Cel (c_elisa) wrote,

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Fanfic drag revue

Via penknife, the regender filter meme: running stories through a filter that swaps male and female names and pronouns. It's an interesting and sometimes disorienting exercise.

For The Kingdom of Heaven (original) (genderswapped)
It's strange how much worse Dr. Rao comes off here. I guess in the original, I see her as constantly having to say "Damn it, Hank, we all know you're world famous and a superhero and are bigger and stronger and smarter than everybody, but this is *my* project and I'm in charge of it, so step the fuck back." Genderswapped Rao often seems to be cloaked in male privilege, so the assertiveness just makes him look like an asshole. Rao's comment that "you had large hands and feet, but you could pass for human" takes on a whole new level of nastiness. Then when Rao tells Hannah he wasn't afraid of her, he comes across as salving his own ego instead of trying to make her feel better.

The way Victoria keeps talking about Goddess, I'm guessing she's from a rabidly anti-mutant lesbian separatist community. Plus her body-image issues are all wrong. The moulting scene may work better than in the original, though -- it makes sense that Victoria would prefer to have a woman doctor help with that, and her vulnerability is heightened.

Hank is still Hank, and I love the name Hannah for her, but all the stuff about people's reactions to her physical size and strength is off. Not that she wouldn't be intimidating, just that I don't think she'd talk quite the same way about it. I'd have to give that a lot more thought in order to write it.

Haunted (original) (genderswapped)
I was scared to look at this one, because if you genderswap it you've got male Mystique complaining that the Senator he's sleeping with is so stupid she can't even give a proper blowjob. Eek. But the filter didn't reverse the anatomical and sexual terms, and the result is just bizarre -- the Senator has failed to notice that her husband's not the same sex he used to be, so it's hard to fault Mystique for thinking she's an idiot. Even if I fix the anatomy in my head, I think male!Mystique still comes across as cranky rather than actually misogynist. There's a Sam Spade or maybe Archie Goodwin influence on Mystique's voice that I didn't realize was there until I saw it genderswapped.

Since Destiny is addressed as "you" in the story, she doesn't get genderswapped, which makes the story more straightforward -- female Destiny "possessing" a woman instead of a man. The flashback in which Mystique's coming home to her reads very paleo-het. I'd like to see what would happen if you genderswapped just one character in some of my other stories, but that's hard to do with a filter.

WMD (original) (genderswapped)
Charlene is a terrible name for female!Charles, but the story reads all right as long as she and Erika are interacting with each other. She has an odd idea of how to talk to a nine-year-old boy, though. Then there's a sex scene and Erika suddenly has a penis and it's all very surreal.

Possession (original) (genderswapped)
Here the filter can't genderswap the name of any major character, so I'll just squint and pretend I think those are all male names. Yukio makes a cute gay guy, though I think he's taking his life in his hands by playing with Storm's hair like that -- I mean, imagine someone doing that to Logan. He must be really confident of his gaydar. Then it throws me by not genderswapping the word lesbian. The sex looks very peculiar, even though there's nothing there that two men *couldn't* do.

What is Kept (original) (genderswapped)
The problem with genderswapping 616 Rogue is that he *will* keep addressing other men as "Sugar." He's really camping it up, which makes him more transparent -- it's hard to believe that either of them was ever unaware of his attraction to Storm. Storm's shell-shocked passivity works OK, I think. The emotional dynamic is mostly intact, but the age difference pops more strongly for me, and Storm doesn't seem as dominant in the sex scene.
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