10.14.2010

Random Wep Rant

So I haven't posted an edition of my (not so) popular column, What the Frak is Wep Reading? in some time, but I come to you today not to recommend fics you should be reading, and instead bring to you a major gripe with fics I don't care if you read or not.

One thing that always annoys me in any Chuck story is a Chuck/Sarah story that places the blame for any faults the couple may have at the feet of one party. This is also true of people who criticize the show, but it's especially prevelant in fics. And who "enjoys" the lion's share of this blame usually? Well it's Sarah, of course. And that makes Wep angry.


So there is a very specific type of author that writes the stories I'm complaining about today. Generally, they are written by males that seem to have some fixation with the idea that Chuck can't be the Chuck we've always known on the show, and that women should apparently serve some kind of service role to men. That Sarah's character is only allowed to be there for Chuck, and that Chuck is some saint that can do whatever he pleases.

Perhaps that's overstating it a bit, but not by much.

So what's the typical plot of these stories? Here's a breakdown:

-Story generally happens some time in season 2
-Sarah usually has a fling with Bryce, or Cole
-The author states clearly that somehow, Sarah having a sexual relationship with someone who is not Chuck is in some way her "wronging" him (completely ignoring how Chuck was the only one with a confirmed sexual relationship during S2, with Jill, but they don't consider Sarah to have been wronged)
-Chuck gets angry, internalizes said anger, and generally becomes a bitter, and loathsome person
-He meets up with a new romantic interest, one who is weak, and has no real purpose other than to be Chuck concubine
-Sarah will eventually admit that she's somehow wronged Chuck (which I still don't get. I don't blame Chuck for Jill, but I wouldn't have blamed Sarah for sleeping with Bryce, or even Cole during S2. It's not like she was in a relationship with Chuck or anything).
-Depending on the author, Chuck will either forgive her (again, I don't know why she has anything to be forgiven for, but these authors apparently think so), or he won't, and he'll completely move on

It's all kind of formulaic at this point. One of these stories will pop up at least 2 or 3 times a month, and as time goes on, I just have to roll my eyes. Seriously guys? It's always Chuck that was wronged? Sarah never gets to feel wronged when Chuck acts out harshly against her, basically for nothing? It's never brought up how Sarah must have felt wronged when Jill rolled into town, and Chuck couldn't keep it in his pants for two minutes? *sighs* Sometimes I feel ashamed to be a guy.

/end rant

51 comments:

  1. JohnClark14.10.10

    You get the sense that some authors right fanfic simply for some sort of cathartic revenge on the opposite sex. The kind of stories you describe in Chuck I've seen in other fandoms and also in reversed gender roles. Its slightly bizarre but i suppose FFN is cheaper than therapy so whatever.

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  2. Haha, fair point John. And you're right, even in the Chuck fandom, we get the reverse from Sarah fan-girls. I meant to bring that up in my rant, but I was on a roll and wanted to wrap it up, haha.

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  3. Anonymous14.10.10

    It's one of the reasons why I read such a limited amount of Chuck 'fics. It is very shameful. The fact that they also make it so that Sarah can't do her job properly without Chuck, forgetting that she was a CIA agent before she met Chuck and one of the best at that, is extremely bizarre as well.

    Well, cheers mate, and thanks for the rant.

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  4. Some of this is good old traditional societal prejudice
    Women have alway been expected to be innocent and chaste for marriage
    Wheras men were expected to be experienced by then.

    Even in these. More enlightened times it's still prevalent
    A guy who sleeps around is hailed as a stud. But a woman who
    Does the same is derided as a slut and sadly this bleeds over
    Into everything sarah got blasted for even considering kissing
    Cole but chuck get's nothing despite actually sleeping with jill
    Its an unfortunate double standard

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  5. Ayefah14.10.10

    I don't like the oppositional model of romantic relationships in the first place. Why does everything have to be about fault, like it's a contest or something? It always ends up in nasty sour arguments between partisans of the two halves of the couple, and it honestly makes me wonder why these people bother being 'shippers at all if they hate their favorite character's 'ship partner so much.

