Frequently Made Objections against RPS v. 2.0

Introductionary Ramble and Notes

Last update: July 7 2000.

A few notes before we begin:

  1. Definition of a few terms used below: 'RPS' means RealPeopleSlash'; 'FPS' means 'Fictional People Slash'.
  2. The purpose of this file is to convince anyone that RPS is good, or even non-bad. It's meant to save us all from having to drag out the same debate over and over again.
  3. This may be posted [using this .txt version], if you want to post it. to any mailing list whenever the subject of RPS is brought up, but please don't archive without asking. Linking to is okay.


RPS is slander.

No, it's not. It would only be slander if we were spreading stories that aren't true, claiming they were true, with malicious intent. RPS stories are always disclaimed like nobody's business, and none of us do this to hurt anyone, we just want to share our fantasies. Therefore, only one of these conditions is fulfilled, so RPS isn't slander.

Legally speaking, you would, in fact, be safer writing David Duchovny/Nick Lea than writing Mulder/Kryceck, because copyright infringement is still copyright infringement whether there's a disclaimer or not.

RPS invades the privacy of the subject.

How can fiction invade anyone's privacy? If someone would publish details about what, say, Be Affleck and Gwyneth Palthrow get up to in bed, that would be invasion of privacy. If someone writes down his or her fantasy about what he or she thinks Matt Damon and Ben Affleck would get up to in bed, in an alternate universe where they'd be lovers, that would just that: fantasy.

RPS could hurt the subject.

Yes, it could. But FPS could and has hurt people too, e.g. Paul Darrow and William Shatner. Just because the story is about a character they played and not about themselves, doesn't mean they can't be hurt, or don't have the same right to be hurt as 'victims' of RPS.

If people getting hurt is a reason to be against RPS, then it should also be a reason to be against slashing any character whose actor is hurt by slash.

RPS should be kept private.

But it is kept private. No RPS writer would ever even dream of posting and RPS fic anywhere without explicit permission first, and even then we usually warn it up the wazoo.

Except for Nifty, the RPS archives I know of are not submitted to any search engines, or linked from sites like Karen's. Most RPS lists aren't listed in OneList's or eGroups' directory, and neither lists or archives are plugged anywhere without being asked for. People will rarely 'bump into' RPS, and when they do they can just heed the warnings and leave.

We do our best to make sure no one unsuspectedly stumbles across RPS, but it isn't our duty to make the net safe for the most sensitive of surfers, not even when that surfer is a celebrity.

The subjects and/or their families and friends may come across RPS.

They might, but it's doubtful. The existence of RealPeopleFic is not exactly a big secret. Celebreties know that stories are written about them, and that many of these stories feature the author in a romantic/sexual relationship with said celebrity. They know these stories, as well as RPH and RPS, exist, and are not likely to go and search for them.

Plus, they might come across FPS and be hurt by that, too. See above.

You're gonna attrack attention to the existence of slash and get us all into trouble.

I fail to see how. RPS is no more 'public' or 'visible' than slash, and it's far more legal than slash.

Celebrities can't know that RPS writers aren't stalkers and may feel threatened by RPS.

Celebrities also can't know slash writers, or fanfic writers in general, aren't stalkers. Heck, they can't know about any random fan if he or she isn't a stalker. Why should RPS writers be more likely to be stalkers than other fans? Did Mark Chapman write BeatlesSlash? [2]

How would you feel if someone wrote RPS about you?

I think most RPS writers would say anything from "indifferent" to "slightly flattered". And of course the only right answer to that is that we can't project our moral values on others.

Which shows exactly why this is a non-argument.


If RPS doesn't push your buttons, that's fine, don't read it. If RPS makes you uncomfortable for any reason at all, that's fine too, don't read it. But remember that just because you think something is icky, that doesn't mean the rest of us have to agree.

If you have an objection against RPS that hasn't been addressed above, mail it to and I'll answer it and add it to the FMO.

Armelle Amaya,
ListMum of RareSlashX,
Writer of RPS,
Maintainer of the 'FMO against RPS' file.


  1. My apologies to any Beatles-fan who feels hurt by this, but a lot of people have asked me "Remember John Lennon?" and I felt I had to address this particular argument. I'm not trying to minimise or recuperate Lennon's death, I'm trying to make people see there's no connection between stalkers and RPS.