Time to get to work!

First, there are going to be some reading this saying I’m causing more problems than I might fix and to stop stirring up shit that is bad enough already. Well you know, I’ve tried to keep everything really neutral and just be a calm voice with what I’m seeing, but after the last few days…..not so much. I still want to be someone that helps fix problems rather than create them, but that doesn’t mean all is bright light and sunshine; sometimes you have to take a hard, unpopular stand to accomplish the necessary goals. Second this is going to be a long post – I challenge you to read through till the end with an open mind.

In the Outlander fandom, I have referred to incidents in my other blogs without naming names because I wasn’t trying to get anyone attacked. I still don’t want that, but I’m not so much for protecting people that are out of line anymore. Be responsible with how you respond to things – don’t attack, work to fix.

I am fed up with the minority of this ‘fandom’ making the whole look like foul, foaming at the mouth idiots to the rest of the world. And gang, by ‘minority’ I mean small number – this has absolutely NOTHING to do with race, religion, sexual orientation or anything in that realm. If YOU make it about that, look in the mirror you are part of the problem.

On the far left, we have the super shippers. No matter what anyone says – including the people in question – Sam & Cait ARE a couple, secretly married or about to be and the gods help anyone who disagrees with this viewpoint. (it’s all about the ‘love’ right? – but best not disagree) It goes from that ‘absolute’ viewpoint that will be promoted and protected no matter who gets hurt, easing down to “they look fabulous together and make a great team. Could be something there but it doesn’t matter”. After that you move towards the center and the MAJORITY of the fandom that could care less who they are dating as long as they keep doing an amazing job of bringing Jamie & Claire to life and are happy. As you move right, you have the same gradient moving to the ‘absolute’ of super-truthers or anti’s. Same problems – they are right and the gods help anyone who offers an opposing view.

When I say extreme in their views and tactics – I mean just that. I very recently started doing screen captures because I’m tired of what has been done and being told to just ignore it. The fandom has ignored this cancer and it has grown steadily worse. There is a lot I do NOT see because

  • I don’t have ‘active’ IG and Tumbler accounts. Have them but don’t ‘get’ how to use them. I am not that SM savvy to be honest, but I get by.
  • Most of the people I have found that have me blocked are shippers so I can’t SEE / document what they are doing. Guess that is why I’m blocked though trying to document anything is a very new tactic for me.
  • I was very careful from the beginning of my SM experience (especially with Twitter) in who I followed. Part of it is just mental self-preservation with sheer volume, but the other part is looking at people to see if I will enjoy their posts. I do try to respond to anything I’m tagged in, but I don’t follow thousands of people.

These hard liners – on both sides – employ tactics that I for one think should be prosecutable. The name calling and general harassment, most people can deal with that. When it moves to comments like “You are obviously mentally defective, just go kill yourself already” (this IS a direct quote and was from a shipper), absolutely VILE name calling/language, doxing (leading to attacking people around the target including friends, family & jobs), actively trying to get the target fired or in legal trouble and death threats.

I have to tell you, I am sick of the hard core shippers whining about how they are constantly attacked and vilified and how some in the fandom are just out to make them look bad. (ah…likely exactly what they are saying about me – especially with this post.) They are the victims. I say BULLSHIT. Some shippers simply cannot understand how they attract so much negative attention. Here is an example – and this is MILD, very, very MILD to some of the language I have seen and been told about.

screenshot-11_8_2016-7_47_51-am 

To moderate shippers – can you see why you have a bad rep and many people almost instantly have an issue when you claim to be a “shipper”? Some of these hardliners bait and goad otherwise sensible people into an angry outburst, spending a great deal of time ‘digging’ at them until they get the response they want. After deleting their own nastiness that prompted the anger, they hold this response up to show how mean and nasty this person is and that the poor shipper is just a picked upon victim. I’ve seen it happen.

To be fair – hard core “truthers” or “antis” often do the same thing. The one difference I have found is that shippers are far more likely to go WAY beyond the pale with less cause and are far more willing to pull in collateral to do damage to. I could be wrong about that, but I haven’t seen or heard of it so much.

To be even a little more fair – hard core book purists aren’t much better. If you want the show EXACTLY like the books, go back and read the books! The whole point of a different medium is that it is DIFFERENT. It’s a different audience, a different overall demographic and different viewpoint behind the story. You are absolutely entitled to your thoughts and opinions! But please, PLEASE….pretty please with sugar and sprinkles – express them like the mature adult you simply must be to appreciate DG’s books in the first place! Stop whining to STARZ  and trying to get people fired just because the show isn’t exactly what you want or expected. If you honestly feel the show is horrid and not what you want to see STOP WATCHING and let the rest of us enjoy it. Really is that simple. You want to debate and discuss in a civilized manner – most will engage you; but ‘most’ are tired of being attacked and vilified as ‘arse-kissers’ for defending something we are truly enjoying. If you can’t or won’t do that, please do take your time and money to support a show you can ‘fan’ and enjoy. You can keep being a fan of the books without being a fan of the show. It’s allowed, honest.