    I will say that Chuck has been more equal-opportunity about the bashing than some other fandoms I've been in. I mean, the Adorable Psycho came from somewhere, right? There are a surprising number of folks who deride Chuck as an unworthy manslut, too. (And by "surprising" I mean enough to make it a little subgenre of its own, whereas usually it's only the guy who gets sainted for the most part.)

    Anyway, poo on those people. :P They suck all the fun out of things, and for fans of a show as eager-to-please as Chuck that seems especially wrongheaded, no? I'd rather keep things in the show's spirit and just have fun, dammit. That's what fandom is for.

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  6. Sparky14.10.10

    Chuck was still not over Jill. But, the way he behaved around Sarah didn't do him any favors in the eyes of the audience.

    Sarah kissing Cole wasn't the same thing.They had no history as far as i can remember.

    He was a charming,Bond type good guy.And Chuck had recently told her, what she could give him, wasn't good enough-i agreed with him-.

    Still, can't blame her for the kiss. But can't compare it to Chuck's relationship with Lou either.They had come a long way since Lou.

    I guess the writers are aware of this type of thinking. Maybe that's one of the reasons we had Chuck get close with Hannah before Sarah chose to be with Shaw.

    And while we definitely did know about Chuck and Hannah's sex life, we didn't get to know much about Sarah and Shaw relationship.

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  7. I've always thought the anti-Sarah/blame-Sarah sentiment in fic by this group of male writers is partly a direct response to the show, which often takes the opposite view, and partly because they're just sexist (or misogynistic) jerks.

    The problem is S3, I think. S3 was like a huge boon to these people because they could point to it and say, "Yeah, look, Sarah really does suck. She really doesn't deserve Chuck. We're right to act this way!" Add to that that many perceived Sarah to have acted poorly during S3 but never really got called out on her actions, while Chuck did, and you have the perfect storm for perpetuating this kind of fic writing. These writers hate seeing a perceived weak male character and one that gets crapped on by the female character (for instance, the woman should go to the man, not the other way around, in their way of thinking), instead of being the strong (physically and mentally) and stoic traditional male from the 50s that Chuck is often written in these stories you're talking about.

    In fact, the poster child for this group of writers has a fic out now where he basically states that the reason why he is writing his current fic is because he hated what they did with Sarah in S3, that she didn't deserve Chuck in S3, that he didn't like how Chuck was blamed for everything, so he wrote a fic in response to that. And a lot of reviews for that fic reflect this line of thinking. There's a lot of reviews talking about how Chuck should do such and such because Sarah doesn't deserve him or she has to earn back his affection or somebody needs to blame Sarah for everything. These kind of fics are going to be around for a long time.

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  8. Anonymous14.10.10

    The point isn't whether or not Sarah and Cole had a history like Chuck and Jill did. Just because there is history doesn't mean that there a person's actions are excusable or whatever. What matters is how the parties involved treat each other when other people come along. The fact is, at the time of these relationships, Chuck and Sarah weren't together which means both of them are completely justified to get involved with someone else.

    And Lou was important for Chuck to have. He never fully realized how much of a nuisance it was to have his life bombarded by the government and if not for Lou, he wouldn't have understood why it was difficult to have intimate relationships while being involved in spy-world. It's like Chuck said, Lou was everything he was looking for but he couldn't look right then. But he wouldn't have gotten to know that if he didn't try/fail with Lou.

    The reason we know more about Chuck and Hannah's relationship as opposed to Sarah and Shaw's is because Chuck is/was the one under surveillance. His life was being invaded so to speak. If it were Sarah or Casey being watched we'd probably know more about their personal lives, too. But mainly we know about Chuck because he likes to air his laundry (seriously, he doesn't like PDA but he was all over Hannah in the Buy More? What is that about?) while Sarah and Shaw are full-bred spys which means they keep thing close to the belt. To them, it's no one's business what they do in their off time. It never seemed to me like they were in a full on relationship anyway.

