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29 January 2016 @ 01:35 pm
To Ridicule or Not to Ridicule: Fandom Edition  
I know we all have our corners of fandom. Not everyone's gonna get along, or feel the same way about the characters. And since the birth of fandom itself, there's been wars, shipping or otherwise. It's just the way it is, I guess.

But with the popularity of quick social media platforms, like twitter and tumblr, fandom friction seems to be spreading like wildfire. Hell, everything spreads faster these days because of the internet, and the way twitter and tumblr facilitates this doesn't help.

Okay, but that's not really what I want to yak about. There's come to be this very active part of fandom that focuses on calling out other fans or making mean fun of the 'other side.' A thriving 'us vs. them' war. (Thank goodness I don't see it much on LJ; it mostly confines itself to twitter and tumblr these days.) Now, I'll admit to poking fun myself, but I do it mostly privately. There IS a lot of ridiculous behavior in fandom, to be sure, and it's tough not to lampoon that every once in a while.

But when it comes to pointing fingers and laughing at opposing fans and ships, what winds up happening is NOT “empowering victims” (and I have many feelings about what it means to be a “victim” in fandom, but that's for another day), it's making it nigh impossible for people who might want to enjoy all ships or all characters to do so. Say you're a Cas!girl who mostly hangs with Destiellers, but you want to explore a little Sassy in your writing. Do you dare?! Will that put you in the crosshairs of militant Destiel fans? Or even worse, you want to write Cas with Meg. Not only are you betraying the ship, you're betraying 'diversity'. (Wincesters are frequently no better; Cas is often a hated character and they make no bones about that.)

I guess what I'm suggesting is that maybe we shouldn't spend so much time focusing on one-upping and slamming each other or things we don't love. I'm in no way saying we can't discus parts of the show or characters we don't like, and of course we don't have to all get along—God forbid THAT ever happen, heh—but practicing empathy is almost a lost skill these days. If we did it more often and stopped the venomous in-fighting, there would absolutely be more cross-over between various camps. People wouldn't be afraid to branch out, for fear of not towing the company line and therefore being ostracized by their more zealous friends.

It's kinda unfortunate that I'm relegated to writing this on LJ, because like I said, LJ tends to see less of this brouhaha because most of it has drifted off to twitter and tumblr (Gee, I wonder why?) and it's easier to privatize and curate your flist here. But LJ is the best place for actual discussions, so here it be!

This post isn't meant to be pointing fingers at anyone in particular, but the phenomena in general. Feel free to ignore my boring ruminations or pipe up if it moves you! Just keep things respectful, and above all, empathetic. My goal here, actually, is to encourage folks to be MORE involved with the characters and fans they love, not less. :)

Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: 'Why Can't We Be Friends?' - War
kuwlshadow: pic#125212628kuwlshadow on January 29th, 2016 07:36 pm (UTC)
Oh I totally agree. I have my fav ships and characters but if a story has an interesting idea and even if it's not with characters or ships I'd do I'd still read it. There has been many stories I enjoyed of the nature. I think people take others opinions as a personal attack and it's not . I do see this a lot in tumblr. To each it's own I always say. People should keep an open mind and respect each other's thoughts and opinions. :D
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffin: Badass Samquickreaver on January 29th, 2016 09:09 pm (UTC)
I think people take others opinions as a personal attack and it's not .

True, this! But the sad part is, sometimes it IS a personal attack, and that's where fandom starts to really fall apart and get militant and dogmatic. The fingerpointing, kink shaming, "those X'ers are always the ones spreading hate", yadda yadda. Then it becomes an unforgivable war and this annoys the daylights out of me. Clearly, huh? ;)

If we know a certain ship or character sets us off, it would behoove us to give it a wide berth instead of churning up friction, IMHO. Now, I'm not talking about situations where a fan is minding their own business and trolled out of the blue--that's simply wrong and is usually easily handled by blocking/muting or reporting the offending account--I'm talking about the constant bickering and in-fighting, disguised as "protecting the show" or "fighting bullies". You lose the right to call yourself a victim when you 1.) do things to deliberately incite conflict and 2.) act like a bully in return.

(I'm not saying you do this! I'm just using your reply to ponder further. Poor you! You have to see my wheels turning! :))
(no subject) - kuwlshadow on January 29th, 2016 10:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Silvia: BigBang2010AmriaDeansillie82 on January 29th, 2016 07:49 pm (UTC)
Just keep things respectful, and above all, empathetic.

