"Final Fantasy Fanfiction: Steamy and Ridiculous" by Justin Massoud
1. The article expresses the dismay of a blogger discovering the world of erotic fanfiction for the first time. I am honored to be presented as a purveyor of prurient prose — twice!
2. Trekqueen, thanks for the heads-up! It is considered Fair Use to excerpt a small portion of a work for commentary/review.
3. I didn't get any new visitors as a result of blog notoriety. Woez. Picard's slacks beat Lulu for sex appeal.
4. Thank goodness he quoted semi-literate fic, as opposed to poorly-written fic. ("THUMP. THUMP. THUMP.")
5. I'm glad he quoted my usual fare as opposed to the Kimahri!crack. Now THAT would have been embarrassing.
And now we get into thinky thoughts about this blogger's gender-focused comments. So:
6. I'm afraid I took the easy way out in my response to his blog post, using the "hey, I have a brain; this is goofing-off writing" defense. I should have pointed out the gender issues he tripped over. He used a hentai pic of Y/R/P and a hentai Tifa (both of them boob-focused) to illustrate his article on Final Fantasy fanfic. Insert riff on how erotic fanfiction tends to be by and for women, whereas hentai tends to be by and for men. (Not always, but usually.)
7.The blogger decided that Lulu was being portrayed as "promiscuous" because of her "massive, mostly-exposed cleavage." Both stories he cited were mine. In fact, her breasts are barely (or not) mentioned in those stories. The common factor in both stories is Lulu's hands: either in pleasuring someone else, or herself. Active, not passive.
8. The blogger seems to interpret Lulu's role in these stories as sex object. In most Lulu-centric stories, she's an active agent calling the shots, an authorial stand-in for a female writer trying to imagine what it would be like to be a strong, assertive woman, unapologetically comfortable in her own body. She is usually subject, not object. (Mind you, I've seen a Lulu-as-sex-object fic on AFF, but it had suspiciously male objectification of Rikku and Yuna as well). One the one hand, if one assumes every isolated fanfic about Lulu having sex is part of the same story, she's promiscuous. (Why doesn't James Bond get this kind of criticism?) On the other hand, this sounds like the sexist stereotype that a woman comfortable with her own sexuality is "promiscuous."
9. My alarm bells start going off when a man is re-interpreting a woman's story about sex. He characterized Auron/Lulu as "sex with the game's father figure, Auron, who is around 20 years her senior". He isn't, of course. 20 years would be Rikku. Exaggerating age differences (turning an adult woman into a girl) and making Auron a "father figure" ignores the balanced power dynamics in the story he was quoting: they are portrayed as mature, autonomous, strong-willed individuals who lead separate lives and meet on equal terms.
10. Funny how bi Lulu gets the label "promiscuous".
11. Funny how this blogger very carefully excerpts only the most intimate, explicit part of each story, excising any character development, foreplay, or backstory-- even in the double drabble. I shouldn't make too much of his selective editing, though, since he did quote some less-explicit material from other stories. Except...wait... most of those are yaoi...
Finally: Why am I suddenly writing posts as numbered lists?!