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KS Alternative Factor

I’ve never quite figured out the appeal of mpreg...

I’ve never quite figured out the appeal of mpreg – and my problems with it begin with the obvious physical impossibilities involved. (Whenever I think of the concept of mpreg my primary image involves some rather squicky scenes from the “Alien” movies...)

I’ve wondered why so many fan writers seem to have no problems with this impossible concept. (Of course, in magical/fantasy universes, an author can do anything she wants to.)

Today, I attended a very traditional wedding, and something the preacher said made me ask myself: are we somehow culturally conditioned to accept mpreg as a reality?



The preacher started out by discussing how Eve was formed from Adam’s rib. And there you have it – a human being “born” from a man.

And, west of Eden, Athena was ‘born’ from Zeus’ forehead.

So I did some googling on the internets and here's what I harvested about Athena:

The story of Athena’s birth comes in several versions. In the one most commonly cited, Zeus lay with Metis, the goddess of crafty thought, but immediately feared the consequences. It had been prophesied that Metis would bear children more powerful than Zeus himself. In order to forestall these dire consequences, Zeus transformed Metis into a fly and swallowed her immediately after lying with her. He was too late: Metis had already conceived a child. Metis immediately began making a helmet and robe for her fetal daughter. The hammering as she made the helmet caused Zeus great pain and Prometheus, Hephaestus, Hermes or Palaemon (depending on the sources examined) cleaved Zeus's head with the double-headed Minoan axe (labrys). Athena leaped from Zeus's head, fully grown and armed, and Zeus was none the worse for the experience.

(Yeow! Back to “Alien” imagery here! Good thing that gods (obviously) heal quickly!)

Which brings me to my question: Since Western culture has theological precedent for mpreg, do writers/readers have those images deep within their subconscious minds when they write/read mpreg stories?

Or am I just off on some strange tangent here?

Comments

For me, I'm running my own genetics program in my Sims. I'm the Joseph Mengeles of the Sims world. Interbreeding my little people with skunks and cars! Mwahahahahahaha!

Okay, I'm sick. I'll go away now.
Skunks!?! Do they have white stripes down their backs or what?
I don't like mpreg for the same reason I don't like kid!fic; having children does not automatically make the world rosy and the relationship closer and even though they (the slashing couple) have problems, little spawn of satan will make it better. Gah!
Teen girls who have idealized notions of pregnancy and childbirth, is my best bet.

I'm still trying to pry loose imagery left behind by a McCartney mpreg story I mistakenly read.
>>>Teen girls who have idealized notions of pregnancy and childbirth, is my best bet.

A lot of women who read/write/enjoy mpreg aren't teens, though.

>>>I'm still trying to pry loose imagery left behind by a McCartney mpreg story I mistakenly read.

Now *that* is Just! Plain! Wrong! I'm going to shake my head to try to get rid of that image....!
A lot of women who read/write/enjoy mpreg aren't teens, though.


My experience has been blessedly limited. The only mpreg I've seen was written by the Barbie PC Bubblegum Brigade, vile detritus of hell that they are. lol

Perhaps it's merely inexperience then with pregnancy, childbirth and child raising, at least in the more romanticized sense. Also, I think a lot of newer fan fic writers have this Jason and the Argonauts-style epic style that isn't wedded to a center that mediates the whole. When you have a plotline and you're trying to deal with character issues, especially with first time fic, that's another thing. When you have chapter on chapter that can cover lots of stuff, I guess kids would have to fall in there eventually.

Now *that* is Just! Plain! Wrong! I'm going to shake my head to try to get rid of that image....!


It was truly terrifying. lol
I asked that during the first or second year of the Advent Calendar on its mailing list, and the answers I got were along the lines of they liked seeing the pregnant character's spouse acting all devoted and gentle and stuff, for one thing. To my mind, that's a little like a crutch, but it's something.

Have you ever noticed that when people make up their own noncanon kids in fanfic, they are often twins? I've even done it myself--never with K/S, thank God...
>>>I asked that during the first or second year of the Advent Calendar on its mailing list, and the answers I got were along the lines of they liked seeing the pregnant character's spouse acting all devoted and gentle and stuff, for one thing. To my mind, that's a little like a crutch, but it's something.

