Fandom and shippers get a bad rap because that’s ‘crazy women’ acting ‘crazy.’  That’s been around for as long as the concept of fannishness has existed, and while people in fandom behaving badly does not do it any favors, it’s not the core of that problem.  We’re getting there.  We’re slowly earning cred.

Man, this is a good question, though.  And I think if you ask different people, you’ll get a lot of different answers.

For myself, I think that as human beings, we have a right and a responsibility to call people out when we see them doing damage to others.  People have the right to express their dislike, to complain, to air their grievances.  It’s not that.  ”I don’t like you” is harsh, but fair.

It’s when we see them start to abuse, intimidate or threaten others that they’ve stepped over a line of basic human decency.  And saying, “Hey, what you did there is not okay” – yeah.

But on the other hand, we are not the police, and we are not vigilantes.  When we see people being awful to each other, then sure, especially if it’s happening in our space or using resources we control.  But it’s not our place to go trolling the internet (or real life) looking for fights to step in on.  We can’t devote our lives to that.  We have other things to do with our time and energy, including surviving the fights that come to us, and that’s okay.

And there’s a difference between calling people out on bad behavior—and sometimes educating them on why what they did is not okay—and leveling hate back at them for their hate.  That last, it just goes nowhere good in the end.

That’s my answer.

But it’s a long haul, and really fandom is just a small corner of the world, and these issues are not fandom issues, they’re the issues of society at large—misogyny, racism, etc.  There are people who can maybe make changes to society on a macro level.  I’m not one of them.  I can only operate on a personal level.  And I ask myself, “Would I be okay with somebody treating a friend of mine that way?”  If not, then why would I be okay with somebody treating a friend of another person that way?  We’re all people.  We all deserve safety, health, and a basic level of respect and compassion.

I dunno.  It’s humanity.  We just keep working at it, each day, when we’ve got the energy to.  Do what you can.

And forgive yourself when you can’t, including when you just don’t have the energy.  You’re a person too, which means you also deserve safety, health, respect and compassion.

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