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  9. alladinsgenie4u14.10.10

    Personally speaking, I always thought the Chuck and Sarah story was an epic romance. Stuff you usually read in good books and rarely see on T.V. Before Season 3, I didn't mind the PLIs (except for Jill), but the events in Season 3 left me sorely disappointed with the writers. So when I read fan fics that generate the same formula of third parties and hurt - I go bleh!. Hasn't the show done enough of that. They basically take the same route as that of Season 3 canon - except they go much further in hurting the characters.

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  10. Sparky14.10.10

    There may be an engagement this season,with the way things are going. Talking of shaw and sarah reminded of the name issue. What are the writers gonna do about that?

    Sarah Walker Bartowski ? :P Sam Lisa ------ Bartowski?

    Wep,we would like some fic recs :)

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  11. You know what's really freaken scary; these authors sit and write this garbage for HOURS of their lives. What kind of hollow shell of a soul do they have? The hate and double standards spews from their stories, I feel sorry for the first person who accidentally gives them the time of day. It could become fatal attraction part deux if it ends badly.

    The authors remind me of a domestic violence incident waiting to happen.

    -BCF

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  12. So I was going to go through and respond one at a time, but then I realized, I agree with everything Ayefah said, so just go to her post, and read that for my response. Hahaha, no, I'm only kidding... mostly.

    Mx is right, S3 is a major motivator to these kind of writers (sad as they may be, BCF). Sarah became this shell of the character we'd known before that, and Chuck wasn't becoming the super hero these sexists wanted, so when they write, Sarah becomes a weak, needy woman that doesn't deserve the strong, dashing, cold-blooded Chuck.

    But seriously, why do these people watch the show? That's NEVER going to be the show they see. Chuck is NEVER going to be that person. Sarah is NEVER going to be that submissive. It's not the characters TPTB created.

    Alright, alright, I won't rant again. It's just... I don't get it, haha.

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  13. Anonymous14.10.10

    OMG! Thank you for this post. These stories make me so angry and bitter. They turn Chuck into a misogynistic jerk and Sarah into a submissive witch with a b. I love these characters so much that it breaks my heart to see someone violate them like this. Everytime I stumble upon one of these stories, I just start fantasising that Sarah will turn into the Adorable Psycho, kick both Pod-Chuck and his meek girlfriend's ass and go on a mission to find the real Chuck and rescue him.

    It makes me so sad to think that Chuck attracts that kind of audience. I never knew the sex of these authors (I tried to pretend they did not exist, one more than the others), but now it makes sense. It makes me worry. If these men spend so much time, thinking of ways to humiliate and tame Sarah, a fictional character, until she is nothing but the perfect example of an abused housewife, then what about the real women in their lives. Scary thought!

    I'm also very surprised at the number of people which encourage this kind of writting and this kind of protayal of men/women relationship.

    I know the show tends to objectify women (except for mother figures)and sometime to partenalise them (Chuck tends to keep secret from females to "protect" them), but it also empower them a lot and tends to reverse the traditional gender roles. So why does it attract so many sexists people who want to turn the show into "The Taming of the Shrew"? Why are they watching Chuck in the first place when it clearly does not play into their stereotypical ways of thinking?

    Anyway, thanks for this post. It makes me feel better to see that there are some male fans out there who do not think like that. This restore some of my fate in humanity, that tends to waver every time I see the hundreds of reviews one of these authors receives.

    Lily

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  14. Sparky14.10.10

    Wow. There are that many? And hundreds of reviews? Weird.

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  15. @Lily. Heeee, you're welcome I guess? No, you're right. I really do fear how these men treat the women in their real lives. Of course, I somehow doubt their RL relationships are anything like the ones they portray in fic. It's wish fulfillment for them. That's how they want women to act/be treated. And no self-respecting woman would allow such, I think. So unless they're preying on a woman with a completely depreciated view of self (which would make them a completely different kind of predator, and all the more disturbing, and grotesque), then I doubt they get to live out these fantasies in their lives. Thank God for that, huh?

    @Sparky, yeah, sadly this IS a real problem in the fandom. That people write this crap is bad enough, but they have legions of supporters, who agree with this treatment of Sarah (and women in general), and who laud Chuck being a misogynist.

