The appropriation of media text by UCSL-Subversion of the sex dynamics

"'Fandom is a vehicle for marginalized subcultural groups (women, the young, gays, etc.) to pry open space for their cultural concerns within dominant representations; it is a way of appropriating media texts and rereading them in a fashion that servers different interests, a way of transforming mass culture into a popular culture."
Henry Jenkins, "Star Trek Rerun, Reread, Rewritten: Fan Writing as Textual Poaching"
Buffy The Vampire Slayer is known among the fans to be surprisingly negative concerning sex. The main character's "first time" resulted in her boyfriend losing his soul and turning bad. The strong sexual female characters on the show are often in opposition with the practically sexless, innocent main female characters. Vampires are sexual, voracious creatures, exuding sexuality, seducing just to kill.
So it is surprising to see so many fans writing sexually explicit fanfiction, turning the sexuality of the show back into something positive. By taking the text and changing it into a more positive atmosphere, the fan affixes her personal stamp to the text, shaping it, creating it in her own image. By refusing to accept the negative view of sexuality Joss Whedon and the writers of Buffy want to press onto the text, the fans create their own text.
This is especially true of the group known as The Slashers. Inserting homoerotic/homosexual overtones/subtext/text into a media text marks the original text permanently. When a person reads a piece of fic involving a sex scene between Xander and Angelus, every future scene involving those characters will now have the underlying subtext picked up on and defined by the author of the fic.
The Slash phenomenon has been studied, particularly in the 'zine culture. However, the shows used in the rewritings of the texts were male-based, male-dominated, with female characters regulated to the background. Slash was a way to "feminize" the characters, giving them a psychological and emotional bond, working with the dynamics of the emotions expressed in the original text and the emotions that are sparked within a romantic context.
But with Buffy, the primary characters are female. All the events that occur are translated through the "feminine" viewpoint (made especially clear with the recent episode "The Zeppo", where the viewpoint was of one of the primary male characters). The women express a wide range of emotions -- fully developed characters with a variety of reactions to whatever comes their way. The men, however, are often reduced to archetypes. The tortured soul. The older academic. The comedy relief/best friend. The quiet musician. The villianous punk rocker.
This reduction of male characters has caused many fans to create character depth for these men--more often than not in a slash context. By using a male/male storyline, the fic writer is able to interplay the archetypes, tearing them down and creating new characterization. The tortured soul is able to make jokes. The quiet musician reacts violently. The comedy relief is allowed to feel pain.
This re-constructing of the devalued male characters is very obvious in fan fiction that does not include explicit sex. By removing all possibility of a PWP, the characterization becomes incredibly important. The male characters become main characters in epic soap operas, often involving long-term romances, sometimes involving children.

The Appropriation of Characters by UCSL -- The Curse of the Willow Sue

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