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Friday, 7 July 2017

Walk The Line nsfw

Walk The Line

Bloggage

By
Alexander Gordon Jahans


So a few things happened lately that kind of combined to inspire me to write this.

The first is that I really, really, just got sick of the misogynists thinking that feminism and multiculturalism is genocide of the white male and I decided to try and write a short story setting up a force I want to have existing as a rogue chess piece on the great war board of the multiverse. This was supposed to be like “No, mother fuckers, this is what a white male genocide would look like. I’ll talk about the results of that later but I started writing it right about the time a drama bomb was dropped in the household and one of my favourite podcasts unexpectedly featured someone making a defence of gamers gate and clearly feeling quite a victim of the feminist side. So I wrote it in a rage.

The second is that as my confidence has grown and my understanding of my sexuality and fetishes have grown I found myself in a position to feel newly inspired by an old fantasy. A the same time that was very definitely affected by the powerful charisma of John Simm as kind of Classic Who Master for a the New Who age. Lots and lots and lots of feels about this.

The third is that I have been kind of binge listening to the Farscape Friday podcast which  is essentially the only podcast I listen to where it is just women talking together without men dominating the show. Not intentional, not conscious on my part, it just happened to have turned out this way but they’re awesome podcasters talking about an awesome show that I love and helping me see it and this huge part of my recent life in a new light. At the same time this is really the first time I’ve been able to experience what women are like behind closed doors without men even subconsciously affecting things.

So, starting principles. I am autistic, more than that I am mildly autistic, kind of bought up as more autistic than I actually am hence my denial about it for a long time. I’m also effectively still going through puberty since I have a condition called Kallman’s Syndrome that means I can’t smell and my body doesn’t nasturally produce testosterone. I have just turned 25, I have been on testosterone injections for about two years, spent time as an anti-feminist at university, swung back to being a feminist and tried to join that side only to be rebuffed and called out as misogynistic and transphobic in the last two years. At the same time the last two years have seen me stalked by actual fucking nazis, my family, friends and people I respect attacked because of people trying to provoke me, things that caused the police to become involved. Oh and I am overweight so I have this regular persistent pain in my feet, I have been stuck in limbo for the last two years as the house could be sold, I have been forced to claim government social security payments when I really can’t be fucked with the bureacracy and I am in general 300% done with this shit and would have blown my brains out by now were I not in England where gun control is strong,

So I wrote this dystopia to be an origin story and in a way it harks back to proper scifi roots. The Feminarchy as they are called would be formed from an idea that has been within the background lore of the multiverse since the original ninth Doctor fanfic that bought the character of William Dickson Wright into being. It’s actually quite similar to an idea that Joss Whedon used in explaining the Reavers of Firefly/Serenity. You can be the greatest scientists in the ‘verse but you can’t design a chemical that will have exactly the same effects on everyone.

I mean it’s literally within the origin story of the sylphs and how they ended up associated with human women that this biological packaging to help a species survive through exploitation will have different effects on different species. The Free Sylphs who became the Sylph Liberation Front, the new major players in the multiverse, were explicitly formed from those sylphs who didn’t react as strongly towards the biological incentives towards submissiveness. With some effectively being Demi-Submissives, like Demi-Sexuals, except instead of only feeling sexual attraction once close emotional bonds have been formed, Demi-Submissives only feel the biological incentives towards submissiveness and pet like behaviour once a strong emotional bond has been formed.

Except the Feminarchy were effectively the people who reacted to the sylph pill so strongly adversely that it made them aggressively dominant. I think it’s an interesting idea and I think it no doubt logically happens.

Don’t get me wrong I know it seems ridiculous to care about realism and consequences where the laws of physics can literally be rewritten and where so much of it is for rule of cool or rule of Fetish. I suppose for me the assumption is that while I am the window on this multiverse and I have the tropes I like and the perspectives I feel comfortable writing (particularly after my attempts to portray trans characters backfired so catastrophically badly) I feel it is only logical to assume that off-screen as it were there is all this stuff. I mean the Farsh-nuke has inherited my biases and so did the Logicios. Hence why all the white female sylphs. A mix of partial attraction preference and just feeling deeply uncomfortable as a white English guy portraying black people in collars. Particularly since the whole schtick of sylphs is that they are gladly submissive. I’m problematic and stupid, I am not THAT problematic and stupid.

