Mar. 27th, 2011

rhythmia: (Default)
Musings that have been floating around in my brain for the past several months re: fic and changing bodies and identity and gender and how that plays out in different fandoms.

Okay, so you know those fics where X character wakes up or gets zapped by an Ancient machine or magic or what-have-you, and a previously female character ends up in a male body, or a male one ends up in a female body? (I've never read anything where the author tackled intersex people, so I can't speak for those)

It kind of varies between fandoms, but I've been noticing a spate of it in the Japanese/Jpop and Korean/Kpop fandoms I'm in lately. And it happens a lot where when, say a male character wakes up in a female body, suddenly everyone around them is awkward and treats them like they changed genders, and switch pronouns, and that character starts trying to display traits marked as "feminine", and usually somewhere in there we have a party of describing their new appearance (and clothes) and somehow sex ends up getting involved in the name of exploration.

...honestly I am guilty of some that in one fic I wrote, but that fic gave me so much trouble because I was adamant about keeping the pronouns, because in my head I *knew* the characters still thought of themselves as male, they were in essence borrowing the bodies for a while, and deciding to try performing a different gender as part of the experience. But I still felt kinda icky at myself for putting them through that gaze experience of "hey, let's dress you up girly and describe every bit of how you look for the audience now". Sorry for putting you through it, lovely betas! ^^;;

And honestly I should have known better than to call it genderswap, given all the stuff I've done in school about sex and gender not being the same thing. But that was the term available, and I didn't think to try a new or different one. And then I hit Kpop fic and the pronoun-switching was going on all over the place. On second thought, it might with a stretch be considered genderswap because the authors were making their body-switched characters think of themselves as a different gender, and perform a different gender. It still kind of bothered me that the sexswap caused the person to suddenly change their behavior and thought-processes so much, because in most cases I'm not sure the author was trying to discuss issues of gender identity at all.

Anyway, I'd hesitated to post anything about it because while I like being kind of androgynous, I mostly identify female and I don't think of myself as being trans, so I didn't want to speak for that experience.

*****
Luckily! And the point of this post! Iambickilometer made a post called Five+ Ways Being Transgender in Fandom Really Sucks, and Why I Stick With It Anyway and [livejournal.com profile] gyzym linked to it and had some interesting discussion of her own here.

I'm curious about your thoughts? .____.

...love to you all, I'm still alive. ♥

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