Okay, i’m going to just start this off with: Yes, “shippers gonna ship.” I know that saying very well and I have no problem at all with shipping as a whole.
But. When you start throwing the “canon” word around, especially in a case where the mods are right here…and can see that, it gets really upsetting for a lot of reasons.
Readmore because this will probably get really long.
Okay, personally? I’ve felt like this entire time I can’t have my characters get into close personal relationships because of “shipping.” I’ve felt limited because people throw such a big hooplah over “romance” and “sexual relations” that it becomes this much bigger fiasco than it should or needs to be.
It’s really ridiculous when I feel more comfortable showing gore and death on my blog than romance and healthy character interpersonal progression…
I’ve noticed that people who “ship” are overall really …enabled by this community as a whole. And I use the word “enable” because at a point? It does actually start hurting people and making them feel uncomfortable. Because eventually, you’re going to start erasing a lot of romantic/sexual/social views that people have, but you feel like you have the go ahead because you have your shipping badge.
I’m a picky and taken panromantic asexual if you want a label. It’s way more complicated than that, but that’s the closest summary I have. I’m already way outside the norm when it comes to relationships and on top of that, I’m very emotionally stunted so I don’t get an affect or feel the same things that everyone else does.
However, I know I’m not alone in this because I’ve had many the talk with other askblog mods who feel the same about being uncomfortable making their characters have normal, everyday close, interpersonal relationships because it’ll get cheapened to “shipping.”
First of all, most “shipping” is boiled down to a two-dimensional relationship that’s 80% based on the physical aspect. Kissing, sex, that whole thing. Most “ships” get shoved into that default mold that society and the media has set up as a “normal and healthy relationship” when…that’s really not the case at all? Different strokes for different folks. Not everyone needs to have sex to be in a relationship. Not everyone needs to be in love to have sex. Not everyone expects love to come with their sex or sex to come with their love. This can be said about many aspects of the “typical romance.”
That’s really insulting for people like myself who are trying to shine a light on the spectrum OUTSIDE of the regular trope romance.
And aside from that, it’s insulting to people who just want to have a very close, platonic bond between two characters and then they get shipping asks tossed in their inbox. I mean, yeah, we can just “ignore it” but it doesn’t change the fact that we saw it, we acknowledged it. It’s going to stay on our minds, especially with the rate and frequency of these kind of asks that we can and do get.
Secondly, you end up missing a lot when you put on your “shipping goggles.” There’s a lot more to most relationships than just “Ooh, they kissed.” Humans are a complex mesh of emotions, thoughts, opinions, and feelings. They’re built upon every single second by experience and knowledge. When someone’s trying to create a very human character and those character’s feelings get boiled down to “She loves her and wants to fuck her!” then that’s really hurtful to the person that put a lot of thought into that character to emotions and feelings that go way beyond simple “fucking.”
It’s assumed it’s this one package deal as well. You can’t even have a character go on a casual date without “Do you love him?” “Are you two gonna kiss?” getting shoved in your tags and your askbox every moment.
Then there’s the fact that shipping is so enabled that we’re shipping other users? Actual people? Usually without their consent? I know some people will tell you they don’t mind, but that’s not the case for everyone else. A lot of people have aspects of themselves they keep to themselves and then there are just some things you haven’t figured out about a person so you can easily offend or hurt a lot of people with this.
I know it’s just shipping, but anything can be used as a tool to cause emotional anxiety and pain.
And as someone who’s suffered from it and knows people who have shared that suffering, whether for one or all the reasons I’ve touched on, I’d just like to say:
Calm down on the shipping, please?
You can keep shipping. Ship as you will, but try to contain yourselves from blasting our characters tags with it? Or shoving asks in our inbox about it?
You can make your art, write your fanfic, that’s fine, but don’t start assuming canons and trying to force things on characters. It really upsets their mods.