Anti-shipper

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Synonyms: anti, antis
See also: noromo, notp, ship war, shipper, anti-anti, Purity Culture in Fandom, Anti-fandom
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Anti-shipper is a fannish term that has been around since X-Files fandom in the 1990s,[1] but has taken on different meanings in different contexts.

History & Use

Anti-shipper was originally a synonym of Noromo, a fan who wanted Mulder and Scully's relationship (in canon or in fanfic) to be platonic.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy fandom in the early 2000s featured regular use of the term Anti, but this term was applied broadly. The word anti often preceded a character name[2], narrative arc[3] or ship[4], to illustrate a fans dislike of that character, narrative or ship. It was also applied to fans engaged in anti-shipping behaviours (possibly as an insult), but these fans do not appear to have self identified as antis.[5]

Despite this some of the arguments made by anti-shippers were very similar to moral arguments made on Tumblr over a decade later. Fans who opposed the pairing of Buffy/Angel often claimed that pairing was paedophillic, because Angel was 250 year old vampire and Buffy was 15/16 in season 1. Fans who opposed the pairing of Buffy/Spike often pointed to their violent interactions in canon and the abusive nature of the pairing.[6]

Anti-Ship Art and Groups on DeviantArt

DeviantArt had clubs and other groups dedicated to ship hate. Starting in 2008, in Invader Zim fandom the Anti-ZADR-Club hosted contests to create Anti-ZADR art, each with a unique theme, such as Jhonen Vasquez (creator of Invader Zim) reacting to it. Another old anti group is anti-knuxouge, which was founded in 2004. There were many anti groups in the Sonic the Hedgehog fandom, such as Anti-Couple clubs A-F, Anti-Couple clubs G-P, Anti-Couple clubs Q-Z, etc.

Anti-ship art often showed the two characters of a pairing being revolted by each other, one being frightened of the other, or both of them engaged in violent acts. Anti-ship stamps were also popular.[7]

There were also groups founded against certain types of ships in general rather than specific pairings. One group founded September 15, 2010 is titled Anti-Incest and has the motto: "Family is family, nothing more." This group was affiliated with a now-defunct group called Hetero-Pairings, which may or may not have been anti-yaoi. There were many anti-yaoi groups on DeviantArt. Many were fandom-specific, but others were more general, such as AntiYaoiFangirls, Down With Yaoi, or YaoiHatersFC, group "For artists above and against stereotyped art such as - yaoi, yuri, slash, hentai, mpreg, lolicon, and similar genres".

People against a certain ship would sometimes refer to themselves as Anti(Shipname). For instance, one anti-Shadamy stamp from 2010 has the description: "If your an Anti Shadamy then hope this pleases you"[8]. Another anti-Shadamy stamp posted in 2012 says to fav "if you're an anti Shadamy"[9]

Another concept on DeviantArt was the "anti-couple", which is one that contradicted another ship and is posed as an alternative to it. For instance, The-Anti-Sonamy-Fans shared art of Sonally (Sonic x Sally) and Shadamy (Shadow x Amy), which are both anti-couples to Sonamy (Sonic x Amy) because they pair Sonic and Amy with other characters.[10]

A post from 2006 about "couple extremists" also complains of "anti people" and says they are both causing fandoms to "turn sour".[11]

Current Use

Beginning around 2016 in tumblr fandom, anti-shipper has been used to describe fans who attack a ship and its shippers with arguments that it is morally wrong, for example the ship is "pedophilic"[12][13][14] or promotes abuse IRL. Fail_Fandomanon was discussing the phenomenon as early as October 2015, but the term itself may have appeared later. See the Fail_Fandomanon wiki entry.[15] Closely tied to the concept of anti-shipper are "purity wank" and purity culture; see AO3 Content Discussion (2016).

