DOES unresolved sexual tension EXIST? (And why it matters)

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Title: DOES unresolved sexual tension EXIST? (And why it matters)
Creator: Brianna L.
Date(s): April 19, 1999
Medium: online
Fandom: slash, X-Files
External Links: archived copy at X-Files University; WebCite
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DOES unresolved sexual tension EXIST? (And why it matters) was written by Brianna L. as part of X-Files University and "School: NoRomo Studies" where fans wrote articles and essays devoted to examining the fandom surrounding the TV show X-Files.


This is not a statement to be taken lightly. Questioning UST’s existence is like questioning the existence of gravity; *everyone* *knows* it exists and anyone who is foolish enough to question is branded, well, a fool.

Still, the question needs to be asked. No one questioned the idea that the world was flat and you could fall off the end of it; except Christopher Columbus himself. Perhaps in spirit, he was truly the first Noromo.

Now let’s examine a few thing here. It is largely assumed by the media, and indeed many X-Philes, that "everyone believes in UST". Now just who is everyone? Every single X-Files fan in the world? How do they know that every one of those fans believes in UST? Have they taken a survey? And who is the "they" that is referred to? Not 1013, they couldn’t care less. Some all empowering, almighty worldwide surveying company? "Everyone", if you’ll excuse me, my arse.

What we are really questioning here is the existence of UST. Do you believe it exists? Shippers often talk of UST as if it was a physical object. Perhaps they all imagine it to be some kind of invisible Tinkerbell fairy that floats around Mulder and Scully constantly. Whenever Mulder even looks at Scully, it sits on her shoulder and whispers wickedly, *Oooh, see that? He luuurves you!* The UST fairy constantly reminds them that everyone expects them to be together by now, so why aren’t they? Like a mother nagging a 40 year old daughter, why aren’t you married yet?

Ah, Shippers might say, No, you’re wrong. (Actually, I bet they’d say that no matter what I said. :) Chris Carter himself has admitted he likes the UST! Gillian Anderson says all the time how much she likes it! (Well, she did the first five hundred times.) If Shippers were to say that, I would say to them: "The difference between gossip and news is whether you hear it or tell it." The supposed existence of UST has been repeated so many times, electronically floating over e-mail, newsgroups, and web pages, that many now mistakenly take it as fact. This even gets repeated in the media [1], adding credibility to something which is little more than an opinion. Another misrepresented statistic that of the degree of Shippers among the X-Phile community. When X-Phile groups are mentioned, it is always Shippers first and often last. Occasionally, a Noromo might be mentioned (also termed as an "Anti-shipper", which implies that they don’t even command enough respect to be anything but a complement to another. Wrong. A Noromo is an Anti-shipper but the converse is not also true), I have yet to see a Slasher or Skipper to get mentioned at all. This is appallingly lazy on the media’s behalf, as I suspect Slashers probably have a larger fan base than even Noromos.

So the perception grew. Look at all these sites; Shippers, hmmm, that’s an interesting story. Fans that disagree with the premise of the show, yet they’re fans anyway. Shippers stood firm, and look where we are now. Chris Carter and co has given into perceptions that *one* group of fans and the media have created. Season Six is a stream of Ship-happy moments that are so falsely inserted it is surely obvious to everyone. Apparently not Shippers. To Noromos, it all seems just a little unnatural. To Shippers, it’s heaven.

There is one thing here I don’t understand. One of the reason The X-Files was often heralded as "ground breaking", "original" etc was because of its premise. Not the FBI Agents vs. Shadow Government & Aliens one (although that also was rather ground breaking :), but the Male And Female Working But Not (Gasp!) Sleeping Together one. I guess Shippers are the fans that went for the former premise but not the latter; Noromos, fans that went for both, or went for the former and were intrigued by the latter. Shippers, apparently, can’t appreciate the unique situation that the latter premise has presented us with. It is what I always found kept me going back to X-F: aliens had been done before, but not this type of partnership. Really, it is ridiculous that Shippers should even exist. It’s like being a fan of Chicago Hope but then complaining that it’s set in a hospital! When you choose to be a fan of something, you accept what that something is, not try and mould it all out of shape!

Well sorry folks, but it does matter. It is fiercely important. If we Noromos allow our personas to be obliterated, we are allowing the Shippers to win. More Shippiness will follow. People will assume you are a Shipper. The perception will be a self-fulfilling prophecy and then we are all doomed! If the Noromo existence is not acknowledged, then there will be no one to challenge the Shippers, no one to stop the downfall of our favourite show. Perhaps it is already too late, but we must not lose faith.

So stand up for what you believe in, Noromos! Drink root beer! Join Noromo-friendly clubs (LOON and the Bee Squad await your membership)! Take up bee keeping! Explain the Noromo way of thinking to your significant others, who just happen to be major journalists! Change your .sig to something Noromatic and take up slash over MSR! A Shipper revolution *can* be stopped, but only if you act now!

And remember: unresolved sexual tension is no excuse for making a once-great show just like the rest of them. Especially considering it doesn't exist!