Yes. I really don't like Castiel and Castiel/Dean is my Notp, but I just don't talk about it most of the time. I'm guilty of the occasional 'outburst', but for the most part I scroll on by when I see something I don't like/ don't agree with, because I know there are a lot of people who do like it. And really, it's just stupid. It's kinda like... I like lollypops so everybody should love lollypops. How dare you love chips they're disgusting! Really, you can't both like lollypops and chips!?

Uhm, yes. I agree with what you said. :')
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffin: Badass Samquickreaver on January 29th, 2016 09:13 pm (UTC)
frozen_delight: bitchyfrozen_delight on January 29th, 2016 08:01 pm (UTC)
Couldn't agree more! On Tumblr, I frequently block, blacklist and unfollow stuff/people, because the atmosphere can get really toxic really quickly; to the point that if you love a character, you're not allowed to criticise them; or worse, that you're not allowed to love a character unless they are "good"; and then the same goes for ships and so on, and so on, like you said... And recently recently there's been so much wank about Dean and Amara on top of that; awful, though at least it's given the Destielers and Wincesters the chance to unite for once.

The indefatigable Mrs. Griffin: Badass Samquickreaver on January 29th, 2016 09:20 pm (UTC)
Hear hear!

I had the weirdest experience on twitter just recently. I had long ago blocked a person for constant ranting against other fans--I just didn't want their stuff trickling onto my twitter feed--and she found occasion to check out my account and discovered she couldn't. (Well, not w/o logging out first, anyway. Blocks don't prevent people from seeing your stuff unless you lock your account, which, I don't care that much.) She went on an unholy tear about how awful I was, how horrible the people were that I hang out with, and so on and so on. Because I dared to block her.

The internet is weird.
(no subject) - frozen_delight on January 30th, 2016 04:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
siennavie: Cookies!siennavie on January 29th, 2016 08:12 pm (UTC)
I can't relate to this fanaticism for characters/ships (or for anything else in this world really). I just want to go fling poop at them (funnier to me than confetti and flowers) and say, lighten up, man. You're missing the whole point of fandom, not to mention the bigger picture.

I'm just glad to be away from the drama. I love it here on LJ where I've had good fortune meeting the right type of crazies ;)
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffin: Badass Samquickreaver on January 29th, 2016 09:24 pm (UTC)
Right? Fandom is Serious Business™.
Umai Hoshi: Fuckfairyniamh on January 29th, 2016 08:12 pm (UTC)
What you are talking about, is what drove me from the Kirk/Spock pairing and then ultimately the Star Trek Fandom.

I try to stay the hell away from Tumblr and Twitter. Too many flame wars there. Which is not my cuppa.

If I do not like a pairing/character/kink I simply do not read it. I'm not a fan of genderbending, I won't bash it, I'll avoid it. Not that hard. I'll scowl and huff if it is not warned (tagged), but that's normal (I think.)

I know the show means a lot to many people, but I do not see the reason to hate anything. Not even in canon.

I'm an odd duck. I do not believe in hate. Dislike it all you want, but don't waste energy on hate. Whenever someone leaves me a hate review... I laugh and tell them they are welcome to their opinion, but it won't change mine. *shrugs*

Oh... and I think most people know not to call me a traitor when I write. I have made no allusions to my fidelity, or lack thereof, when it comes to pairings and fandoms.
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffin: Badass Samquickreaver on January 29th, 2016 09:27 pm (UTC)
Isn't it ridiculous that you should be driven from something so benign, like a ship or a fandom, by in-fighting? It's totally befuddling to me.

You're my kind of odd duck. Stay odd, fairy. Stay odd. :)
Lady Moon-Loona-cyjennytork on January 29th, 2016 08:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you. This is how I feel.
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffin: Badass Samquickreaver on January 29th, 2016 09:28 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - roxymissrose on January 29th, 2016 10:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Killa: Amanda quote the longer I livekillabeez on January 29th, 2016 08:26 pm (UTC)
It's funny, but as time passes, the people who are loudest in the shipping wars are the ones who move on to other fandoms. I'm a veteran of several fandoms older than dirt, and I've noticed that if you stick around long enough, the people who are left love everyone in the bar, and are thrilled to find anyone else who still loves the same thing they do. Also, as i've nearly crossed the 20 year mark (oy vey) in Highlander fandom, I find that I read all kinds of stuff I would have given a miss before. Now, I don't care what it is. If it's Highlander, I'll welcome it with open arms.

