azurelunatic: Seated baby in incubator shell with electrodes.  (Cyteen)
Azure Jane Lunatic (Azz) 🌺 ([personal profile] azurelunatic) wrote2010-12-05 04:58 am
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I can't see Catlin homophobic.

I was once amazingly offended (and the only reason I was offended and angered rather than hurt was because the world I live in has made me arm myself against this), in a fashion that I don't often get, by some Cyteen fanfic. In it, Ari II, Florian II, and Catlin II are exploring their relationship, but Catlin is reluctant to enter a sexual relationship with Ari, because apparently in that fan-author's interpretation of that universe, female homosexual behavior is seen as wrong and gross, and Catlin has internalized this concept. But she tries it anyway, and what do you know, OT3. And I was filled with horrid, angry, slappy rage, and utter surprise that the author could have even thought to take that choice of interpretation for that universe.

This is a universe with two canon male/male pairings. (Slash isn't the right term for them, since it's canon. "Gay" doesn't seem right either, at least not for Grant and Justin, because both of them had at least an adolescent interest in girls, even though they've since pretty much exclusively pair-bonded, and I'm very very reluctant to attempt to get into Justin's head as regards sexual orientation: even though he's fictional, it feels like he deserves at least that much respect for his privacy from me.) Yes, there's a lot of rampant heterosexuality; yes, Justin is surprised when Ari I has both Catlin and Florian participate in that "illicit intervention"; yes, Justin gets some static for pairing off with Grant. I read the surprise more for the group sex, and the static as trying any possible lever to Work someone, and a problem with his choice of partners (his Alpha companion rather than another CIT). From the other stuff, it sounded like heterosexuality is assumed until proven otherwise, but once otherwise was established, the fact of a same-sex relationship is not exceptionable.

I can see the role of homophobia in fictional universes. I can see the value in exploring and confronting it there. That form of homophobia, casual acceptance of a societal homophobic standard, does not seem to fit in that community, never mind what they think in Novgorod. Given that same-sex relationships are accepted at Resune at least once they happen, and that there's surely at least some biological component to it, I do not see Resune programming its azi to reject the concept. I also do not see either Florian or Catlin picking up casual homophobia from their environment.

It stood out to me. There are plenty of reasons why a sexual relationship with one's boss is a bad idea. There's never having given a thought to an intimate relationship with someone of the same sex before. (I surprised myself that way, though in retrospect I was indeed staring at my sister's violin teacher's tits an awful lot at age ~11.) There are many reasons why a CIT/azi relationship is a bad idea. Why having a relationship with someone for whom you're a bodyguard is a bad idea. So many different layers of possible wrong, and homophobia does not fit well enough into that universe that WHY PUT IT IN THERE, FOR FUCK'S SAKE.
princessofgeeks: (Default)

[personal profile] princessofgeeks 2010-12-05 02:09 pm (UTC)(link)
yeah, this sounds to me like projection on the part of the author, perhaps, or at the very least a poor extrapolation.

I read the entire trilogy again when the fourth book came out, and enjoyed it all immensely all over again ( i loved those books like WOAH when they first came out; devoured them and reread them), but was very sad at noticing how the homosexuality was depicted in the canon as a poor substitute for the Real Thing. The male/male relationships were accepted (and of course the cyteen people saw nothing immoral about the azi/cit relationships, something that strikes me as a bit skeevy now because of the consent issues, but Grant is so amazingly well drawn that I just set all that aside when I read him omg I love him), and were completely socially acceptable, but it's pointed out several times that they happen to justin and to jordan because of some psychological flaw they have. and of course grant was created to be jordan's mate, because they already knew jordan was homosexual. so that was chilling too, in a way.

but either the author is bringing her own interpretation of what same-sex attraction is, or positing a given situation for cyteen's same sex attractions that we now would not understand as true, or something... and i don't recall many other same sex relationships at all other than the cloned cits.... correct me if i'm wrong. maybe denis? didn't he have an azi lover too?


i need to look for more fic for that verse; i bet it could be awesome. i read a very poignant justin/grant first time once and i actually wanted to write one.

but i don't see, given all that background, that there is any grounds for caitlin's attitude being like that.

it's such a complex society; room in there for extrapolations that perhaps even cherryh had not fleshed out. i need to read it all again.
Edited 2010-12-05 14:10 (UTC)
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[personal profile] thorfinn 2010-12-05 09:51 pm (UTC)(link)
... Grr, what? Yeah, that would make me angry too. That par of the Cyteen-verse just doesn't work like that!

