Can you relate? You sit in your towel after a shower because you're too lazy to get dressed. You and your best friend can say one word, and crack up. You hate when one string of your hoodie is longer than the other. You hate it when people think you like someone when you clearly don't. You hate it when your favorite song comes on, as you pull into the driveway. You feel like if you turn on the lights, you will be safe from anything. You push those little buttons on the lids of fast-food drinks. You laugh until people get hurt, then stop when you realize it's serious. You hate it when parents get serious about something funny you tell them. You hate when you tell a guy to shut up and they copy you in a higher voice. You pretend to sleep when your parents come in. You text the person next to you things that you can't say out loud. You hate when people in front of you walk really slow and you can't get past them. You're always tired no matter how much sleep you get. You stop the microwave before it hits 00:00 to avoid hearing the beeps. You use the "sup" head nod. You just did the nod after you read it. You hate when you are mad at someone and they make you laugh. You check the fridge every ten seconds to see if food magically appeared.
This was inspired by several things on my dash today - talk of “lazy” pairings and male gamers saying dumbass things and the part where I really need to fix my Tumblr Savior filter on the portable Firefox I use at work.
Anyway. You’ve seen the Geek Social Hierarchy Chart, yes? (I prefer this essay about it, but the chart is easier to read on the first link.) It’s an unfortunate truth, but I hate the social hierarchy so much. SO MUCH. Because it’s all about making yourself feel better by casting someone else beneath you. Fans/geeks seem to love to do it a lot - maybe because we’re looked down on by a lot of other people, so we feel the need to defend ourselves in the same way we ourselves are attacked.
In other situations, a person will disparage another group of fans because they feel lonely - a feeling I understand all too well. You love a certain canon in a certain way, and you wish very much for everyone else to understand the way you feel. But fandom seems to like something very different than you, and it sucks. So you lash out at what’s popular. I get it. I’ve been tempted - I’ve even done it from time to time. I try to do it in private these days, but sometimes you just get irritated enough to say something stupid.
Because there’s no right way to be a fan. There’s no wrong way to be a fan. All the ways we’re fans - all the things we love, all the things we do - they’re all good. And none of them make us any less than anyone else.
We are not less if we love video games. We are not less if we love B-movies or comic books or anime or soap operas. We are not less if we love Harry Potter more than Lord of the Rings. We are not less if we love Twilight more than Harry Potter. (No, we’re really not. There’s a difference between opinions of the text and the reasons a person loves a text.)
We are not less if we love heroes more than villains. We are not less if we love villains more than heroes. We are not less if we love the same character everyone else loves. We are not less if we love that character that has two lines in one episode the best. We are not less if we love that one character that says dumb shit all the time. We are not less if we love the character that everyone else hates.
We are not less if we’re here because of the complexity of the story. We are not less if we’re only here because we like the music. We are not less if we’re here because of the romance. We’re not less if we’re here because the fight scenes are awesome. We are not less if we’re only here because we like one particular character. We are not less if we don’t have a favorite character at all.
We’re not less if we’re only here because person/character X is really fucking hot. We’re not less if we don’t understand why anyone would find person/character X attractive. We’re not less if we only ship canon pairings. We’re not less if we ship two people who have never spoken in canon and never will. We’re not less if we don’t ship anyone at all. We’re not less if we ship slash, or if we ship het. We’re not less if we like incest, or non-con, or the fluffiest princess-sparkles happily-ever-after stories in the world.
We are not less if we like to imagine ourselves as the characters in the story. We are not less if we want to write/read about characters that are totally different than us. We are not less if we want to imagine having sex with a character. We are not less if we never want to imagine anyone having sex ever. We are not less if we write original characters. We are not less if we identify strongly with one particular canon character. We are not less if we don’t identify with anyone at all.
We like what we like. Fandom is here to give us joy, in one way or another. Why must one person’s joy be superior to someone else’s? And why must we disparage someone else’s joy, just because we don’t share it? There’s a whole other post here somewhere about sharing our love with other people, but that’s for a time when I’m not distracted by Farscape on my TV. :)