Well, it's not so much a mission statement as it is an explanation of sorts. Or maybe a rant...
So, you wanna know why I run the archive the way I do? Well, it's a long story, and if I try to tell it all I'll never shut up. Suffice to say, I like fan fiction, all kinds of fan fiction, and I wanted to build a place where Xena and Herc fan fiction could reside without prejudice. Unfortunately that's impossible, but I think that it is a valid ideal to work towards.
When I first started reading Xena and Herc stuff, I had already been reading Star Trek: Voyager fan fiction for months (despite having been a Xenite for much longer). In the Xenaverse I was immediately frustrated by the fact that there wasn't any way to search for pairings (which you can do in the trekverse), and there weren't any archives and indexes that hosted everything (like there is in the trekverse). I was also frustrated by the cliqueiness (is that a word? ;), and the downright discrimination sometimes evident in the 'verse. Can't we all just get along? ;) I couldn't figure out why the fandoms were so different - which isn't to say that there haven't been squirmishes in trekky land, they just seem to be able to resolve them a bit better. Or move beyond them.
Still, perhaps it's like comparing apples to oranges. There are tons of characters to play with in Star Trek, whereas there are only a limited amount of main characters in the Xena-Hercverse. Write up a story with a pairing and you've publically declared what side you're on, right? Well, maybe, but I don't see why it should have to be that way; and judging by some of the stories that are out there, some of you don't see it that way either. I don't personally think that sexuality is so black and white. And even if you do, that doesn't immediately make intolerance a necessary result. Either way, the lines are a little more blurry here (which is why I don't cordon off female/female, male/female, and male/male stories to different parts of the site).
Waittaminute, wasn't this supposed to be brief? Uh, sorry. Anyway.... The archive was a humble start to fill the niche that I felt existed. There have been some bumps along the way, and I've made my share of mistakes (sometimes I just can't help but be an ass - I'm Canadian. What can you do?), but I'm pretty happy with the archive right now. It's what I wanted it to be. If anything, I just wish that I had more time and more stories. The archive is too damn small.
As for content, the archive will host any pairing, by any author (unless there is proof that they have plagiarised another author's work), at any writing level, with almost any content. Stories that sexualize prepubescent characters squick me out, so I prefer to reject them (not that I have had to yet). Other than that, anything goes, including sexual violence in stories. I was unsure about this at first, despite my own taste for rough stuff, but after thinking about it for awhile (and discussing it with my listsibs on fanficarchivists) I figured something out: I don't want anyone censoring my fic, or telling me what to read, so why the hell would I presume to do it for you? I did actually reject two stories with sexual violence, but I later apologized to the authors and posted the stories. It wasn't that the stories disturbed me, I was concerned about the content disturbing others. Stupid. Especially when that is the whole point of disclaimers and warnings. People can decide what content to read by themselves.
Of course, there is the issue of being accountable for what is hosted on an archive in your own name (which is why I think I have the right to reject underage stuff). I cannot pretend that my own sense of morality doesn't come into play with this either. I do not believe that sexual violence in stories is harmful, any more than I believe pedophilic stories are harmful. I just don't want to look at pedophilic stories. I sometimes find some sexual violence uncomfortable too, but I can deal with it. Especially knowing that I can label it and prevent others who are disturbed by such content from reading it. So, not exactly an airtight case, but it's my position.
So, before you send me that letter to tell me that I'm evil cause I post stories with sexual violence, or that I post Gabrielle/Joxer stories, or that I post stories that bash Joxer (you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't), read the disclaimers and think about how nice it would be to live in a world that appreciated difference. Okay, wait.... That's a bit too self-righteous. I guess what I mean to say is ... don't pick on me! Just cause I'm a big, bad archivist doesn't mean that I don't have feelings.
Which isn't to say I don't want to hear your concerns. I love discussing stuff. But please, if you want to discuss an issue, bring it up with me in the same way you would if you were talking to me face-to-face. I'm certainly not going to take you seriously and/or be polite if you start off by ripping into me over something (not that I'm bitter ;).
Anyway, I'm not declaring allegiance to anything except tolerance. I think there's room for everybody. And I hope that you feel the same way.
Okay, this rant is over. *hee hee* Now go and read some smut, you damned fool!
P.S. If you're interested in helping support the archive, you can donate via PayPal