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  16. Why are we so hesitant to name names? Everyone knows that the author we're talking about is[THE REMAINDER OF THIS POST DELETED BY THE CIA]

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  17. Haha, Chris, yeah, we all know the primary perpetrator in this sub-genre, but he actually wasn't the one that sparked me to write this rant in the beginning, surprisingly.

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  18. Chris: lol. Yeah, the [GENDER REDACTED] we're all referring to is obviously [REDACTED], but I think everyone knows who it is regardless. :P

    Anonymous, I think you just stumbled upon a brilliant new AP fic idea. Wep, are you reading this? Get crackin' on that parody! Adorable Psycho Versus the Misogynistic Fanfic Authors!

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  19. Sometimes I think I go the oppossite way, defending Sarah way too much, maybe in Chuck's detriment? I don't know, but sometimes it looks like it. I try to avoid it, though.

    I guess those writers don't see two people with defined personalities that can err like any other human being, but two empty shells where they can shoehorn their archetypes into.

    Personally I think that in the time Chuck and Sarah weren't together, what any of them did with their personal lives was no one's business. Obviously, they could act a bit less like jerks in front of the other person, but if they weren't together, they could date anybody they wanted.

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  20. @crystal Heeee, I actually have an AP idea right now, but that one might be too good to pass up. Sarah killing pod!Chuck and going to save real!Chuck? Fantastic! LOL

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  21. Anonymous14.10.10

    I'm sorry if I came about a little too strong. I should explain that my own grandpa was an abusive man to both his wife and his children. I've witness the damage he did my whole life and everytime I see one of these fic and all those people that seem to enjoy them, it tends to make my blood run cold. So I'm serious when I say thank you. I'm gonna pray you are right and that their writting is pure wish fulfilment.

    Oh yes, Sparky, hundreds of reviews. I'm not joking. I know, it is hard to believe, I would not believe it either if I did not read that many fanfics.

    Chris, yep, we all know who we are talking about ;). I'm not courageous enough to be the one to say it though.

    Oh Crystal, great idea. Pretty please, write it Wep. This would be a dream come true for me. I've had this fantasy for a while, but I should not be allowed to write Chuck fics. Beside you are the AP God after all.

    Lily.

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  22. @Lily No need to apologize, girl! I completely get where you're coming from, and did even without the personal account. But said personal account only adds to your POV, I think.

    And my goodness! A God? Wow, let me go get something to eat...wait, oops, my head doesn't fit through the door anymore. =P

    But we'll see about it. I actually have a pretty major project I'm working on currently that I think you will all enjoy (on top of my Hallowhedon piece), but if the mood strikes me...

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  23. Wep, if you don't write it, I will. Y'know, whenever I get around to it. Which will probably be sometime like, next year, at the rate I'm going. Haha. But man, that idea can be expanded in sooo many ways...

    Lily, I agree, it's ridiculous how many reviews [NAME REDACTED] gets for his stories. But that's just the way the cookie crumbles, unfortunately.

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  24. Haha, we'll see about it, Crystal. If you want it, it's all yours, of course. But like you said, I know you're busy and stuff. We'll see about it. I'm kind of in a groove with my other project right this second, but who knows what tomorrow holds?

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  25. Wow, there's a lot of hostility out there. I hope everyone realizes that no one is being forced to read these stories. If you don't like them, don't read them. Chuck fanfiction has many subgenre's, including this kind (Bad Sarah), Jellie, Sarina, super-commando Chuck, college-finishing Chuck, and AP. Some of those I like; some I don't (including Bad Sarah). However, almost every one of these stories has OOC Chuck and Sarah, sometimes intentionally OOC. If the writing is good, the story is sometimes good anyway. But if the story does not match your tastes, there are over 2000 other stories to read. No problem.

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  26. Sparky14.10.10

    Did the author in question ever write a Channah fic?

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  27. Anonymous14.10.10

    Blame Shaw, after all he's at fault for Sarah's S3 decharacterization (40% audience drop included), you can't really blame the Dasypodidae (I assume he's [NAME REDACTED]) for picking upon the angst S3 threw around.
    Thank God they redemeed the show with Honeymooners.
    Still, kudos to anybody with enough time to discuss about/turn a spy-comedy into an angsty drama.