I guess some people like to project their own issues into a story, whether the universe supports them or not.

I do agree that it's possible there could be odd corners - but canon characters do have it pretty established that they're not homophobic at all, and nor is their immediate surrounding culture...
Edited 2010-12-05 21:58 (UTC)
princessofgeeks: (Default)

[personal profile] princessofgeeks 2010-12-07 02:18 am (UTC)(link)
right; still very heteronormative. dunno if that was intentional or unconscious on cherryh's part, but omg. let's update people!!!

i love all her work; she's probably my favorite hard science writer, but reading it 30 years later i totally saw stuff in it i did NOT see when I read it as a teenager.

thanks for the thinky!

and Ollie was SO WONDERFUL OMG. I loved him. AND grant.
ilyena_sylph: picture of Labyrinth!faerie with 'careful, i bite' as text (Default)

[personal profile] ilyena_sylph 2010-12-05 03:32 pm (UTC)(link)
I remember that fic. Vividly. And with a great deal of... offense and anger.

I very much like your rant here about why.
cadenzamuse: Cross-legged girl literally drawing the world around her into being (Default)

[personal profile] cadenzamuse 2010-12-05 05:10 pm (UTC)(link)
It took me until I was 21 to figure out that I was bi. I mean, the "oh god, am I a lesbian?" freakouts I had (one in high school and one on study abroad in college) should have been a clue, but lots of massive repression plus still liking guys plus leaning-a-little-towards-straight on the Kinsey scale all masked it. And then I figured it out and was like "Wow, I am stupid!" and "Hey, huge relief, I can stop repressing and just be me! WHEEEEEEEEE!" and it was awesome.

(And my awesome awesome boyfriend is so good about letting me be my own queer self, and poking me to get more involved in queer community so that I don't feel weirdly confined to being straight just because I'm dating het, so, um, YAY!)

This comment brought to you by your offhand comment about your sexuality taking you by surprise, and by wanting to give you some happy queer news to counteract an ucky fic. :) :) :)

(Also possibly by the meds I'm on, but at least they are meds that make me leave chatty cheerful comments on people's posts, and not the kind that make me have suicidal episodes. Heh.)
thorfinn: <user name="seedy_girl"> and <user name="thorfinn"> (Default)

[personal profile] thorfinn 2010-12-05 09:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Aww, awesome bf and you! I have to confess to mostly just passing-for-het these days, mostly out of unwillingness to do bi-education-101 all the time.
cadenzamuse: Cross-legged girl literally drawing the world around her into being (Default)

[personal profile] cadenzamuse 2010-12-05 10:27 pm (UTC)(link)
For me, because I found Hot Guy before I ever had a chance to date a girl (he is the first person I ever dated, and honestly, it was like God pitched my life partner at me out of the sky, complete with just as much stubbornness as me, aggravating flaws that complement mine, and a stupid haircut), it's extra important to me (and to Hot Guy) that I do things to not pass for het, because I feel like I have more to "prove," since I don't actually have a "bisexual dating track record" or something ridiculous like that. It's tough. I still have that ugly bi insecurity of "maybe I don't count", but it definitely helps to have my queer church folks, and to march at Pride, and to at least have my boyfriend be a really respectful ally, and never feel like he looks at me like I'm a straight girl, just like I'm me.
cadenzamuse: Cross-legged girl literally drawing the world around her into being (Default)

[personal profile] cadenzamuse 2010-12-06 11:22 pm (UTC)(link)
Aww, hee. I love how oblivious we can be about ourselves until it's suddenly too blindingly obvious to ignore. (And I love your topical icon. :D )
cadenzamuse: Cross-legged girl literally drawing the world around her into being (no straight men)

[personal profile] cadenzamuse 2010-12-06 11:23 pm (UTC)(link)
And I should have used this icon, *sigh*.
arkeiryn: (Default)

[personal profile] arkeiryn 2010-12-06 04:12 pm (UTC)(link)
I don't have anything to add, but this made a lot of sense, and was well-written. Stupid fanfic author :P
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