Okay that derailed but the point is that you can assume that trans, non-binary and black characters did manage to rise through even the ranks of the Logicios at their most fascistic. If I don’t show it it’s because I’m not interested, it hasn’t occurred to me or I don’t feel capable of writing it. So I like this idea. I like that it’s out there unseen, off screen, to be written by better writers in fanfic or whatever.

Just the idea of it. Think of the kind of characters who would make use of the sylph pill. I mean yes there are the loving dom/sub relationships that would take advantage of the sylph pill (though this kind of reaction would be interesting here in its own way) but most of the time, canonically and societally, it’s going to be men and a certain kind of man preying on a certain kind of woman. The Logicios were monsters, they were like Viking raiders, only worse. The Logicios were super nerd super fans following this militiaristic code, worshipping this god emperor exactly like them (and not so far from Trump), with immense power and this horrendous noble duty that kind of gave them a martyr complex and moral authority to do whatever. It’s like if Gamergaters were given power armour and super steroids then joined God Emperor Trump gunning down monsters that came through a breach in space. Yeah they’re arseholes but they’re doing a dirty job to save the rest of us and that just makes them worse. So these Logicios would use this pill on vulnerable women, potentially after having drugged them or kidnapped them first and then suddenly this woman is super smart, super strong, has a regenerative factor and is dominant when the Logicios don’t expect them to be.

It’s a really interesting idea I think. All these women who suddenly got woke and how they come together to form a society and then try to increase their number and grab a universe from which to expand from. It’s an interesting set up to do some really dark stuff and with the characters of Richard Raspberry and Adam Godwinson there as effectively intelligent Trump and the mad god of racist fascism to provide conflict and deliver the messages. It’s a really interesting idea and you could tell such interesting, grim stuff with it. Except I can’t. At least not yet.

The thing you need to understand is that I have been an anti-feminist and I suppose because my internal doubts and internal conflict I identify with the misogynists and the white supremacists. Morally and politically I am a feminist, I mean I am bisexual, I am part of the LGBTQA+ movement, I am for multiculturalism but I am a white English man. More than that, because of what I write, I have alienated and been alienated by the progressive left. I call out bullshit where I see it. It’s who I am. Except to call out bullshit on the progressive left is just social death.

Yeah, the Alt-Right have stalked me and harassed me and they legitimately make me scared and angry. They are one of a very select group of people so determinedly stupid and aggressive that I actually think I might physically hurt them if they stopped hiding behind their keyboards. Yet they lack this mentality that the progressive left has. The Alt-Right are the snowflakes. They are individuals forming the blizzard that traps you inside. They are the individual droplets that collectively drown your world. They do not pretend to speak for the whole, they do not represent the whole, they are individuals behaving as part of this storm surge for their own reasons and so there is this sense that they can be redeemed. That people can rage about ethics in games journalism, harass people and advocate policies and politicians and parties that will objectively fuck so many people over, and still have their souls because they’re just fucking morons about some stuff.

The progressive left is like a herd. The individuals may graze peacefully but if you attack one, you attack all, so you have a stampede on your hands. I’ve been seeing posts about Joss Whedon that are fucking scary because this man was your fucking champion and now people want to end his career. The crazy thing is that the progressive left is not actually one herd. The reason the left keeps losing elections in Britain is that while right are pragmatic enough to compromise to win, us moral lefties each all have subtly different definitions on what’s right. I mean it really is ridiculous how the grand herd of the left seems to glom together to destroy people but  within the left everybody has different labels for their identities communities and movements. It’s a hell of a complicated world to move in, compared to the Alt-Right where you are allowed to be an individual who disagrees with the collective if you can weather the shitholes.

All of which is to say the reason I wrote this story was because I identify with the anti-feminists who think the progressive left can be dicks but y’all fuckers need to get a sense of perspective. And then I screwed it up because I have a competence and reasonableness bias. Like Trump exists within the multiverse canonically but I chose not to write about him because I needed a villain smart enough to pose a challenge. I like competent characters, characters who think things through. Like I have my moral reasons against conservatism and discrimination but mostly it’s pragmatic reasons. I mean thanks to my personal experience at the hands of Nazis I think I’ve managed to keep the evil there but with the Feminarchy I just couldn’t resist caving to competency.

Like of course you aren’t just going to start killing white men. Even if you’ve got a eugenics breeding programme sylph pills exist and the whole reason this story exists is because the chances of them making people dominant are rare. Remove the power and wealth from white men then keep them for breeding purposes. The genocide would actually happen to the white women who became submissive under the effects of the sylph pill, which is the vast majority. Ironically if I’d made the sylph pill have more sexist workings, this story would have been more meats since the Feminarchy would have a reason to kill the majority of white men.

