The Poison of Fandoms

First off, I want to say thank you to all those who still visited my blog, in spite of zero posts last month. A life of work and sleep leaves you little time to juggle all of the other parts of your life.

My last post was about Twilight Sparkle of MLP. I’ve watched more of the show in bits, and though she is still my favorite of the main/mane cast for personality, my most favorite characters are the setting’s rulers. However, this post isn’t about that.

I’ve been a part of fandoms, starting with the Sims, for seven years. I found out later on it was a grave mistake. Every fandom I’ve joined, especially those with a large following, proved itself to be a cesspool of poison. Essentially, there were rules about what made you a “true fan”, certain opinions were not allowed, and admins of certain areas proved to be extremely biased. Knowing this, it was very much against my better judgement to join a Facebook group for MLP, but in my new love for the show and excitement for the movie, I did. Within two days, I resigned. I suppose that’s a record.

The reason I left is, apparently, a fictional movie about ponies is serious business. So serious, any posted spoilers about said movie warranted banning any member who did so, and the admins, unsurprisingly, refused to consider they could be acting unreasonably (then again, I suppose that’s to be expected from someone who considers being the admin of a Facebook group a job). Remember, we are talking about a film of animation. Not poverty, war, hunger, homelessness, crime, abuse, or any other truly serious issue. A film aimed at under-aged girls. I love cartoons, something I’ve made very evident over the years, but it is not that serious. And I say this having bought an MLP shirt from the kids section at my job because it could fit me.

While the bright side is I wasn’t alone in my opinion (other members of the group agreed and were probably shortly kicked out, and members of the Disney group I’m in agreed that was out of line as well), it saddens me how difficult it is to find a community of any fandom that is rational and tolerant. It seems the only exception to this rule are small communities, which truly is a shame. Having had my love of so many things murdered by their fandoms, one of which I ranted about for a good while, I certainly didn’t want my merely one-month-old love of MLP to fall to the same fate, especially not at the childishness of Facebook warriors in a group I was a part of for two days, and with the movie coming out so soon. I left before my love for the show could take a heavy hit. But I can’t say I’m not disappointed with how poorly things turned out. Perhaps it was deserved for allowing my excitement to cloud my better judgment against joining the group to begin with.

I realize it is the internet, and social media websites in particular are notorious for being wells of addictive, yet poisonous muck. As much as I dislike it, it makes me understand the stereotype of people in fandoms being anti-social recluses with little going on in their lives. It’s a painful thing to admit, possessing so many loves of so much light-hearted media myself, but the toxicity I’ve found across so many fandoms isn’t allowing me to deny or be confused about why the stereotype exists. After all, why would someone who is content and enjoying their life feel the need to be controlling over something so trivial? The internet permits a huge amount of imaginary power, and power is addicting.

Of course, in the end, fandoms aren’t needed to keep a love of something going. I still have every intention of seeing MLP’s film and I am still very much fawning over the show. While the show’s lessons are occasionally questionable, perhaps the admins of that group missed the second half of the title: friendship is magic. I’m sure Twilight Sparkle, the princess of friendship, would be disappointed.

Advertisements

Your Friends Lost You

Lately, I’ve seen a somewhat popular post from Whisper going around. I won’t post the image, but the quote is: “When I say I won’t tell anyone, my husband doesn’t count.”

I’ve always been neutral about marriage. This is one of those things that pushes me toward the more negative side of it.

My boyfriend and I are not married yet, but he does want to marry me and I’ve already agreed, so we will marry someday. However, if I ever catch myself thinking “Well, I’m getting married, so soon, my friends won’t matter anymore”, that’s when I call off the wedding. This works the other way around too. If I ever found out he was being distrustful to his friends because of me, I’d call it quits. I am not going to be someone’s reason for being a jerk.

I used to read often that newlywed couples, particularly the wives, tended to lose their friends when they got married. However, if that quote gives any suggestion to married life, it’s no wonder why. They didn’t lose their friends. They decided their friends no longer mattered and chose to permanently put them aside. Perhaps people have different ideas of what “friendship” means, but for me, if I cannot trust you, we cannot be friends.

I love my boyfriend and I am content with the idea of someday being his wife. But I also love my best friend. She is like a sister to me, and she was in my life four years before he was. She is not going on the back burner. Yes, I talk to my boyfriend about my best friend, and vice versa, and I’m hoping I’ll eventually have a chance to introduce them to each other since they are the two most important people in my life. But if she ever comes to me and says, “Please don’t tell anyone this”, he will not know. If I ever do reveal something she wanted me to keep secret, I’ll apologize.

