Because Bitches Be Jealous.

Reblogged from The Fangirl:
Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World - Lev Grossman, Tiffany Reisz, Rachel Caine, Jen Zern, Heidi Tandy, Rukmini Pande, Samira Nadkarni, Wendy C. Fries, Jolie Fontenot, Randi Flanagan, Tish Beaty, Cyndy Aleo, Christina Lauren, V. Arrow, Brad Bell, Andrew Shaffer, Darren Wershler, Anne Jamison, Jules Wilkinson, R

"Greater wank hath no fan than to lay down one’s fic for one’s friends and then pick it up again and make millions. It’s not that individuals hadn’t profited from fanworks before Fifty Shades of Grey..."

 

 

Wow, that's not slanted and judgmental at all. 

 

It's ironic considering the next sentence acknowledges that James/Icy was the center of many other controversies long before Fifty Shades of Grey was ever published. Yet it characterizes all of her critics as envious and petty? Wonder where I've heard that before?

 

Oh wait, it tells us exactly where in the same paragraph.

 

"And long before Snowqueens Icedragon, there was the Harry Potter fandom’s Cassandra Claire—now better known as Cassandra Clare of the Mortal Instruments series (which has 7,000-plus fics on FanFiction.Net). "

 

It's interesting to note that this essay doesn't mention any of the specifics of controversies the surrounded these authors while they were in fandom, choosing instead to emphasis their success and popularity.

 

Does you see the subtle framing of this?

 

How from the start of this section the narrative is informing the reader how to judge the situation, without giving any real facts or data, and leaving the specifics of these situations vague.

 

From the title of this section; Wank Matters—Even Though Everyone Wishes It Didn’t. To how the first sentence (quoted at the top) tells the reader that the reasons people are upset with both E.L. James and Cassandra Clare is because they are successful.

 

Then it only vaguely mentions there were other reasons, but never goes into detail. To imply those details are inconsequential. Because after all at the start of this section the reader was already told everything they needed to know about critics of not only both authors but any critical voice in fandoms in general.

 

But even worse, Jamison tries to draw a direct connection between fandom conflicts and sexism, making a flying leap from talking about fandom wank to ship wars and then lands on Jane Austen, of all people.

 

"Jane Austen—also a popular fanfiction source—makes the stakes clear in Persuasion: when the men are the ones telling the story, only certain stories get told. Dramione shippers apparently feel the same way when too much attention is paid to Drarry."

 

It's about power that comes with attention, those who have it are persecuted by those who don't have it. That is the most backward explanation of the very real issues that arise in every fandom, but is especially affects women in fan communities.

 

This ham-fisted attempt to cast E.L. James and Cassandra Clare as blameless victims, being persecuted only because they're success women, ends up painting all the other women in their respective fandoms as petty and jealous. Reenforcing the stereotype that all women are competitive and resentful of each other. 

 

There is nothing feminist about this. In fact, it's a decidedly sexist argument that dismisses the complexity of conflicts in female communities*. It also sets the tone for how "fandom wanks" are portrayed in this section on Twilight and Harry Potter. 

 

 

*I could write a whole other post about conflict, and micro-aggression in female dominated committees, but Rachel Simmons does a far better job of explaining it in Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls.