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Thread: Lesbian vs. f/f: am I being overly sensitive?

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    A bit of a wallflower absitinvidia's Avatar
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    Lesbian vs. f/f: am I being overly sensitive?

    I feel pretty strongly that anyone who says "Kink. Between non-hetero characters, itís too far outside of my comfort zone" should not be a featured blogger at a Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event.

    Am I being overly sensitive?

    It just seems to me that someone whose "comfort zone" does not include lesbian kink--but DOES apparently include hetero kink--isn't really an appropriate person in the context of LESBIAN FICTION. That the comments bemoan the lack of bisexual characters bears this out.

    For a second year, ignoring major publishers of lesbian fiction written by lesbians, this so-called "lesbian fiction" event is featuring non-lesbian writers and is focused on f/f and not lesbian fiction. Even more frustrating, many of the participants are members of the GLBT RWA chapter. Sigh.

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    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister SuperModerator Medievalist's Avatar
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    No. You're not.

    I very much distinguish lesbian fiction from f/f. I also note that girl-on-girl is not lesbian.

    And frankly, my patience is a bit thin.

    Now, that doesn't mean that people who identify as hetero, or men can't write lesbians well, and they have.

    But f/f isn't lesbian.

    There's an undertone to that post that suggests that queer = kink by default. I'm tired of that too, in books and in life.

    I suggest as alternatives and antidotes to such:

    Nicola Griffith
    Elizabeth Lynn
    Robert Parker's Looking for Rachel Wallace
    Tess Gerritsen Rizoli and Isles

    These are just the ones that are close to hand.

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    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I am not sure I read that as lesbian-kink bad, straight-kink good. It might be an awkwardly phrased statement of just not liking kink with an unnecessary modifier dropped into the sentence.

    That said, I have a big hate for publishers that always list GLBT as hot-sexy-kink even if all the characters do is hold hands.

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    A bit of a wallflower absitinvidia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    I am not sure I read that as lesbian-kink bad, straight-kink good. It might be an awkwardly phrased statement of just not liking kink with an unnecessary modifier dropped into the sentence.

    That said, I have a big hate for publishers that always list GLBT as hot-sexy-kink even if all the characters do is hold hands.

    When writing for a lesbian appreciation event, I'd submit that linking "non-hetero" and "outside my comfort zone" is more than just awkward phrasing.

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    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister SuperModerator Medievalist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by absitinvidia View Post
    When writing for a lesbian appreciation event, I'd submit that linking "non-hetero" and "outside my comfort zone" is more than just awkward phrasing.
    Yes.

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    Inappropriately math-oriented. slhuang's Avatar
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    ::jaw drops::

    You're not being too sensitive.

    In fact, that quote puts me in STABBY RAGE mode. I'm sick, sick, sick of romantic/sexual activities between two people of the same sex being considered more "scandalous" than the SAME activities between people of the opposite sex. IT BRINGS THE RAGE.

    I recently had a huge argument with a friend about Once Upon a Time (well, really I was arguing with the show, not the friend, but whatever) because I pretty much hate romance but the one couple I want to get together is Mulan/Aurora (the SUBTEXT, it is ALL OVER, and they've messed with all the other fairy tales enough that it's totally plausible within the OUAT canon). My friend said, "They're not going to make them a couple. It's a family show," and I pretty much blew up about that, because THEY SHOW MEN AND WOMEN KISSING EVERY EPISODE. The show is freakin' ABOUT romance, and Snow and Charming are sucking face every other minute, and True Love's Kiss Heals All, but two women having the same type of non-explicit romance is a no-no because it's a "family show?!?!?!?"

    (Sorry for the rant, seems I have some ~feelings~ about this . . .)

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    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by absitinvidia View Post
    Am I being overly sensitive?
    I don't think so.

    Lesbian fiction = fiction that focuses on some (any!) aspect of lesbian life. F/f = fiction that focuses on sex between two females. IMO, those aren't the same thing.

    Regardless, any "lesbian appreciation event" should embrace all aspects of lesbianism, from coming-out to kink. And suggesting that het kink is okay but lesbian kink is not....yeah, that just left me speechless.

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    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Oh joy, the M/M conversation all over again. There are some average difference but do we need to rub in that our writing peers feel x/x is pure sex (even if there is no sex at all in it), says nothing about the human condition, and generally sucks.

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    Yeah, that les fic convention is kind of baffling. Sort of sounds like inviting the PTC to a South Park convention.

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    A bit of a wallflower absitinvidia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    Oh joy, the M/M conversation all over again. There are some average difference but do we need to rub in that our writing peers feel x/x is pure sex (even if there is no sex at all in it), says nothing about the human condition, and generally sucks.

