Anti-shipper

Synonyms: anti, antis
See also: noromo, notp, ship war, shipper, anti-anti, Purity Culture in 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.

Original Use

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

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 "pedophilic"[2][3][4] 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.[5] 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.[6]

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.[7]

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'."[8]

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
  • 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[9]
  • 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 father-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.
  • Inigo/Owain from Fire Emblem Awakening - claims it promotes abuse due to Inigo teasing Owain
  • 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

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. 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...
  3. 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.
  4. "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.
  5. old wiki; dreamwidth backup
  6. 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.
  7. 2017-03-07 comment
  8. PSA: ‘antis’ named themselves. please stop accusing everyone else of naming them., Archived version reblogged by into-september, Feb 15th, 2018
  9. See Your Vagina is a Bigot; My Vagina is a Saint.
  10. archived, with 10,340 notes as of 27 August 2016.
  11. archived, with 9,516 notes as of 27 August 2016