Look at yourself in the mirror? Take a second and really look. You know how you think you’ve gotten under our skin and we’re stewing over the hateful words you have said to us? Well, wipe that smirk off your face, cause we might not have seen you. You were muted long ago. Unfortunately that doesn’t mean that we don’t ever see you. We don’t look for you, but unfortunately keyword columns on Tweetdeck bring you into our timeline and we’re caught staring at the hate you spew at us or about us. (We answered some of them in the gallery above).
We don’t know you personally. You don’t know us. We assume that you have a life and that you do things outside of twitter. We assume that you are just really passionate about some things, the same way we are. We get that. We respect that. You like different ships, you think a show is better than we think it is. We get it.
Part of the reason that Fangirlish started was because we didn’t agree with the way that people talked about fandom. We didn’t appreciate that everything was looked at like it was supposed to be vying for an Academy Award. Not everything is created for critical acclaim. Sometimes things are just created.
But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have to be critical of things. We are just critics of a different kind. The kind that bases it off passion. Love for something. We get it – you are part of fandom. Teams – they have long been a part of that. Choosing sides has long been a part of fandom. Loving or hating an adaptation – long been a part of fandom. Not giving up on your fandom, no matter what – also a part of fandom.
But somewhere down the road what’s gotten lost in fandom is respect for different opinions. What else has gotten lost? Common sense.
“You attack actors.” It’s a phrase we hear a lot when it comes Shadowhunters. Umm, we’re lost. Cause we have never attacked the actors. We’ve criticized the writing, the plot holes, the costumes. Sure, we wrote open letters to show-runners. We’ve also had conversations with some of the actors about it. They know that we don’t criticize them. Common sense would tell you that we don’t “attack” actors when we’re openly criticize writing. We’ve said it a million times, but somehow the concept is lost.
But the beauty of life and the internet is that you can take things out of context. And people do. Take the parts that criticize and not the parts that praise and hold onto those. It’s fine. We know you’re gonna do it.
“You only write about stuff that you hate.” Again, nope. We write about a lot of stuff that we love. But even in the stuff that we love, we can find fault. If we loved everything, you would want to call us out. If we don’t love everything, you call us out. But let’s return to the idea of fandom – you don’t just get rid of loving it because something is bad. So let me just stop Shadowhunters fans in their tracks – we won’t stop writing about it. We won’t. The Mortal Instruments is a fandom that we will always be a part of and calling us a Cassie Clare stan isn’t an insult. When the show is cancelled one day, the books will still be there.
But where do we begin? What has to happen for fandom to just appreciate what it is – a bunch of people loving the same thing, but different parts of the same thing? No one has to agree. But what you don’t have to be is hateful.
Unfortunately with social media, fandom suddenly has become toxic. Everything is more accessible. Everything. And people seem to feel that with that accessibility comes the need to “protect” something. If someone doesn’t write your take on something then they need to “defend it.” Well, here’s the thing. IT’S A TV SHOW OR A MOVIE. We aren’t curing cancer, we aren’t fighting a war. We are loving a fandom. Defending a celebrity – okay, we get it. But, don’t mean to state the obvious, they are grown ass men and women, with mouths and a vocabulary.
“You’re two faced.” No, no. We back up what we write. We say it and we have conversations about it. We’re open to having conversations with you. But, we will not have conversations when you bring it to a personal space.
Over the past three years, fandom has gotten really toxic. It’s horrible sometimes. We’ve dealt with a lot, made our mistakes, and we take responsibility for them. So let us tell you, as we continue to evolve and grow, we aren’t going to stop dissecting things. We won’t stop defending the things we love and calling for them to be better if they should be. We’ll deal with the responses when things are taken out of context and we’ll still be passionate about fandom.
We don’t have to tell anyone everything. You aren’t in the rooms with us for everything that happens. You aren’t around for all the conversations. You aren’t in the midst of all the interviews. We work hard, we bust our ass, and we are always doing everything we can to bring people what we can about everything they love. We are not a *insert fandom name here* fansite. We are fans writing about fandoms. What is just too much is the fact that some people feel the need to attack the writers personally. We don’t know you, you don’t know us. Critique the writing, fine. Critique the people – NO. That’s a line you shouldn’t cross.
We’ve realized that fandom is a game to some people. So, we’re going to unblock everyone that we have blocked over the years. We’ll mute who we need to. We’re about building a community.
But I can tell you this – we’re done avoiding. We’ll be nice about it. We’re going to keep writing. We’re going to keep liking ships you do like and ships you don’t like. We’ll respect your opinion. We’ll keep loving fandom.
You do you.