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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Day the Magic Died

The Day the Magic Died
(Or: When the SuperShippers Collectively Lost Their Shit) 

This is in response to the outcry from William Shatner’s tweets last week to a specific group in the Outlander fandom.

First, I want to tell Jess that I’ve read on her blog about her passion for fostering kittens. I know it must be very rewarding, and you are very passionate about it, but it’s hard, too. I fostered a kitten exactly once and he’s a big epic foster fail! My parents ended up adopting him, but he believes that I am his mother and was too attached, so he had to come live me with me again (much to the chagrin of my first cat, Lily!). I think there must be a lot of good inside a person who fosters animals.

I also believe that there are many in this fandom who are slowly losing a parent, myself included. Or a loved one of some kind. There are too many terrible diseases that slowly rob people of who they are. Having to watch a parent slowly lose themselves is torture and insidious and we never should have to do it. How we handle this situation defines us.

Jess, you call yourself a “young woman.” Your followers have called you a girl. (Which Shatner correctly pointed out is incorrect.)  There’s such a thing as a young girl. Or a young lady. But not a young woman. When you get to the point where you call yourself a woman, there is no “young” in front of it. You are a Woman with all the strength and beauty that word implies. Own it!

Don’t be weak, Jess. Be Strong! Don’t play the sympathy card - be the strong woman you are mean to be! Use the love and support of your followers, not as a crutch to be a “girl”, but to help get you through each day

I have read often on your blog a question along the lines of “What’s wrong with shipping? It’s harmless fun!”

As far as shipping goes, there’s nothing wrong with simple shipping. It can be fun. And I’d wager there are many in the Outlander fandom who are simple shippers. By “simple” I mean that they look at Sam and Cait at ComicCon, Paley, or other outlets where they are promoting the show and think, “Dang! Those two are adorbs! They would be fantastic as a couple!” and they proceed to sit back and enjoy the show that these two actors give us and that’s as far as it goes. Oh sure, they may comment to a similarly-minded friend, “Did you see that Q&A they did? Wasn’t that the cutest thing?!” They enjoy the interaction and then get on with their lives. Simple shipping is harmless. And let’s face it: Sam and Cait ARE adorable - whether together or separate. Who doesn’t watch their interaction without a smile on your face? They are two incredibly funny, quick-witted, intelligent, beautiful friends with amazing chemistry.

But when shipping morphs into manips of the woman pregnant, or the two of them holding their fake baby (but someone’s real life baby), things have gone beyond innocent. This is SuperShipper (“SSer” or “SSers”) land. As is using tarot card readings to help sail the ship. Or believing that Sam is the captain of said ship and that he leaves breadcrumbs that only the SSers can see in his social media. Mmmm, that’s not harmless. Because inevitably Sam will do or say something that disappoints the SSers and they attack him on social media en masse and I’m sure he’s thinking “What the wha?!”

The SSers don’t stop there though. Any woman that Sam is seen with gets attacked by the super shippers. En masse. Jess, you truly don’t think that the SSers vilified Abbie?! We didn’t hear the end of the egg thing for months. Everyone had all sorts of terrible “nick-names” for her. You learned where she worked. Where she lived. She had death threats. It was text book cyber bullying. Why? Because by her very existence she threatened your ship. No matter what the relationship she and Sam had, this was a person that Sam cared enough for to spend time with. And this is how you and your followers show him you are a fan?

The same with Cait. The SSers say really rotten, terrible things about her friend Tony. Again, it doesn’t matter what the relationship is between them. This is someone that Cait cares enough for to spend her time with. To take him to things that mean a lot to her. And you guys are rabid with your hatred of him for no other reason than he threatens the ship. You say first that he is bankrolling  Cait’s career (such a disservice to such an amazingly strong, talented woman!). Then you say that his businesses have all failed and he’s hanging onto her coattails. He’s her PA. He’s at Cannes so he can hold her purse and sunglasses. You call him McNoballs. How can you profess to love and be a fan of someone and to treat a person that she cares for like that? You can’t see the hypocrisy in doing that? How that is bullying and harassment?