    On a serious note, is there an ETA on the next chapter of Chuck vs The Double Agent? :P


    -Vincent

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  28. Or on next College Years? ;-)

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  29. @Jeff I read everything. And yes, sometimes there are redeeming qualities to these stories, but not always. And I feel I must comment on everything in the fandom. I would be doing a disservice to others if I didn't. It would be like ignoring a part of the show I didn't like. Can I do it? Yes. Would it be dishonest if I didn't comment on that part of the show and how it displeased me? Also yes.

    @V Not sure on CY. It's undergoing some...er...creative changes. Stay tuned!

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  30. By "creative changes" he means that he's changing Chuck into an ubermensch and Sarah in a doting weakling. Do I realize he just wrote about how much he hates that? Yes. Wep is just on that ironically unironic next level ish. He's doing it anyway.

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  31. Ayefah14.10.10

    I don't really like the "you don't have to read it" argument. If something is objectively bad, it's bad, and ignoring it won't make it otherwise. Certain fics in this fandom have a misogynistic and/or violence-glorifying streak that's pretty alarming, and I don't think it's that awful to discuss why we don't like that sort of thing.

    I think that the show actually played into the glorification of violence in S3. I mean, it always glamorized violence the way all screen violence is inherently glamorized and additionally by having showy fight scenes, but it didn't really glorify violence as a value. The main character was physically vulnerable and virtually never violent in any way - all his agency and strength was expressed through acts of wit, not his fists, and that wasn't considered a detriment to his character but simply a part of it.

    Then, of course, the Intersect 2.0 came along and everything changed. And the show had this sort of little-boy "this is so cool" attitude towards it that never sat right with me, because that isn't a value-neutral statement to make. It means something, to choose to solve your problems with your fists rather than your brain, but that wasn't really addressed apart from the gun subplot, which was somewhat mishandled.

    Basically, what I'm saying is that last year, when it came to violence and its protagonist, Chuck moved towards becoming the kind of show that the guys we're talking about always thought they were seeing. Which probably made it all the easier for them to keep writing the fantasy.

    I will say that so far this season has been better about the whole fighting thing - Chuck repeatedly chose to run rather than fight in the premiere and only resorted to the Intersect as a last-ditch option, legitimately lost a fight in "Cubic Z", used gadgets of his own devising to win physical confrontations in "Suitcase", and did the Magical Chuck Babble to save the day in "Coup D'Etat". Fighting has become a garnish for him rather than the main course, which IMO is as it should be, or Chuck wouldn't be Chuck anymore.

    And wow, this is all really off-topic. The upshot is this: Even at his worst, Chuck was never the guy in those fics. Not even close. Especially when it came to the misogyny and general contempt for Sarah: Despite Chuck's troubled female representation, Chuck the character has never in my memory been less than perfectly respectful towards women. Which is part of why I like watching him. :)


    *Totally random side note - quite possibly the cruelest fic representation of Sarah that I've ever seen came not from [REDACTED] but from a slasher of the "girls are icky" variety. Thankfully the fandom doesn't seem to have attracted much of that crowd.

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  32. Anonymous14.10.10

    Wep and Crystal both have busy lives, so I'll never see my fantasy realised *pout*. Well, as long as you both continue writting, I'll be more than alright :).

    Jeff, the thing is, as a Psychology student, I've studied long and hard the devasting influence that what you read and watch can have on your behavior. Most people believe they are immune to it and that they are in complete control, but the reality is that we are not. I won't bore you with statistics of correlational and experimental studies that shows this, but suffice to say that the evidence are staggering. Many of these studies have been conducted specifically to test the influence of misoginistic content on both men and women. All have showned that men after, reading or watching such material, were directly afterward less sympatetic toward feminist attitudes, more accepting of violence against women and more likely to think in stereotypical ways. Women were shown to afterward, behave in more stereotypical ways (meaning for example that many female honor math students would suddendly get poor results in math tests compare to equally competent males), show less ambition and were more likely to report that they could believe that for some women (not them) a sexual relation that started out as rape, might end up being consensual.

