something about the discourse on if fanfiction is Good or not has bugged me for years and i think i finally put my finger on why: even if reading and writing fanfiction is bad for women– because let’s not pretend all these judgements don’t hinge on whether or not women are having fun in the wrong way–it’s a voluntary activity that people enjoy doing, and that should be that.

fanfic degrades your morals– cool so does football. look at the way football players and football fans behave. when’s the last time supernatural fans set pittsburgh on fire, or tore up a strip club, or assaulted flight attendants? fuck, it would be cool if fanfic was on the level of literally any national sport.

fanfic lures you into sexual activity you might not otherwise have engaged in– so does dancing and drinking and especially drinking and dancing, activities women are also warned against but have enjoyed anyway for thousands of fucking years.

fanfic is a waste of time when you could be reading or writing Literature– almost no one does that anyway! like, if this is your beef you’re not allowed to turn on the TV until you finish Wuthering Heights. meanwhile the rest of us are going to do things that are easy and fun, because humans like doing things that are easy and fun.

fanfic is masturbatory– masturbation is actually healthy and good for you if you care to partake in it. it reduces stress, improves your mood, and acquaints you with your body’s likes and dislikes. isn’t it suspicious that this is something women are also not supposed to be doing?

IN CONCLUSION i don’t care if fanfiction is good for you and neither should you. i don’t care about the latest thinkpiece that argues that fanfiction is intelligent, sophisticated, analytical, healing, creative, revolutionary.

i care that hundreds of thousands of women like it.

because that’s enough.

Ok but, fanfiction IS literature. Even if it’s not held with as great esteem, they are still creative written works that authors put their heart and soul into.


the vast majority of fanfic is crap.

90% of it is amateur work done for free by people who are usually young and unskilled and often writing simply for fun. because they’re horny or angry or sad or excited or curious. most human self-expression and creative work is shallow, unskilled, and unoriginal– and unique and valuable in and of itself, anyway. like, most humans aren’t professionals who pour decades of skill, experience, and pent-up finely-honed love and rage and longing into their work. most humans do things badly. because those things are worth doing badly.

if fanfiction is only Worthwhile because it is Good, if it’s only Good because it’s Worthwhile, then most of it isn’t. most of it is badly written, spelled, plotted, characterized, and formatted. to argue that fanfiction is the same thing as literature is an absurd way to immediately lose that argument, because it’s not. fanfiction is folk art, from everyone, by everyone, for everyone. literature is a commercial product produced mostly by technically skilled writers and it’s mediated entirely by financially-motivated distributors.

but ‘fanfiction is literature’ is  a pointless argument in the first place. you sing. you dance. you cook. you tell stories. these are human things to do. are you good at them? are you so good at them that you elevate the entire field and provide the sole justification for engaging in such an endeavor? no. you don’t have to.

fanfic is good and worthwhile because people like to read it and write it. it doesn’t have to have heart and soul. it doesn’t have to be literature. it just has to be human.