Yes, but that can be done without impossible biology. There's always adoption, inheriting a kid from a relative, etc.

>>>Have you ever noticed that when people make up their own noncanon kids in fanfic, they are often twins? I've even done it myself--never with K/S, thank God...

Yes, I have noticed that. Twins seem to fulfill an archetype. They certainly appear more often in fanfic (and perhaps profic?) than they do in RL. I'm sure someone somewhere has written something erudite on this subject. Doubling of identity/sharing of identity/the whole good/evil twin thing. Lots to work with there, and to analyze in term of its appeal to fiction writers.
Yes, but that can be done without impossible biology. There's always adoption, inheriting a kid from a relative, etc.

I didn't mean acting devoted towards the kids, I meant the way they act towards the pregnant spouse. People wanted to see Man #1 acting mushy and devoted towards pregnant Man #2. In those cases, it really wasn't about the kids at all.
Mm, since I don't care for mpreg myself, I don't really have a clue as to why some writers (and reader's, I assume,) like it. But I'm more inclined to think the "image" they may have in their minds is the idea that somehow a relationship isn't complete without one...no matter how utterly wrong that is. Either that, or the need to turn one of the men into the woman.
>>>Mm, since I don't care for mpreg myself, I don't really have a clue as to why some writers (and reader's, I assume,) like it.

I know several readers who like it, and most of them say it's because they like to see men in nurturing roles. (Still doesn't explain the impossible biology, though....)

>>>But I'm more inclined to think the "image" they may have in their minds is the idea that somehow a relationship isn't complete without one...no matter how utterly wrong that is. Either that, or the need to turn one of the men into the woman.

I think there are probably multiple answers to this question, just as there are multiple answers to almost everything in fandom. Certainly, there's been a lot of discussion and writing over the years over the feminization of one partner (with or without kids). And part of it may have to do with the importance of children (either real or longed-for) in a particular author's life.
I always assumed it was revenge. ;-)
LOLOL!

There is that!
I can accept a mpreg story written as a parody or a commedy, all in AU. I don't enjoy it much, but there's no reason to condemn it (as long as it is not meant totally seriously).

I've written a K/S AU story that may be close to mpreg - in the background of the story is expected that a genetical manipulation mixed genes of Kirk and Spock and the mix was put into an egg of a donor mother who gave birth to a child. So the child was genetically only Kirk's and Spock's though no male was pregnant.

But I think the most important aspect of mpreg and all the stuff is, that no matter how a child is obtained (it may be even adopted some way), in the end two males take care of a child or children. I believe people want sometimes to see their favorite pairing as a complete family, disregarding, that a child has two fathers or two mothers. So I don't think it's really about a pregnant male, but about a family.
>>>I can accept a mpreg story written as a parody or a commedy, all in AU. I don't enjoy it much, but there's no reason to condemn it (as long as it is not meant totally seriously).

Most mpreg stories, in the fandoms where I've encountered them, are meant seriously.

>>>I've written a K/S AU story that may be close to mpreg - in the background of the story is expected that a genetical manipulation mixed genes of Kirk and Spock and the mix was put into an egg of a donor mother who gave birth to a child. So the child was genetically only Kirk's and Spock's though no male was pregnant.

I don't count that as mpreg, though.

>>>But I think the most important aspect of mpreg and all the stuff is, that no matter how a child is obtained (it may be even adopted some way), in the end two males take care of a child or children. I believe people want sometimes to see their favorite pairing as a complete family, disregarding, that a child has two fathers or two mothers. So I don't think it's really about a pregnant male, but about a family.

You definitely have a point here, that many of these types of stories are about creating a family.

I think I have a much narrower point, though. I'm not referring to stories where two men adopt a child, or 'inherit' a child, etc. Just stories where somehow a guy is miraculously pregnant. Why *not* just have them adopt? Why go for the impossible? I'm very curious about this.
Why *not* just have them adopt? Why go for the impossible? I'm very curious about this.

Well.... to make them suffer as women do?:D Though I've never read a story where a guy had a menstruation (with all its nice facets:P). OK, I really don't know, if you narrow it that much. I've always considered it as something unserious and not worth of deeper thinking and consideration. If you really want to know why I believe you have to ask Arnold and his Junior:D