SPN is a different animal because it's been on the air so freaking long. If it ever gets canceled (I'm starting to think it'll outlive me) then I suspect all of that will go away, eventually. In the meantime, I'm grateful for people like you who keep the atmosphere positive.
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffin: Badass Samquickreaver on January 29th, 2016 09:34 pm (UTC)
...the people who are loudest in the shipping wars are the ones who move on to other fandoms.

From your fingers to Chuck's eyes! I long for the day this comes to pass. But yeah, at the rate SPN is chugging along? It'll be at least 2 more years before the show retires (just guessing) and then it'll take yet more time for the fandom to distill down to the keepers. Until then, on we roll...

Here's to lots of fic, art and positivity!
(no subject) - siennavie on January 29th, 2016 09:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - killabeez on January 29th, 2016 10:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - siennavie on January 30th, 2016 12:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
cracks in the facade: art - jensen rubberdephigravity on January 29th, 2016 08:47 pm (UTC)
As you are well aware, I have been having my own problems with fandom lately to the point of yet another failed flounce. To be quite honest some of my issues have been exactly as you've stated here.

I am under no delusion that LJ never had negative fandom aspects, but there has been a cultural shift in fandom (and in general) to this quick fix/quicker to judgement type interaction via Twitter and tumblr (and AO3) which has lead to reigniting old fandom wars with increased vitriolic behavior. I do NOT enjoy this in the least and honestly it makes me wish I never got involved in fandom to some degree. Maybe it's my age, but I am just so over ship wars and petty fighting over which J is better, etc. I mean, I'm not the biggest Misha/Cas fan, but I like to think I try to keep that in check and I don't shove it down any of my followers throats because I know that quite a few of them are. I really wish fandom would universally adopt a live and let live or just keep scrolling attiude.

I sincerely miss the heyday of LiveJournal, and I am forever pining for it. I miss the discussions, I miss the thoughtful interactions, EVERYTHING! I use tumblr and twitter on a daily basis, but if I am being honest, I am only doing so because that is where fandom has migrated not because I thoroughly enjoy those platforms.

I only continue to post art to tumblr because frankly that is where it gets viewed. I hate Instagram with a passion, and DeviantArt is continually frustrating for me.
ie: my last art's stats
LJ: 10 comments (with community crossposting)
DeviantArt: 1 Favorite, 1 Download (no communities)
tumblr: 47 notes (likes and reblogs, most only after I reblogged to my main blog)

Granted, low numbers are partially due to subject matter, which I think falls into one of those 'how dare you dabble in something outside of your norm' situations, but tumblr is just frustrating in general. At least with LJ communities were more accessible to get your work noticed than hoping to god the right person reblogs you and it catches on...

And Twitter is pretty much the same. I use it daily only because if I want one on one fandom interaction, that is really the only place to go. But that 140 character limit has severe drawbacks. It is extremely hard to get your point across clearly and god forbid you want to have an actual discussion without resorting to DM. The retweet option has also lead to A LOT of issues that you directly referenced. I personally have muted quite a few people because of them drawing attention to these troublemakers and wank situations. I also now have a strict 'turn off retweets' policy to almost everyone I follow-- seriously, I only allow a handful of followers' retweets to show on my timeline... It makes me feel horrible, but it is a necessary evil to retain my sanity.

I may have gotten on a tangent or a hundred, but I HEAR YOU LOUD AND CLEAR and I support everything you said.
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffin: Badass Samquickreaver on January 29th, 2016 09:45 pm (UTC)
YOU ARE ME. Especially this:

I sincerely miss the heyday of LiveJournal, and I am forever pining for it. I miss the discussions, I miss the thoughtful interactions, EVERYTHING! I use tumblr and twitter on a daily basis, but if I am being honest, I am only doing so because that is where fandom has migrated not because I thoroughly enjoy those platforms.

But I guess this is just life moving along, as it does. And this is also, in part, why I'm trying to post more conversational things at LJ and visit my buds' journals who host episode reviews that tend to sync up with my own proclivities. Snippets are fine at Twitter, art thrives at Tumblr, but LJ will always be my mother ship. LJ makes it waaaay easier to avoid wank too. I suspect many of the folks who have migrated to those two other platforms have done so because they LIKE the wank. I'll admit, I like rubbernecking at ridiculousness, but even that can get under my skin and I have to sit on my hands to keep from telling someone to their 'face' that "YOU'RE WRONG ON THE INTERNET."

