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Thread: Eliminate Slash Warning

  1. #1
    Inverarity
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    Eliminate Slash Warning

    Why is "slash" (i.e., a homosexual relationship) something that has to be "warned" for, in the same way that you warn for murder, rape, and drug abuse? That's pretty offensive, actually.

    If there are going to be descriptions of homosexual activity, it can get the same "sexual situations" warning as any other story. But if I should ever happen to mention a gay character in one of my stories (or, horrors, a gay character who has a boyfriend/girlfriend) does that mean it needs a "slash" warning label on it, even if the story is not really about the gay couple and there are no "sexual situations" described?

    Yes, I understand some people don't want any gay characters appearing anywhere in the stories they read. Some people also have other types of characters they don't want to read about, or would not like to read stories with certain religious or political beliefs, but I notice there are no required "warning" tags for those.

  2. #2
    Black-Sand
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    G'day

    A Slash warning is like a sexual situation warning.

    Sexual situations, whether kissing, hocking up (snogging) or sex, are all natural but some get uncomfortable. I was raised to believe in modesty, there for you'll find that the idea of a public display to my family is something to walk away from. Some are the same with same sex relationships.

    There is a difference in generation tolerance for SSR. My father grew up in the time when it was not done, rarely heard of and you were called many names for it. My uncle grew up in a time where it was more heard of and tolerated but there was still prejudice. I however, grow up in a time when it doesn't matter. I have five friends that are either bi or gay and I think their no different then me and my straight friends. I actually proffer to talk to my bi male friend then my femlae straight friend.

    But no matter how much I don't care about other peoples prefference, I do not wish to see two people eating each others face. It makes me uncomfortable. Just like it makes some people uncomfortable to read about SSR's.

    But if I should ever happen to mention a gay character in one of my stories (or, horrors, a gay character who has a boyfriend/girlfriend) does that mean it needs a "slash" warning label on it, even if the story is not really about the gay couple and there are no "sexual situations" described?
    I agree with intirely here, and I asked about it to a mod in the same house as me. They said you can either put a Slash warning, or you can put it in bold in your summary. I also mentioned that we should have a mild to major slash warning so we know that it could be just a mention, someone saying, "I'm gay", "I thnk i might be gay", "I'm dating a boy/girl".

    So maybe you shouldn't make a thread about gettingrid of the slash warning, maybe you should make a thread about being more parcific(SP?)

    ...xXxBlack-SandxXx...

  3. #3
    Inverarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black-Sand
    G'day
    A Slash warning is like a sexual situation warning.
    No it's not.

    According to the warnings page, Slash means "Same-Sex Pairings."

    If I write a story about John and his girlfriend, do I need to put a Sexual Situations warning on it if they never do more than kiss? No.

    So why do I need a warning if I write a story about John and his boyfriend?

    Sexual situations, whether kissing, hocking up (snogging) or sex, are all natural but some get uncomfortable.
    Kissing is not a sexual situation and does not require a Sexual Situations warning -- or else there are an awful lot of fics on this site that are missing warnings.

    So maybe you shouldn't make a thread about gettingrid of the slash warning, maybe you should make a thread about being more parcific(SP?)
    I don't think there should be any requirement to treat homosexuality as something that needs to be "warned" for. Yes, in practice, if your story is about a gay couple, you should probably make that clear in your summary, but I do not think the position that homosexuality should be put in the same category as rape, murder, abuse, drug use, etc., is defensible.

  4. #4
    ms. leading
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    I happen to strongly agree with Inverarity. I've written a story with a slash pairing in it, but there were no sexual situations at all, but I still felt I had to put a Slash warning simply because it was on the list. Had I not included that warning, I'm sure no reader would have realised the pairing was two male characters, as I'd only mentioned one character's name. Thus, the warning was useless, but I still felt obligated to include it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Black-Sand
    I also mentioned that we should have a mild to major slash warning so we know that it could be just a mention, someone saying, "I'm gay", "I thnk i might be gay", "I'm dating a boy/girl".
    This would be just as, if not more, offensive as the Slash warning that is already in place. Honestly, it would become quite tedious to determine whether or not your story was 'mild' or 'major'. If individuals need to be 'warned' that there is Slash in a fic, and immediately be turned away from it if there is, then perhaps they need it shoved in their faces in order for a change in their negative perceptions to occur

    I doubt the mods will see this as a necessary change to make, however. I simply wanted to express my agreement, and how this warning is potentially offensive to some individuals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inverarity
    I do not think the position that homosexuality should be put in the same category as rape, murder, abuse, drug use, etc., is defensible.
    Perfectly highlights the point I'm failing to make.