    I'm saying this gently: It's a bit frustrating to see people being taken to task for objecting to f/f reducing lesbian sexuality to socket meets socket, while at the same time being told that "non-hetero . . . is outside my comfort zone" is not at some level inappropriate phrasing for a Lesbian Appreciation Event but is rather "awkwardly phrased."

    Perhaps you don't mean to sound dismissive, but that's the feeling I'm getting from you, and it's a bit offputting. My apologies if I'm being hypersensitive.

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    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    our writing peers feel x/x is pure sex (even if there is no sex at all in it)
    Am I wrong here, Em? I thought x/x was by definition romance/erotica/romantica. I mean, you can have lesbian fantasy, and lesbian mystery, and lesbian SF, and lesbian thriller, where there is no sex and little/no romance, but those wouldn't be defined as f/f, would they? I see calls for submission of lesbian stories in various genres, but the only time I've seen f/f has been for erotica.

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    Attack me with everything you have. Kim Fierce's Avatar
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    Whoever that is shouldn't be typing a single word for a Lesbian Appreciation Event.
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    New kid...seven years ago! DancingMaenid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    Oh joy, the M/M conversation all over again. There are some average difference but do we need to rub in that our writing peers feel x/x is pure sex (even if there is no sex at all in it), says nothing about the human condition, and generally sucks.
    As far as I know, "x/x" always refers to romance or erotica.

    Also, I have absolutely nothing against straight people who write M/M and F/F, or who write non-romance/erotica about LGBT characters. Nor do I think their books are all shallow compared to stories written by QUILTBAG authors. But no, they aren't the same thing as LGBT fiction. LGBT fiction carries the expectation that it's both by a QUILTBAG author and about QUILTBAG people/themes. It's similar to African American literature in that regard. I would expect a writer of African American fiction to have African American roots.

    If I took a class on "Scottish literature," I would expect it to cover Scottish authors. That doesn't mean that non-Scots can't write about Scottish characters.

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    i luv you giant bear statue AW Moderator Kitty Pryde's Avatar
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    What is 'kink' in this context? Does it mean sex? Sex in outlandish patent leather costumes? Sex with badgers? Trying to figure out why it's so objectionable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Medievalist View Post
    No. You're not.

    I very much distinguish lesbian fiction from f/f. I also note that girl-on-girl is not lesbian.

    And frankly, my patience is a bit thin.

    Now, that doesn't mean that people who identify as hetero, or men can't write lesbians well, and they have.

    But f/f isn't lesbian.

    There's an undertone to that post that suggests that queer = kink by default. I'm tired of that too, in books and in life.

    I suggest as alternatives and antidotes to such:

    Nicola Griffith
    Elizabeth Lynn
    Robert Parker's Looking for Rachel Wallace
    Tess Gerritsen Rizoli and Isles

    These are just the ones that are close to hand.
    I heard that the novel versions of Rizzoli and Isles are far less gay than the show versions (and that's why I haven't read them). The tv versions are about half an episode away from adopting a baby together and going on an R Family cruise. Women have not been so intimate with each other on tv since the L Word.

    Quote Originally Posted by slhuang View Post
    ::jaw drops::

    You're not being too sensitive.

    In fact, that quote puts me in STABBY RAGE mode. I'm sick, sick, sick of romantic/sexual activities between two people of the same sex being considered more "scandalous" than the SAME activities between people of the opposite sex. IT BRINGS THE RAGE.

    I recently had a huge argument with a friend about Once Upon a Time (well, really I was arguing with the show, not the friend, but whatever) because I pretty much hate romance but the one couple I want to get together is Mulan/Aurora (the SUBTEXT, it is ALL OVER, and they've messed with all the other fairy tales enough that it's totally plausible within the OUAT canon). My friend said, "They're not going to make them a couple. It's a family show," and I pretty much blew up about that, because THEY SHOW MEN AND WOMEN KISSING EVERY EPISODE. The show is freakin' ABOUT romance, and Snow and Charming are sucking face every other minute, and True Love's Kiss Heals All, but two women having the same type of non-explicit romance is a no-no because it's a "family show?!?!?!?"

    (Sorry for the rant, seems I have some ~feelings~ about this . . .)
    I actually stopped watching OUAT on the day I realized there was exactly 0% chance they were going to gay any beloved Disney characters up. Read Fables instead, it will make you happier. And Castle Waiting.

    The best lesbian fiction I've read has been YA lit. By far. I could produce a list if pressed.

