Look, I don’t want a giant pile of wank pointed my way, but I’m going to put this out here and say it once:
I’m so tired of this fandom. Not all of you, of course, not even most of you. I know the vast majority of us just want to ship whatever we ship, delight over the show we love, discuss and create what we want.
But there’s also a reason that people stay out of it. My best friend enjoys the show, but says that she’s ‘not in the fandom’. Because she’s seen how much shit goes on over here and wants no part of it. And that’s sad. It puts up a wall. If all someone sees of a fandom or a group is shitposts and infighting, then why the hell would they want to be part of it?
I know I haven’t been writing as much. Part of that is time and stuff going on with me, part of it is the show, and part of it is fandom. It’s difficult for me to write anything with the show where it stands now. I don’t mind writing stuff going back in time or AUs, or other pairings, but my Johnlock feels kind of broken and I don’t know how to get that back.Hopefully S4, whenever we get it, will fix some of that.
I’m lucky in that I joined fandom when I did. It was the late summer of 2013, things were still vibrant, everyone was still puzzling over Reichnbach and I was able to write and grow and get so much positive feedback and meet so many amazing people that my life was literally changed.
But something has happened over the last year. Maybe it’s just part of a fandom’s lifecycle. Maybe we’re all just trying to deal with s3. Maybe the more strident voices in this fandom are driving out those of us just trying to do what we do. Well, that one isn’t a maybe, that has certainly happened. And it makes me sad when we lose those voices, when people are so fed up and tired of this fandom that they stop participating. Sure they’re still writing and creating other things, turning their attentions elsewhere (for the most part), but I can’t blame them for wanting out of this. Even if they aren’t a target of the wank themselves, how much are they willing to have on their dashes, how much are they willing to tolerate?
I don’t like bullying, in any form. I was bullied far too much as a kid to tolerate it as an adult. Even if you’re self-righteously convinced that yours is the only way, that what you’re doing is best for other people, I would plead with you to think about what you’re doing, and who you’re hurting in an effort to ‘correct’ things.
I’m not going anywhere, I don’t think. I’m still here, in my own little corner. But I’m also posting this because even though I’m a nobody I’m still afraid to post it, still afraid this will make me a target. And that’s not right.
This is exactly it. I know a lot of people want to avoid the whole thing entirely and don’t want to see any wank on their dash, and that’s more than fine. But as a fandom, as a community, I think we really need to take a look at ourselves and make some positive changes, because over the last year or so there have been so many times when I’ve see people take hiatuses or want to leave entirely (including myself) because of some of the pure meanness that can come out of the woodwork sometimes.
This used to be a place of excitement and joy. It used to be such pure fun.
I can’t say that about the Sherlock fandom anymore.
I agree completely. I’m not afraid of the wank but I’d rather it wasn’t there at all. I mean getting labeled as a paedophile supporter just for eblogging a list of fic recs, would be funny if it wasn’t so damaging. I lost people I thought were friends over that, just because they believed the wank. This is the side of the fandom I don’t want any part of. I do however think they are few and that they get bored easily, looking for new blood to bash.
I was in this fandom before the internet existed, before tumblr and I’ll be in it long after too.
I’m going to tell you something that may or may not make you feel better: there has always been wank in this fandom. Hear me out. I know that sounds bad, but it is actually the best thing.
I came in here just prior to series 2, around the fall of 2011, and let me tell you: it was not a wank-free space. Before we had Mary wank, we had Irene wank, and before that, there was Sally wank. OH, THE SALLY WANK.
marielikestodraw, an incredible artist, deleted her page because of harassment. Pretty sure it was because she drew some (great!!) arts for a fic that had a (GASP) woman involved with John and Sherlock. (This was post-S1, so it was, amazingly, Sarah. Good fic; highly recommend.) oatmealjumper, who ran probably the best fic rec page around in those days and who I still love to pieces, left for a number of reasons.
Awesome people have always come in and out of fandom, and it’s always been heartbreaking to lose them. Here’s the good thing though: you know who else left? The people who harassed ‘em.
What I’m saying isn’t that this place has always been toxic. I’m saying that toxic people come, and the fandom outlasts them. There is always enough love in this place to outweigh everything else. The good lasts. Bitterness is hard to sustain, but damn, is it fun to keep up pure, sincere enjoyment.
Someone will always find something to wank about, but those people don’t last. The excitement lasts.
I remember the Sally wank, my god, I got shredded when I said I didn’t like the character. And the loss of marielikestodraw still hurts me but you’re right, the wank comes and goes and the best policy is to ignore it as best you can.
Call me cynical, but it kind of feels like all the good people are leaving and the wankers are staying, determined to make this fandom in their own image and only with people who think exactly like them.
I understand why it feels that way. This is why I think it’s important to spend some time talking about this issue from the side of those of us who don’t want the wankers to take over. I know I would rather spend my time writing fic and reblogging metas and having heated discussions over the state of Sherlock’s cherry, but the fact that people are so scared to say anything does not sit well with me.
The fact that I was scared to post it was the final reason I did so.