That’s what real friends do.

Continuing to respect my friends does not make me a bad girlfriend, nor will it make me a bad wife. On the contrary, letting him be the reason I stop doing so is what would make me a bad partner.

Classism?

I had a very interesting “discussion” earlier today… if you can call someone throwing around insults like an elementary schooler because you don’t agree with them a discussion.

It seems it’s considered “classist” by some people to suggest it’s best to wait until one can afford to have a child before actually having a child.

Now, I do understand how that statement can be taken wrongly, but most people who say this are referring to being capable of, at the very least, providing for a child’s basic needs – food, clothing, and shelter – before having them.

Apparently, however, even that suggests a prejudice against poor people. Never mind I’ve most often heard that statement from people who know the hell growing up without enough food to eat really is.

Before I continue, let me say this: I am well aware situations can change over time. This statement refers to those who do not have any children, not someone who already is a parent, or whose financial circumstances crumbled after their children were born. No, this refers to someone who is currently struggling and, for whatever reason, chooses to bring a child into their struggle and, as a result, struggles to provide for that child, or ultimately cannot provide for that child, because of what their situation already was.

With that clarity out of the way, I truly fail to see how suggesting it’s best to be certain you can fulfill a child’s basic necessities before you actually have a child is “classist”. Even if you can provide nothing more than basic necessities, you are still able to provide for that child. It’s the bare minimum, but it’s still enough to keep the child alive. Somehow, no matter how many times I explained this, it was read as me saying “if you’re poor, don’t have children”. Interestingly, I never mentioned a particular social or economic class. That assumption came out of the mouth of the people arguing against it.

Let me use myself as an example. I don’t have any children and I don’t plan to. If, however, I somehow changed my mind on that and decided to have a child… that child would die. That sounds morbid, but the job I have cannot even provide me with shelter for myself. So, where would I attain shelter for my child from? Now, I could provide food and I could provide clothes… but where would I put them? I could keep the child in one outfit, so that takes care of the clothing necessity, but that child will become hungry over and over. Without shelter, where will I store the food? Or do I buy food every time the child’s hungry since I can’t store it? And where does the baby sleep? Where do I bathe this baby? Uh-oh. This is a problem. My child has no shelter!

Now, knowing full well I have no capability of providing that child with something so fundamental, why would I go on to have a child? Answer: I wouldn’t. Because I know I can’t!

Yet, that’s “classist”. Now, here’s the trick question: Did I say I wouldn’t have a child because I was poor or did I say I wouldn’t have a child because I could provide food and clothes, but not shelter?

Time’s up. The answer is: Because I couldn’t provide shelter. Everything in that paragraph refers to the child’s needs and my incapability of meeting those needs, or at least one of them.

And that is the gist of it. If anything would prevent someone from providing the basic needs that keep their child alive, no matter what that reason is, to willingly bring in a child into the world while fully aware of that knowledge is irresponsible. My belief isn’t that poor people shouldn’t have children. My belief is anyone who knows ahead of time they cannot fulfill the most basic needs of a child shouldn’t go on to have a child until that changes. Economic class be damned.

However, let’s say for a moment this is “classist”. What difference does it make? At the end of the day, there is a child whose needs cannot be met by their parent(s). Somebody must feed, clothe, and give shelter to that child. If the parent(s) cannot do it, the child will either die of neglect or be relinquished from the parent(s) for that neglect.

There is a somewhat popular meme that says when people talk about getting a pet, they are constantly reminded of the responsibilities of owning said pet, but when people talk about not having a child due not being able to provide for said child, they are told they’ll “figure things out” or “God will provide”. I have heard more times than I care to count there is no “perfect time” to have child, but the idea of hoping things will just fall into place seems like a dangerous gamble to take with a responsibility that’s obviously much larger than a pet. If that gamble falls favorably, that’s wonderful. If it doesn’t, there will be consequences and the child will undoubtedly suffer the brunt of them.

Of course, in the end, it’s not my business and the responsibility of providing for that child is not mine. However, I think about this because, despite my lack of desire for parenthood, I don’t like the idea of any child being neglected. It is in no way fair to force a child into a situation where their needs cannot be met, and “life isn’t fair” should only refer to unavoidable events. Children should and deserve to be born into homes where their needs being met isn’t a worry.

