(also, I'm bored and waiting for Nenya to get off work.)
So it all started when danverrs
posted stats about f/f in Marvel fandom.
ok so you know how david was talking about the lack of f/f stuff in fandom last night?? well ok i decided to go onto AO3 and compare the difference between the amount of m/m, f/m, and f/f fic
since AO3 doesnt have an option to sort through all fandoms at once without choosing a tag first (which is lame btw), i decided to chose the most popular fandom on the site aka Marvel. this is actually really lucky for my experiment, because marvel has a good deal of well-developed female characters in their franchise!! alright yea awesome let’s get down to business!!
the marvel tag has 31216 fics in it, a number that’s growing all the time. here’s a breakdown:
- 17196 are m/m fics (~55%)
- 8774 are gen (~28%)
- 7152 are f/m (~22%)
- 1674 are multi (~5%)
- 679 are other (~2%)
- 1007 are f/f (~3%)
yea, that’s right f/f fics only make up about 3% of AO3’s marvel archives. that’s fucking pitiful considering, if we extrapolate, that in the entirety of AO3 probably less than 10% is f/f
ohh it gets better tho: see, AO3 has this handy tag filter sidebar that let’s you see the most popular ship tags for a fandom. for marvel the tag it looks like this:
- Erik Lehnsherr/Charles Xavier (4062)
- Steve Rogers/Tony Stark (4031)
- Clint Barton/Phil Coulson (2233)
- Clint Barton/Natasha Romanov (1744)
- Loki/Thor (1722)
- Pepper Potts/Tony Stark (1300)
- Loki/Tony Stark (1149)
- Bruce Banner/Tony Stark (970)
- Jane Foster/Thor (700)
- James “Bucky” Barnes/Steve Rogers (519)
yep everybody in that list is white and there’s only three het ships in that entire list. good job guys, gold stark for all of y’all.
Which lead to a chorus of tagging and similar complaints from frustrated f/f shippers.( such as )
Which are AO3 tagging issues I think we all feel, to be honest.
Then, inevitably, someone argued the point: coyotesuspect
made a long post, coming from their place of experience which was SPN fandom.
Which I'm not quoting here, because long, so just go read it if you're interested.
But it took the line:
Stuff like this is always very interesting to me, and I hesitate to attribute it solely (or even mainly) to fandom’s sexism given that fandom - at least the part that is actively uploading fic to A03 - is predominantly female, a large percentage of which identifies as queer, and thus presumably is interested in seeing and producing fanworks about f/f relationships.
Which isn’t to say that self-internalized misogyny and homophobia aren’t rampant in fandom, nor that fandom’s massive fetishization of queer male experience doesn’t need to be unpacked, but, imho, the larger portion of blame lies with the media we’re consuming in the first place.
(Then goes on to talk about SPN
fandom. And winds into the thesis that there's not much femslash because women don't interact much on screen and fic writers "thrive on interaction" [which totally explains the existence of Clint/Coulson and Darcy/anyone-not-Jane, and why Rizzoli & Isles
comes close to qualifying for Yuletide]).
Which promptly lead fictionaladyfeels
to pitch in with with
: also, queer women are not exempt from sexism. i knew a lesbian in high school who still exclusively shipped m/m pairings. she was not an exception; her type of fan is pretty common.
(then the whole thing descended into race wank)
The last led me, as a lesbian, to say "Oh, fuck you."
1. Highschool, clearly when we all reach the height of maturity and artistic development.
2. Your shipping choices do not reflect your sexuality.
3. Yes, it would be nice to see more f/f, but you're not a bad fan, a bad woman or a bad queer for not writing it.
4. Yes, there is totally sexism and homophobia in fandom. You bet there is. I thing that's one of the things the stats show, and Supernatural
is a pretty obvious fandom to pick when you want to talk about that, but writing m/m or m/f does not make you a bad fan, a bad woman or a bad queer.
5. I wish people would just say they're more comfortable writing about (white) guys than make up reasons like "not enough interaction" or "we don't have enough canon backstory" because that just makes you look like a goof.
6. I think this is something about which useful discussion can be had, but,
7. Fandom/sexuality police can step off. You're not helping anything.
(I say this as a queer woman who writes m/m, m/f, f/f, and gen about men and women. I will admit to writing primarily m/m, though, before you point it out, I'm aware).