapped, so it's het and doesn't have icky gay!" fic, but I've never personally seen it. Then again, I don't tend to ship major dudeslash pairings, so I ignore anything tagged/noted as being about them. So perhaps that's why?

2. A lot of the time genderswapping a m/m pairing into a f/f pairing feels very much like "would rather write about dudes, but is making concessions while ignoring the already-canon-women". But I think there's a bit more at work there.

a) for one thing, m/m pairings are usually popular, with established fanbases. Even if they now have vaginas, they're still going to get way more feedback.

b) canon women are usually defined as boring, under-developed, uninteresting.

c) there aren't actually major characters who are already female (Sherlock Holmes, for instance, has a few, but they're not the main characters. I quite liked Sally Donovan, for instance, but I'd never consider her anything but a tertiary character).

d) boredom. I mean, that's why I wrote genderswapped Holmes/Watson that one time. (also, ok, Victorian lesbian detective/doctor is hot for my brain?)

3. My list of recs is basically that XM: First Class fic by [personal profile] lilacsigil that's already been mentioned. Because I don't go looking for it (I usually like the already-female canon women, so).

eta: 4. I forgot that there are also a few times I've seen dudes genderswapped to make het into femslash. (Sam/girl!Jack immediately springs to mind)
Edited Date: 2012-07-20 12:29 am (UTC)


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