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    Inappropriately math-oriented. slhuang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitty Pryde View Post
    I actually stopped watching OUAT on the day I realized there was exactly 0% chance they were going to gay any beloved Disney characters up. Read Fables instead, it will make you happier. And Castle Waiting.
    OUAT makes me want to break something, because it's the PERFECT opportunity to give us a queer Disney princess, but they don't seem to see it that way. I actually had a moment where I really thought they might do it during the last episode before the break, and then they turned it into a hetero moment instead. GRRRR. The only reason I still watch it is that my roommate does.

    It wouldn't bother me so much if it weren't for the sheer preponderance of romance on that show. If you're going to have that many couples and that much True Love(tm) and ALL of those couples are straight and traditional, I WILL WANT TO STAB YOU.

    Thanks for the recs!

    The best lesbian fiction I've read has been YA lit. By far. I could produce a list if pressed.
    ::presses you:: You know, politely.

    No worries if you don't have time. But I'm always looking for more good QUILTBAG fiction.

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    A bit of a wallflower absitinvidia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitty Pryde View Post
    I heard that the novel versions of Rizzoli and Isles are far less gay than the show versions (and that's why I haven't read them). The tv versions are about half an episode away from adopting a baby together and going on an R Family cruise. Women have not been so intimate with each other on tv since the L Word.
    The novels are very different. For one thing, each novel tends to focus either on Rizzoli or on Isles. It's a completely different dynamic because you rarely see them interact.

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    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister SuperModerator Medievalist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitty Pryde View Post
    I heard that the novel versions of Rizzoli and Isles are far less gay than the show versions (and that's why I haven't read them).
    No, they're just women. Not lesbian women. But they're believable women.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitty Pryde View Post
    The best lesbian fiction I've read has been YA lit. By far. I could produce a list if pressed.
    I'm noticing a lot more too, the last two or three years.

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    Attack me with everything you have. Kim Fierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slhuang View Post

    ::presses you:: You know, politely.

    No worries if you don't have time. But I'm always looking for more good QUILTBAG fiction.
    I'd be interested in reading more, too, but should probably refrain from joining in on the pressing haha.
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    Attack me with everything you have. Kim Fierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medievalist View Post
    No, they're just women. Not lesbian women. But they're believable women.



    I'm noticing a lot more too, the last two or three years.
    My wife started watching Rizolli and Isles and I watched the first episode with her like "All right!" and was sorely disappointed. Now I can't stand to see it on the TV lol.
    Watch No Turning Back book trailer

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    Clever User Title Mara's Avatar
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    I don't mind the existence of m/m and f/f. What I mind is when certain m/m or f/f writers act like the person referenced in the original post. They're getting a platform and using it to make homophobic remarks, pure and simple.

    Non-LGBT m/m and f/f writers who don't misrepresent themselves as members of the group they're writing about and don't reinforce "gay = some kinky fun perversion" memes are fine. But there are some percentage who are harmful, and I think it's entirely fair to criticize the hell out of them. (Especially if they're also misogynists and/or do not support equality for LGBT people in their everyday lives, in the case of quite a bit of male "lesbian porn" fandom. I think the guys who produce and read written f/f tend to be a bit better, though.)
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    waxing digital artistic Gale Haut's Avatar
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    The phrasing in the article from the OP is very lazy. You should request clarification. I'm sure the author would be appalled with herself if she realized how she was coming off.

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    A bit of a wallflower absitinvidia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gale Haut View Post
    The phrasing in the article from the OP is very lazy. You should request clarification. I'm sure the author would be appalled with herself if she realized how she was coming off.

    Were it not for the blog's commenting system, I would. But I don't have a Google or an OpenID account, and I think it's total BS that it's impossible to leave a comment without one.

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    waxing digital artistic Gale Haut's Avatar
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    I have one. What would you like me to say on your behalf?

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    A bit of a wallflower absitinvidia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gale Haut View Post
    I have one. What would you like me to say on your behalf?
    Primarily clarification. Why the need to specify that "non-hetero" kink is outside her comfort zone, rather than merely specifying the type of kink that she has a problem with*? Or, if it's the lesbian nature of the kink that is the core issue here, why she thinks it was appropriate to bring this up in the context of a Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event (in other words, why she thought it was a good idea to specify that it's LESBIAN kink she has a problem with rather than kink generally in a forum that's supposed to be lesbian-friendly).

    *So I suppose these really do follow each other. If she considers "lesbian kink" to be a type of kink (which I don't; I'm thinking more along the lines of kink tropes), why on earth would she bring that up in this forum? If nothing else, it highlights the disconnect between the title of the event (Lesbian Fiction) and the focus (so far almost exclusively f/f).

  25. #25
    waxing digital artistic Gale Haut's Avatar
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    Done. You can let me know if there's follow up and I'll respond for you.

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