Feb. 29th, 2012

krpalmer: (Default)
Four years ago, I decided to mark the leap day by expressing an "unpopular fandom opinion." With the three hundred and sixty-sixth day of the year rolling around again, the thought of indulging myself again returned, but it took a little while to sort through a few possibilities. In the end, I'm stepping away from any specific fandom to say "I just don't seem as interested in 'shipping' as lots of other people."

By "shipping," I would say "interpreting all interaction between two fictional characters as preliminaries to them winding up in a romantic relationship." That might, of course, leave me open to the rejoinder "ah, you don't understand the term at all," but I'm still going to try and push on anyway. It doesn't seem a matter of not being interested in romance at all: I can get squishy and sentimental over "official" romances in action-oriented stories, exactly the ones that seem to get dismissed by those delving into subtext as "distraction from the real connections" or just "not well done." The way "shipping" blends into "slash" does seem to open up another potential criticism, but I have been interested in at least some "girls' love" anime and manga, and I can find mixed-sex declarations as tedious as same-sex ones.

If there's an explanation, I suppose it might have to do with a mixture of "looking at what you want something to be as opposed to what it is seems a recipe for disillusionment" and "can't there be such a thing as 'friendship' (or even 'rivalry') without it winding up sexualised?" Maybe there's the feeling that the potential relationships seem so all-consuming to those promoting them that they seem to overshadow all other connections.

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