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!