September 28, 2016 § Leave a comment
A reader writes,
I am in the Marvel fandom. Arguably two of the biggest ships in the MCU fandom (or at least the Avengers) are Clintasha (Black Widow X Hawkeye) and Stucky (Steve X Bucky). While I ship Stucky HARD, I don’t ship Clintasha. In fact, it’s my NOTP.
It’s gotten to the point where I can’t watch a Marvel movie without getting annoyed at all the subtext Clintasha shippers could twist to their advantage and it’s almost impossible to search up the MCU hashtag without encountering Clintasha material. I don’t know how to make myself calm down and remind myself they’re all just fictional characters, and Clintasha’s never becoming canon anyway!!
So, how do I calm down and learn to accept Clintasha, or even start shipping it? It’s driving me crazy–HELP!! Slightly calmer P.S. I read The Fangirl Life and loved it! It genuinely helped me and put me on the road to becoming a better person and fanwoman! Thanks!
Hi friend! Thank you for your honesty! It is a bold move to see negativity in your life and to say out loud that you want to do something about it.
Fangirls sometimes get in the habit of seeking out ships or shows we can actively hate. Sure it’s entertaining, but getting joy from other people’s disappointment is not a way to thrive. And it’s certainly not a way to be calm. Believe it or not, each of us has an enormous capacity to not only live amongst things and people that annoy the hell out of us, but to thrive as well. Anyone who has a family or has survived a high school cafeteria lunch has this ability.
You don’t have to love a ship to calm your anxieties. You just have to send love out to the people behind the ship (the fans) who make you twitch in anger. Look beyond the content, and see the people who celebrate it. So as corny as it sounds, maybe try send some light and joy to people who ship your NoTP? Because they are humans, not screen names. We must take the time to see another fangirl as a human, someone with daily worries and big hopes. Someone who makes mistakes and gets excited by a spark of romance or a good story.
A funny thing happens when you take the time to see humanity in other people. You grow your own capacity to love yourself.
So the next time you feel annoyed by someone in a fandom, just ask yourself, “How can I really see this person?” It’s a short prayer, whether you’re religious or not, that you have to ask over and over again to calm the hate and spark some light. The internet does a great job trying to obscure the humanity of others, but it’s always there. You just have to practice seeing it. And if it takes a ship you think is gross to get you to sharpen this skill, then thank god for Clintasha.