The queer politics of femslash

Authored by: Julie Levin Russo

The Routledge Companion to Media Fandom

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138638921
eBook ISBN: 9781315637518
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315637518.ch16

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Abstract

“Slash” is a term deriving from the convention, since the 1970s, of using the / symbol to designate a relationship between two characters, as in the iconic Kirk/Spock. Metonymically, it came to denote creative fan works featuring same-sex couples—meaning, in most cases, male/male (M/M) pairings. As the unmarked term, slash can be simultaneously general and particular, while pointing to female/female (F/F) pairings specifically requires a variant: femslash (also styled as femmeslash or girlslash). As this hierarchy might suggest, F/F remains underrepresented in scholarly research, and arguably in fandom itself (in comparison to M/M and also to het [heterosexual] and gen [general] fiction and art).

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