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07 January 2007 @ 03:47 pm
Ianto Musings  
You know, something I've been pondering the last few months as I've been watching Torchwood is what if Ianto were female? My thinking is that the very things his fans like about him, they'd hate if he was a she. To me, it seems that he has a lot of characteristics that female characters are frequently bashed for in fandom.

[runs and hides from the legions of Ianto fans]

kimurhokimuro on January 8th, 2007 12:03 am (UTC)
Aint it the truth? Female characters have a much harder time in fandom. I've always suspected it is rank jealousy from the fans because they aren't them.
Ith: Highlander - Amanda: Flirtithildyn on January 8th, 2007 08:37 pm (UTC)
They do seem to. Held to a much different standard. At least by female fans.
100% Running With Scissorsviridian on January 8th, 2007 12:22 am (UTC)
I think that's why I couldn't care less about Ianto. He doesn't have much of a personality, really.
Ith: Art - Callanishithildyn on January 8th, 2007 08:36 pm (UTC)
Love your icon!

I still think he's plotting his revenge [g]
Fides: Torchwood Bingo Winnerfides on January 8th, 2007 12:22 am (UTC)
I've considered that myself a time ot two. I think that if Ianto was a girl I probably wouldn't like the Jack/Ianto relationship because part of the fun is that it isn't the standard sf lead male/f relationship (although oddly the more it becomes canon the less I care whether they are actually shagging because the care/support/duty aspects are what are calling me. Maybe I am just contrary, if they weren't including the canon hints I'd probably care about whether they were boiking).

However as long as the female version of Ianto had all his redeeming features as well then I think I would still like her. I love Tosh, for example, and I think she is actually very close to being a female version of Ianto. There strengths and weaknesses fall in very similar ways. Most Ianto fans I know also love Tosh as well for what it is worth.

Don't hide, it is an interesting point to think about.
Ith: Grey's - Kate Walshithildyn on January 8th, 2007 08:35 pm (UTC)
(although oddly the more it becomes canon the less I care whether they are actually shagging because the care/support/duty aspects are what are calling me. Maybe I am just contrary, if they weren't including the canon hints I'd probably care about whether they were boiking).

Now that I find very interesting! I wonder if that's part of what I hear other people call 'Moonlighting Syndrome' (they talk about it on my House email list a lot)? That once the couple with the UST gets together, the fans lose interest and the pairing loses its spark.

Don't hide, it is an interesting point to think about.

I'm glad.
Fides: cluebusfides on January 8th, 2007 10:04 pm (UTC)
I don't think it is necessarily 'Moonlighting Syndrome' because Jack and Ianto clicked for me the first time he was introduced and still do it for me as 'OMG!Hot' ;-) But I am, for the most part, a very canon based slasher (in so much as that isn't a contradiction in terms). Since normally all I get is UST, when a pairing clicks for me I am used to it having 'sparks' and often having risk attached. (It is also worth noting that a lot of the pairings I like have a bit of an edge to them and most of them I wouldn't want to become canon). Jack and Ianto, however, are pretty much canon and we get to see the way they are around each other and it is... different. I've been trying to work out how put put it and it just came to me... most of my other pairings the relationship is easy (and canon) but the sex is difficult, Jack and Ianto the sex is easy but the relationship is difficult. And it is the difficult which intregues me.

Happy ever after endings are great for fic because they are fairly short - they are crap for serieses, I think it is often the same with relationships unless they are well written. I think part of the problem when the UST pairing becomes canon is the is all becomes to easy (which isn't as interesting) or the writers don't go the way you think it should which is always a problem *eg*. There are a few couples (although Joss is doing his bit to make them rarer) that I dearly love but in almost all the cases the relationship is solid and shown in low key little things rather than being a focus.

Sorry - didn't intend for my response to be that long and waffly.
Ith: Holby - Concernithildyn on January 8th, 2007 10:12 pm (UTC)
No, no! Long is good. I'm totally fascinated by your thoughts on this. I have no OTP in any fandom that comes to mind, nor am I particularly shippy, and usually I don't even like the 'official' or even the popular pairings. There are a few exceptions, but generally, I don't ship in any of my major fandoms. So I'm interested in the opposite perspective, of those for whom a pairing is a fannish necessity. Not saying that's you, but in general, I've noticed that pairings are a huge component to fandom for a lot of people.

(I'm not so good at explaining it, I'm afraid)
Fides: cluebusfides on January 9th, 2007 12:21 am (UTC)
No I get you.

A lot of the time I don't like the 'official' pairings particularly. There are a few notable exceptions but pretty much anything which follows the 'main male lead' and 'main female lead/ingenue' formula... well they have to go that bit further to persuade me that the characters are actually interested in each other (and good for each other) rather than it just being written that way because that is what always happens.