So my attempt at making a story about how misogynists need to shut up because if women were actually going to oppress men it would be so horrific actually ended up skewing so competent and ‘nice’ that I don’t think I can publish it because it would be like George Orwell writing 1984 today to be like. “Don’t be silly guys this is what a real fascist dystopia looks like” and then everyone that goes “Hmmm...”  Never mind Joss Whedon’s Wonder Woman script, I just tried to scare the misogynists out of criticising feminism only to end up writing a story that reinforces their fear because I agree with feminism too much.

So I went from that experience to writing a distraction fic, inspired by the original comic that started this all. I’ve done shrinking women in my fiction before but I wanted to capture what specifically about this female character made me fantasize about her so many times. The same way that the character of Amy Hurst is clearly inspired by the character of Amy Pond from Doctor Who but is also so very different because it’s the character as seen through the fetish gaze. I wanted to reframe this female character within a context that made more sense to me.

This story was purely selfish. Just for me and my enjoyment. So I reused a basic idea from earlier and actually got quite into the scifi world building. I blame that on the Kurt Vonneguys podcast with Alex Schmidt and Michael Swaim because damn if my lust for good scifi exposition hasn’t come back with a vengeance. Fuck mansplaining I want Nerdsposition to be a thing now in pop culture. I got into whole idea that this is like a colony in space at one of the Lagrange points, made to be like a Dyson Sphere with an artificial sun, made with the aid of logic technology. Like this world was one of these universes where they accepted the technology of the United Civilisations but not the culture. Except on Utopia, this pleasure colony in space, where there are two kinds of tickets, Prey Class and Predator Class. I mean it’s a different spacial entity so it has its own unique legal system. I’m going to resist nerding out further on the pseudo hard science of how it works but I loved writing this stuff.

So I had the setting, the excuse and I had the prey character, things which I think are best experienced in the story but I want to talk about the predator character in the story. He becomes something else later but basically he is almost explicitly modelled on John Simm’s Master from The Doctor Falls. I mean I’m bisexual but I tend to like kinda hunky nerd guys who are a little bit passive and submissive. John Crichton, from Farscape, Matt Smith’s Doctor and Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen from the Flash tv series sticking out particularly. The one difference being Mads Mikkelson in Hannibal but that’s a whole other thing and Hugh Dancy is just adorable in that.

I don’t know if it’s just that I feel more comfortable exploring that side of myself now. It certainly can’t have hurt that in the context of the fiction the character is up against one of my ultimate dream girls. (Phrases that get you hated by feminists:#456) You can’t get more ‘No Homo’ than a character existing within a story to facilitate the domination and adorableness of a female character you love. Or maybe it’s just the way John Simm plays the character as written by Steven Moffat because he is so cold, so calculating and so brutally, deliciously cruel and sadistic. I mean spending 10 years manipulating the Doctor’s friend so you can see her cyberconverted just in time for him to turn up and feel heartbroken. That is a level of sadism and cruelty that you almost have to applaud for sheer audacity and competency.

Actually competency and horrific cruelty and sadism combined with charisma and fantastic dress sense does exist in both Mads Mikkelson’s Hannibal and John Simm’s Master. Like the Farsh-nuke is my Tyler Durden and while character has softened that description could some him up as well. Maybe my attraction is to the kind of man I wish I had the confidence and smarts to be? Or maybe my ideal version of myself is going to take from the kind of characters I’m attracted because you are going to want your ideal self to be someone you consider attractive?

Whatever the point is this story was so fun to write for so many reasons it built on so many things I’ve written before and was inspired by so many things and it’s probably among the best written things I’ve written. It is also horrifically sexist. It’s not quite the most sexist fetish fic I’ve ever written, that one’s coming but is a discussion for another day. I’m unsure now if I should talk about my feelings on this now or in the wrap up but I think I’m going to wait for the wrap up.

So, the Farscape Friday Podcast...

Farscape is the best scifi TV show I have yet to see. I’ve seen Babylon 5, I’m watching through Blakes 7, I’ve watched Battlestar Galactica Reimagined, up to the Traveller episode of TNG, various episodes of Voyager and Deep Space Nine, I have seen whole swathes of Classic Who and obviously I’ve seen all of New Who. It has a diverse cast of characters who are defined by their pasts, biases, personalities and character arcs, not by their roles and abilities. Every episode explores and advances the characters who partake in it, there is no reset button. Now yeah that make it hard for new viewers to jump on board but in the age of the box set it’s fantastic.

