The article focuses on the Renegade Slash Militia, a group of slash writers and readers. The term slash fan fiction refers to stories, written by amateur authors, that involve placing two television or film characters of the same gender, usually male, into noncanonical romantic relationships with each other. Although part of a long history of fan activities, slash offers its own particular challenge to normative constructions of gender and romance, as it allows women to construct narratives that subvert patriarchy by reappropriating those prototypical hero characters who usually reproduce women's position of social disempowerment.
The stark contrasts between romance novels and pornography, both multibillion dollar global industries, under score how different male and female erotic fantasies actually are. These differences reflect the different selection pressures males and females faced over human evolutionary history and highlight the utility of using unobtrusive measures to study aspects of human nature. Salmon & Symons (2001) examined slash (the depiction of a romantic or sexual relationship between typically heterosexual male television protagonists, such as Kirk and Spock from StarTrek) as an erotic genre, placing it in the context of romance and female sexual psychology. The topic is revisited here with attention also being paid to slash between two female television characters and the appeal to people of fiction in general.
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