But let’s not stop there. You bully and harass the drivers (even trying to get one fired for pete’s sake). Outlander fans who aren’t even on Tumblr you mock and horribly make fun of for responding a lot to casts’ tweets. Any fan who goes to events and you don’t like their attitude, you bully. If they say anything to contradict the ship, you bully them.

But you don’t stop there. You’ve bullied Maril, Diana, Terry, Ron, Matt - anyone you can sink your fangs into. There’s not enough sex in season 2! Why would you say Sam and Cait aren’t a couple! The list goes on and on.  Yet you, the super shippers, think that you are the victims. Incredible.

You all feel so entitled to more from Sam and Cait. If they aren’t being cutesy on Twitter, you get pissed. If Sam talks to Shatner, you get pissed. If they aren’t doing any video bantering, you get pissed. If Sam only tweets about the My Peak Challenge, you get pissed. If there isn’t enough sex in season 2, you get pissed. (Poor SSers. You have to run in a continuous .gif loop sex scenes from season 1.) Sam and Cait can actually act, you know. Act their butts off. They are far more than whether they wear a modesty patch or not or how tight the string has to be on it. And for heaven’s sake, quit sending texts to Sam asking him if his favorite place is between Cait’s thighs. You guys act like a group of horny teenager girls!  And that is so incredibly  disrespectful and the fact you can’t see that is mind boggling.

Next on the list of things to piss you off was an interview the magnificent Cait did where she again stated she wasn’t dating Sam, but was seeing someone. The sunk ship took another hit. So what did the SSers do? Go to Cait’s SM of course proclaiming foul and filled with hate. You guys are like the greatest fans everrrrrrr!

Then Paul, a friend and assistant to William Shatner, innocently enough posts one day that he knows for a fact that Sam and Cait are not a couple. Boom! Paul finds himself in the middle of a nest of venomous vipers and they are out for blood! Fortunately for him, Paul seems to be made of strong stuff, donned his chainmail suit against the fangs, and handled it all gracefully and without having a nervous breakdown. Hooray for Paul!

The next day, I’m sure after surmising the situation and maybe perusing a few Tumblr accounts, Mr. Shatner sends out a few tweets in response to those bullies who came after Paul. Mass hysteria ensues on the part of the SSers. And they go after Bill, Jess even going so far as to tell him to “shut up!” Bill doesn’t back down and never in the history of the ship has someone taken on the SSers as a whole and not only made it out alive, but unscathed. Victorious even.  With the possible exception of Elizabeth Warren, I have never seen someone use 140 characters or less to get right to the heart of the issue and totally annihilate the BS and lies. I admit - I may have done the Snoopy dance. Bill became my hero that day.  I’d like to say that the SSers got a taste of their own medicine and found it bitter, but that isn’t the truth. Their medicine is to bully. And let’s be totally clear on one thing - William Shatner did NOT bully anyone that night.  He simply took your statements and showed them for the lies that they were. He exposed you as bullies and you hated it. He defanged you all and that pissed you off more than my cat while she’s getting a bath.

So you waited and waited for your self-proclaimed captain to come to your aid. To cry foul and disavow Shatner. And when that didn’t happen, you took your anger and took it to Sam’s Twitter TL. The next day when he did not disavow Bill or apologize for him and his truthy comments, you were even more enraged. You were probably as purple as Zebediah Kilgrave. So what did you do?

Go crying to Starz PR that’s what! And Sam’s publicist! And when that wasn’t enough, you went to the ACLU to report how Shatner hates women and bullies them on SM!

*face palm* William Shatner simply pointed out the flaws in your ideals. The bully that is the ship. The fact that some of his followers then went and bullied you was completely wrong, and not what Bill asked them to do, or even gave the suggestion to do. And one of those followers told Jess to go kill herself - obviously that is very, very wrong. Hate like that is abhorrent.  And yet, you - the SSers - practice this type of bullying. I know you think Purv is the AntiChrist. I can assure you she is not. So stop wishing her dead. Stop wishing her gang raped (see photo).

Real life hate pushed itself to the forefront on Sunday when 49 people were killed. This kind of hate and ways to fix it is what is truly important in this world - not some sunk ship. So when Sam and Cait posted words of condolence and sadness for the hatred and intolerance, instead of agreeing with them, you wanted to know why there couldn’t be tolerance for everyone. Meaning, you as a group made it all about you. Very nice. Like Trump made it all about him by thinking that this incident proved him right about refugees.

