@lassinajumper But last line wasn’t a refute, it was a personal attack. I know Gunner can write without resorting to personal attacks since I’ve seen and liked a few. You could say I’m disappointed, though.
I want to expand on this as my last remarks were rather off the cuff since I had to go do something. Let me say first state a few things:
I am willing to accept the notion that the final line was in fact a personal attack.
I unequivocally could have made a much stronger personal attack had I so desired.
I am rather tired of people thinking they can waltz into my ask box like it’s their business to try and change my mind, make me defend something, or to pick fights with me.
I give my opinions in my space.
I feel that a personal attack was wholly justified.
I want to spend the rest of this post talking about (5). The reason I feel that a personal attack was justified in the case of this post is that I frankly find the underlying subject matter offensive and in need of strong rebuke.
Shipping fandoms are mostly composed of women. All things are not equal and this means that the nature of the discourse is different than if it was instead mostly men. Let me assure you, given everything I have seen as a result of toxic masculinity, that if it were otherwise, there would be discussion about how “Rukia is a bitch for friendzoning Renji” and how “Ichigo is a dumbass for friendzoning Orihime and not wanting to tap that.”
The thing is, although that exact formulation isn’t common, the mentality behind it is exactly the same. To wit: there is a notion underlying this person’s arguments that because Renji and Orihime have feelings for Rukia and Ichigo, that they are due the same in return. That they’re owed reciprocal affection. An argument is still being made that they were friendzoned, even if that word isn’t being used, and that that’s unfair.
The idea of the friendzone is as follows: person A (usually a man) is interested romantically and sexually in person B (usually a woman). Person B, however, sees person A as a friend and isn’t interested in them in a romantic or sexual sense.
Being ‘in the friendzone’ is when someone views you as a friend, such that they will never view you as a potential romantic and/or sexual partner.
“The implication of the friend zone is that I’m this bitch that has unfairly placed this guy in this place where he doesn’t belong, when the reality is I’m not interested,” she said. “Zoning is this arbitrary invention to make me seem like a fool who can’t see clearly, when in reality I just don’t want to date you. It’s not because you’re in the friend zone, it’s because I said no. Is it so unfathomable that I don’t want to date you?”
As Shannon rightfully points out, “There’s no female equivalent. If a guy is not interested, he’s just not that into you. If woman is not interested, she’s crazy.”
This is rather obviously a product of society skewing towards male entitlement. From a fundamental perspective, it should be regarded as equally unseemly for a woman to pursue an uninterested man, as for a man to pursue an uninterested woman.
Which is exactly the situation Rukia and Ichigo are in with respect to Renji and Orihime. Neither of the former pair is interested in their respective opposite in the latter pair for 684 chapters of the manga. It’s just not there. Which is why the arguments about why RR and IH should happen always boil down to what Renji and Orihime want and feel, and are never about what Rukia and Ichigo want and feel—because the latter two have no further thoughts or interest in the subject.
(P.S. post-685/686, the fact that IH and RR fixate so heavily on the physical fact of sex, i.e., the constant comments to the effect of “they have kids so they had sex,” rather than displaying any interest in whether these relationships are healthy, functional, fulfilling, etc., gives away that this sexual conquest of Ichigo and Rukia by Orihime and Renji was the one and only concern of these people, further solidifying the employment of the friendzone mentality.)
I cannot think of anything more toxic and destructive in romantic relationships. Let me be absolutely clear: nobody owes you anything emotionally. It does not matter how deep or shallow, how selfless or selfish, or how boundless or bounded your love might be—nobody owes you anything in return.
Novelist Margaret Atwood writes that when she asked a male friend why men feel threatened by women, he answered, “They are afraid women will laugh at them.” When she asked a group of women why they feel threatened by men, they said, “We’re afraid of being killed.”
Now someone is going to say “It’s just fiction.” Fiction influences life! Stories are how we contextualize the world as people! Where do you think these ideas came from and how they were so widely disseminated into the population as to become a problem? Fiction. Media. Someone else already articulated this point in response to the same comment:
art imitates life and life imitates art. Too many people are screwed in their heads since young. We are brainwashed and conditioned by people and the media for centuries to believe that unhealthy relationship are the norm. Unrequited love coupled with obsessive behaviours are hyped up, portrayed as romantic. These give excuses for inexcusable behaviour and trap the other party to just accept it.There are so much unhealthy relationships in RL. when something is presented as healthy, people doubt it because there’s no explosive dramas, no angst worth a hundred poems, no misunderstanding and 4-way relationships. It’s boring for them. It’s not what they are conditioned to believe as romantic, gut wrenching, and “worth fighting for”, etc.
So yeah, you’re goddamn right I insulted that Anon. They earned it, because they’re part of a social pandemic of unacceptable behavior. I don’t view the behavior they’re engaged in promoting as any less toxic than things that romanticize racism, or misogyny, or ableism, or whatever else. They legitimately seem to believe that this kind of thing is not only acceptable, but good. That means they likely see it as worthy of emulation.
That is not okay. I, personally, will not stand for it when someone is throwing it in my face. And it is perfectly fine to make my displeasure with that point clear, because anyone who believes in it is probably going to do real damage to other human beings through their screwed up worldview.
It is also perfectly acceptable to format that displeasure in a compact fashion, because I am not obligated to write these essays to explain myself to you, or to anyone else for that matter, because I am not the morality police, nor am I subject to them. I am doing this as a courtesy.
(And at this point, someone is going to say “What about that dastardly adultery fic that IR is making in response to the ending!?” or something equally stupid, because that has already repeatedly happened, and I have to just say to whomever is already starting: shut the fuck up! Nobody is actually endorsing adultery.)
So I think I caught the stomach flu when I went to Fanime. That, or that horchata really hated my insides. If I don’t get better soon, I’m going to miss my first hangout with my bestest friend in the whole world and be a bucket of sad.
On the bright side, I got to meet Puppetbomb, get the KS Anon fanbook, and converted one of my friends who doesn’t even read the series into shipping Kakasaku. Mission status: SUCCESS.
PS - When I am feeling better, you will be getting that fluffy drabble, PB! …As soon as I figure out what it will be.