and you can also learn that 90% of tumblr are fucking moronic 13 year olds who don’t even read the comics and rape the fandom so hard with gifs like these, its like deviantArt having a clusterfuck with thousands of clones of itself >:I
</comic fan rage>
actually no. NO end brackets. shit like this is gonna be the new quote unquote nerd stereotype, and yes, its quote unquote because this group of vag shlirking girls are no better than the posh chicks reading tiger beat in the 90’s fantasizing about Leo DiCaprio, and are arguably WORSE because they fantasize about fictional characters based solely on the looks of the actors that play them. LITERALLY disregarding the ENTIRETY of the canon because “lol they’re totes gay because they exchanged witty repartee this one time with vaguely barely homoerotic implications and gay couples are ADORBZ” which not only completely disregards the actual fandom, canon, and fucking OBVIOUS character traits (in Tony’s case). but its horrifically condescending to gays in general if you ask me.
so in short: fuck shippers for having the audacity to claim to be fans when all they do is self-impose their own fantasies to a given product, and pretend they aren’t making a mockery of it, as well as any other thing they’d have to gave gobs of cognitive dissonance to find it acceptable.
Jesus Christ! I have no idea where to begin.
1. The Legitimization of the Term of “Fan”
You’re seriously trying to argue that there’s a way to qualify fandom? Like… People who watch the movies<People who read the comics<People who read the comics AND watch the movies<People who read the comics, watch the movies, AND buy the 1,000 dollar life-sized prop replicas and attend comic conventions…or some stupid formula like that?
But that’s only part of it, right? It’s not just that a preference for the movie-verses diminishes the love one can have for a given group of characters and narrative, your argument is actually that there is only one legitimate means of fan expression: Consumption. When people start to manipulate those characters in a way that strays from what is considered “comic canon,” then that is the greatest sin of all.
Well, I would maintain that this means of expression actually shows a much deeper love and appreciation for the fandom than you actually give it credit. These fans are no longer merely losing themselves in a given fictional world, they are dialoging with it and, in doing so, they become a part of it. They explore new dimensions of these universes and really have fun with the characters that inhabit them. Slash-based or not, what you consider to be a “self-imposing” action on the part of a given fan is actually indicative of a lot of expended time, energy, and creativity. Besides…
2. Aren’t interpretation, interaction, and connection what “fandom” is truly all about? Isn’t that what art is supposed to be all about?
When people draw a picture, or write fan fiction, or somehow place their own unique perspectives onto these characters, they personalize their fan experience. By sharing those expression via outlets like Tumblr, we all get a chance to learn more about our fellow fans and be a part of those unique experiences. No one is forcing anyone to adopt a particular perspective when they post a slash fanfic or draw a picture where two guys kiss. It’s not an attack on the integrity of Marvel Comic characters and it’s not a gay coup…it’s just a goddamn photoset.
But let’s cut the crap and get to the real heart to the issue, shall we?
3. The truth of the matter is that a lot of people (straight males in particular, but not as a rule) have trouble picturing their fictional, straight role models acting on homoerotic feelings because, quite frankly, gay thoughts scare them.
And why is that? I’m not going to go down the presumptive, psychological route that insists it’s because you’re a closeted person who is insecure about his own sexuality (although for some people that might be the case). No. The real reason why people behave this way is because men (particularly in the U.S.) have been socially conditioned to fear same-sex intimacy.
Touching, kissing, hugging…anything that suggests that you are vulnerable to another man is considered disgraceful because, for some reason, it means you’re weak or homosexual. And in the minds of some people, secretly, that’s really the worse thing you could ever be.
And who can fault you for that fear? I can’t. The prevalence of this anxiety isn’t your fault. It’s just the way our fucked up society has been structured. Thankfully it’s changing, but as long people still attach stigmas and insecurities to homosexuality…there will still be thoughtless, insensitive acts to go along with them.
But that’s where you can step up and actually do something.
4. Don’t feel threatened by another person’s benign expressions or interests.
I happen to know a lot of beautiful gay women who ship Tony/Steve…and it’s obviously not because they want to make out with either Robert Downey or Chris Evans. I wouldn’t ever want to assume that I knew a person’s rationale for shipping one way or another, but if I had to speculate on the matter, I would imagine that shipping Tony/Steve is partly enjoyable for them because it is a way of projecting their own fears, hopes, dreams, and desires for their same sex relationships onto a mainstream same sex relationship. Because that’s the other beautiful function that art has…as a mirror. It let’s us know how others see us and it lets us express the ways we wish we could be seen by others. Homosexuality is one of those things that has not been well received by mainstream media, and so there haven’t been a lot of “mirrors” out there for gay audiences. That’s changing now, but my point is that by lashing out at Steve/Tony fanworks and slash fans you might be, unwittingly, breaking somebody’s mirror.
Steve/Tont may not be legitimized by the Marvel “canon,” (although GOD KNOWS there’s plenty of comic evidence suggesting that it could work in an alternate universe) but it is legitimized by the fans; by their poignant fan fiction, their tender fan art, essays, comments, photos, and wishes. When you poo-poo the shipping of a particular fandom, you have no idea what sort of emotional connection you may be slandering in the process.
By saying that all these participants are 13-year old, illiterate girls, (in addition to being sexist) you’re just trying discredit the opinions of your fellow fans; fans who have every right to express themselves as much as you do. You don’t have to attack them! You can express your own opinions and interests in a separate post, or minimally attach those ideas to the same post but phrase it with less offensive language and concrete examples for your opinion rather than just offensive generalizations.
If you don’t like it, DON’T SHIP IT.
Simple enough, right?
One final note: I actually appreciate that you think that blithely portraying straight characters as homosexual might be considered a way of trivializing the gay experience, but from what I have seen, most fans construct their works with a remarkable amount of sensitivity and thoughtfulness. There is not a collective effort being made here to stereotype beloved Marvel characters in their newly attributed homosexual lifestyles or diminish their original integrity by having them “play gay house” together. There’s no need for anyone on any side of the fandom fence to experience any kind of “cognitive dissonance” with these people because…
5. THESE CHARACTERS AREN’T REAL. Repeat: They’re not real, so there is no need to remain “faithful” to any single interpretation of them. They’re fictional, so there’s no “truth” about their identities or relationships that COULD be denied if such a thing existed. There’s no reality against which our expectations can collide. Steve and Tony can’t be offended by homoerotic fan fiction because… they’re not real.
What IS real is the way that superheroes make us feel: Powerful, confidant, and capable of taking on the pressures, discrimination, and hardships of our own lives. You can relate to that, can’t you? That need to look to these characters for some sense of order, some sense of truth or strength? Can’t you believe that Steve/Tony might help some people find that order, truth, or strength in their own lives?
(Source: bartonesque, via callmejude)