Give peace a chance...
First let me apologize for the delay in responding to the article written by Bernadette Giacomazzo. As some of you may have read on my blog, today was spent with a dear friend who suddenly lost her sister while speaking with her on the phone two days ago. I’m sure you can all understand that while responding to this as I said I would is important, my friend came first.
Earlier today, Bernadette and I engaged in a very civil, courteous conversation via Twitter. Some of you may have followed along, but for those that didn’t, let me fill you in. Last week an email claiming to be from a private investigator was sent to my former employer alleging that I had engaged in targeted harassment of Bernadette while on company time. The email said I had sent an email to Bernadette’s employer asking for her to be fired for writing an article regarding Sam and Cait. Let me state that I have not, nor would I ever, do such a thing. On my parents’ graves I did not write that email. I think doing such a thing reaches incredibly far over the line and is abhorrent. This was why I challenged Bernadette and her friend Vince DeMello, who was involved in this email being sent, about it. Both know my feelings and the facts regarding this email, so I don’t think rehashing it here serves any further purpose.
Over the course of many months it’s been clear that the relationship between myself and Bernadette has been contentious at best. At its worst, it was horrid. Today for some fortunate reason, we were able to put aside our differences and tempers and actually hear each other. Bernadette shared some very personal things, not just with me, but with the Twitterverse. I think it showed courage and strength. It gave me insight that I didn’t have before. That insight has allowed me to see that I have added to her pain and for that I am truly sorry. As Bernadette stated in her article, she has hit back hard at shippers many times, and some of us have hit just as hard in return. Myself included. We are human beings first, fans second, and while I can’t speak for anyone but myself, I know that I often forgot that. I reacted to attacks, mocking, and tattling. And while I may have felt I was doing right at the time, I now see I was part of the problem and not part of the solution. That’s not a feeling I enjoy. I doubt many of us do.
Bernadette and I reached an agreement today that we both will refrain from speaking about each other in any manner but peace. No more personal attacks, no more mocking or ridiculing the way either of us fan. Bernadette has agreed that she will allow shippers to fan the way they choose, and to let us ship Sam and Cait in peace. She is free to report about the Outlander show and Sam and Cait, or other cast members. But she will not write anymore articles discussing or defaming shippers for how they fan. Nor will she engage in or agree with anyone who does so. In short, that is off limits. I have agreed that I will refrain from attacks or mocking of non-shippers as well.
We both ask that our followers follow this example and cease these things immediately. I also ask any accounts engaging, either on Twitter or Instagram, in harassment of Sam, Cait, or anyone in their circle of friends to stop. It’s wrong and hurtful. As a gesture of goodwill, I ask that, in turn, all Twitter or Instagram accounts created to name and shame shippers be closed. This type of inflammatory online policing only serves to create dissension and contention. It serves no other purpose.
Now, I must clarify a comment made by Bernadette in her article. In her apology to myself, Sherri, Kim, and Nipuna, Bernadette stated that we are her mother’s age. Actually, we are very close in age to Bernadette. None of us are over 50. At the end of the day, all any of us wants and deserves is to feel that somehow, we matter to someone. We all have the right to be heard but we don’t always have to be screaming at one another. Sometimes we need to stop screaming so we can be heard. Sometimes we all need to be reminded that we need to give a little to gain a lot. My hope, and I think it’s Bernadette’s as well, is that we realize this and going forward, we learn to coexist with respect for each other and ourselves.