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I wonder how people would feel if they constantly got comments like "I had to grit my teeth to get past the McShep but otherwise great story" or "Obviously I skipped past the McShep parts because that pairing is just wrong, but great fic!" or "Rodney is such a terrible character because [list of reasons why Rodney McKay is a terrible character] and I hate him on the show but you almost made me like him here!"? Because people comment like that on fanwork that contains McKeller All. The. Time. All the fucking time.

(I just saw another one first thing this morning.)

Or how would they feel about fic requests at genrefinders phrased "since obviously Sheppard and McKay are both straight, the slash makes no sense and it's OOC so I'm looking for Rodney/Katie and John/Larrin."

You know what all this looks like to me? Like a discouraging tactic, to actively discourage people from including any hint of Keller or Rodney/Jennifer in their fanwork at all. Maybe that's not the intention, maybe it's just thoughtlessness, but that's how it's starting to come across to me.

Seriously, is it so terrible to have a bit of diversity in fandom? Is another pairing so threatening? I don't get it.


I've done that before. Well... kinda. I'll say that I'm totally not into a certain pairing or circumstance but that they made it work for me. Is that the same thing? o.O

Psh. Diversity shmiversity (wow that's an awkward rhyme). It's all about the motherfuckin OTP, yo!

(er that last part was a joke. Kind of. Maybe. It's a quarter to 3 in the morning. Can you tell?)

I've done that before. Well... kinda. I'll say that I'm totally not into a certain pairing or circumstance but that they made it work for me. Is that the same thing? o.O

Well, I'd say it largely depends on how it's phrased. "I don't normally read x/y but you made it work for me and I liked this story," I'd probably take as a compliment. OTOH "x/y is sooo gross and totally ruined the show for me but I liked this story in spite of it" is thinly veiled character/pairing bashing. And unfortunately in this case I've mostly seen the second variety, hence the crankiness.

Yeah, I agree that it feels like an attrition campaign, because it constantly marks McKay/Keller, even just on the level of somewhat background het that is canon, as something that squicks people, that needs to be warned against and so on.

And it signals that you may loose audience if you stick with canon, and makes the AU version more normative (kind of like the thing where in TPM fandom people ended up warning for sticking to Qui-Gon's canon death), so that then people who aren't that invested in the pairing one way or another are less likely to include it.

I'm not around the SGA fandom enough to notice it, but I've certainly seen the same attitude in other fandoms over the years. Worst probably in Star Trek. I hate it - fandom is supposed to be all about the diversity, and character/ship bashing is something I just can't stand. It's so... STUPID. Why waste energy on something like that?

It's something that I honestly don't know how to deal with, as either a fan or a writer. I guess in the past, I've always worked with closed-canon fandoms or open fandoms that didn't have anything that people had such a strong negative reaction to. The one fandom that I've walked out of, half-way through canon, was SG-1, and it was because of a combination of disliking the changes in canon, and disliking the way that the fandom reacted to it. (And it was season five ... is it just a rule that Stargate fandom has to implode after five seasons?)

I certainly think people have every right to have their own opinions about the show, and act on them, and write stories that fit how they see the show. But ... well, I still have an awful lot of pent-up rage about how *fandom*, not canon, made something that used to be my happy place into a place of bitterness and resentment for me. I'm not sure why people feel the need to export their own show-hate to others; I do know that I've really been bending over backwards trying not to do it on my own journal, because I'm so incredibly bitter right now, and it's very difficult not to rant about it.

I'm feeling bitter, too. Though fortunately not to the point where it smothered my love for the show and the fic. I'm clinging to the hope that most people just don't realize that that's what they're doing.

I don't want to feel this resentful, but I do. Twice so because that crap drove you away.

I certainly think people have every right to have their own opinions about the show, and act on them, and write stories that fit how they see the show.

Of course. And I don't think anyone would argue with that. If only they'd stop there instead of making sure that their hate for the character permeates every last corner of the fandom. People keep hijacking the comment sections of stories written by people who obviously like the characters enough to include them (I even saw some comments to "Night Ops" that annoyed the crap out of me.) Really, what can possibly be that point of that, other than to make those writers and their readers see the wrong of their ways. Or, what could be the point of using storyfinder comms or the noticeboard as ones personal soap box, other than to make sure the wrongness of Keller is broadcast across the whole of fandom.

(And it was season five ... is it just a rule that Stargate fandom has to implode after five seasons?)

Maybe year five is where shows shake things up, go off their formula? Which is risky, but on the other hand, if a show doesn't take that chance it runs the risk of getting stale. (For example I think NCIS, in its sixth year now, really needs to veer away from their trusty formula if they want to keep things fresh.)