This stuff is going on…..every day. I’d been wondering why KD had stopped covering Outlander. She was so great on the panels and so much fun to watch when interacting with the cast and creative minds behind the show. Then she just stopped. When I thought about it, she ‘disappeared’ right after she did the interview where she asked Sam & Cait point blank “ARE you a couple?” They both said NO….. shippers didn’t like that. I’ve heard whispers she, like some other ‘journalists’ and bloggers, were viciously attacked on SM and threatened.

All the above was to let the bulk of the fandom (not that I have that many people who actually read my blogs) become aware of what is going on. Don’t believe me? You can find it if you look. Till recently I tried to mostly ignore the worse of it hoping people would get some common sense. I’ve had brand new people to the fandom tell me ‘oh I’ve had people tell me to not follow this person or that person as they are nasty’. Really? You don’t think people have the intelligence to make up their own minds for who they do or do not want to follow?

Honestly, this post is NOT for the fringe hard-liners on either side. They won’t listen anyway. I am addressing the bulk of the fandom that just wants to enjoy the show and our stars and all the people that bring us Outlander. Stand up – take our fandom back.

When you see this kind of crap going on, say “This is NOT ok”. Report them. Shut them down. Make it so they don’t have a platform to spew their hate from. Absolutely do NOT EVER stoop to their level of hatred, threats and name calling. That doesn’t help. Be prepared – there will be backlash – but the longer we keep silent the worse it will get. Anyone who has been around this TV fandom from the beginning will almost have to agree this is true.

Shippers are GOING to ship. The only people that MIGHT be able to stop that are Sam & Caitriona – honestly it’s their lives so they are the only ones with the ‘right’ to tell them to stop. At this point, I doubt even them saying in clear, absolute language that they want it to STOP, no secret messages, NOT a couple or anything else will get the shippers to give up on shipping them. I had a shipper tell me one time “It’s all about the love! We love “love” and that is all we are promoting”……and then you harass, attack, threaten and dox people that disagree with you. As a fandom we can’t dictate how you ‘fan’ – but we sure as hell CAN work at stopping the hate. Truthers…..this goes for you too. STOP the nastiness. No derogatory names, threats, coercion or generally being vile just because you don’t like shipping. I don’t either, but I’ve never disrespected the PEOPLE – merely spoken against the PRACTICE.

We as a group need to stand up to the bullying. Don’t land on someone for shipping – they can fan as they want; land on them for attacking another member of the fandom when all they have done is exercise THEIR right to fan by say they think S & C are NOT a couple. Let ANYONE in the fandom that employs the tactics I described above know that such behavior is NOT ok and won’t be tolerated. The sort of messages I showed above are hateful and wrong.

There are steps to take in this sort of endeavor and you have to be careful not to give them a wider platform. If you want to step in and tell someone to stop bullying, take out tags that shouldn’t be in the conversation – especially the actors. This is true even if the original attack was directed at one of the actors. Leaving those tags in just perpetuates the message and allows a wider audience to see it.

Don’t fall to their level. Let the wrong-doer know the behavior is unacceptable without resorting to name calling, abusive language or threats. Simply state this is not ok, please stop or you will be reported. If you can engage them in a civil discourse – but all means. But don’t let it devolve. As soon as you realize they are just using it at a platform to spread more hate, walk away and report. Get others to report. Get screen captures of the bullying so there is proof. We can’t just ‘let this go’ anymore. Be strong against bullying, without being mean or vindictive.

Important note: look back at the thread to make sure you know what you are jumping into before you jump. Sam and WS had a great back and forth several days ago about a change in Toblerone chocolate. Some people saw it in the middle, assumed it was about the election and started spewing. Then they got all offended when WS (in his usual acerbic manner) corrected them. It was a prime example of not understanding the argument or even if there IS one before jumping in. Don’t assume on 1 or 2 tweets out of a bunch that you understand the discussion/argument.

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 Shippers will be screaming that they have the right to ship however they want and we can’t push them into a corner. Well…if you don’t want to be treated like petulant children being put in the corner, stop acting the part. Go ahead and ship – but be respectful. Don’t attack and bully people that don’t happen to agree with your take on things. Be civil and stop pushing YOUR agenda down people’s throats that don’t feel the same. You have every right to ‘fan’ as you wish? So does everyone else. You want people to stop getting mad at you and instantly going on the defensive when they find out you are a shipper? Stop attacking anyone with a differing opinion.