    Even a little fic can have an influence on the way you think and behave in the real world. That's why I cannot just dismiss them like I would a Jellie fic or a slash one. These fics are not to my personal taste, but I don't mind them. They don't have any negative impact on anything. Sexist fics do have an impact.

    "Creative changes", I'm intrigued.

    Lily

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  33. Guys, don't mean to derail the current flow of conversation, but I will say, no ETAs on the fic. Sorry. There will be a story from me for Hallowhedon, and then I may shoot for some kind of story postapalooza.

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  34. And as Mx knows, once he posts some stuff, there are a TON of stores/updates coming from me. :)

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  35. Anonymous14.10.10

    Wep, Mxpw, you both are tease! I hope you know that. Now, excuse me, as I go jump up and down in excitment.

    Lily

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  36. I understand that some would not ;ike a lot of violence in their fics. I agree with the study that says watching violence desensitizes you. What Chuck does well is show the consequences of violence. Chuck is a violent show, remember Sarah killed a unarmed passive bad guy.
    Violence for the sake of violence is not the show, but at the same time necessary violence does have its reasons, and even still there is a cost.
    I love FLUFFY really I do, (Frea can you please post old 42 as a post on CI), but there is a place for action.

    One last thing, the writer to be named later writes a well written fic. I haven't read 1 word on his latest fic, but that does not mean he cant write. In fact I think he has some fantastic moments in his stories.
    Some of the fics Wep mentioned are not that way. What I can't understand is why those get so many reviews, and stories that show c/s as equals gets peanuts. If you want an example Chuck vs Futures Past has the 2 characters are equals, yet it gets few reviews. Have Sarah leave Chuck and WOW. I have 1 last thing to say, if you want this to change CHARAH SHIPPERS UNITE!

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  37. Anonymous15.10.10

    Nice rant WEP. You have indeed captured one group of authors in a nut shell. The way they mistreat the women in their stories is deplorable, but it is their story. You have the option to not read it if you don’t like their work or their style, that’s what I do.

    Now a question for you and those of the readers that replied to your rant, shouldn’t they be allowed the same privilege as anyone else? There are authors out there that use torture in their stories, some are graphic some aren’t. Does that mean these writers go out and torture people? As far as I know it has never been put out in cannon that Sarah has ever had sex with a woman, yet there are authors that have her having lesbian sex. Certain groups of authors feel that you can’t have a good story that doesn’t contain massive amounts of angst and heartache. Then there’s the group that has stories where Sarah leaves Chuck and comes back and the reason is usually it was for Chucks own good and to keep him safe. You have authors that bring a science fiction twist to their stories. There is very little left to cover in the fandom so people tend to gravitate to what people want to read. Most likely by the reviews a specific type of story gets.

    But aren’t you yourself doing a disservice to the fandom when you portray Sarah or Chuck in ways that they aren’t? I’ll exclude the AP series and parodies you write. Like I said earlier I have never heard of Sarah having sex with a woman before, so if I am wrong I will stand corrected, yet you repeatedly write her having them. In rock and a hard place you have Sarah an experienced agent getting pregnant by her mark and Chuck abandoning Sarah when she seeks help. Not a Chuck like move if you ask me.

    I read fanfics from many fandoms not just Chuck. This is the hardest fandom to please the readers. Heaven forbid an author writes a story that has any of the main characters with someone they are not with in cannon, no matter how good it is they get grief for it. I can think of several where the author has redone their work to keep people happy. They may have a valid reason for writing what they do the same as the authors who write stories like I mentioned above. There are probably many readers and authors that feel the some of the above topics rub them the wrong way, it’s all part of the FF community. Though I don’t like the type of story you addressed in the rant I just don’t read their work.

    Maybe the answer is as simple as they are addicted to the amount of reviews they get per story. From some of the other replies they get a lot. There are a large amount of stories that I haven’t read because they aren’t my type but they do very well. One last thing, I heard somewhere that the goal of every writer is to garner a response from his/her reader. It seems this group of authors has.

    armysfc

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  38. Appreciate the response SFC, but I think you may have missed my point just a bit.