    ~ Cassie

  5. #5
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    This is interesting.

    I'm actually in the middle of writing my first slash fic, and whilst initially I was perfectly happy to attach a 'warning', I do now think that 'warning' is far too strong a term and I do find it offensive.

    I don't mind labelling it as SSP but really, as I've started to write it, the story has become far more about loss, unhappiness and insecurity than a bit of kissing between two people who happen to be of the same sex. By attaching a warning, I think it will turn a lot of people away that may have got something from the story.

    Originally Posted by Black-Sand
    I also mentioned that we should have a mild to major slash warning so we know that it could be just a mention, someone saying, "I'm gay", "I thnk i might be gay", "I'm dating a boy/girl".
    I don't think that's necessary. If you want to include major slash, as you call it, then attaching a 6th-7th years or Professors rating should cover this.

    Unfortunately, as this is a family site, I don't think we'll get rid of slash as a 'warning'. Personally, I'd like to see it simply as a designated category. (I italicised family, by the way, because we all have different perceptions of family.)

    Whilst someone may be offended by homosexuality, I do agree with Inverarity that others are more likely to be offended by other things (racism, religion, politics).

    Carole
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  6. #6
    babekitty_92
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    Inverarity, I do understand where you are coming from, I honestly do, but try look at it from this point.

    Personally, Slash isn't my thing, I don't read it for personal enjoyment. I'm no homophobe, but Slash doesn't interest me. So if I were a homophobe and I were to read a story and come across a gay/lesbian/bi couple (regardless of what they are doing), I'd be upset as a reader if there was no warnings because it wouldn't be a personal preference.

    Don't get me wrong, it is politically incorrect to have it labeled as a warning, but the little brain of mine cannot think of another label to give it. I guarantee I sound completely ignorant, but people who don't want to read Slash may want to be warned in advanced. Sadly in this day and age there are still homophobes and therefore we have to try and respect everyone.

    I don't want to have to put a huge warning on my one-shot based on my Autistic brother, but I know there are people that are scared or think people with disabilities are freaks and believe me, it drives me bananas too. I detest the thought of labeling my brother as having a 'Mental Disorder' because it's not what he has (as Autisim isn't something that develops all of the sudden), but what else can I do? I need to warn readers who don't wish to read about "retarded dipsticks" (as my brother has been called before) and so whether I like it or not, I do that because I respect their decision.

    Here on MNFF we try and respect everyones' wishes and I personally believe that what we have is probably the best option. If you have a better solution (as this is what the suggestions forum's purpose is) to this issue, I am more than happy to discuss this further with you via PM. I will definitely be taking your views to the other Moderators to see whether there is another way we can alert readers of slash content without it being labeled as a "warning".

    Abbi

  7. #7
    Sixth Year Hufflepuff
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    Quote Originally Posted by babekitty_92
    Inverarity, I do understand where you are coming from, I honestly do, but try look at it from this point.

    Personally, Slash isn't my thing, I don't read it for personal enjoyment. I'm no homophobe, but Slash doesn't interest me. So if I were a homophobe and I were to read a story and come across a gay/lesbian/bi couple (regardless of what they are doing), I'd be upset as a reader if there was no warnings because it wouldn't be a personal preference.
    Hmm, I agree with Abbi on this point. I myself hail from a place where homosexuality is not accepted in many societies. We have 200 different cultures out here, and though mine does not say anything about homosexuality, there are other cultures that object to it.

    Our constitution says that all activities that "are not acceptable to any of the cultures that make up India" are illegal. If you look at it crudely, it just means, "Homosexuality is illegal."

    And we don't even have to go as far as homosexuality for this. In my city, you get chased by a policeman if you kiss your boyfriend/girlfriend in a public garden. It isn't fair for many people, but it's all because of the culture that such measures are taken.

    This was India alone. Now, if we consider the world as a whole, then there must be thousands of communities that do not accept homosexuality. For such people, slash without prior notice will be wrong.

