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18 November 2012 @ 02:59 pm
This is likely to stir up a hornet's nest, but I'm in the mood.

Okay, shipping. What exactly does this entail? Is there a mandatory sexual element? Must there be? And just because a segment of fandom adheres to a particular ship, should The Powers That Be and the actors involved in the fantasy ship be obligated to listen to/tolerate/agree with this shippery?

Little back-story: I listened to an interview with Misha Collins on Winchester Radio
a few days ago and they took caller questions, unscreened. (Probably not the wisest idea.) The last one was courtesy of a weepy young lady who was desperate for Misha to comment on 'Destiel'. He hemmed and hawed and tap-danced around it, she kept pushing, and it all ended up feeling very awkward. About the same time, an essay
popped up on my tumblr dash concerning how good it is that shipping come out of the closet, particularly for the LGBT community (with specific reference to Destiel).

Now, my brother is gay. I read NC-17 slashy fanfic. I'm not a homophobe but as a woman married to a dude, I'm in no position to adjudicate what it's like to be gay or bi. Nor do I feel like we, as a fandom, have the right to bully the show's writers/actors into compliance with ANY of our wishes unless they damned well feel like addressing the topic. And if certain fans are too socially ass-backward to suss out when they're making someone uncomfortable, do we not have the right to comment? Do we not have the right to put a foot down?

There's been a lot of talk about 'shaming' ... ship-shaming, kink-shaming, etc. and how we shouldn't tolerate it. We're all freaks of some stripe; who are we to judge? But there ARE LINES, folks. When we begin to make someone else uncomfortable, we need to back the fuck off and rethink our tactics. Criminy, put yourself in their shoes. Yes, you have the right to say what you want. Guess what? SO DO THEY.

Please don’t shove your ship in anyone’s face and expect them to put their blessing on it, especially not in public. Please don’t assume that shipping is some greater societal statement. Write your own story; let others write theirs.

All comments welcomed, but pleeeease, stay civil, 'kay?
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: 'What If We Give It Away' - REM
ratherastory: [Futurama] Dramaratherastory on November 18th, 2012 08:30 pm (UTC)
I don't agree that shipping is somehow good for the LGBT community. I can't speak for all of us, but I'm pretty sure that having Dean and Cas (as the example in question) be openly in love/sleeping together on the show won't actually make any discernible difference in my life. It won't make my mother less homophobic, it won't suddenly alter my status, and it won't magically make anyone suddenly believe that gay marriage should be allowed everywhere.

I'd also like to point out that the vast majority of shippers appear to be heterosexual women writing slash for their own gratification. There is NOTHING wrong with that, but don't turn around and tell me that you're somehow doing the queer community a favour by writing porn for yourself. Oy.

I love shipping. I'm a multishipper myself (though I write and read primarily gen fic) and I love that people are invested in that aspect of a show and fandom. It's a perfectly valid way to watch a show, and to experience fandom, and it drives me nuts when outsiders look down on people for it. "Oh, you're a slasher. That's so weird/creepy/wrong." No, no it's not. It's just a different way of being a fan of a show, the same way that vidding is, or podficcing or cosplaying. Shippers participate in fandom out of love, and that should be recognized and validated for the positive thing that it is.

What I don't think is appropriate is for fans and shippers to consistently try to "force" their views on the actors/writers/producers of a show. Quite frankly, 99% of the time the subtext is just that—subtext—and there is no real relationship there. Do I ship Dean/Cas? You bet! Do I think it will or should become canon? No. Shipping needs to stay in fandom. I'm not talking about keeping it swept under the rug, but I am talking about maintaining a level of decorum when talking to the people professionally involved in the show. If it makes them uncomfortable, then back the hell off. You will accomplish nothing by hounding people to acknowledge your OTP in an interview or during a Q&A.

Appreciate your pairing and your subtext, write all the fic, make all the vids, draw all the art, leave gushing comments for the writers and artists and podficcers who make you happy, and learn how to exercise moderation and restraint.