To speak specifically about poverty, if someone is poor, but can still provide their child’s basic needs, there is not a problem. That child is fed, clothed, and has shelter. There is no issue here. If they are, unfortunately, too poor to provide those needs, there is a big problem. The message is not “Poor people shouldn’t have children because they’re poor.” The message is “People who know they cannot provide for a child’s basic needs shouldn’t have children because they can’t provide for the children’s needs.”

And if that is indeed classist, so be it. I care much more that a child’s needs are met than someone pointing a finger at me and screaming I’m classist. Of course, I would not tell any person they can’t have a child in the first place, no matter what their situation currently was. As I already said, it’s not my business and it’s not as if anything would stop them anyway. I only hope, for the sake of their child, they are certain.

The Irony Is Murderous

Remember I mentioned the person who told lies about me prided herself on not sending hate?

The friend of mine who follows her reblogged something from her. Guess what it is? A Winx-hate bingo card. And she made it because she felt “extra petty” that day.

Well, I guess being “extra petty” explains why she lied about and falsely accused me of things. She certainly has no grounds to be claiming maturity (neither do I, but I’ve never claimed such or acted like I do).

Yes, I realize I talk about this a lot and I’ve no doubt those of you who often read this blog are tired of it, but when I discovered that from my friend’s blog, I couldn’t not share it. For someone who claims fans of the older stuff are “nostalgic and biased”, she sure has one of her own against people who don’t think like her (like that wasn’t obvious enough).

As the title of this post says, the irony is murderous.

Label You, Not Me

Labels are a popular topic on social media, especially in places like Tumblr that preach about not letting labels define you (ironically, while tossing them about like candy). Personally, I think it’s fine if you want to refer to yourself as something and label yourself, but not a good idea to let other people do it. Why? Well, that should be obvious. You get situations like what happened to me. And that’s a light example, compared to most of the things I’ve had said about me, both behind my back and to my face.

It’s funny how we can know what someone says about us isn’t true, but it can still bother us. Maybe because such people have the audacity to tell lies in the first place. Really, I don’t know what I expected from someone with that blog URL. That really should’ve make it obvious the person behind that blog is the type to tell lies and make false accusations.

The reason this comes to mind is out of everything I’ve ever been called, why am I treating “nostalgic” like a crisis? Or “blind”? Or “biased”? Or even “hater”? First of all, I am blind anyway. That’s why I wear eyeglasses. I have been called racial slurs before. Kindergartners have outdone that person when it comes to insults and I’m talking about back when I was one.

I’ve mentioned at least once before I like making lists. So, I’m going to do just that. Let’s go down the list of “nostalgic, blind, biased hater” and see how far we get.

Nostalgic

Let’s see. I saw Zootopia back in March and Try Everything is in my playlist. I saw The Jungle Book in April and the very awesome remix of The Bare Necessities is also in said playlist. Other movies I’m looking forward to are Storks and the new Disney Princess movie, Moana. And let’s not forget I enjoyed Inside Out, Big Hero 6, and…oh, yeah. I’m obsessed with Frozen and Frozen Fever. Did I mention those last two are actually hated so much, anyone who likes them is essentially deemed to not have a brain of their own? I’m also planning to watch Disney’s new show, Elena of Avalor, when it’s released. That’ll be the first show I’ve watched regularly on Disney Junior.

Blind

I wear eyeglasses, so physically, I am blind. What am I supposed to do about that? Talk to my genetics. Or my eyeballs. Whichever. Non-physically? You know what? I wish I was blind! Then, I wouldn’t see and be scarred by even half the nonsense I’ve dealt with over my life. Maybe being blind would’ve helped me deal with abuse and bullying better by virtue of not knowing it was happening. They do say ignorance is bliss, after all.

Biased

I’ve already talked about how deeming whoever doesn’t think like you is biased in itself, so I don’t need to delve much into this one. Let me sum it up: they’re called preferences. Just like how I think blue is a nicer color than pink. If we go with this “you only like something better because you grew up with it” logic (and I’ve already explained the fallacy in that regarding myself too!), I should despise blue and adore pink. But I don’t. I like pink, but it’s definitely not my favorite color and I do think blue is nicer. Make it blue!