    Yes, it is sad that homosexuality has to come with a warning, but again, as Abbi says, it's important that we respect everyone's wishes. Today, homosexuality is being accepted more than it was, before, and there'll be a time in the near future when heterosexuals and homosexuals will be equal. But until then, I think it's important to respect all the cultures.
    ~ Pooja

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  8. #8
    Fifth Year Gryffindor
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    You also need to look at this from a different point, it is also a way for people to FIND the same sex pairings.

    I understand that it bothers you that it is listed as a warning, but it is also a way for those who want to read these stories to find them easier. I don't think professor student relationships should have a warning either but I like the fact that it is there so I can find them.
    ~Kristy


  9. #9
    weasleywannabe47
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    If it is only mentioned in passing, then, no, we do not need a slash warning.

    But if the whole story focuses on it, then, yes.

    But if the whole story centers sround it, it'll be in that category, so, maybe we don't need one.

    I am not one of those people who absolutely won't read it if it's just mentioned. (ie, Luna's Truth or Dare)

    But I still say, some are offended by just a mention, so we should keep it.

    And there's my 2 cents.

    ~Wes~

  10. #10
    Inverarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by babekitty_92
    Personally, Slash isn't my thing, I don't read it for personal enjoyment. I'm no homophobe, but Slash doesn't interest me. So if I were a homophobe and I were to read a story and come across a gay/lesbian/bi couple (regardless of what they are doing), I'd be upset as a reader if there was no warnings because it wouldn't be a personal preference.
    See, here's the thing: I actually agree with the above. You may have gotten the impression that I'm a big ol' slash fan, but I'm not. "Slash" stories don't interest me, and I don't read them, generally. I have nothing against slash, but it's just not my cup of tea. And I agree that it's foolish not to mention in your summary if your story is about a gay couple, because people who don't want to read about gay couples will be annoyed when they start reading. For the same reason that in my Alexandra Quick stories, I make it clear in the summary that it's an American wizarding school fic about an OC, because I know a lot of people just aren't interested in reading about American wizarding schools or OCs.


    But, my problems with the current policy are twofold:

    1. "Politically incorrect" is a very mild way of describing the labeling of homosexuality in the same way you describe rape and murder and drug abuse. Yes, I understand you want to "respect everyone," but there are probably people who hate (insert ethnic group here), and would like to see a "warning" telling them that a story is about someone from that ethnic group. I cannot imagine that you'd even consider catering to that wish, would you? By making homosexuality a "warning," you are officially endorsing, as a MNFF policy, the view of homosexuals as an undesirable group. Are you sure that's what you want your official policy to be?

    2. If I understand the current policy, if I introduce a gay character or gay couple in one of my Genfic stories, even though they might be minor characters whose relationship is only incidental to the plot, I would have to label my story with a "slash" warning, even though it is not a "slash" story in any real sense. (Likewise, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" would have to be labeled "slash" because it had a gay couple.)

    Frankly, I refuse to do that. Because as we've already seen from some of the responses here, a lot of people assume that "slash" == "gay porn." The current policy encourages people to make this association.

    My proposed solution is simply this: remove the warning label. Give guidelines for what information you suggest people should include in their summaries. Certainly, it makes sense to "warn" in your summary if your story is about a gay couple. But I'm not going to "warn" people that one my stories might include a gay character at some point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ginny Weasley Potter
    Yes, it is sad that homosexuality has to come with a warning, but again, as Abbi says, it's important that we respect everyone's wishes. Today, homosexuality is being accepted more than it was, before, and there'll be a time in the near future when heterosexuals and homosexuals will be equal. But until then, I think it's important to respect all the cultures.
    With all due respect: there are cultures that think Harry Potter is evil in the first place because it endorses witchcraft. There are cultures that would find the behavior of many of the characters (particularly the females) immoral. Going out in public uncovered? Working independently? There are cultures that would find Harry/Cho and George/Angelina's interracial relationships offensive. I understand needing a certain amount of sensitivity to different cultural values, but I think there's a limit to how far we need to go in assigning pejorative labels to certain groups of people for the sake of those cultures.

    Quote Originally Posted by butter_beer_drinker
    You also need to look at this from a different point, it is also a way for people to FIND the same sex pairings.
    Okay, that's a fair point. So why not just make a "Same-Sex Pairing" category (maybe with subcategories like "Harry/Draco", etc.)?

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