    Do they have the right to write what they do? Sure, of course they do. As long as what's written falls within the guidelines of Fanfiction.net, there's really nothing I can say to make those fics go away (By the way, torture fics, when they're graphic DO violate those rules).

    My argument is more that the treatment of Sarah, and women in general in these stories is deplorable. Just as I would say the same of a television show that mistreated women in such a way, so do I speak negatively of fic writers who do that.

    And sorry if this response was kind of scatter-brained, but I'm trying to watch a show right now that has the majority of my attention, haha.

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  39. @Ayefah: The opposite argument from the "you don't have to read it" argument is the one the book burners use. I'll stick with the "ignore it" argument. It works for most things that are not Wars on Terror or Presidential sex scandals (equal opportunity examples so no one thinks I'm partisan). It is parental and personal responsibility to do the appropriate filtering.

    @Wep: I realize you feel you have an obligation to read everything, but it is really your choice not an obligation. There is nothing wrong with that choice, and there is nothing wrong with complaining about some types of Chuck fanfiction you don't like, as long as the villagers with torches and pitchforks are held at bay.

    @armysfc: Hear hear

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  40. All right, folks, I'm enjoying this conversation and as much as I'd love to continue it against [AUTHOR NAME REDACTED BY FREA'S CONSCIENCE] because I hate [GENDER OF AUTHOR, DITTO], let's back this trolley up and change the subject.

    But first: Everybody here has an opinion, which is awesome, and in my opinion, I would LOVE it if the words "If you don't like it, don't read it" were NEVER UTTERED ON MY BLOG AGAIN. How much do I hate that phrase? Somewhat less than "A Light in the Forest," somewhat more than Shaw. The Valiant/Victim fics that originally started this rant are very much prevalent through the section from both sides (as in, Chuck and Sarah take turns being the victim). It is perfectly within everybody's rights to bring them up and talk about why they do or do not like them. I will give you that Wep is insane because he reads everything in the section (I read maybe 10% of the section myself, including some very mild Jellie by Kuryakin Girl because I think she is the shizzzz), but man, I hate, hate, hate the phrase "if you don't like, don't read." People are going to have opinions, and they're going to differ, and I'm grateful we're being respectful about it here. Just cut that phrase, and I'll be the happiest Frea on earth.

    And no, BDaddy, I'm not going to post the original 42 on the blog because the point is that I'm not going to write the original 42. It's unnecessary. :)

    I don't actually have anything to add to the subject, except that I sometimes dream of sending Fates Sarah in to clean up messes both in some fics I read and in canon. She's not only a powerful motivator, she's a powerful weapon, Fates Sarah is. She would've high-kicked S3 back into shape by the end of "Pink Slip."

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  41. Sparky15.10.10

    Sarah probably would knock Chuck out in Prague :) But then,she had already put up walls for keeping out Bryce. So maybe, she wasn't shaken as much as canon Sarah.

    I want to see how you will handle the "Bryce situation".
    My guess,Fates Sarah will probably want to keep her feelings for Chuck a secret. One wouldn't want members of Operation Prometheus at each other's throats for a girl. That would be totally unprofessional.
    Right? :P

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  42. @Frea: I apologize for using a phrase on your blog that you find so offensive. In the future, if you don't like my comments you don't have to... (ducking right now ;) ).

    Personally, I have a theory that a key motivation of the stories from the author who is not being named is the stories are flame-bait. If that is the case, all of these comments are unfortunately just encouraging that author.

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  43. Ayefah15.10.10

    All of [REDACTED]'s fans and imitators don't exactly seem to be flaming him. That's the scary part.

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  44. I am just really glad to know that other people hate those stories as well. :D

    I did read a few like that, but learned how to spot them. (Easy if it´s the same author, but there are others out there.)

    I sometimes checked the reviews without reading the stories themselves and sometimes I badly wanted to reply, but I didn´t see a point in it, as I hadn´t even read the story and had no desire to do so.

    So thanks for that rant, because it is nice to know, that not everyone thinks like that.

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  45. After reading all of these comments, I feel as though I should know exactly who it is you are all talking about. And I am willing to bet that the author that first comes to my mind is, in fact, the one of whom you all speak.