I do know that I've really been bending over backwards trying not to do it on my own journal, because I'm so incredibly bitter right now, and it's very difficult not to rant about it.

For what it's worth, I appreciate it immensely! Negativity is so contagious, it's hard not be be affected by it.

I'm all for diversity.

I personally don't like Rodney/Jennifer but I still read stories with them when the pairing is the background; most of the time I sitll enjoy the story and if I don't, I'm certainly not going to rub it in the face of the poster. That's just rude.

Honestly, I think it's simple short-sightedness. Some fans can't imagine anyone would have a different point of view, and since there are so many John/Rodney fans, they assume that their posts won't be read by fans with broader tastes.

But trust me, there are many, many John/Rodney fans who are deeply uncomfortable with Rodney/Jennifer bashing. And that *will* be visible in our fic (if certain of us ever manage to finish our WIPs).

Honestly, I think it's simple short-sightedness. Some fans can't imagine anyone would have a different point of view, and since there are so many John/Rodney fans, they assume that their posts won't be read by fans with broader tastes.

But that's just it... it's not only their posts. It's everywhere. It is in comments to fic featuring Keller that people launch into explanations how that character ruined the show for them while, hey btw, great fic! There's really now way of assuming the writer and reader of that fic don't have tastes beyond John/Rodney. So why comment this way?

Another example, this thread, dedicated to sharing the character love. They even included a line about keeping criticism to yourself. Didn't stop people. You get comments along the line of "I would love her a lot if she wasn't so crappily written". Which I don't exactly see as an expression of character love.

But trust me, there are many, many John/Rodney fans who are deeply uncomfortable with Rodney/Jennifer bashing.

I guess. Though it's kind of hard to tell. I haven't seen many people object to lines like "lets douse her in gasoline and set her on fire", or similar ones that would've caused an uproar if they had been about, say, Teyla (and rightfully so.)

And that *will* be visible in our fic (if certain of us ever manage to finish our WIPs).

Well, now that does put me in a better mood. :)

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I personally do not like the Rodney/Jennifer pairing, but that being said, I refuse to bash anyone who puts it in. I include it in my stories sometimes because hello? like it or not it is canon.

I'm guilty of 'fixing' it in fanfiction, though. Changing what I don't like/am uncomfortable with.

But that is MY WORK. I would NEVER go into anyone's journal and try to dictate what they were writing (unless it was a private fic exchange with me and then I'd make my 'squicks' known.). To me, that's just bad form!

Sad subject.

I love Stargate Atlantis, and I got some help in finding this series by someone who is McShep. No question there. I for myself am quite open. I tend to love everything as long as it's got McKay in it, and then some more. So I read and I really like a lot of McShep. But the problems started already back then with Katie Brown and "Quarantine" when I had to skip a conversation with someone I see as a personal friend, just because of our different opinions.

That really went bad in S5. I liked a lot of S5 and I like Rodney and Jennifer. But just having so many people around me who have a different opinion made some situations more than just uncomfortable. Oh - and then it started that McShep FFs turned into Keller-hating fics. Thank you very much, exactly what I did NOT want to read. I think that McKeller wasn't written as good as it deserved, but that is not a reason for the grade of hate and spite which poisons part of the fandom.

I hate bashing and hating. Stargate is recreation for me. I want to have a good time and not to think about certain things which come wit my job for 42 minutes. I do not want to become it a reason for ranting and hating and I stay away from that as far as I can. Made me leave a lot of threads in the GW forums.

There are so many people with McShep as OTP who tell themselves again and again how horrible Keller resp. McKay with Keller are, that even some of those who weren't against it in the first place changed their mind and that is just sad. Especially when it comes towards bashing of whole episodes because of the 10 sec Rodney with Jennifer in it.

Ugh, yes, Gateworld. I never read there a lot, but I had to give it up completely because almost every single thread I looked at would turn into a Keller hate fest. It was an incredible turnoff. I hear they've now instituted an anti-bashing policy, but if that's so it's coming way too late. That horse is out of the barn and all that's left is a dust cloud.

I also stopped reading Joe Mallozzi's blog for the same reason. Well, also for time reasons. But the comment section became insufferable.

There are so many people with McShep as OTP who tell themselves again and again how horrible Keller resp. McKay with Keller are, that even some of those who weren't against it in the first place changed their mind and that is just sad.

I know! That's one of the most annoying things about this spam-like arguing technique... that it eventually pretty effectively kills the enjoyment of that which is bashed. So, it actually works. Go bashers! Big whoop.

Especially when it comes towards bashing of whole episodes because of the 10 sec Rodney with Jennifer in it.

*snort* I've seen Jennifer bashing in reviews of episodes she wasn't in at all. Which there were quite a few this season.

Ugh, this is because your ship is incompatible with their ship? Oh fandom.

