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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
Donna: dean and gunwithdiamonds on November 18th, 2012 09:42 pm (UTC)
Yes, the term did originate in X-Files. People who wanted Mulder and Scully to be in a relationship were called relationshippers, which evolved into shippers. People who didn't were called "no-romos," short for no romance. People who didn't care either way were called "fencers," short for fence-sitters.

And then for a while it seemed like shippers were all about het and slashers were all about, well, slash, but now I guess ships are ships.

And even though I've been in fandom since the days when we hid EVERYTHING, I'm not opposed to the partial breakdown of the fourth wall. I don't mind the "outing" of fandom, as it were.

BUT. Discussion of ships and such with the actors, writers and showrunners is just stupid and rude. If they initiate it, fine. But when it makes people uncomfortable, it's not fine. I can't imagine any universe in which Jeremy Carver is going to say, sure, why not, let's get Dean and Cas together for real, OMG WHAT'S TAKEN US SO LONG just because fans bring it up at the Paley festival.

Now, when a show like NCIS asks viewers what ship they like best, Tony/Gibbs is just as valid an answer as Tony/Ziva, but that's a different circumstance.

I do sometimes feel uncomfortable at the notion that writing slash somehow benefits the LGBT community, or makes allies out of straight women writing what gets them off. I've been a slasher forever, but I'm not denying the appropriation of something personal and sometimes painful for my own entertainment.

So for over-enthusiastic fans who giggle and swoon at the idea of cute guys together to publicly push TPTB into somehow incorporating their fantasy into an established, professional show is rude and annoying at best.

It would be lovely to see more LGBT people and relationships on TV. It's not going to happen on SPN - or on H5O for that matter. It's one thing for actual LBGT people and their RL allies to lobby for that. It's another for fandom slashers to do it.

The indefatigable Mrs. Griffinquickreaver on November 18th, 2012 11:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you for explaining the origin of the shipping phenomena! Eeeeenteresting. (And I agree with you about Carver and SPN in general; the story is about two brothers. Not two brothers and their romances. This isn't Supernatural 90210.)