Every single time someone makes a post about how all m/m is fetishizing and anyone who writes it is a cesspool of internalized misogyny I just have to laugh. There are definitely some problematic aspects of m/m slash and definitely some people who do (some admittedly) fetishize m/m relationships. If you do the stuff on this list, you should probably check yourself. Hard.
- Do you tell everyone that you hope your children are gay men so you can ship them with their friends?
- Do you ignore and/or vilify the lady characters?
- Do you ignore the men of color because you think only white men are attractive and interesting?
- Do you ship two attractive white dudes, and only two attractive white dudes, in everything?
- Have you ever asked who the woman is in a relationship between two men? Do you designate a male character the “woman” in the relationship? This is not okay because the whole like, point of a relationship between two gay dudes is that we are, you know, dudes.
- Do you call gay men in relationships that are not part of the yaoi subgenre “seme” and “uke”? On that note, do you make a huge deal out of stuff like “Who tops?” This is a really silly thing to do! Some gay men who have anal have a preference one way or another, some don’t. Sexual preferences are not always dictated by personality traits, either! Some men who paint their nails prefer to top, and some lumberjacks prefer to bottom.
- Do you put anal sex on a pedestal as the only kind of “real” sex two men can have? A lot of gay men don’t even have anal sex.
- Do you think that “true love” is between two men because ladies are gross?
- If there is a feminine male character who shows canon interest in women, have you decided that he has to be gay?
- Do you say that you are a “gay man in a woman’s body”? Please stop saying that. Queer trans* men are, you know, literally gay men trapped in women’s bodies, and they have to face a pretty fair amount of adversity for that! Claiming to be a gay man in a woman’s body because you like to read and write about gay men is trivializing that. Please don’t do it.
- Do you see a picture of two gay men walking down the street and freak out about it? I mean, like, we do that. We do stuff! We’re people. We do things like walk down the street and eat food. There’s no reason to make a huge deal out of that!
If you answered no to these questions, then I am pretty sure you don’t need to check yourself. I don’t think anyone with a lick of sense is going to argue that there is a lot of misogyny in fandom, internalized or otherwise. But occasionally enjoying m/m is not an infallible indicator of internalized misogyny.
A lot of people who enjoy m/m and f/f are, you know, queer people. Queer men, queer women, queer non-binary folks. It is not fetishizing for queer folks to want to read and write about queer people. Whenever this argument comes up, we are always the ones left out. It is always a strongly worded letter to the Evil Fangirls.
It is entirely possible for a lady, queer or otherwise, to write respectful fanfiction about gay men that normalizes gay relationships. This actually like, happens a lot. While I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being shallow as long as your version of shallow doesn’t exclude marginalized groups, I am pretty sick of seeing ladies who like m/m in any aspect being repeatedly dismissed as a bunch of screaming and woman hating fangirls unable to think critically about material. What was that about misogyny again?