(I think it was meant as a compliment, but from someone either very young or completely without social experience. I think they meant to say "oh, you're such a magician you made me enjoy something I usually hate!"

Actually, I see this a lot with babyfic!writers -- "I can't stand babyfic but I'm actually enjoying this story." I know this because I'm reading said babyfic (!!) and actually enjoying it (!!!) and ALMOST said something similar in the comments, until I thought better of it.)

Ugh, this is because your ship is incompatible with their ship?

Pretty much, though in this case I'm shipping both. The internal conflict, it's tearing me apart! *faints dramatically*

But yeah. We have here the case of a very dominant fanon slash OTP, where one of the guys recently got written into a canon het relationship. The wank was pre-programmed. But recognizing the pattern doesn't make it any less unpleasant.

(I think it was meant as a compliment, but from someone either very young or completely without social experience. I think they meant to say "oh, you're such a magician you made me enjoy something I usually hate!"

Oh, if it was just one person I wouldn't even have blinked. And I have no problem with people commenting like "I normally don't read x/y but you made me enjoy it." That I see as a compliment it was meant to be. But what we have here is dozens of people commenting with how the character ruined the show for them and how they hate the pairing so much but liked the fic nonetheless.

Actually, I see this a lot with babyfic!writers -- "I can't stand babyfic but I'm actually enjoying this story." I know this because I'm reading said babyfic (!!) and actually enjoying it (!!!) and ALMOST said something similar in the comments, until I thought better of it.)

Mm, yeah, I'm pretty sure I commented like this on babyfic myself once (but in my defense, that writer didn't usually write babyfic either from what I could tell). I think it's important how it's phrased, too... and maybe better still to stay away from commenting like this altogether. I'll certainly be more aware of it in the future.

Seriously, is it so terrible to have a bit of diversity in fandom? Is another pairing so threatening? I don't get it.

You and me both. I also don't know whether the people who do such things are conscious of their influence, but certainly when you see it enough, it does send out a message of "Keller not welcome in SGA fic. Want readers for your fic? Ignore her existence."

Or how would they feel about fic requests at genrefinders phrased "since obviously Sheppard and McKay are both straight, the slash makes no sense and it's OOC so I'm looking for Rodney/Katie and John/Larrin."
Heh - it almost makes me want to post something like that just to see the fireworks. ALMOST.

There's so much to say concerning this subject, but I think I'll stop there.


Heh - it almost makes me want to post something like that just to see the fireworks. ALMOST.

Hah. cathalin came up with that, actually, and my reaction was exactly the same.

There's so much to say concerning this subject, but I think I'll stop there.

Yeah... I've been avoiding work long enough...

Ah, Misogyny of Slash 101.

I quit reading in the fandom due to the lack of good gen or Rodney/Teyla. Big upsurge in the 'Keller is an evil hoor who tries to kill John during surgery' slashfic yet?

Big upsurge in the 'Keller is an evil hoor who tries to kill John during surgery' slashfic yet?

LOL. Your clairvoyance impresses me. I haven't read fic like that (cause I run like hell at the first sign, and I've become very picky in what links I click) but I've seen hints of it. And I've seen several requests for just that kind of fic. There certainly seems to be a demand. Perhaps people need to make themselves feel better about hating a female character, so they construct this reality where she's without a question unworthy of being with Rodney.

But it surprises me that you found no good gen in the fandom. I'm predominantly a gen reader, and I found more great genfics in this fandom than in any other I'd been in. I'd be happy to rec you some. I also have a few Rodney/Teyla fics I could rec you.

I actually had to close the internet browser and take a step back from SGA fandom for a couple of weeks over this issue. Never before I have I appreciated more the concept of "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." Not everyone has to like Keller, of course. For me, though, the constant barrage of negativity toward a character and pairing I didn't really have a problem with (and by extension, the actress/writers/show/showrunners) was just too much.

I have been guilty of the "I don't normally read/get into this pairing, but I love what you've done with it" thing, but (a) only rarely; and (b) never "omg I usually *hate* this pairing, but I almost like it here!" because, uh, tacky.

While I am probably the only one who cares about this particular issue, it also makes me crazy when people do this with the new Stargate: Universe show. For example, I saw a post about Robert Carlyle's casting that specifically asked commenters to avoid any preemptive show!hate, and the FIRST COMMENT was very "oh, he's great, but I'm sure they'll still screw it up." AUGH. READING COMPREHENSION FAIL, APPARENTLY.

