I am struck by the similarites between the Me and Thee Slash conversation and the Native Americans' struggle ( and really, it should be EVERYONE's struggle for fuck's sake) to get their symbols and terms OUT OF THE NFL. I don't believe anyone can really look at the name Washington REDSKINS and not find it offensive.
Ward Churchill - yes the much maligned college professor/Native American activist - has a GREAT article on this struggle.
It's the best thing I used in classes to really get the kids to understand argument and position and satire, and the fact that if the only reason they are holding tight to their Kansas CIty Chiefs jersey is because "But I love the Chiefs" it's not a valid reason. Especially in the face of the protests.
It's here: http://www.dickshovel.com/crimes.html
And my last real words on the subject of slash and warnings and misuse of words and language are not mine, and not about the fandom, but eerily parallel the ideas I think - it's from a reaction to the fact that the Washington Redskins actually won their lawsuit to keep their name - which is about as offensive as a name can get . . .
You can spare me the protestations about how the name is actually a tribute to Native Americans, (Vikings? Really?) are also consigned to mascot status. You can skip the talk about the importance of the team name to its fans or the tradition that would be compromised were it to be changed. I’m not hearing it, because if I close my eyes and think about where we are as a society and the fact that this name still exists, it’s a complete travesty on both visceral and logical levels.
The fact that even a handful of them were upset enough to sue to stop the name from existing, a legal fight that has gone on for 17 years and counting, should be enough to let decency prevail. And if you’re angrily composing an email telling me how the name’s meaning to you and your fellow fans supersedes the desires of these people not to be publicly lampooned, I’m going to bet my last Abe Lincoln note that you’re not a member of a traditionally oppressed minority group.
We are a bewildered and unhappy household tonight. Okay it's not my last word - my last word is this:
I fight an almost daily struggle to get my mother to accept my upcoming wedding. "I understand you want to be together, but why does it have to be "marriage?" "No, I don't want to hear anything about it - I just don't want to think about it." "Can't you just be companions?"
It puts an unexpected rain cloud over the happiest time of my life . . . so when a simple request, like leveling out the playing field by losing the distinction between gay and straight in a fandom who constantly boasts of being so open-minded and "gay-friendly" - it's a heartwrencher. And just like the Native Americans - I don't care if you "love" slash and use it as a good thing and as an easy search engine term, I am telling you it is offensive because it also says that same sex relationships have to be separated - one has to be warned, or informed, or reminded that same sex relationships are NOT LIKE EVERYONE elses and should not be treated as such.