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. [ profile] amaresu is a friend, so I saw her post first, and then read this post that was linked from [ 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 [ profile] time_and_chips to [ 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 [ 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).
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