It's as you say - it makes it feel like I'm not allowed to be excited about the new show, or to like (or even just not hate) the Rodney/Jennifer pairing. It seems to have mostly blown over now that the show's ended, thank God, but it really did drive me away for a few weeks. I truly don't think that was anyone's conscious wish, but there it is. :(

the constant barrage of negativity toward a character and pairing I didn't really have a problem with (and by extension, the actress/writers/show/showrunners)

I wonder if that's not part of the issue.

There's a lot of distress about the way the show ended, with the PTB focus on SGU (as sheafrotherdon mentions below) piled on top of the normal "Wah, my show is going away" reaction, and I wonder if Keller-hate isn't a way to identify as a fan of the show, by taking the position at the other end of the room from the writers who see the relationship as the reward they wanted.

So the overwhelming and pervasive Keller-hate that Astridv iss eeing isn't so much misogyny of slash as opposing (resenting?) (defying?) the PTB.

What kills me, in particular, are the John/Rodney stories that take a swipe at Keller at some point. We are creative people - if you (generic) don't like Keller, find a way around it! Ignore canon! Leave her out of the story altogether! Have her as another doc in a purely gen capacity! But to write a story and include a hateful swipe at her, for no plot purpose - gah, it makes me nuts. And you know, it makes me nuts even if it has a plot purpose, because it's just unnecessary and stupid. Can't tell you how many fics I've hit the 'back' key on lately because i've hit that moment of nastiness.

At the moment I'm reading gen and John/Rodney that's either a) older, or b) written by writers I trust inherently, or c) rec'd. After having been burned by stories like you describe I now completely ignore the McShep section of the newsletter. And I stay the hell away from any fic that lists as pairings both McKeller and Mcshep unless, again, they're written by writers I trust to treat Jennifer like a person and not a nuisance "that needs to be squashed like a mosquito".

I don't even care who gets together with whom in those stories, of if they all decide be be good friends, or end up a happy threesome. But I can't read stories that don't treat Jennifer respectfully but twist her character until she's unrecognizable, just as a cheap plot device. (And like you say, so unnecessary. Easy enough to break them up or ignore canon. It's pure spite.)

The trust is gone, ey. Hope I'll get it back at some point.

I really do think that most (but not all) of the people that hate Keller can't conceive that there are others who don't. There's just this casual assumption that if you like McShep you hate Keller, end of story. So I don't think that they see things like the genrefinders post as bashing--that's just how everybody feels. (I've also seen the attitude put out there that since they got McKeller in canon, any Keller-friendlies can just suck it up and deal.)

No one would argue that people aren't entitled to their opinions about any character, but I really wish people would take a moment and think about what they are posting to *fandom-wide* communities. Maybe we shouldn't let it get to us, but the casual hating in public places--over and over--makes people feel bad--me, and you, and obviously a lot of other people. I can't imagine this is what those posters would want, if they realized that was the result.

And I am just incredibly uncomfortable with the character getting all the hate being the female character that threatens the male OTP (and also uncomfortable with the justifying of that hate by the scrutinizing of canon for more acceptable reasons to hate her--and the holding of her character to a far tougher standard than other non-OTP threatening characters) It makes me feel icky about fandom, and who wants that?

Edited at 2009-02-11 03:09 am (UTC)

And I am just incredibly uncomfortable with the character getting all the hate being the female character that threatens the male OTP (and also uncomfortable with the justifying of that hate by the scrutinizing of canon for more acceptable reasons to hate her--and the holding of her character to a far tougher standard than other non-OTP threatening characters) It makes me feel icky about fandom, and who wants that?

I so, so agree with this. And I've written and deleted so many replies saying as much. Basically because I hate sounding bitter, but this? This does make me bitter. Because SGA fandom has come to be defined (for me, anyway) as a group of people who really hate the show but find some of the male actors attractive so they like to sex them up. And really, that's not a fandom I want to be a part of.

I don't know... I'm probably being too harsh, but it's hard for me not to be. :(

Character-bashing/hate depresses me anyway, but moreso when it's the pairing I write as set against the canon pairing featuring OMG TEH EBIL TEMPTRESS, I think because really crazy OTPers, like most really crazy people, tend to be the most vocal and the most visible, and everyone else suffers as a result. That drives normal, sane, and fun people away from the pairing and sometimes the fandom, because unlike crazy OTPers, some of us are just here to have fun. So whenever I see someone remarking about those psychotic [insert pairing here] 'shippers, I want to say, "But we're not all completely lunatic! Some of us are normal, I swear!"

I'm not a McKay/Keller 'shipper, and I like to think I have well-thought-out reasons for not shipping them beyond the fact that I am steadfastly McKay/Sheppard, but I honestly can't follow the sort of inverted logic that convinces people it's okay to take out their anxieties and complexes on a fictional character on a completely made-up ridiculous space show. I mean, come now, people.

This is when I wish the Reality Stick was real, so I could smack a few individuals with it.