Tumblr user wrangletangle relates the origin of Tumblr anti-shippers to the long-standing Tumblr etiquette of "don't tag your hate":

The “anti” problem arose because Tumblr has no functional community structure, meaning people started using the tags themselves to replace the communities from back on LJ. In that context, tagging a negative post with the tags that apply was making the posts show up in the only viable community structure, which was a violation of LJ etiquette (where communities were self-selecting and moderated). This was exacerbated by the lack of functional cut tags, so everything was all completely visible, and you had to scroll past every post in its entirety. The culture of “don’t post anti in the tag” was a social concept developed to deal with Tumblr’s non-functionality for fandom purposes.[16]

In March 2017 an anon on Fail_Fandomanon elaborated on this origin story, explaining that the antishippers were told go to their own anti[ship] tag, which they did, and where they only interacted with like-minded people and therefore ended up radicalizing each other.[17]

In February 2018 tumblr user and anti-antishipper freedom-of-fanfic argued that anti is a self-designation. A reblogger commented, "I’ve seen people describe themselves as 'an anti' in the meaning 'I am against pedophilic/incestuous ships and I will actively argue against their right to exist on the internet'."[18]

Others argue that fans use the term "anti" in order to shut down any discussion of morality in fanworks.[19]

Example Ships

Examples of pairings where anti-shippers have been active:

  • Reylo from Star Wars: The Force Awakens - claims that it promotes domestic abuse and incest, though no blood relations have been confirmed by canon.[note 1]
  • Kylux from Star Wars: The Force Awakens - claims that it promotes unhealthy darkfic and is racist due to shafting of an M/M ship between two men of color, Finn/Poe[20]
  • Sheith and any Shaladin pairings (ex: Shiro/Pidge, Shiro/Lance) from Voltron: Legendary Defender - claims that they promote pedophilia, though the showrunners themselves have avoided discussing character ages or have been inconsistent. After the release of later seasons, Sheith was attacked for also being incest (although they are not blood-related, flashbacks show Shiro taking a sort of older brother-figure role towards Keith)
  • Chara/Sans from Undertale - claims that it promotes pedophilia (even in fanworks where Chara is aged up)
  • Chara/Asriel from Undertale - claims that it promotes incest (the two were raised together but share no blood relation) and abuse
  • Sans/Papyrus from Undertale - claims it promotes incest due to being incest
  • Otabek Altin/Yuri Plisetsky from Yuri!!! on Ice - claims that it promotes pedophilia even though one character is 15-16 (by the end of the series) and the other is 18
  • Arusigawa Juri/Kaoru Miki from Revolutionary Girl Utena - claims it's queer erasure (though many shippers do not deny Juri's attraction to women or her canon feelings for Takatsuki Shiori)
  • Nino/Jaffar from Fire Emblem: The Blazing Sword - claims it promotes pedophilia due to a few years' age difference and Nino's innocent nature and youthful appearance.
  • Any pairings involving Elise and Sakura from Fire Emblem Fates - claims they promote pedophilia despite Sakura and Elise being teenagers as well as legal marrying age by the standards of the game's setting
  • Corrin/Xander from Fire Emblem Fates - claims it promotes incest despite the two only being foster siblings and sharing no blood
  • Berkut/Rinea from Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia - claims it promotes domestic abuse due to Berkut going insane from demonic possession and shattering their formerly healthy and loving relationship.
  • Simon Blackquill/Athena Cykes from Ace Attorney - claims it promotes pedophilia due to Simon having known Athena as a preteen child.
  • Derek Hale/Stiles Stilinski - claims it promotes pedophilia, and is racist due to shafting the main character, who is a man of color, Scott McCall
  • Eren Jaeger/Levi Ackerman - claims it promotes pedophilia (15/30+) and abuse due to a scene where Levi physically assaults Eren
  • Yoon Bum/Sangwoo from Killing Stalking - claims it promotes rape and abuse, due to Sangwoo doing exactly all of that to Yoon Bum
  • BLMatsu (matsucest) from Osomatsu-san - claims it promotes incest due to being incest
  • Elsa/Anna from Frozen - claims it promotes incest due to being incest
  • Dipper Pines/Mabel Pines from Gravity Falls - claims it promotes incest due to being incest
  • Bill Cipher/Dipper Pines from Gravity Falls - claims it promotes pedophilia (12-year-old boy/ancient demon)
  • Sebastian Michaelis/Ciel Phantomhive from Black Butler - claims it promotes pedophilia (Sebastian is over 100 years old, Ciel is 12-13)
  • Pearl/Mayor Dewey from Steven Universe - claims it is lesbian erasure due to Pearl's lesbian-coding
  • Hiro Himada/Tadashi Himada from Big Hero 6 - claims it promotes incest due to being incest
  • Rick/Morthy from Rick and Morty - claims it promotes pedophilia (Rick is 70, Morty is 14)
  • Snape/Harry and Snape/Hermione from Harry Potter - claims it promotes pedophilia
  • Katsuki Bakugou/Midoriya Izuku from Boku no Hero Academia - claims that it promotes abuse apologism due to Bakugou's history of bullying Midoriya, although their relationship has since developed into a mutually beneficial rivalry.
  • Remrom (Remus/Roman) from Sanders Sides - claims it promotes incest due to the characters being sibling-coded, and that it promotes rape/abuse and pedophilia due to the younger demographic of the fanbase.

