|Type:||wank, ship war|
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We’ve fractured our fandom over fictional relationships. We should be better than that guys. Seriously.
What is it?
The Kurtofsky Wanks are a routine ship war topic in the Glee fandom, which have emerged alongside a fairly intense rivalry between the fans of different Kurt Hummel ships. Trolling and ranting is very common, and debates (such as one which occurred in late July 2011 and continued to flare into September 2011) get heated quickly.
Immediately after "Never Been Kissed" aired, large groups of Glee fans began debating whether or not Dave Karofsky was a sexual predator. This is due to the fact that over the course of episodes prior, Karofsky bullied Kurt to the point that, with the encouragement of Blaine Anderson, Kurt finally confronted Karofsky in the locker room at McKinley High School and, rather than beating Kurt up, Karofsky responded to his presence by kissing him.
The sexual assault debate has continued in the months since the episode aired, and has escalated to the point where fans of other Kurt Hummel pairings routinely accuse Kurtofsky fans of being rape apologists - rather than recognizing them as the redemptionists that the majority of them truly are. Another common theme that is brought up frequently in this debate is that Kurtofsky shippers cannot possibly have ever experienced rape, assault, or abuse themselves - which has been proved false by several individuals, who have felt compelled to come forward with the story of their personal stories of abuse in order to quell the wank. It is impossible to say how many Kurtofsky fans ignore the accusations, and how many respond to them. However, once responses are made, the discussions, which usually happen asynchronously on Tumblr, quickly become impassioned on both sides.
In addition to the inter-pairing accusations, Karofsky has often been written as a one-dimensional villain, usually a rapist, murderer, or other malevolent deviant, in fanfiction by supporters of other Kurt Hummel pairings. The outcry against such stories, of course, tends to lead to more debate.
On several occasions, the Kurtofsky Wanks have reached a level of intensity where the argument was so heated on either side that anonymous hate messages were sent to the Tumblr ask boxes of shippers debating the issue, from shippers of "rival" pairings. Allegedly, some of the anonymous hate messages received by Kurtofsky shippers have included death threats that were due entirely to the pairing they support.
An important note (mostly just here to prevent wank): not all fans of other Kurt Hummel pairings make these accusations of sexual assault against Dave Karofsky and of rape apology against Kurtofsky shippers; in fact, most are very willing to coexist peacefully with their fellow Glee fans.
Tumblr Tag Controversy
A debate has emerged within the Kurtofsky Wanks debate on Tumblr, about whether or not it is okay to tag one's rants and inflammatory speech about any pairing with the name of that pairing. Many users believe that pairing name tags belong to shippers of that pairing, and that it is not okay to post negative comments using that tag. Many others believe that the tag system on Tumblr is an organizational tool, and that they have the right to use it as such. However, inflammatory speech within the Kurtofsky pairing tags has been a key component of the Kurtofsky Wanks' - and other ship-wars' - longevity on Tumblr:
STOP TAGGING YOUR HATE.If you feel the need to post lots of ship hate, password protect your blog so people can’t lash out at you in anon for what you’re posting. Give the password to people who agree with your opinions. Now you aren’t angering people in the Glee community.
The Chris Q&A at NYFest 2011
At the 2011 NYFest, fans attended a panel that showcased various Kurt scenes, including one of the kiss from Never Been Kissed. Chris Colfer had picked out the scenes, and offered commentary on them: his comment of "this one is a kiss" was received with squees of joy but then, upon revelation that it was the Kurtofsky kiss, one fan muttered "rape", and several others jeered the choice.
Kurtofsky fans reacted upon reading about this, or after experiencing it while attending the con by writing posts that illustrated their feelings of disgust at the fen who were so uncouth:
Maybe those little harpies didn’t think what they were doing was ‘such a big deal’. Maybe they weren’t thinking about anyone but themselves, acting like they usually do online- self-righteous and entitled. But no matter what was going through their heads (or not) to make them think doing something like that was a good idea, the act itself was still completely appalling, humiliating, disrespectful, and just completely unacceptable. I would be saying the exact same thing if it had been a group of pirates booing the Klaine kiss and/or calling it rape in public, in front of a respected actor.
- colorofsakura, I also want to be clear on something., retrieved July 30, 2011.
- asongbiginonesosmall, http://asongsobiginonesosmall.tumblr.com/post/9544257238
- Audio Recorded From The Con
- Report From PandaTreat Regarding Seating and the Comment, accessed October 3, 2011.
- My over-arching, coherent morning thoughts about what went on at the Chris Q&A., accessed October 3, 2011.