You thought you were off the hook? Well, you’re not.
Dear Anti-Fangirls: Do you know the difference between appreciation and fandom?
My reason: I’ve really had it up to here with fans talking about how you “just can’t see” the relationship between Kotetsu and Barnaby, or how “the author didn’t intend” for a relationship between Naruto and Sasuke, or best of all, how “all this idiodic slash” between Nezumi and Shion are somehow ruining your experience with the show.
You think we fangirls are too delusional, too dumb, and too desperate to see that those relationships are not cannon? Do you really think you’re the only sane one, and we need to be enlightened that our favorite shows are not, in fact, about legions of men having sex and getting gay married?
Well, you’re wrong.
Of course you “just can’t see” the romantic relationship. There is none.
Slash fandom and serious narrative appreciation are necessarily different things, but that doesn’t mean that fangirls and boys cannot participate in both.* Example: I draw pictures of Kotetsu and Barnaby having sex, glee over potential homoerotic overtones and situations, and read and enjoy the most dreadfully lewd fanfiction about the two. And then, I hobble my butt over to the discussions, take off the fujoshi hat, and discuss things that have nothing to do with Barnaby and Kotetsu even kind of being attracted to one other, because I actually think that would be rather out of character for them.**
When a “fangirl” declares “OMFG NEZUMI AND SHION JUST FUCK ALREADY,” it incorrect to assume that that fangirl thinks that this is a canonical next step in their relationship (…though they might. Don’t get me wrong. They exist.) When a fujoshi draws pictures of Goku and Vegeta having sex, don’t think they they honestly believe they are fucking behind the scenes in universe.
My point: This is fandom. It exists to satisfy kinks and universe speculation. It is fun. And it is not ruining your capacity to enjoy the show. OF COURSE I don’t think Kotetsu and Barnaby are ever going to fuck. Kotetsu would likely not sleep with a man so much his junior, and… lots of things make that not a good idea! However, I draw pictures of them fucking. Because it’s hot. WE ARE ALLOWED TO DO SUCH THINGS. I appreciate the show, and, separate from that, I fandom the show.
(Yes, I made “fandom” a verb. I’m sure I’m not the first or last.)
Look. When you try to sound all smart and common-sensical for realizing the truth and so graciously informing us that there is actually no sexual relationship between our OTP, we will either:
- Laugh at you because we knew that already, and you now look pretentious.
- Ignore you, because the fujoshi goggles are on so tight that you’re really not going to get through no matter how smart you (think you) are.
My solution: If you like the show for the porn, enjoy the porn. If you don’t, ignore the porn. Stop trying to show the fangirls “the light” about how wrong they are about a series. They know. They are not delusional. They are just horny. And you’re harshing our buzz.
*Nor does it mean that they cannot be simultaneous. I’ve read some great articles/dissections that speak to narratives actually being about homosexuality, or about a certain relationship in the universe. You can, in fact, fandom and appreciate simultaneously! You can also appreciate a perceived relationship in a show that is not explicit and not have it make you a “yaoi fangirl.” Turns out!
** Which is to say, this is just an example. I’m not going to argue about whether they’re into each other in universe or not. There’s way more evidence for them actually being physically or emotionally attracted to one another than there are for other characters in other fandoms, that’s for sure.
(Extra disclaimer: Keep in mind, thinking two characters are actually gay for each other does not necessarily make you a “yaoi fangirl.” We’re not talking about you, but we love you anyway.)
I love you, fandom. Let’s be a better fandom. Let’s be educated, lets be friendly, and let’s be reasonable.
Until next time… let’s not have to have this talk again.