You know you can always come sit by me, Nic. *smish*
(no subject) - cassiopeia7 on January 29th, 2016 11:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - dephigravity on January 30th, 2016 02:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - amberdreams on January 31st, 2016 03:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - quickreaver on February 1st, 2016 12:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
[a kiss on the inside of your wrist]: 1d. crazy crazy crazy.santacarlagypsy on January 29th, 2016 09:08 pm (UTC)
UGH, YES. :(

I agree with this post 100%. The same stuff is terrible in the One Direction fandom, also. So much so that I keep on considering leaving fandom altogether, to be quite honest.
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffin: Badass Samquickreaver on January 29th, 2016 09:48 pm (UTC)
Ugh, why must we quit something that's so much fun, like fandom, right? Just because other people use it for...something else? It's just so frustrating.
(no subject) - santacarlagypsy on January 30th, 2016 05:54 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - quickreaver on January 30th, 2016 07:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - milly_gal on January 29th, 2016 10:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - santacarlagypsy on January 30th, 2016 05:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - milly_gal on January 30th, 2016 05:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
milly_gal: EatGeekSleepRepeatmilly_gal on January 29th, 2016 09:41 pm (UTC)
*grumbles and frowns* Ship and let ship! No, we don't all enjoy the same as everyone else, and no our ship is not *your* (the royal your) ship, that does not mean people are allowed to vilify others for their taste! Kink and let kink, be happy you have your own space and friends, there's no need to point fingers and be a complete and utter WANKER about it!

Good lord, Be More Fandom - Fandom is meant to be awesome and fun and loving and family and friendly, not a bunch of people having at each other!
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffin: Badass Samquickreaver on January 29th, 2016 09:52 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - milly_gal on January 29th, 2016 10:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
madebyme_x: Defaultmadebyme_x on January 29th, 2016 10:30 pm (UTC)
If we all liked the same stuff, and had the same thoughts, would fandom even exist? Maybe not. The point of fandom is celebrate something that you enjoy, to get together and share ideas, views, fanworks, and to be open minded to people who have different opinions, and who like to ship their ship, and explore their kink, there's absolutely no need to vilify someone for being different. Actually something about fandom that I love is when I read/see a fanwork that opens my mind to something new (a ship, genre, character etc).

Arguing, 'empowering victims' and yelling at somebody saying what whatever they like is wrong, just smacks of immaturity. The time I find to spend in fandom is precious to be me; I love catching up with friends and fanworks, episode reactions and squeeing, and sharing ideas, and I want it to be positive and happy, not full of closed minded people who just want to pick a 'playground' fight.

Maybe it's sheltered here, maybe it's quieter here, but for me it's all about quality, friendliness, and a supportive encouraging environment - and THAT, we've definitely got here.

And thank you for encouraging discussions in such a warm and open minded way ♥
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffin: Badass Samquickreaver on January 30th, 2016 12:13 am (UTC)
Absolutely true! I would probably be 100 times happier if I didn't look at the parts of fandom that find the strife entertaining. Gotta work on that, heh! And read more fic and do more art. You're right: time is precious. Why waste it fighting a fight that isn't really impactful on ANYTHING in the real world?
roxymissrose: spn boys w gunsroxymissrose on January 29th, 2016 11:23 pm (UTC)
Or even worse, you want to write Cas with Meg. Not only are you betraying the ship, you're betraying 'diversity'.

We've gone from being respectful of people's feelings to being ridiculous. We're using respect as a bat.

I remember lots of terrible things that happened on LJ in the name of being "funny", back when the general attitude seemed to be 'fuck 'em if they can't take a joke.' I'm glad that things changed, and folks began being thoughtful. It was a nice change, it really was. Of course, being humans, it kept rolling along, until we became saddled with the attitude that it was fine to attack anyone that was perceived as not being--I don't know--everything to everyone?

Nobody in the real world gives a damn who a person ships, so folks should just shut the hell up about it and enjoy the things about it that make them happy.
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffin: Badass Samquickreaver on January 30th, 2016 12:10 am (UTC)
We're using respect as a bat.

OMG, YES. That's exactly what's happening. Beautifully put. Strides have been made, and we absolutely need to continue to be sensitive of other people, but not to the point of bludgeoning them into submission. The ends DO NOT justify the means.

