But with shipping and fan-fic comes a third thing that really does bother me personally, which is the gay stuff. The stickiest kind of privilege -- and I have stepped into this hornet's nest a million times, always with the same amount of blowback of the prissiest most entitled Cary Agos rage you can imagine -- is when your status as an ally starts fading into honorary, because then it's just a short hop to doing real damage: Because everything is up for grabs, suddenly the Winchester Brothers are fucking each other or some Doctor Who character is taking it up the ass from a dog-shaped alien, and it's all very tittering and giggly, but the end result is that you've appropriated my life, my sexuality, in order to impress each other.
Q: "But I'm bisexual! In my imagination, I mean."
A: "That's a really cool thing to say to impress boys, but it doesn't actually change the amount of privilege going into it, or give your opinion any more weight."
Q: "So I can't write about gay characters? Or straight characters having gay sex with each other?"
A: "You can do whatever the fuck you want. Just don't confuse it with being a good liberal, because you're still pointing and giggling and using my sexuality because you can't express your own, or to impress each other about how naughty you are."
Q: "But what about an amazing gay fan fiction that is truly wonderful?"
A: "Have at it. I'm not going to read it or find it interesting either way, because it's a cave painting to begin with that has nothing to do with the actual thing."
Q: "So women who appropriate gay sexuality are all assholes?"
A: "On the contrary. Most of them are wonderful women that I love in real life, or would if I met them, who are doing one single thing that is tacky."
Q: "But what about the gay fan fic writers?"
A: "Are you one? Can you produce one for me?"
Q: "No, but I'm very offended!"
A: "Fine. That makes about as much sense as one would assume."
Rule #1 For a Happy Life: Never explain privilege to a person while they're actively demonstrating it. Anybody hears that word, they're going to get their back up and think you're accusing them of being evil. But it's not about that, so trade out any other minority in this equation: "You're not allowed into this conversation about you!"
Which by the way is why the "male feminist" is an offshoot of the Nice Guy and should be avoided. Anybody who wants the label is trying to sell you something. No cookies for acting like a human being -- especially when that cookie comes with the right to tell women what is and is not good feminism, or a gay person what is and is not straight privilege. That canoe don't float no matter how loud you yell.