My name is Cass, and I'm a smart guylover.
Or a lover of smart guys.
Or maybe a lover of smart guylove.
My point is, I enjoy roleplaying, writing and reading about believable and realistic (within reason, at least) characters, situations and pairings. Het, slash, it makes little difference to me as long as it's well done.
What I would like to rant about today is a phenomenon that I'm sure we, as smart guylovers, are all familiar with.
Ahh, yes. The Little Girly Uke Boy.
Let's examine him through each word of that phrase separately.
Short. Slender. Small. Slight. Our Uke Boy is all of the above, usually with rounded shoulders and delicate fingers. Whomever he is paired with will almost invariably be tall, broad-shouldered, and more firmly built. (If not, the Uke Boy will usually be small enough to make him seem tall and hulking in comparison.)
Our Uke Boy could easily be mistaken for a girl - physically, mentally... and possibly even vocally, if he's as young as he looks! (And he's often not far off!) With narry a drop of testosterone in his body, it's amazing that more of our Uke Boys don't sprout breasts and start wearing makeup. (Not that they'd need any, mind.)
Will he be pitching or catching? There's no need to speculate with our Uke Boy, as he brandishes his "Blushing Bottom" card timidly for the world to see. Being Topped by one of these wilting flowers would probably be the sexual equivalent of being beaten at laser tag by your 83-year-old grandmother.
Young and impressionable, Uke Boy is invariably younger than his Seme. He will be referred to as a "boy" and a "young man" no matter what his actual age may be. (Not that this age will ever be over 25, mind.)
I have a variety of problems with Little Girly Uke Boy.
The character can hardly be called male. He is androgynous, and not in a way that suggests that he has decided to be androgynous as a conscious, personal decision (which would probably interest me a lot more - the way things are, I find myself bored by the lack of actual character the character displays, on this and other fronts). The character is androgynous in the way that it seems a child would be.
In fact, this theme of child-like innocence and lack of personal development seems to be pertinent in every aspect of the character. He is small, he is slight, he is timid, he is quiet, he is young, he is indecisive about most things in a bland, confused way. Every effort has been made to cease the growth and development of this character, physically and mentally, to be congruent with an age that is WAY too young to be engaging in sexual activity in a fully understanding and consensual manner.
No wonder he's always on the bottom.
I don't know about anyone else, but this is a major SQUICK FACTOR for me.
Even with the sexual side of things aside, I find characters with constraints like that are, typically, uninteresting. They seem to be at an arrested state of childhood, wherein they don't have the same fun "learning about the world" tendencies that an actual child would have. Instead we have bland, wishy-washy child-boy-men who have hardly enough "character" to be worth anything WITHOUT being attached at the hip to another character.
Another question I have is - why must these boys be attracted to men? Why can't they be attracted to strong women, or women of any variety?
And I can see the need and desire for "opposites attract" type dynamics in relationships (in het or slash or what have you), and of course I think they're completely valid. But this doesn't seem like the same thing, to me. This is a voluntarily parasitic relationship, in which the Uke Boy is completely and utterly dependant on his Big Strong Seme. Who is, of course, a man.
Feminists could probably have a field day with this one. Myself, I just find the whole thing unsettling, though I can't quite put my finger on why.
Small men exist. Girly men exist. Slender, pretty men exist. Men exist who act, think and feel fairly androgynous. Some of these men are gay. Some of these men prefer the company of bigger, broader, more traditionally manly men.
A) not all of them do, and
B) those who do have a hell of a lot more to them than Little Girly Uke Boy.
Allow me to see past the vague, glossy sheen in his Large Violet Eyes, and then we'll talk.