Farscape has amazing special effects, great comedy, gut wrenching drama and tragedy and it has Ben Browder and Claudia Black. I mean Aeryn Sun was never exactly my type (Quelle surprise) but John Crichton is just so attractive like I want to be him and be with him and I am one hundred percent shipping his relationship weith Aeryn because I just want my dude to be happy. It has such great world building that weaves in mysticism, spirituality and magic to a scifi universe that works.

The other thing is that where other shows establish characters as powerful in a way that entitles them to be heroes. Even Blakes 7, the Babylon 5 to Farscape’s Deep Space Nine, has the main character be an established leader of the resistance with an advanced battleship deliberately taking on the evil federation. Farscape has a bunch of escaped prisoners on a weaponless living ship on the run from a massive federation, periodically having to find a way to take out the people pursuing it. Blakes 7 is revolution, Farscape is survival.

I suppose the difference comes from the cultural perspective of the production staff. Compare Star Trek, Babylon 5, Blakes 7 and Farscape. Star Trek is an American utopia so it’s about this massive military industrial complex boldly going to explore this brave new world. Babylon 5 is an American future that’s more cynical and realistic. So Earth are the peacekeeper traders who fucked up first contact after a period of overconfidence and face the threat of this piddly little power that once held a massive power trying to reclaim it while their own government slides towards fascism and yet another even grander war breaks out. Blakes 7 is a British, even dare I say an English, production. It is about your people’s empire subjugating people and how you can be a Robin hood stealing from the powerful rich to help the vulnerable poor. Farscape is an Australian Production. It has prisoners escaping from a massive empire that thinks it’s the good guys and trying to form a new life.

I think Farscape suits my political, moral and philosophical perspective best. Yes, things are horrible and people are stupid, greedy, lustful sadistic and proud. Horrible things will happen and you will suffer terribly but if you’re very clever, very lucky, very charismatic and just brave enough you’ll survive. Things are not black and white in the Farscape universe. The Peace Keepers are not just space nazis to be remorselessly gunned down. *glares at Doctor Who for how it treats the daleks* And in the end there is always love, sex and friendship even though those things are difficult and create pain in their own ways.

The Farscape Friday podcast is reminding me of all of this, except it’s missing all that juicy juicy meat. There is very little discussion on the world building that’s going on and how interesting the conflicts and types of stories that are going on are. Instead it’s about the characters and the feelings with an entire section on wardrobe. (it starts with an interesting bit of fridge logic so I can understand it but still...)

To be perfectly clear I do love the podcast, it just approaches it in a different way. It’s like what makes the School of Movies podcast so different from typical nerd discussion of movies and tv, except without that more typical analysis of plot. It’s  not an invalid approach to reviewing, it’s just different from what I am used to but I am lapping it up so I’m not complaining.

Also there are a number of male podcasters whose voices are just music to my ears but these two hosts are each in their own way just utterly delightful to listen to. Like literally just the way they say things is cute and attractive, and when they fan girl about things I just die from happiness.

There is another component to where this is a podcast that like actively calls attention to the tumblr side of fandom and there are definitely moments when I’m cringing because it’s like your fave is problematic. Farscape is my greatest scifi and fantasy love and to hear it criticised, particularly The Flax which is such a great and funny episode of season one, it hurts. It’s not that the criticism is unjustified. It’s just like, don’t yuck my yum.

So to finally bring this all together and come to some sort of conclusion from what I’ve learned then...

I know that sex positive feminists exist. I know that it is theoretically possible to walk the line and be a dominant guy into submissive girls. Except I’m more than that, I am bisexual. I like writing heterosexual couples because I get to write the male fantasy and the female fantasy at the same time. I love writing and I’m not going to stop writing, if anything I think I’m going to explore more hard scifi because I love the exposition and I am never going to stop writing submissive women because I love it too much. I can’t write dominant and sadistic women the way I write guys, not without a base to start from anyway. And frankly dominant women scare me because dominant men are the crowd I get lumped in with and they’re losing. Despite all this I still fundamentally support the goals of feminism, tolerance and equality. I just can’t aspire to even the heights of Joss Whedon.

I am a problematic fuck but I am ally of Feminists when it comes to the crunch, even if my writing is arguably misogynistic, even if there is evidence that at least subconsciously I am not keen on the female perspective in writing and fandom.

Anyway I’m going to go get some food.