When I try to explain slash to non-fans, I often reference that moment in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan where Spock is dying and Kirk stands there, a wall of glass separating the two longtime buddies.
Both of them are reaching out towards each other, their hands pressed hard against the glass, trying to establish physical contact. They both have so much they want to say and so little time to say it. Spock calls Kirk his friend, the fullest expression of their feelings anywhere in the series. Almost everyone who watches the scene feels the passion the two men share, the hunger for something more than what they are allowed. And, I tell my nonfan listeners, slash is what happens when you take away the glass. The glass, for me, is often more social than physical; the glass represents those aspects of traditional masculinity which prevent emotional expressiveness or physical intimacy between men, which block the possibility of true male friendship. Slash is what happens when you take away those barriers and imagine what a new kind of male friendship might look like. One of the most exciting things about slash is that it teaches us how to recognize the signs of emotional caring beneath all the masks by which traditional male culture seeks to repress or hide those feelings.
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“have you seen this fantastic tumblr illustration of the famous Jenkins quote? raktajino-hot.tumblr.com/post/43063405852/link-to-quote-source-x”
That’s awesome! I wish we could do that with all quotes. Browsing around, it seems like there’s even a vid of this particular quote – henryjenkins.org/2008/05/the_glass.html. Looks like we could do a whole series of posts on “remixes of the famous Jenkins quote explaining slash with that scene between Spock and Kirk in ‘The Wrath of Khan’”. That’s probably the most successful fan studies quote ever.
I’ll post the full quote itself in a bit. Let’s see if we can get permission to post the vid and the image too.
(We poke the creators before posting anything fan-made. Reblogging may be one thing, but automatically crossposting things out of Tumblr and onto our WordPress site is another.)
This may be a bit too out there, but I’ve been trying to find a throw-away statement by J.J. Abrams regarding the relationship of Star Trek and female fans. I saw it on my flist, but can’t find it again, nor by googling. It was something to the effect of “we put a birth into the reboot in order to appeal to women”? Context is that I’ve been reading on early Star Trek zine history and the split between “media” and “SFF fandom”, and it would be deliciously ironic (and, lbr, tears-inducing) to contrast Abram’s utter cluelessness/erasure with the actual history of Trek fandom. If that quote exists and I didn’t just hallucinate it all!