Sunday, October 23rd, 2016 10:02 am
Removing the allcaps because I find them hard to read, but I really agree with
the one thing both those positions share is fear of critical engagement with a person who disagrees with you, which is the one thing you absolutely need in order to progress a discussion past whatever stalled you in the first place.

from this post.

I think the only way to move past this is not just to criticise those we most strongly and angrily disagree with, but to seek out and acknowledge those points of view we disagree with but can respect, and to not act like everyone who disagrees with us is the same as those we disagree with most. Also to avoid uncritically promulgating the opinions of those who are “on our side” but engage in uneccesary cruelty, overgeneralisation or outright misinformation. And if you're afraid to voice your qualms about someone "on your side" because they might turn against you...they're not really on your side.

So, for me, it’s saying “I think people should be allowed to post stories about abusive relationships without being attacked or accused of being pro abuse” but acknowledging that there are people who simply want better acknowledgement that these relationship dynamics are abusive, or at least the chance to say they think it’s abusive without being attacked themselves by angry shippers. And of course this is complicated by strongly differing interpretations and depictions of the same relationships.

An example: I have a weird soft spot for Jared/Sarah from Labyrinth, but only portrayed in certain ways. I wish it wasn’t an unstated assumption of so many of these fics that Sarah is the bad guy for breaking his heart. If they made it clear in the tags/summary that that’s the interpretation they’re going for I could avoid them, but because it’s an unstated assumption I can’t.

So I am 100% in favour of people writing for this ship, but also 100% in favour of people poking at it’s flaws in canon and as written by fans. I want to be able to say I like the ship without being interpreted as thinking it’s flawless and above criticism by either the people who believe that or the “shipping it makes you a pro abuse pedophile” people. And I want to be able to complain about my issues with the ship without being interpreted as wanting it banned either by it’s fans or the people who do think it should be banned.

My response to this kind of situation (in general, there’s not a lot of Labyrinth Discourse on my dash thank god) is mostly to add a lot of caveats, but that makes everything bloated and wishy washy. But I guess it's at least important to avoid painting everyone with the same brush, even if you don't always explicitely acknowledge all the shades of grey.

Also I try to encourage and engage with those people who, regardless of their "side", approach things with nuance and compassion, which if nothing else has made fandom a more pleasant place for me than when I felt bad for avoiding people who said things I agreed with in ways I didn't agree with.

nb: the solution is not to just choose a position somewhere in the middle of the debate and be judgemental and mocking of anyone who strays too far from it. That's not actually any better.


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