Ship Isn’t A Four Letter Word:
Do you ever get the feeling that when you’re a fan of a show, it’s frowned upon to also be a fan of a ‘ship’? From showrunners, to the cast, to other fans, if you’re a shipper, you are somehow less relevant than the other serious, purely plot loving fans.
We live in a day and age where if you even leave a beautifully thought out response on an article or a youtube video/interview, you’re screamed at to go back to tumblr because apparently tumblr is the only place shippers are allowed to play. Your opinion is meaningless because you must be wearing shipper goggles or only want things to play out in regards to your couple.
This is an open letter to anyone who thinks that shipping is a dirty word:
I have watched many shows, I have been in many many MANY fandoms and I can attest that as time goes on, the reputation that shippers get just seems to get more and more distorted. Suddenly, you’re less of a viewer because you can’t possibly understand the complexities and the nuances of the storyline since you’re so heavily focused on just one part of it.
Shippers-all shippers-have to watch and analyze every single frame of any given episode to draw the right conclusions, to make parallels, to see the storyline arcs. If anything, shippers pay more attention than the general audience and maybe even more than the plot lovers. And in terms of online buzz, shippers tend to create the most of it from winning online polls to trending worldwide they’re the ones making the majority of the noise. There are several shows that I don’t watch, but you can bet your ass that I know the ships and the shows that they’re from: i.e, Arrow-Olicity, Teen Wolf-Stydia, Riverdale-Bughead/Beronica/Varchie, Shadowhunters-Malec/Clace, Supergirl-Karmel/Sanvers/SuperCorp. Shows I don’t watch, but damn is social media alive with those shippers promoting the hell out of it and repping what they want and thus drawing in more viewers and interest.
So, why are shippers treated like the red headed step children of the media world, with even reporters shying away from anything that might even look like a relationship question? What is it about wanting to find love and happiness in an otherwise intense-and depending on the show, downright horrific- storyline considered a bad thing; something frowned upon and deemed as silly and simply for teenage girls and not grown women or men-but the absolute misogyny of this mindset is honestly another conversation.
So, it’s time, ladies and gents. Time to stop insulting shippers as if they’re less intelligent or not as serious about whatever show they watch just because they might ship a ship or two or a million. Because the bottom line is and always will be this: shipper or not, they’re a viewer and to treat them as if they’re less important than every other person watching the show, is to ultimately lose them and that’s no good for anyone.
Thus concludes this open letter, so ship and let ship (or don’t! it’s totally your prerogative), and remember:
Ship Is NOT A Four Letter Word.
**ETA- This article was written before the events of SDCC and seems more prevalent now after the fact. No fan of any show should be made to feel as if they don’t matter or that what they love is a mockery. Regardless of the motivation behind the SDCC occurrence, it was unprofessional, rude, and uncalled for and there are no excuses for it. Shipping and ship-wars aside, we’re all here for the love of a tv show or a character and all of us deserve the chance to celebrate what we love without getting ridiculed for it. That being said, remember to be kind and to act towards others the way you would want people to act towards you. It’s easy to lash out in anger or humiliation and scream at the world. Believe me, been there. But above all else, #PromoteWhatYouLove.