Hater

I yell. I’m hot-headed. I will never deny that. Hateful, however? Hmm. I have an idea. Go talk to my best friend and ask her how hateful I am. Talk to my boyfriend too. Also, talk to the kids I look after. You can even talk to some of my family members. I do hate some people, obviously, and I hate some things, like how violence exists. I’ve said before I’m a cynic. And yes, this is an interesting choice of an insult. You’d think a hater wouldn’t have loved ones, yet I do. In fact, one of those loved ones is my abuser, who I’ve tried numerous times to reconcile with and the attempts keep falling out. So much for that.

Wouldn’t you know? None of these insults are true. Of course, I knew that, but the person who throws them doesn’t know that about me or anyone else these words have been thrown at. And how could they? It really does stun me how after all the nonsense I’ve dealt with, I can still be shocked people make snap judgements like that. Then again, I do it too, hence why I’ve been trying to teach myself not to do that. It’s harder than it seems, but if I weren’t trying, I wouldn’t write posts like these.

It will never sit well with me someone could tell lies about and falsely accuse me of things with no repercussions, but at the same time, it’s another thing I’m used to. My bullies got away with their actions, my abuser got away with hers, so why wouldn’t someone who tells lies about me on the internet, a place of complete anonymity if one allows, get away with their actions as well?

Plus, there’s the simple fact someone will always hate someone else and have trash to say. There’s nothing that can ever be done about that.

Warning: May Offend

That’s a tag that may as well be put on everything these days.

Before you get your pitchforks, hear me out. Yes, I know genuinely offensive things exist. There are some things I’m offended by, so I certainly can’t say nothing is offensive. However, I’ve noticed some people seem to actively try to be offended. I respect that different people are offended by different things, but what I cannot respect is when people are offended by things that truly have zero to do with them.

I’m talking about a person’s personal preferences and no, not matters like who they prefer to date. I mean things like what TV shows they like and what foods they can’t stand. That kind of stuff.

Seems silly to get offended over such a thing, doesn’t it? Why would what someone likes to watch on TV offend anybody? But it does. I talked about this a little in my post about death threats, but even without death threats, people can be very vicious. I’ve talked several times about the mess a fandom I was previously part of has become because of a rift between fans who prefer the older seasons versus fans who like the new ones. But why? Why does anyone have to give an explanation for liking or not liking something beyond “I like/dislike this”, and have their reasons deemed to be the right or wrong ones by other people? In short, why are people’s personal preferences about trivial things put on trial?

Is it even possible to have an explanation for everything someone likes or dislikes? I like strawberries above all fruits, but I can’t tell you why. I have no idea. I just do. I don’t like the color gray. No idea why. I just don’t. Why are fairies my favorite mythical creatures? Why do I hate snakes? I have no clue or explanation for any of these. However, they’re how I feel and that should be enough. Yet, for some people, it’s not.

Even if “offended” is too strong a word, these people are still getting mad someone does not have the same likes and dislikes as they do, or that they’re not keeping quiet about it. Why should they? I know the whole world isn’t the USA, but to my knowledge, the internet is for everyone to freely and openly express themselves. Why should someone have to be quiet or censor themselves in a certain way (not tagging a post, etc) because someone else can’t deal with seeing things they don’t agree with? I walk out in public and see multiple things I don’t agree with, but I can’t tell anyone to stay home because I don’t agree with something I see of them. The internet is hardly much different.

If someone wants to talk about or give reasons why they feel a certain way, that’s fine, and they should understand they’re opening themselves up to criticism if they publicize it. But making someone feel they have to explain whatever feelings they have, especially over something as insignificant as entertainment media, is little more than being mean-spirited. At the end of the day, it’s how they feel and those are their personal preferences. They’re called “personal” for a reason. Personal is defined as: “of, affecting, or belonging to a particular person rather than to anyone else” or “of or concerning one’s private life, relationships, and emotions rather than matters connected with one’s public or professional career“. In other words? It’s. Not. About. You. It’s only about them and their feelings.

I believe anyone who’s angered because someone doesn’t like something they do, and further angered if it’s for reasons they don’t agree with, or vice versa, needs to take a cue from my favorite queen.

“Let it go, let it go!”

Because, really, someone’s personal preferences do not affect you. Their personal preferences are about them, not you. Remember, everyone’s entitled to free speech, and that right doesn’t end because you don’t like what they have to say.

And if it really and truly does bother you so very much, here’s a nifty idea: try a blog! Then, you can control who speaks and who doesn’t on your space. That suggestion tends to get people mad, but it’s more productive than complaining about seeing things you don’t like in spaces you can’t control.