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By Mistress Valkyrie
Before I start, I just want to state that I am speaking mostly from the perspective of anime and video game related slash (or yaoi) because they are the ones that seem to suffer from this syndrome.
Being a slash fan for years, I have watched the rising of the number of writers on the web. I enjoy all types of stories, and although I find myself in the PWP category more often than not, I do like to read stories that focus mainly on character development. But one of the things that has really begun to irk me is the lack of a female incite. It seems like the female characters that are highly present in the show merely get thrown in the background, or have no development what so ever. In some cases, the females that do make an appearance suffer out right character bashing. You can argue that the reason we read slash is just to see two of our favorite male characters have fun in the sack, but personally I would like to see how the females would handle the situation. Maybe some of them are slash fans themselves.
One of the main culprits of this problems seem to be Final Fantasy 8 stories. I'll be the first to admit, Rinoa is a pointless character. But although character bashing could be rather amusing at times, after awhile it can get rather acrid( writers note: please feel free to insert a different term here. When I type, sometimes words fall out that don't make sense) And what of Quistis or the hyper Selphie? To me Quistis seems the type that would except the relationship between the two often slashed characters of Squall and Seifer. And although some writers would show that, she never seems to get any development. It would be nice to see her get into a relationship of her own at some point. This is slash fiction, but when written well, the hetero couples can be just as sweet.
This case does not just start and end with Final Fantasy either. Many other fandoms seem to ignore that females every existed. While flipping through the multitude of Gundam Wing fanfiction, I kept noticing that the prominent female roles were missing. The strong women like Lady Une and Noin made appearances, but people like Relena were basically non existent. Relena is a rather complex character, as is the disillusioned Dorothy. What makes Gundam Wing so great and so popular is that the relationships can be interpreted in many different ways. Whether you favor Heero with Duo or Heero with Relena, the writers have dropped enough hints to swing the characters both ways. So to speak. So for a show to have such diverse female characters, it's a shame to see them pushed into the background while the guys take center stage. It would be nice to see, for instance, how Catherine would handle the relationship between her brother and Quatre. Especially since whether your a slash fan or a non slash fan, those two are pretty much excepted as a canon couple anyway.
I am not saying that every writer does this. Some of us couldn't care less about the roles of the females in the stories. In fact it seems as if some of the male characters are written as females in themselves( I believe there is an essay on girly men). But as a female myself, I wonder whether or not there is a female on the show that can relate to me. It would make me smile to see a character like Natsuti from Samurai Troopers say, "You know Ryo and Shin DO seemly rather friendly around each other lately." Thankfully, there are some writers who write the females into the story rather well. I mean, you never know when a gal might be a closet fangirl. As I look back on this, I begin to wonder how the males are treated in fem slash, or yuri. I have read a few, but already there seems to be an absence of the males or the males are just there as a spectator to watch the women go down on each other. But as cliche and trite as this may sound, "That, my friends, is another story."