|janecarnall (janecarnall) wrote,|
@ 2010-07-09 19:26:00
In response to Separis: "the history of warnings 101"
Separis on livejournal: Anyone have more information on that? I get the impression this was also an issue before regular 'net access as well and that it might have come from cons originally, but a complete perspective would be interesting to know about and read. A lot of discussion during these two debates makes a lot more sense if the original purpose of warnings was to restrict access and exclude certain groups of fans entirely.
When I first found slash fandom, "warnings" were both a signal to other slash fen that there was What We Were Looking For inside those covers, and something to shield us from those manic anti-slash fans going "I READ THIS STORY WHERE SPOCK AND KIRK WERE LOVERS OMG I NEARLY THREW UP!" This was in 1983.
(Also, the "over-18" requirement was fairly serious - as one editor noted to me, when I confessed to having sent her a slightly inaccurate declaration of age (I was 17: she wanted over-21) the first time I bought one of her zines, the reason she asked for age statements was so that if angry parents contacted her, she could show them the age statement their innocent flower had sent the editor: "hey: your kid told me she was over 21, not my fault!")
And, to the best of my knowledge, that remained the chief purpose of "warnings" and "age statements" for the next twenty years. The first time I saw "warnings" more complicated than "Slash pairing" was sometime early on in the 21st century, I'm pretty certain. I've published stories before that in zines in which a major character is raped or dies, without a warning being called for or absence of complained about.
I didn't care for the new system of warnings because they struck me basically as systematic spoilers. When I set up a website, this is what I posted as my non-warning-list.
And I added a note that people were absolutely welcome to e-mail me to ask me about any of my stories before reading it. No one ever does, though.
PS: See also Without doubt I am going to go to hell and What's wrong with this kind of argument from June last year. (How time flies: it's Annual Warnings Fight again.)