There is another group to the Outlander fandom and I belong in this group. Some of us are Truthers and some of us simply are Non-Shippers (“NSTs”) (I’m a non-shipper).  I’ve read where there are those who feel that the NSTs “police” the fandom. I don’t think that’s at all correct. Police have authority to stop something. NSTs simply have common sense, errr I mean, a differing opinion from SSers and point it out. One thing we have in common is we hate bullies. So we call them on it. It is important to stand up to bullying.  Do I believe the NSTs have been 100% innocent in how they do this? Not remotely. In the past I’ve been a bit of a Pollyanna asking for my fellow non-shippers to call out the bullying in a respectful way. And for the most part, I believe we do. Yet I know that both sides have gotten carried away. I do wish we find a way to co-exist peacefully.

With that being said, there had been in the works an idea to get the SSers and the NSTs to get along and stop all the hate. This would have been nice except when the designated SSer found out a NST was going to be allowed to participate, she quickly backed out. Which my personal opinion is that the SSers don’t really want peace after all. You enjoy your ability to terrorize the fandom and then cry victim when you are all called out on it.

So why can’t you just have your safe, harmless place and be left alone? Because your blogs are not safe for anyone who dares to disagree with your ideals re: the ship. Your blogs are not harmless as they bully mercilessly.  As I’ve said before, if you don’t like how this fandom treats you, you have only yourselves to blame!


  1. Beautiful summary. Very well put! Bravo!!

  2. Sorry, but I"m not a shipper, but this is all so dramatic. The truth is William Shatner is universally reviled by almost everyone he has ever worked with. Why Sam chose to befriend him is way beyond me. Just go ask George Tekai what he thinks about Shatner. I would hope you would do a little research about who you are defending as someone who should be monitoring the Outlander fandom, which is so absurd. The facts are that until January, Cait and Sam had never publicly denied they were dating. Unless you are deep into this and know all the ins & outs, you might not even know what the truth is. William & Paul have no clue how short a time this information from Cait & Sam has been out there. For William and Paul to inject themselves into this, screencapping, setting up web sites about Outlander fandom, gloating about closed accounts is absurd. Until shippers chose to believe the truth, nothing anyone says is going to change their stance. Not Shat, not Paul, not Purv, not you, and not even Sam or Cait. Just go to other fandoms, like the Twilight, or the 50 Shades, or any other fandom, there are always a group of people who believe in conspiracy theories. IT's never going to change and for Shat & Paul to think they can change it with their own brand of bullying is nonsense. To say the shippers blog "aren't safe for anyone..." - not SAFE, how? Let's just tone the rhetoric down. Ignore. There is nothing unsafe in Jess's blog. Nothing. Ignore. Live your life. If a small group of fans, and that's what they are - a small group of fans, are going to believe they are a couple, so what? Who cares? It's never going to change. Shatner and Paul should go back to their own Star Wars fandom and leave Outlander alone. They have no game here except to stir it up and create more bullying. That's all they have done. Nothing more.

  3. Hi Sarah - Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post and to respond.

    I’ll start off by saying I’m not defending Shatner because I don’t think he needs it. He called out the shipper bullies, something no one has been able to effectively do before. He used his words to efficiently cut to the chase and point their little shipper fingers right back around to themselves. As is always the case with bullies, they don’t like it when this happens - to Them.

    I also don’t have to do any research on Bill, nor do I have to ask George Tekai what he thinks of Bill. Their mutual hatred of each other is known far and wide. What about Shatner and Nimoy’s friendship that lasted for many decades? You know that not everyone working together is going to either like, admire or respect everyone else they work with. So what makes George’s opinion of Shatner more truthier than Leonard’s?

    That, however, isn’t the point.

    You say that Sam and Cait had never publically denied being a couple until January. And that I “might not even know what the truth is.” What does it matter if it’s only been January or two years ago that Sam and Cait denied being together? The point is, they have denied it. And I’m taking them at their word.