Oddly, if I do have a pairing I normally only have one significant one per fandom. I guess I'm just the manogamous type :-) I vary between liking the 'popular' pairing in some fandoms and liking the really obscure ones in others. I don't know why that is since, obviously I think the pairings I like are totally logical ;-)

I would say that a pairing isn't necessary for me to be in a fandom or love a show. However one is pretty much necessary to get me *writing*, at least initially. And to a certian extent reading, there are a few shows read gen in, if and when I can find decent gen (annoyingly a lot of the shows I want gen in I can't stand the canon relationships so really, really want total relationship free which makes my life much harder) but normally if I am after fic it is for something I can't get from the show itself (or wouldn't want to get from the show itself). As a result, I tend to be on more lists for shows I read/write in (for obvious reasons) and this tends to mean the ones that I have pairings in. So to a large extent my pairings are a large part of fandom for me, but sort of by accident (if that makes any sense). I like the sensible discussions (tis how I try and run those discussion coms I mod) they are just harder to find and half the time I can't be bothered to wade through the dumb if I am not at least getting pretty fic out of it :-)
Shannon the I Just Get These Headaches: Doctor Dancesshannonsequitur on January 8th, 2007 12:35 am (UTC)
I haven't seen any Torchwood yet -- I inadvertently spoiled myself for bits of the finale, but apart from that, I've done a pretty remarkable job of avoiding spoilers -- so I can't say anything about Ianto, but I've interestingly enough seen the same comment made about Jack. Female characters never get any breaks, do they?

From my limited experience in DW fandom, there seems to be a lot less female character bashing than in other fandoms. Classic series fans completely aside, I know that there are a good few people who don't like Rose, but in any other fandom, most of the fanficcers would be falling over themselves to kill her off so the Doctor and Jack can hook up. *G*
Ith: Japan -  Lady Readingithildyn on January 8th, 2007 08:32 pm (UTC)
The last time I was actively involved in DW fandom was before the advent of the internet [g]

Really looking forward to the new Companion!
Fides: Death Whofides on January 8th, 2007 10:31 pm (UTC)
I don't think that there was any desire to kill off Rose so Jack and the Doc could be together because the threesome was so clearly an/the option if you wanted to go the relationship route. There was just no competition between Rose and Jack. I don't think is the fandom so much as the way the canon relationships were written.
dejladejla on January 8th, 2007 01:09 am (UTC)
Well, as my father would have said, 'you're preaching to the choir here'.
Ith: Art - Wildwoodithildyn on January 8th, 2007 08:29 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
Ith: Art - Lily Pondithildyn on January 8th, 2007 08:29 pm (UTC)
My continuing problem with TW has been I just don't care much about any of them and wouldn't mind if they replaced the entire team next season [g] Tosh is kind of growing on me, but that's about it.
Maybe I'm the plucky comic relief...?: Pulp - Tell Mommyagentxpndble on January 8th, 2007 01:48 am (UTC)
While I see what you're getting at, it's not true for *me*... If Ms. Moneypenny wanted to bend me over the conference table, I'd be just as thrilled. I think she's just as sexy and attractive for almost all the same, specific reasons I do Ianto.

Besides, it's the slight bit of fem in a guy that's the interesting edge that makes him so. If he were a she, he wouldn't... Well... Be. If you know what I mean.
Ith: Media - All My Jacksithildyn on January 8th, 2007 08:27 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think I get what you mean :) Myself, I don't really find fem guys appealing, and was much happier with the Jack/Jack pairing.
Laurie odellcyberducks on January 8th, 2007 02:10 am (UTC)
If Ianto was female how many fans would be saying that Jack has been sexually harrassing the "secretary" and ogling Ianto's ass? But since this is Jack doing the ogling, it's not sexual harrassment it's delightful flirting. By the way, I am not being sarcastic, if it was me instead of Ianto Jack could have whatever he wanted from me.

I think in the end it comes down to the fact that some fans just find slash ships more attractive than most het ships. In slash it's easier to do an emotional relationship between two characters one likes without falling into romance novel territory - which is a common critiscims dumped on het fic.

But I am having a hard time imagining Ianto as a girl. For all the blubbering he did in Cyberwoman he seems very male to me.
Unovisunovis on January 8th, 2007 03:56 am (UTC)
Have to agree with you here. The only interesting thing Ianto has going for him is his sex and his appearance. He's a quiet, physically attractive man. I can't imagine him as a woman because there's not much there to work with -- in a way, he's playing a [traditional] woman's part because his gender is his identity, as far as plot and character is concerned.

Why would he be bashed, anyway? He seems like a sweet guy. He's been through his bit of hell, but he's still there. Why would he be bashed if he were a woman?
Sophiesophiedb on January 8th, 2007 12:37 pm (UTC)
Why would he be bashed if he were a woman?

Fandom doesn't always make sense, that's why *lol* Rhys got bashed for yelling at Gwen, but that was perfectly reasonable as far as I'm concerned.

