Resistance and Compromise under Power Structures of Sexuality: A Case Study on Real Person Slash Fans in China
Abstract: RPS (Real Person Slash) refers to the fandom in which female fans form homoerotic fantasies based on two real men such as actors, politicians and historical figures. This paper tries to see this group of women under power structures of sexuality in China and how such structures influence their fan practices. Through online observations, group discussion and in-depth interviews with 16 fans in total, I argue that Chinese RPS fans’ practices could be understood in both resistance and compromise to the current power structures of sexuality in China. These fans on one hand show their resistance to the traditional gender norms by expressing desires and creating alternative masculinities; while on the other hand they compromise in a way in which they regulate their fantasies within a certain place to prevent themselves as well as the real persons involved in the RPS fandom being judged by the dominant social norms. This paper hopes to foreground an indigenous discussion on Chinese slash fan communities under the power structures of sexuality.
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