Now as I’ve said before I don’t watch Adventure Time, though I intend to. I mean I know that it EXISTS and I know that it seems utterly charming and I know that a lot of people with excellent taste love it and that I really ought to be watching it, and I’ve seen some clips, but yeah, I don’t watch it.
But as I’m sure some people have noticed, I’ve still been reblogging some stuff related to it recently- specifically, I’ve been reblogging stuff about the two ladies getting shipped all over the place. Marceline and Bubblegum, isn’t it?
I swear I’m going somewhere with this, but to meander over to one side for a moment, I’ve been seeing some posts around whining about this. Saying it’s ‘pandering’, saying it’s ‘creepy’ or ‘gross’ in a show for kids, saying it’s ‘overreacting’ and all sorts of shit. Expressing confusion at why people care so much. Tutting over those weird shippers.
Except this shit isn’t about shipping. As is evidenced by my caring despite not watching and therefore not specifically shipping it. Now, would anyone who wants to detract from this like to know why I care at all if that’s the case? If I don’t watch it, why I’m still on about it?
Well in order to do that, I need to tell you a story. Trigger warning for some nasty sexist language, by the way.
This story has to start with the fact that I am queer, and I am a lady. I have known I was queer since I was ten or eleven. And you know what else I have known since I was ten or eleven? That I am considered not fit to be around children. You see, I’m a dirty lesbo, and at the time I identified as bisexual (and people who don’t understand my actual orientation still call me that, so yeah) which made ten year old me a dirty slut. We can’t have kids exposed to people like me. I repeat: at ten or eleven I was aware I was considered too sexual to be around my own fucking age group. Now straight up, I never bought into it, personally. I knew it was bull because I had been so badly bullied at this stage that when something was common opinion I dismissed it automatically as a defense mechanism. But the fact remains, people were implying this about me, even if they didn’t realize it because I was passively closeted until I was fourteen.
And you know, this is something that was reinforced pretty strongly in the media. Ever noticed how there’s almost never anything in our media for kids with queerness in it? Interestingly, there are a few notable due to their rarity examples here in the UK (a couple Very Special Episodes, and one show that gets away with whatever it wants and is known for pulling all sorts as a result) that defy this a little, but we actually import a lot of the stuff for the young kids from the US and other places and we still get hit with this as a result:
Kids aren’t allowed to see queer people because it’s Just Not Appropriate.
That implicitly says, we’re dirty, we’re obscene in a way heterosexual people aren’t. A lady kissing a man is OK for children but a lady kissing a lady isn’t and what does that say? It says we’re inappropriate for kids. Because we’re sexual and we’re corrupting them and god, do you fucking get it now?
The Adventure Time thing is important because if ANYTHING comes of it, if a single fucking thing comes of it then that gets blown out of the water for kids like me. Suddenly you have this show and it says “no. that’s bullshit. kids can watch you because there’s nothing corrupting or wrong about you.”
People are calling this ‘pandering to fans’. Well I’m not a fan and I still fucking want this. People are calling this ‘perverse’ and yeah, thanks for calling my ten year old self perverse, fucker, because don’t try and pretend you’d object to heterosexual romance the same way. People are saying that fans are caring too much about shipping and it’s just, oh my god, what the fuck does this have to do with shipping?
There is a chance for something so fucking groundbreaking to maybe, just maybe, start up here. And people are looking at it, and because they have never in their entire fucking lives had to think of the issues where the ground is maybe about to be broken, they’re not even noticing them and they’re making it about shipping.
If you look at this, and you think ‘shipping’, and you think it’s those over obsessed fans being waaaay too invested in their OTP and being delusional about it, it’s you that’s fucking delusional, because it’s you who I’m willing to bet is so goddamn entrenched in your privilege that you’ve never once had to fucking think of it as anything more important.
And you know what?
If you think that the way you ship and what you enjoy watching as a ship is more important than any of the above, if you think that it’d be nice and all if we promoted tolerance and acceptance to kids but you just don’t think they’re a good pairing so can’t we do it some other time, you are a selfish arsehole and you are in no way an ally to me.
I have feelings about a show I’ve never watched.
Wanna call it pandering to the fans now?