Men in love: how fanfic envisions men.
Someone just submitted a Disqus question that I found, well, touching and provocative, so I wanted to post it in hopes of hearing what others think. It began with a comment I made to mojoflower about “Skin Hunger”: “Essentially, these men have a desperate need to be touched, which they struggle to satisfy through violence and denial, and this carries over when John gets home.”
The comment was: “men can have skin hunger? they need to be touched? there is so much i don’t know about men. I forget they even have feelings sometimes. I tend to think most fanfic is women projecting our feeling onto male characters. Are they really that complex?…not sarcastic so much as clueless on my part. I didnt have a dad and havent had any relationships with men. the popular media portrays men as narrow unfeeling machines. fanfic shows them as whole people. not sure whats closer to the truth.”
I’ll keep my response short: I think fanfic is closer to the truth, because we’re not trying consciously or unconsciously to shore up a patriarchal power structure that depends on men sublimating their emotional needs. Is the fanfic portrayal completely accurate? Of course not; we’re fantasizing, after all, and we’re not men. But I’d like to believe we’re a fucksight closer to the emotional truth than mainstream media.
(I could go on and freaking on, but better to open the floor…)