For a few years I had a great job working in a second hand store in charge of the book department. This gave me wonderful opportunities to see and experience authors I might never have found otherwise. Several of the authors that are now favorites were found during this time: The Black Dagger Brotherhood books by J.R. Ward, The Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon, The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher AND Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.
In contemplating this particular post, I did some digging. Here are some interesting bits I came up with:
Now, in that two year stretch I followed many people and had a few follow me. I never expected to have more than 100 or so people following me, so my current number is a bit humbling. Some of the people that have chosen to follow me humble me even further as, they are people I greatly respect both as human beings and artists (in several areas of creativity).
I remember how exciting those early days were for the series on social media. The thrill that someone as knowledgeable and well respected as RD Moore would be at the helm. That they were going to have Diana participating and giving suggestions. The very idea of seeing such a beloved story come to life and all the discussion that went into it. There were some negative comments early on about casting – understandable as these were long beloved characters that people wanted to see done right. And they most definitely were. The negative comments died down fairly quickly and everyone on Twitter just seemed to enjoy the process.
I remember voting early on. We had a united front to get our show out there so it could be seen. Introducing it through voting to people who had never heard of it. Being told over and over what a great fandom we had. How the Outlander fans were appalled by the nastiness and in-fighting going on in other fandoms. Well look at us now.
So here is my statement:
To the anti’s….honest….Sam and Caitriona are grown people that can defend themselves or not as they wish. Defending the fandom and its integrity is great, but several have stooped to the same abhorrent methods the shippers used and became just as much of a problem.
Shippers – I am SO SO SO done defending your ‘right to fan as you wish’ because you just won’t. You won’t quietly fan/ship and leave the rest of us alone to fan as WE wish. You started this war by attacking people that dared to disagree with you and it has not stopped. There is proof and all know it. I’m sick of the ‘we are victims’ – and ‘how is it ok to hate us?!” WAAAAAAAAA I never directly attacked shippers but I’m done being nice. You want to ship? FINE go bloody do it elsewhere and leave the rest of the fans who don’t happen to agree with you, are tired of constantly seeing your crap about it and sick of being attacked for views that don’t match yours, alone. You keep attacking and being nasty….all I can say is karma can be a real bitch…expect it to come back and bite you in the ass. It’s too bad all shippers are being painted with the same brush now – but then, they haven’t done anything to deal with the problem either.
Honestly, we can never get rid of the fringe – just like in politics. The real problem children will be there; ignoring them won’t make them go away it just gives them more room to maneuver and get a stronger hold and longer reach.
So my second statement is to the rest of the fandom.
For all the people who just said ‘ignore them, they will stop eventually’, that didn’t stand up for people being attacked, that didn’t work on ways to fix these problems, that know some of these ‘problem children’ and have done nothing, that went blissfully on ignoring the problems because it didn’t directly affect you. I’m disappointed. This fandom as done some truly wonderful, awesome things over the last few years – can we continue to do that with all the infighting? Shippers vs the world….Jamie fans that are rude to those that like Frank….hateful things said to actors because of the characters they play….most of all, attacking each other over a diffence of opinion. I don’t mean honest exchange and discussion, I mean nasty names and comments if one person doesn’t agree with another. We always said voting in those polls we would never be a toxic fandom like we were seeing there…and here we are.
Is the whole fandom doing the bad stuff? Of course not – but enough that it has been well noticed and documented outside the fandom. I have tried to speak out here on this blog (not very effectively it seems) and be nice while doing it. I’ve tried to be a voice of reason in tweets, but people have to be willing to listen to the other side. So…I’m done trying. The few of us trying just aren’t going to cut it – the majority of the fandom would need to get involved to make changes and, at this point, I just don’t see it happening.
My online presence won’t really change much. I still plan to enjoy the show, interact with individuals and follow people or not as my own sense dictates. I’ll still vote when I can (though not nearly as often) and promote the great things that come along. I will 100% support the cast and crew of this show – but I’m done getting involved with the politics. I’ve tried. If you look back at this blog I’ve spoken out over and over and over again about the negative things that have gone on. I had one person I thought of as a friend dump me, unfollow me and ‘slap’ me verbally for ‘just stirring up trouble so people would notice me’. Few listen, few read the blog (compared to the size of the fandom) and if I’m not making a positive change with all I have written, what is the point?
I’m using lists to look at Twitter mostly now rather than going through my main timeline. I’m going to miss posts. Missing all the political stuff is fine with me. It doesn’t seem like I’m following many compared to the ‘stars’ …. But even the number I have can keep me on social media far too long. I have a life away from social media and Outlander. Other shows to watch, other books to read (and write) and other actors to follow and support.
Studying the fandom has been fascinating to me. It really IS a microcosm of the larger population. The fringe left and right stirring up trouble, lying and misconstruing/twisting things to support their own agenda. The far (not fringe) left and right getting whipped up by what the fringe says and expanding the problems/issues rather than looking for a way to make things better and then all the middle people that wish the rest would get some sense so things could actually get done.
As always….comments are more than welcome – be respectful, be coherent and sign your name. I won’t support some lame ass that is too chicken to put their name on their own opinion.
I think my next post will be about Frank. (Rubbing hands gleefully).