Ive had this draft open for a few weeks now, trying to find the right words for what I want to say, so bear with me here.
First off: In the past, I’ve been accused of using my fandom fame to “bully” lesser-known blogs or even sending my followers to attack certain people (despite the fact Ive made multiple posts telling my followers there is no situation where sending hate is justified) so I’d like to preface this by saying I am not calling out any specific blog, fandom group, or shipping community. The purpose of this post is not to cause drama, but rather to bring attention to an issue I think the ML fandom as a whole needs to be aware of.
Wanting to “keep the peace” is not a valid reason to shut down real criticisms of real problems in the fandom.
Silencing discourse about important issues because you “want to keep the fandom drama-free” does not make you a saint.
Dismissing or attacking people when they draw attention to glaring problems in the fandom does nothing to help us grow and overcome these problems.
I’ve heard people say that the ML fandom is the nicest they’ve ever been in because there is no conflict. Because we all ship the love square right? Because we all want to see Adrien and Marinette end up together, right?
ML Fandom: We are all united :) love square for life :) how could there possibly be drama? :)
Wait, artists are white-washing canon poc characters?
Wait, re-posters are stealing art and publishing without credit?
Wait, there is nsfw posted in the main fandom tags where children can see it?
Wait, bloggers are romanticizing abusive ships/tropes and exposing them to impressionable minors/actual abuse survivors?
Wait, lgbtaq+ creators are getting hateful comments telling them to “stop interfering with the love square”?
Fandom: “…C’mon guys :/ stop complaining :/ lets keep the fandom drama-free :/…”
Now I get it, online fandom is a form of escape. I fully support the idea that fandom should be a safe space for everyone. As long as you are participating in fandom in a way that DOESN’T PUT OTHER PEOPLE AT RISK, you should be free to blog in peace.
That being said, the problem isn’t that people want a drama-free blogging experience, the problem is that some people are willing to make fandom enjoyable for themselves at the expense of others. They would rather ignore valid criticisms of fandom just because the problem doesn’t effect them personally, then accuse people who continue to draw attention to the problem of “stirring up drama in our good ol wholesome fandom.”
But guess what?
There is no perfect fandom.
If a person of color tells you a piece of content is racist, you listen.
If an artist tells you reposting is wrong, you listen.
If an underage individual (or anyone really) tells you to keep nsfw art out of main tags, you listen.
If an abuse survivor tells you certain content is triggering/ potentially harmful, you listen. (Yes, even if you yourself are an abuse survivor using a scenario to “cope”.)
If an lgbtaq+ individual points out the disproportionate criticism of non-lovesquare (and in most cases non-het) content, you listen.
Ignoring, and in some cases even arguing against these claims doesn’t keep the fandom “drama-free”. Shutting down valid discourse doesn’t make ML Tumblr a “nicer” or “happier” place to be.
All it does is does is alienate marginalized fans who fear that voicing their completely valid concerns over negative fandom trends will get them branded a bully or instigator of drama.
All it does is absolve problematic people of guilt and embolden them to keep engaging in questionable fandom activities because they know the fandom is too concerned with “staying drama free” to do anything about.
All it does is further divide us.
And it needs to stop.