I don’t normally speak out about fandom issues, but lemme just say that the erasure of the Bellamy/Raven dynamic bugs me. A lot. Even as a Bellarke shipper (which actually should have nothing to do with it, but people consistently state that people who don’t support Ravenbell or Rellamy are obnoxious Bellarke shippers and I’m here to tell you to stfu).
Here’s why it’s important: Raven and Bellamy had sex. It’s canonically accepted that they had a sexual relationship. I don’t necessarily think it was romantic and obviously, it didn’t continue, but they swapped bodily fluids and it was important, honestly. It was an important scene.
It was important because it added depth to their dynamic and defined so many other relationships as well. Raven, upset at the idea of Clarke and Finn, goes to Bellamy to alleviate her struggle. Why Bellamy? Well, because she believes him to be in the same position as she is (she believes he has feelings for Clarke) and she figures they could misery loves company it. Bellamy could get sex from probably any girl in the camp if he wanted. And he makes sure to tell Raven that he’s not the guy who’s going to be a gentleman about this. He’s not going to talk her out of having sex with him because she’s emotionally wrecked right now. And she’s like, cool, that’s what I need. Let’s do this. But the truth is that I think Bellamy does want to make her feel better. And sure, sex is awesome, but he gives a shit about Raven. He’s expressed admiration for her several times in the show and even concern after their uglies bumped. She says it’s what she wants and needs and he doesn’t argue further. He explicitly tries to tell her that this isn’t what she wants, but she declares her agency and is like, no, don’t tell me what I want and let’s get this show on the road. And post coital, he asks if it made her feel better and when she says no, he’s legitimately upset about it. Like he has failed her in some way. And some would argue that he has, but like, what else could he have done? And he continues to try and check in with her, apologizing for his part in their dalliance and her guilt over it when she realizes that Finn and Clarke have been captured. And like, Raven having sex with Bellamy was a conscious choice on her part. She says “I’ve only ever been with Finn” and she says it like it’s a problem for her now. Like she’s daring Bellamy to say something about it. Like she wants to somehow change what she feels for Finn and how it’s making her feel in turn. This was a way for her to feel like she was in control and it’s a shitty solution to something that’s not solvable, but it’s what she thought would make her feel better.
A lot of people would be like, well, but he knew deep down it wasn’t what she wanted even though she was saying it was. But my problem with that is that it creates this clusterfuck interpretation situation of people not listening to what other people say. Especially when it comes to men and women. When a woman says something, men are constantly looking for the root cause of the dialogue. “You’re only saying this because you’re upset. You don’t mean it. You’re just angry and confused.” And that bothers me. So even though Bellamy thinks she’s full of shit and calls her on it, she corrects him and he accepts it. This is something his character struggles with when it comes to the women in his life: accepting their decisions. His relationship with Octavia is particularly fraught for this reason. He even has trouble with some of Clarke’s decisions, but he learns as he goes to accept them. To listen to what they’re saying and trust their judgement. And that’s important. Hugely important.
And while I don’t think Bellamy and Raven are particularly romantic, they do have a lot of respect for each other and they care about each other (I’d actually argue that Bellamy cares more about Raven than she does about him, tbh). And that one event has changed the trajectory of their relationship with each other. And I can totally see why people are pissy about fandom downplaying it.