mysticalchild_isis: (dr who 4)
[personal profile] mysticalchild_isis
You may have noticed I haven't been very active in Who fandom lately, and there are several reasons for this: the fact that I still haven't finished watching the most recent season being the biggest one (nothing against it, it's just I've been watching almost no television lately- I haven't even seen the new episodes of my favorite guilty pleasure, True Blood, nor have I even watched very many Red Sox games this summer). Of course, I've been rather involved with some other fandoms ::cough DS cough::, and heavily into my 50 book challenge, not to mention studying for the GRE.

But being the opinionated person that I am, I couldn't really pass up expressing some thoughts on the latest to-do. [livejournal.com profile] amaresu is a friend, so I saw her post first, and then read this post that was linked from [livejournal.com profile] metafandom, and the post it originally was originally inspired by. I'm sure I've missed tons of other stuff, as those are the only posts I've read.



It's funny, I kind of exist in the middle of it all. I'd seen classic Who before new, but it was the new series that brought me into fandom. I love all the Doctors (though there are some I enjoy more than others), and I multiship most of them (some of my favorites being Four/Romana, Four/Sarah Jane/ (Harry), Two/Jamie, Seven/Ace, Five/Nyssa, and Five/Turlough). Other than my graphics, however, majority of my fandom participation has probably been through Doctor/Rose shipping. But even there, I have sort of an odd balance, as I mostly ship Nine/Rose (though I've certainly read a lot of Ten/Rose and Ten II/Rose). So I get irritated at being dismissed for my D/R shipping tendencies, even though it is not my only ship, but I also get frustrated when classic Who gets dismissed or looked down upon (or when the fans of it get called elitist snobs). Being in the middle means that I often seen the worst from all sides, and sometimes it seems like the only answer is to remove myself from fandom and enjoy it on my own or just with RL friends.

But here are some definite things I've noticed. One, the Who fandom is overwhelmingly made up of NuWho fans. That's only natural- it's the current thing, it's what brought in the large majority of current fans (even if they later discovered their love for classic), it fits modern TV sensibilities, and there's new canon all the time. But I call bullshit when classic fans get accused of being elitist oppressors, because classic fans are very much in the minority. Just compare the user traffic of [livejournal.com profile] time_and_chips to [livejournal.com profile] loves_them_all. On the Teaspoon, all the fic for Doctors One through Eight combined equals slightly less than 5,000 stories. There are currently 13,647 stories for the Tenth Doctor. It's easy to understand how resentment can develop.

Two, Doctor/Rose is still the biggest ship. Yes, it's getting quieter and quieter as time goes on and there's no new material. Pretty soon, Ten/Rose is going to follow the path of Nine/Rose, and only have a handful writers still writing new fic, with the occasional swell based around a ficathon. But at present, it is still a huge, vocal segment of the fandom, and has been a dominant voice for a long time. When something is that huge and dominant, there will always be hype backlash, and people who hate it just because it is so overwhelming. So I'm sorry, but it's pretty silly for D/R fans to scream oppression, because it is still such a huge, huge presence in fandom. The larger and more powerful the group, the greater the chance for vocal, intolerant fans to pop up. I remember a year or two ago (whenever it was the CoT awards first came into being) when there were a number of D/R fans making disparaging comments about slash and anyone who reads it. I was personally offended, because while I mostly read het DW fic, I do read some slash, and I have several other fandoms where I monoship a m/m or f/f pairing.

I know there are lots of people who say terrible things about D/R shippers. I've heard and been offended by plenty of it myself. But when I see complaints about D/R shippers being oppressed by the multi-shippers et al, I have to call BS again. When one mostly hangs out in D/R positive places like [livejournal.com profile] time_and_chips, it can be easy to forget that while it is a large majority of the fandom, it isn't everyone. It's very easy to get used to being around fans with similar opinions and interests. If one then slips into a forum where D/R shippers are no longer the majority, it can be jarring and even upsetting. It's rather similar to the job I had my first year out of college- there wasn't a single person in my workplace who liked any sort of sci-fi, fantasy, or comics. My whole life, I'd been surrounded by sci-fi nerds, so when I was suddenly alone in my interests, I felt pretty unhappy. But just because my coworkers were only into reality TV does not mean that they were oppressing me. We just had different interests, and had to find other topics to discuss.

The lack of actual oppression doesn't mean a lot of upsetting and hurtful things don't get said. There was a brief time some years ago where I lurked at who_anon when I was bored, and one of the reasons I swiftly stopped and never returned was because of how vitriolic anons could be against anyone who even admitted to liking Rose, let alone anyone who dared to ship her with the Doctor. Batchipper was one of the nicer terms.

I'd also like to take this moment to point out that shipping the dominant pairing doesn't automatically make one stupid or shallow, just as shipping non-canon or rare pairings or multi-shipping doesn't automatically make one hipper and smarter. It all comes down to a matter of personal preference. (Such as my opinion that there should be more Six/Donna.)

I'd never say, "can't we all just get along", because I know that's impossible. When someone cares passionately about something, and puts a lot of time in, he or she is going to end up disagreeing with the fans who feel differently. There are also lots of people who like the disagreeing and fighting parts best. I just wish more people would take a step back, put things in context, and then realize that they are dealing with other human beings, and it is generally cool to try and treat our fellow humans with respect (even if they are CLEARLY WRONG in their opinions).

Date: 2010-07-16 10:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] burnmybridges.livejournal.com
I think Rose does get an undeserved hard time in fandom, as do those who like her...but it's easy enough to keep out of it all and just enjoy what you want to enjoy. I've complained about series five and my issues with Amy but I generally only do so with like-minded people, and in my own journal which anyone is welcomed to defriend if they don't want their squee harshed. I have people who like Amy and people who loathe Amy friended and we all seem to cope reading each others babble without anyone getting nasty and personal about it, thankfully.