Meta/Further Reading/Discourse

References

  1. Usage of the term on alt.tv.x-files on 11.08.96 in the discussion Scully and Pendrell? by Angela D. Troiani
  2. Discussion on Stranger Things December 2004. References to "antis on the WB forum", and later anti-Cordy fans.
  3. Evilistas been refered to as anti-redemptionists here and the site Big Bad Forever self identifies as anti-redemptionist here
  4. Spike Anti-Redemptionistas on Dreambook. Comments include fan saying "I'm not anti B/A", and another fan referencing the"anti-Spuffy" page they created. Comments from 2002.
  5. Comment by verbalgirl77 on Babble Board thread "Leather Pants and Other Cures for Fandom Diseases." May 18, 2003, accessed June 22, 2019.
  6. Shipper/Board Wars.. Is one coming? comment by Dawny, July 2003.
  7. Anti shippings collection in moli456's favourites
  8. Anti Shadamy by Chichalovescandy, June 12, 2010
  9. Anti-Shadamy by xXAngelTheHedgehogXx, January 19, 2012
  10. [1]
  11. We hate couple extremists! by AntiCoupleExtremists, December 4, 2006
  12. Either because there's a canon age gap between the characters, or because the fan created a fanwork depicting an age gap with one character underage, or because the fan created a fanwork in which one character arguably looked underage maybe, or because the shipper is an adult whereas the characters are canonically teens, or because the shipper is an adult whereas the characters were canonically teens at some point...
  13. For example: "pedophilic ships exist. for example gravity falls: shipping mabel with pacifica is fine. they are both 12 and as long as no one posts any nsfw thats fine. however, shipping mabel pines with gruncle stan is pedophilic and people who do are pedophiles." comment by odetcyou, archived, on 29 August 2016.
  14. "jaytim is a perfectly fine ship. it doesn’t involve pedophilia or anything. jason is 21 and tim is 17 if im not wrong. even if there is a slight age gap doesnt mean that its pedophilia, okay? ive seen many people being mistaken over this and it’s not pedophilia. what is pedophilia is shipping bruce/batkids." tumblr post by frostedemma, 27 August 2016, with commentary in the reblogs. archived.
  15. old wiki; dreamwidth backup
  16. wrangletangle. Yes, you can tag your dark or triggery work on AO3 with the characters and ships that are in it, archived, posted to Tumblr 26 September 2016. 1,829 notes as of 19 October 2016.
  17. "2017-03-07 comment". 
  18. PSA: ‘antis’ named themselves. please stop accusing everyone else of naming them., Archived version reblogged by into-september, Feb 15th, 2018
  19. [2]
  20. See Your Vagina is a Bigot; My Vagina is a Saint.
  21. archived, with 10,340 notes as of 27 August 2016.
  22. archived, with 9,516 notes as of 27 August 2016
  23. Anonymous asked: would you say that "antis" are a predominant US phenomenon? compiled by fiction-is-not-reality2, dated 2019-06-30, accessed 2019-07-25, archive.org version

Notes

  1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi confirms that Rey is not Luke Skywalker's daughter, thus making her no relation to Kylo Ren.