Is shipping-talk censoring on forums a feminist issue?
I loathe sloppy debate and nyah nyah as much as the next person. Most forum arguments, the posts on politics to theology that are loaded with references from this semester's humanities classes, seem like a necessary rite of passage to me--just so many young doggies jumping around and learning how to snip, distract, attack in packs, and use ad hominems. Fandickery, though, is its own special form of teh stoopid. Depending on the fanboard, there isn't that much policing of it UNLESS it's shiptalk. Ship threads invariably get shut down. Not because most shippers are batshit insane--there's a tolerable level of insanity required for shipping discourse--but because two or three rabid morons get out of hand and ruin the fun for the slightly less rabid.
An infamous Rukia versus Orihime for Ichigo thread at AnimeSuki that had been going along noisily and happily for three years was finally closed last week. The long-suffering mods are prohibiting ANY sort of shipping talk in the chapter threads. This is not a new phenomenon. I've noticed since being an administrator on a DBZ board that ship talk (in my day it was the Bulma/Vegeta versus the Goku/Vegeta fans, LOL) led to the nastiest spats, but very often many a discussion about power levels turned personal and vicious and didn't get the bad press ship wars did.
Just putting the question out there. I'm not one of those chicks that screams sexism at every corner (haha, I was reading an article in fanthropology not long ago about bias in fandom and one of the examples of a highly biased fan was the academic in gay-lesbian-bi-transgendered studies who writes only slash) but it seems to me that the fanbois can be just as DUMB and nasty in their fandickery as in the largely fangirl-dominated world of shipping (apologies to sinta and other male shipping essayists who don't fit the stereotype).
A few months ago I read a shipper telling her own friends to keep their opinions to the ship's FC because "we don't want to taint the larger fandom with shipping talk." That made me sad. It reminded me of when I was told not to write shipping essays because they would annoy people--but other speculative essays in my fandom were okay.
Just wondering. Is sometimes what happens in shiptalk censoring a case of stupid people being told to pipe down (which is fine by me) or GIRLS and WOMEN being told to not talk about love and romance in shounen manga (which isn't fine by me)?
Okay, shift of gears. Have a drabble. This one is by kaeru_chan who used to play a delightful spot-on Orihime in the RPG deathonly early in fandom, and I've missed her Orihime. She wrote this little bit not long ago and gave me permission to post it. It's IshiHime, PG13. It made me smile--I know I have lots of IshiHime fans in this comm so I hope it makes you smile too.
"Ne, ne, Ishida-kun!"
He knew who it was immediately, without looking up from his embroidery to verify her presence before he replied. "Inoue-san. Is something wrong? I thought you'd gone home for the day."
"I did, but then I remembered I had a question, juuuust as I was crossing the street, and it was so important that I stopped!"
That made him look up, sharp blue eyes looking her over for any signs of injury. "In the street?"
"Yes!" Thankfully, Orihime appeared to be unharmed. In fact, she seemed even more energetic than usual, bouncing lightly from foot to foot (and causing her chest to join in on the bouncing). "The cars must have known just how important it was, because they all stopped, too! I always knew they were smart! Like car robots from Saturn, and they let people drive them so they can travel everywhere and get enough information to take over! I should try talking to one and let him know I know his secret, so--"
"Inoue-san," Ishida gently cut in, knowing all too well she'd talk for hours about smart cars from Saturn if he didn't guide her back to her main point (and he couldn't look at her while she was bouncing that much). "What was your question?"
Orihime blinked, then laughed and gave herself a light rap on the head. "I almost forgot again! Anyway, before I came to Handicrafts Club today, Chizuru-chan said you had a needle that you wanted to stick into my sewing basket, but I shouldn't let you. She said I should break it, instead, but I thought that would be too mean! What if your needle was lonely, and really wanted to be in the sewing basket? And she said it was probably little enough to try and sneak in. So if I ask, then it won't have to be sneaky!"
Now it was Ishida's turn to blink. "... Er." Having been exposed to Chizuru's innuendos before (and fending her off each time she confronted him with accusations about him wanting to do certain "things" to his innocent classmate), he was fairly certain that she didn't mean an actual needle and sewing basket. In fact, if he had to guess...
"So, Ishida-kun..." She clasped her hands together and turned beseeching gray eyes in his direction. "If you want to put your needle in my sewing basket, it's all right with me! I have a lot of room and I bet it'll be nice and comfy there!"