But I've always thought character bashing and ship wars are total lunacy and have never understood what drives people to devote so much time to getting so worked up, hateful and angry.

I know we can't ever just all get along, either, but people should be mature enough to stop being an asshole if they know it's upsetting someone, and when they don't and are fuelled by others dogpiling and jumping on bandwagons, that's when I have to close the window and do something else, because I like being my own person and people can STFU if they have a problem with that.

Date: 2010-07-16 10:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] burnmybridges.livejournal.com
Oh, quite! Believe me I saw how awful Rose fans could be after Doomsday and Martha was announced...I was just a lurker, then, but it was an absolutely horrible time in fandom and I'm so glad I didn't get involved in anything in any way because I know a lot of people on all sides got hurt.

Shipwars just make no sense to me on any level. Why would anyone waste their time and channel their energy into something so pointless and mean-spiritied? I will never understand it.

Date: 2010-07-18 09:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] burnmybridges.livejournal.com
I know!

I can understand bitching a bit about a character you dislike in your own journal or with like-minded friends who you know won't be offended, but otherwise it's just what the hell? People are just weird. I don't get most of them at all.

Date: 2010-07-19 10:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yavie-namarie.livejournal.com
*blushes*
I was one of those people who totally hated Martha...

But then I watched Season 3 all the way through and realised how bamf she could be...

But yeah. Investing all of your time and energy into shipping one pair or another and combating anyone who thinks differently is just a sad way to live.

Date: 2010-07-19 10:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] burnmybridges.livejournal.com
I never hated Martha but I did hate how her most major character developement happened off screen, and I still seriously struggle with the transformation from cute spunky student doctor to world walking super soldier. Also, Martha/Mickey...just what happened to Tom? Rusty made some truly bizarre moves with Martha. I think he was devestated at losing Rose and just never clicked with Martha, for whatever reason. I didn't feel he truly believed in Martha has he so clearly did in Rose.

Martha, I see, as a missed opportunity. She was lovely up until The Family of Blood but after that it just all went a bit tits up for her and her super soldier thing just has never been something I've been able to get on board with.

Date: 2010-07-17 04:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sagacious-c.livejournal.com
I've been thinking about this issue for the last couple of days, too, or at least a variation on it. I tend to stay on the fringes of a lot of fandom stuff, and at least in the Who fandom I guess I fall into the category of a Doctor/Rose shipper ignorant to the greater fandom. I keep an eye on the whodaily community but the only fic I read is Doctor/Rose (though I'm not reading anything in the Who fandom lately). I never put much thought into any of it and I have only been vaguely aware of the Rose hate, and certainly not until recently that it was so vehement.

Anyway, to slowly approach my point, I never thought much about shipping wars or people feeling oppressed or whatever because I was part of the dominant trend and only interacted with people with that same perspective. But now I'm getting sucked more and more into the Merlin fandom and have discovered that since I ship Arthur/Gwen instead of Arthur/Merlin, I'm very much in the minority. It's been illuminating -- I'm definitely more aware of people's sensitivities, my own included. I don't feel oppressed and pretty much stay in my corner, but that's another example of how fandom is different than real life: I'm not out with some agenda to expand my horizons or convert people or be inclusive. I like a TV show, I miss that there aren't more episodes of that TV show, and so I seek out fanfiction that basically gives me more of the show. But people may have all sorts of other reasons for participating in fandom.

I never thought I'd ever put this much thought into shipping, but it can be a filter through how you see the whole show or fandom so I see how people can take it pretty seriously. But like you say, no matter what, people who turn off their civility buttons... NOT COOL. :P

Date: 2010-07-17 05:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] clockwork-sky.livejournal.com
Absolutely everything you said. Yes.

At very first, it took me a while to come around to any ship when I first started watching NuWho because the character dynamics were confusing to me at first. However, eventually I became a very die-hard Doctor/Rose fan, and every time I talked to someone who wasn't a D/R shipper, I often fond myself being considered silly, vapid, or unrealistic. However, Doctor/Rose remained my primary ship for a very, very long time and still fits very neatly into my top five at any given point of time, though others often overshadow it for a time. You're right--when there's no new material, it sort of fades into the background, but that doesn't mean it's not still good.

The strange experience I've been having is that, as I make a transition from an OTPer to a multishipper, particularly in Doctor Who, I find myself on really shaky ground with some level of low-grade resentment cropping up on both sides. I really don't understand this, because I'm just trying to be fair to how I view the characters and what their manifest thoughts and emotions are and where they could lead given XYZ circumstances.

I will never understand the actual reasons for the widespread hatred of Rose, nor the widespread backlash-hatred for Martha on the part of D/R shippers. The fact is, more of us have been in Martha's shoes than in Rose's. More people have experienced unrequited love with a friend than big, epic, what-could-have-been OR realized romantic tension with someone who adores you. Martha grew up, she moved on, but it still stayed part of her. She did exactly what so many of us try to do, so I don't really know why people hate her either.

Further, my other main ship for the Who fandom has become Doctor/Master and when I mention this to people who support D/R and even, if prompted, carefully explain the reasons for it, I'm somehow expected to believe that, in spite of all the references to the contrary, that Rose was the only person the Doctor ever cared for in such a manner. Relationships can be special or unique without being unique as to their existence...

Anyway, I kinda ran off track there and can't remember my actual point apart from YAY I LIKE WHAT YOU SAID. So yeah.

Date: 2010-07-17 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hoshinekoyasha.livejournal.com
when did you change your friends only banner...i like it

Date: 2010-07-18 07:39 pm (UTC)

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