    Bill and Paul have met Sam and spent time with him. Which makes them both vastly more qualified to say (as Paul did) that Sam and Cait aren’t dating and he knows it for a fact. Neither Paul nor Bill interjected themselves into the shippery waters until the hoard of angry, spiteful shippers descended upon Paul until he finally deleted his tweet. The next day Shatner defended his friend and employee from those who mercilessly bullied him. It was the shippers who would not let it rest and continued to come after Shatner. As I said, they have only themselves to blame for any deleted accounts, etc.

    (I almost think you are the person who has the two deleted accounts, who was a former shipper, and always defends Jess. But that’s pure speculation on my part.)

    It isn’t safe for anyone to go to those blogs and disagree with anything against the ship. I’m sorry you don’t see that. Anyone who has in the past done so has been bullied and harassed until they disappear from SM. As I stated, shipping is harmless. But the form of shipping these women partake in and condone is not harmless for anyone who disagrees with them. Not even Sam and Cait

    You and I do agree on one thing - I don’t believe these shippers will stop. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, they are determined to stay aboard a sunk ship, which is, of course, their right. But as long as they are going to bully and harass, I think it’s perfectly acceptable to bring it to light and stick up for those who have been bullied. You do not get the private messages we do from people who thank us for that. I hate bullies. And if I thought Shatner was bullying Jess or anyone else, I’d say so. Simply calling someone a bully and explaining why they are doesn’t constitute bullying. He was one person against the entire ship of attackers who were bullying him.

    I’m sure Shatner and Paul take care of their own Star Trek fandom just fine. The fact that Sam continues to tweet with Shatner is Sam’s business. He didn’t stick up for the shippers and maybe it’s because he’s tired of having people tweet things like “Is your favorite place between Cait’s thighs?” and other such pathetic nonsense.

    I don’t think the webpage Paul was working on will go anywhere. Terry was the one who wanted to work with Shatner and one of the main shippers. When said shipper found out both sides would be included, she backed out. Terry is too busy with work to do anything with it. I plan on ignoring whatever that page is. If everyone else did the same, then it has nowhere to go.

  4. This stuff is absurd. These people need to "find" a life, go to counseling, pray for guidance.
    I grew up in the 70's and I'm glad for it, I did acting, modeled, and did not have to deal with SM, thank my God, I truly enjoyed life not sure if I could say the same in this day and age.

    Hate is running rampant and it's what will take this beautiful world down.
    I have enjoyed everything Outlander except the mean people who ruin it for many.
    Hey karma is out there. I for one send peace and love to the cast, crew, Terry, which has had her own crap from meanies,and all the fun loving people whom have committed a great part of their lives to making us "older & wiser" fans happy. Namaste

  5. Personally, when I started lurking I thought it might be fun to dabble in a fandom. Didn't even know the term "Shipper", until last month.

    I watched the show, saw the chemistry and my fave characters come to life, and was excited. My personal opinion is something happened there very early in - but ended prob pretty quickly. Might have been a (what happens on location stays on location). Either way, it seems it ended long ago. They also seem lucky to have kept their friendship and chemistry somewhat intact personally and professionally for the PR if the show. And, that's if he's not gay or bi- saw those pages too and can't really deny some of the stuff I read. Pouting being - it's other people opinions, thoughts. In reality- they mean- zilch, zero, nada. Just as what I am writing this very minute.

    Knowing actors, this kind of chemistry doesn't happen all too often- when it does, they usually act on it in haste and it burns out very, very quick.

    This is as bad, as self righteous as congress, the senate and 45. There is hate, bullying and self righteous "I know all" darting off the walls. And, we're adults? Live and let live. I don't condone bullying and I am not complicit - I also know (as a professional advocate and np consultant ) I can't single handedly stop it. Pick your battles, love what you love, and for life's sake- live. Stop the madness by doing what I just did. Ignore the horse crap and enjoy. This is pathetic and destroys all that should be fun.

    Adults, not adulting is worse than hanging out with twenty, five year olds. Where has all the fun gone? In a world where it is so tough and getting even tougher, we need to be able to forget from time to time. Why steal it from one another? Why can't any of (all of you) let that happen.

    Hope I was way late to this one and you already have.

    PS I loved Shatner in Boston Legal. But- Any sane person knows he is a crack pot and not to associate. (My two sense- not a judgment)