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Title: ‘The Tent’s Big Enough for Everyone’: online slash fiction as a site for activism and change
Authors: Neville, Lucy
First Published: 27-Feb-2018
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: Gender, Place and Culture
Abstract: This article draws on a piece of wide-scale mixed-methods research (n = 429) that examines how women who write and read male/male erotica feel their involvement with the genre has affected their views on gender and sexuality and their political engagement with gay rights issues. Previous work has looked at how online slashfic communities might provide a safe space for exploring gender performance and sexuality, while other researchers have observed a tension between those who identify as queer themselves and those who only ‘play at queerness’ exclusively within the online environment. However, much of this work has examined the theoretical positioning of such forums as transgressive and/or political. Far fewer pieces have attempted to engage with the women who frequent such sites to ask them about whether their involvement in these online spaces has affected their attitudes and behaviours. This study looks not only at the ways in which online m/m fandoms can act as a safe space for women to explore their sexualities and gender identities, but whether and how these insights connect to women’s real-world lives. Data presented here shows a strong consensus among participants that involvement with explicit slash communities has had a positive effect on their lives, as well as contributing to beneficial changes in their knowledge, attitudes, and practices with regards to LGBTQ+ issues. Overall, slash is seen as a medium which can create better allies, encourage cross-identification, and bring about positive personal changes. To this extent, I argue that explicit online slash sites can act as heterotopias.
DOI Link: 10.1080/0966369X.2017.1420633
ISSN: 0966-369X
eISSN: 1360-0524
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2018, Taylor & Francis. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy. (
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo until 12 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Criminology

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