Shipping: A Cautionary Tale Part II
I am so appreciative of all of the lovely comments on my last post. I find it heartening to have had such a wonderful community to share thoughts with over the last couple of years that I have been involved in this fandom - and thank you all for letting me share my opinions. However, I think I am going to take a bit of a Tumblr break. Things have gotten to be a little too much around here for me and I think I need some distance. Based on what we have seen in the last couple of weeks/days, I don’t think I can call myself a shipper anymore. I no longer believe that they are together - and while that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t love to see them together, because I see a love there that I think is rare - I am choosing to believe what they have been telling us for a year. If they end up seeing what is in front of their faces and ultimately do become a couple - I will be among the first to raise a glass to them. (Many glasses, if I’m being honest).
As I have been scrolling through posts over the last couple of days, I am sad about what has happened to our shipper space - and sad to see a lot of really wonderful women choose to walk away from the fandom because of the toxicity they can no longer tolerate - whether that toxicity is from the fandom in general or from the wreckage of Shatlander. A lot of people here have taken a lot of abuse - unwarranted abuse - and I understand that enough is enough for many.
One of the things that I have always loved about this corner of the fandom is that we deal with our hurt and pain through humor. We have some of the funniest, most creative women I have ever known here - and I have spent days laughing over the saltiness and snark of it all. I love that we can express ourselves and accept different opinions. I love that we aren’t afraid to “speak truth to power” as it were, and tell the cast, production and crew how we feel about situations we consider wrong and unfair - to express our dissatisfaction with either certain parts of the show or the fandom.
But when that humor and honesty turns mean spirited and outspoken against one person in particular - no matter who it is - it makes me uncomfortable. I have my opinions on the situation, and believe me I express them, but I try my best to do it in private. I will echo a number of other bloggers and say that I am distressed to see some of the public bashing of MM. We don’t know her, don’t know anything about her, and even if we don’t agree with some of the things that have happened - I hate to see a community that was built on love, one that for the most part expressed such love for each other and for Sam and Cait over the past 2+ years - devolve into bullying this woman in public. I abhor what Shatner did to this fandom, and will stand by that, but when we say things specifically about this woman for all to see, we as shippers lose the moral high ground to say we were bullied unfairly.
Whether she is Sam’s girlfriend, or just a friend, she is in his life in some capacity. She has been bullied on her own SM by trolls - and even though she has the ability to control what happens on her own IG account, it’s wrong. We have always disavowed these people as having nothing to do with us. And I believe that. I believe that they are shit stirrers of the worst order that are neither shippers or antis - just mean spirited, awful people. I would hate for anyone to look at a shipper blog and think that our community in any way supports that kind of person. Because I know we don’t. We’re angry. We’re upset. We’re hurt. We’re disillusioned. We’re sad. But we aren’t mean. We believed in love. I know we still do.