So, I had the curiosity to go over your exchange with that weird anon trying to say that us, OQ fans, aren't ERs as well and... I don't get it at all. I understand someone not liking the thing I love. I understand the person loath the thing I love, but why in the world do people insist on pushing their visions on others? That's so gross! Not to mention claim things that were never part of the OQ dynamic like sexism and Regina being reduced to a LI. People really see what they want, it's amazing!
Everyone has their own interpretations, and I think that sometimes people lose sight of the fact that their interpretation isn’t the only valid one – especially if their own interpretation is what they see echoed all around them in their spheres of social media.
This is really one of those things where I cannot stress enough the value of following people who don’t necessarily like what you like. Not necessarily people who hate it – although I have done that, too. I have followed people who are very anti-OQ and anti-Sean, etc. and I usually end up unfollowing them eventually (or unfollowing for a while and then following again, most often – I’ve unfollowed a lot of them right now bc Sean is coming back to the show for a while and I want to be able to enjoy it without people ripping on it), but for those times that I am following them, I get to see who they are as people, and what we do have in common, both inside the show and outside of it. And I feel like that really helps in seeing people as people not just as shippers.
It’s a lot harder to assume all Hoodies have a low IQ if you regularly interact with smart, passionate Hoodies. It’s a lot harder to assume all of Swen are just angry lesbians if you’re regularly interacting with Swen who are kind and thoughtful and brave. It’s a lot harder to assume all CSers are children who think rape culture is just the bee’s knees when you’re regularly interacting with CSers who are parents, and advocates, and genuinely good people.
And, look, I do a lot of scrolling past things I don’t particularly care about on my feed, but I do also have the opportunities to see what Rumbellers like about Rumbelle, how CSers interpret CS, how much personal value Swan Queen has for Swen. And I don’t always agree with what I see, but I find it’s a lot harder to be an asshole about ship-based stuff when I see all these shippers outside of the battle zones.
It’s a lot harder to send hate over ships when you have names and faces and relationships with people in those ships. It’s a lot harder to say “all CSers” or “all Hoodies” or “all Dragon Queen shippers” or “all Swen” when you’ve seen that there is not actually a hive mind, but a collection of individuals who are each here for their own reasons, and who, by and large, are kind and respectful.
But when that’s not your sphere? When you’re surrounded by people who are constantly ripping on one ship or the other, who are constantly denigrating their shippers as all one thing, or all another, who have lost sight of them as individual people and not just a big group of wrongness, and whose interpretation is validated again and again by the people they interact with who share that interpretation – well, then it’s really easy to believe you’re the only one who’s right. And I’d imagine it’s also really easy to believe that all those people who are wrong need to be told they’re wrong, and that your fandom experience would be better off without them.
I disagree, wholeheartedly.
I think my fandom experience is made infinitely richer by Swen, and CS, and DQ, and Rumbelle, and Snowing, and DOQ, and Red Queen, and Swanfire, and on and on. And as a result, anons like these don’t actually hurt me – because I know that their opinions are not everyone’s. I know that their opinions are just that – their opinions. I know that everyone has very different interpretations of the text, because I see it every day. I interact with it all the time. I have been seeing it for the three years I have been active in this fandom.
It’s much the same in fandom as it is in life – broadening your social sphere to include people who don’t see the world they way you do helps you to learn about those people in a way you can’t from within your own bubble.
Anyway, this got long, but… there ya go.