Do people really not understand the concept of being attracted to things you know are fucked up?
People have toxic ships. People know these ships are toxic. That’s the attraction to them. They’re ways to explore certain aspects of relationships and people that we can’t otherwise explore. They’re safe because they’re fictional.
If people are looking at ships like Reylo and thinking “soulmates”, “unproblematic OTP”, “perf”, then yeah, that’s a reason to be worried. But most of us know that it’s problematic. Most of us know that Kylo’s an unstable creep. But we also like to explore that.
The idea of a relationship where one of the characters grows and changes and learns to be a genuinely good and kind person is extremely appealing. That’s one of the reasons Beauty and the Beast, one of the obviously major influences on these two, is so popular. And because we see horrible things inside of ourselves, and want to believe that we can also grow and change.
The idea that it’s always about romanticizing abuse is extremely simplistic and limiting. The human imagination is not nearly so limiting, and it’s honestly really insulting that people jump to such conclusions.
You can like or dislike something all you want. But perhaps looking at the people who ship things you don’t as real, thinking people, and actually trying to understand their point of view might be beneficial.
I used Reylo here as an example because it seems to be one of the most controversial ships right now, but it also applies to lots of other ships.