aethel: (stiles door [by circa77])
I love how there's 145 fanworks on the AO3 tagged with girl Stiles. I guess I'll be too busy to edit Fanlore this weekend because I'll be reading ALL the girl Stiles fic.

I had some vague feelings about the characterization of girl Stiles, but I haven't actually read enough yet to be sure if I'm noticing A Trend or not: which is, Always a Girl Stiles is portrayed as having an atypical gender presentation (aka a tomboy aka Not Like Those Other Girls aka too clumsy to be trusted with eyeliner). Atypical according to the fic writer at least, or maybe I'm thinking of one particular story. I dunno. As a female geek who wasn't interested in blah blah blah as a teenager, it sometimes annoys me to read always-a-girl stories that make a big deal of the female version of the character Not Being Into Boys, Makeup, Glitter, Blah, Blah, Blah. Especially if they're not into it in a different way from me. My thoughts:

1. Since he's a geek, more fans already identify with Stiles, so for female fan writers, girl!Stiles has a tendency to become an author avatar.

2. I used to make a big deal (in my own head, and let's face it, probably on livejournal) of Not Being Like Those Girly Girls and later decided that was dumb, so I get especially annoyed now whenever I catch a whiff of it in other people's writing, even if they had a perfectly valid reason for writing that way. (Like, they're writing about teenagers, who do care about these things.) I might still be patting myself silently on the back for Doing Femininity The Right Way Not Like Those Other People, but I try to repress that urge.

3. No idea if this is true, but my totally unsupported hypothesis is that a lot of people do gender-switched characterization by changing as little as possible: they change the boy into a girl who is a tomboy. (I don't like that word, but I don't know how else to describe this phenomenon.) I think this is exactly the wrong approach; if you take a character who expresses his gender in a very conventional way, wouldn't the girl version be a character who expresses her gender in a very conventional way?

4. On the other hand, I love this girl!Stiles fanart, so I'm not saying all girl!Stiles should be done one particular way. I think girl!Stiles should be done thoughtfully, so that we can discuss whether Stiles does express his gender in a conventional way, and how being a girl would change that.

5. Someone else is discussing this somewhere, right?

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æthel the aardvark

August 2017

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