Anti’s…….please….don’t go trolling shippers timelines or tumbler accounts to FIND issues. That doesn’t help. People need to stand up if they get attacked and if they need to, ask for help. If you do see bullying – address it, but again, don’t sink to bullying yourself. If shippers want to ship on their own Tumbler deal or a blog page or a private FB group that most of us don’t HAVE to see – that’s fine. They attack on a public forum, Twitter, IG, FB (not a closed group) where lots of people can see and respond, by all means tell them that sort of language or abuse is not ok. Report this stuff. Have proof. Oh and go back in a thread as sometimes an outburst from someone is after a long run of harassment.

We are (or should be) a fairly intelligent fandom. This story is so much more than most of the things that are out there to fan about. Love and life and an enduring relationship of characters that are so easy to relate to and learn from. We have a group of people working on this show that have been very willing to participate in social media and engage the fans; don’t lose that for stupidity. Fan as you wish but respect everyone else’s right to do the same. Discuss things, get new perspectives, talk to others with differing opinions and viewpoints to gain an insight you hadn’t seen before – but be KIND to each other doing it. Don’t go out looking for trouble, but don’t back away from standing up for someone getting attacked either. Stand up for what is right and good in this fandom. Put out messages of hope and caring and understanding – don’t ‘promote’ hate and fear.

As always

Courtesy Oh….by the way….everything I just said above?
All that holds pretty true for the country and politics as well. Just saying.

 

 

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13 thoughts on “Time to get to work!

  1. dancerdf says:

    Appreciate this and completely agree. Also, I find the best response to these people is none at all.

    • rynawolfe says:

      True – but we can’t just ignore it anymore either. If shipping makes people happy, that is their thing. Writing makes me happy and I’m quite sure I offend some people 🙂 But I work very hard to never attack a person. An attitude or behavior that hurts others? That I will denounce. If the shoe doesn’t fit – don’t try to wear it.

  2. bwismer5 says:

    I also appreciate your taking the time to call out such behavior. My only comment to shippers is that hey, they are really denigrating the acting ability of our stars, aren’t they? Anyway, totally agree that this fandom once had the rep of being so kind, and it pains me to see us lose that good rep.

  3. rynawolfe says:

    Yes, I remember early on voting and how we all thought how awful some of the other fandoms were for their infighting and nastiness. Look at us now. The good thing is, it really IS a very SMALL minority. The majority needs to get a much bigger, louder voice of kindness and support of the show to drown out the negative. It can be done. Thanks for the comment.

  4. Laura Palese says:

    Yes! Love this. Very insightful.

  5. Laura Palese says:

    Yes! Very well done! Most insightful!

  6. Lyn says:

    Enjoyed reading your blog. I am a recent OL Fan, introduced via the Show having never read the books. But S1 so intrigued me that I sought out every synopsis, book discussions I could find on the series as well as companion books and am a regular reader/visitor to DG’s official site. (Plan to read the books at some point.)

    I follow OL on TW; I’m not on FB; vote in various award polls; rarely if ever post comments. And have never tagged any of the cast or crew.

    Finally getting to my reason for this post; I am aware of the ‘shipping’ phenom but wasn’t aware that some ‘shipped’ the actual actors and not their characters. This seems so at odds. How can you claim to ‘love/respect’ an actor yet ship them in a very confined manner? RP shipping to me deems selfish and.reeks of entitlement. And what I have witnessed this year confirms this. S/C should not have had to go on camera to say that they were just very good friends! I’m at a lost as to why some assume that their ‘ship’ was of such importance that WS’s friend, PC, should have known not to contradict it. I know some are on a mission to shame WS, but honestly, he didnot seek out shippers back in June! He became involved when his friends/asscs. were under attack. (see 1st tweet of 6/8) And WS likes a fight; shippers poked the bear.

    Now this morning yet more drama. Really?? I read the thread at issue – it tagged NOONE! WS said Cait was the ‘Lead; that was a former VS model; she WAS!! She has said so in interviews; articles quote this; pics are everywhere! So ALL models aren’t worthy an only seen as fodder for misogyny claims? So women like Naomi, Giselle, etc are demeaned to make whatever point some are trying to make? Cait is so abhorred over this p/o her career that it must never be mentioned? He said OL had gratuitous/non-gratuitous nudity; it does!! Articles has said as much! Some say as much with the gifs, pics, vids, seen daily on SM! I got that the fans he was trying to reach had no clue about OL or its actors and that WS was trying to grab their interest. So what is at the root of some “fans” actions today? I saw his tweet and exchanges; he didnot tag anyone and had a brief comical exchange with a few followers. Everyone then moved on. It was not an advert for OL And I doubt that his 2M+ TW followers even noticed.

    But now this demand to OL to DO something about WS! When at the core of this ongoing feud is simply about someone who disputes a ‘ship’ that some shippers claim is just for fun. And clearly the REAL people that are the subject of this ship really don’t matter. They are only objects of entertainment; that if they aren’t seen as playing along they are also attacked! I don’t get this at all!! Its a turn off. I find myself excited about seeing these two actors in projects O/S of the OL bubble.

