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I couldn't see any reason why any woman would ever... - The Ex-Communicator

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May 6th, 2009


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10:32 am - I couldn't see any reason why any woman would ever...
An evolutionary psychologist announces to the world that slash has been 'discovered' - by him! It's just like Columbus with America.

At first he admits it proved a conundrum.
Here's an example of something that seemed to me really bizarre. I had no explanation for it.
Luckily he quickly 'found' an explanation for it. Because that's what they do. Really, I'd like to hit you on the head with the metaphor of colonialism but I'm sure you see what I mean.
I was intensely curious about it when I discovered it because I couldn't see any reason why any woman would ever want to read or write slash... I figured that there's more in female sexuality that was dreamt of in my philosophy, and I wanted to find out what aspect of female sexuality managed to stay under my radar all those years.
Honestly, could this be any more transparent? Women's sexuality needs to be discovered and then rendered null by explaining it. I have said before that I believe Evo Psych is a means of reducing emotional/existential anxiety, particularly around sexuality and corporeality. This guy just seems to be a puppet to prove my case.

His 'explanation' of slash, by the way, is a supremely boring one. Slash is a metaphor for penis-in-vagina sex, and a celebration of monogamy, because women want monogamy and p-in-v more than anything else.

Phew. I can feel his anxiety levels coming under control as he speaks. Coming under Control ... see what I did there?

ETA link thanks to sheenaghpugh who has written a little on the subject herself in a rather different manner.

(17 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:spacefall
Date:May 6th, 2009 09:59 am (UTC)
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Oh god, That Video.

EP is so often bunk -- it always seems to magically explain and justify as 'natural' the sexual categories of our time ...when we know bloody well that a few hundred years ago people were proclaiming entirely different models as 'natural' with equal conviction. How odd that a totally rational and objective analysis of the evidence should validate exactly the model of sexuality that this fellow wants it to. Again.

Gah, it is all so very headdesk-worthy. Evolutionary Psychology seems to be adored by the press, and frequently leaves me wanting to tear my hair out. There is rarely any attempt to test these statements, so it frequently comes down to a pseuodoscientific attempt to validate existing assumptions. It has exactly the same ring as those 19th century 'experts' telling women that higher education was simply unnatural for them, because nature mandated that they channel their nervous energies into child-bearing. It's just a continuation of the attempt to 'naturalise' as a model of sex that was only invented in the 19th century. That's the 'evolution' of it -- but why bother looking close to home when you can talk about pre-historic humans instead?
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From:communicator
Date:May 6th, 2009 11:05 am (UTC)
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I didn't actually watch the video, I just stole quotes from the other guy. i thought of you spacefall when he reached for the most outlandish and outrageous example he could think of... why , some people slash Holmes and Watson!!! eleventy one.
[User Picture]
From:spacefall
Date:May 6th, 2009 01:03 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]
From:gfk88
Date:May 6th, 2009 10:05 am (UTC)
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Hmm - it's slightly disconcerting that you feel the need to disagree with this Expert. If you hold on a minute, I'll think of a comforting reason why you're wrong to do so.

[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:May 6th, 2009 11:05 am (UTC)
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I'm just acting out to get attention.
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From:lamentables
Date:May 6th, 2009 10:14 am (UTC)
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Heeeee! The joys of mansplaining!
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From:communicator
Date:May 6th, 2009 11:07 am (UTC)
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Perfect word. Also reminds me of I Love Lucy 'Lucy! I got some mansplainin' to do!'
[User Picture]
From:lamentables
Date:May 6th, 2009 11:09 am (UTC)
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I forget where I stole it from, but I'm fond of it.
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From:watervole
Date:May 6th, 2009 11:09 am (UTC)
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The guy is probably right for about 90% of the slash genre. There's a large number of stories that wouldn't fit his definitions, but I don't think that invalidates his points. I've seen female writers (who came from fandom) reach pretty much the same conclusions.

Especially for young writers and those new to the genre, slash pretty much is a typical romance novel that just happens to have two blokes.

It's evolved beyond that, but he was only talking about the overall picture and you can't go into much detail in a short TV interview.
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:May 6th, 2009 12:31 pm (UTC)
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There's obviously a female appetite for romance, and it does overlap with slash. Not sure on the amount of overlap - of course I am biased by what I read, which is not romantic.
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From:watervole
Date:May 6th, 2009 12:38 pm (UTC)
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Amusing that no one noticed his co-writer...

I've actually read the book, because I used to know Catherine Salmon. So all that ranting about how a man who knows nothing about slash is from a load of fans who failed to check their data. Catherine both read and wrote slash - I know, I read some of her Blake's 7 stuff years ago. Very romantic in style, which helps to explain the conclusions of the book.
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From:sheenaghpugh
Date:May 6th, 2009 12:53 pm (UTC)
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I've read the book (ie Warrior Lovers, not the new one) too, and I got the distinct impression that whatever his co-writer might have said, he wouldn't have been listening. He greatly exaggerates the slash/romance overlap - and never seems to ask the obvious question: if it's just a disguised form of het romance writing with one of the male characters effectively Mary Sueing for the author, why would people choose to do it in such a convoluted way; if they "really" want to imagine and write het romance, what's to stop them just doing that?

And he does say things, quoted in that post, that are just plain mistaken. Reminiscent of when, in WL, he claimed that the art in slash fanzines was like that in Mills & Boon novels. (In fact he's still saying that). Now this argues that he never got past front covers - those are indeed often vanilla, but God help us, the illos inside Fire & Ice or No Holds Barred were not what you would expect from Mills & Boon!

I think he looks for what fits his own theories and ignores what doesn't, which makes him a Bad Detective.
[User Picture]
From:kalypso_v
Date:May 6th, 2009 02:31 pm (UTC)
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There are probably nearly as many reasons for reading and writing slash as there are people reading and writing it. Well, maybe not quite that many, but a fair proportion... The error is to look for a grand unifying theory.
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From:sheenaghpugh
Date:May 6th, 2009 02:59 pm (UTC)
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Yes, absolutely!
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From:gair
Date:May 7th, 2009 01:02 pm (UTC)
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It's not so much that 'no-one noticed his co-writer' as that he completely effaces her existence in this interview and the discussion of the book, I think, to the extent that very few people were aware that it was co-written. Which is problematic in its own right, I think. (I was linked to this recently and was all, like, 'But didn't Catherine Salmon write this book? Oh, wait...')
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From:julesjones
Date:May 6th, 2009 07:17 pm (UTC)
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Notes from the profic side: there is a thriving market for original character slash, in the romance small press. Some of this fits the Mills&Boon stereotype. Some of it... doesn't. It still has to stick to the genre convention of a developing emotional relationship with a happy ending for the romantic parties, but not only do they not need to be hero and heroine, they don't need to be precisely two people. It doesn't even need to be an extended definition of monogamy with a closed triad -- there are polyamory romances as well. As for the piv thing, only if you think any sex scene at all is a metaphor for piv, which is a bit of a stretch really for some of them. So even in material that is being sold as romance, to romance readers, his theory gets a good kick in the nuts.
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From:tehomet
Date:May 10th, 2009 10:05 pm (UTC)
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Phew. I can feel his anxiety levels coming under control as he speaks. Coming under Control ... see what I did there?

*snort* You kill meee! :)

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