    Does [The Biggest Perpetrator That Shall Not Be Named] happen to have the letter "d" somewhere in the middle of [GENDER REDACTED] Penname?

    I simply cannot stand this person's stories with their demeaning portrayal of Sarah. So much so that I wish there was an option to hide certain stories/authors, so I don't have to even glimpse at it when [GENDER REDACTED] updates the latest of [GENDER REDACTED] stories.

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  46. I alluded to this earlier, but I have decided read fan fic with the same preparation when i go to a service establishment. If I am going to get a haircut, or to a restaurant I go with the tip as well as the money to pay.

    So from now on any fic I read I will either write a review or PM he author. If i can read it, I can review it.

    I write to get better, and I know I am not alone. How can you get better if NO ONE suggests how to get better?

    I am asking for others to do this. It will only make for a better community.

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  47. @BDaddyDL: I'm with you. I review almost everything I read, it's the least you can do for the author of the fic.

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  48. I know this won't make me popular here but Sarah is the one character that never seems to be called out or face the consequences of her actions. So these stories are a way for the authors to vent their frustration. Inevitably like on the show to make their point they take things too far.

    I would recommend people read Chuck vs The Sick Girlfriend as an example of this type of story done right. The author has Sarah read the report of Chuck's Red Test. She realizes he almost died and that Perry had a gun. Perfectly done with the character realizing their mistake without the dragging them through the mud.

    I think the problem is that the most of the authors of these type of stories see it as chance for vengeance instead of one to tell a great story.

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  49. Anonymous16.10.10

    @BDaddyDL I tried the review everything I read angle when I first started reading fanfiction years ago. For the most part one of three things happen.

    First the author does not acknowledge that you reviewed his/her story. This I can live with, so when my stories get reviewed I do my best to reply.

    The second thing is they respond in a professional and courteous manner with an explanation of what they intended.

    The third thing that happens is the author responds in a less than friendly manner. I have found out the hard way that some authors do not handle anything but praise well. So be ready for that.

    In keeping with the reviewing of stories I would like to offer another suggestion to help make the community better. If you're a writer who posts on FF and get a review from another writer, how hard would it be to take a few minutes and read their work and reply in kind? As BDaddyDL stated earlier this can only help new writers like myself get better and write stories that would appeal to more readers. By having more community friendly stories out there maybe the demand for the type of stories that started WEP's rant will go silently into the night. One can only hope.

    Armysfc

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  50. As much as I would love to reply to each individual review as ArmySFC is implying authors should, I find that expectation a bit unrealistic. I'm not always the greatest at returning PMs. It's partially my attention span, which is somewhat akin to a monkey surrounded by shiny things and bananas, and partially that I just...have other things to do. It's awful when I love reviews so much, but I feel like people would rather see the next chapter of a story than a personalized thank-you. However, I personally am grateful every time somebody reviews, and when I thank people in my author's notes, I really do mean that.

    As far as authors replying in a less than friendly manner, it depends on what kind of reviews are being left. If it's constructive criticism and genuinely meant to help the writer out, I tend to feel that a writer may reply positively. If it's a negative and demeaning review, I know that I would, and others would, take offense to that. I've been offended by reviews left (please don't go hunt them out!) or reviews left have offended my beta reader. Obviously, I can't speak for everybody as individuality is key.

    And I'll make no bones about your last point, Army. I won't follow that. It's somewhat mean to say, but if I'm not interested in the story, I probably won't go out of my way to read it. If somebody approaches me and asks for advice, there's a fifty/fifty chance I will respond, depending on what I'm working on that week and if I'm interested in the project at all. Writing is one of those things where you have to want it, and you have to work at it. You can't expect other writers to pull you along. It would be fantastic if we could do that and all help each other out, but I don't think your policy would get rid of stories like the one that inspired this rant. As sick as it makes me that they exist, some people like them, and as long as there's an audience for it, stuff we don't like will always be there.

    And JC, I would definitely agree with the authors using these stories as cathartic ways to "punish Sarah" rather than to tell a great story, which is why the Victim/Valiant relationship is just always so. over. the. top. I wish these writers would learn something awesome that helps with writing: moderation.

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