    Thanks for allowing me to speak.

    • rynawolfe says:

      Thanks for the comment Lyn – ANYONE can speak here as long as they keep it civil. WS is WS and nothing anyone says or does at this point is going to change him. I get his sense of humor and how he goes about things. I am not one to get offended over every little thing – if I was I would have given into despair and killed myself a long time ago. I don’t always agree with how he goes about things, but he does bring things to light that the majority of the fandom would like to just ignore. I hate the drama – sucks the fun out of things. I hope we can all come to terms and ‘fan’ as we want and enjoy without more infighting, but that will take effort from all parties. We’ll see.

  7. Mable says:

    Sorry I’m just reading this now but it seems as fresh as ever. I agree with your perspective on shipper, antis and “everybody else” but here’s a different take. I came from another fandom (The Mentalist) where shipping abounded but they didn’t ship the real life actors because they were both married to others with kids etc., they shipped the characters…hardcore. I was (and still am) a non-shipper and while it wasn’t always sunshine and roses, for the most part, we got along.
    Once that show ended I was attracted to Outlander, loved the show and started following on SM. What I found was that the Outlander fandom was very divided and very cliquish. Shipper and nons had their groups, book fans had theirs, fans who were “there from the beginning” had their groups and I found it very hard to find a niche..
    In The Mentalist fandom I joined SM 4 years into the show and found many friends fairly quickly, some who have joined the Outlander fandom as well. My point is that shipping isn’t the only thing that divides the fandom. While shippers have extreme views they are still fans. Its kind of like having that quirky cousin with purple hair and a weird taste in music, you may not understand them or agree with them but they are part of the family.
    I think their rising resentment grew from not being accepted initially as valid part of the fandom even if it was as a fringe section. If I, a non-shipper who firmly believes that Sam and Cait’s personal lives are their own, did not feel welcomed by some, I could imagine what some shippers felt like. They were marginalized and this seems to have created an alt-shipper segment that now spews hatred and ugliness at the actors significant others and the actors themselves. I think Shatner calls them sock accounts that are created anonymously to hide true identities. By no means do I agree with the shipper POV but I think I understand how they feel. The Outlander fandom was bound to grow and of course there were many who were there from the very start. There was no way it could’ve stayed that little fandom of everyone who was there for Sam’s first tweet. If you were, great for you but that shouldn’t give anyone anymore importance than another fan. If you have a circle of friends let others in, chat with them and be open to discussion and differing opinions and viewpoints. Maybe if we were all accepting of each other we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in now.

  8. rynawolfe says:

    Thanks for reading, Mable! With all that is going on in the fandom (and politics) I’ve just sort of shelved writing anything for now. That step back and disengaging mostly from social media has (somewhat) preserved my sanity.

    Yes, the Outlander fandom IS pretty ‘cliquish’. I never was very good with that mentality, even in high school. I participated in choir and theatre, but I had good friends that were key people in all the other ‘groups’ (band, egg heads, math club, sportos, druggies, etc.) so could go anywhere and enjoy all of it. I mean, the short, heavy chick got to hang with all the athletes and cheerleaders and was excepted when I was around because I had become friends with the captain of the football team. I enjoy all sorts of stimulus and discussion and can learn from all the different ‘groups’ within the Outlander fandom without always agreeing.

    If you look back about previous blogs about shipping – I didn’t go after specific people, I went after the practice. I mean really, all of us ‘ship’ real life people a little bit. I explain that pretty thoroughly – the problem here is the extreme it is taken to and the attacks against anyone who disagrees with their POV. Back in the beginning of this ‘war’, while I didn’t like the practice, I was perfectly willing to let the ‘super shippers’ fan however they wanted to, then they started getting really vile and nasty. To be fair, it is a very small group of people from what I can tell – but they are very loud and vicious.

    I find the whole thing really sad as I’m hearing from many that the show has been ruined for them by all the infighting. It has for ME to a certain extent. There is so much great material both in the story and the actors and the show to discuss and do mental exercise with, yet far too many have to be ‘right’ at any cost and turn things into a fight.

    I have tons of info I dug up to do a whole blog on Frank….but I just don’t know if I want to deal with the fallout. I want all fans to enjoy themselves and ‘fan’ however they feel is appropriate, but it is NOT ok to attack and threaten people who don’t happen to agree with you. I’ve been slapped at a lot too, because I don’t agree with a lot of the mainstream fans. That’s ok, I’m a big girl with big girl panties and I can take it – I’m not going to call people names, harass them at work, try to get them fired, put their private information on line for the world to see or threaten them with physical violence for disagreeing with me. THAT is what needs to be stopped and dealt with – the real life shipping of Sam & Cait is just the platform it’s all coming from.

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