Personally I find Ianto more interesting because we don't know much about him, in contrast to Owen. There's been too much information on that slimy bastard, even if he does think he's been reformed by love. Actually that probably applies to most of the characters: other than Jack, I don't really like them. They're all very human, full of faults and selfishness, which is great so long as they don't let the planet explode while chasing ex-girlfriends.

The only ones I still vaguely like are Toshiko and Rhys, maybe Ianto.. but for all we know he could be planning world destruction in that quiet head of his, rather than shagging Jack's brains out like much of fandom seems to hope :)
Unovisunovis on January 8th, 2007 02:12 pm (UTC)
Honestly -- this is why I love the show to bits but have been avoiding the fandom. I think Owen's fascinating and I have no urge to pass judgment on him. I don't want to read about character bashing at all. -- I watch it like watching Seinfeld.

I didn't know what the grounds for criticism or dislike of Ianto would be (were he a man or a woman). There's his Cyberwoman secret, but that just seemed like part of the whole pattern we were being shown, of how the things the crew had to deal with were fracturing their personal relationships and warping their lives. Jack's not the stereotypical hero/leader either. He's no bowl of cherries, himself.
Ith: Japan -  Lady Readingithildyn on January 8th, 2007 08:38 pm (UTC)
I avoid most fandoms these days. I'm much happier just chatting occasionally about my favourite shows with friends, like here in this thread.
Unovis: Jack blueunovis on January 8th, 2007 09:37 pm (UTC)
When I really love a show, I become protective of the characters -- even the ones I hate.

Writing is a different level of commitment and interaction from simple love of the show. It's one reason why I've written so little in fandoms other than Highlander -- I don't want to get involved.
Ith: Media - All My Jacksithildyn on January 8th, 2007 09:42 pm (UTC)
When I really love a show, I become protective of the characters -- even the ones I hate.
That makes sense -- to me at least :)

Writing is a different level of commitment and interaction from simple love of the show. It's one reason why I've written so little in fandoms other than Highlander -- I don't want to get involved.

Now that, I totally relate to. Sometimes I wish I could 'move on' fic wise, like so many of my friends seems to, but so far, I haven't mastered that particular talent.

Ith: Japan - Winterithildyn on January 8th, 2007 08:14 pm (UTC)
He's shy, quiet, endangered everyone for 'love', hangs around the handsome boss like a puppy, gets said boss to have romantic liaisons with him, serves tea for a living (well yes, he orders pizza and tidies up as well).

Rhys got jumped on for yelling at Gwen? Geez! I'd yell [g]

I still think Ianto is plotting revenge and is leading Jack on most days.
Ith: Japan - Secretsithildyn on January 8th, 2007 08:24 pm (UTC)
No, I know you weren't being sarcastic :) Add to that, s/he'd be using sex to advance her career and such.

I don't actually consider Ianto/Jack slash because it's canon. I wouldn't expect a slash warning if I were reading TW fic, any more than I would for Willow and Tara in Buffy fic.
macgeorge1macgeorge1 on January 8th, 2007 06:29 pm (UTC)
One of the very best things about Torchwood is that they have been deliberately coy in revealing things about the characters. Ianto is, in his own way, even more enigmatic than Captain Jack. There is so much to be known there, clearly, but he has it all locked up inside.

However, from what we actually have seen of Ianto, he's not particularly likable, frankly. He's a dour, repressed control freak with little (if any) sense of humor. Male or female, those aren't endearing characteristics.

But I really haven't been involved in the fandom, to date, because typical fandom reactions drive me screaming from the room. Yes, if Ianto were female, he would be the object of fannish hate because he was a direct rival for Jack's 'love' (in the somewhat warped perspective of girly fans). All the female characters' characteristics (good or bad) are typically judged in their worst light, which shouldn't surprise anyone. Women are almost always much harder on other women than they are on men. That's not just a fannish reality, it's just one of life's realities that, like everything, gets even more magnified in the world of fandom.
Ith: Japan - Pink Ladyithildyn on January 8th, 2007 08:18 pm (UTC)
I'm not involved in the fandom either -- or at least what for me is being involved in a fandom. No email lists, no fic, don't discuss it on related websites/comms/boards. I just like to talk about it casually here and with other friends.
Unovisunovis on January 8th, 2007 09:54 pm (UTC)
I don't think any of them are very likeable (again, Seinfeld comes to mind). Control freak I can see, humorless maybe, except for his naming tricks -- well, and stopwatch tricks -- and taking care of the scutwork and knowing how to fade into the woodwork, while not magnetic is still useful. I had the impression of Jack grabbing him at will and need rather than Ianto clinging to Jack, though he was certainly as upset as Gwen over any threat to Jack. Not enough to fall in with Owen's plan to bring him back, though. Just enough to claim he wasn't worthless and that Jack needed him. Probably not the first time he's had to insist on that.

I bow to your superior knowledge of fangirl behavior. Yuck.