Honors College Thesis


Just Go Find Yourself a Nice Alpha: Gender and Consent in Supernatural Fandom's Alpha/Beta/Omega Universe Public Deposited

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  • Shows, books, and media are constantly negotiating power with their fans. Who decides what is canon? To whom does the story belong?? The answer has traditionally been in favor of producers. However, in the age of the internet, fans now hold considerably more power than they ever have before, and some shows, like the CW’s Supernatural, respond by participating in “fanservice.” Many fans of this show strongly support slash and incest pairings, and by allowing such interpretations to be acknowledged in the narrative Supernatural makes increasingly transgressive readings available to the audience. The trope known as “Alpha/Beta/Omega Dynamics” is extremely popular, borderline pornographic, and virtually eradicates women from the narrative—instead depicting a relationship between men that is highly heterosexual in dynamic. This trope deconstructs the gender binary by assigning gender roles based on behavior, rather than biology, and appeals to an animal code of ethics in order to indulge in problematic, sexist, and abusive sexual situations. This thesis uses a fanfiction titled Real Slick Dean by Archive of Our Own author trilliath to explore what such a trope offers its readership, and how fans deal with problematic narratives in their stories. Key Words: fanfiction, Supernatural, Alpha/Beta/Omega, slash, television
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