Vivisecting Supernatural- On Slash

This is both a clarification and a prologue to my upcoming Sastiel meta. On a show with four male leads, all whom have fantastic chemistry, shipping is bound to happen. For some reason, the amount of slash is huge compared to the amount of het; don’t ask me why, that’s just the way it is. I refuse to delve into gender politics of the fandom psyche. Let’s leave that for the psychoanalysts.

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Clearly, there is nothing wrong with reading into every onscreen relationship, especially given the buckets of subtext. I don’t usually, though, because there is a shortage of media that depicts men in meaningful non-sexual relationships, and I like that aspect of SPN- the aspect that allows two brothers who do not, in my personal opinion, have any sexual inclinations towards each other, to be soulmates. SPN lets men be vulnerable around each other without explaining it away as romance, which is why I generally prefer the non-slashy readings.

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That said, the whole show can be read with a sexual undercurrent- see The Subversion Of Sex– and most fans ship something. I, personally, have an affection for Sastiel, though I don’t ship it per se (I was once a Destieler, but I got frustrated at the amount of people trying to ‘prove’ Dean’s gayness).

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Anyway, my plan is to write a meta about each significant ship- I’ve already covered Destiel and Wincest, and said everything I intend to say about Samifer. These ship metas are not me telling you what to think, or even me telling you what I think. They’re simply a lens through which the show could be viewed, and in SPN, where actions can look completely different depending on where you’re stood, it’s important to be able to see the show through someone else’s filters.

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18 thoughts on “Vivisecting Supernatural- On Slash

  1. I am a Wincest shipper but I try to keep that out of my viewing of the show.For me, the viewing of the show and the stuff I read after the show are very separate things. I think its a good idea for fans to recognize that not everyone sees the show through their lens and won’t see it, even when they explain it.
    I did have to get away from the fandom for a while because of the absolute insistence that Destiel was canon. Its not so much that I couldn’t see it but that its separate from analyzing the show.And I too like the idea of televsion’s presenting close relationships between men that are not necessarily sexual. I love the idea that Sam and dean are soulmates.

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    • I have to say, I have a lot of respect for Wincest shippers as a faction. They’re generally a non-wanky bunch.
      And I’d hate for Destiel to become canon because that’d negate so many people’s interpretations, you know? Seriously, some Destielers are like bulldogs. If they don’t get what they want the show’s queerbaiting or just crappy. That’s not all of them, of course- a lot are perfectly respectful of others’ viewpoints- but still.
      And oh my God I am totally on board with the Sam-Dean soulmate thing. As far as I’m concerned, that’s canon. I mean, why would they have mentioned it at all if not to apply to Sam and Dean, right?
      By the way, got an idea- once s11 starts, I might do one meta after every episode to try and get to the heart of each one. I’d still be doing other stuff, of course. Any thoughts?

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      • I like that idea. There was one blogger I used to devote to reading her meta interpretations of each episode. I think it was Bardicvoice. If you haven’t read her at Livejournal, check her out for a good example of writing that’s clear, succinct and rational, with no wankery.

        I don’t review that way but I’ve seen lots of different ways of recapping shows.

        Oh, and have you visited BellaUk’s SPN website? She’s interested in writers about Supernatural. I told her you were awesome. If you’re interested ,drop her a line and let her know.

        Liked by 1 person

        • What I meant to actually say was that’s a great format for reviewing. Recap the episode first and then do a meta for it separately or just do a meta by itself of each episode.

          My style is to do it all at once in real time, as I watch, so that my thoughts and feelings are fresh. But it has its drawbacks, in that I don’t catch everything that needs to be said, as I watch the show through a certain lens. Later, I’ll read something that someone else caught in an episode, that I missed.

          So there’s pros and cons to any style.

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          • Yeah, I don’t actually do recaps because obvs there are already people like you doing awesome ones, plus I really don’t have enough time on my hands to do recaps AND essays.
            Tbh I mistrust my own first impressions anyway. Like, the first time I saw The Werther Project I wasn’t that impressed, but the second time I LOVED it.

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        • Oh okay, I’ll go check her out. (No wankery is what I live for.)
          And not only have I visited BellaUk’s website, I think we once had a mild disagreement on one of my threads because she thought I was insulting Sam Winchester. (It was quickly resolved though.) Thanks πŸ™‚ Yeah, I’m interested, in whatever it is…

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  2. I don’t ship anything, unless you count Sam and Dean being soul mates as a ship, because I think they definitely are, but as you said, without a romantic connotation. I have though, thoroughly enjoyed reading your other posts about all the various ships that are out there. It’s interesting to me and in no way detracts from my enjoyment of the show.

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  3. Hey there:) Just discovered this awesome blog and am currently reading through all you essays like a madwoman. You have serious talent, both in writing and in seeing and piecing things together and I love your laid back, positive attitude to bits:) Yeah, about the shipping, itΒ΄s not something IΒ΄ve ever really done,I mean, I can totally see why one would ship Destiel or Wincest, have read brilliant metas as to why either would make sense-including yours about Wincest- but to be quite honest, I like a platonic interpretation so much more. Like you said, strong male friendships are still quite a rare thing and I feel that giving them a sexual interpretation makes it more trivial. I love the idea of the brothers as soulmates, it is one of the most beautiful ones of the show:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • thank you so much! really glad you like what I’ve got on here. lovely to meet another laid-back positive person (they’re horribly rare, one finds πŸ˜‰ ). agreed- the brothers-soulmates thing is absolutely beautiful.

      feel free to come & have a laid-back, positive chat about spn anytime πŸ˜‰

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