redshoesnblueskies: bonehandledknife: redshoesnblueskies: flamethrowing-hurdy-gurdy: Going back…

Monday, July 13th, 2015





Going back to that conversation about what fandom focuses on, I don’t ‘forget’ about the Vuvalini. I just have less to say. Less cohesive thoughts. And as part of a community my behaviour can be interpreted as a symptom of misogyny (for example), but I’m an individual first and foremost, someone who is not obligated to give equal attention to characters from a work of fiction. Someone who has their own complex reasons for being more attracted to one part of a story than another (and please, I am not using ‘attracted’ in the sensual sense thanks very much).

It’s a hard issue, though. Why shouldn’t we be critical of a fandom? But then again, when are we missing the mark, when does criticism become policing and guilt-tripping? 

I prefer to listen to others talk about the Vuvalini because their input is more interesting than mine could be. Mostly because I don’t find them as inspiring. This is a personal, subjective feeling, and thus obviously flawed in its universal appeal, because it’s only supposed to make sense to ME.

 I’ve talked about the Wives plenty, and I’ve always been critical of the War Boys, since, you know, they are cruel and murderous assholes, and that’s not cute. Even if the movie did make the wild suicidal abandon and violence of the War Boys one of its selling points, and Nux was engineered to break hearts.

See, I’m already trying to explain myself, when, really, I shouldn’t have to. 

(either way it’s good this conversation is happening, even if it’s uncomfortable. I just kinda wanna come out on the other side with my head still on)

(er, gurdy this went off in an ice-cream driven direction of un-rant. if you’d like I’ll take it out and put it in its own post…but it seems relevant to leave it here if you’re okay with that :)

I’ll throw in my 2 cents here, since to throw them in elsewhere seems confrontational and I have no interest in that.  My sense of the Vuvulini is that they are complete in themselves.  They have a wholeness that is intrinsic to they way their story is told – both the women themselves and the culture.  They don’t need my help becoming complete.  They don’t need my help with backstory.  They don’t need my help with identity.  In my mind, they are a climax culture.  Coming from me this is a deep compliment, since I only fic stories that are, in my own perception, incomplete, flawed or psychologically inaccurate.

Incidentally, I don’t feel the need to fanfic Fury Road as a whole for the same reason.

As to the larger fandom tendency to wax both poetic and hilarious on the subject of the warboys, I think there are a bunch of reasons for that.  They are flawed, they are wounded, they represent an enormous potential for change and growth. All of these things make them fascinating subjects for further story telling.  They are young and sexy – this makes them fun to cap and gif and draw and fantasize about.  They are male, and lets face it most fandom running loose on tumblr is attracted to men.

And on a deeper level, I think a deep reason slash works so well is the novelty of exploring the seldom seen emotional side of men, vulnerable side of men, emotional range of men.  I think this is an issue beyond the problematic fact of so few women in media to play with in fic  I think slash fic is a consistent form of story telling because it’s a chance to represent the healing of men – a return of men, one way or another, to a more whole state of being by imbuing them with a range of emotion and intention and action that they never would receive in conventional story telling.

I believe slash is an enduring story telling form because it is the place where we imagine what men could be outside the influence of misogyny.  As a mother to sons, I can tell you for certain, imagining men free of the damage of misogyny is a feminist act.

Sure it also means we can imagine the objects of our interest in endlessly sexual escapades – but why are their escapades interesting?  Because they are much more fully realized as human acts rather than over-hyped acts of masculinity.  And that is a feminist point of view, too.

Is the erasure of women in representation the product of misogyny?  Abso-fucking-lutely.  Is the ongoing obsession of fans with writing m/m slash a product of misogyny?  It’s fucking not.  To levy that judgement on all the fans who love reading and writing m/m slashfic is toxic and unacceptable.

I do not accept it – not for myself and not for my fellow fans.

This is me, this is my perception, and this is not a judgement on the conversation as a whole.

But I mean, broken is what drama is. 

The space of art is in that space between the finger of God and Adam. It’s the spark of life, it’s creation, it’s choice. It’s a lack thereof.

You don’t story perfection, you don’t create dramas out of perfect relationships unless you’re pitting this relationship against an imperfect world and watching how that relationship survives against it. I’ve written about this elsewhere but I’m kinda too tired and heartsore to find the link, but I can’t create characters without a hook into how they fight/work out differences amongst their team. You don’t individualize as a child, as a teen, as a person until you define what makes you different from your family/peer group and I find it sad how the narrative didn’t take that extra step with the Vuvalini to make them people.

And I get why they didn’t, is the worst part. They almost can’t. They’re strapped in by the constraint of it being a non-misogynistic story because one of the worst parts of toxic masculinity is how it sets women against each other.

And that frustrates me as a writer to hell and back because I can’t get there. I don’t know what these women are like. I don’t know what their arguments are like. My own relationship with older female family is tense at best and toxic at the worst of times, which is sort of a massive sort of. Frustration? because it’s seriously giving me writer’s block on certain stalled fic. among other things.

Frankly. It’s easy for me to write joyful angry violent suicidal war boys. 

You write what you know.

  • Though they have long since resigned themselves to it, it’s clearly a sore spot that they have to kill every man they see out in the Wasteland.  For their own safety.  And yet they didn’t become ‘many mothers’ without enjoying the presence of men in their community, so they are not man-hating, yk?  They are women-celebrating, women-protecting.  As a possible point to grab onto them as people, that might be a place to start :)  How did a group of women devoted to life…come to decide they had to deal out death to all comers?  What did they have to go through, what parts of their souls did they have to crush?

    Regarding their on-screen story, I guess they look natural to me in their quiet non-verbal settled-ness because I have known and had good relationships with older women and found them to be similar.  I’m sure that’s not always the case, but it was for me.  They didn’t talk about their struggles, how they worked hard to become the women they were, what the culture of their early lives were like. They weren’t becoming they were being – not nearly dynamic of a stage of life.  If you want to tell the story of women in their 60s-70s, you are going to have to tell a very differently paced story.  

    What we know of the Vuvulini is quiet contemplation of the stars.  Soft occasional remarks on the past.  The piles of goods they leave Max.  The one or two word glee of competence in defending themselves and the future of these women, at the likely cost of their own lives, in one or two words (’One man, one bullet’  ‘Here we go girls!), and in scores of actions.  There story is there on screen – it’s just that it’s a largely told story.  It’s not a story in progress, it’s a story they are defending the furthering of.

    I don’t see their story as under-told.  I see the essence of their story being not that of a younger age-range.  The fact that the stories of older people are almost not represented on screen at all, makes the very much on-screen visual story telling of the Vuvulini even harder to discern than the visual character -development of the wives.  We barely recognize their story because almost none of us in this discussion are involved with that culture of women.  But it is there.

    Reposted from