Part of the problem is that they see fandom as an accurate reflection of current society, therefore it IS real to them. They live on-line. They have created this super-persona for themselves, and it is more fulfilling than the real world--where perhaps they're nerdy and uncool and socially stilted. On-line, they can be bigger-than-life heroes. And yet it never occurs to them that the Internet is, indeed, this false, heightened "reality" that is as much inflammation and misdirection and it is opportunity and support.

I mean, I do business on-line; I've made great friends on-line! So I can see how the computer fits into our daily lives. It's absolutely HORRIBLE when an on-line mistake or attack insinuates its way into the physical world. But if I had to drop off the internet tomorrow, my life would go on just fine.

The internet allows us to share fandom, so why waste time sharing the strife? It's really so, so easy to avoid.
cassiopeia7: Sam&Dean: WTF/IDFKcassiopeia7 on January 29th, 2016 11:34 pm (UTC)
*crawls out of cave*

Oh, goodness. What fandom craziness is happening on Twitter/tumblr now?

Don't answer that! ;)

IDK, I just skip the stuff that doesn't interest me. There's absolutely zero need to attack someone who likes something I don't, just because *I* don't like it. Different strokes, yeah? And jeeze, how difficult is the concept of "scroll on by" to some people?

If you don't mind, I'll just stick to peaceful LJ and its crowd of sane cool kids.
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffin: Badass Samquickreaver on January 29th, 2016 11:52 pm (UTC)
My tumblr is actually pretty peaceful! I unfollow wanksters or just scroll on if they only wank occasionally. We all need to blow off a little steam every once in a while. ;) Twitter has been getting a little more vitriolic, though, and sometimes I just can't resist peeking and seeing who's wanking at who. And it uncovers this uncomfortable corner of fandom that treats fandom as Serious Business Reflecting Social Justice. Slacktivism, basically. And they stir up the younger, malleable fans into little vigilantes, continuing the war. Comparing fandom to warring countries, peace will never be achieved until ALL sides stop killing each other, and agree to disagree.

I just have to grow the willpower to stop spying on the malcontents, heh. LJ helps A LOT!
Artmetica: Misha luvartmetica on January 30th, 2016 12:08 am (UTC)
Hmm this is probably why I'm avoiding my fandom life altogether. Some people just can't be nice to each other. Their numbers might be small and they're not representative to all the shippers, but oh god they're LOUD.

I don't ship Wincest so I don't hang around much in their circle; I don't know what happens over there. But from some the Destiel fans I follow, I have to say that they made me want to stop shipping Destiel. I feel trapped because I have some history with them so unfollowing them feels rude (it's like I'm ending some kind of friendship, albeit not one IRL). But on the other hand, they're easily triggerred by the Cas hate and then they say things about the other shippers that makes me sick. It's an endless circle of death...

Anyway, the posts I usually look for now are yours and cassiopeia7 ^_^ It looks safe over here, haha!

Edited at 2016-01-30 12:12 am (UTC)
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffin: Badass Samquickreaver on January 30th, 2016 12:25 am (UTC)
Oh, boy, do I feel your conflict! THIS is exactly what I'm talking about, in all its awful glory! I have a handful of really lovely Destiel shippers on my twitter TL, in between a majority of Wincesters, J2ers and gen folk. Some of the Wincesters and J2ers can be snarky, no doubt, and I have unfollowed or muted a bunch of them. (Muting is a good option when you're timid of unfollowing.) Sometimes I scroll on, and sometimes I'll speak up. Most of my TL, though, are savvy enough to keep their more inflammatory comments private. And honestly, fandom is so, so sensitive (for a complicated set of reasons), but as I said to someone above, if I had to leave fandom suddenly, my world wouldn't stop turning. That's true of everyone. The world would still go on; it's not nearly as momentous as it's made to seem.

I'm so sorry you've had to put up with this! You'll never ever see that crap here, cross my heart. Keep making the art that you LOVE, so I can love it to!

#SelfishMe :D
(no subject) - amberdreams on January 31st, 2016 04:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
thursdaysisters: crackthursdaysisters on January 30th, 2016 12:39 am (UTC)
You all rock. The internet doesn't have to be a horrible place. All I have to do is read the grease trap that is reddit and I come back to fandom with love in my heart. <3
The indefatigable Mrs. Griffin: Badass Samquickreaver on January 30th, 2016 03:46 am (UTC)
OMG, yes. My teen sons even pan reddit, and that's saying something.