Because when I see posts like this where fanfiction is compared to "gay marriage," I want to break things. (
[NOTE: DO NOT go over and flame the OP or cause her problems. I'm providing the link so you can read the post and for no other reason.]
I first heard/seen it on LJ a few days ago. Then I saw it linked to on JF. It's now been linked to meta_roundup on IJ.
I've seen this same comparison three times in something like three days.
Each time I read it, I get a bit angrier.
Look, I understand that the Organization for Transformative Works (hereafter referred to as the OTW) is a big deal to some people. I've read the various arguments in support of it, and I'm still not horribly impressed. I see a lot of biiiiiiig words arguing why I should think the OTW (whatever it's supposed to be) is the greatest thing evah, but what I don't see is a lot of operational details that a wonk like me sees as remotely feasible.
Personally, when it comes to the OTW, I say the jury is waaaaay out on that one. Because all those words I'm reading really don't tell me a damn thing of what it's actually supposed to be and what it's supposed to accomplish. I feel a bit like someone who's listening to 5 blind men describe an elephant without knowing that they're describing an elephant. No one seems to actually agree on what "it" is supposed to be.
But far be it from me to harsh anyone's Big Idea That Will Change the World. Knock yourself out, sez I. Who knows? Maybe I'm too naturally suspicious of the Big Idea That Will Change the World. Maybe the supporters of OTW are right. Maybe it will actually turn out to be something pretty special. I could be wrong, and I'm willing to be wrong.
However, based on what I'm reading/seeing so far...let's just say I have my doubts about OTW and leave it at that.
That said, posts like "fanfiction is like gay marriage" is not going to win me over.
In fact, it really pisses me the hell off.
As someone who lives in the only state in the U.S. that actually recognizes equality marriage as a matter of law and who lived the 4 bruising years between 2003 and 2007 where the fight raged non-stop over any and all attempts to amend our state constitution to make our gay and lesbian friends, family members, and neighbors into second class citizens to the point where it overrode all other state issues I'm pretty fucking sure that fanfiction is not like "gay marriage" at all.
Let me explain something:
- No one has ever been beaten into the hospital or the morgue because they wrote fanfiction
- No one has ever found themselves put out on the street because their fanfic writing partner died and their writing partner's family didn't want that dirty little co-writer around
- No one has ever been prevented from attending their fanfic writing partner's funeral by members of their fanfic writing partner's family who were fanficphobic
- No one has ever been prevented from seeing their fanfic writing partner in the hospital because they wrote fanfic
- No one has ever been treated as a second class citizen by society at large because they wrote fanfic
- No one is arguing about making amending the U.S. Constitution to make fanfic illegal, thereby relegating you to permanent second-class citizenship because of your hobby (as opposed to, y'know, your very existence)
- No one has ever had their civil rights violated because they wrote fanfic
I'm sure that list could be a lot longer, but that's just for a start on how writing fanfic is not at all like "gay marriage."
Listen, I'm not saying that fanfic writers haven't found themselves in shit RL situations like the ones I've listed above. I'm also not arguing that all fanfic writers are gay, lesbian, or bi any more than I'd argue the reverse.
However, 99% of the time verging on 100% of the time, when RL (as in: not on the Internet) sexism or racism or sexuality bias rears its ugly head and slaps an individual across the face, it's not because they write fanfiction. They may happen to write fanfiction, but it's not because they write fanfiction, damn it!
You see the difference, right? Because I see a pretty big difference between the two.
Listen, I understand that the very idea of the OTW inspires fanatical devotion among some in fandom to the point where they can be pretty annoying about it, but posts like this are not helping your cause.
And this isn't the first time I've seen/read posts in favor of the OTW that lacked any sort of perspective at all. I mean, for the record, writing fanfiction is not at all like being in an interracial marriage. And questioning the purpose of the OTW is not at all like being homophobic or racist (examples of arguments I've actually read).
Posts like this piss people off. It sure as hell pisses me off. And when you piss people off, you turn them off. Maybe permanently.
Hyperbole is no one's friend. Please keep that in mind for the future. Thanx.